- A standoff between police and a distraught man in an SUV turned the San Francisco-bound deck of the Bay Bridge into a parking lot Thursday morning as all traffic was halted. The man, who claimed to have guns and explosives and was traveling with a 16-year old, is now in police custody. Traffic has now started moving on the bridge.
- It's over. Jean Quan is now officially the mayor-elect of Oakland. From the Oakland Tribune:
Perata, the bride who suddenly became a bridesmaid, has scheduled a press conference today for 10 a.m. That should be interesting, to say the least.
Quan, 61, represents a lot of firsts for Oakland. She's the first female mayor, the first Asian-American mayor, and the first mayor elected through ranked-choice voting in Oakland.
She's making history in other ways, too. Quan trailed former state Sen. Don Perata by more than 9 percentage points after preliminary results of first-place votes were posted Nov. 5. But those first-place votes didn't tell the whole story of how Quan ran her campaign, and how she lobbied voters to choose her as their second or third pick if they had someone else in mind for No. 1.
- A shelter-in-place warning was issued late Thursday afternoon then lifted Thursday evening after a power outage caused flames and black smoke to emanate from the Tesoro refinery in Martinez. From the Contra Costa Times:
KGO TV video:
"It is a major flaring event," said Lisa Fasano, a spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. "It should not be impacting the community, but as a precaution the shelter-in-place was called."
All five of the refinery's flares began burning gases and shooting flames after the power failed just after 4 p.m. Wednesday. Flares act essentially as safety valves to burn gases that would otherwise escape in more poisonous forms during a refinery upset.
The flares released thick black smoke that turned heads but did no apparent physical damage to the refinery, located at 150 Solano Way in Pacheco. The bigger concern was from health problems that might be aggravated by the smoke.
A county hazardous materials specialist at the scene said Wednesday evening that the county had received no complaints of health problems. Read the full article.