Wednesday Must Reads: Oakland’s Plan for Waterfront Ballpark Faces Legal Threat; 29,000 Prisoners Still on Hunger Strike



Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A plan for a waterfront ballpark for the Oakland A’s is facing a legal threat from a major shipping company, the Trib reports. Mayor Jean Quan and A’s boosters want the ballpark to be built at the Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland. And the port is currently considering a financial deal with shipping conglomerate SSA Terminals that would free up the Howard Terminal for the stadium. But Ports America, another major shipper at the port, is threatening to sue the port on the grounds that the proposed financial deal with SSA is unfair.

Pelican Bay State Prison
  • Pelican Bay State Prison
2. At least 29,000 inmates in California prisons are still on a hunger strike, protesting long-term solitary confinement, along with demanding cleaner facilities and better food, the LA Times$ reports. It’s the third major hunger strike in two years in state prisons. In addition, 2,000 inmates refused to go work or attend classes on Tuesday.

3. In an abrupt turnaround, the California Public Utilities Commission staff has withdrawn a recommendation that PG&E not be fined for the 2010 deadly blast in San Bruno, SFGate reports. PUC attorneys who had objected to the no-fine recommendation and were reassigned because of their stance have been put back on the San Bruno case and are formulating a new punishment proposal. The recommendation that PG&E not be fined and instead be ordered to spend $2.3 billion on pipeline upgrades drew widespread criticism from San Bruno residents.

4. NTSB officials say the pilots of the Asiana jetliner that crashed at SFO had depended on an automatic throttle system to keep the Boeing 777 at the right speed for landing, the LA Times$ reports. The airplane crashed because it was flying too slow and could not maintain proper altitude. NTSB is investigating whether the throttle system malfunctioned. Meanwhile, SFGate reports that the NTSB has been pushing for years for a voice-warning system for pilots when a plane’s airspeed is too slow, but the FAA has opposed it.

5. And the planned $5.2 million party for the new Bay Bridge has been suspended indefinitely — and may never take place — following the revelation that the opening of the new span will be delayed until at least December because of broken bolts, the Mercury News reports.