camp in Oaklamnd
OAKLAND (AP) — Oakland has a new Occupy encampment.
The Oakland Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/sbPFo7) that the latest encampment sprang up in a vacant lot in west Oakland on Tuesday. It has more than a dozen tents.
Police have cleared all the city's previous encampments, including tents in front of City Hall. That site was cleared twice — on Oct. 25 and again on Nov. 14. Three other encampments, two in lots and the other at Snow Park near Lake Merritt, have also come down.
Occupy protesters most recently forced the closure of much of the Port of Oakland. They blocked longshoremen from reporting to work for nearly 24 hours on Dec 12.
Bikers, pedestrians to
share GG Bridge sidewalk
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Bikers and pedestrians will again share the same sidewalk across the Golden Gate Bridge starting in January.
The span's west sidewalk, which is normally reserved for cyclists during certain hours, will be closed for construction for almost three months on Jan. 9. That means cyclists and pedestrians will have to share the east sidewalk.
Bridge officials say the closure is prompted by construction to improve a section of a trail that connects state parkland with the span.
The west sidewalk should reopen on April 1.
Bicyclists and pedestrians have been forced to share the same sidewalk at other times this year, as crews completed seismic retrofit work and repainted the bridge's cables.
Oakland should keep
port open during protests
OAKLAND (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown says Oakland city officials should keep the port open during protests.
Occupy Oakland activists shut down the Port of Oakland on Nov. 2 and Dec. 12.
During a Sacramento interview on Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle says Brown was asked about Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's assertion last week that the city may be unable to prevent further shutdowns of the port.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was criticized for not preventing the port shutdown.
The governor says Oakland's port is important to Northern California's economy and leadership and imagination can, and should, keep the port open.
The governor, who was once the mayor of Oakland, also says he believes Quan will do everything she can to keep the port open during any future demonstrations.
SF turns Christmas trees
into energy source
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco officials are encouraging residents to put their old Christmas trees out with the trash, so they can be recycled and turned into an energy source.
Department of Environment spokesman Kevin Danaher says the trees will be ground into wood chips that will be sent to power facilities in Woodland and Tracy.
The trees can be left out on regular trash collection days in the two weeks after New Year's Day. They should be stripped of all decorations, stands and wires and set outside, not placed in the regular trash bins.
Officials say the city last year turned Christmas trees into 514 tons of wood chips. The chips are sold by Recology, the city's trash provider, which uses the money to offset the costs of collecting the trees.