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Morning Wrap: 12/7/11

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Barry Bonds asks for probation, Montel Williams wants to run an Oakland pot dispensary, ex-San Quentin warden leads anti-death penalty fight, Supes back naming a park meadow for Warren Hellman, and more inside.

Top of the morning’s news
  • Wood fires are banned in the Bay Area today after air quality officials declared the season’s first cold weather Spare the Air day. Contra Costa Times
Media
  • The Federal Reserve has written a letter to Congress referring indirectly to Bloomberg News for “egregious errors and mistakes” for its reporting that cheap loans from the Fed allowed banks to pocket about $13 billion in profits during a two-year period ending in 2009. Media Decoder 
  • CNN weekend anchor T. J. Holmes told colleagues he’s leaving the cable channel at the end of December to take another job, without saying where. TV Newser
Politics
  • Former San Quentin warden Jeanne Woodford is taking a lead role pushing a state ballot initiative that would replace the death penalty with life in prison without possibility of parole. Marin IJ
  • The Board of Supervisors is backing a move to rename Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park after financier Warren Hellman, who for 11 years has sponsored the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival at the site. Examiner
Other news
  • Former daytime talk show host Montel Williams is trying to win a permit from the city of Oakland for one of four new medical marijuana dispensaries to open next year. The Bay Citizen
  • A federal grand jury has indicted a Sacramento couple on charges that they ran a teenage prostitution ring out of a South San Francisco hotel. BANG
  • Former Giants slugger Barry Bonds is asking a federal judge to give him probation for his felony obstruction of justice conviction when he is sentenced next week. Mercury News
  • California’s population growth is slowing, but the state now has 37.5 million residents, the Census Bureau says. Chronicle 
  • The South Bay, home to Silicon Valley, led the nation in job growth during the past year, with the job market there growing by 3.2 percent, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says. Contra Costa Times
  • Teatro ZinZanni will stage its final show at Pier 29 on New Year’s Eve, before moving to a new location near the Embarcadero as the result of being displaced by the America’s Cup. SF Business Times
  • A former San Quentin employee faces up to four years behind bars after pleading guilty to smuggling drugs into the prison. AP
  • San Jose’s City Council voted 6 to 5 to place pension reform on the June ballot. Mercury News

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