A.M. Splash: SF Weighing Green Alternative to PG&E
- S.F. weighing green alternative to PG&E (SF Chronicle)
The Board of Supervisors is set to consider legislation Tuesday that would allocate $19.5 million to secure a contract with Shell Energy North America to provide 100 percent renewable power to San Franciscans who want to pay a premium for it, with $2 million of that total allocated to studying local power-generation options. The program, CleanPowerSF, is designed to build a customer base and revenue stream to lay the groundwork for city-owned renewable power generation while advancing San Francisco’s aggressive greenhouse-gas reduction goals. It also would effectively break Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s decades-old monopoly on the consumer power market in its headquarter city.
- Occupy protests planned for SF, Berkeley to mark movement’s anniversary (Bay Area News Group)
Demonstrations are planned in San Francisco and Berkeley on Monday, to mark the anniversary of the grass-roots Occupy Wall Street movement. The events commemorate rallies held one year ago, on Sept. 17 in New York City’s financial district, when demonstrators protested big banks and started worldwide protests. This morning, Occupy Wall Street protesters have been marching in small groups around Manhattan’s financial district. About a dozen were arrested Monday after sitting on the sidewalk.
- Oakland police staffing at its lowest level in over a decade (Oakland Tribune)
Oakland’s police staffing has dipped to its lowest level in over a decade and will continue dropping until a new academy graduates in January. The city has 631 officers, Chief Howard Jordan told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. That’s down from 643 earlier this summer and a high of 837 officers four years ago. The department projects that staffing will dip to 612 officers before about 40 cadets graduate in January.
- San Jose crime concerns spawn dueling meetings (SJ Mercury News)
In an election year with the balance of City Council power at stake, city leaders and the powerful police union are in a tug-of-war over public perception of crime in San Jose — how much it has risen and whether city policy is to blame. The council has scheduled a 7 p.m. Tuesday “study session” at City Hall on “police response to recent crimes and gang activity.” At 6:30 that same night, the police union and other city labor groups are holding a “crime prevention meeting” in East San Jose offering residents tips on “how to protect your family and your property.” Union members were going door to door over the weekend urging residents to attend. Don’t expect quite the same message at each meeting.
- Marin Energy Authority serves 95,000 Marin customers after latest marketing push (Marin Independent Journal)
The Marin Energy Authority now has approximately 95,000 customers after recently completing its marketing roll-out to all potential Marin customers who hadn’t previously been given the choice of switching from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. The authority got started with a mailing to just 7,500 Marin residents in February 2010 and staged three more modest offerings, signing up about 13,000 customers, before launching its latest marketing offensive. It expects to begin marketing to residents of the city of Richmond in April 2013.
- Federal appeals court to hear challenge to California DNA collection law (SJ Mercury News)
On a March day three years ago in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, Elizabeth “Lily” Haskell was arrested during a rally against the Iraq War, cuffed on a felony allegation that she tried to spring another protester who had been taken into custody. But once hauled off to jail, Haskell found herself in the legal cross hairs for more than just civic rabble-rousing. Sheriff’s deputies ordered her to submit to DNA testing under a then-new provision of California law, giving her the choice of letting them swab the inside of her cheek or face an additional misdemeanor charge and sit in a jail cell for two days. Haskell relented and took the DNA test. But now the Oakland woman is at the center of an American Civil Liberties Union legal challenge to a state law that allows law enforcement to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony, regardless of whether they are later charged or convicted. In Haskell’s case, prosecutors never followed up the 2009 arrest with a criminal charge.