- Chemicals linked to cancer found in baby care items, group says (Contra Costa Times)
High levels of a potentially cancer-causing flame retardant have been found in products for babies and young children, an environmental group said Thursday as it announced legal action against the retailers and manufacturers. The findings by the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health are expected to add fuel to the campaign to revamp California's flammability standards.
- Virtual flight recalls Marin's role in Pearl Harbor attack (Marin Independent Journal)
A group of vintage airplane enthusiasts plan to use computers to re-create one of the most unwitting and harrowing missions in U.S. military history, which began in Marin and ended in the middle of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Friday marks the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on America's war ships that resulted in the deaths of 2,400 Americans and vaulted the country into World War II.
- Sheriffs divided on immigration policy (SF Chronicle)
Sheriffs in Bay Area counties are divided on whether they must go along with federal requests to turn over suspected illegal immigrants who land in local jails, an issue raised anew this week by state Attorney General Kamala Harris. San Francisco complies only if an immigrant booked on suspicion of a crime already has a serious criminal record. Santa Clara County, under a policy approved last year by its Board of Supervisors, goes a step further and won't hold anyone for immigration authorities unless the federal government funds the cost of an extra day's confinement, a price the government has declined to pay.
- California ski industry feels chill from climate change (Sacramento Bee)
A warming climate is melting California's winter tourism dollars. That's the conclusion of a new economic analysis released Thursday. The study – titled "Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States" and written by two University of New Hampshire researchers – said California and 37 other states have lost an estimated $1 billion and up to 27,000 jobs over the last decade alone due to less snowfall and shorter winters that research indicates are linked to global climate change.
Just when it seemed his story couldn't get any stranger, software pioneer-turned-fugitive John McAfee followed up his Wednesday night capture with a series of bizarre blog posts from a Guatemalan detention center, then collapsed and was carried from a facility on a stretcher. His attorney said McAfee suffered two mild heart attacks, then backtracked hours later and told Reuters that McAfee only suffered from stress, hypertension and an abnormally rapid heart beat.
The seemingly never-ending debate over whether to outfit San Francisco police officers with devices capable of shooting 50,000 volts of electricity through the body is recharging once again. The Police Department’s campaign, which would give stun guns to 103 officers specially trained to handle mentally ill people as part of a pilot program, is kicking into high gear, beginning with a planned Jan. 9 community meeting, Police Chief Greg Suhr said Thursday.
Military veterans in the Bay Area now have an advantage in the hiring process if they are interested in working at Bay Area Rapid Transit. The BART Board of Directors today announced it has approved a new hiring policy giving military veterans precedence in the hiring process, BART spokeswoman Luna Salaver said. Beginning Jan. 1, the policy will give external job candidates with at least 181 days of active status a 5 percent chance over the competition, Salaver said.
There is another financial crisis looming for City College of San Francisco. In addition to the reforms the college must make both structurally and financially, it will face more financial hardship if it does not meet enrollment goals for the second year in a row. “We are not on pace to make our base target of 34,000 at this time,” Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Peter Goldstein told the board of trustees in October. “And I was very disturbed for assumption for spring because it was so high. It indicates huge turnaround for the semester.”
A woman trapped for six days in the Sierra was found by her brother as she crawled along a snow-covered dirt road where she and her male companion had been testing the man's new four-wheel-drive Jeep, authorities said Thursday. Paula Lane's companion didn't survive the ordeal and died in the snow after leaving Lane in the vehicle and setting out to find help, said a spokesman for the Alpine County Sheriff's Department.