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Morning Splash: BART Won’t Fix Clipper Glitch; Area Home Prices Fall; Joan Baez Falls From Treehouse

| November 19, 2010
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  • Not enough Clipper cheats to fix glitch, BART says (SF Chronicle)

    BART has seen a surge in the number of people misusing Clipper cards to cheat on transit fares but says the numbers are still too small to make changes to the card necessary, agency officials said Thursday.

    The issue surfaced last week, when several media outlets disclosed the problem, and some gave a tutorial in how to abuse the regional transit smart card by using a feature that allows some passengers to exit BART stations without paying their full fare. Since then, the number of such trips has quadrupled, said Dorothy Dugger, BART’s general manager.

    But the problem, she said, is still minor. Before the publicity, she said, about 40 to 50 customers per day used the negative balance feature, though it is not clear how many used it to cheat the system. The numbers have since risen to about 150 to 200 daily trips, she said. Full story

  • UC Regents Raise Tuition 8% – No Protesters (SF Chronicle)

    The absence of student protesters was almost eerie Thursday as the University of California regents concluded their three-day meeting by raising tuition 8 percent, expanding financial aid for undergraduates and imposing higher fees on professional degree programs.

    The calm contrasted sharply with events Wednesday, when police doused protesters with pepper spray and one officer drew his gun when surrounded by a feverish crowd of students at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus. Eleven students and two unidentified protesters were arrested. Full story

  • San Francisco Weighs cost of hosting America’s Cup (SF Chronicle)

    San Francisco officials refer to it as Plan B, but at the same time say the possibility of shifting the proposed facilities for the next America’s Cup toward the northern waterfront would save the city and race organizers money while giving spectators a better view of the action…

    A report from the Board of Supervisors’ budget analyst released Thursday found that the city’s direct cost of hosting the Cup would be $42.1 million. There is also an estimated $86.2 million in lost revenue for granting development rights and free leases of up to 75 years for parcels of waterfront property to race organizers, led by billionaire Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Full story

  • Bay Area home prices fall in October (SF Chronicle)

    Bay Area home prices fell for the first time in a year in October as unemployment and the end of tax incentives curbed purchases, MDA DataQuick said.

    The median price of a house or condominium dropped 1.8 percent from a year earlier to $383,000, the first annual decline since September 2009, the San Diego real estate data firm said Thursday. Sales in the nine-county Bay Area fell 23 percent to 6,122, the second-lowest tally for October since the company began keeping records in 1988. Full story

    -Slowest month for Bay Area home sales in two decades (San Jose Mercury News)

  • Intensity highlights Contra Costa’s role in first-ever statewide sex offender sweep (Contra Costa Times)

    It was obvious something was different when they started checking the air ducts.

    The search team also looked through the man’s cell phone to check for pornographic images or videos, which would have violated his release conditions…

    The team was one of several multiagency squads canvassing Contra Costa to ensure the county’s registered sex offenders — about 1,700 live within the boundaries — were living where they said they were living, and, depending on their parole, steering clear of children and staying out of trouble.

    Their efforts were part of the first statewide sex offender compliance sweep, dubbed “Operation Safe Playground,” conducted this week under the leadership of the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Besides enforcing compliance, the teams were dispatched throughout California to hunt for at-large sex offenders. Full story

  • State pays higher interest on sale of bonds (Kathleen Pender, SF Chronicle)

    California had to pay higher-than-expected interest rates to complete its sale of $10 billion in revenue anticipation notes Thursday.

    The state sold $2.25 billion in notes maturing May 25 at a yield of 1.5 percent, up from a tentative yield of 1.25 percent quoted to individual investors who placed orders Monday through Wednesday. It sold $7.75 billion worth of notes maturing June 28 at a yield of 1.75 percent, compared with a preliminary yield of 1.5 percent. Full story

  • Same-sex marriage hearing to be shown on C-SPAN (SF Chronicle)

    A hearing in San Francisco next month on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, can be televised on C-SPAN, a federal appeals court has decided.

    The cable station will carry the Dec. 6 hearing before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals live. Prop. 8 supporters are asking the court to overturn Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling in August that found the 2008 measure unconstitutional. Full story

  • Capitola man wins lottery to redraw state legislative districts (San Jose Mercury News)

    Capitola resident Vince Barabba was selected Thursday to be one of 14 California residents — from almost 30,000 initial applications — to redraw the state’s legislative districts.

    While a seemingly mundane charge, the redistricting effort these residents will undertake will shape California’s political landscape for the next decade, determining what parts of California both federal and state lawmakers will represent.

    It’s the first time redistricting will be done by citizens instead of the Legislature. Proposition 11, passed by voters in 2008, created the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission with the goal of removing the conflict of interest that exists when lawmakers design their own districts. Full story

  • Joan Baez injured in fall from backyard treehouse (San Jose Mercury News)

    1960s songbird Joan Baez had a treehouse built — without walls — 20 feet high in an oak tree behind her Woodside home because she wanted to sleep with birds.

    The folksinging legend, who once performed the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” before a half-million people at Woodstock, fell from that treehouse Wednesday as she climbed down from the platform. Full story

  • Meet and greet with boxing champ Manny Pacquiao leaves some Bay Area fans fighting for refunds (Vallejo Times-Herald)

    The sweet croonings of Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao whipped a Vallejo gathering of more than 250 into a frenzy Wednesday night.

    Some attendees ended the evening happy with the rare occurrence. Others who lined up to meet Pacquiao and get his autograph, however, yelled complaints and demands for refunds when he left early. Full story

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