Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 7:15 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle took the stand yesterday in his own murder trial and said that Oscar Grant and his friends were angry when he arrived at the Fruitvale BART station because of how they had been treated by fellow BART cop Anthony Pirone, the Chron and Trib report. Mehserle also attempted to distance himself from the hot-headed Pirone, saying he is the “opposite of him.” Mehserle will return to the stand today to give his version of why he fatally shot Grant in the back as lay face-down on the ground. He is expected to say that he meant to pull out his Taser, but mistakenly grabbed his gun instead.

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Oakland Lays Off 80 Cops

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 5:59 AM

The Oakland City Council voted 5-3 last night to lay off eighty police officers as part of $31 million in budget cuts. However, council members said that they could still reverse their lay-off decision if the police union agrees to begin contributing to its pension plan like other city employee unions. City leaders are scheduled to return to the bargaining table with the police union on Sunday and Monday.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Berkeley Bowl Workers Throw Out Union

BREAKING NEWS

by Judith Scherr
Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Councilman Max Anderson calls Berkeley a union town. But after the vote yesterday by employees at Berkeley Bowl to get rid of their union, there are about 200 fewer union jobs in the city.

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Peet's/Solano Offers Sidewalk Seating, Finally

by Anneli Rufus
Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 8:34 AM

Peet's Coffee on Solano Avenue will provide sidewalk seating at long last, starting on Saturday.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cops’ Union Attacks Quan

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Updated: The Oakland police union began robo-calling Oakland residents yesterday, blaming Councilwoman Jean Quan for the city’s plan to lay off cops — even though she is not the driving force behind the layoff plan. The automated calls provide residents with Quan’s council office phone number and urge people to phone her and tell her not to put Oakland “lives at risk.” The calls represent a new escalation in the battle over whether police should begin contributing to their own pensions or face layoffs. And because they single out Quan, the union’s actions appear to be political since she is running against the police union’ favored candidate — Don Perata, who has taken up the union’s cause in this debate.

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Wednesday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 7:07 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums unveiled his budget plan yesterday, calling for the elimination of eighty police positions unless cops agree to start contributing toward their pensions like other city employees. Dellums’ proposal also depends on voters approving a change to Measure Y and okaying a November parcel tax or other tax measures that could generate an additional $50 million a year for the city. If voters don’t, then the number of police layoffs would top 200. The plan by Dellums, who has come under media criticism for not playing a more public role in the city’s budget crisis, came just two days before the city council is to vote on the budget and is similar to a proposal released Monday by four council members.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Whitman Could Save 64% on Energy If She Went Green

by Lindsay Wasserberger
Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Oakland solar company Sungevity concluded that Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman could save 64 percent on her residential electricity bill each month if she went green. Using its satellite imagining technology, the company determined that Whitman’s home could support an 8.93 kilowatt solar-panel system — an installation three times greater than that recommended for her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown.

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Perata and Nacho Disagree on Cops

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Ex-state Senator Don Perata and Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente have been close political allies and friends for much of the past fifteen years. Rarely have they disagreed on a substantive issue. But right now they’re on opposite sides of a pivotal dispute over whether Oakland police should begin contributing toward their pensions or face layoffs.

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Tuesday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 7:10 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland City Council is expected to lay off up to 150 cops on Thursday after talks with the police officers’ union broke down, according to the Trib and Chron. Councilmembers want cops to begin paying part of their own pensions like other city employees to help bridge a $31 million budget deficit. But the police union is refusing unless the council promises to shield cops from layoffs indefinitely. Councilmembers say such a pledge would be irresponsible because the city’s budget deficit in 2011 is expected to top $50 million.

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