A.M. Splash: Oakland Port Director Quits; Pot Club Goes to Magistrate
- Maritime director James Kwon steps down as Port of Oakland releases audit showing potentially wasteful and unnecessary expenses (SJ Mercury News)
Top Port of Oakland executives Omar Benjamin and James Kwon violated spending policies by using a port credit card on two separate occasions at strip clubs then falsified information about who was present, an outside investigation concluded in a report released Monday. As a result, Kwon on Monday became the second top executive to step down because of inappropriate expenses billed to the port, including a $4,500 strip club tab from 2008 disguised as a drink and dinner reception, which already led to the ouster of executive director Benjamin in November.
- Oakland pot club case goes to magistrate (SF Chronicle)
The city of Oakland, fighting the federal government’s attempt to shut down the nation’s largest medical marijuana dispensary, is accusing the government of trying to win the case by bullying the building owner into evicting the pot club under the threat of losing her property. Justice Department lawyers counter that Oakland has no legitimate voice in the case and is only trying to protect the “windfall” it collects in taxes from the “illegal marijuana distribution activities” at Harborside Health Center.
- UC Berkeley Receives $1 Million for Undocumented Students (NBC)
The University of California at Berkeley is poised to announced on Tuesday that it has received the largest single scholarship in the country for undocumented students. The Evelyn & Walter Haas Junior Fund has awarded Cal $1 million to be used exclusively for undocumented students at the school, NBC Bay Area has learned.
- All eyes on San Mateo-based SolarCity’s upcoming IPO (SJ Mercury News)
SolarCity, one of the nation’s leading installers of rooftop solar systems, hopes to raise as much as $150 million in an initial public offering set for this week. SolarCity Chairman Elon Musk, the serial entrepreneur who is CEO of Tesla Motors (TSLA) and SpaceX, is doing his part: He intends to purchase $15 million worth of common stock at the IPO price, according to a recent regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- S.F. smokers may face another limit (SF Chronicle)
It’s already illegal to smoke in most places in San Francisco – city parks, restaurants, common areas of buildings, within 15 feet of business doorways – practically anywhere but homes, portions of the sidewalk and the middle of the street. Soon, it may be illegal in the street as well, at least during official events.
- Biggest tides of the year set to hit California later this week (SJ Mercury News)
If you head down the beach this week, or wander along the edges of San Francisco Bay, you may just be witnessing California’s future. The ocean is getting closer. This week, California will experience the highest tides of the year, peaking on Thursday morning in a condition known as “king tides.” Beaches will temporarily disappear. Water will lap high on docks at marinas.
- Marissa Mayer announces Yahoo Mail redesign focused on speed, mobile (SJ Mercury News)
Yahoo Mail users will see a redesigned interface for the service across all platforms within the next few days, CEO Marissa Mayer announced in a blog post Tuesday. In one of the first major changes to a Yahoo service since Mayer arrived to lead the company in June, the company’s webmail offering is being redesigned to reduce clutter, enhance navigation speed and offer a consistent look and feel, the CEO said.
- San Francisco’s Pier 39 to hit $200 million in sales (SF Business Journal)
In another sign of San Francisco’s booming tourism industry, Pier 39 just posted its highest sales year ever. In September, the pier hit $170 million in revenue — a 13.4 percent increase over last year and the highest number in its 34-year history. “It’s an all-time record,” said the pier’s president and CEO Taylor Safford. At the going rate, Safford expects to end the year with more than $200 million in sales.