Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Must Read: Trib Tower Sold, and Will Add 300 Jobs; BART Adopts Strict Cellphone Shutdown Policy

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland’s iconic Tribune Tower has been sold to CallSocket, an Oakland call center, which plans to inhabit the downtown building with 300 workers, the Trib reports. City officials and business leaders hope that the sale and new downtown employees will help revitalize the area. The tower had been in receivership before being sold for $8 million. The Tribune newspaper moved out of the tower in 2007.

2. Under pressure from the FCC, BART board members adopted a strict policy yesterday that will only allow the agency to shut down cellphone service in "extraordinary" situations. The Bay Citizen reports that the FCC demanded that BART adjust its proposed policy to make it clear that shutting down cellphone service would be a rare event, such as a threat of a cellphone detonated bomb or a hostage situation. BART came under heavy criticism for shutting down cellphone service in August to disrupt a planned protest.

3. Californians could have an array of tax-the-rich measures on the November 2012 ballot, but some supporters of such proposals are worried that voters may reject them because there are too many, the Chron reports. Polls show that California residents overwhelmingly support the idea raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations, but past history shows that voters also tend to reject measures if too many of them are alike.

4. Police have arrested a suspect in Kentucky for the fatal shooting of a man near the Occupy Oakland encampment last month, the Trib reports. Police say Norris Terrell, 20, of Oakland fled to Kentucky after the killing. Terrell is charged with murdering Kayode Foster, 25, in what may have been a case of mistaken identity.

5. And state regulators have approved a record $38 million fine against PG&E for a fatal 2008 blast in Sacramento, the Chron reports. The size of the fine indicates that regulators may be prepared to levy a huge penalty against PG&E for the 2010 San Bruno explosion that killed eight people and destroyed a neighborhood.

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