Morning Splash: Jonestown Memorial Can Go Forward; Sharks Win; GOP Delivers Budget Plan
- Jonestown memorial can go forward, judge rules (SF Chronicle)
Cemetery crews can finish installing a Jonestown memorial despite emotional pleas from a rival survivors’ group that the memorial not include the name of Jim Jones, a judge ruled late Thursday. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert McGuiness denied the Guyana Tribute Foundation’s request for a temporary restraining order against Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, allowing construction to move forward on the memorial.
- Guts and Glory: San Jose Sharks Win! (San Jose Mercury News)
The Sharks took a big step toward shedding their reputation as playoff disappointments Thursday night. And so did Patrick Marleau. With Marleau scoring what turned out to be the deciding goal in an intense and tightly-contested seven-game series, San Jose avoided a spot in the NHL hall of shame by beating the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 and advancing to the Western Conference finals for a second consecutive year.
- GOP state budget plan arrives — and is blasted as gimmicky (Sacramento Bee)
Assembly Republicans issued a state deficit solution for the first time Thursday, relying on more spending cuts, fund shifts and a new spike in state tax revenues to bridge a $15.4 billion shortfall. One of the largest reductions would hit state workers, a $1.1 billion cut equal to roughly 10 percent of compensation. Republicans suggested the state could save that money through layoffs or health care premium hikes. Coming four days before Gov. Jerry Brown’s May budget revision, the GOP sought to pre-empt Brown’s expected call for additional taxes to pay for schools and law enforcement.
- SJSU shooting: 3 who died ID’d as student, 25; her husband, 54; another student, 26 (San Jose Mercury News)
They were barely three weeks shy of graduating with business degrees from San Jose State. Cindy Caliguiran and Kyle Williams were study partners, friends say, nothing more. She probably just offered him a ride home after an evening class on campus. Waiting with a gun on the fifth floor of the campus garage was her husband — a Silicon Valley engineer more than twice her age. A classmate heard the screams — then gunfire — reverberate through the concrete parking structure.
- Sierra Club wants landmark climate law altered (SF Chronicle)
California’s quest to create the world’s first clean energy economy was again under fire this week when the Sierra Club urged Gov. Jerry Brown to drastically alter key elements of the much criticized climate protection law. The state’s largest environmental group urged the governor in a May 9 letter to re-evaluate and revise proposed “cap-and-trade” business incentives, particularly the rules that would allow companies to offset their pollution by purchasing credits from clean businesses outside the state and country.
- License backlog now stands at zero, DMV declares (Sacramento Bee)
California motor vehicle officials say they finally have fixed a series of factory problems that caused some drivers to wait months for new licenses. The backlog, which at one point topped 800,000 cards and led to four-month waits, is now down to zero, and drivers are receiving cards within three to four weeks of renewing, Department of Motor Vehicle officials said…Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, whose budget subcommittee oversees the DMV, said he wants the agency to pursue extra payments from the contractor that makes the cards for costs to the state and inconvenience to drivers. In a hearing last week, Simitian threatened to send letters to motor vehicle departments in other states warning them about California’s problems with the contractor, L-1 Identity Solutions.
- Attorney General, San Francisco officials defend Proposition 8 ruling (San Jose Mercury News)
Attorney General Kamala Harris and San Francisco city officials moved Thursday to derail a bid by backers of Proposition 8 to wipe out last year’s ruling striking down the law because of the trial judge’s same-sex relationship, calling it “tired,” “meritless” and motivated by bias against gays. In court papers, Harris threw California’s weight against Proposition 8 sponsors, who recently argued that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker should have removed himself from the legal battle over same-sex marriage because he has been in a long-term same-sex relationship. Walker last summer found that California’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, but Proposition 8 backers have moved to set that decision aside.
- Transit agency goes off rails on overtime (SF Chronicle)
The Municipal Transportation Agency is on pace to bust its overtime budget by $18 million this year, a 55 percent cost overrun described as out of control by members of the Board of Supervisors Government Audit & Oversight Committee. “This is a big deal. This is $18 million this year alone,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell. But Muni officials defended the spending.
- HIV: Drugs recommended immediately to stop spread (SF Chronicle)
People who start treatment soon after being diagnosed with HIV are far less likely to pass the virus on to their sexual partners than those who wait for their immune system to deteriorate before starting drug therapy, according to a large international study released Thursday. Early treatment with antiviral drugs cut transmission rates of HIV by 96 percent, the study found. The results were so promising that researchers ended the trial four years early so that all participants could have the option of going on the antiviral therapy.
- Facebook’s stealth attack on Google (San Jose Mercury News)
In an unfolding tale of Silicon Valley skulduggery, Facebook on Thursday fessed up to hiring a top-drawer PR firm to bash rival Google (GOOG) by planting negative stories in newspapers and across the blogosphere. The social networking giant’s admission that it had hired Burson-Marsteller to rustle up reporters and bloggers to attack the search giant for violating Facebook users’ privacy was just the first of several shoes to drop.
- Cop ran Pleasant Hill brothel, co-defendant says (SF Chronicle)
Concord private investigator at the center of a law enforcement scandal admits he helped run a house of prostitution in Pleasant Hill, but says the former commander of a Contra Costa County anti-drug task force was the architect of the operation and shut down competing brothels, the investigator’s attorney said Thursday. Christopher Butler, 49, leased office space for a massage parlor on Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill beginning in summer 2009 at the request of then-state narcotics agent Norman Wielsch, 50, said Butler’s attorney, William Gagen.
- Oakland Unified becomes a cautionary tale for state takeovers in California (Oakland Tribune)
Eight years after the Oakland school district’s financial meltdown and state takeover, the local school board can’t seem to shake past mistakes — including some made by the state agency tasked with restoring its fiscal health. In addition to its debt of $74 million, the school district until recently faced a $22 million fine for accounting errors made on the state’s watch, according to figures from the state controller’s office.
- Pesticide bombing of Farallones mice spurs debate (SF Chronicle)
Federal wildlife regulators are considering carpet-bombing the Farallon Islands next fall with potent pesticides aimed at eradicating hordes of house mice, an invasive population grown so large officials say it has radically altered the islands’ ecology and now threatens rare seabirds. But animal welfare groups contend the lethal chemicals could ruin the prized sanctuary and drift throughout the food web, killing not just the rodents, but birds, reptiles and even microscopic crustaceans.
- Durbin knocked out of ‘Idol’; Saturday plans canceled (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
A day after singing Journey’s perpetually popular ode to optimism “Don’t Stop Believin’,” enough would-be voters on “American Idol” did in fact stop believing in Durbin’s improbable ride to “Idol stardom” on Thursday. In a shocking conclusion to Durbin’s 11-week stint showing his considerable singing talents to a national audience on “Idol,” he was eliminated from the competition by receiving the lowest vote total of the final four contestants.
- Indian-American population is fastest-growing minority group (Contra Costa Times)
…Among Asian groups, none grew more rapidly than Indian-Americans in the last decade, according to 2010 census figures released Thursday. They have surpassed Filipinos as the second-largest Asian group in the nation after the Chinese, and in the Bay Area they are expanding far beyond the established immigrant gateways of the Silicon Valley. The numbers of Indian-Americans in the East Bay counties of Alameda and Contra Costa jumped from about 55,000 to 95,000 in a mere decade, a growth of 74 percent. Their numbers in Santa Clara County, which remains one of the nation’s Indian hubs, jumped from about 67,000 to nearly 118,000.