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A.M. Splash: Mirkarimi Report Due; Bay Area Housing Prices Up; Lawsuit Filed in Chevron Fire; Memorial Stadium Opens; Brown Twins Separated

| August 16, 2012
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  • Dueling sheriff rallies (SF Chronicle)

    The next round of the official misconduct case against suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi begins at 9 a.m. Thursday in a City Hall hearing room when the Ethics Commission reconvenes to recommend whether to uphold the charges brought by Mayor Ed Lee. There, at the onset, commissioners and City Hall security will admonish members of the public to keep quiet and refrain from outbursts or face expulsion from the premises. But don’t expect such restraint outside the building, where both sides have announced noontime events on the City Hall steps facing Civic Center Plaza.

  • Bay Area housing prices at four-year high (SJ Mercury News)
    The Bay Area’s housing recovery showed increasing signs of strength in July, as eager buyers pushed prices to four-year highs. The region logged its 13th consecutive month of yearly sales increases and the median sales price for all types of homes in the nine-county Bay Area was at its highest — $421,000 — since 2008, according to a report Wednesday from DataQuick. The median sale price has been rising for five months.

  • Attorneys sue Chevron over refinery fire, claiming ‘gross negligence’ (Contra Costa Times)

    The probe into what caused a massive fire at the Chevron refinery Aug. 6 is stalled while engineers work to make the site safe for investigators, but legal action stemming from the blaze that sent thousands of residents to hospitals is gathering steam.

  • Cal football team excited about first practice at renovated Memorial Stadium (Oakland Tribune)

    The big moment has arrived for the Cal football team. At 9 a.m. Thursday, the Golden Bears will walk onto the field at renovated Memorial Stadium for their first practice on their home turf in 21 months.

  • Thrills and spills promised when America’s Cup World Series comes to SF Bay next week (SJ Mercury News)
    “Hold on for dear life!”That’s the warning from the sailors aboard the 45-foot racing catamarans that you’ll see slicing through whitecaps next week, when the America’s Cup World Series brings the thrills and spills of the world’s most exciting racing to San Francisco Bay. Imagine a white-knuckle drag race on the back of a bucking a bronco — with winds whipping up at nearly 20 mph and a firehose of salt water battering over the bow. The signature America’s Cup races are still a year away, but 11 catamarans from eight countries will be on the bay next week offering a taste of the drama that’s to come.

  • SF’s iconic Brown twins face life apart (SF Chronicle)

    For once, the Brown twins are not in matching outfits. Marian B. is in hers, a leopard-print cowboy hat and car coat, but her sister, Vivian A., older by eight minutes, is in bedclothes at Davies medical center. “My sister has Alzheimer’s, so she has to have 24-hour care, because they’re afraid she will go out and get run over or something,” says Marian, offering a straight answer to the question everybody who sees her on the streets stops to ask. “Where’s your sister?”

  • S.F. schools complete ADA access work (SF Chronicle)

    After 13 years under the shadow of a lawsuit, San Francisco Unified has spent about $250 million to fix some 50,000 code violations to ensure nearly 100 school buildings are fully accessible to the disabled. The last legally required drinking fountain, elevator, ramp and toilet were installed in several schools this summer to complete work outlined in a settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed in 1999.

  • Veterans honored in SF Tenderloin alley (SF Chronicle)

    The names fill the upper half of a nearly block-long wall. The suffering and the bravery they represent is endless. Chad Edmundson. Thomas Lee. Gary Henry. On and on they go, until at last they reach the count of 4,484. That’s the number of servicemen and women who died in the Iraq war from March 2003 until this winter, just after President Obama declared an end to the conflict.

  • Lawmakers call for review of Bay Bridge safety (SF Examiner)
    The structural integrity of the new Bay Bridge span will be reviewed by an independent panel following a request by state lawmakers concerned about 
accusations of test falsifications on the project. Since November, The Sacramento Bee has run a series of stories detailing how Duane Wiles, a technician with a history of falsifying structural integrity tests, worked on the new $6.5 billion eastern span project. The Bee’s reporting raised questions about the soundness of the new self-anchored suspension span pilings. Caltrans, the state agency in charge of the project, has 
repeatedly denied all claims from the stories.

  • Assembly to decide future of school seismic safety bill (Bay Citizen)

    A state Assembly committee will decide today the fate of legislation seeking to improve the seismic safety of public schools. Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, and other supporters of SB 1271 will appear before the Assembly Appropriations Committee for one last push to persuade the committee to pass the measure.

  • Covenant Care lawsuit reinstated (SF Chronicle)

    A state appeals court reinstated a lawsuit against the owner of 16 nursing homes in Alameda County on Wednesday and said patients can sue long-term care facilities for failing to meet California’s nurse-staffing standards. The owner, Covenant Care, argued that only state regulators had the authority to enforce the requirement that skilled-nursing homes provide each patient with 3.2 hours of nursing care per day. A Superior Court judge agreed and dismissed the suit, but the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco overruled the decision.

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