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Headlines from the San Francisco and the Bay Area



Bay Area Business & Tech

Some of Facebook’s early friends now its sharpest critics
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:33:25 UT - Some of Facebook’s former friends are starting to express some serious doubts about the social network they helped create. Facebook exploits a “vulnerability in human psychology” to addict its users, Sean Parker, the company’s first president, said in a public forum last month. Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook vice president who joined the company in 2007, recently told an audience at Stanford that the company is “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” And Roger McNamee, a venture capitalist and early investor in both Facebook and Google, wrote that both companies “threaten public health and democracy” in an August USA Today opinion piece. ]]

Business News Roundup, Dec. 14
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:16:50 UT - Ride services More details on Uber hack A cybersecurity firm hired by Uber after a huge data theft found no evidence that rider credit card, bank account or Social Security numbers were downloaded by two hackers, the company said in a response to demands for information from U.S. senators. But the San Francisco ride-hailing company disclosed that in some cases, the hackers got location information from the place where people signed up for Uber, as well as encoded user passwords. On Nov. ]]

Letter confirms criminal probe in Uber case
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:15:21 UT - The government has opened a criminal investigation over allegations that a former Uber executive stole self-driving car technology from a Google spin-off, a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office has confirmed. The letter unsealed Wednesday by U.S. District Judge William Alsup marks the Justice Department’s first acknowledgment of the probe. The criminal investigation was mentioned in court hearings two weeks ago, but the department had declined to comment. The Nov. 22 letter didn’t identify the targets of the investigation or the nature of any crimes. ]]

Craig Sullivan, former CEO of Clorox, dies at 77
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:13:58 UT - Craig Sullivan, the former CEO of Oakland conglomerate Clorox Co., died Dec. 7 at his San Francisco home after a nearly yearlong battle with colon cancer. He was 77. Sullivan worked at Clorox for 32 years, the last 11 as CEO, before retiring in 2003. He is credited with expanding the company in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Australia, and he oversaw the firm’s largest acquisition in its 104-year history. The 1998 purchase of First Brands, for $1.6 billion, doubled Clorox in size and propelled the company into the Fortune 500. The deal brought visible Clorox brands like Hidden Valley salad dressing and Clorox Bleach under the same roof as First Brands’ Glad plastic wrap. ]]

Priciest office space, tweetstorms and arrest over hidden Airbnb camera
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:17:35 UT - Pricey digs What’s the most expensive office address in the country? Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, the epicenter of the venture capital industry, according to a study by commercial real estate firm JLL. The street has topped the list for several years running. And in a sign that the center of gravity in San Francisco has traveled south of Market, Mission Street continued as the city’s most expensive location, thanks to a rush of development anchored by the new Salesforce tower. ]]

Navajo Nation sues Wells Fargo for alleged predatory tactics
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:39:41 UT - WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation is suing Wells Fargo for allegedly engaging in predatory and unlawful banking practices that targeted and harmed tribal members. In a statement, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said Tuesday that the tribe’s lawyer has been directed to seek restitution, damages and civil penalties based on the San Francisco bank’s alleged violations of federal, state and tribal law. The tribe alleges that employees at Wells Fargo branches on the vast reservation “routinely misled customers into opening unnecessary accounts and obtained debit and credit cards without customers’ consent. ]]

Toshiba settles fight with Western Digital that imperiled a major deal
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:07:55 UT - TOKYO — Toshiba has cleared one of the last remaining hurdles to a planned sale of its microchip subsidiary and moved a step away from the financial brink. The struggling Japanese conglomerate said Wednesday that it had settled a legal dispute with Western Digital, the San Jose data storage company, that threatened to block the microchip deal. Toshiba is counting on the sale to bring in about $14 billion in much-needed cash after its losses on nuclear power projects in the United States left its finances in tatters. Toshiba and Western Digital said Wednesday that they had agreed to withdraw a cluster of lawsuits and arbitration claims over the deal that they had filed against each other. ]]

Fed raises crucial interest rate for 3rd time
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:38:12 UT - WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is raising its key interest rate for the third time this year and foresees three additional hikes in 2018, a vote of confidence that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing 8½ years after the end of the brutal recession. The Fed announced Wednesday that it’s lifting its short-term rate by a modest quarter-point to a still-low range of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent. It is also continuing to slowly shrink its bond portfolio. Together, the two steps could lead over time to higher loan rates for consumers and businesses and slightly better returns for savers. ]]

Ship traffic, Dec. 14
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:58:42 UT - Ship traffic Due to arrive today SHIP FROM PORT Atlantic Eagle Cleaning Tanks SFO ]]

Comcast’s pledge to behave without open-Web rules met with doubt
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:40:24 UT - Broadband provider Comcast Corp. spent years fighting regulations that bar it from charging high-volume Internet companies more to speed their content along. Yet the cable company is adamant that it won’t do that once those net-neutrality rules are lifted by U.S. regulators this week. “Any reporting that we are preparing to offer paid prioritization is absolutely false and inaccurate,” Sena Fitzmaurice, a Comcast spokeswoman, said in an email. ]]

Musk’s SpaceX doubles down on method for cheaper rocket launches
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:31:40 UT - Elon Musk’s rocket company is about take another step toward making space flight cheaper. Space Exploration Technologies Corp. on Wednesday will double down on the concept of recycling spacecraft that the company has flown and landed back on Earth. In a mission for NASA, SpaceX will reuse both a rocket and a capsule that it’s fired off before. Making space missions work more like commercial airline flights dramatically reduces costs — less money gets wasted discarding rockets and spacecraft after single launches. SpaceX’s success in this pursuit has made it one of the world’s most richly valued private companies. ]]

For Disney CEO Bob Iger, Fox deal is about future of TV
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:16:48 UT - When news broke last month that Walt Disney Co. was in talks to buy a large part of 21st Century Fox Inc., the first question many investors had was: Why are the Murdochs selling? Then came the second: Why is Disney buying? The $50 billion deal, which could be announced this week, would mark a significant turning point in the empire-building career of Fox’s founder and executive chairman, 86-year-old Rupert Murdoch. It would also be a defining moment for Disney and Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger. Iger has built a reputation over the past 12 years for making bold bets, including the $7.4 billion he paid for Pixar animation just months after he became CEO. ]]

Business News Roundup, Dec. 13
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:20:43 UT - Acquisitions Westfield mall operator sold Westfield Corp., operator of upscale shopping malls in the Bay Area and dozens of other locations in the U.S. and Britain, is being sold to French commercial real estate giant Unibail-Rodamco in a $16 billion deal, the two companies announced Tuesday. Westfield’s 16 California locations include Westfield Oakridge in San Jose, Westfield San Francisco Centre and Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara. Unibail-Rodamco owns and operates 69 shopping centers in some of Europe’s key cities, including Paris, Madrid, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Munich. ]]

Some Star Wars toys for fans who have $10,000 to burn
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:00:32 UT - “Star Wars” returns to the big screen this weekend, with fans young and old already lining up in Hollywood for early screenings. “The Last Jedi” is sure to attract a wide audience, including those same kids who were there in 1977 to see the very first episode. Back then, they might have had to scrape together paper route money for a ticket. Now older and wealthier, some are still brought to tears by Luke Skywalker’s appearance at the climax of the previous installment, “The Force Awakens.” What to do with that reverence for a galaxy far, far away? Well, spend, of course. And when it comes to Star Wars, there’s always been an almost endless selection of goodies to choose from. ]]

Last Update at: Wed Dec 13 22:41:05 PST 2017

Bay Area Sports

No. 1 Villanova overwhelms Temple
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:36:46 UT - Jalen Brunson scored 22 of his 31 points in No. 1 Villanova’s dominating first half and Omari Spellman added 27 points as the Wildcats rolled to an 87-67 rout of host Temple on Wednesday night in Philadelphia. Donte DiVincenzo added 12 points for Villanova (11-0), which looked like the best team in the country in a dominating opening 20 minutes. With his dad Rick — a former Temple guard and current assistant coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves — sitting two rows behind the Villanova bench, Brunson led the way. “He was incredible,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said of Brunson. ]]

Senators beat Rangers to snap five-game skid
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:29:42 UT - Ottawa’s Craig Anderson made 27 saves Wednesday to stop his seven-game losing streak and the host Senators snapped a five-game skid with a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. Bobby Ryan, Cody Ceci and Zack Smith scored for the Senators, who improved to 2-10-2 in their past 14 games. New York’s Henrik Lundqvist had 27 saves, becoming the 15th goalie in NHL history to reach 20,000 for his career. Predators 7, Canucks 1: P.K. Subban scored two goals and Craig Smith added a goal and two assists as visiting Nashville won for the fourth time in five games while handing Vancouver its fourth straight loss. ]]

Paul George hears boos in return to Indiana, makes Pacers pay
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:25:26 UT - Paul George made a winning return to Indiana, hitting the clinching free throws with 10.7 seconds left in Oklahoma City’s 100-95 victory over the Pacers on Wednesday night. Steven Adams had 23 points and 13 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook finished with 10 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists in his ninth triple-double this season. Former Oklahoma City guard Victor Oladipo led the Pacers with 19 points and Bojan Bogdanovic had 15. Indiana had a chance to tie after getting the ball back with 15.2 seconds left, but committed a turnover and then fouled George. The Pacers’ winning streak ended at four. ]]

A’s pursuit of Stephen Piscotty looks like a done deal
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:20:43 UT - LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The A’s and Cardinals, who had conversations about outfielder Stephen Piscotty throughout the winter meetings, appeared to have reached an agreement Wednesday night. The Chronicle reported early Wednesday that the teams were close to a trade and could strike a deal before the end of the winter meetings Thursday. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported Wednesday night that terms had been reached that would send two minor-leaguers to St. Louis. St. Louis was looking for prospects off Oakland’s 40-man roster, and though the A’s will not move any of their top young players, one name under discussion, according to one industry source, was infielder/outfielder Yairo Muñoz. ]]

Tour de France winner Chris Froome found to have double the limit of asthma drug
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:18:32 UT - Chris Froome failed a doping test during the Spanish Vuelta in September and is facing a suspension from cycling ahead of his attempt to win a record-equaling fifth Tour de France title next year. Froome won his fourth Tour title this year and followed it with a victory at the Vuelta. But Team Sky said that Froome had a concentration of asthma drug salbutamol two times higher than the World Anti-Doping Agency’s permitted levels. Salbutamol is a drug that helps expand lung capacity and can be used as a performance-enhancing drug to increase endurance. Froome suffers from asthma and his use of asthma medication has been well documented. ]]

Sports calendar, Dec. 14-15
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:00:00 UT - THURSDAY Boxing 7:30p Bantamweights: Diego de la Hoya vs. ]]

Family ties: Kyle Shanahan connects with another McCaffrey
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:27:37 UT - Kyle Shanahan wore No. 87 as a wide receiver at Duke and Texas because those were the digits sported by his hero: Denver wide receiver Ed McCaffrey. With his dad, Mike, serving as the Broncos’ head coach, Shanahan ran routes and learned the intricacies of the position from McCaffrey when Shanahan was in high school. Now, about two decades later, it’s Shanahan who will help tutor a McCaffrey: On Tuesday, the 49ers signed Ed’s son, wide receiver Max McCaffrey, off the Packers’ practice squad. “Obviously, my dad played for (Shanahan’s) dad, so there’s a ton of ties there,” McCaffrey said Wednesday before his first practice. ]]

Giants launch ‘significant rebuild’ of weakened farm system
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:27:13 UT - LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — In winning three World Series, the Giants used their farm system effectively to stock their big-league club and trade for help. Things have changed. The system is not barren, but the flow of prospects to the big club has slowed, and the Giants acknowledge that a dearth of sexy top-100 prospects hinders them in trade talks. “It’s fair to say our system is not as strong as we’d like it to be, and it does sometimes cost us deals,” general manager Bobby Evans said Wednesday. “That’s reality.” The Giants hope to change the reality. They expect to replenish their prospect stock through their No. 2 slot in June’s amateur draft and more international spending. ]]

Raiders put linebacker Cory James on injured reserve
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:21:48 UT - The Raiders placed starting weakside linebacker Cory James on injured reserve Wednesday because of a nagging knee injury, ending his season. James had been inactive for the Raiders’ previous two games. He last appeared Nov. 26, playing 15 snaps against the Broncos. In 10 games this season, James recorded 67 tackles, a forced fumble and two passes defensed. James first appeared on the injury report in Week 1 and reappeared in Week 6. He was officially listed as questionable for every game from Week 6 until Sunday, when he was listed as doubtful. By shutting down James, the Raiders open the possibility of his having surgery before the season ends. ]]

49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo eager to play before his new Faithful
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 04:51:21 UT - After Sunday’s road win over the Texans, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo saluted “49er Nation” as he told reporters he heard chants for the visiting team at Houston’s NRG Stadium. On Wednesday, he said his friends sent him group-text messages letting him know he’d messed up: His new team’s fans are known as “The Faithful.” They “said, ‘Man, you’ve got to get these right. These are your fans now,’” Garoppolo said. Here’s a safe bet: The Faithful will forgive the potential Franchise for what might be his lone misstep since he was traded to the 49ers on Oct. 30. ]]

Stanford libero Morgan Hentz ready to take the floor at Final Four
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 04:44:56 UT - For a position that has been part of college volleyball for only about 15 years, the libero can be critical. Being a defensive specialist takes a special skill set: the reflexes of a hockey goalie, the nimbleness of a gymnast and the guts of a ski jumper. Morgan Hentz, Stanford’s first Pac-12 Libero of the Year since the award’s inception in 2011, wraps it all up in a 5-foot-9 package. And she can’t get enough of the position. “I love making a dig when we put it away,” she said. “That’s the best feeling ever.” She and her teammates on the defending national champion Cardinal are the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Final Four in Kansas City, Mo. They play No. 2 Florida in the semifinals at 6 p.m. ]]

Steve Kerr on Roy Moore’s loss: ‘Today is a really important day’
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 04:43:29 UT - Democrat Doug Jones’ Senate-race win in Alabama over Roy Moore, a Republican former judge accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls, was a big talking point during the Warriors’ video session Wednesday morning. “I think today is a really important day,” said head coach Steve Kerr, who has fostered a locker-room environment built on discussion. “It’s all about high character and values, and the way you treat people. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, Republican or independent, we put a known pedophile in the Senate, what would that have said about us? “Let’s get to the point where this is all about us and not them. Leadership, character and morality. Let’s be better, and that was a good step. ]]

Jimmy Garoppolo can make Levi’s Stadium his own
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 04:42:58 UT - Prediction: There will be many more butts in the seats at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday than there have been for most games this season. And not just because the temperature will be slightly below surface-of-the-sun hot. (Forecast: 67 and sunny, so lather on that sunscreen.) No, it will be because of the new quarterback: James Richard Garoppolo. The man you know as Jimmy G. There’s a buzz around the 49ers, one that hasn’t been there since Levi’s opened in 2014. Sure, when the stadium debuted, there was some hope that the 49ers could reach a fourth straight NFC Championship Game. ]]

What’s up with Raiders’ QB Derek Carr? It’s a deep question.
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 04:41:30 UT - On his final throw Sunday in Kansas City, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr stepped up in a shrinking pocket and fired a pass 40 yards downfield intended for receiver Johnny Holton. The ball bounced off Holton’s outstretched hands and into those of safety Steven Terrell for an interception. Carr was visibly upset after the Raiders’ 26-15 loss — strikingly so for a player normally effusive in his optimism. He invited reporters to “put it all on me,” and fans, frustrated by the Raiders’ languid showing in a pivotal game, were happy to oblige. “I think we were all pretty upset,” Carr said Wednesday, “but you know, if you’re not, then you’re obviously not putting enough into it. ]]

Last Update at: Wed Dec 13 22:41:06 PST 2017

Bay Area News

Oakland school board OKs $9 million in cuts
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:17:44 UT - After years of overspending and draining the district’s savings account, the Oakland school board approved $9 million in mid-year budget cuts, a decision lambasted by parents and teachers. The vote Wednesday night culminated a months-long process of public input and budget analysis to identify how much and where to cut to keep the district financially afloat. School board members voted 6-1 in favor of the resolution. Director Roseann Torres cast the only no vote. Their vote was met with loud “boos” from the audience of parents, teachers and students. The resolution calls for school sites to cut $3.8 million with the remaining $5.2 million in cuts to be taken from the central office. ]]

Mayor Ed Lee’s body to lie in state in SF City Hall rotunda
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 04:59:00 UT - A memorial celebration for Mayor Ed Lee will take place Sunday afternoon in the San Francisco City Hall rotunda, just down the grand stone staircase from the second-floor office where he governed the city for six years. The service, which begins at 3 p.m., is open to the public “as building capacity allows,” according to an announcement on Wednesday from the mayor’s office. City Hall insiders say that means arrive early. The mayor, who died of a heart attack on Tuesday, will lie in state in the rotunda from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. Details of the Sunday service, including eulogists and officiants, have not been announced. ]]

Thomas Fire reaches 30 percent containment, but winds stoke new worries
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 03:25:49 UT - Firefighters battling a stubborn wildfire burning a path of destruction through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties had 30 percent of the blaze contained Wednesday, but strengthening winds threaten to impede progress. The Thomas Fire has scorched 238,500 acres — roughly 372 square miles — since starting Dec. 4. The inferno, one of multiple blazes that broke out this month in Southern California, has destroyed more than 900 structures and damaged nearly 200 more as blustery Santa Ana winds and dry conditions have fueled its rise to become the fifth-largest fire in modern state history. ]]

Oakland hills fire forces indefinite road closure
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 03:20:27 UT - A total road closure is in effect in the 6600 block of Snake Road in Oakland, officials said, a result of damage to the area caused by a fire that burned down two homes this week, officials said. The road closure is in place for an indefinite amount of time, officials said. The fire started around 11 p.m. Monday and burned into early Tuesday, damaging an additional six homes nearby. The blaze started at a house that was under construction, officials said, before high winds and dry hillsides helped the flames spread quickly. The home where the blaze started and one next door were the ones that burned down, officials said. The fast-moving fire prompted 50 houses to be evacuated Tuesday. ]]

SF supes OK one of Ed Lee’s last requests: fast-tracking homeless shelters
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 01:39:22 UT - The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved one of Mayor Ed Lee’s final requests, to declare a citywide emergency and fast-track construction of shelters for homeless people. But several supervisors contested and ultimately delayed voting on a second proposal from the mayor, who died early Tuesday, to add showers and laundry facilities at an office building on 440 Turk St. where the city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing is headquartered. Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district includes the 440 Turk St. building and the Tenderloin neighborhood that surrounds it, said the plan was a misuse of the term “emergency. ]]

Oakland fire expert believes electrical failure started deadly Ghost Ship fire
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 01:31:19 UT -

Transbay Transit Center to see first bus line Dec. 26
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:41:06 UT - The new Transbay Transit Center probably won’t open until June, but the first bus service from the new transportation hub will start the day after Christmas. Muni’s decision to run some of its buses on the 5-Fulton route from the terminal’s street-level bus plaza, beginning Dec. 26, is part of an effort to break in the sprawling new transit hub. The partial service start also appears to be an effort to satisfy a federal loan requirement that the terminal reach “substantial completion” and begin Muni service by the end of 2017. The first buses to pull out of the still-under-construction terminal will be on short-run routes bound for the Richmond District. ]]

There’s a Star Wars crop circle in a Livermore field. A 6th grader did it.
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:24:54 UT -

Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund daily donor list
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:17:21 UT - Fund total as of December 11, 2017: $6,739,806 Advocate ($1,000-$1,499): Barbara B. Job; Mary & Charlie Jones; Brad Maring. Supporter ($500-$999): Linda Palmer. Collaborator ($250-$499): John & Jan Becker; Jan & Bob Burdick; Joyce Huie; Elizabeth A. McBrady; Katherine Triest; Fanyela Weinberg, in memory of Eva Aizicovici, Aba Aizicovici, and Mihai Weinberg; Adriana Williams. Booster ($150-$249): Eric Haas; Anonymous, in memory of Bob Maytham; John Nides & Susan Spencer, in memory of Andrew Butler and Sally Walker; Kathleen Turnquist, in honor of Cynthia Fine. ]]

Bokara Legendre, solo performer, socialite and Buddhist, dead at 77
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:48:27 UT - Bokara Legendre, a solo performer, TV host and self-described “socialite-turned-social activist” died Dec. 3 in her Mill Valley home from an aggressive form of thyroid cancer. She was 77. Legendre built a public persona out of her background as an heiress who was raised by servants in the South, made her way into the tippy top of San Francisco society then evolved into a spiritual seeker who was friendly with the Dalai Lama. Her memoir, “Not What I Expected,” was published in July and in November, while terminally ill, she gave a reading at Book Passage in Corte Madera. ]]

Viral video shows woman escorted out of East Bay Starbucks after racially charged altercation
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:43:42 UT -

Orphaned mountain lion cubs find new home at Oakland Zoo
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:32:17 UT -

78-year-old man robbed, beaten in SF home invasion
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:30:19 UT -

Their car was stolen. When they got it back, it had Lyft stickers and 11,000 more miles.
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:16:50 UT -

Last Update at: Wed Dec 13 22:41:06 PST 2017