- PG&E's Line 109 also seen as posing safety risks (SF Chronicle)
The other pipeline that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has long relied on to deliver natural gas up the Peninsula has problems similar to the ruptured line in San Bruno - flawed or missing records and at-risk welds, including 80-year-old technology recognized as prone to earthquake failures, The Chronicle has learned.
- Districts seek parcel taxes to fill budget hole (San Jose Mercury News)
Faced with cumulative budget cuts and an expanding black hole where state revenue has been, four school districts in Santa Clara County and three in San Mateo County are seeking local taxes to stabilize their budgets. Ballots have been mailed to voters for the seven mail-only elections. The ballots are due at the county registrars of voters by May 3. All the measures, for local parcel taxes, require two-thirds to pass.
- California's Calendar of Doom (San Jose Mercury News)
Call it the Calendar of Doom -- California's countdown to budget meltdown. With more than $15 billion of red ink still washing over the state's checkbook even after the Legislature trimmed the deficit by $11.2 billion, the clock is ticking to bridge the gap. The choices -- extending taxes or slashing funding for K-12 schools, universities, public safety and other programs -- are ugly. But so is inaction, which could jeopardize the state's credit and ability to pay bills.
A day after one of the Fruitvale district's best-known restaurateurs was shot and killed at his family eatery, more than 400 people observed a moment of silence Saturday morning at a neighborhood school. Then, they got to work, peppering the city's top officials with a long list of complaints about crime, and proposing an even longer list of solutions.
Nearly 300 (school building) inspectors have been cited by the state for work-related deficiencies. But at least two thirds were allowed to keep monitoring school construction jobs, a review of state performance ratings shows. For decades, the state kept these ratings confidential until California Watch fought for their release.
The state has made it virtually impossible for school districts to access a pot of money set aside for urgent seismic repairs on more than 7,500 school buildings that have been listed for nearly a decade as potentially unsafe, records and interviews show... As the Schwarzenegger administration decided how to dole out a limited amount of money, it worried about a rush on the funding, according to internal e-mails and memos obtained by California Watch. The concern prompted the administration to set a high bar for schools to qualify.
The De Anza case seemed like a done deal when a civil jury last week sided with the two remaining defendants against the young woman who claimed she was gang-raped by a group of the college's baseball players when she was 17 and highly intoxicated. But Friday, District Attorney Jeff Rosen appointed a prosecutor in his office with 25 years of experience trying sex cases and other serious crimes to review the De Anza case. Chief Trial Deputy Ray Mendoza will start from scratch, testing all the bedding and other physical evidence in the case and reviewing every interview of witnesses by sheriff's detectives, as well as the entire transcript from the nine-week civil trial. That means the group of about eight men will be on tenterhooks for some time to come.
...Lee is expected to appear Tuesday before the Board of Supervisors for a formal policy discussion on city issues, the culmination of three ballot measures and more than four years of political fighting to get the mayor to appear monthly before the city's legislative body for questions... Rules that Lee's office negotiated with the board earlier this year require most questions to be provided almost a week in advance and limit discussion to five minutes per question.
A San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee is holding a hearing Monday on the possible effects on the city of a federal proposal to restrict the areas of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area where dogs can go without a leash. The hearing at the board's Land Use and Economic Development Committee was called for by Supervisor Scott Wiener in response to the proposal by the National Park Service.
...As the search for (Bryan) Stow's attackers continues, the Giants are bracing for the next round: The Dodgers arrive Monday for a three-game series at AT&T Park, and the Giants have significantly bumped up the amount of security enforcement in and around the stadium. Jorge Costa, the Giants' senior vice president in charge of ballpark operations, declined to say how many officers have been added. But Costa, who has been handling Giants security since 1989, said part of his job is to "assess the overall mood of the event." And passions are running high, even by the standards of one of the fiercest rivalries
Police arrested 19 men during a sting operation Friday in which undercover officers posed as prostitutes, a police captain said. Officers focused their efforts along International Boulevard east of Lake Merritt and the Fruitvale neighborhood, an area plagued with prostitution for years, Capt. Edward Tracey said. "Some say prostitution is a victimless crime, but most people who speak like that do not live in these neighborhoods," he said...
In an event highlighting the influence and permanence of the Bay Area's Indian community, Gov. Jerry Brown and other political leaders joined thousands of colorfully dressed Sikhs who on Sunday celebrated the opening of their greatly expanded temple in the Evergreen hills of San Jose, making it the nation's largest gurdwara. The open house marking the $20 million addition to the Sikh Gurdwara-San Jose drew Brown, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and other dignitaries including clergy from Christian and other faiths. They joined thousands of Sikhs who had traveled to the packed celebration from all over Northern California.
The Sonoma County Library Commission has come up with a plan to reduce hours as part of an attempt to close a $1.05 million funding gap. Every branch library in the county would be open the same hours each week: closed on Sunday and Monday; open noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; and open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The Central Library in Santa Rosa would be open these same hours, as well as 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday
The Chronicle building’s continuing transformation is a dramatic example of how the San Francisco economy is changing — even under one roof. With the Chronicle literally shrinking, Hearst and its Cleveland-based developer, Forest City Enterprises, are embarking on a plan to turn a 4.5-acre block around the newspaper — including idled printing facilities — into a commercial and residential campus for innovation.