A.M. Splash: Facebook Hits 1 Billion Users; Big Bay Area Weekend; Feds Investigate Cal Anti-Semitism Charge; Calif. Studies Gray Wolf Status
- BART: Trains back on time after early-morning backup on Pittsburg/Bay Point, Richmond lines (Oakland Tribune)
BART service was back on time just before 7 a.m. Thursday morning after a maintenance vehicle got stuck near the Macarthur station, officials said. The delays were primarily on the lines from Pittsburg/Bay Point to SFO, from Richmond to Daly City, and from Richmond to Fremont, according to BART spokesman Jim Allison. Trains originating in the southern part of the East Bay were mostly unaffected, he said.
- Facebook hits milestone of 1 billion users (Washington Post)
Facebook has hit a new milestone: the site now has 1 billion users. The company’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement Thursday morning, in a brief statement on its Web site. “If you’re reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.”
- Bay Area weekend bursting at the seams (SJ Mercury News)
Some weekends it seems like nothing much is happening. This will not be one of those. The Bay Area is gearing up for a remarkable confluence of sports, music and culture — a perfect storm of high-profile events where literally there is something for everyone. Baseball playoffs. Bluegrass. Football. Justin Bieber onstage. America’s Cup World Series regatta on the bay. And the breathtaking sight of the Blue Angels in the sky.
- Feds probe UC Berkeley anti-Semitism allegations (Oakland Tribune)
Federal officials are investigating anti-Semitism allegations at the University of California, Berkeley. The Los Angeles Times recent graduates claim university officials fomented a hostile campus climate for Jewish students by failing to curb anti-Israel protests. They say a protest against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians was one of several February “Apartheid Week” campus events that stoked anti-Semitic hate speech.
- Calif. agrees to study protections for gray wolf (SJ Mercury News)
As California’s lone gray wolf continues roaming the state’s far northern wilds, officials Wednesday decided to launch a one-year study to see whether the species should be given state endangered species protections. The California Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously in Sacramento that a “status review” study—spurred by a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups—is warranted.
- Die-hard Oakland Athletics fans celebrating ‘magical’ season at division-clinching game (Oakland Tribune)
As the 2012 season began, Oakland A’s fans were livid — general manger Billy Beane had again traded some of the team’s best players for prospects and owner Lew Wolff talked openly of his desire to move the team to San Jose. At the Oakland Coliseum before the final regular-season game of the year Wednesday, none of that mattered anymore.
- Edison wants to restart one of San Onofre’s nuclear reactors (LA Times)
Southern California Edison wants to restart one of the two reactors at its San Onofre nuclear plant, which has been shuttered for eight months over safety concerns, officials said Thursday. The plant’s Unit 2 reactor was offline for routine inspections and maintenance when a steam generator tube in Unit 3 sprung a leak on Jan. 31, releasing a small amount of radioactive steam. That led to the discovery that the tubes in the newly replaced steam generators were wearing out more quickly than expected, including some that showed an unusual type of wear caused by tubes rubbing against adjacent tubes.
- Fremont site of former Apple factory too young for ‘historic status’ (Fremont Argus)
The City Council on Tuesday ceased its effort to list a former Apple factory where Macintosh computers were made in the mid-1980s as a place of historic significance, and instead hope to place a plaque at the site. The decision followed staff employees’ recommendation to drop the matter after finding that the 30-year-old Warm Springs district building is too young to meet state and federal criteria for a historic designation. Buildings considered for historical significance usually must be at least 50 years old, Fremont planner Kelly Diekmann said. Also, researching the facility’s history and preparing reports for historical review may have cost the city as much as $45,000.
- Veto pits school autonomy against affordable meals (Bay Citizen)
Arguing that he did not want to “erode the independence and flexibility” of charter schools, Gov. Jerry Brown last weekend vetoed legislation that would have required charters to provide low-income students free or reduced-price meals. Brown’s veto message [PDF] of AB 1594, authored by Assemblyman Mike Eng, D-Alhambra, pits student nutrition against charter school autonomy – issues that supporters said should not be at odds.
- Council power in balance in Oakland race (Oakland Tribune)
Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente likes to say he alone has made Oakland’s November election worth watching. It might be his only campaign claim that Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan won’t dispute. De La Fuente’s decision to abandon his safe seat representing the Fruitvale district to challenge Kaplan for the seat representing all of Oakland could potentially sway the balance of power on the fractious council and determine whether Oakland adopts De La Fuente’s get-tough policing tactics.