Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Must Read: Deadline for Mayor’s Race is Wednesday; Schwarzenegger Wants Gay Marriages to Start Now

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The deadline for entering the Oakland mayor’s race has been extended until Wednesday because Ron Dellums is not seeking reelection, the Trib reports. There are expected to be at least eight people running for mayor — Councilwomen Rebecca Kaplan and Jean Quan, ex-state Senator Don Perata, political science professor and ex-TV news pundit Joe Tuman, eco-activist Don Macleay, businessman Greg Harland, educator Terrance Candell, and real estate agent Larry Lionel Young Jr. The deadline for replacing Quan as the councilmember of District 4 — Montclair and Laurel — also is extended to Wednesday because she is running for mayor.

2. The only contested race for Oakland school board will be in District 4, where school board member Gary Yee will be facing off against ex-teachers’ union president Ben Visnick, the Trib reports. Incumbent board members David Kakishiba and Chris Dobbins are running unopposed in November. Kakishiba had been expected to face a challenger following a report earlier this year by the school district’s lawyer, who raised concerns about the district’s lucrative contract with Kakishiba’s nonprofit, East Bay Asian Youth Center.

3. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is urging federal Judge Vaughn Walker to allow gay and lesbian couples to begin marrying immediately, the Chron reports. The Republican governor’s request followed the historic ruling by Walker last week overturning Proposition 8 — the anti-gay marriage ballot measure. Schwarzenegger, who twice vetoed legislation that would have legalized gay marriage, asked the judge to deny a request by anti-gay marriage forces to stay his ruling pending an appeal. Walker is expected to issue his decision soon.

4. The nation’s jobless rate remained at 9.5 percent in July even though employers nationwide slashed 131,000 jobs, the Chron reported. The overall unemployment rate stayed steady because lots of people gave up looking for work. The weak unemployment figures show that the nation’s economy is remaining stagnant and they coincided with the resignation of Christina Romer, one of President Obama’s top economic advisors, who is returning to teaching at UC Berkeley. Romer had argued that last year’s $700 billion stimulus package wasn’t large enough to turn around the economy.

5. Bay Area home values, however, are showing signs of stabilizing, the Chron reports, citing a new study by Zillow.com. The median home price in the Bay Area rose to $497,000 last month, roughly equal to 2003 figures. However, home values in some areas remain in the doldrums from the foreclosure crisis. Home prices in East Oakland, for example, are down 34 percent.

6. Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, who is running for state attorney general against San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, has accepted numerous expensive gifts from influential friends over the years even though he’s based his campaign on fighting public corruption, the Chron reports.

7. And little Hasanni Campbell was reported missing in Oakland one year ago tomorrow. The 5-year-old with cerebral palsy was reported missing by his foster father in the upscale Rockridge District. Campbell’s foster parents, who were arrested on murder charges relating to his disappearance but were never charged with any crime by prosecutors, have apparently given up hope on Hasanni and moved out of California. The Trib reports that Hasanni’s foster mother (and aunt) moved to Arizona and his foster father moved to Maryland. Oakland police also are no longer actively looking for the boy.

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