- AT&T rates skyrocket since deregulation (SF Chronicle)
In August 2006, the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to allow AT&T and other companies that provided local telephone service to raise prices at will. Then-Commissioner Rachelle Chong, a Republican, credited as the driving force behind the deregulation plan, argued that growing competition from Internet phone service and cell phones would keep prices low.
- California gun control program offered as federal model (Associated Press)
California's attorney general said the nation should follow the state's lead in seizing guns from felons, the mentally ill and others who are not allowed to possess firearms. In a letter to Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Kamala Harris said the state's Armed Prohibited Persons System, created in 2006, has led to the confiscation of more than 10,000 illegally held weapons.
- Did you see it? Exploding meteor lights Bay Area skies Thursday morning (SJ Mercury News)
Bob Young's bedroom was black and quiet Thursday morning, just as it normally would be in the hours before sunrise, and the West San Jose resident said he was barely awake. Then ... "Without warning," he said, "the bedroom just lit up. I mean, just lit up. The whole thing. It made me wonder if something had blown up, like maybe a transformer." Turned out, it wasn't a transformer but a meteor being transformed. The spectacular bright light in the sky that stunned Young and other Bay Area residents was an exploding meteor called a fireball, said Chabot Space and Science Center astronomer Ben Burress.
- Nudity advocates appeal S.F.'s ban (SF Chronicle)
Advocates for the unclad challenged San Francisco's impending ban on public nudity Thursday before an apparently skeptical federal judge, who said going bare is not necessarily an act of political expression. The ordinance, scheduled to take effect Feb. 1, prohibits exposing one's genitals in public. It exempts children younger than 5 and participants in certain events with city permits, such as Bay to Breakers and the Folsom Street Fair. Violations are punishable by fines of $100, or up to $500 for a third offense.
It was a mind-blowing political tableau: a co-founder of liberal bulwark MoveOn sitting in her Berkeley living room, laughing, sharing homemade blueberry scones and occasionally agreeing with a national Tea Party figure. Truth is, MoveOn's Joan Blades - clad in Lululemon yoga pants and clogs - and Mark Meckler, sporting a leather cowboy vest, boots and a belt buckle larger than a baby's head - have been talking online and over the phone for a few years now. Quietly, until now.
The bar pilot in control of the tanker that struck the Bay Bridge on Jan. 7 has the highest incident rate over the three years for which such records are available, according to a San Francisco Examiner analysis of state documents. Between 2009 and 2011, Guy Kleess had three documented incidents while piloting ships on San Francisco Bay and in the Sacramento and Stockton areas. He also is one of only a handful of pilots who work those waterways who had more than one incident in that time frame, records from the California Board of Pilot Commissioners show.
When the Great Manti-Lennay Love Story was just catching on, the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune printed an account of how it all started, straight from the mouth of the star linebacker's father. They had met in 2009 after the Stanford-Notre Dame football game, the beautiful Stanford coed "with the warm smile and soulful eyes" and the star linebacker from the legendary Fighting Irish, when "their stares got pleasantly tangled." ...But this week's blockbuster revelation that Manti Te'o's heartbreaking love story was all a hoax left Stanford officials and students buzzing about their link to the make-believe leading lady in this modern masterpiece of online intrigue and deceit.