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Daily news roundup for Monday, January 26, 2015

Evan Sernoffsky
SF Chronicle

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, curated by KALW news:

Firefighters contain 6-alarm wildfire in Pacifica // SF Gate

“An unusual midwinter wildfire chased dozens of Pacifica residents from their homes early Monday before firefighters were able to contain the six-alarm blaze.

“The fire was reported at 3:35 a.m. in brush and vegetation in steep terrain on the 1100 block of Fassler Avenue near Highway 1. By 7:30 a.m., firefighters had contained the blaze and said residents could return to their homes when the fire was fully controlled, which was expected by about 8:30 a.m.

“Eighty to 90 homes in the Rockaway Beach area were evacuated, said Clyde Preston of the North County Fire Authority. He said firefighters would remain on the scene throughout the day to watch for hotspots.”


Developmental Disabilities Advocates Call For Increased State Funding // The SF Appeal

“Social workers, service providers and individuals with developmental disabilities gathered in San Francisco today to urge State Assemblyman Mark Leno to fight for an increase of roughly $500 million for developmental disability services in Governor Jerry Brown’s state budget...

“Dozens of people advocating for adequate rates for developmental disability service providers gathered at Civic Center Plaza just outside Leno’s office this (Friday) afternoon and called on him to help remove funding cuts to disability services made during the recession in 2008 and grant a 10 percent increase to service providers.”


Citing public health, Leno seeks more limits on e-cigarettes // SF Gate

“A bill to regulate electronic cigarettes by defining them as tobacco products and barring their use at work, schools, on public transportation and in restaurants and bars — just as cigarettes are — is expected to be introduced Monday in the state Legislature.

“The bill, authored by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, is the latest effort by legislators to control the devices, which are soaring in popularity, particularly among young people and smokers who see e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes or as a way to quit.”


Commission Fines PG&E $530,000 for Safety Violations // NBC Bay Area

“The California Public Utilities Commission has fined Pacific Gas & Electric $530,000 for safety violations it says it found during audits that began in 2012...

“Allegations of back-channel dealings between the state commission and PG&E surfaced last year after emails showing officials privately discussing regulatory matters were made public.”


SF’s only marijuana-focused print publication launches // SF Examiner

“California's most valuable cash crop is neither wine grapes nor almonds.

“At $14 billion a year, according to one estimate, marijuana is worth more than those commodities combined.

“The enormous economic potential is one of the reasons why the San Francisco Media Co., which owns The San Francisco Examiner and SF Weekly, on Monday is launching The City's first and only print publication dedicated to this emerging industry.”


Quinceañeras -- beautiful, wondrous, expensive -- not slowing down // Inside Bay Area News

“The Perez family showed up at the Quinceañera Expo on Sunday knowing exactly how much they would pay for their daughter's traditional rite of passage party for Latino girls on the cusp of womanhood. And not a penny more!

"’$10,000, that's it,’ said Lety Perez, a Mexican-American mom who traveled from rural Watsonville to the show at the Santa Clara County fairgrounds. ‘We're here to look around, get ideas and hopefully win a dress in the raffle.’

“The Perezes' budget would be a bargain these days. Gilberto Medina, the director of Quinceañera Magazine, the sponsor of the show, said families typically spend $15,000 to $30,000 on the elegant affairs.”