A.M. Splash: Solar Energy Startup BrightSource Shelves IPO; Marin Supes Urge George Lucas to Reconsider Abandoning Studio Project
- Oakland’s BrightSource Energy shelves IPO, announces it will pull S-1 (Oakland Tribune)
Solar thermal startup BrightSource Energy shelved its year-long plans for an initial public offering late Wednesday amid a turbulent stock market, a challenging year for solar energy companies and tepid interest from investors. The Oakland-based company issued a press release shortly before 8 p.m. saying it had decided not to pursue its IPO due to “adverse market conditions” and intends to withdraw the S-1 currently on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Marin officials lobby George Lucas to go ahead with Grady Ranch studio project (Marin Independent Journal)
Marin County officials scrambled in a full-court press Wednesday to get George Lucas back in the Grady Ranch film studio game. County supervisors want the billionaire filmmaker to reconsider his decision to abandon plans for a digital movie-making complex at Grady Ranch, with one elected leader saying the county could join with him to repel any lawsuit filed by neighbors, and another saying she is willing to approve the project without restrictions.
- $ 1 billion needed for South Bay flood protection and marsh restoration (SJ Mercury News)
A new coalition of business leaders, environmentalists and others will try to raise $1 billion over the coming decade to protect corporate campuses, houses and schools from what one supporter called an “inevitable Katrina” in the South Bay, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein will announce Thursday in San Jose.
- Proposed 10-cent gas tax derailed (SF Chronicle)
Bay Area voters won’t be asked this fall to pay at the pump to fill potholes, improve transit and reduce traffic congestion after an opinion poll found scant support for a 10-cent-per-gallon gas tax.
- SOMA has become a safe haven for pot clubs (SF Chronicle)
…Within a mile radius on Market Street, there are at least eight pot clubs either operating or permitted to move in, making the neighborhood the city’s densest constellation of dispensaries. Now a new one wants to jump into the mix – but residents, businesses and some city officials say the neighborhood has reached its tipping point.
- BART budget surplus boosts plans for future (SF Examiner)
Service increases, more hiring, cleaner interiors and investment in its train-replacement project are all part of BART’s upcoming budget plans. Unlike other transit operators across the country, which are struggling with their finances, BART is actually projecting a budget surplus of $30 million to $35 million for next fiscal year, which starts July 1, spokesman Jim Allison said.
- Oakland covered in trash (Oakland Tribune)
…Illegal dumping has long been an expensive problem in Oakland and other East Bay cities with expansive industrial areas that attract people who don’t want to pay landfill fees. Oakland last year spent $3.2 million and used the equivalent of 29 full-time workers to clean up more than 1,600 tons of garbage dumped on city streets and sidewalks. Even more trash is dumped on property belonging to BART and the railroads. Richmond spent about $1.1 million on illegal dumping and Hayward spent $900,000, officials said. Statewide, illegal dumping costs taxpayers about $200 million per year, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board.
- Molly Munger puts $2 million more into California tax measure (Sacramento Bee)
With just weeks left to gather the signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot, civil rights attorney Molly Munger has poured another $2.15 million into her proposal to raise income taxes to fund schools…Supporters of Gov. Jerry Brown’s rival tax measure, which would temporarily raise income taxes on high earners and increase the state sales tax by a quarter percent, have tried to persuade Munger to drop her measure to avoid confusion and mixed messaging that could arise with more than one tax hike in front of voters in November.