Morning Splash: State-Funded Day-Care to Last Thru Dec; CPUC Div Wants SmartMeter Health Probe
- State-subsidized day care to last through the year in California (LA Times)
Child-care advocates who had sued to stop the state from ending a day-care program that serves nearly 60,000 low-income parents announced a settlement Wednesday to keep the program afloat through the end of the year.
Under the agreement, the state will continue to provide child-care services through Dec. 31. At the same time, parents who use the service will be notified of their right to be screened for eligibility for other state-subsidized child-care programs. The program serves former welfare recipients who are now working but not earning enough to afford day care.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had vetoed $256 million for the day-care program when he signed the state budget last month. The veto was one of several he said was needed to bolster the state’s reserves. Full story
- Cohen, Farrell declare victory (SF Chronicle)
The battles for District Two and District 10 supervisors have come to a close.
Malia Cohen claimed victory Wednesday in District 10, and Mark Farrell emerged as the winner in District Two. Full article
Related: San Francisco’s far left gets ballot box beating (C.W. Nevius, SF Chronicle)
- Lawyer in Chauncey Bailey case is resigning from practice of law (The Chauncey Bailey Project)
Lawyer Lorna Patton Brown is resigning from the practice of law after being implicated in a plot by her former client, Yusuf Bey IV, to kill witnesses in the Chauncey Bailey murder case, sources said Wednesday.
Brown, 64, smuggled a hit list out of jail in March that named witnesses her client wanted killed to prevent their testimony in his upcoming trial, according to court papers.
It was unclear when her resignation will take effect. Brown did not return multiple messages Wednesday. Full story
- Bay Area prosecutors warn TSA agents not to be sexual with pat downs (Bay Area News Group)
As nearly 2 million holiday travelers pack Bay Area airports starting Friday, local prosecutors have a warning for overzealous security agents performing the new federal pat-down: touch passengers the wrong way, and we’ll throw you in jail.
Unsuspecting families and rookie travelers using San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland international airports this Thanksgiving might not know about the Internet catchphrase “don’t touch my junk” or the Transportation Security Administration’s more invasive searches. But by the end of next week, they might know a little too much about them.
Although authorities in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties said they have not received any criminal complaints since the procedures began earlier this month, the searches can involve touching of the genital and breast areas, which critics say is akin to sexual assault. Full story
- PUC division pushes for SmartMeter health probe (SF Chronicle)
The California Public Utilities Commission should investigate the health questions surrounding Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s SmartMeters, according to the agency’s consumer advocacy office.
In written comments filed on Monday, the commission’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates argues that the CPUC has a responsibility to ensure that PG&E’s wireless meters do not endanger public health. People who claim to be sickened by the transmissions of cell phones, laptops and other wireless devices fear the new meters, which PG&E is installing on every home and business the utility serves. Full story
- San Rafael Target debate heats up ahead of Planning Commission hearing (Marin Independent Journal)
More than three years after Target filed an application to open a store in East San Rafael, a battle over the big-box retailer is heating up, with some voicing concern about potential harm to locally owned businesses and others welcoming the convenience of one-stop shopping at discounted prices.
The San Rafael Chamber of Commerce recently cast its vote in favor of the plan to bring the 137,000-square-foot store with an expanded grocery department to a vacant lot at 125 Shoreline Parkway — but in the process lost one member who opposed the project from its board.
On Tuesday, San Rafael planning commissioners will consider the proposal and may even make a recommendation to the City Council, which could hear the matter as soon as Dec. 6. (Full story)
- Fresno State student leader’s immigration status leads to rally (Fresno Bee)
Pedro Ramirez is best known as Fresno State’s student body president.
Far less public is his status as an undocumented immigrant — at least, until this week. That’s when an anonymous e-mail, sent to The Bee and other media outlets, prompted Ramirez to confirm publicly that fact.
Now he’s helping organize an on-campus rally Friday in support of the federal DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act. The legislation pending in Congress would allow some longtime residents like him to become legal U.S. residents after spending two years in college or the military. Full story
- UC Berkeley physicists trap antimatter atoms (SF Chronicle)
Berkeley physicists seeking to pierce a mystery as old as the universe joined an international team of scientists Wednesday to report they have trapped and stored a few dozen atoms of antimatter – the stuff that annihilates ordinary matter in a single explosive flash of energy.
It’s a real-life version of the immortal “Star Trek” fantasy, where antimatter is crucial to speed the Starship Enterprise through the galaxy at warp drive, faster than the speed of light. Full story.
- State GOP will go after Contra Costa County election officials (Contra Costa Times)
The California Republican Party says it will pursue its lawsuit against Contra Costa County over whether election count observers have the right to challenge specific signatures on vote-by-mail ballots, calling it a critical statewide issue.
“Our intent is to proceed with the litigation and try to vindicate in a published opinion, or at least a decision of the Superior Court or an appellate court, the rights of observers,” said California Republican Party attorney Charles Bell. “We think this is a matter of statewide significance.”
The party and Contra Costa County Registrar Steve Weir did reach a hallway settlement early this week on how many observers would be permitted to watch election clerks process the 1,830 provisional ballots from voters in the hotly contested 11th Congressional District. Full story
- World famous boxer Pacquiao stops by Vallejo (KGO)
One of the most famous sports stars in the world was in the Bay Area Wednesday night. Manny “The Pacman” Pacquiao is the only boxer to win titles in eight different weight classes. He is also a congressman in his native Philippines, an author, and a singer.
In Vallejo, Pacquiao sang at an exclusive event for friends and family of his close associates in the Bay Area. They paid $150 each to benefit Pacquiao’s education fund for children in the Philippines. They also got to buy his book, which will be officially released on Thursday and then Pacquiao took the stage to show that he’s a fighter and a singer. Full story