Tuesday Must Read: Feds Blame PG&E for Deadly San Bruno Blast; Cal Prof on His Way to State Supreme Court


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Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Federal regulators today blamed PG&E for last year’s deadly pipeline blast that destroyed a San Bruno neighborhood, the Chron and Mercury News report. The National Transportation Safety Board cited PG&E’s “litany of failures” as the prime reason for the explosion, noting that the pipeline that blew up was defective when it was installed in the 1950s and that PG&E never adequately inspected it. The NTSB also ruled out a 2008 sewer pipeline repair job as possible reason for the blast. PG&E and state regulators have tried to pin partial blame on the sewer repair job as contributing to the weakening of the nearby gas pipeline that exploded. But the NTSB found no evidence of that assertion.

  • Liu
2. UC Berkeley law school professor Goodwin Liu appears headed for certain confirmation to the California Supreme Court because no conservative groups have signed up to speak out against him, the Mercury News and Chron report. Republicans had previously derailed Liu’s nomination by President Obama to a federal appeals court, claiming he’s too liberal. Liu was then nominated to join the state Supreme Court by Governor Brown.

3. BART protesters last night did not disrupt service as they held their third demonstration in the past two weeks against the agency’s decision to shutdown cellphone service, the Chron reports. Protest organizers urged demonstrators to not block train service because riders were growing increasingly frustrated.

4. Backers of a ballot measure that would halt the death penalty in California unveiled a plan to use savings generated by the measure to help law enforcement solve murder cases, the SacBee reports. Proponents note that California wastes nearly $200 million a year on death penalty cases, and their ballot measure would redirect a part of that savings to help fund homicide investigation around the state.

5. It turns out that Walmart, which has strongly backed a new law that forces Amazon.com to charge sales tax, does not require businesses that sell items through its website to charge sales tax either, the LA Times reports. Walmart says it’s not its responsibility to ensure that companies that sell products on Walmart.com obey the new law.