Tuesday Must Read: Brown Blows Off Labor; Feds Warn PG&E



Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Public-employee unions spent tens of millions getting Jerry Brown elected, but the new governor gave them the cold shoulder yesterday after his inauguration. The Chron reports that the 18,000-member Orange County Employees Association had expected Brown to speak at its free hot-dog fest at the capitol, dubbed “The People’s Inauguration Party,” but the new governor only showed up for a few moments, grabbed some dogs, and scurried off. During his inaugural speech, Brown told unions not to expect any favors and referred to a “philosophy of loyalty” that calls for a “devotion to California above and beyond our narrow perspectives.”

2. Federal investigators probing the cause of PG&E’s deadly pipeline blast in San Bruno have issued a stern and unusual warning to the utility about its shoddy record-keeping. The National Transportation Safety Board is concerned that PG&E had no idea that the pipeline contained seam welds, let alone that they appear to have been faulty, the Chron reports.

3. The San Francisco Bay Guardian and the SF Weekly announced yesterday that they had settled their long legal battle for an undisclosed sum, the Chron reports. A jury and judge had ordered the SF Weekly to pay the Guardian more than $20 million in damages for illegally selling ads at below cost in an attempt to put the Guardian out of business. The SF Weekly announced that it will keep printing papers despite having to pay the Guardian to settle the case.

4. Farm workers and environmentalists have filed suit to block the use of the toxic chemical methyl iodide on strawberries and other crops, the CoCo Times reports. State regulators approved the use of the poisonous fumigant last month to replace methyl bromide, which harms the earth’s ozone layer.

5. Police officers in California can search the cell phones of people they arrest without having to obtain a search warrant, the California Supreme Court ruled, the Chron reports. The decision likely will be appealed to the US Supreme Court.

6. Apple’s market valuation topped $300 billion for the first time yesterday, the Chron reports. The company’s stock has nearly tripled since it introduced the iPhone in 2007. Apple is now the third most valuable corporation on the planet, behind Exxon Mobile and PetroChina.

7. Facebook’s value is now more than $50 billion thanks to a $450 million infusion of cash from Goldman Sachs, the Chron reports.

8. Oakland-based Cost Plus had a huge year in 2010 as its sales jumped significantly and its stock price skyrocketed by 851 percent, making it the best performing stock in the Bay Area by far, the Trib reports.

9. And Stanford University won the Orange Bowl in a blowout last night over Virginia Tech, 40-12, finishing with its best record in decades. The Chron also reports that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh tops the San Francisco 49ers’ wish list for a new head coach. The Oakland Raiders may be interested in Harbaugh as well.