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Morning Splash: More Storms on the Way; Libya; Twitter Tax Break Debate; Calif GOP Convention

| March 21, 2011
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  • Weather: Barrage of storms to resume today (SF Chronicle)

    …Rain is forecast every day this week, from Pacifica to Pleasanton to Petaluma, bringing rainfall and snow levels well above normal, according to the National Weather Service. “We’re looking at a blanket of rain,” said National Weather Service forecaster Diane Henderson. “March came in like a lion and is going out like a lion.”

  • Allies Target Qaddafi’s Ground Forces, but Resistance Continues, Reports Say (NY Times)

    After a second night of American and European strikes by air and sea against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, European nations on Monday rejected Libyan claims that civilians had been killed. Pro-Qaddafi forces were reported, meanwhile, to be holding out against the allied campaign to break their hold on the ground while enforcing a no-fly zone. Rebel fighters trying to retake the eastern town of Ajdabiya appeared to have fallen back to a position around 12 miles to the north on the road to Benghazi, the de facto rebel capital.

  • 2nd apparently flawed weld in PG&E gas pipeline (SF Chronicle)

    A Pacific Gas and Electric Co. pipeline inspection just a month after the deadly San Bruno explosion uncovered an apparently flawed seam weld similar to the one that failed only a few hundred feet away, The Chronicle has learned. The discovery indicates that construction problems on the 30-inch transmission line were not confined to the spot where the pipe ruptured Sept. 9, sparking an explosion and inferno that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

  • Twitter Tax Break Faces Surprise Challenge from Public Union (Bay Citizen)

    A tax break designed to keep Twitter in San Francisco that earlier this week appeared all but guaranteed to pass is now meeting with opposition from San Francisco’s largest public-employee union. “It’s a taxpayer handout to a $10 billion company at a time we’re cutting basic city services,” Roxanne Sanchez, the president of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, said Thursday. The move by one of the city’s most powerful and well-funded organizations, with 17,000 members, raised the possibility of a protracted fight over a measure that proponents — including the mayor — say is desperately needed to spur economic growth in the distressed mid-Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods.

  • California Republican convention scorns Brown’s tax plan (Sacramento Bee)

    Taxes and primary endorsements were the talk of the California Republican Party convention in Sacramento on Saturday, as party officials and delegates wrestled with ways to boost their share of the statewide electorate. Some party officials and activists rallied around opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to put tax extensions on the ballot. “If Republicans vote to raise taxes, hell hath no fury like a taxpayer scorned,” conservative commentator and pollster Frank Luntz told several hundred delegates attending a Saturday luncheon. “Don’t you dare vote for those taxes.”

  • Chauncey Bailey murder trial expected to begin Monday in Oakland courtroom (Chauncey Bailey Project)

    …Sometime Monday, after a pool of 109 potential jurors has been whittled down to 12 plus five alternates, opening statements in the (Chauncey Bailey) murder trial are expected to begin in a courtroom four blocks from where Bailey died. The man Broussard now says ordered him to kill the journalist, Yusuf Bey IV, as well as the man Broussard says helped him hunt Bailey down that day, Antoine Mackey, are being tried together in the case. They face murder charges in Bailey’s death, and also in connection with the unrelated shooting deaths of two other men in 2007.

  • Bonds’ perjury trial shapes up to be a ‘heavyweight’ battle (California Watch)

    (I)n a trial that is scheduled to get under way Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, a jury will be asked to decide whether baseball’s home run king set his historic mark while using a long list of banned drugs. He has pleaded not guilty.

  • More entries, but same number of winners in SF condo-conversion lottery (SF Examiner)

    During the past decade, applicants and units entered in the annual condo-conversion lottery have doubled, yet the maximum number of winners has remained the same. According to the Department of Public Works, 366 individuals applied to convert nearly 1,100 units in 2001. In 2011, 681 people applied to convert more than 2,300 units. But under The City’s rules, only 200 conversions were allowed each year.

  • San Jose Diocese in historic demographic shift as Catholic landscape quakes (San Jose Mercury News)

    The Diocese of San Jose is in the midst of a historic demographic shift, with parish populations exploding to the south and east while at the same time leveling or dwindling to the north and west. In East San Jose and down through southern Santa Clara County, the tremendous influx of mostly young Hispanics, as well as Vietnamese and Filipinos, is straining parishes to the breaking point. The pastors in Morgan Hill and Gilroy are praying for a third parish to be built. From Palo Alto to Los Altos and Cupertino, however, mostly Asian non-Catholics are moving into the region, leaving few to replace the aging Catholic parishioners who are dying off or moving away.

  • For a whopping $39 billion T-Mobile can definitely hear AT&T coming now (San Jose Mercury News)

    AT&T, under fire in markets like the Bay Area for the spotty coverage of its wireless network, announced Sunday it will buy smaller rival T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, a deal the phone giant claimed would reduce dropped calls and improve its sometimes pokey Internet access. If government regulators approve the acquisition, the combined company would become the largest cellphone provider in the U.S. The deal would strengthen AT&T’s grip on the Bay Area cellphone market, but some industry critics said the combination would lead to higher prices for consumers since T-Mobile’s rates tend to be lower than those of AT&T or Verizon, the current No. 1 wireless carrier.

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