Morning Splash:Giants!, San Jose Zuniga Trial, Emeryville Nixes IKEA Expansion
- They did it again! Giants go up two games to one in the NLDS with a 3-0 win over the Phillies last night.
- State senators tore into PG&E and its regulator, the Public Utilities Commission, Tuesday, at a joint committee hearing on the Sept 9 San Bruno gas explosion. From the San Jose Mercury News:
PG&E was rapped for shifting funds it sought in past years for work on parts of the pipeline to other projects. The California Public Utilities Commission was criticized for allowing it…
Legislators…were vexed that the PUC has levied few fines on PG&E for pipeline accidents. Two years after a distribution line blast in Rancho Cordova killed a man and injured five, the utility hasn’t been fined, even though the National Transportation Safety Board found shortcomings in PG&E’s gas distribution line there…
The committee returned a number of times to the fact that (the PUC) safety group has a staff of nine to oversee safety issues on the state’s gas lines, as well as other utilities that include telecommunications, water and electricity.
“You have nine inspectors to do this on a statewide basis,” said state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Van Nuys. He asked if the PUC would be better off with two, three or four times that many.
“More inspectors could do more,” said Clanon. “But the government is never going to be able to substitute for the utility.”
Listen to KQED anchor Joshua Johnson’s report on the hearing, which includes a moving statement by a father whose son was hospitalized in the explosion.
- The Zuniga trial is underway in San Jose. Yesterday, an eyewitness supported police officer Joseph Paolini’s account of his shooting of Marcos Zuniga during an encounter with Zuniga and his wife, whom Paolini had shocked with a stun gun. Zuniga and his wife are on trial for resisting arrest, a misdemeanor. Marcos Zuniga has also been charged with misdemeanor battery. From an earlier Mercury News article:
The trial comes as San Jose police are reeling from intense scrutiny over what some say is an overly aggressive street policing style that research shows has led to racially disproportionate arrests and excessive force.
Last year, the Mercury News found San Jose charges far more people with resisting arrest, compared with its population, than any other major California city, and that a disproportionate number of those charged are Latino residents. A newspaper review of resisting-arrest court cases from 2008 also showed that force was used in more than two-thirds of those cases, often developing from minor encounters such as jaywalking and bicycle and traffic infractions.
Read last year’s Mercury News resisting arrest investigation and watch a video report here.
- Lawyers for same-sex couples filed a 107-page brief with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday in support of Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that Proposition 8, which bans same sex marriages in California, is unconstitutional. The Appeals Court will hear the case in December.
- The Emeryville City Council “shocked and pleased numerous residents,” according to the Oakland Tribune, by rejecting a plan by furniture chain IKEA to expand into a 60,000-foot warehouse space on Hollis Street. The city’s Planning Commission had previously approved the project by a 4-3 vote.