- Santa Clara County audit reveals Shirakawa must immediately reimburse $12,772 in credit card purchases (SJ Mercury News)
A scathing internal audit released Monday finds that Santa Clara County Board President George Shirakawa Jr. used his taxpayer-funded credit card to pay for his personal expenses and for items “strictly prohibited” since he took office in 2009 and demands the District 2 supervisor “immediately reimburse” $12,772. Together with what the board president already has had to pay back, if Shirakawa complies with the latest crackdown, he will have had to return more than half of his 240 credit card charges totaling $36,837 for his four years as a supervisor.
- Steve Jobs movie starring Kutcher to premiere at Sundance (SJ Mercury News)
Ashton Kutcher as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Amanda Seyfried as porn star Linda Lovelace are among the highlights at January’s Sundance Film Festival. Kutcher headlines director Joshua Michael Stern’s “jOBS,” one of 18 star-studded premieres announced Monday for Robert Redford’s independent-cinema showcase. Chronicling 30 years in the life of the Apple mastermind who died last year, “jOBS” is the closing-night film at Sundance, which runs Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Utah.
- Full Muni subway service restored (SF Chronicle)
Full service has been restored to the San Francisco Muni subway line after a blown transformer Monday evening knocked out service for most of the night. Subway trains began running downtown around 5 a.m., Muni said in a tweet. Muni officials said the transformer blew at the Van Ness Station at about 6 p.m. as a result of rain damage from Sunday’s storm. Light-rail vehicles were running on surface lines in the western part of the city but the subway service had been replaced by a bus bridge until the transit system closed around midnight.
- Harborside Health Center eviction denied (SF Chronicle)
An Alameda County Superior Court judge denied a landlord’s attempt to evict a prominent Oakland medical cannabis dispensary. The landlord had been under pressure from the federal government to evict the tenant, Harborside Health Center – or face forfeiture of her $2 million property. The landlord, Ana Chretien, owner of ABC Security, one of the East Bay’s most politically powerful security companies, tried to evict the center on grounds that it was violating federal drug law.
- California Legislature opens for work with new players, rules and powers (SJ Mercury News)
As they welcomed a large class of incoming new legislators Monday, Democratic leaders played down expectations over how they might use their newly won supermajority power, saying they will not seek to raise statewide taxes any time soon. Thirty-nine first-time legislators — the largest freshman class since 1966 — were sworn in to the Assembly and the Senate, where Democrats will hold two-thirds majorities simultaneously for the first time since 1883.
- SF election loser drops recount request (SF Chronicle)
Backers of labor leader F.X. Crowley, who lost by 132 votes in his bid for District Seven supervisor, will not move forward with a recount of votes because the cost is too high, they said Monday. Political consultant Jim Stearns, who is representing the labor organizations behind the recount effort, said after reviewing the cost estimates provided by the Department of Elections late Friday, the group decided it was simply too expensive. Elections Director John Arntz estimated that it would cost nearly $80,000 to manually re-tally the 35,140 ballots cast in the race and that a machine recount would cost about $7,000 less. In a Monday letter to Arntz announcing their intent to cancel the recount request, lawyer Jim Sutton wrote that a complete recount could cost as much as $120,000.
- S.F. housing chief hit by more claims (SF Chronicle)
Several members of Mayor Ed Lee’s top staff have known for months about a host of complaints by workers at the San Francisco Housing Authority regarding their boss, Henry Alvarez – despite Lee’s claim that he didn’t know there was a pattern of alleged inappropriate and illegal behavior by his handpicked chief. Meanwhile, a second lawyer for the Housing Authority has filed a lawsuit against Alvarez, the agency’s director, for stripping him of his responsibilities after the lawyer took a two-week paternity leave.
- Mountain lion cubs in downtown Half Moon Bay shot by wardens (Bay Area News Group)
California Department of Fish and Game wardens shot and killed two mountain lion cubs Saturday that were hunkered down in a backyard on the edge of downtown, a department spokeswoman said. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report about the lions Friday in the 800 block of Correas Avenue and called in the wardens, who tried to shoo the cubs east toward Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park. When the lions came back the next day, said Fish and Game spokeswoman Janice Mackey, the wardens shot them out of concern for public safety.
- Union jobs get boost from casino rising in Rohnert Park (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Five months after its tribal backers won final federal approval to move ahead, the largest casino resort in the Bay Area is starting to take shape on the northwest edge of Rohnert Park. Photo Galleries. The project, launched by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, is still in its early stages but has already invigorated union construction workers battered by the long economic slump in the North Bay.
- U.S. seeks to drop Internet rules from Dubai talks (Associated Press)
American envoys say they are working with other nations on a proposal to drop all discussions on possible Internet regulations from a U.N. telecommunications conference in Dubai. The U.S. is leading calls to reject possible new codes on the Net by the International Telecommunications Union, a 193-nation body making its first major oversight revisions in nearly 25 years. U.S. representatives held meetings Tuesday on the proposal to take all Internet-related discussions off the table.