Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday Must Reads: PG&E Improperly Declared Two Pipelines Safe; Governor to Skip Bay Bridge Opening

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. PG&E declared that two of its major gas pipelines in the Bay Area were safe, when, in fact, they had bad welds, the Chron reports. The utility quietly disclosed the problem to state regulators, saying that its records were inaccurate. The disclosure alarmed administrative law judges for the California Public Utilities Commission, who raised questions as to whether PG&E has fixed its records problems that led to the deadly San Bruno pipeline blast in 2010. In that case, PG&E had maintained that the San Bruno pipeline was safe when it also had bad welds.

2. Governor Jerry Brown is skipping the opening of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, saying he’s going to attend his wife’s family reunion instead, the Chron reports. Brown’s decision is ironic, considering the fact that he was one of the primary backers of the single-tower suspension bridge design — a design that ultimately led to numerous construction problems and delays, including the failure of 32 giant steel rods earlier this year.

3. California prison medical officials say that if they decide to force-feed prisoners who are on a hunger strike, the procedure will be dramatically different from what happened to detainees at Guantanamo Bay Prison, the AP reports (via Rough & Tumble). Medical officials said that if they force-feed prisoners, it will done intravenously to unconscious inmates — rather than jamming feeding tubes down the throats of prisoners like what happened at Guantanamo.

4. Tesla’s Model S electric vehicle is the safest car on the road — it received the highest marks ever awarded by federal safety officials, according to the car company, the Mercury News reports. The Model S received five star ratings in every safety category.

5. And a great white shark sighting has closed Stinson Beach through Saturday, the Chron reports. The shark may have been drawn to the area by a beached whale that died.


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