Pitchers and catchers reported today, and the A's are already in mid-season injury form. Annointed staff ace Justin Duchscherer who couldn't pitch when 2009 began because of a balky back is reporting back problems. Last year's staff ace, Dallas Braden couldn't finish 2009 when a bad toe turned into a bad rash, is reporting numbness in his foot to start this season. That means newly acquired ace, Ben Sheets, who didn't throw a pitch in anger in 2009 due to elbow surgery is our healthiest number one pitcher going into March.
In a long-awaited report released this afternoon, the Obama Justice Department concluded that UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo exercised “poor judgment” when he authorized torture and warrantless wiretapping while working for the Bush administration. The newly released report was redrafted after it previously concluded that Yoo had engaged in “professional misconduct” and that he should be referred to the Pennsylvania bar, where he got his law license, for disciplinary proceedings. If the previous conclusion had been allowed to stand, then Yoo may have lost his law license, and ultimately, his tenured professorship at Berkeley.
The City of Oakland is seeking a civil court injunction against violent North Oakland gangs, in an attempt to stop gang members from hanging out with one another, and thus quell the violence near the Berkeley border, the Trib and Chron report. But the American Civil Liberties Union and police watchdog groups oppose the move, arguing that if cops have identified gang members and can document their criminality, then they should arrest them and charge them in court. However, similar gang injunctions have been ruled constitutional and used in other cities, including San Francisco and San Jose.
Agents with the FBI, the IRS, and the Secret Service raided the Concord offices yesterday of the Seeno Family, one of the East Bay’s most prominent developers and influential powerbrokers, the CoCo Times reports. The Seenos, who run a construction and suburban homebuilding empire, also have been good friends over the years with Oakland mayoral candidate and former state senator Don Perata. In fact, the Seeno family, led by Albert Seeno Jr., has donated at least $131,400 to Perata and campaigns associated with him since 2000.
AC Transit will receive $6.7 million in federal stimulus funds as a result of a decision by the Obama administration to pull money from BART’s Oakland airport connector project because of civil rights violations. Yet even with the influx of unexpected cash, an AC Transit spokesman told the Trib that the agency will still go ahead with its planned across-the-board service cuts next month, which will severely impact low-income East Bay residents.
Citing the state’s budget crisis, California political leaders said yesterday that there will be no more funding for medical marijuana research even though a new scientific study found that cannabis helps ease debilitating pain experienced by thousands, perhaps millions of Americans. The Chron and the Trib report that clinical trials conducted by the University of California’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research found that medical pot helps relieve pain from muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and certain neurological conditions.
The A's weak radio station, KTRB, has made tuning in to the Green and Gold even more difficult with the decision to add the awful Michael Savage to the airways before A's games for the 2010 season. Not only do we lose one of the more thoughtful voices on the radio, as pre-pre-game host Martie Lurie will now broadcast for the Giants while the Athletics substitute a half hour of informative sports talk for a half hour of half-assed right-wing provocation.
In another clear indication that pot legalization has gone mainstream, Cannabis Planet, a Los Angeles TV show about marijuana, will premiere this Friday night in the Bay Area on KOFY-TV. According to the Chron, the show, which first aired in the Southern California last July, features two “cannabis news’ anchors, education segments, cooking with pot demonstrations, and marijuana cultivation tips with ganja guru Ed Rosenthal. In Oakland and Berkeley, Cannabis Planet will air at midnight Friday on cable channel 13.