- Blustery storms heading to Northern California (SF Chronicle)
A pair of blustery, soaking storms will stream into Northern California beginning Friday, bringing as much as 10 inches of rain south and east of the Bay Area by Christmas Day and setting up potentially difficult travel conditions for those escaping for the holidays.
- State inspector warned PG&E of safety risks in '09 (SF Chronicle)
California regulators warned Pacific Gas and Electric Co. last year that persistent safety problems in its gas distribution system were putting the public at risk, according to a strongly worded letter obtained by The Chronicle.
- DNA implicates many in Richmond High gang rape case (Contra Costa Times)
DNA from four of the seven defendants in the Richmond High School gang rape case was recovered from the victim and objects found at the crime scene, according to preliminary hearing testimony Wednesday. Investigators also obtained DNA profiles from four males who have not been identified, as well as numerous samples of trace DNA too weak to create DNA profiles, said Dave Stockwell, forensic supervisor at the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office crime lab.
- Santa Clara County: 43 homeless people died on streets, but fewer than in 2009 (San Jose Mercury News)
The names were read one by one, names of the needy, the forgotten, the homeless. Forty-three men and women who died on the streets of Santa Clara County over the past year. As long and painful as the list was, it was more than a third shorter than the year before, nearly twice as short as the list of 82 homeless men and women who died on the streets.
- Team San Jose's chief executive expected to step down (San Jose Mercury News)
Dan Fenton, the controversial chief executive of the nonprofit that runs San Jose's convention center and downtown theaters, is expected to resign from Team San Jose at an emergency board meeting this morning, sources have told the Mercury News...Other sources close to Team San Jose's board said Fenton's fate was already being discussed weeks ago by top board members. These board members reportedly agreed the group -- a collaboration of labor, arts, hotel and business leaders who won the bid to manage the convention center in 2004 -- needs a fresh start after a series of financial and public relations disasters over the past 17 months.
- Bay Area foreclosures falter (Contra Costa Times)
- California to adopt "cap and trade" to combat climate change (San Jose Mercury News)
Taking the lead where Washington has wavered, California today is expected to adopt the nation's most ambitious plan yet to curb global warming. The California Air Resources Board is all but certain to vote to approve comprehensive "cap and trade" regulations designed to cut greenhouse gases. The regulations would impose limits, or "caps," on emissions from large industrial polluters through permits, or allowances, that could be traded on a market.
- East Palo Alto crime has dramatically dropped in past two decades, according to UC-Berkeley study (Palo Alto Daily News)
While the crime rate in East Palo Alto has plummeted in the past 22 years, it still has one of the highest levels of violent crime in California, according to a new UC-Berkeley study. Dubbed the per capita "murder capital" of the country in 1992, when 42 homicides were reported, East Palo Alto has averaged fewer than 10 murders annually since then. Four homicides have been reported so far this year. Overall, the violent crime rate decreased by 56 percent between 1986 and 2008, according to the study by the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice. And the property crime rate dropped by 64 percent.
- Students get first look at new East Oakland library (Oakland Tribune)
...The East Oakland Community Library, which will open at 1021 81st Ave. in January, received its first major shipment of books Wednesday morning and opened its doors to the students, who run from kindergarten through fifth grade
- Sunnyvale City Council votes to ban medical marijuana dispensaries (Sunnyvale Sun)
Medical marijuana dispensaries have no place in Sunnyvale, according to the city council. The council voted on Dec. 14 to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits, ending months of research and debate and going against recommendations by the planning commission. The prohibition will go into effect after a second reading of the ordinance in January.
- Obama signs Eshoo's bill that will turn down the volume on TV commercials (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed two-year-old legislation by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, that requires television broadcasters to curb the volume of noisy commercials. Think Crazy Eddy selling cars on late-night TV or light beer ads clamoring during Sunday afternoon football. While hardly as dire as other issues -- which Eshoo is the first to acknowledge -- the issue of ads running louder than regular programs is one Americans have complained about since the 1960s.
oreclosure activity during November continued to fall in the Bay Area and at the national level in response to the robo-signing scandal involving foreclosure court documents that unfurled in September. However, the slowdown in not expected to carry over into next year. While the foreclosure freeze enacted by lenders has been largely lifted, there are still spillover effects that are slowing down the foreclosure process.