- Lost sailors were adventurous, experienced (SF Chronicle)
The crew of the Low Speed Chase was a relaxed but adventurous cadre of expert sailors who were fixtures on the Marin County waterfront, friends and family said Monday. For five of them, the toughest race in local yachting circles - the Full Crew Farallones Race, held annually since 1907 - was their last.
- VA Pledges to Overhaul Disability Claims System (Bay Citizen)
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday that it would overhaul operations at 12 of its offices in the next few months in order to reduce the time veterans must wait for decisions on their disability claims. The move comes a day after The Bay Citizen revealed that the backlog of disability claims had exploded to 870,000 under the Obama administration, despite the appropriation of more than $300 million for a new computer system and the hiring of thousands of new claims professionals nationwide.
- Benefit of electric cars found to vary by location (SF Chronicle)
...In California - which derives most of its electricity from natural gas plants, nuclear reactors, renewable power sources and hydroelectric dams - an electric car produces the same amount of global warming emissions as a gasoline-burning car that gets 79 miles to the gallon. In Texas, which is more dependent on coal, an electric car has the same greenhouse gas footprint as a gas-powered car getting 46 miles per gallon - about the same as a Toyota Prius hybrid.
- Citing contamination, FDA aims to shut down 2 state fish processors (California Watch)
Government health and food safety officials are seeking to close down two fish processing plants in California, citing concerns over the spread of bacteria and toxins in contaminated products. So far, there have been no illnesses associated with the two plants. However, government inspectors detected the toxins that cause botulism and listeriosis on products tested at the plants.
...Twice in the past six years -- in 2006 and again in 2008 -- voters rejected a ballot measure that would have raised about $16 million a year for parks and recreation by increasing the sales tax one-eighth of a cent. Those electoral defeats, along with the statewide budget crunch, have put a squeeze on the Parks Department, which has been forced to cancel programs because of low staffing levels and shut down facilities for lack of maintenance. As San Mateo County prepares its budget this spring, a new task force will explore how to keep the underfunded parks agency running and whether its ambitions need to be scaled back.
Two local legends -- Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Metallica and Neil Young -- are among the highlights of the 2012 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival lineup announced Tuesday. Other top acts include Motown great Stevie Wonder, alt-rock guitar hero Jack White and multi-Grammy-winners, the Foo Fighters.