- Beaten Giants fan Bryan Stow showing improvement (SF Chronicle)
Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was beaten outside Dodger Stadium on Opening Day, is breathing without a mechanical ventilator, can follow some basic commands and has been upgraded from critical to serious condition, his doctor said Wednesday. While detailing Stow's progress, Dr. Geoff Manley, chief of neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital, cautioned that Stow is "far from out of the woods" nearly three months after the 42-year-old paramedic from Santa Cruz suffered a traumatic brain injury.
- California budget talks head down twin paths -- for now (Sacramento Bee)
...A day after learning state Controller John Chiang would dock lawmakers' pay $402 a day for failing to produce a balanced spending plan, Democrats were working on a new majority-vote budget that relies on more cuts. Brown told lawmakers he will submit additional cut ideas to them in the coming days while he hunts for GOP votes.
- Weeks after firefighters let man die in chilly Bay water, they are trained and back in the water (Oakland Tribune)
Three weeks after Alameda firefighters stood by and let a suicidal man die after he stood in chilly bay waters for an hour, the fire department has reinstituted training that allowed rescue swimmers to enter the water last week to help rescue a boater and his two children whose boat had capsized, the interim chief said. The city earlier this week released a detailed fire department "significant incident" report detailing how three Alameda Fire Department rescue swimmers were sent to assist the U.S. Coast Guard with a capsized boat Sunday morning.
- Census statistics show quarter of California same-sex couples raising kids (Contra Costa Times)
(Nearly) 1 percent of California households -- about 126,000 homes -- (are) headed by same-sex couples, according to statistics from the 2010 census being released Thursday. The numbers, if they are accurate, show nearly a quarter of California's same-sex couples are raising children. While San Francisco remains a gay hub -- the city has more than 10,000 gay and lesbian couples, compared to fewer than 300 in Walnut Creek -- the census found same-sex couples in every corner of the state, and revealed that those who live in many suburban and rural areas are far more likely to have kids.
- Rental demand strong as home vacancies up in San Mateo County (SF Examiner)
San Mateo is one of California’s most affluent counties, but even this charmed corner of the Golden State has seen the number of empty homes double in the past 10 years. Five percent of the county’s 271,031 housing units are vacant, which is double the rate from 2000, according to new census data. The figures demonstrate the resilience of a downturn that took away many American’s most valued possession, their home.
- Alameda County and Oakland sign off on settlement with Warriors (Oakland Tribune)
Alameda County and Oakland officials gave final approval to a settlement Tuesday that ends a more than five-year dispute between the team and the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority. The deal calls for the authority to upgrade the sound system at the arena, as well as start a $4 million "upgrade fund" to improve the "fan experience" at the arena. The authority also will pay an additional $3 million to end litigation over the dispute. The disagreement between the authority and the team began in 2006 when the Warriors stopped making payments to the authority to play at Oracle Arena. I
- Hepatitis C: Incivek found to cure most patients (SF Chronicle)
A new antiviral drug that recently won federal approval to treat hepatitis C can effectively cure most patients of the infectious disease, which for more than 20 years has been notoriously difficult to treat, according to two studies released today. Roughly 80 percent of patients with the most common strain of hepatitis C and who had either never undergone treatment before or had suffered a relapse were cured when they took the antiviral Incivek in addition to the standard drugs, according to one study led by researchers at California Pacific Medical Center and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- Skateboard business icon dies in S.F. suicide (SF Chronicle)
Eric Swenson, an icon in the skateboarding culture and a co-founder of Thrasher magazine, died Monday in San Francisco. He was 64. Mr. Swenson shot and killed himself in front of the Mission police station, according to police. Mr. Swenson helped reinvigorate the skateboarding scene after it languished in the late 1970s.
- Santa Clara County, take pride: Your roads are smoother than most (Bay Area News Group)
Santa Clara County's suburbs have all steered clear of the dreaded list of the region's worst streets -- but in the big city, San Jose still has a lot of potholes to fill, a report released Wednesday shows. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission's annual census on Bay Area road quality, aptly called the "Pothole Report," concludes that the region's overall street condition is "only fair at best, with the typical stretch of asphalt showing serious wear." San Jose's 4,182 total lane-miles of streets are the worst in Santa Clara County, and the city is tied with San Francisco and others for the No. 73 spot on the list of 110 cities and unincorporated county regions, the report says. After San Jose, the South Bay's bumpiest roads can be found in the wealthy small towns of Monte Sereno and Los Gatos, as well as Milpitas. But they still had about average street quality when compared to the rest of the Bay Area.
- San Francisco Superior Court readies for closures, layoffs amid California budget woes (SF Examiner)
Think the wheels of justice move slowly now? Recent state budget proposals could bring to a crawl everything from civil suits and traffic ticket challenges to protective orders and murder prosecutions. The latest proposal, though vetoed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown, envisioned $150 million in cuts to the state judicial system. That prompted San Francisco Superior Court Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein to warn that the court faces the possible closure of 25 of its 63 courtrooms, and layoffs of 200 of its 484 employees. "Justice will be on hiatus," she said.
- Rival tribe decries Glen Cove protests (Vallejo Times-Herald)
Activists encamped for 70 days at the disputed Glen Cove Native American burial site were chastised this week by tribes seeking to protect the land. The tribes voiced their objections in a June 21 letter to tribal governments seeking support of their efforts to negotiate a cultural easement on the city-owned property. The open letter is addressed to all California tribes, including the 109 federally recognized ones. "You also may be aware of the growing encampment there," the letter says. "This encampment is against the wishes of the Yocha Dehe and Cortina tribal governments. "Individuals within this encampment have both marred and publicly disclosed the sacred burial sites, and their presence directly threatens the sanctity and security of these sacred sites."
- US Airways cross-dresser says he does it for fun (SF Chronicle)
A man who flies US Airways in women's skimpy clothing, including little more than undergarments at times, said Wednesday that he does so to make business travel more fun, and complies with employees' requests to cover up - though they rarely ask. The 65-year-old Phoenix man, who spoke to The Chronicle on the condition that his name not be published, said he was unaware that a photo taken of him wearing ladies' blue underwear and black stockings at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on June 9 had thrust him into a debate about racial profiling, travelers' security and appropriate airline attire.
- Top NASA official puts demolition of Moffett Field's Hangar One back into play (Palo Alto Daily News)
A report that questions the wisdom of spending millions of dollars to replace the walls of Moffett Field's Hangar One has prompted a top NASA official to resurrect the possibility of razing the iconic Peninsula landmark. In a letter released Wednesday, NASA Associate Administrator for Mission Support Woodrow Whitlow Jr. says the demolition of Hangar One is an option he will consider, along with transferring ownership of the gargantuan structure to a state or local government or proceeding with plans to preserve it by adding new siding after the toxic panels are removed.
- The Pacific Ocean's 'corridors of life' (SF Chronicle)
Two broad ocean highways where countless sea creatures migrate, feed, mate and reproduce have been discovered running across the Pacific by scientists tuning in to thousands of radio signals. The calls have come from electronic tags fitted to the Pacific's top predators - sharks and whales and the wandering albatross, for example. In all, the 23 most important of those creatures - in the water and the air - have revealed a far more complete picture of the behavior patterns and environments of the ocean's animals than the fragmentary information known before to science.