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Cops & Courts, San Francisco, The Bay Area, Traffic & Transit, World Series »

[By Beat News Service | 13 Nov 2012 | No Comments]
An image from video footage shows an unidentified man throwing an object into a Muni bus, setting it on fire Oct. 29. (Courtesy SF Police)

It’s bad enough that hoodlums decided to set fire to a $700,000 MUNI bus in celebration of the San Francisco Giants’s World Series Championship on the morning of October 29, but it’s the  particular bus they chose to destroy that has the city on the hook for more than the original retail price.

The heavily damaged vehicle was one of dozens of buses that have recently returned from a $300,000 mid-life rehabilitation performed at Complete Coach Works in Riverside, the Beat has learned.

Berkeley, Oakland, Political Beat, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, The Bay Area »

[By Steven Luo | 7 Nov 2012 | No Comments]

In what is fast becoming a biennial tradition, the Bay Area’s cash-starved local governments went to voters hat in hand, and for the most part, came away with what they asked for.

Of 48 tax or bond measures on the ballot in the six core Bay Area counties, 36 passed, including 13 measures requiring a two-thirds supermajority — though Alameda County voters appeared to be more skeptical than their regional counterparts.

Cops & Courts, Political Beat »

[By Steven Luo | 7 Nov 2012 | No Comments]

California Governor Jerry Brown and state Democrats scored significant victories in Tuesday’s general election, as voters approved Brown’s proposed income and sales tax hike to support education and rejected a measure which would have weakened union influence in politics considerably.

And as of Wednesday morning, Democrats were elected or leading in 28 of the state’s 40 Senate seats and 54 of the 80 Assembly seats — results which, if they hold, would give them two-thirds supermajorities and the power to raise taxes without Republican support for the first time in recent memory.

Oakland, Political Beat, San Francisco, The Bay Area »

[By Steven Luo and Jennifer Courtney | 6 Nov 2012 | 2 Comments]

Welcome to the Political Beat’s Election Night 2012 coverage of the November 6 General Election. We’ll be busy this evening updating results from important Bay Area and California races, including all of the statewide propositions and the Presidential race. Keep refreshing this page for the latest results and projections from the Political Beat team.

Cover Stories, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, The Bay Area »

[By Andrew Leonard | 12 Sep 2012 | No Comments]

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – Apple Inc. has announced the much-anticipated update to their iPhone line, the iPhone 5.

During a press event held in San Francisco, Apple showed off specifications and high-resolution pictures confirming months of rumors about the new iPhone.

Apple’s 6th iPhone boasts a unique improvement over prior incremental improvements: a new, 4-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The larger “Retina” display boasts an impressive 1136×640 pixel resolution, nearing that of some of their notebook computers.

Other improvements to the line include a faster A6 processor, better battery life, better front- and rear-facing cameras, an additional microphone, better call audio quality, slimmer dimensions, and less weight (down to 112 grams from 140). Instead of glass, Apple is now using aluminum for the back casing, which should improve durability.

Political Beat, The Bay Area »

[By Steven Luo | 6 Jun 2012 | No Comments]

In a sign that enthusiasm for new taxes amongst Bay Area voters might be cooling, the 27 tax and bond measures on Tuesday’s ballot in the six core Bay Area counties received a decidedly mixed reception from voters.

19 of the measures passed or were leading as of Wednesday morning, including all but one of the school facility bond measures facing voters. But two of three high-profile tax initiatives targeting SFO travelers failed in San Mateo County, and an Alameda sales tax hike which city leaders argued was desperately needed to pay for public safety fell far short of the required two-thirds margin.

Political Beat »

[By Steven Luo | 6 Jun 2012 | No Comments]

Backers of California’s voter-approved open primary system, in which candidates of all parties appear together on one primary ballot with the top two continuing to the general election, argued that the measure would shake up state politics by giving more moderate politicians a chance for a general election matchup.

But while Tuesday’s open primary boded ill for at least one longtime incumbent who would likely have been safe under the old system, fewer same-party or otherwise unconventional general election matchups emerged than expected.

Bay Area Snapshots »

[By Beat News Service | 5 May 2012 | No Comments]
A full moon is spotted over the San Francisco Bay Area on May 5. (CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

The biggest and brightest full moon of 2012 is being spotted over most of the San Francisco Bay Area Saturday night, as it passes 15,300 miles closer to Earth than average.

For earthlings, the sight of the “supermoon” will be 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than typical full moons, astronomers estimate. 

BART Police Shooting, Oakland »

[By Beat News Service | 17 Apr 2012 | One Comment]
Grant's mother Wanda Johnson reacted angrily to the news that Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, not murder. "My son was murdered. He was murdered!" she said. (JENNIFER COURTNEY / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

A movie about the shooting of Oscar Grant, the 22 year-old unarmed Hayward man killed by BART Police in 2009, could begin filming in Northern California this summer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The entertainment publication said Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and “Chronicle” actor Michael B. Jordan are in negotiations to play the roles of Wanda Johnson, Grant’s mother, and the shooting victim in the production.

Cover Stories, Occupy Protests »

[By Beat News Service | 11 Apr 2012 | One Comment]

(4/11) 13:38 PST — DAVIS, CALIF. — A University of California task force issued a blistering report Wednesday on the Nov. 18, 2011 pepper-spraying of Occupy UC Davis protesters by campus police officers, ridiculing the police department and embattled Chancellor for “unreasonable” use-of-force against students.

The task force, assembled after UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike’s pepper-spraying of peacefully protesting students garnered worldwide attention, said the incident “should have and could have been prevented.”