A.M. Splash: SF Sunday Parkers Get Grace Period; Brown Seeks End of Court Prison Control; Magistrate Refuses to Close Pot Dispensaries
- S.F. Sunday parkers get grace period (SF Chronicle)
Despite the ominous news reports and the high-pitched whining, nobody got a ticket for failing to pay a parking meter on Sunday. About 4,000 cars were issued warnings – in multiple languages – that parking meters will be enforced beginning Jan. 27. Although Sunday had been promoted, mourned and cursed as the end of a 65-year-old tradition of free parking at meters on Sundays, payment was optional, though the meters were activated. The Municipal Transportation Agency’s initial plan was to start writing tickets on Jan. 6, but officials decided to stick with having parking enforcement officers issue warnings to cars parked at meters for the first three Sundays of the month.
- Brown fails to produce prison plan, seeks end of court control (LA Times)
Gov. Jerry Brown contends California no longer needs to reduce overcrowding in the state’s prisons. Federal judges had given the state until midnight Monday to file plans showing how California would meet federal caps on prison populations. Instead, in a motion filed late in the day, the governor’s lawyers asked the judges to lift those caps. “The overcrowding and healthcare conditions cited by this court to support its population reduction order are now a distant memory,” the state’s lawyers contend.
- Judge: Landlords can’t stop pot sales (SF Chronicle)
A federal magistrate issued an order Monday declaring that Oakland and San Jose landlords could not stop a medical marijuana dispensary with locations in each city from selling cannabis. Both landlords face federal seizure of their properties for renting to Harborside Health Center, the nation’s largest marijuana dispensary with 108,000 registered and certified patients. To mollify federal authorities, each landlord has gone to federal court to stop the dispensary from “any unlawful activity,” which, under federal law, includes selling cannabis.
- S.F. Supervisors eye board presidency (SF Chronicle)
The lobbying over who will lead the Board of Supervisors for the next two years has been ongoing for months. But it seems unlikely that any of the big decisions before the board this year – including large development projects such as the Warriors arena and the California Pacific Medical Center rebuild – will actually hinge on who wins Tuesday’s much-hyped vote. Instead, the choice appears to be mostly about personality politics, behind-the-scenes logistics and alliances outside of City Hall.
- UC online courses fail to lure outsiders (SF Chronicle)
The University of California is spending millions to market an ambitious array of online classes created to “knock people’s socks off” and attract tuition from students around the world. But since classes began a year ago, enrollment outside of UC is not what you’d call robust. One person took a class. “It’s taking longer than we’d hoped” for the $4.3 million marketing effort to take off, admitted Keith Williams, interim director of UC Online, which is open to enrolled students and anybody outside the university.
- Response to ship crash better than 2007 (SF Chronicle)
Emergency crews scrambled into action Monday when a tanker ship struck a Bay Bridge tower, but visions of catastrophe turned to relief after the damage was quickly assessed and news spread that a disaster had been averted. It was the kind of response that local, state and federal officials wished they had five years ago when the container ship Cosco Busan slammed into a bridge tower, spilling 53,000 gallons of fuel oil into the bay.
- Oakland council: New faces, old problems (SF Chronicle)
Three new Oakland council members were sworn in Monday, but the mantra from the City Council was a familiar one: restoring public safety. There were 131 homicides in Oakland in 2012. Serious crimes, from burglary to robbery, went up 23 percent. One after another, council members used their inaugural speeches to talk about crime and the damage it’s unleashing on the city, the state’s most violent.
- Richmond councilman ill, won’t take office (SF Chronicle)
A political brawl looms in Richmond as its new City Council takes its oath of office Tuesday minus a Chevron-backed candidate who slipped into a coma just after the election. Gary Bell, 54, fell ill with a severe bacterial sinus infection in November and remains hospitalized. He’s undergone two neurosurgeries and is expected to recover, his family said.
Gay Moraga Boy Scout closer to Eagle rank (SF Chronicle)
A Boy Scout from Moraga who was told the organization didn’t want him to earn the prestigious Eagle Scout rank because he is gay is one step closer to getting the award after his local council approved his application. Earlier this year , the scoutmaster of Troop 212 in Moraga refused to sign the official paperwork designating Ryan Andresen as an Eagle Scout after he learned that Andresen, an honor roll senior at a private high school in Berkeley, was gay.