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Morning Wrap: 9/16/11

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stanford prof chosen ambassador to Russia, John Avalos gets bike coalition’s nod, Silicon Valley VCs boost the Christian right, disaster for abalone season, plus a Michele Bachmann sighting in Marin, and more inside.

Top of the morning’s news
  • A group of Silicon Valley venture capitalists is backing United in Purpose, an ambitious project that wants to affect the 2012 election by registering 5 million new conservative Christians to vote. LA Times
  • San Francisco-based Current TV named Shelley Lewis, who just left as executive producer of WNET’s “Need to Know,” as its executive vice president of programming.
  • Netflix customers are fleeing in droves and its stock continues to tank following its decision to raise subscription prices by as much as 60 percent. Media DeCoder
  • President Obama nominated Stanford professor Michael McFaul, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, as ambassador to Russia. Mercury News
  • Supervisor John Avalos won the mayoral endorsement of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, with Supervisor David Chiu and Mayor Ed Lee its 2nd and 3rd ranked-choice voting picks.
  • Sarah Palin’s husband called Joe McGinniss’ new book detailing alleged marital infidelity, cocaine use and other failings by the ex-Alaska governor “disgusting lies, innuendo and smears.” AP 
  • Michele Bachmann swung into San Rafael for a breakfast fundraiser yesterday and told about 120 people who paid $100 each, “Marin County could go red, you guys.” BANG
Notable Quote

"I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her."
-- Televangelist Pat Robertson, explaining his view that divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer’s is justifiable because the disease is “a kind of death.”

Other news
  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told students at UC Hastings College of Law last night that it was time for equality for gays and lesbians and that the court should return to a 1972 ruling that halted executions nationwide. Chronicle
  • California Department of Fish and Game officials closed the abalone fishing season in Sonoma County more than 10 weeks ahead of schedule following an exceptionally virulent red tide, which has devastated shellfish populations along the Mendocino and Sonoma coasts. The Bay Citizen
  • A fire that damaged famed French Laundry chef Thomas Keller’s bakery in Yountville early Thursday was apparently caused by an electrical problem. Chronicle
  • For the fourth time in two months, St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church was targeted by copper thieves. Contra Costa Times
  • Thomas Martin, the former head of the Danville-based Discovery Counseling Center, repaid the nonprofit $100,000 as part of an embezzlement plea deal that could wipe criminal charges from his record. Contra Costa Times
  • A memorial bench in Pacific Grove to Polly Klaas, the 12-year-old famously kidnapped from her home and strangled in 1993, was rescued from demolition by a volunteer group after it learned the city planned to remove it for nonpayment of a modest maintenance fee. Monterey County Herald
  • The SS Red Oak, the vintage World War II Victory ship, was towed from Richmond to San Francisco Thursday were it’s to be renovated. Oakland Tribune
  • San Jose has been courting Japan’s All Nippon Airways to fly out of San Jose Airport for nearly four years, and city leaders said the airline’s plan to promote its new jets at City Hall’s glass rotunda is an encouraging sign. Mercury News
  • Chronicle columnist Gwen Knapp comes to ousted Giants CEO and managing general partner Bill Neukom’s defense, saying the Giants misplayed it. 

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