A.M. Splash: Sandy Leaves Northeast Reeling; Judge Rules S. Bruno Survivors Can Seek Punitive Damages; Reaction to Disney-Lucasfilm Deal

  • Sandy’s wallop leaves Northeast reeling (CNN)

    The Northeast Corridor slowly struggled back to life on Wednesday after the knockout punch from Superstorm Sandy. Millions in New York City, New Jersey and other cities and towns along America’s most populous urban stretch coped with major losses and daily inconveniences. Commuters, homeowners and businesses struggled with the loss of power, waterlogged or burned homes and the challenge of navigating a crippled infrastructure of damaged roads, bridges and mass transit systems.

  • Hurricane Sandy prompts third day of travel woes at SFO (Bay Area News Group)

    Hurricane Sandy continued to tie up travelers in the Bay Area for a third day, forcing the cancellation of more than 100 flights Tuesday out of San Francisco International Airport. The 114 canceled flights out of SFO affected 50 departures and 64 arrivals, Duty Manager Shannon Wilson said.

  • San Bruno blast victims can pursue punitive damages from PG&E, judge rules (Bay Area News Group)

    There’s enough evidence PG&E failed to test or replace its gas pipes for San Bruno blast survivors to seek what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in punitive damages, a judge ruled Tuesday. San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Steven Dylina said a “reasonable” jury could conclude the company crossed the legal line needed to trigger the hefty penalty, which is intended to make an example of wrongdoers. However, the final decision on whether the utility will be hit with the sizable payments for the deadly blast would be up to a jury. The lawsuits for the more than 350 plaintiffs, after several delays, are currently set for trial in January.

  • Lucasfilm sale reaction: ‘Wow!’ (Marin Independent Journal)

    Expressions of amazement reverberated through the Marin Civic Center as stunned officials reeled in surprise following word that Lucasfilm was being sold to Disney.”Wow!” said Supervisor Susan Adams. “Wow, oh wow!” Robert Eyler, CEO of the Marin Economic Forum, had a similar reaction to the $4 billion stock and cash deal involving Lucasfilm, LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound — but not the Marin ranches owned by Lucas.

  • Nurses will strike at seven East Bay hospitals affiliated with Sutter Health on Thursday (Bay Area News Group)

    Mention nurses in the Bay Area these days and two images come to mind: a caring, nurturing professional at a patient’s bedside, and a perturbed, bullhorn carrying protester walking a picket line. By one estimate, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United has called more than 70 strikes at the state’s hospitals in the past two years. Its members will walk off the job again Thursday, waging a one-day strike against seven East Bay hospitals affiliated with Sutter Health as part of an 18-month-long attempt to negotiate a new contract.

  • Chevron gives $2.3 million to super PAC (Andrew S. Ross, SF Chronicle)

    According to a TV ad that has been running repeatedly on local stations in California’s Central Coast area, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, “voted to take $6 trillion from our children and grandchildren to pay for failed Washington policies that are simply not working.” Her “reckless spending has to stop – Defeat Lois Capps,” says the 30-second spot, which features a tot in a cot overlaid by a grim-looking congresswoman. A considerable amount of money is being wagered against Capps, who is in a particularly tight race with former Republican Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado. Much of it – $402,000 at last count – has been spent by an outfit called the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC. This month, this same PAC received a $2.3 million contribution from Chevron Corp. of San Ramon. Chevron’s contribution is by far the largest made by an American public company to a super PAC since the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court freed all constraints on corporate political spending in the Citizens United case.

  • California judge signals she’ll allow investigation of shadowy Arizona group (Bay Area News Group)

    A Sacramento Superior Court judge tentatively sided Tuesday with the state’s campaign finance watchdog agency in its fight to investigate a shadowy Arizona-based political group’s $11 million donation to a California ballot measure campaign. Ruling that Californians would suffer “irreparable harm” if the recent contribution were not investigated, Judge Shellyanne Chang ruled that the Fair Political Practices Commission could require Americans For Responsible Leadership to disclose all records related to its donation to the Small Business Action Committee. Chang will oversee a hearing Wednesday to make her final determination.

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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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