Sunday Splash: Snow Sprinkles Bay Area; State Lawyers Say Dems Can Put Taxes on Ballot Alone
- Weather: Bay Area in clear after snow dusts hills (SF Chronicle)
Snow sprinkled Bay Area foothills Saturday morning and crept within a few hundred feet of sea level. But for those dreaming of a white Frisco, dream on…(B)y the time the coldest air arrived early Saturday, the winds and rain were moving on to the Central Coast, said meteorologist Rick Canepa of the National Weather Service.
- With low temps on way, water district warns of frozen pipes (Contra Costa Times)
The Contra Costa Water District is encouraging residents to protect their outdoor water pipes in anticipation of the cold front that was expected to move into the Bay Area on Friday night. Temperatures are expected to dip into the low 30s and high 20s this week, a situation that could cause exposed outdoor plumbing to freeze and burst, the CCWD said.
- Democrats don’t need GOP for tax vote, state’s lawyers say (Sacramento Bee)
The Legislature’s lawyers have told Republicans that Democrats could put taxes on the ballot with a majority vote under narrow circumstances. The opinion, sought by Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton, does not specifically address Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to extend higher income, sales and vehicle taxes for five years at a June election to help solve a $26.6 billion deficit.
- New Clipper transit card minimum jumps to $5 (SF Chronicle)
Bay Area transit riders who use Clipper will have to load a minimum of $5, instead of just $2, when they buy new cards beginning Tuesday. The higher minimum value is part of an effort to counter riders who have been taking advantage of a feature that allows users to cheat some transit agencies, including BART and Caltrain, out of fares.
- PG&E on hot seat at D.C. pipeline hearing (San Jose Mercury News)
When the National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday begins an extraordinary three-day hearing into the Sept. 9 San Bruno natural gas catastrophe, the public will get its first chance to hear PG&E grilled in detail about the fiery disaster that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. The safety agency is months away from concluding why the pipe exploded and what should be done about it. But the proceedings in Washington, D.C., this week may provide the clearest answers to date to some key unanswered questions about the disaster, from why the pipe was constructed so poorly in the first place, to why PG&E took so long to contain the damage after it blew.
- San Jose to start taxing ‘illegal’ pot clubs (San Jose Mercury News)
San Jose still considers all of the city’s 100 or so medical marijuana shops to be unlawful nuisances, but officials will welcome the pot providers to City Hall Monday to talk about a new program of great interest to the broke city: a marijuana tax. Starting Tuesday, San Jose will slap a 7 percent tax on marijuana dispensaries under a measure voters overwhelmingly approved in November.
- Court: HUD-aided tenants stay when owner opts out (SF Chronicle)
An Oakland apartment owner who wants to drop out of the federal housing assistance program and charge market prices must allow 15 elderly, low-income tenants to stay in their units at current rent levels, with the government making up the difference, a federal appeals court has ruled. A 2000 federal law gives renters in the Section 8 program a right to remain when the owner opts out, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Friday.
- Peninsula cities guarding development funds (SF Examiner)
A growing number of Peninsula cities are locking themselves into spending tens of millions of redevelopment dollars in an effort to protect the funding from the governor’s budget-slashing proposal to dismantle redevelopment agencies. But local officials admit that it is not clear whether actions will be challenged in court or voided by the state.
- America’s Cup Vanguards Begin Their Preparations (Bay Citizen)
The world’s fastest yacht, which is too tall to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge, is scheduled to arrive in San Francisco on a freighter this week. The boat will be off-loaded in crated pieces and stored at Pier 80. The arrival of the trimaran, USA 17, will be the symbolic beginning of San Francisco’s preparations for hosting the America’s Cup in 2012 and 2013. The yacht won the Cup for Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing team off the coast of Spain last year.