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A.M. Splash: Oakland Mayor’s ’100 Blocks’; San Bruno Blast Update; Romney in Redwood City

| March 27, 2012
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Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is refusing to reveal the location of the crime-ridden blocks that make up her “100 block” strategic crime-fighting plan, despite repeated requests from City Council members and The Bay Citizen.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was operating at least three segments of the natural-gas pipeline that ran through San Bruno at illegally high pressures before the 2010 explosion that killed eight people, a Chronicle analysis of the company’s records shows.

A group of protesters representing several different organizations was on hand as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attended a fundraising reception and dinner at the Hotel Sofital in Redwood City. The event hosted by Meg Whitman, was closed to the press.

With the new span of the Bay Bridge in the background, members of a new campaign that launched Monday called “Should Be Made in America” pointed at the icon under construction as “the most egregious example” of what they’re talking about.

…That’s the finding of the U.S. Census Bureau, which on Monday reaffirmed a counterintuitive truth: The cities of the West, barely considered cities at all by many East Coast pundits, often are more densely populated than such skyscraping metropolises as New York and Chicago.

The median single-family home price in Marin rose nearly 15 percent year-to-year to $698,000 in February, and total sales increased about 16 percent to 130, according to figures from the county assessor’s office.

Reduced staffing is contributing to rising police overtime costs, with the department using overtime to cover vacant beats, according to a report from Police Chief Howard Jordan. Oakland is on course to spend about $16.6 million on non-Occupy Oakland-related police overtime this fiscal year — the most since 2009 when the city instituted heightened controls on overtime costs. The city had budged $13.5 million in overtime costs for the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday held talks with government officials in China, where development of the company’s biggest potential market is clouded by issues ranging from a contested iPad trademark to treatment of local labor. Cook, on his first trip to the country since taking over the CEO role from the Cupertino company’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, in August, has said Apple has merely scratched the surface in China as it looks to expand.

A strong earthquake has shaken northern Japan, but there is no risk of a tsunami. The Japan Meteorological Agency said Tuesday evening’s earthquake recorded 6.4 preliminary magnitude. The agency said there may be a small change in sea levels but did not issue warnings.

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