Morning Splash: Debt Limit Countdown; Ed Lee Now Undecided on Run; Goodwin Liu Nomination; Some Bay Area Post Offices Could Close
- Facing obstacles, GOP delays vote on plan for debt (NY Times)
House Republican leaders were forced Tuesday night to delay a vote scheduled on their plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling as conservative lawmakers expressed skepticism and congressional budget officials said the plan did not deliver the promised savings. The pushback on the bill was the latest chaotic twist in the fiscal fracas on Capitol Hill as the clock ticked closer to Aug. 2, when the Obama administration has warned that the nation risks defaulting on its bills.
- Ed Lee Says He Hasn’t Decided If He’s Going To Run For Mayor (SF Appeal)
…(Ed) Lee, who was named interim mayor in January when former Mayor Gavin Newsom was elected the state’s lieutenant governor, has previously said he wanted to return to his old job as city administrator after his term ends rather than run to stay in the mayor’s office. But today, following his signing of the city’s budget for the next fiscal year, Lee said talks with some current members of the Board of Supervisors have him reconsidering whether he wants to give up the spot. “There’s a lot of people talking to me, including members of the Board of Supervisors,” he said. He declined to identify which supervisors were pushing him to run, and said “it’s not a decision I’ve made at all yet.”
- Liu’s nomination would create Asian majority on state Supreme Court (Bay Area News Group)
With Tuesday’s surprising nomination of UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to the California Supreme Court, Gov. Jerry Brown transformed the high court into perhaps the only Asian-dominated state Supreme Court in U.S. history outside Hawaii while thumbing his nose at conservative Republicans in Congress who torpedoed the scholar’s bid for a federal judgeship. Making his first judicial pick since taking office in January, Brown chose the 40-year-old Liu, described by a broad range of supporters as a brilliant legal scholar who nevertheless will arrive at the Supreme Court without any judicial experience.
- $112 million deal may send S.F. trash to Wheatland (SF Chronicle)
San Franciscan trash could soon be headed to faraway Yuba County after the Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a controversial $112 million contract to send city refuse to the rural area. Over 10 years, 5 million tons of San Francisco garbage could be loaded onto trains and taken almost 132 miles to a landfill site just outside Wheatland. The deal between dump owner Recology and the city will likely start in 2015 and last until 2025. But the city hopes there will be no trash to haul by 2020.
- Private meeting doesn’t sway immigrant advocates to embrace new policing strategy (SJ Mercury News)
After a closed meeting Tuesday with San Jose police and federal agents, immigrant rights advocates still oppose a new strategy for ridding the city of violent gang members who also are illegal immigrants. “We feel as strongly in our opposition as we did before we walked in the door,” said Raj Jayadev, director of Silicon Valley DeBug, a community organization for young adults… Jayadev and nine other advocates had a two-hour “question and answer” session with police Chief Chris Moore and federal officials about the deployment of two immigration agents with the city’s Police Department.
- Ballot measure to gut Care Not Cash pulled (SF Chronicle)
San Francisco voters won’t be taking up a controversial ballot measure to overhaul the city’s best-known homeless program after all. Supervisors Jane Kim and Eric Mar are withdrawing their support of a measure to change the Care Not Cash program, meaning it doesn’t have the four supervisor backers it needs to appear on the November ballot.
- SF cops: Dead suspect’s brother sought in slaying (SF Chronicle)
The brother of a Washington state homicide suspect who died in a confrontation with San Francisco police is wanted by Seattle investigators in a slaying that happened in that city last week, authorities said Tuesday. Ondrell Harding, 21, is a suspect in the beating death of a 50-year-old man Saturday in Seattle, San Francisco police said. The killing occurred one week after Harding’s brother Kenneth Wade Harding, 19, died in a shootout with police on Third Street in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood.
- Invasive Seaweed Fears Stall America’s Cup (Bay Citizen)
Regulators have refused to issue permits necessary for the (America’s Cup) to move forward until organizers can prove the event won’t significantly spread invasive seaweed through San Francisco Bay. Concerns over exotic seaweed, including Undaria pinnatifida, a fast-growing Asian species that reaches 10 feet and poses dangers to native kelp species, prompted the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board on Friday to reject a 107-page permit application filed late last month by the Port of San Francisco.
- Bay Area post offices on hit list for closures (SF Chronicle)
…Thirteen post offices in the Bay Area, including the Visitacion Valley station, are being looked at for possible closure, the U.S. Postal Service said Tuesday. Nationally, the service is considering closing or downgrading 3,653 branches – more than a tenth of its 31,000-plus outlets – citing a 20 percent drop in mail volume and increasing availability of postal products elsewhere.
- Mistakes over hazardous liquid pipe locations pose threat (SJ Mercury News)
While the deadly San Bruno explosion highlighted the potential hazards of PG&E’s natural gas lines, another enormous system of pipes — carrying jet fuel and other hazardous liquids under Bay Area neighborhoods — poses a danger that could be just as catastrophic. (M)any people, including emergency responders, aren’t sure where the private companies that own those pipes have buried them. When a Walnut Creek construction crew’s backhoe bit into an underground gasoline main in 2004, the fireball that resulted left five people dead and four others badly burned. The workers didn’t know the pipe was there.
- Slower high-speed rail encouraged by officials (SF Chronicle)
Regional transportation officials plan to push for a scaled-back high-speed rail system on the Peninsula that also would accommodate a modernized Caltrain with a minimum of new construction. “We see this as the way forward to save this project,” said John Grubb, a senior vice president of the Bay Area Council, a pro-business advocacy group.
- York sees 49ers’ stadium money in new CBA (SF Chronicle)
Team President Jed York spoke optimistically Tuesday about the 49ers’ Santa Clara stadium fundraising efforts in light of the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement. In a conference call, York discussed the benefits of the new stadium fund included in the agreement – a 1.5 percent cut of league revenue. This year, the NFL could set aside about $60 million. That number is expected to grow in years to come.
- San Francisco council’s vote raises questions about cab credit card fees (SF Examiner)
Credit card fees for taxi drivers, an issue that has led to protests and threats of strikes, might be lessened or eliminated. On Monday, the Taxi Advisory Council recommended ending a pilot program allowing cab companies to charge drivers a 5 percent credit card transaction fee. In place since October, the program grants companies a waiver from San Francisco’s transportation code protecting drivers from such fees.
- Governor vetos Campos’ union-sponsored bill (SJ Mercury News)
Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill by Assemblywoman Nora Campos that would have given employee unions the power to choose half of all civil service commissions. The bill was sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a major union representing government workers. In comments contained in the legislative analyst report, Campos — a former San Jose City Council member who has long championed union interests — said that the bill “would ensure that the commissions will be more balanced and fair.” The commissions weigh disputes over personnel issues in government agencies.
- Mountain lion suspected in San Mateo animal deaths (SF Chronicle)
A mountain lion is suspected of killing several sheep and goats just south of Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County emergency officials reported Tuesday. Remains of the animals, last seen alive about 7 p.m. Monday, were found at 7 a.m. Tuesday in an area near 1500 Purisima Creek Road, according to an alert posted Tuesday afternoon on San Mateo County’s community alert system.