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A.M. Splash: 3 More Hantavirus Cases at Yosemite; Legislature Passes Sexual Orientation Bill; Dolphins Found in Colma Creek

| August 31, 2012
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  • Outbreak forces closure of Yosemite cabins (SF Chronicle)

    Three more cases of hantavirus linked to Yosemite National Park were confirmed Thursday, bringing to six the number of people who have contracted the disease, including two who died, state health department officials said. The outbreak prompted Yosemite officials to close 91 Curry Village tent cabins, which are apparently infested with infected deer mice, carriers of the disease.

  • Sexual orientation therapy measure goes to governor (Sacramento Bee)

    California children would be prohibited from undergoing therapy to change their sexual orientation under a bill state lawmakers are sending to Gov. Jerry Brown. Senate Bill 1172 by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, cleared the Legislature on Thursday when the state Senate approved it 22-12, with Democrats in support and Republicans opposing.

  • Two dolphins found in Colma Creek (SF Chronicle)

    Two bottlenose dolphins – including one that might be ill – have spent more than a day in the brackish water of a creek in South San Francisco, wildlife experts said Thursday. The dolphins were first spotted in Colma Creek late Wednesday morning after they swam in from the bay, said Jim Oswald, spokesman for the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.

  • Bay Area’s $200K Club: Analysis finds fat pensions belong to nonunion bosses (Oakland Tribune)

    More than 60 retired local government employees are members of the coveted group, each guaranteed pensions of more than $200,000 a year — for the rest of their lives. But Gov. Jerry Brown wants to stop the club from growing in the future, as part of a controversial plan legislators will vote on Friday to reform California’s costly pension system.

  • Wal-Mart’s Silicon Valley unit develops new search engine to battle eBay, Amazon (SJ Mercury News)
  • Wal-Mart’s U.S. website got a boost in recent months from a new search engine developed by the Silicon Valley office of the world’s largest retailer, a company executive said on Thursday. Wal-Mart hopes the new search engine, Polaris, will help it compete better with e-commerce leaders Amazon.com and eBay. The new search technology was developed in roughly 10 months by a team of about 15 engineers and product specialists from @WalmartLabs, a tech-focused unit of the retailer based in Mountain View.

  • California driver’s license bill passes (Sacramento Bee)

    Legislation to ensure that hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants will be eligible for California driver’s licenses is headed to the governor. The final legislative vote on the measure came Thursday night, when the Assembly concurred in amendments, 55-15.

  • Dumbarton Bridge will close over weekend (SF Chronicle)

    Over the past few years, it’s become a Bay Area tradition to do without one of the major toll bridges over three-day holiday weekends. The tradition continues over Labor Day weekend with the Dumbarton Bridge closing to traffic while construction crews make improvements to protect the region’s southernmost toll bridge from earthquakes. Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol will barricade the bridge beginning at 10 p.m. Friday and it will remain shut until the work is completed, which is expected to be by 5 a.m. Tuesday. While the bridge is closed, drivers are advised to either go south and use Highway 237 to get around the bay or head north and use the San Mateo Bridge.

  • SF alarm system flub a wake-up call (SF Chronicle)

    San Francisco officials said they are rethinking how they use the city’s Outdoor Public Warning System after it was accidentally set off citywide Sunday, prompting dozens of anxious calls to authorities. “The best we can tell you is it was human error,” said Rob Dudgeon, deputy director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management.

  • Bill aims to improve water rights for mobile home park residents (California Watch)

    A bill the state Legislature approved this week would allow mobile home park residents who have been charged excessive water rates by their landlords to seek restitution. The bill, which is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, stems from a 2009 complaint filed by residents of the Sunbird Mobile Home Park in the unincorporated community of Thermal in the Eastern Coachella Valley. In their complaint to the California Public Utilities Commission, residents claimed that their water rates were extremely high and that they received contaminated water.

  • Attorney general files criminal charges in police overtime case (Bay Citizen)

    The California attorney general’s office filed criminal charges this week against two former officials at the state developmental centers’ in-house police force for allegedly embezzling more than $100,000 in overtime pay. The charges stem from more than 2,500 overtime hours that Scott Gardner, a former investigator at the Porterville Developmental Center, claimed to have worked in 2008, according to court records and state pay data. The extra hours netted Gardner $121,000 in overtime pay that year.

  • Graffiti Museum: Local Warehouse To Temporarily Exhibit Local Street Artists (VIDEO) (Huffington Post)

    Coming soon to the Bay Area: A pop-up graffiti museum! We can’t believe we survived so long without one.
    On September 8, graffiti bloggers Endless Canvas will unveil a massive mural exhibition dubbed Special Delivery in the 36,000-square-foot space of a local abandoned warehouse.

  • Caesar’s Italian Restaurant closing (SF Chronicle)

    Friday night was always a great night at Caesar’s Italian Restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach – lots of food, lots of talk, lots of friends. This is the last Friday for Caesar’s. It is closing its doors for good after 56 years. Caesar’s was an institution, an old-line San Francisco restaurant. The trouble is the old San Francisco style has gone out of style. Caesar’s had a big old bar, waiters in tuxedoes, a seven-course meal at reasonable prices. It was the kind of place where everybody seemed to know everybody. “Eat where the Italians eat” was their motto.

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