- San Bruno blast probe looking at weld failure (SF Chronicle)
Federal investigators probing the deadly natural gas pipeline blast in San Bruno are looking into the possibility that a weld along the spine of the pipe failed, but have not yet settled on a definite cause, according to an interim report released Tuesday.
- It’s down to the wire for decision on America’s Cup (SF Examiner)
After months of debate and tense negotiations, San Francisco is expected to learn by Friday if it will host the 34th America’s Cup race in 2013. The City unanimously approved a proposed host agreement bid Tuesday, which was quickly signed by Mayor Gavin Newsom. San Francisco now awaits word on whether the terms are acceptable to billionaire Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing team, sponsored by San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club.
- Oakland chief asks for federal investigation into police shooting of Derrick Jones (Oakland Tribune)
Police Chief Anthony Batts, saying he understands some people’s distrust in an internal police investigation of the two officers who fatally shot an unarmed man in November, has asked federal officials to do an independent investigation, he announced Tuesday. Batts spoke at a Public Safety Committee meeting where several members of the family of Derrick Jones also spoke of his death. Jones, a 37-year-old barber and father, was fatally shot Nov. 8 by officers who responded to a domestic violence call at Jones’ shop in the 5800 block of Bancroft Avenue.
- S.F. supes back away from ‘southern gateway’ toll (SF Chronicle)
…The supervisors, acting as the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, voted 8-3, with Carmen Chu, Bevan Dufty and Michaela Alioto-Pier opposed, to continue studying the concept of charging tolls during the most-congested parts of the day in an expanded area of downtown – but to end consideration of a proposed toll at the San Mateo County line.
- A’s ballpark clears early hurdle (Oakland Tribune)
The proposal to build a 39,000-seat ballpark near the Oakland Estuary cleared its first financial hurdle Tuesday by garnering enough support to move forward on funding an environmental impact review. The 3-1 vote came during a regular City Council Community and Economic Development Agency meeting. The vote was pushed up so that the full City Council can decide Tuesday on whether to allow the city to pay environmental and planning consultants LSA Associates Inc. $750,000 for the report.
- Oakland Off the Hook In Measure Y Suit (Bay Citizen)
A long battle between the city and an Oakland attorney over Measure Y funds has ended – for now. An appeals court overturned Friday a trial court judge’s ruling and order that the city refund taxpayers millions of dollars in allegedly misused Measure Y funds.
- San Jose bans plastic bags (San Jose Mercury News)
San Jose became the largest U.S. city to ban plastic carry-out bags Tuesday with an ordinance that supporters said was the most far-reaching in the country aimed at encouraging shoppers to bring reusable totes. The ordinance, approved on a 10-1 vote after two years of study, wouldn’t become effective until Jan. 1, 2012, to allow for more public outreach. It would prohibit retailers from giving out disposable plastic bags at the check stand and require them to charge for paper bags.
- Board of Supervisors gives veto-proof approval to local hiring mandate (Bay City News)
San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday gave final approval of an ordinance that will require that city residents be hired for municipal construction projects. The legislation will require 20 percent local hiring in the first year, increasing by 5 percent each year to 50 percent in the seventh year. The measure had drawn concern from some contractors and building trade unions.
- Gay-history lessons in state schools debated (SF Examiner)
State Sen. Mark Leno…introduced legislation this week that would amend the state education code, mandating that LGBT history be included in the curriculum of public schools. The bill — dubbed the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act — calls for accurate and fair portrayal of LGBT historical figures who have contributed to shaping social and political issues across the nation.
- Jerry Brown warns educators to brace for more cuts (SF Chronicle)
Gov.-elect Jerry Brown said Tuesday that public schools in California should brace for more budget cuts when he presents his spending proposal in the next few weeks to solve the state’s $25.4 billion budget deficit.
- Yahoo to lay off 600 workers (SF Chronicle)
Yahoo Inc. confirmed on Tuesday that it’s cutting 600 workers, the latest in a series of layoffs as the Web pioneer continues to struggle to find its niche in the modern online world. The move, which amounts to a 4 percent reduction in its workforce, comes amid soft advertising growth and declining user engagement at the Sunnyvale portal.
- East Bay park and conservation groups in recession land rush (Contra Costa Times)
…From Brentwood grasslands to ridges above Pleasanton to Franklin Canyon east of Hercules, park and conservation land buying is booming in Contra Costa and Alameda counties like no time in recent memory. Depressed real estate values and tight credit markets, a source of pain and loss for many property owners, has created a golden opportunity for open space groups. The agencies also are benefiting from an abundance of land on the market as would-be developers throw in the towel on their housing plans.
- Vallejo still collecting fines for projects done without building permits (Vallejo Times-Herald)
Vallejo building officials have collected tens of thousand of dollars in fines by going after those found doing construction work without permits, city officials said. Three years ago, soon after building permit fees were raised, these officials indicated they’d try to lower some of them, but have yet to do so — something they say they still hope to do. Two temporary building code enforcement officers, who worked over the summer, were paid $40,000 and raised about $65,000, Chief Building Official Gary West said last week. He said he hopes to make the positions permanent by proving they pay for themselves.
- Facebook co-founder named TIME magazine person of the year (CNN)
Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has been named TIME magazine’s person of the year. Rick Stengel, the magazine’s managing editor, made the announcement Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show. Zuckerberg created the widely popular and influential social networking site, which reflects a major transformation in the way people communicate and do business.
- Berkeley council backs away from honoring soldier at center of WikiLeaks probe (Contra Costa Times)
The Army private accused of giving sensitive wartime documents and a graphic combat video to the web site WikiLeaks.org did not gain hero status in the eyes of the Berkeley City Council Tuesday night. In an 8-0 vote with one abstention, the council tabled the resolution brought by the city’s Peace and Justice Commission, mostly because council members said they were reluctant to proclaim a hero someone who has neither admitted to nor been convicted of leaking the information.