A.M. Splash: Local Breast Cancer Clusters Seen; Reports Conflict on Cyber Monday; Feds Want Prison for Campaign Treasurer

  • Bay Area breast cancer clusters seen (SF Chronicle)
    Breast cancer clusters in California may not be limited to Marin County. New research released Tuesday identified four areas of the state that have rates of the disease 10 to 20 percent higher than the state average. Relying on U.S. census tracts rather than county-level data, researchers for the Public Health Institute’s California Breast Cancer Mapping Project in Oakland were able to identify northern and southern Bay Area counties as “areas of concern.” The two other areas were located in Southern California.

  • Cyber Monday: not biggest or best deals (SF Chronicle)
    It will undoubtedly be a huge boost for e-commerce, but Cyber Monday 2012 may not turn out to be the biggest online shopping day of this holiday season – or even provide the season’s best deals. Pundits confidently predicted that this year’s Cyber Monday would become the biggest online sales day in Internet history. Whether that is true won’t be known until later this week. But it seems likely that prediction may prove false, because many online retailers were not putting all their chips on one shopping day – and neither were their customers. Indeed, the hype that attends Cyber Monday could stretch well into December this year.

  • Cyber Monday sales up more than 28 percent (SJ Mercury News)
    New taxes collected on online sales could not slow the roll of the Cyber Monday phenom, which saw purchases jump 28 percent over last year. Some retail analysts had predicted that online tax rules that went into effect this year in California and other states would level the playing field for shopping malls and traditional brick-and-mortar stores that have watched customers disappear to Cyber Monday since it was created seven years ago as yet another day devoted to national consumerism. They were wrong. “It doesn’t look like they’re having a lot of negative impact,” said professor Dale Achabal, executive director of Santa Clara University’s Retail Management Institute. “What we’re seeing is a shift in the way consumers are shopping, with a greater use of online for a significant percentage of their holiday purchases.”

  • Wells Fargo to launch $5 million effort to provide down payments for East Bay potential home buyers (Oakland Tribune)
    Wells Fargo is hoping a new $5 million program will help hundreds of prospective home buyers in the East Bay come up with the thousands of dollars they typically need to make a down payment on a home, the bank said Tuesday. The banking giant is offering what it calls the CityLIFT program. It intends to help home purchasers in Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Concord, Antioch, Bay Point, Brentwood, Pittsburg and Richmond, said Jim Foley, regional president for Wells Fargo’s Greater East Bay region, which consists primarily of the East Bay and South Bay. “This is the first time we are offering the program in the Bay Area,” Foley said.

  • Silicon Valley’s dirty secret: Age bias (SJ Mercury News)

    When Randy Adams, 60, was looking for a chief-executive officer job in Silicon Valley last year, he got turned down from position after position that he thought he was going to nail — only to see much younger, less-experienced men win out. Finally, before heading into his next interview, he shaved off his gray hair and traded in his loafers for a pair of Converse sneakers. The board hired him. Such are the pressures in Silicon Valley, where the start-up ethos extols fresh ideas and young programmers willing to toil through the night. Chief executives in their 20s, led by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, are lionized, in part because of their youth. Many investors state bluntly that they prefer to see people under 40 in charge. Yet the youth worship undercuts another of Silicon Valley’s cherished ideals: that anyone smart and driven can get ahead in what the industry likes to think of as an egalitarian culture. To many, it looks like simple age discrimination — and it’s affecting people who wouldn’t fit any normal definition of old.

  • Recent surge of killings has Oakland at 115 homicides, surpassing last year’s count of 110 (Oakland Tribune)
    Fueled in part by the largest mass murder in the city’s history, Oakland has surpassed last year’s homicide tally. If the pace continues over the next five weeks, Oakland will have the highest number of killings since 2008, when 125 people were slain. “Every life is sacred,” Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said. “That violence strikes the lives of so many people in Oakland is absolutely unacceptable, and it is our highest priority as public servants that we provide a safe life for everyone in our city.”

  • Feds want 8-year prison term for former treasurer (SF Chronicle)
    Federal prosecutors are recommending an eight-year prison sentence for former campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee, who pleaded guilty in March to five charges of mail fraud in connection with the embezzlement of millions of dollars from her former clients. Those clients included hundreds of politicians and political groups across California, including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who prosecutors said lost $4.5 million. Nearly all of Durkee’s clients were Democrats.

  • District 7 up for recount if cost allows (SF Chronicle)
    A District Seven resident, backed by the labor groups that supported F.X. Crowley in his run for District Seven supervisor, officially asked for a recount of the close race Monday – but there may not actually be a new tallying of votes at all. That’s because the independent expenditure committee backed by the San Francisco Labor Council isn’t sure how much a recount would cost, but thinks it could be upward of $200,000. (To put things in perspective, the most money raised by a candidate in this year’s supervisors races was $235,000; the average amount among the big fundraisers was around $120,000.)

  • Occupy protester’s suit charges abuse (SF Chronicle)
    An Army veteran who was clubbed by Oakland police during an Occupy protest, and later underwent surgery for a lacerated spleen, has sued the Alameda County sheriff’s office for allegedly denying him medical care and mocking him during 18 painful hours in a county jail. After Kayvan Sabeghi was arrested and jailed in November 2011, sheriff’s deputies ignored his complaints even as he lay on the floor vomiting, unable to move and begging for help, his lawyers said in a suit filed in Alameda County Superior Court last month.

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