- San Francisco mayoral debate shifts to civil side of issues (SF Examiner)
(The) The late entries of interim Mayor Ed Lee and Public Defender Jeff Adachi have jolted the race in recent weeks, with Lee’s appearance at a Castro debate last week drawing boos from a raucous crowd heckling him for reneging on a promise not to seek permanent office after being appointed in January. But the mood at the Alliance for Jobs-sponsored debate at UC San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus was more professional and measured, with repetitious positions on pension reform, economic growth, jobs and parking tickets. There were few fireworks, but some animosity came when candidates were able to ask each other questions.
- Public Works appointment causes sparks to fly in San Francisco mayoral race (SF Examiner)
The appointment of a city department head with a checkered past has pushed the once-innocuous San Francisco mayoral race further into an all-out brawl, with the recent injection of hostile race-card politics. Mohammed Nuru, an 11-year Department of Public Works manager, was appointed head the 1,200-employee agency. But critics of the move were quick to point out Nuru has been implicated in an investigation by the City Attorney’s Office, a scathing audit by the Controller’s Office and as the subject of a discrimination lawsuit.
- No BART protests; more debate on wireless shutdown (SF Chronicle)
A day after protesters disrupted yet another commute - and amid threats that service could be halted again - BART officials continued to stand behind last week's decision to turn off wireless access in the transit system's underground San Francisco stations to shut down a political protest. Three BART directors called Tuesday for the agency's governing board to publicly discuss its police department's use of the tactic and consider whether to establish a policy governing its use. Meanwhile, civil libertarians are discussing the matter with BART and say they could still sue the transit district to stop it from switching off wireless communication.
Oakland City Councilmen Ignacio De La Fuente and Larry Reid said Tuesday that they will push for youth curfews as well as for the expansion of the city's controversial gang injunctions in the wake of the stray-bullet killing of a 3-year-old boy. They said police need more resources to combat a rise in shootings and homicides this year in Oakland.
Gov. Jerry Brown and the governor of Nevada signed a pact with the federal government near the shore of Lake Tahoe on Tuesday intended to increase the clarity of the lake by half a foot per year for the next 65 years. The agreement seeks to make the lake visible to a depth of almost 100 feet by reducing the amount of fine sediment that enters the water each day. The states agreed to the goal with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which will monitor the progress.
The Marin Municipal Water District was dealt a blow Tuesday when a Marin Superior Court judge made final her tentative ruling that the district's desalination project environmental impact plan is flawed. After hearing two hours of arguments, Judge Lynn Duryee upheld her earlier ruling that the MMWD failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act when it approved an environmental impact report for the desalination plan. The ruling invalidates the water district's approval of the plan.
Battered by bad economic news, potential homebuyers in the South Bay stayed on the sidelines last month, sending sales to their lowest level for a July in more than two decades, according to a report Tuesday. Real estate information service DataQuick said it has seen no lower July sales numbers for existing single-family houses in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties since it started keeping records in 1988, although the San Mateo sales numbers for last month are short a few days and are an estimate at this point. The previous worst July was in 2008 in Santa Clara County and last year in San Mateo County.
After weeks of Republican attacks on President Obama in rural Iowa, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Barbara Lee on Tuesday took to the pulpit of an African American church in Oakland to hear directly from voters and defend the president and Democrats on the most critical issue of the 2012 presidential race - jobs.
A regional transportation agency that may have violated open meeting laws when it voted to leave its longtime Oakland home and relocate to San Francisco will meet Wednesday for a special do-over of its July 27 decision. The special meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission was called after Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker notified the agency and the Association of Bay Area Governments that a closed-session meeting on July 27 attended by members of both agencies' boards violated the state Brown Act. The extra meeting is the latest hiccup in MTC's efforts to create a regional government hub in San Francisco.
The day after Google announced a $12.5 billion cash deal to buy Motorola Mobility, Silicon Valley and Wall Street on Tuesday questioned the value of the move -- as the initial glow surrounding the bold combination dimmed amid concerns about the challenges ahead. The strongest skepticism came from Standard & Poor's, which on Tuesday downgraded Google stock in part over concerns that the biggest deal in Google's history would take longer than expected to close, and that Motorola's more than 17,000 patents would not adequately protect Google's Android mobile software from a barrage of intellectual property challenges from such rivals as Apple, Microsoft and Oracle.
If Planned Parenthood is on the verge of cutting a deal to obtain nine parking spaces from a nearby business so it can open a clinic in Redwood City, it is keeping that information close to the vest. But the women's health services organization will have to disclose the progress of any negotiations or deals by Sept. 12 or Sept. 19, when the Redwood City City Council is to consider the clinic's fate...
Support for a countywide ban on carry-out grocery plastic bags continued to grow this week as two more cities and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors endorsed the concept. Seven cities and the county now have agreed to take steps toward a countywide ordinance limiting single-use bags under a proposal from the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.
For more than a decade, San Jose's little 9-hole Rancho del Pueblo golf course has offered kids, old folks and everyday duffers a place to hone skills at a sport played by presidents and corporate executives for about the price of going to a movie. But that bargain is something San Jose officials say they can no longer afford to offer. City officials will hold a public hearing Wednesday night on Mayor Chuck Reed's proposal to sell the money-losing Rancho del Pueblo course to a housing developer to erase a $2 million annual drain on San Jose's depleted budget.
...Small business owners like Faith Bell, owner of Bell's Books in Palo Alto, say the failure of Internet retailers to collect sales tax actually hurts local communities that could use the funds for roads and other vital infrastructure. In addition, brick-and-mortar stores, which have no choice but to collect the tax, are left at a competitive disadvantage, she said.