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A.M. Splash: Lee Knew of SF Housing Director’s Past; SF Finances Looking Brighter

| December 12, 2012
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  • Housing official’s past no surprise to mayor (SF Chronicle)

    Mayor Ed Lee knew two years ago that the San Francisco Housing Authority under Director Henry Alvarez had such entrenched problems that it needed outside help – and as city administrator sent his own staff in to bolster the agency. Yet many of those same problems have surfaced again – with dozens of employees meeting with top mayoral officials to complain about Alvarez’s alleged bullying and intimidation as well as about major maintenance problems at public housing units. Three department employees have filed lawsuits against Alvarez and the Housing Authority.

  • S.F. city fiscal picture strangely cheery (SF Chronicle)

    San Franciscans appear to have avoided slashed library hours, surging swim lesson fees and fewer street sweepers, at least in the near term. The city has a projected deficit of $129 million for the fiscal year that starts July 1 – the lowest shortfall in five years and one that isn’t expected to mean draconian service cuts, according to budget projections that Mayor Ed Lee’s office released Tuesday.

  • San Jose: Police investigating killing of teenager in city’s 44th homicide (SJ Mercury News)

    In a year when crime issues rose to rare prominence in city affairs, the homicide count in San Jose reached its highest point in two decades Tuesday when a teenage boy was found shot to death on a quiet street. The total of 44 is the highest since 53 were recorded in 1991, and it comes on the heels of an astounding two-year spike: 40 homicides occurred last year, doubling a 2010 count that was a 20-year low.

  • Bad news for cleantech: SolarCity delays IPO, likely to lower price, sources say (SJ Mercury News)

    In a worrisome sign for the cleantech sector, SolarCity postponed its IPO plans late Tuesday, perhaps to reduce the price of shares below its original range. The delay came after SolarCity Chairman Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, made the unusual move of stepping in to buy $15 million worth of shares, or 12 percent of the total offering. Musk’s willingness to put more skin in the company he helped found was intended to boost investor interest.

  • California prison psychiatrist under investigation for $800,000 pay (SJ Mercury News)

    After raking in half a million dollars for being “on call,” California’s top paid public employee of 2011 — a prison psychiatrist from Newark — has been suspended with pay for allegedly falsifying time records, officials said Tuesday. Dr. Mohammad Safi, 54, was paid more than $803,000 last year as a supervising senior psychiatrist at a Department of State Hospitals facility within Salinas Valley State Prison in Monterey County, records show.

  • IPOs more secretive under new law (SF Chronicle)

    Companies are readily taking advantage of a recent law that loosened disclosure requirements for firms going public, according to a new report by accounting firm Ernst & Young. The stated purpose of the federal Jobs Act, which went into effect in April, was to encourage more “small businesses” to raise money from the public markets by making the process less onerous. But it also ignored hard-won lessons of the recent past, partially dismantling rules put in place to protect investors after the dot-com market meltdown.

  • California’s recovery raises hopes for restoring health, social service cuts (Sacramento Bee)

    As California recovers from a deep recession and expects several billion dollars’ worth of new voter-approved taxes, Democrats and low-income advocates are clamoring to restore health and social service programs such as adult Denti-Cal.

  • ‘King tides’ to hit Marin, offering view of what rising seas could do (Bay Area News Group)

    Those who drove through the Southern Marin interchange at Highways 101 and 1 late Tuesday morning may have witnessed California’s future. The ocean and bay are getting closer. This week, California will experience the highest tides of the year, peaking on Thursday morning in a condition known as “king tides.” At 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, 10:34 a.m. Thursday and 11:24 a.m. Friday some of the year’s highest tides — 7 feet and above, about a foot higher than normal — will hit Marin’s shorelines.

  • Squid deaths are a many-tentacled mystery (SF Chronicle)

    Legions of big predatory squid have gathered along the Northern California coast, where they are stranding themselves on Santa Cruz beaches by the hundreds in a mysterious frenzy of suicide. The jumbo invertebrates, known as Humboldt squid, are far north of their normal habitat in the warmer waters of Baja California and along the west coast of South America.

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