A.M. Splash: Thousands Protest Keystone Pipeline; Microsoft Goes Hard After Google in Ad Campaign; Tight Condo Supply in Bay Area
- Thousands protest Keystone XL pipeline (SF Chronicle)
Thousands of people rallied in downtown San Francisco on Sunday to urge President Obama to reject construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, an action they said would prove he is committed to fighting global warming. The demonstration across from the Ferry Building was held at the same time as similar events in cities including Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles. The main event in Washington, D.C., drew tens of thousands of supporters in what was billed as the largest climate change rally in U.S. history.
- Scroogled: Microsoft escalates Google battle (San Jose Mercury News)
Escalating one of tech’s biggest rivalries, Microsoft is accusing Google of compromising the privacy of Gmail users — leveling the charge in an unusual, in-your-face ad campaign that it hopes will resonate with consumers even if some analysts call it alarmist and irresponsible. The public attacks — in print, television and billboard messages that warn consumers about the supposed dangers of being “Scroogled,” or mistreated by Google — marks a strategic shift in a clash of Internet titans, under the guidance of a bare-knuckle political campaign strategist.
- Bay Area condos’ tight supply has buyers scrambling (SJ Mercury News)
The Bay Area’s market for condominiums and townhouses has seldom been hotter. Existing units are selling in record time with multiple offers, and new ones are being snapped up before there’s even a model home to see.
- Alameda County supervisors seek more crime-fighting help for Oakland (Oakland Tribune)
A push is under way for Alameda County to help Oakland deal with its dire shortage of police officers and fight a crime epidemic that is continuing to worsen. County Supervisors Nate Miley and Wilma Chan are planning to ask their colleagues next month to double the number of sheriff’s deputy patrols in Oakland without charging the city for the additional service. They also are looking into whether the county can afford to run police academies for the city and provide crime lab services to help solve backlogged Oakland cases.
- Culture war over guns plays out in one of Bay Area’s most exclusive communities (SJ Mercury News)
It’s the kind of town that is so picky it once quibbled over what shade of red was suitable for the front door of a Talbots dress shop. It bans some ground-floor nail salons and winces at the notion of a Starbucks opening downtown. So it’s no wonder that Los Gatos, a tony South Bay community of 29,000, is in the midst of a culture war over a sporting goods store that primarily sells guns. The shop slipped quietly into town in conformance with existing land-use regulations that allow firearms sales, just days after the Dec. 14 school massacre in Newtown, Conn. Since then, the presence of the unassuming store has touched off an uproar, with public hearings that have drawn overflow crowds and death threats against the store owners.
- Drakes Bay closure could increase oyster prices (Marin Independent Journal)
The Drakes Bay Oysters Co. is making its final legal bid to stay open and there is fear if it fails oyster prices will rise and the bivalve business in the region won’t be the same. Drakes Bay Oysters Co. owner Kevin Lunny is nearing the end of his legal rope. As expected, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers last week rejected an appeal of her previous ruling dismissing a preliminary injunction request to halt the federally-ordered closure.
- California pushes – some say too hard – to recover money for fighting wildfires (Sacramento Bee)
…For the last eight years, the state has more aggressively gone after businesses and individuals it blames for starting wildfires. Now those it has targeted are pushing back, arguing that fire officials are overreaching in an effort to secure more money for the state.
- SmartMeter foes don’t want spy probe closed (SF Chronicle)
Two years ago, a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executive got caught using a false name to join online groups of people opposed to the utility’s wireless SmartMeters. Outed by the targets of his spying, he promptly resigned. State regulators investigated, to see if anyone else at PG&E had been snooping online. Now those regulators have proposed fining the company $390,000 and closing the case. But the people who were the subject of William Devereaux’s spying won’t let the matter drop.