- 5-alarm S.F. fire engulfs apartments, injures two (SF Chronicle)
Half of San Francisco's on-duty firefighting force battled a wind-fueled, five-alarm blaze Thursday that tore through two residential buildings in the Western Addition neighborhood and displaced about 60 people.
- Bulk of Occupy Berkeley camp cleaned out (Berkeleyside)
Berkeley city workers came into Civic Center Park around 1 pm on Thursday and cleaned out the majority of the Occupy Berkeley encampment. Workers from the public works department, some dressed in light blue haz mat suits, drove a big truck onto the grass and started loading abandoned tents, sleeping bags, chairs, and other items. The 14 workers were accompanied by about 30 Berkeley police officers who stood ready to moderate any clashes with protestors.
- Candlestick outages detailed; fixes set before playoffs (SJ Mercury News)
San Francisco officials late Thursday revealed why Candlestick Park went dark a second time during Monday night's 49ers game, as PG&E and the city vowed several fixes designed to prevent a blackout during next month's NFL playoffs. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and PG&E CEO Anthony Earley sent separate letters to 49ers CEO Jed York assuring they are on track to fix the problems that caused two blackouts at the stadium during the nationally televised game.
- California scofflaws with overdue traffic fines to catch a break (Palo Alto Daily News)
Traffic scofflaws throughout the state with long overdue court fines can get a 50 percent amnesty discount during the first six months of next year. More than 6 million cases statewide could qualify for the one-time break, according to an announcement by California's Administrative Office of the Courts, which is offering the one-time break with the aim of bolstering state and local coffers. Only unpaid court fines due before Jan. 1, 2009, qualify.
With Marin cruising toward its second driest December on record, people are wondering where all the rain has gone. Blame it on the Pacific ridge, a high pressure system with dense air that is sitting on the eastern edge of the Pacific Ocean deflecting any storm tying to get through to the north, according to the National Weather Service.
...Many homeowners are paying to have their houses seismically retrofitted after the recent swarm of earthquakes along the Hayward Fault Zone. But the owners may be unaware that California does not have mandatory state-sanctioned standards for seismic retrofits, and does not offer specific licenses for retrofit contractors.