Morning Splash: BART Protest Caused Major Delays; PG&E Court Filing Deflects Blame for San Bruno; Amazon Pushes Referendum on Sales Tax
- BART protest causes major delays in service (SF Chronicle)
A raucous crowd of demonstrators protesting the fatal police shooting of a man on a BART platform stormed into the Civic Center Station in San Francisco Monday afternoon and caused major service delays as they tussled with police and shouted racial epithets at transit officials. Riot police eventually drove them out of the station, but the unruly mob reconvened at the 16th Street Mission Station. Service was disrupted at the Civic Center, 16th Street and Powell Street stations.
- In court, PG&E deflects blame for San Bruno blast (SF Chronicle)
Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which issued a public apology last month for September’s natural gas explosion in San Bruno, says in a new court filing that it should not have to make payouts to victims who have sued the company because the blast was caused by third-party damage to a “state of the art” pipeline. The company also indicated it would seek to assign some of the blame for the losses from the explosion to residents themselves.
- Amazon.com plans to take online tax fight to the ballot in California (Sacramento Bee)
Amazon.com, in a fresh attack on California’s new online sales tax law, is pushing a ballot referendum to have the law repealed. The Internet retailer Monday called it “a referendum on jobs and investment in California.” The effort comes two weeks after the law was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. It requires online merchants to collect sales tax on goods purchased by Californians.
- Redistricting panel cancels second draft of legislative maps (LA Times)
he citizens panel that for the first time is determining California’s new voting districts has canceled second drafts of its proposed maps, drawing heavy criticism Monday from interest groups that complained of being left out of the process. Under pressure to meet a July 28 deadline for finishing the new boundaries, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission decided not to release a second draft of them this week as scheduled but to continue working on what it hopes will be the final maps. Commissioners said that would allow them to concentrate on gathering more information and crafting the best possible districts.
- Bay Area counties brace for influx of inmates (SF Chronicle)
Tens of thousands of convicted felons and parole violators in California will be diverted from state prison to county supervision, sending local criminal justice officials scrambling to meet the added demands on their jails, probation offices, courts and social services, all without any assurance of adequate funding. Local law enforcement authorities anticipate a jump in crime with fewer criminals locked up in state prisons and worry about more trouble behind bars in the county lockups.
- America’s Cup preparations under way for the bay (SF Chronicle)
Almost 500,000 people could crowd onto the shores of San Francisco and Marin to watch sailboats whiz past Alcatraz in a race for the America’s Cup, according to the first complete look at the unique benefits – and headaches – the event will bring to the city. The draft environmental impact report, released Monday, is the most detailed description of the 2013 America’s Cup race to be published since the city won the right to host the race last December.
- California law updated to include cyberbullying by students through social networking sites (San Jose Mercury News)
An existing California law that gives school officials the right to suspend or expel a student for bullying another student over the Internet or by other electronic means has been updated to include bullying others through social networking websites. The bill, AB 746, sponsored by Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose) goes into effect Jan. 1, after it was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday.
- Hunters Point redevelopment given OK to progress (SF Chronicle)
A San Francisco judge has tossed out most of a legal challenge to the controversial plan to convert the shuttered Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and nearby Candlestick Point into a new neighborhood with more than 10,500 homes, clearing the way for work to begin on the project. Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith, in a 37-page ruling made public Monday, found that the environmental review for the mega-project was adequate in all regards except one: the early transfer of some parcels of the shipyard.
- Bay Area diabetes camps canceled, hundreds of kids out of luck (San Jose Mercury News)
Just weeks before hundreds of children with diabetes were to set off for summer camps at Sequoia Lake and the Santa Cruz Mountains, the San Jose-based nonprofit that ran these programs for more than three decades has abruptly shut down, leaving kids like Draven Miller with packed bags and no place to go. The only warning that parents received from the Diabetes Society was an email about the cancellations that included an ominous message: You can try to apply for a refund, or write off the $600 to $700 in camper fees as a donation.
- Fabian Núñez’s words enrage slain man’s family (SF Chronicle)
Former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez on Monday infuriated the family of a slain man by questioning the use of taxpayer dollars on court proceedings in which the family seeks to overturn a controversial sentence commutation that benefited Núñez’s son. In one of his last acts in office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted Esteban Núñez’s 16-year voluntary manslaughter sentence to seven years, and later said he did it to help his friend, the former speaker. But Schwarzenegger did not notify the victim’s family beforehand, and they sued the state in an attempt to nullify the commutation.
- Parole assessment of Garrido upbeat just nine days after Dugard’s kidnapping (Sacramento Bee)
Nine days after they kidnapped Jaycee Lee Dugard, Phillip and Nancy Garrido paid a visit to his parole officer, who indicated things seemed to be going quite well for the convicted rapist and kidnapper…The upbeat assessment is part of Garrido’s voluminous federal parole file, made public for the first time Monday through a Freedom of Information Act request that The Bee filed in September 2009.
- Work on eastern span of Bay Bridge complete in China (AP)
China’s biggest heavy machinery maker wrapped up work Monday on the new, tougher east span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, hoping success with the $6.3 billion project will help it clinch more overseas contracts. California’s Department of Transportation chose Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries to fabricate the steel girders and tower meant to improve the earthquake resistance of the bridge linking San Francisco and Oakland after the 1989 Loma Prieta quake collapsed part of the bridge.
- Alleged Picasso Thief to Plead Not Guilty Friday (Bay Citizen)
Accused Picasso thief Mark Lugo appeared briefly in San Francisco Superior Court Monday afternoon with his lawyer, local defense attorney Douglas Horngrad. Judge Samuel Feng postponed Lugo’s arraignment until Friday and kept his bail at $5 million…“Nobody is dead. Nobody’s been assaulted. This is not the crime of the century,” (Horngrad) said… Horngrad refused to elaborate on his comment, or speak further about his plans for defending his client, except to say that Lugo will plead not guilty to all charges Friday.
- ‘American Idol’ tour comes to San Jose (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Durbin Fever, a highly contagious viral infection that raged throughout the U.S. last spring – Santa Cruz County was particularly hard-hit – is expected to spike again locally this week. That’s right, folks. “American Idol” is back – at least for one evening when the “American Idols Live” tour, featuring Santa Cruz’s own insta-celebrity James Durbin, rolls into the HP Pavilion in San Jose on Wednesday.