Morning Splash: Brown, Quan Inaugurations; New MUNI Shelters Criticized; Stanford in Orange Bowl
- Brown’s success could depend on his first 100 days (LA Times)
As Jerry Brown takes the oath of office Monday for his third term as California governor, he will begin a 100-day sprint that could determine the future success of his administration. The first 100 days for a governor — often described as the honeymoon period — can set the tone for his entire tenure. It will be particularly true for Brown, who has been clear that he wants to leverage the political capital he has as a relatively new governor — he first served from 1975 to 1983 — into decisive action on the state’s fiscal crisis.
- Quan planning to hit ground running in Oakland (KGO)
Preparations were underway Sunday for the inauguration of Oakland’s first female and first Asian mayor. Jean Quan will be sworn in Monday and then the real challenges begin. On Sunday, Quan talked about getting off the ground and running right after she is sworn in at the Fox Theater. One of the first orders of business will be to meet with just about every member of the Oakland Police Department to talk about the violence in the city.
- SF Muni’s snazzy shelters let rain in, riders say (SF Chronicle)
This summer, San Francisco’s new bus shelters were part of a trendy, modern streetscape. This winter, they’re the latest thorn in Muni riders’ side: They let in the rain and the wind more than the old ones did.
- San Francisco falling short on use of biodiesel for public vehicles (SF Examiner)
In late 2007, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that every diesel-powered vehicle owned by The City — 1,500 in all — had been converted to run on a 20 percent biodiesel blend…But while Muni buses and Department of Public Works trucks still sport biodiesel stickers like little feathers in San Francisco’s green cap…(r)oughly half of Muni’s 507 diesel and hybrid buses currently run on B20, a blend that includes 80 percent regular diesel and 20 percent biodiesel — fuel made from plant oils and grease.
- School District Moves Slowly to Manage Its Real Estate (Bay Citizen)
Despite being one of the largest financially struggling landowners in the city, the San Francisco Unified School District has largely failed to actively manage its holdings, leaving a number of valuable properties idle for years. Decades of declining enrollment led the district to acknowledge in 2007 that roughly 20 percent of its holdings had little or no educational use. It also designated 10 vacant or underused properties as surplus and concluded that selling them would net an estimated $134 million, plus millions more in property tax revenue. But interviews and records show that the district has moved slowly since then to sell or lease the properties. None of them have been sold.
- Rains buoy Marin reservoirs, restrictions unlikely (Marin Independent Journal)
Recent rains have brought a bounty of water to Marin’s reservoirs, making the likelihood of water restrictions remote in 2011. Because of the rainfall, the Marin Municipal Water District’s seven water supply reservoirs have reached 100 percent capacity. Water is now flowing over the spillway at Kent Lake, the district’s largest reservoir and the last to fill.
- New laws launched today statewide affect everyone from bakers to paparazzi (San Jose Mercury News)
Beginning today, carrying a small amount of pot in California is no longer a crime. Unlabeled baked goods will be trans fat-free. And children with pre-existing medical conditions will have better access to insurance.These are among 2011′s new state laws altering life in the Golden State.
- Kiss your 100-watt lightbulb goodbye (San Jose Mercury News)
Californians can start saying goodbye to traditional 100-watt incandescent light bulbs now that the state has become the first in the country to require a new standard for the screw-base bulbs. Experts say the new rules, which took effect New Year’s Day, will save residents money and energy. California is already the nation’s leader in energy-efficiency standards. As of Saturday, what used to be a 100-watt light bulb manufactured and sold in California will have to use 72 watts or less. The 72-watt replacement bulb, also called an energy-saving halogen light, will provide the same amount of light, called lumens, for lower energy cost.
- SF street artists thrive in ‘grassroots economy (SF Chronicle)
(Kathleen) Hallilan is one of 435 street artists licensed to set up their stands from sunup to sundown across the city, adding touches of color and character to places such as downtown, Fisherman’s Wharf and Justin Herman Plaza. The current enrollment in the Street Artists Program marks an increase of roughly 25 percent from 2008 – a jump tied to the poor economy, said the program’s director, Howard Lazar. It gives artists, and anyone who can craft something at home, a job.
- CA state prison projects funded but not completed (SF Chronicle)
In 2007, under increasing pressure to reduce crowding in the state’s prisons, lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger authorized $7.4 billion in bonds to expand the prisons and local jails to add 53,000 new beds. Nearly four years later, as Schwarzenegger leaves office today, the state has not completed a single project authorized by that bill, AB900, and has begun planning or construction for only about 8,400 beds…Now, some critics question whether the incoming governor, Jerry Brown, should pursue all of the projects approved under the measure.
- Schwarzenegger commutes Esteban Núñez’s sentence (SF Chronicle)
In the waning hours of his term, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted the prison sentence Sunday of the son of a political ally, former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, in connection with the fatal stabbing of a college student from Concord.
Schwarzenegger reduced Esteban Núñez’s sentence from 16 years to seven years, calling it excessive because the young man – who pleaded guilty to charges including voluntary manslaughter – did not personally stab the victim and had no prior criminal record.
- New Santa Clara County district attorney has tough job ahead (San Jose Mercury News)
Prosecutor Jeff Rosen takes the helm today of the scandal-plagued Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office with a to-do list that might daunt the president. He’s itemized goals for his first 100 days, first year and first four-year term.
- Historic swearing in of Ravitch (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Sonoma County’s first woman district attorney, Jill Ravitch, was sworn in Sunday in a ceremony that summoned images of barrier breakers before her. Ravitch, 52, of Sebastopol became the county’s 33rd elected top prosecutor before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 500 people, including the region’s legal and political heavyweights, at Sonoma Country Day School.
- Goldman Invests in Facebook at $50 Billion Valuation (NY Times)
Facebook, the popular social networking site, has raised $500 million from Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor in a deal that values the company at $50 billion, according to people involved in the transaction. The deal makes Facebook now worth more than companies like eBay, Yahoo and Time Warner.
- Stanford’s 2007 recruiting class gets its reward (San Jose Mercury News)
The only player in the nation who starts on offense and defense will lead Stanford into the Orange Bowl today. But four years ago this week, Owen Marecic wasn’t sure Stanford would ever participate in a bowl game. Nor was he sure he would ever play for Stanford. The Cardinal had just finished a 1-11 season. Jim Harbaugh had just been hired as coach, and Marecic was weighing a scholarship offer from Stanford against opportunities at Army, Yale and Portland State.
- How uncool: Bolinas in national ‘coolest town’ contest (Marin Independent Journal)
Bolinas, a community that shuns visitors, has become part of a national tourism promotion. The hidden, hip Marin County enclave sandwiched between the San Andreas Fault and the Pacific Ocean is in the spotlight as a nominee in Budget Travel magazine’s annual “coolest small town in America” contest.