Morning Splash: 2 Arrested, No Stations Closed at BART Protest; NTSB San Bruno Hearing; Irene SFO Flight Cancellations; Google+ Interest Flags
- 2 arrested at BART protest – no service impact (SF Chronicle)
In a demonstration against BART police that is becoming a Monday ritual, several dozen protesters marched from station to station in downtown San Francisco, creating commotion but not prompting the service disruptions that irritated commuters in past weeks. The rally reached a pitch at 6:30 p.m. on the concourse level of Embarcadero Station, when police arrested two men, including a protest leader who had briefly entered the fare gates with a bullhorn. According to BART, demonstrating inside those gates is illegal.
- NTSB says source of flawed San Bruno pipe still a mystery (San Jose Mercury News)
A yearlong federal probe into the San Bruno natural gas disaster hasn’t determined where the ruptured pipe segment came from or who is responsible for its numerous welding defects, a critical problem that means PG&E and state regulators can’t say if similar segments were installed in the Bay Area. Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, on Monday said PG&E’s poor record-keeping prevented investigators from finding the pipe’s origin, and experts said that could increase the danger for the public.
- Study shows one in four kids going hungry in Solano county (Vallejo Times Herald)
At Vallejo’s Amador Street Hope Center, volunteers handing out free food try not to send parents and children away empty-handed. But sometimes, they have no choice. Nearly seven or eight new people show up twice a week when the center opens to hand out food boxes to families with children — just one indication of the county’s growing rate of hunger. Nearly one in four Solano County children under 18 struggles with hunger, according to a new study released by Feeding America and Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.
- Irene cancels nearly 200 SFO flights (SF Examiner)
Ripples of Irene’s devastation on the East Coast made their way to the Bay Area in the form of nearly 200 flight cancellations into and out of San Francisco International Airport in the past three days. About 160 flights between SFO and several East Coast cities were canceled Saturday and Sunday — during the height of the storm’s fury — and another 29 flights postponed Monday, airport spokesman Mike McCarron said.
- San Jose courthouse sting targets people driving with suspended, revoked licenses (San Jose Mercury News)
…(Kevin) Lamb was one of two people cited by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office on Monday for driving on a suspended license, part of a courthouse sting that targeted individuals who were facing charges of DUI or driving on a suspended license. The sting coincided with an annual, end of summer DUI enforcement known as Avoid the 13, a crackdown on people who drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The crackdown is usually tied to a holiday — in this case Labor Day weekend.
- Details emerge in shooting death of Fort Bragg City Councilman Jere Melo (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
A Fort Bragg man sought in the fatal shooting of a longtime city councilman had been living in the woods, tending to opium poppy plants, for about four months before Saturday’s fatal encounter, investigators said Monday. As an extensive search for suspected killer Aaron Bassler moved into its third day, authorities began to explain what they’ve learned about the deadly attack four miles east of Fort Bragg.
- For Bay Area immigrants facing imminent deportation, new Obama policy offers no reprieve (Contra Costa Times)
Less than two weeks ago, the Obama administration announced it would stop deporting many illegal immigrants who are not public safety threats. But Monday, Arturo Rengifo Jr., a college student and Peruvian citizen who is no one’s idea of a threat, paced the floor in his Concord living room as he prepared to be shipped back to Lima on Tuesday.
- 2 sides clash on release of Prop. 8 trial videos (SF Chronicle)
Adversaries in the legal battle over same-sex marriage in California clashed Monday over the release of courtroom videos, with gay-rights groups arguing for the public’s right to watch last year’s trial and their opponents saying the judge promised to keep the footage sealed.
- Feds question agreement at core of Santa Cruz’s branch rail acquisition (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Federal regulators are raising questions about the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission’s proposed purchase of a 31-mile rail line, a last-minute snafu that backers hope won’t disrupt the project. With RTC officials already having cancelled a planned September celebration for the $14.2 million branch rail line acquisition over concerns that a Department of Transportation review of the project was taking too long, a federal oversight agency last week sent a letter to the RTC outlining concerns about a railroad operating agreement at the core of the project.
- Oil spill showdown looms in California legislature (San Jose Mercury News)
With California’s pristine coastline providing a dramatic stage, a showdown is heating up over the state’s efforts to prevent and clean up catastrophic oil spills — the toughest standards in the country. The state agency tasked with protecting ocean waters and beaches from an oil spill like the Exxon Valdez disaster is running short of money, and a battle is raging over a new bill to force oil companies to pay less than two cents a barrel more to keep the safety programs from running aground.
- Lawmaker says Assembly leaders manipulated spending figures (Sacramento Bee)
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino presented a computer analysis Monday as evidence that Assembly leaders have “cooked the books” to intentionally deceive the public about members’ budgets…Portantino ridiculed Assembly member-by-member expenditures released Friday that showed the La Cañada-Flintridge Democrat as the Assembly’s highest spender – at $297,580 through July 31.
- Google Users Are Losing Interest In Google+ (Business Insider)
Google+ got a ton of buzz when it launched in June, and got a lot of visitors thanks to its integration across Google Web sites. But people don’t seem to be sticking around very long after they check it out. Earlier today, social marketing company DreamGrow posted some stats from Alexa that show a steep drop-off in Google+ traffic as a percentage of overall Google traffic.