Morning Splash: Lee Considers Three SFPD Police Chief Candidates; Bryan Stow Suffers Setback
- Ed Lee considers 3 police chief candidates (Matier & Ross, SF Chronicle)
For weeks, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has been doing background checks and interviewing and re-interviewing the three finalists for police chief – and from the looks of it, he is isn’t comfortable with any of them. The choice is between Bayview Station Capt. Greg Suhr, Cmdr. Daniel Mahoney and an unnamed outsider.
- San Jose: Critics of police are now chief’s advisory board (San Jose Mercury News)
Raj Jayadev, a community activist and one of the San Jose Police Department’s most outspoken critics, has been labeled by some as a thug, a cop-hater and several other things that cannot be printed in a family newspaper. As of next week, he can also be called an adviser to Police Chief Chris Moore. Jayadev is one of 17 people Moore has hand-picked to be part of his new community advisory board. Many of the new group have over the years alleged the department engages in racial profiling and over-aggressive policing.
- Republicans poised to block state labor contracts (Sacramento Bee)
State Sen. Mimi Walters last week summed up in five words the Republican reaction to six state labor contracts now winding through the Legislature: “They don’t go far enough.” The deals negotiated by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown last month include union concessions, but they fall far short of the savings that lawmakers from both parties said that they wanted from the contracts.
- PG&E faces another state probe into record keeping (San Jose Mercury News)
As controversy rages over a proposed $3 million fine for failing to give state regulators pipeline-safety documents on time, PG&E on Monday will face its first key deadline in a potentially far more punitive state inquiry — examining whether its record-keeping practices contributed to the San Bruno natural gas disaster and other pipeline hazards. This broader record-keeping inquiry will consider whether the utility’s missing or otherwise hard-to-locate records violated the law and hurt the safety of its vast network of gas pipes. It’s likely that PG&E will be found guilty and potentially fined $400 million or more, according to a report Friday by Bernstein Research, which does detailed financial analysis of utilities.
- Report finds prosecutorial misconduct in Bay Area (San Jose Mercury News)
Bay Area prosecutors committed misconduct last year in 18 cases serious enough to attract notice from state and federal courts, according to a report released this month. In four of those cases — including two in Santa Clara County — the courts either set aside the sentence or conviction, barred evidence or declared a mistrial, according to the report by the Northern California Innocence Project. Such misconduct, including concealing evidence favorable to a defendant, can result in costly retrials or lengthy legal battles even if the conviction ultimately is upheld.
- Injured Giants fan Bryan Stow put back in medically induced coma (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Bryan Stow, the Live Oak father of two seriously injured in an attack by rival baseball fans at Dodger Stadium, was placed back in a medically induced coma after suffering seizures Saturday, hospital officials reported today. Stow, 42, remains in critical condition, said Rosa Saca of Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
- AIDS prevention pill study halted; no benefit seen (AP)
Researchers are stopping a study that tests a daily pill to prevent infection with the AIDS virus in thousands of African women because partial results show no signs that the drug is doing any good. Women taking Truvada (true-VAH’-duh), made by Gilead Sciences Inc., are just as likely to get HIV as other women who have been given dummy pills, an interim analysis of the study found. Even if the study were to continue, it would not be able to determine whether the pills help prevent infection, since the results are even this far along, researchers said.
- Slipshod Management Leaves $90 Million City Art Collection in Disarray (Bay Citizen)
San Francisco has a trove of public art that should be the toast of the town. Valued at around $90 million and including more than 4,000 items, including statues, paintings and Edvard Munch lithographs, the Civic Art Collection is one of the richest repositories of city-owned art in the country. But management of the collection — which many local residents would be surprised to know even exists — is so slipshod that the city cannot say for sure how many pieces it owns. Some pieces have been damaged because of lack of maintenance or moth-ridden storage spaces; others have disappeared entirely.
- Undocumented paying taxes hoping to ease into legality (Contra Costa Times)
Isaias Aguilar filed his income tax returns for the first time this year and took a financial hit for it. He owed $579 to the Internal Revenue Service for some of the work he did last year, including as a part-time taekwondo instructor. The 29-year-old Mexican immigrant is not authorized to live and work in the United States, but he is one of millions of illegal immigrants known to use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, to file their taxes because they do not have Social Security numbers…If Congress ever creates a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, those who tried to play by the rules might have a better chance of getting a green card, he said.
- President heads west to sell his deficit plan (NY Times)
After weeks of tussling and political gamesmanship in Congress over federal spending, President Barack Obama will take his message on the road this week, traveling to California and other stops on the West Coast to promote his deficit-cutting plan. In the Bay Area on Wednesday, the president will visit Facebook for an online town hall with CEO Mark Zuckerberg before going to San Francisco for a series of fundraisers, including a $35,800-a-plate dinner hosted by Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff.
- BART directors appoint independent police auditor (Bay City News)
After a lengthy search, BART directors have voted unanimously to appoint Mark T. Smith, of Chicago, as the transit agency’s first independent police auditor. BART officials decided to create a police auditor position and have a citizen review board after the shooting death of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III, 22, of Hayward, at the hands of then-BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle. The shooting occurred at Oakland’s Fruitvale station Jan. 1, 2009, after Mehserle responded to reports that there was a fight on a train.
- Cash-strapped Sonoma County set to raise fees Tuesday (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
A cash-strapped Sonoma County government is set to raise fees Tuesday for a wide range of services and facilities, including veterans buildings, planning and engineering permits and some park uses. The proposed hikes are meant to recover a larger share of the county’s costs, ranging from about 30 percent with the veterans buildings to about 80 percent at the planning department.
- Willie Brown Academy Goes from Bad to Worse as Closure Looms (Bay Citizen)
When the school now known as the Willie L. Brown Jr. College Preparatory Academy opened in San Francisco’s predominantly black Bayview neighborhood some 18 years ago, it was at the forefront of an ambitious effort to address school performance and segregation without busing children out of the neighborhood. It was once even part of a Dream Schools program that brought millions of dollars in special aid, along with school uniforms, longer school days and Saturday classes. But those dreams have been thoroughly dashed, and the 160-student school is set to close May 27, largely as a result of chronic student underachievement and high truancy. And for those unfortunate enough to be a part of its final months, conditions have gone from bad to worse.
- Mavericks sponsor withdraws, says surf group disbanded (Half Moon Bay Review)
A press release issued by Barracuda Networks, the lone corporate sponsor for the Mavericks surf contest, states that it has pulled out of future contests and that the new Half Moon Bay Surf Group has disbanded. The press release, issued Friday and posted on The Jay at Mavericks Big Wave Surf Invitational Web site on Saturday, also says that the family of the late surfer for which the contest had been renamed, wants his name removed from future events.
- Marin’s allergy season begins with a bang as pollen counts soar (Marin Independent Journal)
Marin County allergists say this year’s season has roared in like a lion. “It’s been going on for several weeks since the rain stopped, and the pollen counts are extraordinarily high,” said Dr. Robert Freinkel, an allergist practicing in Greenbrae and Novato. Freinkel, who measures pollen counts in the North Bay and distributes the information to local doctors, said currently the air in Marin contains about 1,627 grains of pollen per cubic meter. “That’s extremely high,” Freinkel said. “I haven’t seen it like this in 25 years.”