Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Must Read: Feds Inquire About Oakland Pot Farms; Meg Whitman’s Spending Nears $100 Million

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 7:14 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The DEA is making inquiries about a new Oakland law that will allow four large medical cannabis farms to open next year, The Bay Citizen reports. Medical marijuana is illegal under federal law, but the Obama administration has taken a hands off approach to the issue in states that have legalized it. However, it’s unclear whether Oakland’s proposed large pot farms will violate California law.

2. Billionaire Meg Whitman has spent nearly $100 million on her campaign to become California governor, AP reports. By contrast, state Attorney General Jerry Brown has spent only $377,000 so far and has more than $24 million in the bank for the November election campaign, the CoCo Times reports.

3. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has out-raised Republican Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado by a more than 2-1 margin, the Chron reports. Newsom had raised $1.4 million through June 30 compared to Maldonado’s $620,000.

4. In another victory for AC Transit bus drivers, a judge ordered the transit agency to rescind the contract it imposed last month until an independent arbitration hearing is completed, the Chron reports. The move likely will end a sickout by drivers, but AC Transit management says the ruling could force the agency to drastically reduce service for a third time this year.

5. The Port of Oakland says cargo traffic surged by nearly 13 percent in the first half of this year, raising hopes that the Bay Area economy might be on the rebound, the Trib reports.

6. The Oakland school district postponed the closure of seven childcare centers until the end of August after learning that it can use federal stimulus funds to keep them open, the Trib reports. The centers had been slated to close last Friday because of state budget cuts.

7. The Chron’s Nanette Asimov has an interesting read about UC Berkeley’s Cloyne Court, a troubled student coop that the campus police chief has called a “hell hole.”

8. Social networking sites, specifically Facebook, are now the most popular destinations on the Internet, the Chron reports.

9. Verizon and AT&T are looking into a plan to have smartphones replace credit cards, Bloomberg News reports.

10. And after more than three years of relentlessly bashing Ron Dellums, Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson now says Oakland’s mayor should seek reelection in order to “enliven” the race and increase voter turnout.

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