- PG&E ordered to cut gas pressure 20% below limits (SF Chronicle)
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. ran four natural-gas transmission system lines well above legal safety levels in recent years and must cut the operating pressure on those pipes, state officials said Wednesday. Two of the pipes, in the South Bay, are buried under heavily populated areas, the state Public Utilities Commission said. It ordered PG&E to reduce pressure on the lines by 20 percent below their legal limits.
- Oakland warned that pot measure breaks U.S. law (SF Chronicle)
The U.S. attorney’s office has warned Oakland officials that the city’s marijuana farm ordinance breaks federal law and would put cannabis cultivators in criminal and civil jeopardy. The ordinance was passed in July by the City Council but has since been put aside after local law enforcement leaders warned that it could result in criminal prosecution of city officials.
- America’s Cup Costs to Be Revealed (Bay Citizen)
More than a month after San Francisco and America’s Cup officials hashed out an agreement behind closed doors to hold the sailing regatta on San Francisco Bay, city taxpayers could soon find out how much it will cost their city to host the event.
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi on Tuesday directed the Board of Supervisors’ budget analysts to review the host city agreement, which was finalized and signed Dec. 31, and compare it with the bid that was approved by city lawmakers two weeks earlier.
- SFO flights walloped by snow in Midwest, Northeast (Bay Area News Group)
Although it was a beautiful day Wednesday around the Peninsula, a blizzard that moved from the Midwest to the Northeast grounded thousands of passengers at San Francisco International Airport. By midafternoon Wednesday, more than 50 flights in and out of SFO had been canceled because of the snowstorm, said airport duty manager Doug Yakel.
- Safeway lawsuit over product recalls (SF Chronicle)
Safeway has a legal duty to its club members to notify them when they’ve purchased products recalled from its stores, according to a class-action lawsuit filed against the supermarket chain Wednesday in Alameda County Superior Court…two women have joined forces with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit health advocacy group, to try to force the Pleasanton-based supermarket chain, which operates 1,739 stores nationwide, to start notifying its card members in the case of recalls.
- Electric vehicle recharging stations get funding (SF Chronicle)
As the latest wave of electric cars arrives in California, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on Wednesday awarded $3.9 million to four companies to install charging stations in homes and public places. Most of the money will be used to lower the cost of installing charging stations in the homes of electric car drivers, helping fund the installation of 2,750 chargers throughout the Bay Area. The money also will pay for installing 30 fast-charging stations in places accessible to the public, such as stores, restaurants or government buildings.
- NASA spots 54 potentially life-friendly planets (San Jose Mercury News)
…On Wednesday, scientists with the NASA Ames-based Kepler project unveiled a stunning total of 1,235 potential planets and 170 suspected planetary systems, leaping toward answering some timeless questions: Are we alone? Is Earth unique?…Fifty-four of the potential planets are in what scientists have dubbed the “Goldilocks zone” — where it’s neither too hot nor too cold to support life. Five of those planets are Earth-sized, said William Borucki, Kepler chief scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center.
- 17 residents displaced by Castro apartment fire (Bay City News)
Roughly 17 San Francisco residents living in one Castro District apartment building were displaced by one of two two-alarm fires burning just blocks from one another, according to a Bay Area American Red Cross spokeswoman. The fires — one at 17th and Hartford streets and another around the corner at 16th and Market streets — were reported shortly after 5 a.m., a San Francisco fire dispatcher said.
- Momentum builds for plastic bag ban (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
…For years, opponents of plastic bags have seen their work on bans in California turned back at the state capitol and in legal challenges by the plastic bag industry. A growing number of people think they may have hit on a better strategy, and Sonoma County, which has been studying the issue, is considering how to follow suit.
- Democrats seek list of deeper state cuts if taxes are not extended (Sacramento Bee)
Democrats may seek to tie deep cuts in funding for schools and public safety directly to tax proposals at the ballot, a move that would raise the stakes of a potential June special election. Gov. Jerry Brown has been coy about what specific cuts he would pursue if he could not persuade lawmakers and voters to extend higher taxes over five years. But Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said Wednesday it is important for voters to know exactly what would happen if they reject additional taxes.