Morning Splash: NTSB Slams PG&E Over San Bruno; SF Mayoral Race; MS-13 Gang Members Convicted; Bonds Sentencing Dec 16
- Feds come down hard on PG&E for San Bruno blast (SF Chronicle)
Federal investigators pinned blame Tuesday squarely on Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for the natural gas pipeline blast in San Bruno, condemning shoddy company safety practices for the devastation of a neighborhood and the deaths of eight people. The National Transportation Safety Board, wrapping up a nearly yearlong investigation, also said federal and state pipeline regulatory efforts need to be overhauled to prevent another city from suffering such a disaster.
- Mayor Ed Lee’s “Smoking Gun” (SF Weekly)
While Mayor Ed Lee has insisted he had no connection to the Progress for All committee, the group that was formed to draft him into the mayor’s race, campaign records seem to tell a much different story. Lee filed a form 470 on July 21, 2011 — about two weeks before he actually declared his candidacy for mayor. The paperwork is mandatory for elected officials and candidates who do not have a controlled committee and who don’t anticipate receiving contributions of more than $1,000 in a calendar year. According to the form Lee filed, a “Run Ed Run Committee has been formed” primarily to receive contributions or to make expenditures on behalf of his candidacy.
- San Francisco labor leaders unite against mayoral candidates Adachi, Avalos (SF Examiner)
Police, fire and building trade-labor leaders have joined forces to create a political group to explicitly oppose two leading mayoral candidates. Public Defender Jeff Adachi and Supervisor John Avalos have the distinct honor of being the target of the newly formed independent expenditure committee, which has no contribution and spending limits.
- San Francisco moves to block US military from collecting students’ information (SF Examiner)
When San Francisco school board members voted last fall to let students choose whether their information goes into a military recruiting database, they didn’t expect a call from the Department of Defense. But after months hashing out legal language with military lawyers, board members say a revised resolution they will vote on next month should be airtight…New language makes clear that students are automatically included in the database unless they opt out. The revised resolution also omits the requirement that the district collect and mail in the forms, and eliminates the district’s goal of having all students opt out of the database.
- Schools told to follow rules or lose money (SF Chronicle)
…Last year, (SFUSD) failed to follow the strict rules attached to a $56 million, three-year federal grant to improve student performance at 10 of its lowest-performing schools. The schools could lose the second installment – about $18 million – if they don’t make adjustments.
- Alice Griffith renovation gains federal jump-start (SF Chronicle)
One of San Francisco’s most dangerous and run-down housing projects, Alice Griffith, will receive a $30.5 million federal grant that will jump-start work there and at the city’s huge Hunters Point Shipyard redevelopment project.
- MS-13 gang members convicted by S.F. jury (SF Chronicle)
San Francisco’s biggest gang trial in many years ended Tuesday when a jury convicted six men of racketeering and conspiracy as members of MS-13, a crime organization that waged war against rivals and defectors in San Francisco’s Mission District and was found responsible for at least three 2008 murders.
- San Jose considers lowering school-zone speed limits (San Jose Mercury News)
…Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio wants San Jose to impose 15 mph speed limits around schools on residential streets throughout the city. The council’s Rules and Open Government Committee, which sets agendas, will consider Oliverio’s proposal Wednesday.
- Three lockdowns in first two days of Oakland’s school year, as police respond to violent crimes (Bay Citizen)
Children at Oakland’s Horace Mann Elementary School spent most of Tuesday — the second day of the school year — sequestered in classrooms, while police searched for suspects in a string of early-morning home-invasion robberies. It was the second time in two days that the district “locked down” a school to shield students from nearby police activity.
- East Bay father and son get last-minute deportation reprieve (Contra Costa Times)
A father and son set to be deported to Peru won a last-minute, temporary reprieve on Tuesday after an Illinois senator intervened on their behalf. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is delaying for a month the deportation of longtime Concord resident Arturo Rengifo, Sr., and his son, Arturo Rengifo, Jr.
- California’s oil spill safety bill fails, supporters vow to bring it up again (San Jose Mercury News)
With the state agency that regulates oil tanker safety facing potential layoffs, a bill to raise the fee that oil companies pay to fund California’s oil spill safety programs failed Tuesday in the state Senate. The bill, a priority for environmental groups, has been staunchly opposed by BP PLC and the Western States Petroleum Association. “We’re not done,” said Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, the measure’s author. “The fat lady hasn’t sung. We still have a week and a half to bring it back.”
- SF Giants payroll manager accused of embezzlement (SF Chronicle)
Federal agents have arrested a San Francisco Giants payroll manager on suspicion of embezzling more than $1.5 million from team accounts. Robin O’Connor, 41, faces federal felony charges of wire fraud and fraud in connection with a computer. The FBI stepped in at the request of team officials.
- Jerry Brown proposes alternative to ‘card check’ bill for farmworkers union (Sacramento Bee)
With labor unions pressing him again on legislation to make it easier to organize farmworkers, Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that he remains opposed to so-called “card-check” legislation, but he proposed a package of compromise measures to protect workers from grower interference.
- Barry Bonds to be sentenced Dec. 16 (SF Chronicle)
A federal judge on Tuesday set a Dec. 16 sentencing date for Barry Bonds, convicted of obstructing justice during his 2003 testimony to a federal grand jury about drugs. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston scheduled the sentencing after ruling Friday that a jury properly convicted the former Giants star of attempting to interfere with the grand jury’s investigation of steroid distribution by BALCO, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.