- Truvada cuts HIV risk significantly in S.F. study (SF Chronicle)
Gay and bisexual men who took a daily anti-retroviral drug significantly reduced their risk of contracting HIV, according to a study from San Francisco's Gladstone Institutes that public health officials are declaring a major breakthrough in the long struggle to slow down the global AIDS epidemic.
The study, published in today's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, followed 2,499 men in six countries - including 120 men in San Francisco - with half of them taking the drug Truvada and half taking a placebo. Among the group taking Truvada, which is used to treat people who are HIV-positive, 36 men contracted HIV, compared with 64 men in the placebo group - amounting to a 44 percent reduction in cases. Full article
- Freed student Steve Li returns to S.F. (SF Chronicle)
After spending more than two months at a detention center in Arizona, Li, who was on the verge of being deported to Peru, is back in San Francisco - the only place he's ever considered home.
"Finally, this nightmare was over, but it's still surreal to me," the 20-year-old City College student said Monday. "I've been everywhere lately, it's been an emotional rollercoaster." Full article
A city panel formed to probe concerns over violent confrontations involving San Jose police has concluded that the department does not have a group of problem officers who have repeatedly used force to arrest suspects in minor crimes.
But the panel's findings -- based on a relatively narrow study of 180 cases from last year -- conflict with an earlier Mercury News review, and may not satisfy the department's critics. Full article
The solid left majority on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has an opportunity to do what city voters haven't done for more than two decades: put a progressive in the mayor's office.
Not since the election of Art Agnos in 1987 has a progressive served as mayor, and his tenure ended four years later when he lost his re-election bid to Frank Jordan, the more conservative former police chief. The only progressive mayor before Agnos, George Moscone, was assassinated in 1978, three years into his first term. Full article
Oakland took a step closer to becoming the first city in the nation to cultivate wholesale medical marijuana. But the potential pot farmers who showed up at City Hall Monday night wanted some assurances that their investments will be protected from federal drug agents.
The four selected pot farmers will have to pay a permit fee of $211,000 a year, but they stand to make millions for themselves and the city. However, they're navigating uncharted waters and one of the biggest threats out there could be the federal government. Full article
...Santa Clara County's Board of Supervisors is voting Tuesday on a local ordinance that would regulate sales of tobacco in the unincorporated areas of the county. If approved, the ordinance would require the existing 33 retailers to fill out a permit application and pay an annual $425 licensing fee. It would also ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, other than menthol, and, no permits would be issued to any new stores that also have pharmacies or are located within 1,000 feet of a school or 500 feet of another tobacco retailer. Full article
A recycling center in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park that has been the source of both contention and environmental contribution for 36 years is facing imminent closure so the site can be transformed into a community garden, The Chronicle has learned.
The city's Recreation and Park Commission is expected to consider a proposal to convert the roughly 1-acre patch next to Kezar Stadium into garden plots, a nursery and other features at its Dec. 2 meeting.
One of the most tantalizing mysteries in California's 2010 gubernatorial election involved the connection between one of the state's poorest women and one of its wealthiest.
How did an undocumented, Mexican-born housekeeper, Nicandra Diaz Santillan, end up in the national spotlight, boldly confronting her former boss, billionaire GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman?
The short answer: with the help of a union. Full article
California must work harder not just to curb damaging greenhouse gas emissions, but to plan for the unavoidable impacts of climate change on the state's landscape and economy in coming generations, according to an influential group of policymakers, scientists and business leaders.
For one, Gov.-elect Jerry Brown should create a Climate Risk Council that would assess the latest science and provide guidance for local and state agencies as they prepare for dramatically higher sea levels, declining water supplies and increasingly frequent wildfires, said the report by the Los-Angeles based Pacific Council on International Policy. Full article
Wasting no time after a victorious midterm election, GOP congressional leaders who promised to slash spending are looking to make an example of the nation's priciest public works project: California's $43 billion high-speed railroad.
A coalition of 27 House Republicans, led by the ranking member of the committee that controls spending, wants to yank $2 billion in stimulus funds promised to California to kick-start the massive project....
About half the remaining stimulus money is set aside for planned high-speed rail projects. The largest is in California, which has spent nearly $200 million of its $2.25 billion award on planning but is saving the rest for construction. Full article
After avoiding public appearances for nearly eight weeks, Hewlett-Packard's new CEO surfaced Monday in Palo Alto to assure investors that the world's largest tech company is firmly on course, despite the uncertain economy and the controversies that have buffeted HP since August.
...HP reported solid increases in both sales and profit during its fiscal fourth quarter. The company also issued a bullish forecast for the coming year. Full article
A Menlo Park research facility Monday refused to allow a humane society representative to check up on a monkey that bit a female lab worker the day before.
SRI International officials said the lab worker is OK and because their facility is under federal oversight, the Peninsula Humane Society doesn't have to be given access to its research animals. Full article