- Moore picked over Oakland’s Batts as new police chief (San Jose Mercury News)
San Jose City Manager Debra Figone has selected acting Chief Chris Moore to be the next police chief of the Bay Area’s largest city, choosing an insider who had the support of his beleaguered department over an outsider activists hoped would bring major reform. Figone’s choice still must be approved by the City Council, but that is expected to happen at a closed meeting Tuesday.
- Police Chief Batts to stay in Oakland, for now (Oakland Tribune)
Police Chief Anthony Batts might be sticking around, but only if things begin to dramatically change for his department, he said Thursday. Batts did not get the police chief job in San Jose for which he had been one of two finalists. He hasn’t applied anywhere else, he said, but he refused to commit to Oakland for the long haul unless he sees the city do the same.
- PG&E can’t find crucial pipeline pressure records (SF Chronicle)
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s president told a Bay Area congresswoman that the utility cannot find records that support pressure levels on nearly a third of its natural-gas transmission system in populated areas, the congresswoman said Thursday. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, said utility President Chris Johns reported that PG&E has been unable to produce key manufacturing and installation documents for 30 percent of its pipelines in and around urban areas in Northern and Central California.
- State regulators agree to public hearing on San Bruno blast (Bay Area News Group)
A day after critics complained that state regulators looking into the San Bruno natural gas catastrophe were operating largely in private, the head of the California Public Utilities Commission said it will launch public hearings on the disaster. “This will create a single, easily accessible public process as we consider the changes that are needed in gas pipeline safety,” said commission President Michael Peevey, adding that he’ll propose creating a clearinghouse for all San Bruno-related documents at the commission’s next meeting on Feb. 24.
- Cutting Redevelopment Funds Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences (Bay Citizen)
Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to plug the state budget deficit with the help of $1.7 billion in property tax revenue that now goes to redevelopment agencies has municipal governments screaming foul…But what has gone largely unnoticed is how hard-pressed cities like Oakland also rely on redevelopment money to cover myriad other expenses…Oakland’s redevelopment agency is paying $3.5 million for…17 police officers. It pays half of Mayor Jean Quan’s $183,000 salary. It pays $1.65 million to cover the salaries of four City Council members and six of their staff members. Oakland’s city administrator, the city attorney and several public works employees are also partially on the redevelopment agency’s payroll.
- San Jose adult education classes to disappear (San Jose Mercury News)
Ending a 44-year history, the budget-squeezed Metropolitan Education District will likely stop offering all recreational and leisure classes for adults at the end of this school year, and will cut by more than half its basic education courses for adults. Classes ranging from Spanish to watercolor to “Coping with Hearing Loss” will be gone after June, and 100 of 368 teachers and other employees will lose their jobs. Two of three campuses will close. The fate of a teaching garden at Erikson School is up in the air.
- Golden Gate Bridge set to shut tollbooths (SF Chronicle)
It looks as if tollbooths and toll collectors, a fixture at the Golden Gate Bridge since it opened in 1937, will no longer be used at the span starting in 2012 as the bridge district moves to an all-electronic system.
- Facebook buys land near former Sun campus (San Jose Mercury News)
Fast-growing Facebook has purchased two pieces of property near the former Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park, acquisitions that could bolster the footprint of the expected future headquarters of the social network…Facebook now has more than 2,000 employees, many of them shoehorned into 150,000 square feet the company leases in Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto.
- Second annual Macworld without Apple gets under way (San Jose Mercury News)
he annual pilgrimage to the Moscone Center got under way Thursday, as thousands of iPhone-carrying, Mac-in-a-satchel devotees began making their way to Macworld 2011. And judging by the early-bird crowds and an anticipated jump in attendance over last year, the demise of an Apple convention without Apple on board appears to have been greatly exaggerated.
- LinkedIn IPO: Mountain View networking site files for public stock offering (SF Chronicle)
LinkedIn, the online résumé and networking service, confirmed Thursday that it plans an initial public offering, in what could be the first in a wave of stock sales by a new generation of Internet giants. The Mountain View company, with an estimated value of more than $2.5 billion, is one of several startups, along with Facebook and Twitter, that have based their tremendous growth on the popularity of social networking and the promise of lucrative, targeted advertising.
- Court blocks California legislators from writing ballot measure descriptions (Sacramento Bee)
A state appellate court told lawmakers Thursday to stop writing official ballot language for measures they want voters to pass, a practice the Legislature has used in recent years to cast its proposals in a more favorable light. The decision by the Sacramento-based 3rd District Court of Appeal would prevent lawmakers from crafting ballot descriptions for tax-hike extensions that Gov. Jerry Brown wants to put before the electorate in June.
- It’s still rent over buy in San Francisco (SF Examiner)
The foreclosure crisis has made buying a two-bedroom home cheaper than renting one in the nation’s largest cities, but San Francisco continues to buck that trend. The latest report by real estate website Trulia found that San Francisco is one of only four cities in the country where residents save money by becoming tenants instead of homeowners.
- Vallejo adopts uniform policy for all middle school students (Vallejo Times Herald)
Three years ago, new principal Sheila Quintana had a problem on her hands — her students’ clothing. “My first year here, the children … were representing colors — red and blue,” said Quintana, referencing two colors associated with the rival Norteño and Sureño Latino gangs…And so began an attempt to mitigate the problems associated with the flying of gang colors. All students at Solano Middle School would wear uniforms. As of next year, all Vallejo middle school students will be in uniform.