A.M. Splash: Calif. Dems Closer to Supermajority; Chevron Won’t Make Big Pollution Changes; Oakland Defends Police in Court
- Democrat wins tight Sacramento-area Assembly race (Associated Press)
Democrat Ken Cooley has won a tight race to represent eastern Sacramento County in the state Assembly, according to updated figures Friday. Cooley, a Rancho Cordova city councilman, was elected with nearly 53 percent of the votes over Republican Peter Tateishi, formerly the chief of staff for Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren… Democratic candidates are leading in two other unresolved Assembly races. If they both prevail, Democrats will gain the 54 seats they need to control a two-thirds “supermajority” in the 80-member Assembly and be able to raise taxes without Republican votes.
- Chevron sidesteps call for cleaner tech (SF Chronicle)
Chevron will make only small-scale pollution control improvements as it rebuilds the fire-damaged crude oil unit at its Richmond refinery – telling regulators it will not increase production, a decision that allows the company to avoid requirements for new emissions technology. After an Aug. 6 fire at the refinery produced a black cloud of smoke that sent 15,000 people to hospitals seeking treatment, the Richmond City Council and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District adopted resolutions urging Chevron to use the best pollution control technology available in rebuilding the plant.
- California left behind on pot, marriage (SF Chronicle)
Everybody knows California is where cutting-edge change begins. Waves form here, and then the rest of America jumps aboard and rides them across the country. Still, why was it Washington state that on Tuesday legalized same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana use rather than the home of Harvey Milk and Oaksterdam?
- Cassidy: TiVo’s veteran internships provide a model for other companies (SJ Mercury News)
No question setting aside a day or even a long weekend to honor veterans is a nice and decent thing to do. But how about setting aside a career or a way for a veteran to build a career after years of serving his or her country? It’s something that Tom Wolzien has thought about — a lot. He’s a Vietnam vet who also happens to be on TiVo’s board of directors.
- Oakland: Why feds shouldn’t control police (SF Chronicle)
Oakland officials, in a court filing late Thursday, insisted they can comply with police reforms outlined in a decade-old civil rights lawsuit settlement and said there’s no justification for a judge to place the city’s Police Department under the control of a federal receiver. The city said that if a federal judge orders a receiver, as demanded by a pair of civil rights attorneys, the move would be unprecedented nationally, extreme and ineffective. In addition, they say, receivership would derail the city’s delicately balanced finances.
- Raley’s Strike: Negotiations are back on between grocery union and market management (SJ Mercury News)
Negotiations resumed Sunday in the Raley’s supermarket strike, a week after workers walked off the job to protest the Northern California grocery company’s attempt to impose changes in their contract. Contract talks between management and union representatives for about 7,500 workers had been stalled for months, and the two sides seemed far apart when the strike began Nov. 3. But the grocery workers’ union announced a separate agreement Thursday with the much larger Safeway supermarket chain, which was negotiated without a strike.
- Long-awaited median barrier on Golden Gate Bridge beset by delays, despite funding in hand (SF Examiner)
Dave Sutton winces every time he hears about a head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge… Sutton and others have been pushing for a moveable median barrier, a 1-foot-wide structure that could be shifted to different lanes to accommodate changes in the traffic flow… But lengthy environmental studies and bureaucratic disagreements between the bridge district and Caltrans, the state’s Transportation Department, have consistently delayed the implementation date, frustrating Sutton and his allies. The latest completion date for the project has been pushed back to 2014 — four years later than first projected.
- California hit by cold snap in wake of heat wave (Associated Press)
Californians are shivering through chilly weather just a week after they sweltered in a heat wave — and more heat’s coming. Freeze warnings were issued through 9 a.m. Monday for many Southern California areas and the National Weather Service says there could be more frosty weather Monday night and into Tuesday morning. On Sunday, record low temperatures were set at several places, including Paso Robles, Camarillo, Alpine and Vista. Lows hit the 20s and 30s in many places.
- Alex Smith Concussion: 49ers QB Alex Smith Suffers Head Injury vs Rams (Associated Press)
Alex Smith has been knocked out of the San Francisco 49ers’ game against the St. Louis Rams with a concussion. Smith scrambled and started to slide before turning his back late, and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar barreled into his neck area with 1:10 left in the first quarter Sunday. Smith briefly grabbed his facemask and grimaced but stayed in the game, throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree in the second quarter.