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A.M. Splash: 1st Woman to Serve as Sheriff in Place of Mirkarimi; PG&E Wants S. Bruno Fines Offset by Costs; Methyl Iodide Pulled From Calif.

| March 21, 2012
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  • Vicki Hennessy to be 1st woman to serve as S.F. sheriff (SF Chronicle)

    The mayor’s choice for interim sheriff, former Chief Deputy Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, will be the first woman to hold the post and brings with her more than three decades of city service, most recently as head of the city’s Department of Emergency Management.

  • PG&E seeks to offset fine for San Bruno disaster (SF Chronicle)

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co. wants the state to offset millions of dollars in fines it is expected to levy against the company for the San Bruno disaster by the amount the utility spent last year testing its pipes and making other improvements, a PG&E executive said Tuesday. PG&E has said it expects the state to fine it at least $200 million for the September 2010 explosion of a gas-transmission pipeline in San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

  • San Jose council approves mayor’s budget plan (SJ Mercury News)

    The San Jose City Council unanimously approved Mayor Chuck Reed’s budget guidelines Tuesday that would open newly built libraries and a community center that have sat empty for lack of staffing and nearly double spending on gang prevention. It was the first budget proposal that offered a chance to restore some services that have been slashed over a decade of deficits, as city officials project a modest $10 million surplus next year. Several council members called for devoting any additional surpluses that might emerge on police and fire protection, libraries and the elderly.

  • Downsized plans for piers unveiled (SF Examiner)

    Less costly overhaul plans, and shorter-term leases, were unveiled Tuesday for a handful of San Francisco’s piers that will be used for the America’s Cup. The $110 million development deal to restore crumbling piers and give long-term development rights to the regatta’s event authority had fallen apart in February. The new agreement, which will be discussed by the Board of Supervisors next week, stemmed from those failed negotiations.

  • Maker of methyl iodide scraps controversial pesticide (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

    The manufacturer of methyl iodide is pulling the controversial pesticide from California. Late Tuesday, representatives of Tokyo-based Arysta LifeScience confirmed the “immediate suspension of product sales for all formulations of the fumigant MIDAS in the United States.” The company said its decision was based on “an internal review of the fumigant and based on its economic viability in the U.S. marketplace,” according to Amy Yoder, head of Arysta LifeScience North American business unit.

  • Oakland OKs $832K in legal fees for pants-pulling (SF Chronicle)

    The Oakland City Council voted Tuesday to pay more than $832,000 in legal fees to attorneys for two men who successfully sued the city for having their pants pulled down in public by police.

  • High-speed rail proponents make changes to win over California lawmakers (Sacramento Bee)

    Proponents of California’s $98.5 billion high-speed rail project, freshly battered by critics and teetering before the Legislature, are preparing a series of eleventh-hour changes to reduce the project’s cost and improve its chance of approval.

  • New ACLU report on costly prison realignment – counties ignoring cheaper, better alternatives (SJ Mercury News)

    California may be dismantling its prison-industrial complex, but it’s quickly replacing it with a jail-industrial complex, a new report released late Tuesday warns. The state’s prison population has plummeted — by 22,440 inmates, or about 15 percent — since October, according to the report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. That’s when the state responded to a court order to reduce overcrowding by adopting realignment, which shifts responsibility to counties for imprisoning and rehabilitating nonviolent felons.

  • Meg Whitman plans to merge printing and PC groups in major Hewlett-Packard reorganization (SJ Mercury News)

    Hewlett-Packard is planning to merge its massive printing and personal computer divisions, in a corporate overhaul that represents new CEO Meg Whitman’s first big move to turn the troubled tech giant around, a source confirmed to this newspaper Tuesday. The reorganization is likely to include some layoffs, industry experts said, as Whitman follows through on a promise to streamline HP’s far-flung tech businesses and cut operating costs.

  • Alex Smith, 49ers agree to 3 years, 24 million (SF Chronicle)

    …After a series of dramatic and unexpected twists, the 49ers and Smith came to terms Tuesday on a three-year deal that will pay about $8 million annually, ESPN reported. The amount of guaranteed money has not been disclosed. The contract is presumably similar to the three-year, $24 million offer the team had on the table prior to the start of free agency March 13.

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