Morning Splash: East Bay Papers to Consolidate; San Jose City Council Actions; Facebook Privacy Settings; Police Decoys at Sonoma Cty Wineries
- East Bay papers to consolidate, cut 8% of staff (SF Chronicle)
…Bay Area News Group said Tuesday it will consolidate 11 local newspapers in the East Bay into two regional newspapers and lay off 8 percent of the staff…Starting Nov. 2, the Oakland Tribune, Alameda Times-Star, Daily Review, Argus and West County Times will appear under the name East Bay Tribune. Tully said it will primarily serve the Interstate 880 corridor. Also, the Contra Costa Times, Valley Times, San Ramon Valley Times, Tri-Valley Herald, San Joaquin Herald and East County Times will be re-branded as the Times to serve the Interstate 680 corridor and east, Tully said. In addition, the San Mateo County Times will be branded under the Mercury News title. Tully said it’s still under discussion whether the Mercury News will keep San Jose in its name.
- San Jose council limits bail bonds agencies (San Jose Mercury News)
A divided San Jose City Council voted Tuesday night to approve limits on bail bonds agencies after residents who live near the main county jail complained about too many setting up shop. The council’s 7-4 vote means bail agencies operating 24 hours in the jail area will require a conditional use permit. Those located elsewhere in the city would require a permit for 24-hour use if they receive customers in person.
- San Jose cuts doggie bag budget (San Jose Mercury News)
(T)he latest casualty of San Jose’s 10-year stretch of budget cutting is the $60,000 annual tab for keeping city parks stocked with disposable bags for dog owners too forgetful, cheap or lazy to bring their own.Trimming the baggie budget was an understandable move at a time when the city’s $115 million deficit forced police layoffs. But it’s causing some anxiety among those who fear their favorite park will become a minefield of dog droppings.
- San Jose City Council approves Netflix deal (San Jose Mercury News)
The San Jose City Council approved a $5 million tax-incentive deal Tuesday with Netflix for the video-rental company to relocate and expand its DVD division to the city. Netflix is headquartered in Los Gatos and currently leases 250,000 square feet of space in three locations. Los Gatos recently approved a 550,000-square-foot Netflix development project. Under the San Jose deal, Netflix will lease 55,000 square feet of office space at 1732 N. First Street that was formerly occupied by the city’s airport administration.
- BART says closing stations keeps passengers safe (SF Chronicle)
Commuters may be frustrated by protests that have twice closed BART stations in downtown San Francisco, but officials of the transit agency said Tuesday that their strategy of shutting stations besieged by demonstrators is the best way to keep the system running and its patrons safe.
- Facebook makes changes to privacy settings (San Jose Mercury News)
Responding to member concerns about privacy and a newly competitive landscape in social media, Facebook on Tuesday announced a sweeping series of new privacy features, giving users more control over how they share personal content and the ability to limit some information others can post about them. The changes mean that the days of someone posting an unflattering picture with your name attached, or morning-after regrets for things you posted after a few too many sips of wine, should be over for most people. Privacy advocates and analysts generally applauded the changes, saying they reflect Facebook’s awareness of the growing concern about online privacy, as well as the competitive challenge posed by the new Google + social network.
- HP faces potential takeover after value decrease (SF Chronicle)
Discontent over Hewlett-Packard Co.’s strategic shift has left it cheaper than any technology company in the world, turning the largest computer maker into a potential takeover target. Hewlett-Packard lost more than $10 billion in market value after announcing it will spin off its personal computer unit, buy Autonomy Corp. and scrap a 5-month-old plan to put its mobile software on devices. The 20 percent plunge drove down the valuation of Palo Alto’s Hewlett-Packard to 5 times estimated profit, about 70 percent less than the average technology company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
- Decoy ‘stings’ reverberate through Sonoma County wineries (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
When two police decoys walked into Mayo Family Winery’s main tasting room on Arnold Drive in Glen Ellen on Saturday, assistant tasting room manager Rich Peña knew right off the bat something was up…The decoys then went on their way as part of a four-hour sting operation that in the end resulted in four out of 10 winery tasting rooms being hit with citations for serving alcohol to the underage decoys. That “batting average,” as one winery server described this week, left many in the business scratching heads.
- Dog lovers protest Sonoma councilwoman’s pit-bull comments (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Amid howls of protest from dog lovers, a Sonoma councilwoman this week sought to clarify her remarks about a ban on pit bulls in the city. Joanne Sanders insisted that she never was seeking such a ban, despite telling a reporter that she “personally supports” taking that action, not only in her city, but for all of Sonoma County.
- Prison officials promise review of high-security cells (Sacramento Bee)
Facing a barrage of criticism over how California inmates are treated inside high-security detention units, a top prison official said Tuesday that new policies will be reviewed and some changes may be made in coming months. “I’m not talking about having another study,” Scott Kernan, undersecretary at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said at a legislative hearing. “I’m talking about having some substantive changes.”
- Audit slams California lands panel for failing to collect millions from leases (Sacramento Bee)
The state is mismanaging oil and other leases on public land, failing for years to collect rent from some companies and costing California millions of dollars in lost revenue, the state auditor said Tuesday. State Auditor Elaine Howle said in a blistering report that the State Lands Commission could have generated as much as $8.2 million in
- UCSF: Films subsidized by state promote smoking (SF Chronicle)
California taxpayers subsidize major motion pictures that depict smoking, which promotes the unhealthy habit and undermines efforts to keep young people from lighting up, according to UCSF researchers. In a report published Tuesday in PLoS Medicine, the researchers say the state and other governments may be violating their own health policies and goals when they subsidize or offer tax credits to makers of movies that directly or indirectly promote smoking.
- Injured Giants fan Bryan Stow suffers setback in recovery (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Hospitalized Giants fan Bryan Stow is battling a pair of infections after showing significant improvements last week, according to family members…Last week, relatives and hospital representatives reported Stow had made improvements, including the ability to follow simple commands. He suffered setbacks over the weekend, however, when a spinal fluid test came back positive for a urinary tract infection and staph infection.
- East Coast Quakes ‘A Different Ball Game’ (Bay Citizen)
The 5.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Virginia and trembled cities across the East Coast Tuesday afternoon prompted evacuations of federal buildings in Washington, D.C., and temporarily halted flights and train service in several New England states…A 5.9 quake has the potential to cause more damage on the East Coast than on the West according to Greg Beroza, professor of geophysics at Stanford University. “The earth’s crust on the East Coast is different — it allows waves to propagate more efficiently than they do here,” he said. “The radii of damage of a 5.9 quake might be larger there.”