Morning Splash: Ammiano Won’t Run, PG&E Says Didn’t Cause Blast, Justice Warns Oakland on Pot

  • Tom Ammiano: I will not accept nomination for mayor (San Francisco Chronicle)

    Assemblyman Tom Ammiano made it official today: He does not want to be San Francisco’s interim mayor to replace Gavin Newsom, killing whatever momentum there was in Supervisor Chris Daly’s push with an online petition to convince him otherwise…Supervisors voted 9-2, with Daly and John Avalos opposed, to hold off making nominations for at least another week, to their Dec. 14 meeting. Daly said he was ready to go today, and now that Ammiano is a no-go, was prepared to nominate former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin. Full article

  • PG&E: No Evidence Our Pipeline Caused Oakland Blast (Bay Citizen)

    Pacific Gas and Electric Company says it has found no evidence that a natural gas pipeline caused a residential explosion Monday evening in Oakland. Initial media reports indicated that a natural gas line exploded at 87th Avenue and Dowling Street, demolishing part of a home and causing serious injuries to an occupant in his early 60s. Full article

  • SJ Council urges underground tunnel for proposed high-speed rail; approves airport living wage and new management for convention center (San Jose Mercury News)

    San Jose officials urged the state rail authority Tuesday to continue studying an underground tunnel option for a proposed high-speed rail line into San Jose. The council also voted unanimously to consider new management for the city’s convention center and performing arts theaters next year, and to maintain the airport living wage with some changes to satisfy airlines and other businesses. California High-Speed Rail Authority staff had deemed a tunnel infeasible and suggested aboveground options that could be made visually appealing. But in a unanimous vote, Mayor Chuck Reed and other council members argued that San Jose must keep its options open in case an acceptable aboveground design cannot be agreed on. Full article

  • Supes Okay Tough Local Hire Law (SF Chronicle)

    Calling it the toughest such law in the nation and a big boost to putting San Franciscans to work in good-paying jobs, the Board of Supervisors approved a local-hire law Tuesday that would eventually require that city-funded construction projects must have at least half of the jobs performed by local residents…The board vote in favor was 8-3 – a veto-proof majority – with a second affirmative vote required next week. Mayor Gavin Newsom has not said whether he will attempt a veto. Full article

  • Silicon Valley conflicted over proposed tax deal (San Jose Mercury News)

    News of President Barack Obama’s proposed deal to extend Bush-era tax cuts for two years and keep the unemployment-benefits pipeline flowing for an additional 13 months rippled across Silicon Valley on Tuesday, earning muted praise from tech leaders but concern among economists and even small-business owners and the jobless who stand to benefit in the short term. Full article

  • Future of Point Molate will rest in hands of incoming Richmond City Council (Contra Costa Times)

    Richmond spent the past three months asking the public for alternatives to a casino at the waterfront and analyzing ideas ranging from a giant pot farm to a ballpark, but none will come to fruition. The City Council on Tuesday night decided that none of the submittals was feasible. Officials chose not to include them in an environmental impact report for more study. That means the draft environmental report can be completed and released for public review without further delay. It is due out early next year. What happens next is up to the City Council. Councilwomen Myrna Lopez and Maria Viramontes lost re-election in November and will be replaced by Jovanka Beckles and Corky Booze, who will be sworn in Jan. 11. Full article

  • Obama administration warns Oakland on pot farms (California Watch)

    The Obama administration has warned Oakland over the licensing of four giant pot farms, saying the plan is in violation of state and federal law and could trigger multiple legal actions against the city. Officials from the Justice Department’s civil division and the U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco delivered the blunt message to Oakland City Attorney John Russo, according to two officials who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to talk about the meetings. Full article</blockquote>

  • SFO targets taxis rewarded for speed demon ways (Bay Area News Group)

    Thousands of taxi drivers leave San Francisco International Airport each day and then race up and down Peninsula freeways at hair-raising speeds in a desperate attempt to drop off their customers and get back to the airport within 30 minutes. If they make it, the airport waives a $4 fee and lets the taxis cut to the front of a pickup line that can take more than two hours to move through…Now, the same airport officials who unwittingly sparked the beat-the-clock competition by instituting the policy in 2002 have had enough. They are proposing to end the incentive. Full article

  • Dropout rate for Calif. black students hits 37% (SF Chronicle)

    More than a third of California’s African American public high school students dropped out before graduation day, a startling number and one that’s on the rise, according to 2009 data released Tuesday. The 37 percent African American dropout rate, up three percentage points from the prior year, was far above that of any other ethnic subgroup. Hispanic students had the second highest rate at 27 percent. Locally, San Francisco cautiously celebrated a 9 percent overall dropout rate, a stark contrast to Oakland’s 40 percent, numbers still under review for accuracy. Full article

  • Man pleads not guilty to beating Los Gatos priest he says molested him (San Jose Mercury News)

    Determined to “out” the Jesuit priest he claims molested him, the man charged with the revenge beating of the cleric pleaded not guilty Tuesday, a move that brings the case closer to what is sure to be a highly publicized trial. Will Lynch, 44, clad in a navy blue suit, entered his plea in a decisive voice to one count of felony assault. His lawyer, Pat Harris, said outside the courtroom that Lynch is ready to testify about the alleged attack in May on the Rev. Jerome Lindner at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos. “The plan is to go to trial,” Harris said. Full article

  • SJ council approves Cambrian 36 annexation (San Jose Mercury News)

    San Jose officials on the cusp of taking final action to annex a 103-acre neighborhood between Highway 17 and Bascom Avenue left the door open Tuesday to working out a deal with neighboring Campbell that would satisfy residents who would prefer to be in that city. The council voted unanimously to approve the annexation of the area known as Cambrian 36 just north of Camden Avenue, as tentatively approved in October, but to delay its implementation for six months while considering a new offer from Campbell — submitted last week — to discuss a deal. Full article

  • Bay Area Sikhs Face Hate Crimes (Bay Citizen)

    Bay Area Sikhs are the frequent targets of hate crimes, including physical attacks and vandalism, a recent report by the Sikh Coalition has found. According to the report, young Sikh boys in particular are the victims of harassment and bullying. Seventy-four percent of turbaned boys in the Bay Area suffer bias-based harassment, it found. Full article

  • Controversial chemical BPA found on paper money (SF Chronicle)

    Twenty-one out of the 22 $1 bills tested in California, 17 other states and Washington, D.C., carried small amounts of (Bisphenol-A, a hormone-disrupting chemical linked to cancer, diabetes, early puberty and neurological problems. (BPH is) commonly used in plastic bottles as well as in food can liners, adhesives, sports safety gear and dental sealants, according to a report being released today by the group Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. Full article

  • City Councilwoman Lena Tam bills Alameda $44,000 (SF Chronicle)

    City Councilwoman Lena Tam has handed officials a $44,000 bill for legal fees she ran up while the city was investigating whether she leaked confidential information to a would-be developer of the old Alameda Naval Air Station. Full article

  • John Toomey, fired Santa Claus, hired at Lefty’s (SF Chronicle)

    Over the weekend, (John Toomey) was sacked from his 20-year job as the Union Square Macy’s Kris Kringle – he says it was after an older couple complained about a mildly risque bit of humor on his part. Now, the man known as “Santa John” is in the news from here to London and fielding job offers. The once-again-jolly man took a gig with Lefty O’Doul’s to sit on Santa’s throne for the Geary Street landmark’s annual Fire Department toy drive. Full article

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Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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