News Roundup: Caltrans Records Reveal Bay Bridge Structural Concerns; Change to Fees Makes Marin Energy Authority More Competitive

  • Caltrans records reveal concerns about Bay Bridge concrete (Sacramento Bee)

    A builder of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge failed to disclose that a 19-foot section of concrete in the foundation of the span’s signature tower had not hardened before it was tested. By keeping quiet about the problem, the builder prevented further examination or repair. The Bee found descriptions of the apparent defect in records provided by Caltrans last fall to reassure the public about the overall stability of the suspension segment of the bridge’s eastern span. Experts said the problem, combined with other construction and testing lapses by the California Department of Transportation and its contractors, raises new questions about the structural integrity of the bridge.

  • Marin Energy Authority says change will make its rates more competitive with PG&E’s (Marin Independent Journal)

    Marin Energy Authority officials say their rates will soon be more competitive with those offered by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. due to action by the state Public Utilities Commission. The authority, which consists of the county of Marin and all 11 of Marin’s municipalities, is the first successful attempt in California to launch a new, public model for providing electricity to residents. The authority serves as the retail electricity provider for its customers, who continue to also pay PG&E for transmission and distribution of their electricity. The authority’s supply mix is 50 percent renewable energy, compared with 20 percent from PG&E.

  • 1,000 gather at the Presidio for Memorial tribute (SF Chronicle)

    The crash of cannons and the mournful notes of “Taps” echoed over the Presidio Monday, marking San Francisco’s 144th Memorial Day tribute to the men and women, living and dead, of the armed forces. “Today we are a nation obsessed with cost,” said Kenneth Johnson of the National Cemetery Administration, which runs San Francisco National Cemetery, where the observance was held. “And so we must remember those who paid the ultimate price of freedom.”

  • Barry Bonds wants to coach Giants players; says he has advice Tim Lincecum needs (Marin Independent Journal)

    Barry Bonds, who described himself several times Monday as a “convicted felon,” said he is eager to start a new chapter in his life. The all-time home run leader wants a hands-on role with the Giants and said he continues to talk to upper management about returning to the organization. Bonds said he’d love to coach players, whether that was prospects or big leaguers, and indicated has advice waiting for struggling ace Tim Lincecum.

  • Radioactive bluefin tuna crossed the Pacific to US (SF Chronicle)

    Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away — the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance. “We were frankly kind of startled,” said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Author

Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She's worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She's a staff writer for KQED's education blog MindShift.

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