A.M. Splash: West Nile Concerns Grow; FBI Monitored Occupy; Rescued Otter Gives Birth; First Illegal Immigrant Permits Approved
- Worst of West Nile virus season to come (SF Chronicle)
California and parts of the Bay Area are expecting the current West Nile virus season to be the worst in at least five years, with almost twice as many cases of the viral infection in humans so far compared with last year. Contra Costa County officials announced the first Bay Area case on Wednesday, in a woman who was infected in mid-August and is recovering now. With the peak reporting weeks still ahead, five people in the state have died from the virus, including a 74-year-old Placer County man whose death was reported Thursday.
- Rescued oiled otter amazes with birth (SF Chronicle)
Call her Olive, the miracle mom. Olive, a 4-year-old California sea otter, has amazed researchers by becoming the first sea otter not only to survive a dunking in oil but then also go on to deliver a healthy pup. “It’s really remarkable. What we can learn from her, from this whole story, is incredibly valuable,” said Dr. Bill Van Bonn, director of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. “This is not a commonplace occurrence at all. It’s great news.”
- Ninth Yosemite visitor is sickened by hantavirus (LA Times)
Another person has been sickened by hantavirus originating in Yosemite National Park, the ninth case in a rash of the rodent-borne disease that has killed three visitors since mid-June. The latest case sickened a California resident who stayed in a Curry Village “signature tent cabin” in early July, park spokesman Scott Gediman said. The person has since recovered, he added.
- Documents show FBI monitored Occupy (Oakland Tribune)
The FBI kept a watchful eye on the local Occupy movement last year, especially while it was planning protests to shutdown West Coast ports, according to documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California. The 13 pages, obtained in a public record request, include FBI reports on Occupy protests in Oakland, a Jan. 27 meeting on how to deal with a possible Occupy Oakland action the following day at the Oakland International Airport, and an FBI alert to private corporate security officials before the attempted shutdown of the Port of Oakland on Dec. 12.
- Obama administration approves first round of work permits for young illegal immigrants (SJ Mercury News)
While some remain wary about coming forward, 72,000 young illegal immigrants sought work permits from the Obama administration in the past month, and a small, undisclosed number learned their applications were approved in recent days. Soon, Mayra Gomez could be one of them. She and her husband, a private and mechanic in the U.S. Army Reserve, received a letter at their East Palo Alto home on Monday from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services telling Gomez to come to the agency’s San Francisco office to get her fingerprints taken.
- Twitter hands over records in NY Occupy Wall Street case, avoids steep fines by judge (Washington Post)
Twitter on Friday agreed to hand over about three months’ worth of tweets to a judge overseeing the criminal trial of an Occupy Wall Street protester, a case that has become a closely watched fight over how much access law enforcement agencies should have to material posted on social networks. The social networking site had been threatened with steep fines if it did not comply withttp://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/wp-admin/edit.phph Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr.’s order to turn over the records in the case of Malcolm Harris.
- Hayward: St. Rose Hospital may be taken over by private owner with a troubled past (Oakland Tribune)
After months in limbo and a mounting debt, St. Rose Hospital in Hayward faces two choices for a new health care operator — the Alameda County Medical Center or a private company. Hospital officials will announce their decision — made during a closed-door session this week — on Monday. But the front-runner appears to be Lex Reddy, an executive who presided with his brother-in-law over one of the state’s most notorious health care companies, Prime Healthcare Services.
- Hewlett-Packard developing smartphone, CEO Meg Whitman says (SJ Mercury News)
Hewlett-Packard is working on a new smartphone as its core personal computers and printer businesses continue to dwindle, CEO Meg Whitman said in an interview Friday morning. In an appearance on the Fox Business Network, Whitman said that the company is developing a new device to ensure it can get devices into the hands of consumers who use smartphones as their sole computing device, especially in foreign countries.
- State official says city is hindering needed gas pipe upgrades (SF Examiner)
Evoking the firestorm that devoured San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, a state regulator suggested Thursday that replacement of old cast-iron natural gas lines is being halted by city street-paving guidelines, leaving 43 miles of dangerously unsafe pipes underground. California Public Utilities Commission General Counsel Frank Lindh sent an incendiary letter asking City Attorney Dennis Herrera to instruct the Department of Public Works “to stand down” and let the utility finish its work.
- BART declares $1 million war on pigeon poop (Oakland Tribune)
BART will spend $1 million in its ongoing battle against pigeon poop. After trying everything from protective nets to recorded hawk squawks to keep the birds away, transit system managers have decided the best defense is installing slanted metal sheets and other barriers to keep the birds from perching in high places.