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A.M. Splash: Port of Oakland Director Resigns; McAfee Company Founder Linked to Murder; Pelosi Considers Quitting Leader Post

| November 13, 2012
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  • Port of Oakland director retires (SF Chronicle)

    The Port of Oakland’s executive director retired Monday as he was becoming increasingly embroiled in a scandal in which $4,500 in public funds were used for a party at a strip club. Omar Benjamin and Maritime Director James Kwon had been on paid administrative leave since mid-October. In a news release issued Monday night, the port announced that Benjamin had stepped down effective immediately.

  • Software pioneer sought in Belize slaying (SF Chronicle)

    The eccentric founder of a Silicon Valley startup that became a giant in the field of antivirus software is being hunted in his adopted country of Belize, where police want to question him about the slaying of a neighbor over the weekend. A police investigator in the Central American country told reporters that John McAfee, 67, is “a person of interest” in the slaying of fellow American expatriate Gregory Viant Faull. The 52-year-old Faull, originally from Florida, was found shot in the head Sunday morning when a housekeeper arrived at his beachfront home in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye. McAfee founded McAfee Associates, one of the most widely known antivirus companies in Silicon Valley.

  • Pelosi considers stepping down as House Democratic leader (Washington Post)

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who built and then lost the largest Democratic majority in a generation, is considering ending her historic 10-year reign as Democratic leader after the second disappointing election in a row for her caucus. Pelosi has not signaled whether she intends to remain atop a caucus that she has ruled with a near-iron fist, including four years as the first female House speaker and six years in the minority.

  • Four Tahoe-area ski resorts set to open early this week (Reno Gazette Journal)

    Four Lake Tahoe-area ski resorts are set to open early due to several powerful storms combined with large-scale snowmaking operations. Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar California Resort will open on Wednesday, Nov. 14, with a combined seven lifts and eight trails, totaling 51 acres, resort officials said. Kirkwood and Squaw Valley are set to open on Friday, Nov. 16.

  • Oakland council: De La Fuente concedes (SF Chronicle)

    Oakland Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente on Monday admitted that his 20-year run on the City Council, a body on which he played a pivotal role, will soon come to an end. De La Fuente had opted not to seek re-election to the Fruitvale district seat he has held his entire political career to challenge Kaplan, a one-term incumbent. Kaplan received 61 percent of ranked-choice votes, while De La Fuente had 39, according to the latest tally by the Alameda County registrar of voters, though provisional and mail ballots are still being counted. De La Fuente, 63, vowed that he would not fade from public view just because he lost an election. He said he will look for ways to coalesce what he calls “the silent majority” of Oakland.

  • Warriors’ interest rate riles arena foes (SF Chronicle)
    Forget “We are the 99 percent.” “Reject the 13 percent” may soon be the rallying cry for opponents of the Golden State Warriors’ plan to build a new waterfront arena in San Francisco as the project goes before the Board of Supervisors budget committee Wednesday to approve the start of environmental review… Under the conceptual agreement between the team and the city, the Warriors would pay for all up-front costs, with the city responsible for reimbursing the team for up to $120 million to rebuild the slowly crumbling 13-acre pier, which the city can’t afford to fix but would continue to own… But the team would be entitled to a 13 percent rate of return for any unreimbursed construction costs, and exactly when that rate would start applying is still subject to negotiation.

  • Woolsey takes new approach to restrict coastal drilling (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

    With her time in Congress running short, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, is pursuing a new approach to protecting more of the North Coast from oil drilling — one that doesn’t require a vote in the Republican-controlled House. Woolsey and California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer have asked President Barack Obama to establish a marine monument covering about 2,800 square miles off the Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin coasts, a step Obama could take, like George W. Bush and Bill Clinton before him, with the stroke of a pen.

  • Square has big ambitions, but faces tough enemies in PayPal, Google and Visa (Reuters)

    Two years ago, employees from the start-up Square descended on farmers markets in San Francisco to hand out a new type of credit-card reader that let small, independent merchants accept plastic via their smartphones or tablets. But this month, when Starbucks and Square announced that 7,000 coffee shops across the country would begin accepting payment through Square’s smartphone app, the small white cubes that were Square’s original calling card didn’t merit a mention… Now on track to process $10 billion in payments a year, Square has attracted a furious response from established or deep-pocketed rivals who are determined to crush the San Francisco-based upstart.

  • Shoeshine man inspired by generosity (SF Chronicle)

    San Francisco is a city of great views, cable cars, great restaurants … and a lot of heart. Two weeks after rampaging morons “celebrating” the Giants’ World Series victory set fire to the shoeshine stand of Larry Moore, he’s well on the way back. Recology, the local trash and recycling company, built a new stand; an Internet crowdfunding site was established by tech-savvy Megan Hopkins; and thoughtful readers sent cards, letters and donations.

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