Morning Splash: PG&E Slammed Over Records Request; Priest Extradicted; Alameda Drowning Death
- State regulators slam PG&E for seeking delay on welding records (San Jose Mercury News)
PG&E’s recent claim that it can’t meet a state deadline for providing documents of welding problems on its natural gas pipelines raises disturbing questions about the company’s record-keeping practices and could be used as evidence to fine the company, regulators said Monday. The California Public Utilities Commission already has blistered PG&E and threatened to fine it $3 million for failing to locate records proving the utility’s pipes are set at safe pressure levels, following the Sept. 9 San Bruno gas-line blast that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. Last week it also claimed it could not meet a June 20 deadline to produce records for welding defects in its lines over the past 55 years.
- Oakland police and fire get radio upgrade after risky communication blackouts (Oakland Tribune)
Several times in recent months, police have been unable to radio their dispatchers from numerous “dead spots” across the city, including major intersections like MacArthur Boulevard and Seminary Avenue, or the trauma ward at Highland Hospital, where shooting victims are often sent. That changed over the weekend with the official switch Sunday to a new radio system for police and fire departments called Platform 25, or P25. Top Oakland officials hailed the upgrade as a stride forward for the city and a major step in coordinating the entire Bay Area for when — not if — the next natural disaster strikes.
- Alameda City Council to meet over drowning death (KGO)
The Alameda City Council will tackle stunning new questions over a man’s drowning at a beach with firefighters standing by just watching. There are accusations that the fire department did not do everything it could have…Questions are being raised as to whether discontinuing the department’s water rescue policy in 2009 was meant to be temporary while the department underwent rescue recertification.
- Former Irish priest accused of molesting boys extradicted to Ireland (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
A former Irish priest accused of molesting four men in Humboldt County in the 1980s has been extradited to Ireland, where he faces criminal charges for sexual misconduct, authorities said. Patrick Joseph McCabe, 75, was turned over to Irish national police officers Sunday night at San Francisco International Airport, the U.S. Marshals Service said Monday.
- High court rejects Stanford’s bid to revive lawsuit with Roche over AIDS treatment patents (San Jose Mercury News)
Despite backing from the Obama administration and research centers around the nation, Stanford University on Monday lost its long legal quest to wrest the patent rights to an AIDS test from pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding. In a 7-2 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Stanford’s bid to revive a lawsuit against Roche over the patents to the AIDS testing methods, which university officials have insisted were developed by a Stanford scientist decades ago and were crucial to keep patented as the fruit of federally funded research.
- Young Prisoners Faced 24-Hour Confinement, Classes in Closets (Bay Citizen)
nmates in California’s youth prison system were subjected to nearly round-the-clock confinement on hundreds of occasions and had to attend school in closets, showers and storerooms because of staff shortages and rampant violence among prisoners, according to a recent state audit. While Division of Juvenile Justice guidelines state that young prisoners can be confined to their rooms no more than 21 hours a day, the audit found 249 instances between January and April this year in which DJJ had violated its own policy.
- California Democrats hope new district maps produce budget votes (Sacramento Bee)
…An independent mapping panel will release its first draft of new legislative boundaries Friday, shuffling incumbents into new districts and threatening some members’ best-laid political plans. Democrats hope the redistricting maps will help shake free the necessary Republican votes for a budget that relies on taxes to bridge the remaining $9.6 billion deficit.
- Bargaining, not balloting, to fix Oakland pensions (SF Chronicle)
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has pledged to rein in city worker pensions, a plan that might require going to voters. In San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee, working closely with union leaders, has announced a pension reform plan for voters to decide in November. But, in Oakland, Mayor Jean Quan has no intention of taking pension reform to the ballot box. She says changes will come voluntarily from city unions.
- San Jose employee unions protest mayor’s pension reform plan (San Jose Mercury News)
San Jose’s director of employee relations on Monday apologized to union members who say they were caught off guard Friday when a meeting with his office touched on a different topic of pension reform than they were led to believe it would… Members of three San Jose employee unions that were among the first to agree to cuts in salary and benefits with the city to help solve next year’s $115 million budget deficit said they felt duped by the move, and left Friday’s meeting. They wanted to discuss pension reform options that would be presented to the City Council before attempting to craft a ballot measure.
- Oakland ‘peace march’ follows violent weekend (Bay City News)
An Oakland community is planning a peace march after a violent weekend in the city with five separate shootings that left one man dead, organizers said. Oakland Community Organizations expects more than 400 parents, students and teachers from Greenleaf Whittier Elementary School and St. Bernard Church to convene Tuesday at the elementary school for a 3 p.m. “peace walk” through what community organizers call “the most violent neighborhood in East Oakland,” according to organizer Emma Paulino.
After the walk, a meeting is scheduled with city officials, including Oakland police Chief Anthony Batts, to demand a response to increased gun violence in the area, Paulino said.
- Apple’s iCloud: CEO Steve Jobs unveils ‘digital hub’ for music, other content (San Jose Mercury News)
In announcing Apple’s new online storage and syncing service for music, photos and documents, CEO Steve Jobs on Monday positioned the company for a new, “post-PC” era of computing, in which people are invisibly connected to their digital treasures no matter where they are or what Apple device they are using. The service, called iCloud, allows Apple customers to share everything from contacts to work files to their “Linkin Park” songs — stored at the company’s data center — on an array of gadgets.
- Anti-circumcision comic offends Jewish leaders (SF Chronicle)
An Internet comic featuring a blond Foreskin Man battling an evil Monster Mohel intent on circumcising a baby has angered local Jewish leaders who say it is anti-Semitic. Matthew Hess, the man behind both the comic and a ballot measure to ban circumcision in San Francisco, says he knows the loaded imagery behind his campaign has ruffled a few feathers. But that’s kind of the point, he said.
- Palo Alto council OKs Stanford hospital development (Palo Alto Daily News)
To applause and cheers Monday night, the Palo Alto City Council green-lighted Stanford University’s massive hospital expansion, a project expected to reshape health care in the area. It was a landslide victory for Stanford after four years of intense debate and negotiations, as council members approved various ordinances, permits and resolutions in a series of 8-0 votes.
- Golden State Warriors name former star guard Mark Jackson as their new coach (Bay Area News Group)
To paraphrase Mark Jackson himself: Mama, here comes that man. The Warriors announced Monday that they have hired Jackson, an ESPN and ABC analyst, as their new coach. And the consensus among the front-office types was they indeed got their man.
- Overstock.com Coliseum gets ready for U2 360 Tour (Bay Area News Group)
It’s the largest touring concert stage ever built — but the claw rising above Overstock.com Coliseum this week for the U2 concert Tuesday is just one of three built for the U2 360 Tour… Each stage structure — which resembles both a spaceship and a four-legged crab that encircles a round stage, known to U2′s loyal fans as “the Claw” — is more than 200 feet wide, nearly 150 feet deep and more than 190 feet tall to the top of a lit-up mirror-ball spire. Add to that a 54-ton video screen with 500,000 pixels and 16 miles of production cables, and the entire stage comes out to be about 400 tons.