Morning Splash: Quan, Brown Sworn In; Coming to SF: SmartMeters and More Parking Tickets
- Jean Quan sworn in as Oakland mayor (Oakland Tribune)
A relaxed and smiling Jean Quan, surrounded by her family and with the opulent Fox Theater serving as a backdrop, was sworn in Monday as Oakland’s 49th Mayor, the first woman and first Asian-American to hold that post in the city’s 158-year history. But Quan has been thinking, planning and working since the election, laying out a list of priorities centered on children and schools, creating jobs and training opportunities and refocusing public safety efforts. She said she plans to attend a town-hall meeting in each of the city’s seven council districts within the first 100 days of her administration, beginning with a meeting in West Oakland’s Acorn neighborhood.
- Jerry Brown takes governor’s reins again (SF Chronicle)
Edmund G. Brown Jr. was sworn in as California’s 39th governor in a low-key ceremony Monday during which he invoked the spirit of the state’s past while chiding lawmakers for political partisanship that has eroded the public’s trust in government.
- San Bruno blast: Feds urge PG&E to verify records (SF Chronicle)
Federal investigators probing the deadly San Bruno explosion issued an urgent call Monday for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to dig through its records to make sure it knows the condition of its gas pipelines, and for California regulators to ensure the utility is following safety rules.
- Newsom’s swearing-in delay raises supervisors’ ire (SF Examiner)
Questions about the legality of Mayor Gavin Newsom postponing his swearing-in as lieutenant governor persist as the current Board of Supervisors has its last chance to select a replacement today…The delay prompted criticism from progressive supervisors, who blocked seven of Newsom’s 10 appointments to city commissions at a Rules Committee meeting Monday.
- Kamala Harris inaugurated (SF Chronicle Capitol Insider)
Gov. Jerry Brown wasn’t the only one with an all-star cast of supporters at their inaugural event today. Attorney General Kamala Harris drew big city mayors (Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa, Kevin Johnson), current lawmakers (including the Bay Area’s Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley) and, it seemed, the entire Legislative Black Caucus.
- Muni plans to fix budget with more parking tickets (SF Chronicle)
Drivers in San Francisco beware: The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which runs the city’s transit and parking operations, is looking to increase the number of parking citations issued, officials announced Monday. The reason? To help close a projected $21 million deficit in the $775 million operating budget for the current fiscal year that ends June 30.
- Smart Meters on track for installation in San Francisco (SF Examiner)
Among the things the new year will bring to San Francisco: SmartMeters. In June, City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office petitioned the California Public Utilities Commission to place a moratorium on SmartMeters until concerns about the devices’ accuracy could be better addressed. However, a state regulatory board rejected a petition by The City last month to halt the installation of the controversial technology, clearing the way for PG&E to begin a widespread SmartMeter installation in San Francisco this year.
- San Mateo County: New trash service begins for 440,000 residents (Bay Area News Group)
A simpler and costlier garbage pickup service began Monday for 440,000 residents between Burlingame and East Palo Alto — and after five years of preparation, the first day went off without a hitch. The launch of the Recology of San Mateo County contract means new trucks, bins and bills; different pickup days and times for some; simpler and more frequent recycling; the start of food composting; and heftier fees. It is being billed as one of the largest solid waste switchovers in the nation’s history.
- Methyl iodide’s use in state challenged by suit (SF Chronicle)
Environmentalists and farmworkers challenged approval of a toxic fumigant and carcinogen for use on California crops Monday and urged Gov. Jerry Brown to reverse the decision. The coalition of advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Thursday calling the decision to register methyl iodide as a pesticide “irresponsible and illegal.”
- Judge lifts injunction on Doyle Drive consortium (SF Chronicle)
A judge lifted a temporary restraining order Monday, permitting Caltrans to sign a public-private partnership deal with a European firm to build major portions of the Doyle Drive replacement project and maintain the Golden Gate Bridge’s San Francisco approach for 30 years.
- Facebook close to buying former Sun Microsystems campus (San Jose Mercury News)
With its ever-growing employee population squeezed in Palo Alto, Facebook may move to its first true corporate campus in Silicon Valley, transferring the headquarters of the world’s largest social network — and tens of millions of dollars in future tax revenue — to Menlo Park and San Mateo County. Several sources familiar with Facebook’s plans say the company is close to buying the 57-acre former Sun Microsystems campus off Willow Road, which housed about 3,000 Sun employees last year before Oracle bought the struggling computer maker for $7.4 billion. Facebook now has more than 2,000 employees, many of them shoehorned into 150,000 square feet the company leases in Stanford Research Park.
- Bay Guardian, SF Weekly reach antitrust settlement (SF Chronicle)
The Bay Guardian and SF Weekly announced a settlement Monday of the Guardian’s antitrust suit that led to a $21 million jury verdict against its rival for selling ads below cost. Both publications issued statements saying the two sides “have settled their differences on mutually acceptable terms,” but did not specify a monetary amount. The announcement comes six weeks after the state Supreme Court denied a hearing on the Weekly’s appeal of the damage award.
- Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez’s commutation (Oakland Tribune)
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker’s son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday. On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Esteban Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez’s friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.
- Schwarzenegger picks interior decorator for lucrative post (California Watch)
In one of his final acts as governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed a politically connected interior designer and wife of a long-time aide to a six-figure post on the state’s Public Employment Relations Board, which oversees and enforces collective bargaining rules among the state’s public employee unions.
- Sea lion draws visitors to Marine Mammal Center amid uptick in shootings (Marin Independent Journal)
Silent Knight, the California sea lion blinded by a shotgun blast, has become something of a celebrity poster child at the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands, highlighting the plight of animals harmed by humans. Some 1,600 people visited the center last week — many attracted by media coverage of the sea lion, who now has his own Facebook page with 170 followers as of Monday.
- Luck shows he’s nation’s best college QB (Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News)
…Stanford won the Orange Bowl game here Monday night by the dominant score of 40-12 over Virginia Tech. And more than half of those 40 points were produced by the right arm of Andrew Luck, the Cardinal quarterback who threw four touchdown passes and solidified his standing as the presumptive No. 1 pick in the NFL draft — that is, unless he decides to stay in school and complete his eligibility.