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Morning Splash: DA Harris Says CPUC’s PG&E Fine Too Small; Gov Expected to Lift Drought

| March 29, 2011
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  • Kamala Harris’ office calls for tougher PG&E fine (SF Chronicle)

    California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office urged state regulators Monday to toughen a $3 million settlement they reached with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. over its failure to vouch for the strength of gas transmission pipelines that run through populated areas. “We seriously question if the amount is sufficient,” said Deputy Attorney General Janill Richards, who heads Harris’ environmental division. She also said the deal gives too little oversight to regulators.

  • Gov. expected to declare California’s drought over (LA Times)

    Gov. Jerry Brown is about to make official what a winter of downpours and rising reservoir levels have already made obvious: California’s drought is over. Brown is expected to lift the state’s 3-year-old drought declaration Wednesday, when the next snow survey is conducted.

  • School superintendents press for June tax vote (Sacramento Bee)

    With time running out for a budget deal, a group of California school superintendents is pressing for a tax vote, saying that the state’s schools will see debilitating cuts if tax extensions are not approved in June. The superintendents told reporters Monday at the Capitol that they have urged Republican lawmakers to accept Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax election, a big part of his budget plan.

  • S.F. considers variety of tech company tax breaks (SF Chronicle)

    San Francisco supervisors hope to move quickly to eliminate or modify a unique payroll tax on employee stock options to keep technology companies from fleeing the city. One plan, crafted by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, calls for a two-year moratorium on taxing the stock options “with the express purpose of stopping any hemorrhaging of companies who are on the cusp of leaving,” he said Monday.

  • NLRB backs claims of illegal firing by senior care home workers (Oakland Tribune)

    Two Oakland senior care homes violated labor laws by firing striking employees and replacing them with nonunion workers, the National Labor Relations Board said in a complaint Thursday. The NLRB alleged that the Piedmont Gardens senior care home acted illegally when administrators fired 38 caregivers after they went on strike last August. The labor board set a hearing for May 24 when Piedmont Gardens and the workers’ union, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, will present their cases to an administrative labor law judge.

  • Muslim community concerned about SFPD’s cooperation with feds on surveillance (SF Examiner)

    Members of San Francisco’s Middle Eastern and Muslim communities turned out at City Hall Monday for a hearing on the San Francisco Police Department’s intelligence gathering operations, which they worry may be targeting those communities unfairly. At issue was a February report from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission that, among other things, said there was a lack of clarity on the extent to which the police department may be cooperating with federal authorities on surveillance of local political and religious organizations, including mosques.

  • San Jose council considers shorter dog leashes on park trails (San Jose Mercury News)

    Reacting to a freak accident that killed a woman two years ago, the San Jose City Council is poised to give dog owners a shorter leash to control their pets on park trails. The council on Tuesday is scheduled to consider — and expected to approve — an ordinance that would require owners to keep their dogs on leashes no longer than 6 feet, 14 feet shorter than is now allowed.

  • Judge sides with Oakland in suit over use of Measure Y public safety parcel tax (Oakland Tribune)

    A judge has tentatively sided with the city in a lawsuit that alleged misuse of funds from the Measure Y public safety parcel tax. Oakland resident and attorney Marleen Sacks first sued the city over Measure Y in 2008. She won a judgment that was overturned on appeal. She sued again, saying that the city illegally collected Measure Y parcel taxes during a time when the police department had been shrunk to levels below what Measure Y requires. She also said the community policing program of Problem Solving Officers was abused, that the city isn’t doing enough to maintain police staffing levels and that contracts were given out with no bidding process.

  • BART manager’s early exit may cost 7 figures (Matier & Ross, SF Chronicle)

    The details of BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger’s early exit are still being worked out, but one thing is clear – it’s not going to be cheap. “If it’s not seven figures, it could be doggone close,” said Lynette Sweet, one of nine BART directors who will have to vote on the package. BART and Dugger have both armed up with outside attorneys to do the final negotiations.

  • Barry Bonds’ ex says he discussed steroid use (California Watch)

    Barry Bonds’ former girlfriend testified Monday that the ex-Giant confessed to her that he was using steroids, contending that “other players” were also using drugs to succeed in big-league baseball. Kimberly Bell, who says she dated the ballplayer for nine years, told the jury in Bonds’ perjury trial that baseball’s home run champion blamed a 1999 career-threatening elbow injury on his steroid use

  • Marin County Supervisor dies after ski weekend at Tahoe (Marin Independent Journal)

    Marin County Supervisor Charles McGlashan died of an apparent heart attack Sunday after a two-day ski outing at Lake Tahoe. McGlashan, a Mill Valley activist who rose to become the county’s key environmental visionary, was 49. Friends said McGlashan was feeling fit and happy after one of the best skiing sessions of his life, but collapsed after loading up the car to return to Marin.

  • San Rafael split over welcoming Target to site (SF Chronicle)

    …The Marin County city is deeply divided over whether to welcome the big-box retailer (Target), even as the city faces possible layoffs and service cuts due to a $4.4 million deficit. Proponents say the store will bring jobs, sales tax revenue and convenient access to low-cost merchandise, a particular bonus for residents of the nearby, mostly low-income Canal District.

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