- Deal brings end to L.A., Long Beach ports strike (LA Times)
Clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will return to work Wednesday, ending a strike that crippled America's busiest shipping hub for more than a week. Leaders of the 800-member International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit agreed to a tentative deal after marathon negotiations that ended late Tuesday. The deal will not become final until it is ratified by the full union membership.
- S.F. housing chief target of more reports (SF Chronicle)
The San Francisco Housing Authority Commission last month quietly hired former City Attorney Louise Renne to conduct an investigation into alleged illegal and inappropriate behavior by the agency's director, Henry Alvarez - but so far, the mayor and his appointed commissioners are standing by the housing chief as allegations against him continue to mount. Meanwhile, Supervisor David Campos said he will ask Harvey Rose, the board's budget and legislative analyst, to conduct a performance audit of the Housing Authority to ensure that residents have adequate living conditions, and wants the results of the audit aired in a public hearing.
- A Split Decision on Gay Therapy (SF Chronicle)
California's impending ban on therapy aimed at "curing" homosexuality has received two conflicting verdicts from the same federal courthouse in less than 24 hours - one judge saying it appears to violate free speech, a second judge in a separate case saying the law merely regulates conduct the state considers harmful. The law, the first of its kind in the nation, is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, except for two therapists and an aspiring therapist who were exempted by the judge in the first ruling. Its constitutionality will be determined by the higher courts.
- Regulators clear Disney purchase of Lucasfilm (AP)
Federal antitrust regulators have cleared Disney's $4 billion deal to buy Lucasfilm, the filmmaking empire behind the "Star Wars" franchise. Notice of the clearance was issued Tuesday. Representatives for The Walt Disney Co. and Lucasfilm Ltd. did not immediately respond to requests for comment. When the deal was announced in October, no formal closing date was announced.
A veteran prosecutor who improperly withheld crucial evidence in a San Jose gang murder case until the brink of trial has been suspended for a month without pay for incompetence and misconduct, the Mercury News has learned. The suspension of Daniel Carr is the maximum penalty District Attorney Jeff Rosen could impose short of demoting or firing the prosecutor, and it cost Carr four weeks' pay -- $16,500. It is the latest example of Rosen's effort to fulfill his campaign promise to share evidence early and fully with defense attorneys to avoid problems that have allowed some prosecutors to ignore judges' orders and conceal evidence.
As the nation gets close to plunging over the metaphorical fiscal cliff, triggering what could be massive tax increases and spending cuts in January, scores of businesses -- including at least two major Bay Area corporations -- are taking steps to soften the landing for their shareholders. Oracle of Redwood City and San Jose-based Cisco Systems are among more than 100 companies nationwide that are paying dividends in advance this year so their investors won't get taxed more heavily for the money next year. And experts believe the number of firms jumping on the early dividend bandwagon is bound to increase.
The fate of the long-debated Lake Merritt dog park appears to rest with outgoing Councilmember Jane Brunner. With Brunner absent on Tuesday, the council failed to muster the needed five votes to either approve the dog park or kill it. The issue will return for a vote on Dec. 18 -- the final scheduled council meeting for Brunner as well as dog park supporters Nancy Nadel and Ignacio De La Fuente. The dog park, slated for the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and Lakeshore Drive, near the I-580 interchange, has been a heated issue in the Grand Lake neighborhood for over a year.