Morning Splash: Bonds Guilty on One Count; BART’s Dugger Gets Nearly $1 Million Severance
- Bonds guilty of obstruction of justice, jury deadlocked on perjury counts (California Watch)
Barry Bonds, the former Giants slugger and baseball’s home run champion, was found guilty of obstruction of justice Wednesday for giving evasive answers to a federal grand jury that was questioning him about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. The jury deadlocked on three perjury charges, and Judge Susan Illston declared a mistrial on those counts.
- BART’s Dugger quits with $1 million severance (SF Chronicle)
Embattled BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger, whose job has been endangered since a vote to fire her in February, resigned on Wednesday after reaching a severance deal worth nearly $1 million. The BART Board of Directors will consider today whether to accept her resignation and ratify the $958,000 settlement, which was negotiated by a committee of directors. The board is also expected to hire an interim general manager and start a search for a new leader for the regional rail transit agency.
- Over a Thousand Attend Funeral of slain Fruitvale restaurant owner (Oakland Tribune)
A neighborhood grieved for one of its own Wednesday as hundreds gathered for the funeral of slain Fruitvale merchant Jesus “Chuy” Campos. Mariachis, a brass band and Aztec dancers valiantly tried to lift the spirits of mourners who paraded through a downpour along International Boulevard and crowded St. Elizabeth Church beyond its capacity. The crowd, estimated at more than 1,000 people, reflected the lives touched by the 58-year-old restaurateur whose business acumen and dedication to community affairs made him a well-liked figure in the Fruitvale district and beyond.
- Hundreds of Oakland teachers to keep jobs, district announces (Oakland Tribune)
Hundreds of Oakland teachers who received pink slips last month will keep their jobs next year, school district officials announced Wednesday evening. Deputy Superintendent Maria Santos said the administration will not issue any final layoff notices to elementary school teachers or to 17 music teachers as a result of budget cutbacks. She noted that teachers without proper certification to teach English learners will still receive layoff notices on May 15.
- New solar panel system largest in Alameda County (Contra Costa Times)
Local business leaders, elected officials and clean-energy supporters helped flip the switch Wednesday on a massive solar panel system that will power a major food service distribution company. Billed by its developers as the largest solar panel system in Alameda County and one of the largest in Northern California, the 1.18-megawatt, 4,354-photovoltaic solar panel system was installed on the roof of U.S. Foodservice-San Francisco’s main warehouse, located on Lawrence Drive in Livermore. The panels will generate more than 1.35 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. The installation is expected to generate, at peak production, enough electricity to power 194 average California homes and offset the equivalent emission of 24,278 tons of pollutants over the next 25 years.
- Water rates set to increase 9.4 percent in Santa Clara County (Palo Alto Daily News)
The Santa Clara Valley Water District’s proposal to raise groundwater rates by nearly 60 percent over the next five years are drawing questions from a concerned Los Altos City Council. Council members this week said they wanted to know in particular why customers in the district’s north county zone, which encompasses San Jose and cities north of it, are paying drastically more than rural south county users. The water district is seeking a 9.4 percent rate increase for the 2011-12 fiscal year in the north county zone, and also anticipates rate increases of more than 9 percent each year through 2015-16. Proposed rate hikes for the south county zone range from 3.2 percent to 3.6 percent.
- Sutter Health accused of fraud by state (SF Chronicle)
Sutter Health, one of California’s largest health care givers, fraudulently charged insurers up to hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade for anesthesia services that in some cases weren’t even provided, the state’s insurance commissioner said Wednesday.
- Brown: Public’s safety at risk (Contra Costa Times)
Laying out his tax plan in the starkest terms possible, Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that the public’s safety is at stake if Republicans don’t allow voters to decide whether they want to extend taxes. At a Capitol news conference, Brown turned up the heat on Republicans, surrounding himself with law enforcement leaders — traditional allies of the GOP — to urge passage of tax extensions so that he can enact a far-reaching realignment law he recently signed that would shift crime prevention responsibilities from the state to local agencies.
- San Francisco to explore more payroll tax breaks (Andrew S. Ross, SF Chronicle)
San Francisco’s payroll tax break bandwagon is getting bigger.
Last week, city attorney and mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera called for a “tax summit” involving the mayor, Board of Supervisors and high-tech CEOs to put a reform measure before the city’s voters. On Wednesday, Mayor Ed Lee and three members of the board announced the formation of an “ad hoc advisory council, to analyze feasibility and impacts of the current payroll tax structure on emerging, fast-growing technology companies, and to propose improvements,” etc.
- SJSU students protest cuts, tuition hikes (San Jose Mercury News)
Demonstrations erupted at San Jose State and 22 other California State University campuses on Wednesday, as students protested enrollment cuts, the climbing cost of education and the leadership of CSU Chancellor Charles Reed. Blocking the entrance to the office of SJSU provost Gerry Selter, the university’s top academic official, two dozen students demanded a meeting to ask for his endorsement of Reed’s resignation.
- PG&E warns more gas pressure reductions could hurt customers (San Jose Mercury News)
PG&E warned state regulators Wednesday that vast numbers of its customers could be harmed if it is forced to reduce the pressure in more of its natural gas pipes. Such reductions could “result in immediate adverse public health and safety impacts far exceeding any perceived public safety benefit,” the company cautioned in a report filed with the California Public Utilities Commission. The agency is considering a number of rule changes governing gas lines because of the Sept. 9 San Bruno explosion…
- George Maloof: Kings relocation request will be filed ‘if things are right’ (Sacramento Bee)
In a quick interview on the sidewalk outside the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan, Kings co-owner George Maloof this morning said he and his brothers have not yet decided whether they will file a request with the NBA to move to Anaheim this year, but indicated that they are leaning toward filing. “We’re making a presentation today about what’s good and bad about Sacramento and Anaheim. If the owners are comfortable with it, we’ll take the next step. We’ll put in an application on Monday if things are right,” Maloof said. Maloof said they will be making a presentation at 12:45 p.m. New York time.
- Urban Farming Gets Green Light in SF (Bay Citizen)
On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors…passed new laws for urban farming in the city that make it easier for backyard gardeners to sell their produce. The legislation enshrines “urban farming” in San Francisco’s zoning code. It allows for small-scale farms, less than an acre, to exist in any part of the city. The small farms are also allowed to sell their produce on-site. Bigger farms must go through a more rigorous permitting process.
- Native Americans file a civil rights complaint against Vallejo, GRVD to stop Glen Cove park project (Vallejo Times-Herald)
More than a dozen Native Americans and their supporters gathered Wednesday at Vallejo City Hall to announce filing a civil rights complaint against the city and the Greater Vallejo Recreation District. Sacred Site Protection and Rights of Indigenous Tribes filed the complaint under California Government Code § 11135 alleging the city and GVRD are discriminating on the basis of race in building a planned park in Glen Cove near an ancient shell mound and burial ground. An employee at the attorney general’s office who said he can’t be quoted in the press, said that such complaints are reviewed and sometimes investigated by whatever department is deemed appropriate.
- Trouble @Twitter (Jessi Hempel, Fortune)
There’s no shortage of drama at Twitter these days: Besides the CEO shuffles, there are secret board meetings, executive power struggles, a plethora of coaches and consultants, and disgruntled founders…These theatrics, which go well beyond the usual angst at a new venture, have contributed to a growing perception that innovation has stalled and management is in turmoil at one of Silicon Valley’s most promising startups, which some 20 million active users rely on each month for updates on everything from subway delays to election results — and which a growing number of companies, big and small, seek to use to market themselves and track customers. (