- Nancy Pelosi seeks minority leader post today (SF Chronicle)
The political needs of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama are diverging sharply, as the San Francisco Democrat seeks election today as the leader of a decimated but more liberal minority while Obama seeks a way to govern with Republicans and casts an eye toward his re-election in 2012.
Pelosi is expected to win today’s secret-ballot vote by fellow Democrats, but faces open tensions within the rank-and-file. Full article
–Nancy Pelosi faces new challenge from Rep. Barbara Lee and Congressional Black Caucus (Chronicle Politics Blog)
- Supervisors give public say in picking next mayor (SF Chronicle)
The Board of Supervisors put the brakes Tuesday on a plan to quickly select a successor to Mayor Gavin Newsom, whose election as lieutenant governor set off a political scrum over who will replace him.
Last week, Supervisors John Avalos, Chris Daly and David Campos – who sit solidly on the board’s political left – submitted a motion that called for the board to start making nominations for an interim mayor Tuesday, possibly picking that person the same day.
But the three backed a change of plans. Avalos offered a substitute motion to take public testimony on the appointment and to discuss the process by which the board will make its decision. Full article
- San Francisco plans tolls between Peninsula and the city (Bay Area News Group)
Peninsula residents are upset about a proposal to charge commuters $6 each weekday to enter and exit San Francisco to the south, calling the plan “a slap in the face,” “a crazy idea” and “ridiculous.”
Already dealing with some of the nation’s highest gas prices and, in some cases, hefty parking fees, drivers crossing the San Mateo County-San Francisco border would pay rush hour tolls to fund local transportation upgrades and, in theory, reduce traffic jams, under a proposal by San Francisco officials.
Officials said they would spend $60 million to $100 million to set up the electronic system, coupled with local transit improvements, starting in 2015. It would be the first local “congestion pricing” system in the country and could begin as a 6-to-12-month pilot program that, if successful, could become permanent. Full article
- Ron Dellums, facing IRS lien, explores early exit (Matier & Ross, SF Chronicle)
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums’ wife, Cynthia, has been talking with city officials about the possibility that her husband will depart before his term ends Jan. 3, perhaps to take a lobbying job in Washington, D.C.
Adding fuel to the gossip fire: This week the mayor canceled his farewell State of the City address, which had been scheduled for today, and decided to post it on the city’s website instead.
- Massive protests planned for UC fee hike vote (KGO)
UC campus police are already preparing for what’s expected to be a massive day of protests as regents prepare for a vote that could make going to a UC school a lot more expensive.
UC regents will be considering an 8 percent fee hike. It would apply only to students whose families make more than $120,000 per year. That would amount to $822 per year on top of last year’s 32 percent increase. Full article
- Caltrans cited by EPA for water pollution (SF Chronicle)
The California Department of Transportation was ordered Tuesday to halt what federal regulators said were widespread discharges of silt and pollution from road construction and maintenance sites into rivers and streams.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave Caltrans a year to upgrade its statewide storm water management program and control discharges or face penalties under the Clean Water Act. Full article
- Supervisors Approve Health Services Master Plan (Bay Citizen)
San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday paved the way for the creation of a Health Services Master Plan, a set of guidelines for the city to determine where future medical facilities may be placed and what services they must provide.
The ordinance, which passed a preliminary vote before the full board on Tuesday, could threaten the “mega-hospital” project on Cathedral Hill proposed by California Pacific Medical Center and significantly alter the calculus for how major health care providers like Kaiser Permanente carry out future expansions within the city. Full article
- Oakland Picks Site for New A’s Ballpark (East Bay Express)
The City of Oakland has selected a waterfront site in the Jack London Square area for a new A’s ballpark. The so-called Victory Court site is near the Lake Merritt Channel, along the Oakland Estuary. It’s also the favored site of Mayor-elect Jean Quan. “I think it’s the best site,” Quan said. “It could really kick start the area.”
The city has decided to conduct an environmental impact report for the Victory Court site and has informed Major League Baseball of its decision. Quan said she called MLB the day after she won the election. “I wanted to let them know that I won, and that I would be fighting to keep the A’s,” Quan said. “And I wanted to make sure they knew that I would be doing everything possible to keep the negotiations going.” Full article
- Cow Palace bans rave-type shows after drug-related deaths (Bay Area News Group)
Cow Palace leaders have decided to ban rave-type events at the state-run entertainment venue for the foreseeable future after drug and alcohol overdoses, including two deaths, at electronic music shows this year.
On Tuesday, the Cow Palace board unanimously approved a moratorium on “music and dance parties,” although that decision didn’t specify a length of time or preclude the venue’s leaders from considering bringing back such shows at a later date.
Despite the move, at least one Daly City City Council member still wants the state to give the city local control of certain Cow Palace events in case the venue does host those concerts again.
However, at this point and “until conditions change, we are not having these events,” Cow Palace Chief Executive Officer Joseph Barkett said after the board’s vote. Full article
- San Leandro extends moratorium on pot clubs, growers (Oakland Tribune)
- Study: ‘Doomsday’ Global Warming Messages Can Backfire (Bay Citizen)
Dire messages about global warming could backfire and actually increase skepticism about climate change among the general public, according to a new study by a University of California, Berkeley social psychologist.
The study, which will be published in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science, says warnings about the potentially devastating consequences of global warming “threaten people’s fundamental tendency to see the world as safe, stable and fair.” Full article
A ban on legal medical marijuana dispensaries and growing operations was extended to September 2011, while city leaders try to come up with an official policy regulating such businesses.
The City Council on Monday narrowly rejected a proposal that would have extended it to September 2012.
“I believe 10 months gives staff plenty of time to study an ordinance,” said Councilman Jim Prola. “And if we can’t get it done in that amount of time, we can ask for another extension.”
Earlier this month, the council held a study session on the matter that included extensive testimony from San Leandro police regarding the proliferation of small-scale illegal growing operations in the city. Full article