City News

Apr 22, 2014 12:05pm

Security efforts are baffled by how a 15-year-old Santa Clara boy was able to not only sneak onto the tarmac at the Mineta San Jose International Airport, but they are even more troubled by the fact that he was able to get into the wheel well of a Maui-bound Boeing 767 and survive the entire 5 and a half hour trip undetected. He was finally discovered in Maui when airport workers caught him climbing out of the wheel well unharmed.

It’s hard to determine which fact is more surprising. The fact that he was able to survive over 5 hours in a tiny, unpressurized wheel well at an altitude...

Apr 22, 2014 12:00pm

As one might guess, it’s rare for a city to sue itself. But when a majority vote by the council is bypassed or ignored, it is a viable option for the city to pursue. Berkeley decided to do just that. Last month they filed a lawsuit against three council members in order to enforce a redistricting map that was approved by the Berkeley City Council in a 6-3 vote last year.

Council members Jesse Arreguin, Max Anderson and Kriss Worthington are named as defendants along with citizens who took an active role in supporting a referendum that would halt the of the new, redistricted map.

Apr 22, 2014 11:58am

Good things come in small packages, and the same is often true of California cities. With that in mind, Cities Journal has come up with its list of the top 15 small cities in California with populations under 20,000.

Healdsburg, a charming wine-making town in Sonoma County, topped the list at #1. The city has consistently landed on Frommer’s list of the “Best Small Towns and Villages” in California thanks to its old-fashioned charm, “down-to-earth spirit,” and a plethora of great shops and restaurants.

The City of Ojai in Ventura County took the #2 spot and was followed by the...

Apr 22, 2014 11:56am

Oakland’s ability to meet its financial obligations is in jeopardy, according to a report released Sunday by City Auditor Courtney Ruby.

The city’s troubles are being driven by its pension obligations. According to the report, payments to the state pension system climbed from $37 million in 2003 to $89 million in 2012.

Annual retirement income guaranteed to government employees can be nearly equivalent to their final year’s salary. And Oakland’s three major retirement plans are underfunded by at least $1.5 billion, according to Ruby, with the actual figure reaching closer to $2...

Apr 22, 2014 11:50am

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Assembly Member Roger Hernandez sits down with CaliforniaCityNews Publisher Mike Madrid to discuss AB 2715, legislation that would require cities with populations over 100,000 in population to create districted elections

As California’s demographic transformation continues to unfold, numerous California cities have faced litigation under the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA), legislation designed to ensure adequate racial representation on public agency boards. Numerous public agencies in the state do not meet the “Modesto standard” of...

Apr 17, 2014 12:17pm

The Pismo Beach City Council voted 3 to 0 Monday to settle a lawsuit targeting its use of prayer during council meetings. Council members Kris Vardas and Mary Ann Reiss were absent for the vote.

Under the terms of the settlement, the city chaplain position will be eliminated and all forms of prayer will be discontinued. The city has also agreed to pay plaintiffs Dr. Sari Dworkin and the Freedom From Religion...

Apr 17, 2014 12:15pm

When it comes to happiness, there’s no doubt that some cities have a little extra pep in their step. Now, the financial site is here to show you exactly which California cities rank highest on their list of bliss. looked at four main factors when determining the 10 happiest cities in California. These include freedom to change jobs, wages, work start time, and “a reasonable, non-stressful commute.”

The study relied on U.S. Census data, showing unemployment rates and per capita annual household income, to compile the list. The results were as...

Apr 17, 2014 12:12pm

The ongoing controversy surrounding the Sriracha hot sauce factory in Irwindale heated up last week, with the city council formally declaring the plant a public nuisance. Now, Sriracha’s owner-creator David Tran is signaling his willingness to leave.

On Wednesday, Tran invited officials and business leaders from 10 different states for a tour of the Huy Fong...

Apr 17, 2014 12:07pm

Davis took the number one spot on USA Today's Best Cycling Town Readers' Choice Contest for several reasons. Chief among them is the fact that 95 percent of the city’s roads have bike lanes or bike paths. Additionally, statistics have shown that 22 percent of Davis’ residents commute on their bikes.

The only other California city to crack the top 10 was Sacramento, landing at number 9. Malibu, California also was present in the top 20 list. 

The full list is as follows:

  1. Davis, Calif.
  2. Fort Collins, Colo.
  3. Minneapolis
  4. Madison, Wis.
  5. ...
Apr 17, 2014 12:04pm

The verdict has just come in from the Los Angeles County Supreme Court: Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo has been sentenced to 12 years in state prison. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy also stated that the former Bell official would not be eligible for probation.

Prior to his sentencing, Rizzo spoke out on the incident for the first time publicly and apologized for his actions, saying that he was “very sorry” for breaching “the public’s confidence.” Rizzo’s attorney asked for a five-year sentence, saying that Rizzo had been cooperative with authorities, but Kennedy denied...

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