· Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil Says 6 More Weeks Of Winter (Oakland Tribune)
Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his lair to “see” his shadow on Thursday, in the process predicting six more weeks of winter.
But, at this rate, that might not be so bad.
· Occupy Airs Complaints, Vows To Keep Up Pressure (SF Chronicle)
Protesters arrested during an Occupy Oakland rally Saturday said they were abused by police, subjected to illegal mass arrests and suffered a litany of human rights violations while held at two county jails – which only strengthened their commitment.
Organizers held a news conference outside Oakland City Hall on Wednesday to denounce police and restate their goal to move into a vacant building. Members called for another demonstration Saturday night, the latest in what Occupy activists have dubbed “F- the police” rallies, as well as a march to a courthouse Monday.
· PG&E Should Pay For Gas Upgrade, Agency Says (SF Chronicle)
Natural-gas users shouldn’t be stuck with higher rates to fund Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s $2.2 billion plan to upgrade pipelines in the aftermath of the deadly explosion in San Bruno, the state agency that advocates for utility customers said Wednesday.
The Division of Ratepayer Advocates, an independent division of the California Public Utilities Commission, responded to a sweeping plan PG&E submitted to regulators in August, after the September 2010 blast that killed eight people and leveled 38 homes.
· Despite Snowfall, Water Levels Still Far Below Average (Bay Citizen)
The California Department of Water Resources, which provides water to about 25 million Californian homes, farms and businesses, plans to rely on reserves from last year’s record snowfalls to meet its customers’ needs.
“It’s certainly not good,” agency spokesman Ted Thomas said. “What’s really helping this year is we have a lot of carryover storage because last year was very wet. That’s offsetting the relatively dry conditions this year. We still need more rain and snow this winter.
· Berkeley to Reassess Wells Fargo, Open Its Account to Bids (Bay Citizen)
Last night Berkeley’s City Council voted unanimously to review its banking arrangements with Wells Fargo when its current contract expires at the end of 2012.
This followed a recommendation by council members Jesse Arreguín and Darryl Moore to consider alternatives to the 160-year-old San Francisco bank which, they said, “was a key part of the subprime lending crisis which led to our overall economic collapse.”
· New Oakland Police, Fire Chiefs Named (Oakland North)
The last time he served as the interim Chief of Police for the Oakland Police Department, Howard Jordan was passed over for the permanent position.
That won’t happen a second time.
Jordan, who has been serving as interim chief since Anthony Batts resigned in early October, was appointed to the job a on permanent basis by Mayor Jean Quan at a press conference at City Hall on Wednesday morning. Jordan served also served as interim chief before Batts got the job, after former chief Wayne Tucker resigned in 2009.
· Taco truck owner, robbery suspect wounded in East Oakland shootout (Oakland Tribune)
Despite bleeding from three gunshot wounds, a co-owner of an East Oakland taco truck was able to return fire and twice hit the suspected robber who shot him early Thursday, police said.
The suspected robber, a 19-year-old Oakland man, and two possible accomplices were detained a short time later when they drove to a hospital.
The 32-year-old taco truck co-owner was in stable condition at a hospital. All are expected to recover from their wounds. Their names were not released.
· Santa Clara Suit Seeks To Block Second 49ers Stadium Vote (MercuryNews.com)
As promised, the civic leaders behind the new San Francisco 49ers stadium in Santa Clara have filed a lawsuit trying to block opponents from putting the project back on the ballot.
City Attorney Ren Nosky filed the 14-page complaint Monday in Santa Clara County Superior Court against the grass-roots group Santa Clara Plays Fair.
Officials had vowed legal action last week after voting to deny the residents’ petitions that would have given voters the chance to overturn an $850 million loan for the project.
· Uproar as Breast Cancer Group Ends Partnership With Planned Parenthood (New York Times)
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, is now engulfed in a controversy that threatens to undermine one of the most successful advocacy campaigns. The foundation’s decision to eliminate most of its grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening caused a cascade of criticism from prominent women’s groups, politicians and public health advocates and a similarly strong outpouring of support from conservative women and religious groups that oppose abortion.
Now, leaders of both the Komen foundation and Planned Parenthood are accusing each other of bad faith and actions that undermine women.
Scattered around the globe, 24 elite surfers – and thousands of surf fans – are keenly aware that the infamous waves off Pillar Point at Half Moon Bay will likely top 30 feet today.
With a chance of rain, conditions are not quite perfect for the Mavericks Invitational surf contest. When they are, those surfers will be summoned with 24 hours’ notice to get to Half Moon Bay to ride Mavericks’ legend-making waves.