A.M. Splash: Sequence of Storms Moving in; New Refinery Fire Lawsuit; Toxic Chemicals Prevalent

  • River of rain headed toward Bay Area (SF Chronicle)
    The respite is over – get ready for a deluge. An “atmospheric river” of rain will storm into the Bay Area on Wednesday morning and unleash torrents of precipitation across the region through Sunday, forecasters said. The driving rain and blowing wind will wallop everything from bridges to houses and leaf-covered trees. Small urban floods and power failures are all but guaranteed.

  • Richmond: New lawsuit alleges negligence over Chevron refinery blaze (Contra Costa Times)
    Two law firms announced Tuesday they have signed on 4,800 plaintiffs to a new lawsuit alleging that Chevron’s Richmond refinery was negligent in maintenance practices and lax in alerting the community to an Aug. 6 fire at a refinery crude unit. The suit expands on the legal action filed by Oakland-based attorney John Burris less than two weeks after the blaze, which sent black smoke wafting over the East Bay and sent thousands to area hospitals seeking treatment. The plaintiffs, who range from infants to the elderly, suffered a wide range of health issues, including serious respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms since the fire, according to the lawsuit.
  • Chemicals in furniture hard to avoid (SF Chronicle)
    Toxic flame retardants pervade the nation’s households, especially California’s, and little can be done to keep them out of our bodies, two new scientific studies find. The studies, published Wednesday, arrive as state and federal lawmakers are pushing for stricter regulations on potentially hazardous chemicals that go into furniture, electronics and other products.
  • Clean out of large homeless encampment: triumph to some; tragedy to others (SJ Mercury News)
    The agitated homeless woman, known on the streets as “Mama Faye,” watched with tears in her eyes as possessions from her precious campsite along the Coyote Creek were collected by strangers. Workers sorted through the pile, bagging items that appeared to have value for safekeeping and then sent the rest into a garbage truck. “That’s all my stuff,” said an anguished Mama Faye, 69, who has lived without shelter around San Jose for about 19 years. “I can’t deal with this. This is inhumane.” City officials see it differently. They insist that cleaning up, and cleaning out, entrenched encampments throughout the city ultimately is a humane act in the ongoing effort to deal with the vexing issue of homelessness.
  • Deadly gang feud in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto triggers multi-agency crackdown (Palo Alto Daily News)
    More than a dozen shootings and several slayings in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park over the last six months are linked to a deadly feud between two rival street gangs, police chiefs from the two cities said Tuesday. And in an effort to help stop the violence, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, San Mateo County Gang Task Force, Countywide Narcotics Task Force and the Palo Alto Police Department are joining forces with Menlo Park and East Palo Alto police in a multi-agency crackdown on gangs. East Palo Alto police Chief Ron Davis said in a phone interview Tuesday that he couldn’t discuss what sparked the violence that has exploded between the gangs, known as the “Taliban” and the “DaVill,” but noted both cities started seeing a marked increase in shootings this summer.
  • Is your car wanted? Alameda County officials release list of top 10 stolen vehicles (Oakland Tribune)
    As Top Ten lists go, there’s nothing funny about this one. The Alameda County Regional Auto Theft Task Force has released its list of the top 10 vehicles stolen in Alameda County during October, when 499 vehicles were reported stolen in the county. Police are warning motorists to take extra precautions securing their vehicles. Here are the 10 most-stolen cars:
  • Cal football coaching buzz includes Hue Jackson, Chris Petersen (Oakland Tribune)
    Former Raiders coach Hue Jackson expressed interest in the Cal football job, and luring Chris Petersen away from Boise State might not be as far-fetched as some Bears fans think. Jim Sochor, who coached Petersen at UC Davis and gave him his first coaching job, said Tuesday the changing landscape at Boise might tempt Petersen to make a move after years of resisting big offers.

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