Morning Splash: U.S. Kills Bin Laden; Big San Jose Immigration Protest
- Osama bin Laden buried at sea after being killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan (Washington Post)
Osama bin Laden, the long-hunted al-Qaeda leader and chief architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, was killed by U.S. forces Sunday in what officials described as a surgical raid on his luxury hideout in Pakistan. In a rare Sunday night address from the East Room of the White House, President Obama said a small team of U.S. personnel attacked a compound Sunday in Pakistan’s Abbottabad Valley, where bin Laden had been hiding since at least last summer. During a firefight, the U.S. team killed bin Laden, 54, and took custody of his body in what Obama called “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al-Qaeda.”
- Massive immigration protest on San Jose streets (San Jose Mercury News)
More than 2,000 pro-immigration and labor demonstrators mobilized in East San Jose on Sunday in a powerful display of the persistent dream of American citizenship, despite federal inaction. The outpouring of demonstrators was organized by a loose coalition of community, church and labor organizations calling themselves the May 1st Coalition. On the fifth anniversary of a 2006 National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice, turnout in San Jose, Los Angeles and other cities was significantly lower than for that historic event, when a million demonstrators marched in scores of cities across the nation.
- Oakland Mayor crafts three budget plans to cover every possibility (Oakland Tribune)
Mayor Jean Quan painted a gloomy picture Friday as she unveiled three two-year budget scenarios to deal with a looming $58 million deficit next year, and an even higher shortfall the following year. Quan’s worst-case budget calls for the closure of all but four library branches, severely curtailed hours at senior centers and the elimination of 368 full-time positions from a workforce that numbers about 4,000. The least painful and most optimistic scenario depends on passage of a parcel tax and healthy pension contributions by all employees — and still slashes 80 full-time positions.
- Two-track alternative through Bay Area picks up steam for high-speed rail (San Jose Mercury News)
That sparkling new $6.1 billion high-speed rail line that California has been eyeing for the Bay Area might get traded in for a 150-year-old fixer-upper. Facing a financial reality check, project leaders Thursday will consider an alternative to run the bullet trains through the Bay Area on two tracks instead of four — a major shift that could speed up the start of the project but actually slow down the trains. Under the plan, the state would spend most of the $1.5 billion to electrify the two Caltrain tracks between San Francisco and San Jose, putting on hold its plan to spend four times as much to wipe out the historic rail line and build four new tracks along the corridor. Instead, the Golden State bullet trains would initially share the two souped-up tracks with Caltrain at the start of their three-hour journey to Anaheim.
- Fate of Oakland’s gang injunctions rides on city attorney replacement (Oakland Tribune)
t will take a few days for Oakland City Attorney John Russo to be confirmed as the city manager of Alameda, but there’s already talk about the effect his move will have on Oakland, including who will replace him and what will happen to his crackdown on gangs. Last year, Russo got a preliminary injunction against alleged gang members in North Oakland, forbidding them from congregating together in certain areas and imposing a curfew. A judge is considering a second injunction in the Fruitvale neighborhood, and a third has been suggested for East Oakland.
- SF salmon season opens with few fish (SF Chronicle)
…Though fish stories were scarce Sunday, the opening day of commercial salmon season from Point Arena to the Mexico border, state and federal scientists estimate that 730,000 salmon from the Sacramento River system are now wiggling along the coast. That number is way up from a record low of 39,000 in 2009 and represents hopes of a turnaround for a beleaguered industry that is one of the state’s oldest.
- Maloofs make decision on Kings move — they’ll unveil it today (Sacramento Bee)
The owners of the Sacramento Kings have made a decision about the team’s fate – but they were waiting until this morning to make it known. Kings co-owner George Maloof told The Bee on Sunday that while he and his family have made up their minds about whether to move the franchise to Anaheim, they intend to withhold the announcement until after talking with NBA officials.
- Class Sizes to Grow, Despite State’s $1.3 Billion Program (Bay Citizen)
…Class sizes in Oakland and many Bay Area school districts have been increasing for the last year and half. And they are likely to get even bigger next year, as the state’s budget crisis forces school administrators to make even deeper cuts. The Sunnyvale School District will likely increase class sizes in grades K-3 next year from 20 to 23 students for every teacher. The Cupertino Union School District may have to increase class sizes for grades 1 through 3 and 6 through 8 next year after sending pink slips to some 117 teachers, counselors and other staff.
- Cinco de Mayo festival draws thousands to Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood (Oakland Tribune)
There are any number of reasons to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but food topped the list at Sunday’s celebration in the Fruitvale district. Thousands of people turned out to a four-block stretch of International Boulevard Sunday for a festival in honor of the holiday, many of them parents with strollers or small children in tow. Asked what made them come out, a few said they were honoring the anniversary of the Mexican army’s defeating the French in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. A few more said they were there for the music, or the family-friendly atmosphere and the warm weather.
- SF parking permit fee for residents could rise (SF Chronicle)
The cost to buy an annual residential parking permit in San Francisco may hit the $100 mark this summer – a boost of just $2, but an overall increase of 67 percent from the fee charged three years ago. The change is just one of several proposed parking-related cost increases that will be considered Tuesday by the Municipal Transportation Agency’s governing board.
- National study probes health risk from cellphones, SmartMeters and other wireless devices (Bay Area News Group)
Multiplying sources of radio frequency from wireless devices have driven vociferous resistance to Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s SmartMeter rollout by those skeptical that low-energy radiation is safe. Major science organizations support existing federal health exposure guidelines, saying that no evidence shows physical harm from the level of electromagnetic radiation, or EMR, that wireless devices emit. But these same organizations say that weaknesses in the body of data, and studies that hint at a few unusual responses to low-energy EMR, make it too soon to rule out harm from long-term exposure.
- Bay Area real estate is a market gone crazy (San Jose Mercury News)
…Listening to battle-scarred Realtors talk about all the short-sale funny business, fake landlords, mold-slimed foreclosure properties, bogus real estate agents and yappin’ junkyard dogs makes you wonder how any homes are getting bought and sold at all. With upside-down homeowners, overwhelmed banks and cash-toting low-ballers sucking up investment properties at bargain-basement prices, veteran real estate professionals around the Bay Area say they’ve never seen a market as whacked-out as the one we’re slogging through right now. “It’s total craziness out there,” says Guy Berry, whose 30-plus years with firms like Coldwell Banker make him one of Silicon Valley’s elder statesmen of brick and mortar.
- HP makes $25 million pledge to Packard Children’s Hospital (San Jose Mercury News)
Hewlett-Packard said Monday that it’s pledging $25 million and some of its analytical prowess to help Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital carry out a major expansion and conduct new research into ways of improving patient care. The pledge, which HP described as a commitment of $25 million over 10 years, is the latest chapter in a long-running relationship between the giant Palo Alto tech company and the 20-year-old Stanford-based children’s hospital, which is named for the wife of HP co-founder David Packard.
- For Discharged Veterans, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Fight Continues (Bay Citizen)
…More than 14,000 service members have been discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” according to the Pentagon. Advocacy groups estimate that 40,000 others were discharged in the decades when there was an outright ban on gays. The Pentagon said it could not provide statistics on the number of service members discharged because of their sexual orientation before “don’t ask, don’t tell” went into effect in 1993. Many younger veterans, like Loverde, have indicated they would like to rejoin the military once “don’t ask, don’t tell” is repealed. Others want the word “homosexual” removed from their discharge papers or to have their discharges upgraded from “other than honorable” to “honorable” so they can receive full veterans benefits.
- Sharks beat Red Wings to take 2-0 series lead (San Jose Mercury News)
iGoaltender Antti Niemi is giving the Detroit Red Wings a taste of what the Sharks had to deal with one year ago. With Niemi stopping 33 of the 34 shots fired at him Sunday afternoon and San Jose getting goals from defensemen Ian White and Niclas Wallin, the Sharks left HP Pavilion with a 2-1 victory for the second time in less than 48 hours.