Navy Considers Medal, 65 Years After a Heroic Act (Bay Citizen)

Carl E. Clark, 94, served in World War II to defend America, not to win glory. “We just figured it was a war that had to be won,” said Mr. Clark, who lives in Menlo Park. Now the veteran, a remarkably modest man with a commanding presence, unexpectedly finds himself under consideration to receive the nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor.

SFO pilot gives up gun after posting sensitive YouTube videos (San Mateo Times)

A pilot based at San Francisco International Airport has resigned from an anti-terrorist program that allows him to carry a gun onboard after he posted behind-the-scenes videos on the Internet showing what he considers lax security procedures for airport ground crews. The pilot, a Sacramento-area resident in his 50s who has not released his name or airline, has been the target of a Transportation Security Administration probe since federal officials discovered the YouTube videos Nov. 30. The videos, which the pilot took with his cell phone, have since been taken down.

In a region that imports water, much goes to waste (Los Angeles Times)

It is one of the Southland’s enduring contradictions. The region that laid pipe across hundreds of miles and tunneled through mountains to import water also built an extensive storm drain system to get rid of rainfall as quickly as possible. That’s exactly what happened during the last week, when tens of billions of gallons of runoff that could lessen the region’s need for those faraway sources were dumped into the Pacific. Enough water poured from Los Angeles streets to supply well over 130,000 homes for a year. As Southern California’s traditional water supplies diminish under a variety of pressures, all that runoff sheeting across sidewalks and roads into the maws of storm drains is finally getting some respect.

Estimate of Marin sewage spill triples (San Francisco Chronicle)

A series of overflows and pipeline breaks caused as much as 3 million gallons of sewage to pour into Marin County’s Corte Madera Creek in the past week, an amount that is three times more than preliminary estimates. … The fountain of excrement, a good portion of which was the result of construction debris being dumped down a manhole cover, has prompted the district to put an emergency rush on a $12 million pipeline replacement project that was supposed to continue through next year.

California says census missed 1.5 million residents (Los Angeles Times)

California officials estimate that the U.S. Census Bureau failed to count 1.5 million of the state’s residents, a discrepancy that if true could cost the state billions of dollars in federal aid over the next decade and perhaps an increase in its representation in Congress. … According to the state Department of Finance, the state’s population was 38.8 million on July 1. That figure is drawn from birth and death statistics, school-enrollment data, driver’s license address changes, tax returns and Medicare enrollment, a set of data points that provides a “more refined” picture of the population, according to H.D. Palmer, a finance department spokesman.

Navy training along Pacific coast draws fire (Sacramento Bee)

Could Ruffles and Granny be in trouble? At 59, Ruffles is the oldest known male orca in the world, one of an estimated 150 orcas known to inhabit Puget Sound and the coast of Washington state. Granny is his 99-year-old mother. Environmentalists fear for the safety of the whales as the U.S. Navy prepares to expand operations in its Northwest Training Range Complex, which stretches from the coast of Washington to Northern California.

Judge to tour California’s death chamber
(AP/San Jose Mercury)

A federal judge who halted lethal injections in California over concerns that it was cruel and unusual punishment plans to tour the state’s new death chamber in February. U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel on Wednesday told attorneys representing a death row inmate who filed a lawsuit and the state attorney general’s office that he wants to hold a hearing at San Quentin State Prison sometime in February. Fogel is determining whether the state’s new lethal injection procedure is constitutional.

San Francisco’s local-hire ordinance to become law—no veto
(San Francisco Chronicle)

San Francisco’s local-hire ordinance – billed as the toughest in the country – will become law after Mayor Gavin Newsom on Thursday declined to veto the measure. Newsom returned the legislation to the Board of Supervisors unsigned, saying he has reservations about parts of it and wants the city to pursue reciprocity agreements with neighboring counties. Because his move was short of a veto, the measure will go into effect in 2011.

49ers likely to be in S.F. until at least 2014 (San Francisco Chronicle)

The 49ers will be sticking around San Francisco until at least 2014 under a tentative lease deal hammered out this week after Mayor Gavin Newsom met with team President Jed York to mend fences, city officials said. The deal, which still needs the approval of the Recreation and Park Commission and the Board of Supervisors, gives the Niners more flexibility to pull up stakes and move to Santa Clara, but also settles a $60 million maintenance claim the team had filed against the city, a precursor to a lawsuit.

Morning Splash 24 December,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.

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