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POSTED April 8, 2013 9:02 p.m.

SF BAY AREA CITY LOOKING AT LICENSE PLATE CAMERAS: PIEDMONT  (AP) — A small San Francisco Bay area city that has experienced a rash of home-invasion robberies is proposing installing cameras to record the license plate of every vehicle that crosses city limits.

Piedmont's City Council is expected next month to take up a pilot project that would deploy twelve cameras at key intersections. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the project was approved by the city's Public Safety Committee on Thursday.

Piedmont is surrounded by Oakland, and some residents blame a recent crime surge on Oakland's crime woes.

Piedmont Police Chief Rikki Goede says the cameras could help develop leads for crimes. She says town's location makes the cameras necessary.

But critics worry the license plate data could be misused.

Tiburon in nearby Marin County has a camera aimed at the only road in and out of town.

JACK LONDON'S TREE TO BE FELLED THIS FALL: GLEN ELLEN  (AP) — A 50-foot tree that has provided shade for centuries on the ranch site in Sonoma County that once served as the home of writer and adventurer Jack London is set to be chopped down.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the coast live oak, estimated at more than 400 years old, is infested with the disease known as sudden oak death.

It's estimated that the tree, which last year lost one of its sprawling branches, will die within two years.

Before the majestic tree is felled this fall, it will be honored with music, readings, Native American storytelling, art projects and other events.

Foresters will then collect as many acorns as possible for replanting.

London, who called the property Beauty Ranch, lived there from 1905 until his death in 1916.

OAKLAND SHUT OUT OF EAST BAY RADIO CRISIS NETWORK: OAKLAND  (AP) — A regional communications agency is refusing to allow Oakland police, firefighters and other emergency responders to use its new radio network.

The Oakland Tribune reports the East Bay Regional Communications System Authority is blocking Oakland agencies from using the network for mutual aid and joint operations, threatening to put the city's first-responders and the public at risk.

Alameda County officials say Oakland needs to pay membership fees to join the $72 million radio network, which covers Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Oakland officials say they concerned about how Oakland's interests will be treated if the city joins the network.

The dispute began nearly a decade ago, when Oakland chose to upgrade its own communications system rather than work with other East Bay agencies to build the joint network.

 

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