Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Must Read: PG&E Gas-Line List Is Incomplete: AC Transit to Slash Weekend Service

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 7:03 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. PG&E released a list of its 100 riskiest pipelines yesterday but the disclosure appears to be incomplete. The Chron reports that the list is missing gas-lines that the utility has previously said are at risk of failure, including the San Bruno line that blew up and incinerated a neighborhood, killing at least four people. Last year, PG&E warned state regulators about a section of the line that exploded, saying the “likelihood of a failure makes the risk of a failure at this location unacceptably high.” It’s not clear why that section was not on the list PG&E released yesterday because the pipeline has not been fixed. The list includes eight pipeline sections in the East Bay that PG&E says need to be repaired or replaced — four in Livermore, two in Sunol, and one each in Fremont and San Pablo.

2. AC Transit’s board of directors is poised to dramatically slash weekend and overnight service in an effort to save the agency about $15 million annually, the CoCo Times reports. The move comes in response to a judge’s decision to rescind $15 million in employee compensation cuts that AC Transit instituted this summer. The new cutbacks will severely impact low-income riders.

3. Tesla Motors, the electric car manufacturer, will officially open its auto plant inside the old NUMMI factory in Fremont on October 1, the Mercury News reports. Tesla purchased the factory for $42 million and later spent $15 million on manufacturing equipment and spare parts from Toyota. Tesla also has hired thirty former NUMMI employees and may hire more, plus it hired a Toyota executive to oversee the plant.

4. The family of slain Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey is asking that the murder trial of Yusuf Bey IV, head of Your Black Muslim Bakery, not be moved out of the Bay Area, the CoCo Times reports. The family sent a letter to the judge in the case after lawyers for Bey IV argued in court that he could not get a fair trial because of extensive media coverage. The judge is expected to rule soon on whether Bey IV's trial will be moved.

5. Key provisions of the sweeping healthcare reform bill passed by Democrats and signed by President Obama will go into effect this week just in time for the midterm elections, the Chron reports. Popular new regulations include allowing children to remain on their parents insurance until the age of 26 and prohibiting insurance companies from kicking people off their insurance if they get sick or make minor mistakes in filling out paperwork.

6. The national recession officially ended more than a year ago in June of 2009 when the economy slowly began to recover, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which decides such things. However, the sluggish recovery has made it feel as if the recession is ongoing.

7. And HP settled its lawsuit with ousted CEO Mark Hurd in a deal that will allow him to remain president of Oracle in exchange for returning $14 million in stock options, the Chron reports. Hurd also has promised to not reveal HP trade secrets to Oracle. It’s unclear whether Oracle plans to reimburse Hurd for the money he is giving up.

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