- Oakland gains A's stadium edge as San Jose waits (SF Chronicle)
San Jose and Oakland are both plowing forward with plans to build a state-of-the-art ballpark for the A's with little public financing and loads of amenities. On Tuesday, Oakland's plan was poised for a significant step forward, while San Jose's suffered a setback. Full article
- World AIDS Day in S.F. - remembering, celebrating (SF Chronicle)
On Wednesday, an estimated 200 people gathered at the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park to acknowledge the war is still being fought. In tearful embraces, some observed the World AIDS Day service by remembering loved ones lost. Others celebrated the gains... Full article
- S.F. park concessions push: some residents unhappy (SF Chronicle)
San Francisco park officials thought they had the answer to help close this year's $12.4 million deficit without decimating services: Raise revenue by putting moneymaking ventures including coffee vendors, skating rinks and open-air markets in parks and plazas.
What they have faced is strong pockets of public resistance, whether from businesses unhappy with the prospect of competition or residents uneasy with the idea of putting commercial enterprises in their public parks. Full article
San Francisco's fat can become fuel after a long-stalled biodiesel production facility on San Francisco's southeastern waterfront gained approval from the city's Port Commission.
The new operation, owned by Darling International Inc., will produce 10 million gallons of biofuel each year using leftover cooking oil. Full article
If the tenor of labor negotiations are any indication, San Mateo County faces a steep uphill battle in achieving the kind of pension reform officials say is critical to avoid chronic budget deficits. Not only is one of the county's largest employee unions resisting pressure to accept a two-tier pension system, it is lashing out at county managers for reaping far more generous retirement benefits than what its members get. And it has pointed out that another union heralded by the county manager for agreeing to a two-tier pension system won't see any changes unless all unions representing various county employees accept the same terms. Full article
...many drivers who were ordered to turn around at the toll plaza (during the Nov 11 police standoff with a driver on the Bay Bridge) the are being ticketed for doing so. FasTrak, the electronic payment system, automatically sent tickets to drivers that fateful November day because the computer cannot differentiate between toll cheats and police activity, said spokesman John Goodwin of the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Full article
Backers of California's ban on same-sex marriage moved Wednesday to disqualify the most liberal appeals court judge on the panel hearing the legal challenge to Proposition 8. In court papers, sponsors of Proposition 8 asked 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt to disqualify himself because his wife, Ramona Ripston, is the longtime executive director of the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU has been actively involved in trying to invalidate the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. Full article (Note: Judge Reinhardt today denied the motion.)
Apple has taken down an iPhone application that speaks against same-sex marriage and abortion after nearly 8,000 people signed a petition in protest. The app was based on the Manhattan Declaration, a document signed by Christian leaders in 2009 that criticizes abortion as the "cheapening of life" and a "license to kill" and refers to homosexual relationships as "sexual immorality" that could "lock into place the false and destructive belief that marriage is all about romance and other adult satisfactions." Full article
Google, stepping up competition with Amazon.com, will open an online store for electronic versions of books in the United States this year and internationally in 2011, according to a person familiar with the company's plans.
The Mountain View company is working with book publishers to sell hundreds of thousands of e-books, said the person, who asked not to be identified because details of the project haven't been made public. Full article