Happy Black Friday. We stayed home and slept overnight, like we usually do, so we could get up this morning and tell you about all the people in the Bay Area who ate turkey yesterday, fell into a tryptophan-induced nap, then got up to shop, shop, shop all night. The San Jose Mercury News and other Bay Area News Group papers are blogging the all-night, all-day retail extravaganza:
Black Friday shopping: Orderly chaos at malls, shops in Bay Area

“5 a.m. The Great Mall in Milpitas is hopping. Parking attendants are out en force. Stores, including Old Navy, are so popular that there are bouncer-type employees keeping customers outside until enough people clear out to let new customers in. … A Milpitas police officer on the scene says there have been no scuffles over merchandise at the mall, which opened at midnight. … Kathy Keough of Sacramento says she didn’t mind waking up at 3:30 a.m. and doesn’t mind standing in line. ‘I have nothing else to do at this hour,’ she said. ‘

Further afield, we find a nice slideshow from the Los Angeles Times documenting our strange consumer holiday: Black Friday shoppers hit the stores

What? You didn’t stay up all night to fill a giant rolling cart with flat-screen TVs? Maybe you can blame, or credit, the brain chemistry triggered by your holiday meal. Via MSNBC:

Thanksgiving dinner may curb holiday spending, study shows
“…Researchers from the University of Utah [were] curious: How might Thanksgiving dinner affect Black Friday binge buying? To find out, they recruited 170 volunteers and instructed them to fill out an online survey on Thanksgiving evening in 2007. They rated how likely they were to buy popular items at a deep discount — such as a Dell laptop marked down to $499. Those who had consumed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner were less likely to splurge on any of the marked-down items, say Arul Mishra and Himanshu Mishra, the University of Utah marketing professors that co-authored the study.”

In non-Black Friday news:

2 Quakes Strike Near Bethel Island

Tiny quakes, but these hit in an area that geologists didn’t know was seismically active until a few months ago:

The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 2.6 struck early Friday morning in Contra Costa County. According to the USGS, the quake shook an area in the northeast corner of the county near Bethel Island at 1:29 a.m., 15 minutes after a 3.1-magnitude tremor rattled roughly the same location.

Citrus crop surviving cold California Thanksgiving
(Fresno Bee)

A freeze warning that began on Thanksgiving eve remained in effect through Friday morning, with the National Weather Service predicting that temperatures could fall as low as 25 degrees in rural areas. Citrus trees escaped serious damage Thursday when subfreezing temperatures failed to fall far enough to damage fruits, California Citrus Mutual president Joel Nielsen said. Citrus damage can occur when temperatures fall to 28 degrees for four hours or longer.

S.F.-based Del Monte to be sold for $4 billion (San Francisco Chronicle) Also see a nice graphic history of Del Monte, a label that goes back to 1886, on the company’s website.

“A group led by KKR & Co. agreed to acquire Del Monte Foods Co. in a $4 billion transaction that gives the New York buyout firm pet-food brands such as Meow Mix and Kibbles ‘n Bits. KKR, Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Partners will pay $19 a share in cash, San Francisco-based Del Monte said in a statement Thursday. The buyers will assume about $1.3 billion in net debt. “

Schwarzenegger makes last push to shape his legacy (San Francisco Chronicle)

“True to his carefully cultivated Hollywood image, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is casting his seven years in Sacramento as a box-office smash as he headlines a media blitz through the final weeks of his term. From a glossy four-minute career retrospective film shown at his wife’s Women’s Conference last month to a recent appearance on ‘The Tonight Show,’ Schwarzenegger is in revisionist-history mode – and some of the history isn’t recognizable, as 63 percent of Californians disapprove of the way he’s handled the job, according to a Public Policy Institute of California poll released this month.
In Schwarzenegger’s rearview mirror, he is a post-partisan, levee-repairing ‘reform governor. …’

Helicopter Rescues Injured Man at Castle Rock State Park (KTVU)

“A man who fell 30 feet in Castle Rock Park Thursday afternoon was rescued via helicopter by the California Highway Patrol and Contra Costa County fire department, the CHP said. The man, who is about 35, fell just west of Mount Diablo, the CHP said. Fire department personnel found him in a remote, hard-to-reach area suffering from back and leg injuries.”

Is East Bay MUD Lying About the Dam on the Mokelumne?

“When the East Bay Municipal Utility District board of directors voted last year to move forward with plans for a large new dam on the Mokelumne River, the agency dismissed the dam’s potential environmental impacts as ‘insignificant.’ The move outraged environmental groups and Sierra foothills residents. They noted that the new dam would substantially increase the size of an existing reservoir and would destroy a scenic stretch of the Mokelumne that is popular for kayaking, swimming, and fishing. Now, it turns out that East Bay MUD has known for years that the dam would have a ‘significant and unavoidable’ environmental impacts on the river, and yet didn’t admit that fact when the board voted to go forward with it in October 2009.

Apple Buys Old HP Campus

Hewlett-Packard has found a buyer for its decades-old campus at 19091 Pruneridge Avenue in Cupertino. Apple. About five minutes’ drive from Apple headquarters, the 98-acre parcel of land is adjacent to 50 acres Apple acquired back in 2006 and will be used to house a workforce that’s expanding nearly as quickly as the market for iOS devices.

Morning Splash 26 November,2010Dan Brekke


Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area’s transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED’s comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Email Dan at: dbrekke@kqed.org

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