Morning Splash: Newsom to Stay On Into Jan., UC Execs Threaten to Sue Over Retirement Benefits
- Mayor extends term to tie up loose ends (SF Chronicle)
Mayor Gavin Newsom left Tuesday morning with wife Jennifer and daughter Montana to Los Cabos, Mexico, and will return from vacation Saturday. But he won’t spend the weekend packing up for Sacramento – looks like he’ll be here well beyond his lieutenant governor’s Monday start date. “He’s going to leave at some point,” assured Newsom’s spokesman, Tony Winnicker. “He will assume the office of lieutenant governor in January.”
- Drenching rains in Bay Area shouldn’t last long (SF Chronicle)
After an overnight drenching, the Bay Area can expect to dry out for the next few days. A storm spread southward through the region Tuesday afternoon and evening, leaving about 2 inches of rain in North Bay counties and up to an inch in San Francisco, said Diana Henderson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.
- Flooding widespread as storm drenches Marin (Marin Independent Journal)
Flooding was reported throughout the Marin area as heavy rainfall descended Tuesday night. In San Rafael, several feet of water flooded the area of Bellam Boulevard, Andersen Drive and Woodland Avenue, a police spokesperson said. At least one vehicle was stuck on Bellam Boulevard around 8:30 p.m. as water rose to the door, according to the California Highway Patrol. Standing water was also reported at 9:30 p.m. on northbound Highway 101 at the exit to central San Rafael.
- Friday is end of the line for AC Transit multi-ride paper tickets (Contra Costa Times)
Paper tickets are nearing the end of the line on AC Transit buses. On Saturday, AC Transit will stop accepting paper tickets as payment to board buses, and the agency is urging riders to use unused tickets by Friday. Riders can also apply any remaining value of their paper tickets to the new Clipper smart cards.
- Permits for SF’s First Target Store Approved (Bay Citizen)
Plans for a new Target store at San Francisco’s Metreon complex are moving forward. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that all permits have been approved for the city’s first Target store, which is set to begin construction in January and open in 2012.
- Oakland works to keep government jobs from leaving in 2011 (Oakland Tribune)
Oakland will gain some government jobs and will lose some government jobs during 2011 — and it will battle tooth and nail to cling to the positions the city has now. The federal departures that were revealed recently are expected to cost Oakland about 450 to 460 jobs.
- Opponents battle with SmartMeter installers in West Marin (Marin Independent Journal)
In an escalation of protests against Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s SmartMeters, opponents Monday and Tuesday jousted with employees of a company PG&E hired to install the meters in Inverness. “Yesterday we got a report there were four Wellington Energy trucks going towards Inverness,” Katharina Sandizell, of Point Reyes Station, said Tuesday. “We have a phone tree, so we got together and basically stopped them.”
- Highest-paid UC execs demand millions in benefits (SF Chronicle)
Three dozen of the University of California’s highest-paid executives are threatening to sue unless UC agrees to spend tens of millions of dollars to dramatically increase retirement benefits for employees earning more than $245,000. “We believe it is the University’s legal, moral and ethical obligation” to increase the benefits, the executives wrote the Board of Regents in a Dec. 9 letter and position paper obtained by The Chronicle.
- Valley, Peninsula schools win tech vouchers from settlement of Microsoft case (San Jose Mercury News)
Santa Clara County schools will receive nearly $821,000 for technology purchases, and San Mateo County schools will receive nearly $306,000, in the second phase of a settlement of an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. The funds benefit schools that applied for a portion of the settlement. The awards, granted at a rate of $5.31 per pupil, range from less than $100 for small continuation schools to $18,141 for Independence High School in San Jose, which has about 3,400 students.
- Bill to restore wetlands dies (SF Chronicle)
A $1 billion bill to restore San Francisco Bay wetlands died in Congress last week, although a local representative vowed to try again next year. The San Francisco Bay Improvement Act would have funded restoration of more than 23,000 acres of marshes, from San Jose to Suisun Bay that have been destroyed due to levees or salt production over the last century.
- Cable car accidents to cost San Francisco millions (SF Examiner)
San Francisco is poised to shell out more than $2.1 million to settle lawsuits related to a 2008 cable car derailment that injured four people, while a separate crash that resulted in a passenger having his foot amputated could result in an even larger payout.
- New study predicts ‘double-dip’ in housing market (San Jose Mercury News)
While a national real-estate report released Tuesday predicts a “double dip” in the housing market, some local observers say Silicon Valley and San Mateo County will probably fare better than most regions covered in the index because of the relatively healthy high-tech economy.
- No Bikes, But Segways May Cruise on Park Paths (Bay Citizen)
Single-file rows of motorized Segway scooters could be allowed to snake through an extensive network of pedestrian paths and trails in Golden Gate Park that are off-limits to cyclists and skaters. San Francisco Electric Tour Company, a Bay Area tourism operator, recently secured a five-year contract with the city’s parks department to conduct electric Segway tours on pathways covering much of the 1,017-acre park between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. The two-hour tours, priced at $70 per person, are scheduled to begin in February.
- Mark Hurd tries to keep letter sealed in HP suit (SF Chronicle)
Mark Hurd, former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., has asked a judge to allow him to intervene in a shareholder’s lawsuit so he can fight to keep a sealed letter about his departure confidential.
- Chevron tries to use foe’s words against them (SF Chronicle)
Locked in a bitter environmental lawsuit in Ecuador, Chevron Corp. has unleashed an arsenal of potentially potent new weapons in the case – private documents written by the other side’s lawyers. Working through U.S. courts, the oil company has subpoenaed and made public an astonishing array of e-mails and letters written by the legal team suing Chevron over oil-field contamination in northeastern Ecuador. The company even obtained and released the diary of the team’s lead lawyer.
- Jerry Brown plays hardball on state budget (LA Times)
Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is laying the groundwork for a budget plan that would couple deep cuts to state services, including university systems and welfare programs, with a request that voters extend temporary tax hikes on vehicles, income and sales that are set to expire next year.
- California snowpack is deepest for December in 17 years (San Jose Mercury News)
Blessed with a brilliant blanket of early winter snow, California’s snowpack is double its average for this time of year — and the deepest it’s been in 17 years. State officials delivered the good news for California’s water supply Tuesday after the first official monthly snowpack measurement of the season, putting a scientific spin on what skiers and snowboarders have been buzzing about on Sierra slopes for weeks.
- Court Denies Schwarzenegger’s Plea to Allow Sale of State Buildings (Bay Citizen)
At 4 p.m. Tuesday, seven acting California Supreme Court justices denied Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last-ditch attempt to get court clearance to close the controversial sale of 11 premier state office complexes before the governor leaves office on Jan. 3. The sitting state Supreme Court justices had all recused themselves from the case because their court is housed in the Earl Warren Building in San Francisco’s Civic Center. That complex is one of those slated to be sold to California First LLC, a mysterious consortium of private investors who have offered to pay $2.33 billion for them.