Laird Harrison

Silicon Valley Has Nation’s Highest Rents

It comes as no surprise to anyone who has tried to find an apartment in Silicon Valley. But in case you had any doubt, the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed on Tuesday that rents there are the highest in the country. The Census says that its 2011 American Community Survey found the estimated “gross median rent” … Continue reading Silicon Valley Has Nation’s Highest Rents →

New Lawsuit Opposes California’s Cap-and-Trade Carbon Market

California’s quest to reduce global warming hit another obstacle on Tuesday. A conservative legal group filed suit to block California’s new cap-and-trade carbon market. The Pacific Legal Foundation alleged that the market’s charge for carbon emissions violates California law because it constitutes a tax, and taxes in California require approval by a two-third majority in … Continue reading New Lawsuit Opposes California’s Cap-and-Trade Carbon Market →

11-Year-Old Martinez Boy Injured in Boston Bombings

Aaron Hern, a 11-year-old from Martinez, needed surgery to treat a wound inflicted by the Boston Marathon bombings, his mother Katherine reported on her Facebook page on Monday night. From the Contra Costa Times: The boy was waiting at the finish line for his mother, 40-year-old Katherine Hern, who was about 200 feet away from the … Continue reading 11-Year-Old Martinez Boy Injured in Boston Bombings →

High-Performing American Indian Charter Schools Struggle for Survival

Sometimes success is not enough. Students at the American Indian Model Schools have consistently outperformed most of their peers nationwide. But on Sunday night parents and board members were groping for a way to keep the schools’ doors open. The Oakland school board voted on March 20 to revoke the schools’ charter at the end … Continue reading High-Performing American Indian Charter Schools Struggle for Survival →

Why Oakland Firefighters Are Tweeting Fire Photos

I glanced at my Twitter feed the other day and did a double take. Flame was erupting from a house in Oakland in a photograph tweeted by OaklandFireLive. Another photo showed firefighters on the roof of the building, smoke billowing around them. For a moment it looked like a new social media extreme: firefighters pausing … Continue reading Why Oakland Firefighters Are Tweeting Fire Photos →

Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm Files New Suit to Stay in Point Reyes

Pick one: local food or protected wilderness. It’s the kind of dilemma that could lead Bay Area liberals to tear their hair out. That may be why the battle over Drakes Bay Oyster Co. has gotten so hot. Facing a death sentence as its lease runs out, the farm and an activist group on Friday … Continue reading Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm Files New Suit to Stay in Point Reyes →

Rainwater Might Have Damaged Flawed Bay Bridge Bolts

The bolts snap, the plot thickens. California Transportation Department officials at a meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Wednesday said that faulty bolts being used in the construction of a new span of the Bay Bridge might have been damaged by rainwater, reports KQED’s Rachel Dornhelm. They also said they can’t promise the bridge … Continue reading Rainwater Might Have Damaged Flawed Bay Bridge Bolts →

San Francisco Housing Authority Director Terminated

The question dragged on for months: Should Henry Alvarez remain in charge of the San Francisco Housing Authority? Finally. on Tuesday the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission voted unanimously to terminate Alvarez’s contract, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The Chronicle took some credit for the decision, touting its “myriad stories” that, well, chronicled the allegations … Continue reading San Francisco Housing Authority Director Terminated →

No Blue Angels at This Year’s Fleet Week. Savings? About $1 Million

The Blue Angels will not soar and roar and boom over the Bay Area this October. They will not jet and pirouette, and many fans of the Navy’s demonstration squadron will be sad when Fleet Week rolls around. It’s not that the stunt fliers have lost popularity or been called to the defense of the … Continue reading No Blue Angels at This Year’s Fleet Week. Savings? About $1 Million →

Update: Microsoft Renews its ‘Scroogled’ Ads, Claims They’re Working

Whatever else you can say about Microsoft, it doesn’t give up easily. Although its Scroogled attack ads, renewed on Tuesday, might not have eroded Google’s market share for search, they have changed public opinion, Microsoft says. “The campaigns have been effective, as they’ve driven millions to the website scroogled.com, and in poll testing have reduced … Continue reading Update: Microsoft Renews its ‘Scroogled’ Ads, Claims They’re Working →

(Video) Moyers Explores Homelessness in Silicon Valley

Homelessness is increasing in Silicon Valley even as the area mints more and more millionaires, reports television journalist Bill Moyers. In a segment of his program Moyers & Company (which airs regularly on KQED), Moyers’ crew interviews Associated Press reporter Martha Mendoza, several homeless residents of the area, and social service providers. Here’s the Bill … Continue reading (Video) Moyers Explores Homelessness in Silicon Valley →

Les Blank Remembered in Video Clips

Les Blank died on Sunday. The 77-year-old documentary film maker blazed a mark on his genre with his quirky, offbeat and poetic vision — one that suited him for life in Berkeley where he made his home for 30 years. It was there, in his home in the hills, that he died of stomach cancer, … Continue reading Les Blank Remembered in Video Clips →

San Francisco Archdiocese Withdraws ‘Divisive’ Same-Sex Marriage Symbol

Math has never looked so political. During the Supreme Court hearings on the issue last week, many supporters of same-sex marriage posted “=” symbols in place of their profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter. The symbols, still in use on many Facebook and Twitter accounts, look like this: Day 2 at the Supreme Court. Lets … Continue reading San Francisco Archdiocese Withdraws ‘Divisive’ Same-Sex Marriage Symbol →

Has the Bay Area Gotten Enough Rain Yet?

Drizzle spoiled your Easter egg hunt. You stepped in puddles on your way to work on Thursday. And the petals fell off your drenched camellias. So, have we finally gotten enough rain? Longtime Californians shake our heads at such questions. We know that it’s all about the snow pack, which hasn’t been good enough this … Continue reading Has the Bay Area Gotten Enough Rain Yet? →