- Heavy downpours flood Bay Area roads, soak shoppers, delay flights at SFO (SJ Mercury News)
Torrential rains that drenched the Bay Area on Sunday, causing flooding and mayhem on the roads and soaking hordes of last-minute shoppers at the malls, should be easing by Christmas Eve, but another storm is expected to follow late Christmas Day. National Weather Service forecaster Bob Benjamin couldn’t say whether Sunday’s downpours set any records … but it sure came down hard. In the 24 hours ending at 4 p.m., San Jose saw 0.97 inches at the airport, and the Santa Cruz Mountains town of Ben Lomond saw 5.39 inches, the region’s highest total, he said.
- Storm lets up, but aftereffects will linger (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Even with blue sky, sunshine and a smattering of clouds forecast for today, the aftereffects of a ferocious storm were expected to linger. The storm let up late Sunday after three days of blustery rainfall that pummeled the North Coast. Flooding and storm damage were expected to leave some roads closed, and hundreds of customers may remain without power in western Sonoma County.
- PG&E offers $550 million in San Bruno blast (SF Chronicle)
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. offered to pay a $550 million fine to resolve state regulatory charges connected to the San Bruno pipeline explosion, but government and consumer groups rejected the deal because the utility wouldn’t admit it failed to maintain a safe gas system, according to sources close to the talks. PG&E is facing a potentially huge fine for the September 2010 explosion of its gas-transmission line in San Bruno, which killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.
- Homicides plummet in Richmond, once considered among the most dangerous cities in U.S. (Contra Costa Times)
As Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose grapple with rising homicide totals and fears that their police departments are ill-equipped to stem the tide, a different reality has taken shape in this city once labeled among the most dangerous in the nation. Eighteen people have been killed in Richmond this year, down from 45 three years ago and about half as many as the yearly average over the past decade. Many credit the turnaround to a confluence of law enforcement and community efforts since a summer of bloodshed in 2005 that led to calls for the city to declare a state of emergency
- California lawmakers drove less and saved money without state-paid cars (Sacramento Bee)
Requiring legislators to drive their personal cars for legislative business saved taxpayers nearly $240,000 in the past year, according to records reviewed by The Bee. Costs have been cut by more than one-third since the state stopped leasing cars for lawmakers and started reimbursing them for miles driven, beginning in December 2011.
- Rep. Lynn Woolsey retiring after 20 years in Washington, D.C., with no regrets (Marin Independent Journal)
Packed cardboard boxes crowd the garage of Lynn Woolsey’s modest Petaluma house, and more boxes are stacked inside her front door. After 20 years in Washington, D.C., the 6th District congresswoman is retiring and returning home for good at the end of the year. Reflecting on her career last week in an interview with the Marin Independent Journal, Woolsey said she has no regrets about leaving Washington or her accomplishments in office.