Connecting the dots for Thursday, December 16

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Grocery prices jumped 1.5 times the price of inflation in 2010. The U.S. Department of Labor expects up to a 4% increase in 2011. Staples like wheat, sugar, soybeans, and energy are all getting more expensive...

In other mathematical news: fewer students preparing to become teachers, plus one gigantic state budget mess, equals a major teacher shortage in California…

Students in the Bay Area might have a hard time getting to those schools: The San Francisco Unified School District has plans to slash bus service by 50%…

Following San Jose’s lead, Marin County is looking to adopt a plastic bag ban and other baggie restrictions…

In Oakland, the FBI says it will investigate an officer-involved shooting

And in an effort to curb crime in San Francisco’s public parks, lame-duck mayor Gavin Newsom proposes closing Golden Gate Park and McLaren Park between 1am and 5am.

Connecting the dots brings the day's news together.