- America’s Cup: Deadline today on S.F. deal (SF Chronicle)
San Francisco has the next America’s Cup in its grasp. Today the city learns if it will slip through its fingers. For several days, there have been positive signs for San Francisco’s effort to host sailing’s most prestigious regatta in 2013, with one source telling The Chronicle the deal had been all but sealed in the city’s favor.
- No charges filed against SFPD crime lab tech (KGO)
The crime lab scandal that rocked San Francisco this year is now over. The former lab technician who stole cocaine evidence and threw hundreds of cases into chaos is off the hook. Deborah Madden is retired now; she still has a pending felony drug possession charge for a small amount of cocaine detectives say they found inside her home. Her role in one of the biggest San Francisco stories of the year is now a closed case.
- San Francisco trains, buses running later for New Year’s (SF Examiner)
Local transit agencies will give a boost to New Year’s Eve revelers in San Francisco with a series of special services tonight and early Saturday. From 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., passengers on all Muni vehicles, including cable cars, will be able to travel for free. Also, Muni will add extra train service between the West Portal station and the Caltrain depot on Fourth and King streets. And it will run more buses on its late-night Owl service on lines such as the 5-Fulton, 22-Fillmore and 38-Geary.
- Quan, Schaaf plan celebrations on their way to Oakland City Hall (Oakland Tribune)
When she walks from Chinatown to the Fox Theater to be sworn in as mayor on Monday morning, Jean Quan will be tracing not just a history of Oakland but a personal journey that she says began a century ago.
- Caltrain fare hikes, service cuts, fast weekend trains kick in (San Jose Mercury News)
…Starting on New Year’s Day, all fares will rise by 25 cents per zone, which amounts to a 7.2 percent increase on the average train ride. For example, a Caltrain trip between San Francisco and San Jose spans three zones, so that trip will cost 75 cents more one way, or $8.50. Monthly passes will increase a proportionate amount, or by about $20 between the two major cities, to $225. In addition, the employer-sponsored annual Go Pass will cost $155, up $15. Starting Monday, the weekday schedule will shrink from 90 to 86 trains.
- UC Dean Christopher Edley defends pension demands (SF Chronicle)
The effort to boost the pensions of the University of California’s highest paid executives is about what’s best for their families and the university’s integrity, UC Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley said Thursday. Edley, a leader of the effort, brushed off criticism being heaped upon him and dozens of other University of California executives who are threatening to sue unless UC dramatically raises their pensions as they believe was promised by the regents years ago.
- Double-dipping is common for public-sector ‘retirees’ who take on additional work (San Jose Mercury News)
Retirement is a loosely defined term for many Silicon Valley civil servants, who as young as age 50 can begin drawing their pensions even while performing other lucrative jobs on the taxpayer dime. Newly retired Santa Clara County Fire Chief Kenneth Waldvogel becomes the latest example next week, when he returns to work as a contractor, earning up to $108,480 for the next six months — on top of his $200,000 annual state pension — while the county searches for his replacement.
- Stanford ends Connecticut’s 90-game winning streak (San Jose Mercury News)
University of Connecticut’s record winning streak began after a defeat to Stanford — all the way back in April 2008. It ended 90 games later Thursday night with a stunning 71-59 Cardinal victory in front of 7,329 delirious fans at sold-out Maples Pavilion. On a historic night for Bay Area basketball fans, ninth-ranked Stanford never trailed in pulling away from a school that had won by an average of 33 points between those two defeats to the Cardinal.
- Gray whale puts on a show in Tomales Bay (Marin Independent Journal)
A 25-foot-long gray whale on its way to Baja from Alaska has turned up in Tomales Bay, thrilling spectators as it leisurely swims and dives to the water’s bottom to dine on a smorgasbord of worms, mollusks and crustaceans.