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Morning Splash: Oakland, Richmond Named 5th, 6th Most Dangerous Cities; Frigid Weather Coming

| November 22, 2010
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  • Oakland named fifth most dangerous city in nation (Bay Area News Group)

    The city of Oakland placed fifth on a list of the most dangerous cities released Sunday.

    The study by CQ Press said St. Louis was the most dangerous city in 2009 with 2,070.1 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, compared with a national average of 429.4. That helped St. Louis beat out Camden, which topped last year’s list and was the most dangerous city for 2003 and 2004.

    Detroit, Flint, Mich., and Oakland rounded out the top five. (NOTE: Richmond came in sixth)

    For the second straight year, the safest city with more than 75,000 residents was Colonie, N.Y.

    The annual rankings are based on population figures and crime data compiled by the FBI. Some criminologists question the findings, saying the methodology is unfair. Full article

    -Full list from CQ Press

  • Thunderstorms to give way to big chill (SF Chronicle)

    The weekend’s theatrical storm, with lightning, thunder, hail and sheets of rain, will be followed by an encore of frigid arctic weather early this week.

    The new front is expected to bring chilly showers around the Bay Area and more snow to the mountains – good news for skiers and snowboarders willing to brave near-zero temperatures at night and, possibly, single digits during the day through Wednesday. Full article

  • Security protest could disrupt Thanksgiving travel (AP)

    As if air travel over the Thanksgiving holiday isn’t tough enough, it could be even worse this year: Airports could see even more disruptions because of a loosely organized Internet boycott of full-body scans.

    Even if only a small percentage of passengers participate, experts say it could mean longer lines, bigger delays and hotter tempers.

    The protest, National Opt-Out Day, is scheduled for Wednesday to coincide with the busiest travel day of the year. The Obama administration’s top transportation security official implored passengers Monday not to participate, saying boycotts would only serve to “tie up people who want to go home and see their loved ones.” Full article

    -Administration to Seek Balance in Airport Screening (NY Times)

  • S.F. drug take-back measure up for a vote (SF Chronicle)

    San Francisco would become the first city in the country to require that drug companies pay to collect and dispose of unwanted or expired drugs if controversial legislation is approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.

    Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, author of the ordinance, says it’s only fair that pharmaceutical companies pay for the safe disposal of their products, which otherwise are often flushed down the toilet or tossed in the garbage, contaminating the environment. Expired drugs that are kept around the house can also pose a health hazard if they’re consumed. Full article

  • Legislators want more gas pipeline inspectors (SF Chronicle)

    California’s natural-gas regulators need to hire more inspectors immediately to check on the state’s pipelines in the wake of the San Bruno explosion that killed eight people, state legislators say.

    The Chronicle reported earlier this month that mile for mile, California’s regulators devote the least time to pipeline inspections of any state. Federal officials have withheld a portion of funding for inspections for seven years in a row because the state has not met Washington’s enforcement targets. Full article

  • Berkeley High struggling with alcohol, drug use among students, survey says (Contra Costa Times)

    When it comes to marijuana and alcohol use, Berkeley High School students surpass their California counterparts, according to a recently released survey.

    Students who took the survey also reported coming to school drunk or high at almost double the rate of other California students.

    While school officials are quick to point to what they say is a “permissiveness” in Berkeley parents’ attitudes about marijuana and alcohol use by children, they also admitted that they have done little educating to counteract the trend. Full article

  • NASA commits $20 million to save Hangar One (Palo Alto Daily News)

    Hangar One’s future is finally looking bright — provided Congress cooperates.

    NASA has committed to spending $20 million to restore the South Bay landmark at Moffett Field, NASA Ames Director of Center Operations Deb Feng announced Thursday at a Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board meeting.

    With an additional $10 million pending from earmarks requested earlier this year by U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, the combined funds likely would be enough to restore the hangar. Full article

  • Oakland considering handing over its role running Oakland Museum (Oakland Tribune)

    The city is considering a plan to hand over control of the Oakland Museum of California to the museum foundation.

    The plan being worked out between the two sides would end the role the city has played since the museum opened in 1969, prompting fears among workers that they will lose their jobs.

    Museum Executive Director Lori Fogarty stressed Thursday during a regular meeting of the Oakland Museum of California trustees that the decision to explore the plan was just “the beginning of a discussion” between the two sides. Full article

  • California’s new district lines, ‘jungle primary’ rules could imperil House incumbents (California News Service)

    California House Democrats, thrust back into the minority by the midterm election, could be facing unprecedented threats to their long-held seats.

    A confluence of changes to California’s election rules and congressional boundaries makes the nation’s largest Democratic delegation especially vulnerable in the 2012 election and beyond…

    The Bay Area is particularly likely to feel the change as the result of population shifts to the Central Valley. Longtime members such as Rep. Pete Stark of Fremont or George Miller of Martinez may find their districts dramatically reshaped and could face the first serious challenges of their careers. Full article

  • Netflix raises prices for some subscription plans (AP)

    Netflix Inc. is raising the prices of some of its subscription plans and is shifting its focus to streaming video as more members move to the Internet to watch movies and television shows. Its shares surged more than 7 percent in trading Monday.

    With high-speed online access now becoming a household staple and various gadgets making it easier to connect high-definition TVs to the Web, Netflix is realizing it needs to evolve as Internet streaming goes mainstream.

    The company based in Los Gatos, Calif. previously announced that more of its members are watching more content streamed over the Internet than on DVDs. To deal with this shift, Netflix says it will spend more this quarter to license streaming content than to buy DVDs. Full article

    -Netflix offers $8 streaming-only option (CNET)

  • Stanford: Receiver Doug Baldwin grabs spotlight in Big Game (San Jose Mercury News)

    Chris Owusu balanced his nimble body on crutches while standing on the sideline Saturday afternoon during the 113th Big Game.

    Stanford’s big-play threat couldn’t participate in the annual Bay Area rivalry because of an undisclosed injury to his right leg. But the receiver/kickoff returner had faith in a player who had become an afterthought last year: Doug Baldwin. Full article

  • East Bay Chocolatiers Win Big (East Bay Express)

    TasteTV has just announced the winners of its 2010 Fall Luxury Chocolate Salon, and East Bay chocolatiers ranked high.

    At Fort Mason in San Francisco last weekend, the wares of dozens of artisan chocolatiers from far and wide were ranked in nineteen crucial categories by a panel of judges — of which I was a member, along with SingleGuyChef.com’s Ben Seto, DyingForChocolate.Blogspot.com’s Janet Randolph, A Field Guide to Cookies author Anita Chu, and other food writers. Full article

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