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Morning Splash: 36 Million Pds Turkey Recalled; The Funders Behind ‘Run, Ed, Run’; Mavericks’ Permit Decision Postponed; Tesla Financials

| August 4, 2011
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  • 36M lbs. of turkey recalled in salmonella outbreak (AP)

    Meat giant Cargill is recalling 36 million pounds of turkey after a government hunt for the source of a salmonella outbreak that has killed one person in California and sickened dozens more. The Agriculture Department and the Minnesota-based company announced Wednesday evening that Cargill is recalling fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company’s Springdale, Ark., plant from Feb. 20 through Aug. 2 due to possible contamination from the strain of salmonella linked to 76 illnesses and the one death.

  • SF group urging Lee run funded by politically connected (SF Chronicle)

    Progress for All, the group behind the “Run, Ed, Run” campaign, bills itself as a grassroots San Francisco movement. But its effort to persuade Mayor Ed Lee to run for a full, four-year term in November has been bankrolled almost entirely by a small group of politically connected individuals, some of whom have received millions of dollars in city contracts in recent years. The key donors are friends of former Mayor Willie Brown or have strong ties to Brown ally and Chinese Chamber of Commerce consultant Rose Pak, who is also one of Lee’s close friends.

  • New Jockeying in Congress for Next Phase in Budget Fight (NY Times)

    Republicans and Democrats maneuvered for advantage on Wednesday in the next battle over federal spending, trying to influence the choice of members and frame the agenda for a powerful “supercommittee” that is supposed to recommend at least $1.5 trillion of additional deficit reduction measures. A huge fight has already erupted over how to count the costs of extending tax cuts for high-income people, which are due to expire at the end of 2012.

  • Once-Competing Surf Groups Now Seeking Joint Mavericks Contest Permit (Half Moon Bay Patch)

    The San Mateo County Harbor District’s Board of Harbor Commissioners met Wednesday in Half Moon Bay to discuss the permit approval for the Mavericks Surf Contest and the appropriate method of discounting berthing fees for commercial fishermen. The pending decision to approve the permit for the Mavericks Surf Contest has caused high tension in the Harbor District due to the competition between the new Mavericks Community, LLC and Mavericks Surf Company, LLC.

  • Iran official expects hikers to be released “very soon” (AP)

    Iran’s ambassador to Iraq said today he expects two Americans who have been charged with espionage and held in Tehran for more than two years will be released “very soon.” Hassan Dannaie Fir said he doesn’t have any specific details about when Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal would be freed from Evin Prison in northern Tehran. But he described a general sympathy for the two men, both 29, especially during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that began Monday. “We hope and expect that very soon they will be released,” Fir said during an hour-long interview with The Associated Press at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad.

  • Stark, Honda to seek re-election (Oakland Tribune)

    Two Bay Area Congress members announced Tuesday that they will run for re-election in newly drawn districts. Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, said that he will seek a 20th term in Congress representing a district that would span from Hayward and northern Fremont eastward to Pleasanton and Livermore. Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, announced that he would seek re-election in a newly drawn district that includes a chunk of Stark’s former district — the southern two-thirds of Fremont and Newark — as well as Santa Clara, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Milpitas and part of San Jose.

  • Efforts under way to unravel California’s budget (Sacramento Bee)

    …In the latest bid to unravel the $85.9 billion general fund budget, advocates for doctors, insurers and low-income patients will ask federal officials in Washington today to reject $1.3 billion in Medi-Cal cuts they say will hurt the most vulnerable Californians. Cities last month asked the California Supreme Court to halt a $1.7 billion state overhaul of redevelopment agencies. Amazon.com is gathering signatures to reverse a $200 million budget bill requiring online sales tax collection. Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, filed a referendum to block a $150 annual fire fee on rural homeowners.

  • Golden Gate Bridge uneasy mix for bikes, walkers (SF Chronicle)

    …Since the western sidewalk was closed for seismic retrofitting at the end of May, the eastern sidewalk has had to accommodate the bicyclists who used to ride on the ocean side, along with tourists on foot taking pictures from one of the city’s biggest attractions. In an effort to ease the congestion, bridge officials finished installing signs and striping Tuesday directing cyclists to a lane closest to the roadway and pedestrians to a lane by the rail. Yellow striping and signs are now painted at eight points along the 1.7-mile sidewalk, and blue-and-white stickers have been affixed to lamp posts showing pedestrians and bicyclists in separate lanes.

  • Santa Clara County reaches tentative agreement with its largest labor union (San Jose Mercury News)

    After months of wrangling in one of the most brutal economic climates for public employees in decades, Santa Clara County reached a tentative agreement with its largest labor union shortly after dawn Wednesday. The all-nighter with SEIU Local 521 resulted in a deal that, if approved by members in a Saturday vote, would require roughly 8,000 employees to take 10 unpaid furlough days in the first year of the two-year contract and four furlough days in the second year. In addition, workers would see their contributions for retirement increase from 6 percent to 8 percent.

  • Berkeley sites for Lab’s second campus in the spotlight (Berkeleyside)

    …“Contrary to rumors floating around the community, there will be no new jobs at the second campus, which will consolidate work at three existing LBNL sites,” Zelda Bronstein, a former Berkeley Planning Commissioner and frequent critic of development wrote in an opinion piece in the Daily Planet. “Nor will the second campus, a government agency (the lab is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy), itself yield any tax revenue. What a second LBNL campus will yield is a great deal of traffic [and] inflated property values.” Proponents of the Lab point out that it will more than make up for the loss of property tax revenue by attracting spin-off businesses which will pay taxes. About 30 companies to date have been created using Lab technology, according to the lab website. The second campus will create a “critical mass” that will ensure the East Bay becomes a major scientific hub, supporters argue.

  • Pregnancy center First Resort defends practices against San Francisco officials (SF Examiner)

    The crisis pregnancy center targeted by city officials for alleged deceptive advertising respects a woman’s right to choose an abortion, a spokeswoman said today. First Resort, which has offices in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City, was the subject of a cease-and-desist letter from City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who gave the center a deadline of Aug. 31 to correct what he called misleading ads, including a paid Google search result and a website that imply the group refers women for abortions.

  • 49ers unveil latest glimpse of new Santa Clara stadium (San Jose Mercury News)

    The 49ers have averaged 10 losses a season for the past eight years, so it’s not surprising that the team has generated less excitement on the field recently than in architectural circles. A team once known for its proud tradition of five Super Bowl titles, since the 1994 season, the Niners have been the Noners. But when it comes to blueprints and artists’ renderings, they’re the champs. On Wednesday, the 49ers unveiled another set of drawings and a new scale model of the stadium they hope to build in Santa Clara next to Great America.

  • Safeway undertakes largest store revamp in Bay Area in years (Contra Costa Times)

    Safeway is embarking on its most far-ranging effort in years to replace or reconstruct aging or small stores, the Pleasanton-based retailer said Tuesday. The series of projects will effectively create 13 new or revamped Safeway stores in the Bay Area. The retailer has 158 stores in the Bay Area. Safeway’s push comes amid the backdrop of an invasion by smaller rivals competing for shoppers’ dollars in a region that Safeway has long dominated.

  • Tesla revenue hits new peak, but loss widens (San Jose Mercury News)

    Palo Alto-based Tesla Motors on Wednesday announced second-quarter revenue of $58 million, the best quarter to date in the electric automaker’s young history as a public company. But the company posted a loss of $58.9 million, or 53 cents a share, compared with a loss of $38.5 million in the same period a year ago. Wall Street analysts had expected Tesla to post a loss of 51 cents a share. Tesla’s stock fell more than 1 percent in after-hours trading after closing at $27.20.

  • Cal baseball coach Esquer agrees to 5-year deal (SF Chronicle)

    Leading a program that for months teetered on the brink of extinction to a spot in the College World Series will get you a lot of attention, as Cal’s David Esquer certainly can attest. On Wednesday, Esquer agreed to a five-year contract to remain the Bears’ head coach, a job he has held for 12 seasons.

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