Bay Area making life difficult for tech firms

SACRAMENTO – In most of the country, a region’s “big” industry – think automotive companies in Michigan’s heyday, the oil business in Houston and entertainment in Los Angeles – is treated with deference by locals. Sometimes that attitude morphs into

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California push for coal divestment raises concerns

SACRAMENTO – Unlike the sellers of most other products or services, insurance companies receive payments from their customers in exchange for future promises. If you wreck your car, they will pay for the damage. If you die, they will pay out

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Top 5 taxes you may see on the 2016 ballot

  Last June, I wrote a column forecasting which tax increase measures might be on the Nov. 2016 ballot given the conversations going on then. Time for an update. As is nearly always the case in the political world, situations and

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San Onofre nuke shutdown shocks consumers

  “This is very good news for the people of Southern California.” So said Erich Pica, president of the outspoken environmental group Friends of the Earth, celebrating in June 2013 the announced closure of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. A year

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One year later, glitches still plague Covered CA

  “Here we go again with the same nightmare as a year ago. [I’m] truly fed up with Covered California’s technical incompetency.” So complained Igal Koiman, a health insurance broker, in remarks published this week in the Sacramento Business Journal.

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Bill would push unionizing franchise workers

  The franchise market in California, a keystone of small business in the state, soon could change radically. The California Legislature last Thursday sent a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk that would effectively supersede the contractual agreements between California-based

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Did Caltrans cover up shoddy work on Bay Bridge?

  Douglas Coe, an engineer under the employ of the California Department of Transportation, spent years working on the retrofit of the eastern span of the Bay Bridge between Oakland and San Francisco. When the 25-year Caltrans veteran told his

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The myth of California’s underpaid public school employees

  Eduardo Benard, a custodian at San Francisco’s Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School, received $107,912.31 in pay and benefits in 2013. He was one of 31 custodians employed by California public schools that boasted more than $100,000 in compensation last

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CA economic ranking renews debate

For those who put a lot of stock in statistics, it’s a good month for California. The Golden State has returned to take its former position among the world’s largest economies. World Bank calculations show California — if it were considered a country —

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Activists try to stop crude-by-rail

  “Boom!” read the signs carried by some of the five dozen or so protesters who raised a ruckus Saturday outside the Kinder Morgan rail yard in the Contra Costa County city of Richmond. The aim of the environmental and

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