Jerry Brown’s recent acknowledgement that his administration had seriously underestimated California’s budget woes was predictable. The nonpartisan Legislative Analysts’ Office had been challenging Brown’s numbers for months, contending that the governor was far too optimistic when he predicted in January that the California economy would rebound strongly and that tax revenues would be pouring into state coffers this year. Brown insisted that his projections were right, but they weren’t. He admitted as much on May 14 when he revealed that the state’s budget deficit was much worse than his office had estimated — $16 billion, not $9 billion — because of stagnating tax revenues. Consequently, Brown and the legislature are now facing much deeper cuts to essential state services than expected.
The proposal by Oakland A’s owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher to move the team to San Jose looks like it’s officially dead. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said there was no timetable for when the league would even consider the A’s proposal. He also said that the A’s are nowhere close to reaching a required deal with the San Francisco Giants to move to the South Bay. The Giants, which own the territorial rights to the South Bay, have blocked the A’s efforts to move to San Jose.
Ouch. So you may remember Hunter Moore, 25 year-old "life ruiner," peddler of humiliation, and founder of the "revenge porn" site IsAnyoneUp.com, from profiles in just about every news outlet around the country — including this one. And now he's in trouble, for real. Roughly a month after taking down his controversial site, Moore is being investigated by the FBI. According to reporter Camille Dodero of the Village Voice, Moore may have colluded with a hacker, known as Gary Jones, who broke into victims' Inboxes, stole nudes from their attachments, and submitted them to IsAnyoneUp. If the accusation turns out to be true, then the defense he's been using — that weird loophole called the Communications Decency Act — might be annulled.
When Caltrans tore down the Bordertown skate park late last November, it looked as though the long-fought battle to save the illegally built park had finally come to an end. But it turns out Caltrans’ demolition of the popular West Oakland skate spot hasn’t completely crushed the spirits of its supporters. Since the dust settled, a number of Bordertown loyalists have been working to drum up funding and support to erect a new, legitimate skate park from the former’s ashes.
Oakland’s receipt of a warning letter from state Controller John Chiang on the use of redevelopment funds last year has been making headlines over the past week. Chronicle columnists Matier and Ross have repeatedly made a big deal out of the letter, contending that Chiang is demanding that Oakland pay the state more than $30 million for redevelopment expenditures involving the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center and the proposed Coliseum City project. However, the letter from Chiang, obtained by the Express, makes no mention of either the Kaiser or Coliseum City, nor does it demand that Oakland pay the state any money. Instead, Chiang’s missive is merely a form letter that he sent to cities and counties throughout California. In fact, the letter is not even specifically addressed to Oakland.
A missive sent this morning amid the raid at Albany's Occupy the Farm protest said the group would reconvene tomorrow afternoon to plan its next step. But the future is a little hazy for this rogue group of well-intentioned agriculturalists, who spent roughly three weeks tilling two acres of arable land on a parcel owned by UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources, and commandeering additional space for its makeshift encampment. The protesters argued that the 10 acres at Gill Tract, which contain Class 1 soil, evidently the best kind for growing edible crops. It's currently being allocated for agricultural experiments, many of which involve corn.
Now that two of the three efforts to recall Oakland Mayor Jean Quan have failed, backers of the remaining one should abandon their foundering campaign as well. The recall campaigns have been a distraction, and have caused unnecessary divisiveness in the city. And they’ve been costly, especially for the supporters of the remaining campaign. According to the most recent campaign finance reports, the Committee to Recall Mayor Quan Now — has racked up $26,166 in debts, and has virtually no money to hire paid signature gatherers. In fact, the group has only raised about $17,000, far short of the money it needs.
A watershed moment:
As of an hour ago, no arrests had been made at Occupy the Farm, the agricultural encampment set up more than two weeks ago at Gill Tract, a university-owned parcel of land at the intersection of Marin and San Pablo Avenues. But a raid may be imminent. Occupiers received dispersal notices and a threat of "chemical agents" at around 6:30 a.m. this morning. They say that UC police also brought a bulldozer to raze the farm and concrete barriers to inhibit vehicle access to the property. Police say that time has run out for the 200 urban farmers to leave voluntarily, and at this point, UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources needs the land for research.
The Piedmont City Council formally withdrew its approval of the controversial proposal to build a sports field at Blair Park, Piedmont Patch reported this morning. Council members voted 5-0 at last night's meeting to rescind approval of the plan, as requested by project proponents Piedmont Recreational Facilities Organization. City Administrator Geoffrey Grote and City Attorney Tom Curry also recommended that the council withdraw approval of the project, Piedmont Patch reported.