- Trash fiasco in San Mateo County (Bay Area News Group)
The first few days on the job for the new garbage company serving 440,000 people between Burlingame and East Palo Alto have been plagued by missed pickups, mass confusion, thousands of customer complaints — and now a diesel fuel spill. Officials at Recology, which took over weekly trash, recycling and composting pickup services Monday from Allied Waste, pleaded with customers for patience early this week as they try to “work out the kinks” of the switchover. More than 8,700 people called the company’s customer service line on Monday and Tuesday, and thousands more followed suit Wednesday.
- America’s Cup celebrated at City Hall (Bay Citizen)
Software mogul and sailing enthusiast Larry Ellison on Wednesday stood beside the 160-year old America’s Cup at San Francisco’s City Hall and proclaimed that the region offers the world’s most spectacular natural amphitheater for competitive sailing.
- Leaderless liberals lose grip on S.F. board (SF Chronicle)
When Mayor Gavin Newsom declared in March that he was running for lieutenant governor, San Francisco business groups and moderate voters feared he had just handed the left-leaning Board of Supervisors the keys to Room 200. Ten months later, the current board spent its last scheduled meeting Tuesday arguing late into the night over who should serve as interim mayor for the next year and made no decision…Now it appears likely the new mayor will be one of Newsom’s most loyal staff members: City Administrator Ed Lee.
- D.A. post is still up for grabs – will it be Chiu? (SF Chronicle)
Don’t expect Mayor Gavin Newsom to appoint a district attorney today. City Administrator Ed Lee’s whirlwind rise to the top of the pack in line to be San Francisco’s interim mayor leaves one big question on the city political front: Who will Newsom appoint district attorney? Speculation abounds that board President David Chiu split from his progressive colleagues backing Sheriff Michael Hennessey for interim mayor and voted for Newsom’s pick, Lee, in order to be appointed district attorney. All indications, though, are that Chiu hasn’t made up his mind whether he even wants to be the city’s top prosecutor.
- SF police shooting of wheelchair user questioned (SF Chronicle)
Use-of-force experts who viewed the video recording of San Francisco police shooting a man in a wheelchair questioned why officers moved dangerously close to the knife-wielding suspect and said an electronic Taser would have been the ideal weapon to use in that confrontation.
- Nearly half of Muni drivers are unavailable on any given day (SF Examiner)
Muni employs about 2,100 vehicle operators — but on any given day, only about 1,225 are available to work…(J)ust 58 percent of the operators working a scheduled shift each day…is often not enough to run The City’s transit system effectively, which means the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, must pay drivers overtime to fill in — or even sit around in case they are needed.
- Deportation postponed for man whose daughter died in Oakland fire (Oakland Tribune)
It only took minutes to turn the life of 7-year-old Allison Benavides upside down. She is the only survivor of a fatal fire that swept through her East Oakland home last week, killing her mother, Ruth Mejia, and baby sister, Ivonne Benavides, and a man who rescued Allison. Allison’s father, Nelson Benavides, was in the custody of immigration authorities when the fire broke out. He will be deported to El Salvador soon after he attends the funeral services. And Allison may be deported, too, although her departure could be delayed, immigration officials said Tuesday.
- San Jose officials trying to shut down Club Wet (San Jose Mercury News)
For the first time in recent history, San Jose city officials are trying to permanently close down a city nightclub, alleging that employees of Club Wet — known for its live shark tank and Jermaine Dupri sightings — have consistently covered up bloodshed on the dance floor. In the latest incident, on New Year’s Eve, club security reportedly refused to call police or paramedics for a 28-year-old woman who was so ferociously stomped that her cheek was punctured by another woman’s stiletto heel
- Blue Shield of California seeks rate hikes of as much as 59% for individuals (LA Times)
Another big California health insurer has stunned individual policyholders with huge rate increases — this time it’s Blue Shield of California seeking cumulative hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers March 1. Blue Shield’s action comes less than a year after Anthem Blue Cross tried and failed to raise rates as much as 39% for about 700,000 California customers.
- Jerry Brown makes numerous key appointments (SF Chronicle)
Gov. Jerry Brown made a host of top appointments for his administration Wednesday, including several people who served with him during his previous time as governor, and Brown revamped the State Board of Education by appointing seven new members.
- Black ice, freezing temperatures around Sonoma County (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Scattered reports of black ice and sub-freezing temperatures at the Sonoma County airport suggest a cautious commute was appropriate for the region Thursday morning…(T)he temperature dipped to 29 degrees at the Sonoma County-Charles M. Schulz Airport early Thursday, meaning it was 2 degrees cooler than Wednesday at the airport, the National Weather Service said. Readings elsewhere around Santa Rosa showed temperatures below 30 degrees both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
- Small businesses deal with disabled-access suits (SF Chronicle)
San Francisco merchants, concerned about being sued for failing to provide access to disabled customers, met Tuesday with city officials who soon will embark on a campaign to educate business owners about accessibility requirements and help forestall lawsuits that might put them out of business.
- Jerry Brown’s talk of ending redevelopment sparks fears, cheers around California (San Jose Mercury News)
Redevelopment has transformed San Jose, with an infusion of tax money that helped revitalize a dying downtown and turned former swampland along North First Street into a bustling high-tech corridor. In other communities, redevelopment dollars have built shopping centers, affordable housing and championship golf courses. But a budget proposal that Gov. Jerry Brown is widely rumored to be weighing may end subsidized redevelopment statewide to free up more tax money for schools and other programs. That could threaten planned projects including a San Jose ballpark and Santa Clara football stadium.
- Obama renominates UC Berkeley professor to 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Oakland Tribune)
President Barack Obama on Wednesday renominated a Cal law school dean to a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, weeks after Senate leaders cut a deal not to seek his confirmation in the final hours of the last Congress.
- Feds put nation’s pipeline operators on notice (SF Chronicle)
Federal safety officials responding to the findings of the San Bruno disaster probe issued a nationwide bulletin Wednesday urging operators of natural-gas pipelines to verify they have accurate records about their lines and to cut pressure on them if they don’t.
- Baalke’s first day: Interview Harbaugh, Jackson (SF Chronicle)
Niners owner Jed York and newly appointed general manager Trent Baalke spent more than six hours Wednesday in talks with prospective head coach Jim Harbaugh but did not come away with a deal. Baalke interviewed Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson by morning, then hunkered down with primary target Harbaugh later in the day, according to league sources and ESPN reports.
- Ellison tried to buy New Orleans Hornets but dampens hopes of NBA team in San Jose (San Jose Mercury News)
Larry Ellison, the billionaire CEO of Oracle who’s had extraordinary success buying a string of tech companies, confirmed Wednesday that he recently failed in a second attempt to buy a professional basketball franchise, less than six months after his surprising loss in a bidding war for the Golden State Warriors. “I did offer $350 million” for the New Orleans Hornets, Ellison told reporters, adding that he was “slightly outbid” by the National Basketball Association when the league bought the bankrupt team last month from owners George Shinn and Gary Chouest.