- Amazon persuades California lawmakers to delay tax collection (Sacramento Bee)
In a deal with state lawmakers and brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon tentatively agreed Wednesday to stop fighting a requirement that Internet retailers collect sales tax on California purchases. Under the handshake deal, Amazon won a delay until at least September 2012 but will eventually collect state sales taxes...Gov. Jerry Brown has not weighed in, but Calderon said the governor is aware of the arrangement.
- Gov. Brown vetoes ski helmet, phone fine bills (SF Chronicle)
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday smacked down what he called overbearing and expensive proposals for state regulations by vetoing bills that would require that kids wear helmets when on ski slopes and increase fines for people who talk on cell phones or text while driving. The move came as lawmakers this week consider hundreds of bills before a Friday deadline.
- Mayor Ed Lee with wide lead in new campaign poll (SF Chronicle)
Appointed Mayor Ed Lee is maintaining a commanding lead in his bid to be elected to a full term, securing 31 percent of first-choice votes with none of the other serious contenders earning more than 8 percent in the first round, according to a recent poll conducted for his campaign. The poll by Benenson Strategy Group shows Lee winning after an unspecified number of rounds under the city's ranked-choice voting system, securing 51 percent of the vote while his closest competitors are still below 15 percent, according to a memo from the pollsters summarizing their findings.
- Aggressive S.F. panhandlers, tourist complaints up (SF Chronicle)
Hotel owners around Union Square, Yerba Buena, Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf are reporting an uptick in complaints this year from guests about aggressive panhandlers, said Joe D'Alessandro of the San Francisco Travel Association, formerly the Convention and Visitors Bureau. He said his organization has had more complaints from tourists and convention groups. The Union Square Business Improvement District, which assesses fees on property owners in a 27-square-block area to pay for security, street cleaning and other improvements, surveyed its members earlier this year and found aggressive panhandling was the top concern.
Federal wildlife officials recommended endangered species protection Wednesday for a San Francisco manzanita plant that was believed to be extinct until 2009 when a single shrub was discovered in the Presidio. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the Franciscan manzanita under the Endangered Species Act. The finding, reached after a yearlong study of the plant, opens a 60-day public comment period.
DNA evidence and surveillance camera footage were key pieces of evidence that led to the arrest of Giselle Esteban on Wednesday on suspicion of killing her former friend Michelle Le, a nursing student who disappeared more than three months ago. Police said bloodstains inside Le's car belong to Le, who disappeared May 27, and her DNA was found on one of Esteban's shoes collected during a May 29 search of the suspect's home.
Solyndra, the bankrupt Fremont solar manufacturer, may have two bidders for a plant that was financed partly with loan guarantees from the U.S. government, the company's chief financial officer said Wednesday. A large group from one bidder will come to the company's Fremont factory and headquarters next week, W.G. Stover said at the start of Solyndra's bankruptcy hearing Wednesday in Wilmington, Del.
Experimental filmmaker George Kuchar, whose no-budget, lo-fi, "plot, schmot" technique became a genre followed by generations of San Francisco art students along with auteurs such as John Waters and Andy Warhol, died of prostate cancer Tuesday with his twin brother by his side. He was 69.
A dying star that exploded 21 million years ago in a cataclysmic burst of energy called a supernova has sent its light streaming across the cosmos, leaving a pinpoint of light in the sky that Bay Area residents with a good pair of binoculars should be able to see over the next two nights.
He's about to be immortalized on the big screen -- by Brad Pitt, no less -- but Billy Beane has said barely a word about it. Few interviews. No talk radio. And forget "Entertainment Tonight." His silence about the much-anticipated film "Moneyball," due for release Sept. 23, has led to speculation that the A's general manager is uncomfortable being cast as a genius at a time when the standings tell such a different story. But Beane says his source of unease is something else entirely.