- Panel: Mirkarimi engaged in misconduct (SF Chronicle)
The San Francisco Ethics Commission set the stage for suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s potential removal from office when it voted 4-1 Thursday to find he engaged in official misconduct stemming from a Dec. 31 argument where he bruised his wife’s arm. Despite the commission’s ruling that the majority of the allegations brought by Mayor Ed Lee in the misconduct case had not been proved, its recommendation, while not binding on the Board of Supervisors, was a blow to the sheriff’s efforts to keep his job after he was convicted of misdemeanor false imprisonment for the domestic violence incident. Now Mirkarimi’s fate rests with the Board of Supervisors, where at least 9 of 11 votes would be needed to oust him.
- Chevron fire truck didn’t spark fire (SF Chronicle)
State investigators have ruled out the possibility that an idling Chevron fire rig was the ignition source for a vapor-cloud blaze that destroyed part of the company’s Richmond refinery last week, officials said late Thursday.
- Apple vs. Samsung: Judge gets testy as patent trial winds down (SJ Mercury News)
Samsung ended its case on Thursday, urging a federal court jury to order Apple to pay the South Korean-tech giant hundreds of millions of dollars in damages after depicting Apple as greedily inflating its own unprecedented estimates of what their epic patent feud is worth. With the trial headed to jury deliberations next week, Samsung expert David Teece calculated that Apple owes Samsung between $200 million and $400 million in damages for infringing several of its basic patents… At the same time, Samsung’s experts scoffed at Apple’s estimate that Samsung owes it between $2.5 billion to $2.75 billion in damages if a jury sides with allegations that Samsung copied the iPhone and iPad in its smartphones and tablets.
- Bay Bridge crews embark on herculean feat (Contra Costa Times)
magine tuning a 77 million-pound harp suspended some 15 stories above San Francisco Bay’s cold waters and you’ll start to get the picture of what is happening now on the new Bay Bridge. Contractors have begun lifting the suspension span’s massive steel decks off temporary platforms and transferring the nearly unfathomable weight — 35,200 metric tons, or the equivalent of nearly 1 million concert grand harps — onto its mile-long cable. It’s tricky. Raise even one of the 200 uber-strong steel cable suspender ropes too high or too fast and it could twist the decks or throw the 525-foot tower out of plumb.
- Facebook stock hits record low as lockup expires (SJ Mercury News)
Facebook’s stock price hit a record low Thursday, sinking to nearly half its IPO price, as insiders became eligible to sell the first batch of shares that had been “locked up” by trading restrictions since the company’s controversial stock market debut. With investor confidence continuing to fall, experts said the price of shares in the world’s leading social networking company could decline further if employees and early backers flood the market with more stock when additional lockups expire in coming months.
- NFL meets with Oakland officials about Raiders stadium (Oakland Tribune)
One week after Major League Baseball officials came to town to discuss stadium options for the A’s, NFL executives arrived to hear Oakland’s pitch for a new Raiders stadium. NFL officials requested the secret Aug. 9 meeting, whose participants included Raiders owner Mark Davis, team president Amy Trask, Mayor Jean Quan, City Council President Larry Reid and Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi. The Raiders have been the lone tenant at the Coliseum complex to not dismiss the city’s proposal that the teams build new facilities there along with hotels, restaurants and shops.
- Experts debate legality of plan to apply eminent domain to mortgages (Sacramento Bee)
A plan to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages has raised hopes of homeowner bailouts in cities stricken by the housing crisis, including Sacramento, Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove. But would such a novel plan even be legal? Experts say the proposal being shopped around by San Francisco’s Mortgage Resolution Partners may well meet the U.S. Supreme Court’s broad definition of a public use under eminent domain law.