Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Must Reads: Obamacare Signups Surge in December; Mayor Quan Leads Poll By Ten Points

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Nearly 1 million Americans enrolled in Obamacare in December, pushing the total number of signups to more than 2 million nationwide, the Washington Post$ reports. The surge in signups came after the administration made fixes to the problem-plagued federal website. The total enrollment, however, fell short of the White House’s goal of 3.3 million. The enrollees to date will be eligible to receive private health insurance as of January 1, and uninsured consumers have until March 31 to sign up for Obamacare or face fines.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Tuman Turns Broken Car Window Into Fundraising Vehicle

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Over the past several days Oakland has been awash in positive news. First, came the news that the Brooklyn Basin housing development just south of Jack London Square would be fast-tracked and would include four hundred units of affordable housing. And then came the unveiling of a proposed new ballpark for the A’s at Howard Terminal on the city’s waterfront.

But Oakland mayoral candidate Joe Tuman, who is challenging Mayor Jean Quan next year, is attempting to snap everyone back to reality.

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California May Become the First State to Require Kill Switches in Smartphones

by Elly Schmidt-Hopper
Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 1:10 PM

State Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco announced plans this week to introduce a bill next year that would require kill switch technology in all mobile devices sold in California. Kill switches render stolen devices inoperable, and law enforcement officials, including San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, believe they represent the best way to address the smartphone robbery epidemic that is plaguing the nation.

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Friday Must Reads: State Regulators Fine PG&E $14 Million; SF District Attorney Pushes Measure to Reduce Prison Population

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The California Public Utility Commission fined PG&E $14 million for withholding records that showed that its San Carlos natural-gas pipeline was riddled with bad welds, the Chron reports. The fine is separate from a $2.5 billion penalty that the state likely will slap on PG&E for the deadly San Bruno blast in 2010. PG&E, meanwhile, is asking the state to allow it to raise gas rates on consumers by nearly 13 percent to pay for upgrades to its pipeline system, Bay Area News Group$ reports.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Year's Eve in Bay Area: Extended BART, Broadway Shuttle Hours

by Sam Levin
Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Quick public service announcement: Avoid driving this New Year's Eve in the East Bay and San Francisco by taking advantage of extended hours on both BART and the free Broadway Shuttle in Oakland.

BART just released details of its service plans for December 31, which include operating a normal weekday evening service schedule until 3 a.m. Trains will run every 20 minutes after midnight with extra ones in downtown San Francisco after the fireworks show.

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Thursday Must Reads: White House Panel Pushes to Curb NSA Spying; Obamacare Application Deadline Is Monday

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. An independent panel appointed by President Obama is urging him to substantially curb the NSA’s spying activities, including the elimination of a program that collects all American telephone data, the LA Times$ reports. The panel’s recommendations come just days after a federal judge ruled that phone-data collection program was unconstitutional. The NSA’s controversial programs have come to light thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden. However, it’s unclear whether Obama will adopt the recommendations put forward by a panel that he personally assembled.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Updated: Sources Say Golden State Warriors Owners Are Interested in Buying the A’s and Building a Waterfront Ballpark in Oakland

by Steven Tavares and Robert Gammon
Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 2:34 PM

The Oakland business leaders who are pushing the effort to build a new home for the A’s on the city’s waterfront apparently are not the deep-pocketed investors who would finance the plan to build a $500 million facility at Howard Terminal. It’s also clear that the cash-strapped city has no funds to contribute to the project — other than land provided by the Port of Oakland. So who is the real money behind the proposal? According to knowledgeable sources, the owners of the Golden State Warriors are part of one of at least three potential investment groups who are interested in buying the A’s and building the new ballpark in Oakland on their own.

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Wednesday Must Reads: Bay Area Air Pollution Soars; Big Sur Fire Rages On

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Bay Area established a record today for air pollution as the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced the eleventh straight Spare the Air day, the Mercury News$ reports. Air pollution levels soared across the region as relentlessly dry weather kept its stranglehold on the Bay Area. Northern California also is on track to set a record for the driest calendar year since the state began keeping records in 1850. And yet another fire at a metal recycling plant in Redwood City worsened the situation.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Must Reads: A’s Co-Owner Suddenly Warms to Coliseum City; Oakland Council President Pat Kernighan to Retire

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. After years of claiming that there were no viable sites for a new ballpark in Oakland, A’s co-owner Lew Wolff has suddenly warmed to the idea of building a stadium at the proposed Coliseum City, the Trib$ reports. Wolff’s surprising comments followed the news that Oakland business and A’s boosters, along with Mayor Jean Quan, had unveiled a plan for a 38,000-seat ballpark at Howard Terminal on the city’s waterfront. Wolff said, however, that it would be “absolutely impossible” to build on that site. He also had earlier dismissed Oakland’s second plan — Coliseum City — on land that currently is home to the Oakland Coliseum and the Arena. But now thinks that proposal, which recently gained the backing of deep-pocketed investors, could work.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Check Out the New Oakland A's Ballpark in High Res

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Here are two high-resolution renderings of the proposed new ballpark for the A's at Howard Terminal on Oakland's waterfront, courtesy of MANICA Architecture. The first rendering is from a southern vantage point, showing the stadium on Port of Oakland property in the foreground, along the Oakland Estuary, with downtown in the background.

And the second rendering is from a eastern vantage point, with the stadium in the foreground and the Bay Bridge and San Francisco in the background.

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