A.M. Splash: Fed Report Cites Errors in SF Firemen Deaths; Healthy SF Says Janitorial Firm Must Pay $1.3 Million; Occupy the Farm Misses Deadline

  • Errors cited in 2011 deaths of 2 firemen (SF Examiner)

    A new federal report on last year’s hillside house fire in Diamond Heights that killed two firefighters noted the steep landscape, ineffective analysis of the situation and poor communication among among responders as contributing factors to the fatalities.

  • Healthy S.F. calls for company to pay $1.3 million in past medical expenses for employees (SF Examiner)

    Employees of a janitorial services firm never received health care benefits required under The City’s Healthy San Francisco program, and now the company must pay $1.3 million to cover the past medical expenses of 275 current and former workers.

  • California controller seeks return of redevelopment agency property, assets (SJ Mercury News)

    Last November, San Jose gave the Oakland A’s an option to buy downtown land for a new ballpark. But the deal wasn’t intended simply to boost the stadium plan; it also aimed to protect the land from the state, which was seeking to nab the assets of city redevelopment agencies in order to plug its budget holes….Other cities around the Bay Area made similar maneuvers to keep threatened projects alive, and they all may find those redevelopment-related deals in the state’s cross hairs as officials argue over the effective date of the law passed last year that ultimately killed the agencies.

  • Farm occupiers fail to respond to UC proposal (SF Chronicle)

    Protesters occupying land in Albany used by UC Berkeley for agricultural research missed a weekend deadline to agree to a negotiated departure, but representatives said they would respond Monday. University officials said they would consider more forceful measures after the group Occupy the Farm failed to respond to their proposal to end the encampment in exchange for discussions about using part of the 10-acre plot for urban farming.

  • Californians to vote once again on modifying term-limits law (SJ Mercury News)

    …(A) carefully crafted initiative on the June ballot — one of only two statewide measures — has fans of the term-limits law worried. At first glance, the measure appears strict: It would reduce the overall amount of time a lawmaker can serve in Sacramento from 14 years to 12. And its greatest political selling point is it wouldn’t benefit any current politicians, unlike two previous initiatives that voters rejected…But the measure also allows lawmakers to spend all 12 years in one legislative house, doubling the amount of time Assembly members could serve there. They’re now limited to three two-year terms; senators are restricted to two four-year terms.

  • Ballots are in the mail for June 5 election (SJ Mercury News)

    California’s 2012 primary election has begun: Ballots for the June 5 election are going out in Monday’s mail, as early voting sites open. Voters will choose their presidential nominees, though Mitt Romney has all but wrapped up the GOP nomination. And they’ll also face choices for a U.S. Senate seat — incumbent Dianne Feinstein and 23 challengers are listed on the ballot — and all of California’s 53 House districts.

  • Occupy’s anarchists seen as both divisive, crucial (SF Chronicle)

    Every time windows are smashed and clashes erupt with police at Occupy protests in Oakland and San Francisco, one group is in the thick of it: masked, black-clad anarchists known as the Black Bloc. Police say they are pure trouble and point to conflicts at last week’s May Day rallies as the most recent example. Most pacifist protesters wish they would go away. Hard-core Occupiers say they like having them around to diversify their movement’s tactics.

  • Walnut Creek trying to lure Lucasfilm to business park (Contra Costa Times)

    Local leaders hope Luke Skywalker will pack up his lightsaber and come to a galaxy not so far away. The city is trying to lure George Lucas’ company Lucasfilm Ltd. — the force behind the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises — to Walnut Creek and entice the filmmaking giant to build a big movie production studio in the Shadelands Business Park. This comes after Lucasfilm development arm Skywalker Properties yanked plans to build a film studio on Grady Ranch in rural Marin County last month. The surprising move came after decades of homeowner opposition and difficulty obtaining necessary development permits in Marin.

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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