Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 7:13 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The governor’s race between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman looks like it will be a nail-biter this fall as the two remain locked in a dead heat. The Chron reports, citing a new Field Poll, that Brown barely leads Whitman 44 to 43 percent. The former Oakland mayor continues to run a listless campaign, while Whitman has gained among Latinos and her barrage of campaign ads has eroded Brown’s favorability numbers.

2. Governor Schwarzenegger has filed suit to force state Controller John Chiang to lower state employee pay to the federal minimum wage, the Chron reports. Schwarzenegger won an appellate court ruling last week allowing him to slash public employee pay as long as there is no state budget.

3. Tesla, the electric-car manufacturer that plans to build vehicles at the former NUMMI plant in Fremont, has watched its stock price plummet in recent days after an initial public offering appeared to be successful, the Chron and Mercury News report. Tesla’s stock ended yesterday at $16.11 per share — less than its original offering of $17 last week.

4. PG&E says it opposes a statewide ballot measure bankrolled by two Texas oil companies that would roll back California’s landmark climate-change law, the Sacramento Bee reports. However, the utility doesn’t appear ready to spend $40-plus million fighting the measure — as it did backing a June initiative that would have limited renewable energy use in the state.

5. Peralta community colleges are in danger of losing their accreditation because of fiscal concerns, the CoCo Times reports. Accreditors have been particularly critical of ex-college Chancellor Elihu Harris and members of the district’s board of trustees.

6. The former lawyer for Yusuf Bey IV smuggled a hit-list out of jail earlier this year that included names of witnesses scheduled to testify against the ex-Your Black Muslim Bakery leader in his upcoming trial for the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey, the Chauncey Bailey Project reports. Investigators believe the witnesses were to be targeted for assassination by Bey IV’s associates, however, the lawyer, Lorna Brown, has not yet been charged with a crime.

7. A federal judge has dismissed most of a lawsuit filed against the City of Oakland by the lead investigator in the Chauncey Bailey killing — Oakland police Sergeant Derwin Longmire, the Chauncey Bailey Project reports. The judge ruled that most of the allegations made by Longmire, who had a long relationship with Bey IV and was demoted after mishandling the case, were bogus.

8. Claims that a planned Indian-run mega-casino at Richmond’s Point Molate will create 17,000 jobs appear to be over-inflated, the CoCo Times reports.

9. And jury deliberations in the Johannes Mehserle trial are scheduled to start over today after a juror left on vacation and was replaced by an alternate. The jury did not deliberate yesterday because a juror was sick.

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