Morning Splash: Rain, BART Running, San Bruno, Raiders, Stanford Docs Conflict of Interest
- Rainstorm leaves thousands without power in Bay Area (SF Chronicle)
More than an inch of rain soaked the Bay Area Sunday, the prelude to what forecasters expect will be a stormy week punctuated by a wet Christmas Day. Rain and high winds caused substantial power outages to customers in the Santa Cruz Mountains and in the South Bay, PG&E officials said.
- BART on schedule following major disruption Sunday (Contra Costa Times)
BART trains are running on schedule this morning following a Sunday plagued by delays when an electrical fire temporarily closed BART’s Transbay Tube and later caused major delays for train riders traveling under the Bay between Oakland and San Francisco. Train service was restored overnight.
- Oakland looks to expand popular ‘Free B’ shuttle (SF Chronicle)
Five months after Oakland started running its free Broadway shuttle, city officials say ridership is higher than expected and passengers have asked to expand the program.
- San Bruno disaster may be focus of federal hearing (SF Chronicle)
Federal investigators seeking the cause of a deadly natural gas pipeline fire in San Bruno said Sunday that they may subpoena witnesses to testify at a hearing early next year in Washington, D.C., due to the intense interest in the disaster and the safety issues it raised.
- PG&E inspection methods questioned in May audit (SF Chronicle)
An audit done just four months before the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion suggested that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was improperly taking shortcuts to use an inspection method for high-pressure natural gas lines that cannot detect some dangerous problems.
- IRS has eye on PG&E payouts to San Bruno pipeline victims (SF Examiner)
…As a result of the Sept. 9 (San Bruno) explosion, PG&E — the utility company responsible for the 30-inch pipeline that exploded in the Glenview neighborhood, killing eight people — gifted $15,000 to residents whose homes were damaged that day. For homes fully destroyed or uninhabitable, the company gave $50,000. A total of 37 homes were destroyed and another 18 had major damage. Residents were notified last month, however, that the money could be taxed by the IRS. The percent of tax is based on each individual’s income.
- Stanford faculty still taking drug firms’ money (ProPublica)
A ProPublica investigation found that more than a dozen of the school’s doctors were paid speakers in apparent violation of Stanford policy – two of them were paid six figures since last year. Dr. Philip Pizzo, the dean of Stanford’s medical school, sent an e-mail to medical school staff last week calling the conduct “unacceptable.” Some doctors’ excuses, he wrote, were “difficult if not impossible to reconcile with our policy.”
- S.F. streets particularly mean for pedestrians (SF Chronicle)
More than 800 people are hit by cars in San Francisco each year, making it one of the most dangerous cities in the state – and possibly the country – for pedestrians…When ranking traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents – including people killed in cars as well as pedestrians – San Francisco fares worse than such far larger cities as New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo, according to a report released in August by the New York City Department of Transportation, using 2008 data.
- State Delays Aid While Families Lose Homes (Bay Citizen)
Since February, the state-run (California Housing Finance Agency) has received nearly $2 billion from the federal government to help people like Chavarria avoid losing their homes. But nearly a year after President Obama announced the delivery of the first $700 million installment for the Keep Your Home California initiative, the Housing Finance Agency, which administers the program, has not taken applications or compiled a waiting list for qualified borrowers.
- State to phase out energy-sucking lightbulbs (California Watch)
Say goodbye to your 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. On Jan. 1, it’ll become increasingly challenging to find one on a store shelf in California. That’s because the state has ordered a phaseout of the high energy-consuming light bulb.The state is pressing to have the old incandescents replaced with newer, more efficient bulbs, such as compact fluorescents, halogens and light-emitting diode light bulbs, or LEDs.
- Battle over Internet openness peaks (San Jose Mercury News)
As more people use their Internet connection to watch movies and TV shows, fears have grown that broadband providers such as AT&T and Comcast will become online gatekeepers, using their control of Web pipes to block online video competitors like Netflix and protect their own pay-TV businesses. That potential conflict is at the heart of a scheduled vote by the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday on new rules to govern how broadband providers manage traffic over their networks, a pivotal moment in the debate over so-called network neutrality. The outcome could affect the ability of Silicon Valley giants such as Netflix and Apple to deliver movies and TV shows online for a fraction of the cost of a cable subscription.
- Raiders romp; still in contention (Oakland Tribune)
The Raiders remained in contention for the AFC West title with a 39-23 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday at the rain-soaked Coliseum. A 71-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Jacoby Ford on a reverse started the Raiders, and a 73-yard catch-and-run by fullback Marcel Reece provided the breathing room Oakland needed against the Broncos.