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A.M. Splash: Calif. Gas Prices Plunging; S. Bruno Officials Want George Mitchell to Quit PG&E Fine Mediation; Ed Lee in Rift With Mirkarimi Backers

| October 24, 2012
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  • California gas prices plunging (SJ Mercury News)

    California gas prices are plunging from record highs set two weeks ago as refineries come back on line, motorists drive less and the cheaper winter blend of fuel reaches neighborhood filling stations. That was expected. But here’s a surprise — a pleasant one: Prices may fall an additional 10 to 15 cents a gallon a week through Thanksgiving to about $4 a gallon, and they could drop to $3.75 a gallon or lower before the end of the year.

  • San Bruno officials call on George Mitchell to quit PG&E fine mediation (Bay Area News Group)

    San Bruno and San Francisco city officials as well as utility watchdogs on Tuesday urged former Sen. George Mitchell to withdraw as mediator from talks on PG&E’s fines for the deadly 2010 gas explosion, alleging he has a conflict of interest. They argued Mitchell’s law firm DLA Piper has a conflict because it also represents an insurance company “that potentially may be required to pay costs” incurred by Pacific Gas & Electric due to the San Bruno blast, according to a statement from the opponents. They also claimed he had received unspecified confidential information about the “negotiating positions.”

  • Following Yellow Pages ruling for Seattle, San Francisco to halt similar program (SF Examiner)

    San Francisco’s law banning the delivery of Yellow Pages is being sent to the trash can after a federal court ruled that a similar law enacted in Seattle violated First Amendment protections. Board of Supervisors President David Chiu had authored local legislation that prohibited the delivery of the phonebooks to anyone who did not request them or who was not home to personally accept them.

  • Ed Lee in rift with Mirkarimi backers (SF Chronicle)

    Mayor Ed Lee, the usually genial consensus mayor who helms what he’s dubbed “the city family,” has iced out several family members over their support of the reinstatement of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Lee described the situation as “a pause” created by the four supervisors who made “a horrible decision.” It’s unclear whether Lee will help push for a recall of Mirkarimi and if the current rift will have larger policy impacts on City Hall.

  • Oakland Army Base deal signed Tuesday (Oakland Tribune)

    The $1 billion effort to redevelop Oakland’s former Army Base into a jobs-generating logistics and warehousing center took a major step forward Tuesday when city leaders and developers signed off on a series of key agreements. The agreements, which cover nearly 1,700 pages of legal documents, spell out the terms for one of the region’s largest public private partnerships that aims to create several thousand blue-collar jobs for Oakland residents and help the Port of Oakland stay competitive.

  • Mendocino Sheriff’s captain target of pot investigation (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

    Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said an internal investigation is under way to determine whether one of his captains was involved in growing marijuana on his family’s property. Sonoma County sheriff’s officials said they are conducting the probe.

  • Proposed Novato solar farm meets opposition (Marin Independent Journal)

    Two forms of conservation — solar energy and habitat protection — are on a collision course at the corner of Olive and Atherton avenues in Novato. Jim Balestreri, who has owned and run Green Point Nursery since 1979, has invested $60,000 and five years’ work in his dream: a nearly two-acre solar farm on his nursery’s grounds at 275 Olive Ave. that could power 400 Marin homes. In the other corner, literally, is the Marin Audubon Society, which owns adjacent seasonal wetlands and opposes his project.

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