- Mirkarimi refuses to yield oversight (SF Chronicle)
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi will let his undersheriff handle any disciplinary actions involving subordinates accused of domestic violence, but he will not give up oversight of his department's domestic violence prevention programs, he wrote in a letter to Mayor Ed Lee. Mirkarimi is on probation after pleading guilty in March to misdemeanor false imprisonment for a New Year's Eve argument in which he bruised his wife's arm. His letter, sent earlier this week and obtained by The Chronicle, was in response to calls from Lee and District Attorney George Gascón to relinquish control over domestic violence programs at the Sheriff's Department. The mayor and district attorney are exploring how to force the sheriff to do so, possibly through legislation.
- Planning board OKs micro-apartments cap (SF Chronicle)
The Planning Commission on Thursday reluctantly approved a proposed cap on the number of micro-apartments that can be built in the city. On a 6-1 vote, with Commissioner Michael Antonini opposed, the commissioners rejected the Planning Department staff recommendation to dump the 375-unit limit proposed by Supervisor Scott Wiener. Wiener suggested the cap after meeting with housing and tenant rights groups who were concerned that the 220-square-foot units would be marketed to young tech workers and displace much-needed family and low-income housing.
- Hostess moves to liquidate after crippling strike (SF Chronicle)
Hostess Brands Inc. says it's going out of business after striking workers across the country crippled its ability to make its Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other snacks. The company had warned employees that it would file a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Court Friday seeking permission to shutter its operations and sell its brands if plants hadn't resumed normal operations by a Thursday evening deadline. The deadline passed without a deal.
- Academy of Art land use violations ignored (SF Chronicle)
Academy of Art University, one of the largest landowners in San Francisco, has had "consistent and repeated violations" of city land-use rules, yet the city has repeatedly refused to fine the for-profit school, even after it missed two compliance deadlines, according to a confidential letter by City Attorney Dennis Herrera. The academy "is engaged in a game of obfuscation and delay," and the city's Planning Department has refused to issue notices of violation that could result in fines, despite those citations being ready to go, Herrera wrote in a confidential letter to planning Director John Rahaim obtained by The Chronicle.
A disability advocacy group sued Alameda County's sheriff's department Thursday claiming its main jail lacks the amenities necessary to properly care for inmates with disabilities. The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, claims that inmates with disabilities do not have proper access to toilets, showers or visiting areas. In addition, the lawsuit claims, some inmates with disabilities are discriminated against because they are housed in the jail's infirmary, which is equivalent to them being placed in solitary confinement.
Board of Education President Norman Yee declared victory Thursday in one of the closest recent contests for a seat on the Board of Supervisors, but the second-place finisher has not ruled out requesting a recount. After an arduous 10 days of vote counting, Yee emerged as the winner of the nine-candidate District 7 battle by 131 votes to serve as successor to termed-out Supervisor Sean Elsbernd. The district includes the neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks.
The family of a 67-year-old Berkeley hills homeowner who was beaten to death by a trespasser while he waited for police to arrive has sued the city of Berkeley for wrongful death, personal injury and emotional distress. Attorney R. Lewis Van Blois of Oakland filed the lawsuit Thursday in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of victim Peter Cukor's wife, Andrea Cukor, and their two adult sons, Christopher and Alexander. On the night of Feb. 18, Cukor and his wife arrived home to find a 23-year-old man, Daniel DeWitt, near their garage and asking to see a woman named Zoey. The couple said they did not know Zoey and told DeWitt to leave.
Longtime GOP Rep. Dan Lungren has lost his seat in Congress to Democratic challenger Ami Bera in a close race to represent the eastern Sacramento County suburbs. Lungren didn't concede Thursday night, but vote counts showed Bera's lead growing to almost 5,700 votes. Bera was ahead by just 184 votes on Election Day, and the margin has grown steadily as workers count tens of thousands of mail and provisional ballots.
A judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to overturn five California laws governing teacher employment and dismissal on grounds that they protect ineffective educators who harm children's learning. In an opinion released late Wednesday that details a bench ruling Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu says he finds there are constitutional issues involved in the lawsuit, which was filed in May by the education reform group Students Matter on behalf of seven school children.
Transbay travelers' morning commute woes started early Friday as a four-car pileup halted Bay Bridge traffic in the westbound direction, according to the CHP. The collision occurred about 5:15 a.m. and apparently began with a rear-end collision between the first two vehicles, Officer Kevin Bartlett said. The accident was moved off the road to Treasure Island about 6 a.m., and three tow trucks were called in.