• The SF school board just voted Thursday night to authorize $6 million more to the contract to fix its broken payroll system. The original no-bid contract with Alvarez & Marsal was $2.8 million, to fix the mess of the EmPower system that has left many teachers un- or underpaid. [Mission Local]
  • As COVID cases rise again across the region and the state, health officials are signaling that mask mandates aren't coming back — just strong recommendations for masks in crowded places. Los Angeles County's health officer, though, has suggested that she may bring back mask mandates if hospital beds begin filling up. [Chronicle] Update: Alameda County is reinstating mask requirements for homeless shelters and heating centers.
  • The mother of a 14-year-old boy who was stabbed at Oakland's Skyline High School by another student is demanding better security at the school. [KTVU]
  • Forecasters say the odds are high that this season's La Nina will fade by April, which is hopefully good news for the drought. [Bloomberg]
  • Apple is dropping its controversial plan to clandestinely review iOS devices and iCloud storage for images of child abuse. [KPIX]
  • Los Gatos High School students are getting some nicer food in their cafeteria thanks to the hiring of a private chef consultant. [NBC Bay Area]
  • Kyrsten Sinema is throwing a wrench in things in the Senate as she often has, now announcing she will leave the Democratic Party and re-register as an Independent, and won't change her voting patterns but won't say whether she will caucus with Democrats. [New York Times]

Photo: Andreas Strandman