News Panel: Obama in Bay Area, Bay Bridge Tanker Crash Report, and more
President Obama visited the Bay Area for the first time since his re-election to raise money for Democratic Party candidates and to gain support for returning Rep. Nancy Pelosi to the position of House Speaker. In San Francisco, the president was met by environmental activists protesting the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Meanwhile in Silicon Valley, newcomer and fellow democrat Ro Khanna says he will challenge six-term Congressman Mike Honda, going against the wishes of the president. The race is expected to be one of the most heated in the 2014 election.
The California Board of Pilot Commissioners has suspended the license of pilot Guy Kleess, who was found responsible for crashing an oil tanker into a western-span tower of the Bay Bridge this past January. Also, following the discovery of faulty steel rods on the Bay Bridge, Caltrans investigators are still assessing what caused them to break and whether other parts produced by the same manufacturer may be at risk of malfunctioning.
Palo Alto-based electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors has unveiled its first financing plan to make their nearly $70,000 Model S more accessible to consumers. With financing from Wells Fargo or US Bank, drivers would only need a 10% down payment. The ten-year old company also announced it is turning a profit for the first time. The news initially sent stock prices soaring, but Wall Street seems unconvinced that the new loan program will lead to a significant increase in consumer demand.
- Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle
- Tom Vacar, KTVU News
- David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
Also on KQED.org this week ...
Drought Watch 2015: Record-Low Sierra Snowpack
The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically supplies nearly a third of California's water, is showing the lowest water content on record: 6 percent of the long-term average for April 1. That shatters last year's low-water mark of 25 percent (tied with 1977).
"Boomtown" History of the San Francisco Bay Area
KQED's "Boomtown" series will seek to identify what is happening in real time in the current boom, and also draw out the causes and possible solutions to the conflicts and pressures between the old and the new.