- Santa Clara approves 49ers stadium deal; fate in NFL’s hands (SJ Mercury News)
Santa Clara leaders on Tuesday enthusiastically endorsed the deal to fund and build a new 49ers stadium, leaving one final obstacle before pro football comes charging into the South Bay: a huge cash infusion from the NFL. City Council members, acting as the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, unanimously voted to tap $850 million in bank loans to begin construction within the next year, as dozens of supporters — including business groups, unions and fans in 49ers jerseys — wildly applauded.
- Occupy shutdown costly for Oakland port (Oakland Tribune)
The Occupy protest Monday erased millions of dollars in economic activity linked to the besieged Port of Oakland and harmed middle-class truck drivers, port officials and truckers said Tuesday. “For the day, it was a loss of $4 million to $8 million, easily,” said Isaac Kos-Read, director of external affairs for the Port of Oakland. “The ripple effects are much greater than that.”
- Strapped San Francisco schools asking teachers to trim expenses (SF Examiner)
San Francisco Unified School District will once again lean on teachers in order to trim expenses as it faces another year of probable state budget cuts. The district asked the United Educators of San Francisco to consider reducing the length of the work year, suspending or eliminating sabbatical leaves, suspending advancements on salary schedules and reducing floating holidays for paraprofessionals. The changes would be written into a three-year contract that would run through spring 2015.
- Occupy Oakland looking beyond port blockades (SF Chronicle)
Now that they have succeeded in disrupting operations at the Port of Oakland for the second time in as many months, Occupy protesters are turning their attention to different actions – much to the relief of union leaders and even some Occupy activists.
- DUI deaths reach new low in California (SJ Mercury News)
…California’s DUI deaths last year reached their lowest level since 1952, and they went through the largest annual decrease in 14 years, according to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A total of 791 people were killed in DUI crashes on California roadways last year, compared with 950 in 2009. There were 792 deaths in 1952, but data was recorded differently then
- Dan Lungren wants SFPUC probed over Hetch Hetchy (SF Chronicle)
Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River (Sacramento County), is accusing San Francisco of illegally using water from O’Shaughnessy Dam without first exhausting other available sources, an alleged violation that conservationists claim is more evidence that the Hetch Hetchy Valley should be restored.
- Marin air monitor records high soot totals as officials declare another Spare the Air day (Marin Independent Journal)
As the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued another winter Spare the Air alert for Wednesday, officials noted that Marin exceeded federal air quality standards for soot during a string of bad-air days last week.The air district last week issued four consecutive Spare the Air alerts — triggering bans on fireplace and woodstove use — and during that time Marin County exceeded the national health standard for particulate pollution on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
- Lawsuit against Oakland Zoo continues as environmental group make new claims (Oakland Tribune)
Attorneys for two environmental groups have filed an amendment to their lawsuit charging that the city of Oakland approved a 54-acre Oakland Zoo development for the wildland areas of Knowland Park in violation of an act that requires geologists to map out seismic hazard zones.
- Google gives $40 million to fight slavery and other causes around the world and Bay Area (SJ Mercury News)
In its biggest single-day contribution ever, Google (GOOG) on Wednesday announced it has handed out $40 million to battle slavery, promote education and make technology more accessible worldwide, with nearly a fourth of the money going to Bay Area organizations.
- PG&E cuts power to three SmartMeter opponents in Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Less than two weeks before Christmas, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has shut off power to no fewer than three county residents who removed SmartMeters from their homes. The move reduced one customer to tears, left a mother of two without electricity and had others fearing they were next. And with PG&E representatives present at Tuesday’s county board meeting for a SmartMeter-related issue, incredulous board members grilled a company executive…All three customers have one thing in common: Without PG&E permission, they hired someone to remove their meters and replaced it with a nonwireless meter.