Morning Splash: Prop 8 Returns to Court Today; More BART Demonstrations Planned
- California Supreme Court tackles gay marriage case again (SF Mercury News)
The fate of the legal battle over California’s ban on gay marriage no longer turns on the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to wed — at least for now. Instead, the latest chapter in the ongoing drama over gay nuptials rests on an arcane but critical legal procedure that dazzles legal scholars, torments first-year law students and forms the DNA of most every lawsuit that unfolds in the nation’s courts.
- Pipe regulators’ draft found to paint rosy picture (SF Chronicle)
The nation’s top pipeline regulators have produced a draft report on the state of the nation’s gas-transmission system that misrepresents accident statistics, overstates the industry’s track record, and omits key issues arising from the San Bruno explosion and other recent disasters, according to a copy obtained by The Chronicle.
- Notices begin process of eliminating California government job (Sacramento Bee)
The state has warned nearly 3,300 California state workers this year that their positions may disappear as the government grinds through a slow-motion layoff process that aims to shrink government over the next few years. The notices, overwhelmingly concentrated in the Sacramento area so far, represent the initial wave of warnings that eventually will lead to several thousand state jobs lost.
- Waiting to be made whole, one year after the San Bruno blast (Bay Area News Group)
In the days after a ruptured pipeline unleashed a deadly fireball on their neighborhood, the shaken residents of San Bruno listened to a simple, symbolic pledge from a PG&E executive at the first of many town hall meetings: “We will do everything we can to make you whole.” A year later, many of the survivors say PG&E has left them instead with broken promises and shattered lives.”
- BART protesters plan more demonstrations (Contra Costa Times)
BART protesters are planning to hold two more demonstrations this week against perceived police brutality. On Monday, “No Justice, No BART” announced a demonstration planned for Thursday evening at the Powell Street station. The organization, which formed in 2009 following the police shooting of Oscar Grant, is demanding that BART police disband. Another group, the Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, said it will ask the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to investigate recent police shootings during a noontime rally Tuesday outside of City Hall.
- Proposed San Jose policy would restrict kinds of new stores that can sell alcohol (SJ Mercury News)
Finding a place to buy that six-pack of Gordon Biersch or a bottle of J Lohr may be a little more difficult in the future if the San Jose City Council approves a proposal that one council member is blasting as a misguided attempt at social engineering. A revision now under way of the city’s general plan — its blueprint for growth — would restrict new liquor licenses to grocery stores and other “full service markets” — leaving convenience, drug and even liquor stores high and dry.
- Los Altos Hills: Mountain lion sightings over the weekend prompt emergency alert (SJ Mercury News)
The town of Los Altos Hills activated its emergency alert system this weekend, phoning residents that a mountain lion was seen in Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve. According to a wildlife group and a dispatcher at the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services, wardens from the Department of Fish and Game went out Monday to inspect the situation.
- Fort Bragg residents celebrate Labor Day as search for suspected killer continues (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
A day after the fugitive suspect in two North Coast killings appeared briefly, only to flee back into the dense forest east of Fort Bragg, the lead investigator issued a call for him to surrender peacefully. Fort Bragg native Aaron Bassler, 35, remained a fugitive Monday as law enforcement patrols kept a close watch around the outskirts of town during the annual Labor Day parade that wound through quaint downtown streets, punctuated with tributes to slain City Councilman Jere Melo.
- Andronico’s in Los Altos braces for outcome of bankruptcy proceedings (Palo Alto Daily News)
When Andronico’s closed its Palo Alto store in July, customers were referred to its Los Altos outpost to fulfill their specialty wine, deli and produce needs. Now, that last remaining Peninsula store is standing by to learn whether it will suffer the same fate. Andronico’s filed for bankruptcy protection on Aug. 22 and has three investors looking to preserve the 82-year-old chain, which also has four stores near its Berkeley-area headquarters, one in San Francisco and another in San Anselmo.
- San Francisco Muni already projecting $23M shortfall (SF Examiner)
Less than three months into the fiscal year, Muni is facing a $23 million annual budget deficit, and the agency’s new executive director said all options except fare increases will be explored to make up the shortfall. Salaries and benefits are once again the largest contributors to agency budget woes. Payroll expenditures are expected to exceed projections by $14.5 million despite some savings from Muni’s new contract with transit operators.
- Dolores Park renovation seeks to appease different factions (SF Chronicle)
Passions run deep when it comes to Dolores Park. The 13.7-acre communal patch of open space straddling San Francisco’s Mission and Castro neighborhoods was the scene of a showdown last year over a proposed coffee kiosk and once was the epicenter of the city’s long-running debate over off-leash dogs.
- Parker promises holistic approach to crime, collaborative spirit as Oakland City Attorney (Oakland Tribune)
The life of the city attorney is a tumultuous one in Oakland. In the last year, the man who held the office for a decade ignited a fiery public debate over gang injunctions, refused to advise the City Council on its plan to license medicinal pot farms and quit after a bitter public feud with the mayor. So how does Barbara Parker, who was appointed the new city attorney in July, want to run things as the city’s top lawyer? How will things change? The word she uses over and over is collaboration.
- Self-employed workers dominate Marin labor force (Marin Independent Journal)
…(T)thousands of solo workers who have made Marin a hotbed of the self-employed. From graphic designers to painters to dog-walkers, Marinites shun the 9-to-5 routine at nearly double the national and statewide rates, according to state and federal labor figures. And they strike out on their own with greater frequency than workers in any other Bay Area county. For numerous Marin residents, self-employment offers unparalleled freedom and flexibility, but for many it also brings great financial risk, uncertainty and the need to constantly adapt to changing circumstances.