Morning Splash: PUC Delayed Audit Critical of PG&E; SF Race Organizer Defends Response
- San Bruno blast: PUC’s delay in PG&E audit report (SF Chronicle)
A state audit of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s natural gas operations found last spring that the utility was cutting corners in its safety regimen, but regulators did not deliver their findings to the company until more than a month after the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion in September, documents show.
- SF Race organizer: Medical response was prompt (SF Chronicle)
The owner of a company that produced a foot race in Golden Gate Park, during which an Orinda man died Sunday, says reports from the city’s Fire Department that no one on the event staff tended to the dying man are “misleading.” Dave Rhody, owner of RhodyCo Productions, said two members of a medical team he hired for the event were at the scene “within minutes,” but that resuscitation attempts were already under way.
- Proposed cuts slash homeless services (SF Chronicle)
To get a sense of just how dire the city’s budget is, take a look at proposals from the Human Services Agency to comply with the mayor’s requirement that departments come up with 10 percent in cuts and another 10 percent as a contingency…For starters, services would be severely reduced at the city’s two drop-in centers for homeless people to access showers, meals, storage facilities, referrals to medical care and case management. Under the proposal, the Mission would offer only reservations for shelters and the Bayview would offer only shelter reservations and food service.
- America’s Cup environmental review on fast track (SF Chronicle)
Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to crowd the shores of San Francisco Bay to watch giant catamarans race around Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate bridge during the America’s Cup in 2013. But the city’s ambitious plan for hosting sailing’s premiere regatta, released Wednesday, revealed that there is much to do before those crowds can watch the races. The lengthy to-do list includes improving eight piers, dredging channels, raising $270 million from corporate sponsors and getting approvals from 16 local, state and federal agencies. In just two years.
- Peninsula unit of California National Guard ready for deployment to Iraq (SF Examiner)
Although standing just feet from her only daughter, Candice Cain could not help herself. As gently as a mother possibly can, Cain slowly approached medic Spc. Lauren Yee and embraced her. “Hello, mom,” said Yee, 24, who will ship out on her first military tour in a few months. Yee, a San Bruno resident, is one of about 60 California Army National Guard soldiers from the 297th Area Support Medical Company, which will depart for Iraq soon. Their mission: Operation New Dawn.
- San Jose poll finds residents warming to the idea of new taxes (San Jose Mercury News)
The latest city poll on San Jose’s budget mess found residents still favoring cuts in employee compensation over reducing city services or raising taxes. But it also found residents warming to the idea of new tax measures.
- Parkmerced project will stress transit (SF Chronicle)
(Many) commuters in southwestern San Francisco (worry) that the proposed high-density development at Parkmerced – which will bring 14,000 new residents to the 152-acre neighborhood over the next 20 years – will so overwhelm the transit system that many will end up turning to their cars, further adding to congestion and pollution already seen along 19th Avenue. The $1.2 billion development, set to go before the Planning Commission today, is designed to turn the car-centric Parkmerced into a transit-first community, complete with bike lanes, walking paths, shops and a newly rerouted M-Ocean View.
- PG&E, small-business group seek delay of new rates (SF Chronicle)
Pacific Gas and Electric Co., consumer advocates and a business association want to slow down a series of major upcoming changes in the way small companies pay for power.Under a program already approved by state regulators, PG&E in November will start charging its roughly 500,000 small-business customers different rates for electricity at different times of day. Businesses will also face significantly higher rates on a handful of days each year when power supplies are strained, either by hot weather or problems with the electricity grid.
- Bay Area foreclosures jump in January (Contra Costa Times)
The number of Bay Area homeowners who entered the first stage of foreclosure in January spiked by almost 40 percent from a year ago as banks once again gear up the foreclosure machine after hitting the pause button. January’s jump is not related to the robo-signing scandal that broke in September, which led California lenders to temporarily slow down the number of foreclosed homes being taken back by banks, said Daren Blomquist, director of marketing and communications for RealtyTrac.com.
- Brown kills state building sale (Sacramento Bee)
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday abandoned California’s planned sale of 11 state office properties and concluded a flurry of talks with lawmakers as he presses against a budget deadline next month. Brown had counted on $1.2 billion in revenue from the building sale in his January budget plan, and canceling it increased the state’s already-yawning budget deficit to $26.6 billion.
- Historic Jack London Square landmark is in financial trouble (Oakland Tribune)
The USS Potomac, a National Historic Landmark docked at Jack London Square for the past 15 years, has lost half of its operating income during the past two years and could be in danger of closing, the executive director said this week. Since it opened to the public in 1995, more than 250,000 people have toured and sailed aboard the 165-foot ship that was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential yacht until his death in 1945. In addition to cruises on the bay, thousands of school children have come aboard for educational programs.