Two decades ago, PG&E decided to replace the aging pipeline that ran through San Bruno. Its customers paid to do so. But it was never replaced. And it’s unclear where the money went.
Click on the photo at right to see a map of pipelines that run through the Glenview neighborhood in San Bruno.
An audit released Monday revealed that ratepayers paid PG&E about $183 million in the late 1980s and early 1990s for pipeline replacements that were never performed. Read More
Tire marks are etched into the road in front of the meadow where Bob Hensel’s home once stood. But these are no tracks from a peeled-out vehicle. Rather, they were carved into the road when Hensel drove away from his burning home on a road so hot that it melted under his tires. Hensel stood over those grooves on Tuesday, a glass of champagne in his hand, eyes glittering as he broke ground on a new home on the same spot. “This was my escape vehicle,” he said, patting his wife’s car. “It was in the garage. My other car was in the driveway. That one was on fire.” Read More
When news spread that a quiet San Bruno neighborhood was going up in flames, emergency officials from more than a dozen cities and three counties immediately came together in a massive, coordinated effort to save lives and homes.And that effort wasn’t cheap.City agencies, fire departments, and county offices have asked for more than $4 million in reimbursements from PG&E for responding to the Sept. 9 Glenview fire, which occurred after the company’s gas pipeline blew up. Many have already been reimbursed, but others are still waiting for the checks to come. Read More
The mayor of San Carlos died suddenly Tuesday morning, hours after attending a City Council hearing that went late into the evening.Omar Ahmad died after calling 911 around 7 a.m. with reports of severe chest pains, and died en route to the hospital, according to city officials. Read More
That noise you just heard was the collective groan of a legion of solo commuters.
County and regional transit leaders are considering converting one of U.S. Highway 101’s four lanes to a carpool route in San Mateo County.
Carpool lanes — which aim to inspire commuters to ride in groups and thereby take single-occupant vehicles off the road — are ubiquitous on Bay Area freeways. However, 101’s carpool lanes end at Whipple Avenue and don’t pick up again until Marin County. Read More
People who use a lot of power could see their bills go down about 20 percent next year. Those who work hard to conserve energy? Not so lucky.
State regulators will probably allow PG&E to increase its electric rates and revamp the way customers are charged so high-volume residential users pay less and those who use less pay more. Read More
In the battle of man versus goose, things are not looking so hot for man lately.
For years, Peninsula cities have waged war on the Canada geese that call their waterfront parks home — or more specifically, on their sanitation habits. The feathered frienemies, many of which have stopped migrating entirely and instead moved permanently to the suburbs, aren’t particularly conscientious about where they leave their droppings.
Click on the photo to the right to see more photos of the solution. Read More
It was well past bedtime Tuesday night when it became apparent that Dave Pine had edged out his opponents in the heated race for San Mateo County supervisor. But 7-year-old Jack Pine was still awake, and had a surprise for his newly elected father.The budding musician had composed his first song, and chose that moment to give it its world premiere.“You won the election, I am so proud that you got it all. Now you are in charge of the county,” sang the young man, before launching into the song’s refrain: “Have fun being county supervisor! Have fun being county supervisor!” Read More
Ten months after the San Francisco Police Department promised to address its crime lab backlog by hiring more DNA analysts, the lab is more short-staffed than ever.
Lt. Troy Dangerfield says the crime lab would be fully staffed with 11 technicians. It currently employs just four, a spokesman said.
Meanwhile, San Francisco spends $150,000 every month sending criminal evidence to an outside lab because it lacks the in-house capacity to test it, according to spokesman Albie Esparza. Read More
The disdain fairly drips from the city of San Bruno’s response to PG&E’s request to make assumptions about the safety of its system, rather than test every natural-gas pipeline.“Eight people are now dead, many are severely injured and a neighborhood has been destroyed partly based on the fact that [PG&E’s] ‘assumptions’ were wrong,” the response reads.San Bruno filed the document with the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday, a day after the commission’s staff told PG&E. that they would recommend against allowing assumptions to be made. Read More
It was 6 a.m. in the emergency room when the patient came in with labored breathing. His respiratory rate was so low that medical resident Dr. Maura Madou wanted to give him her full attention. That might have been easier if she hadn’t already worked 22 hours.
“He was pretty sick, and needed someone with high acuity,” she said. “I honestly couldn’t wait for the next shift to come in.” Read More
Score one for the outraged.
After several days of widespread indignation from customers, regulators, and even the governor, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. announced Monday that it would not make ratepayers cough up $35 million for its fallen CEO’s retirement package.
Last week, the company announced that CEO Peter Darbee was retiring after “a challenging year.” That year included the death of eight people and injury of dozens more when one fo PG&E’s natural-gas pipeline, in San Bruno exploded, and the subsequent downward trajectory of its stock price. Read More
Navigating through 200,000 yachting fanatics on the way home from work could totally cramp a person’s commute. With that in mind, The City is hosting a meeting in the Ferry Building this week to meet with neighbors about the “people plan” they’ve come up with — the strategy for handling the crowds expected for the event. Read More
On a recent evening in the Sunset district, a patrol officer stepped onto a crowded N-Judah train and asked to see passengers’ proofs-of-purchase. Riders began digging out their Clipper cards and holding them out to be scanned, but instead the officer simply nodded and walked by.Asked why he was taking their word for it that they’d scanned the card when they got on, rather than checking with a handheld Clipper-card reader, he appeared chagrined. Read More
Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s top dog has retired after “a challenging year” in which a company natural-gas pipeline exploded and killed eight people and the trajectory of its stock price changed from steady ascent to precarious decay.
Peter Darbee, who stood at PG&E’s helm since 2005, is the third executive to leave the utility in recent weeks. He will depart with a retirement package worth an estimated $35 million and be replaced on an interim basis by director Lee Cox, who will earn $150,000 a month. Read More