Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Today’s stories that you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums cast a rare tie-breaking vote last night in a decision that will protect the city’s public campaign financing program, the Trib reports. The council had deadlocked 4-4 on a proposal to use $100,000 from the program to fund additional outreach for ranked choice voting, the new voting format that goes into effect this year. Dellums noted that the city is already funding voting outreach through its general fund in partnership with Alameda County.

2. The Oakland school district put the teacher who prompted a parent strike on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation, the Trib and Chron report. The district said it received a new complaint about the Lazear Elementary school teacher that he allegedly grabbed a student by the collar, leaving marks on his neck. Last week, parents pulled their kids out of the school to protest the teacher, who they say has been abusive to children.

3. A new state audit strongly criticized the Oakland Private Industry Council, a nonprofit, and the city's Workforce Investment Board for allegedly misspending federal stimulus dollars, the Trib reports. And the Chron reports that Dellums is on the outs with the Private Industry Council’s CEO Gay Cobb and her husband, Paul Cobb, the publisher of the Oakland Post newspaper. Update: But Paul Cobb told the Express that their relationhip has not changed.

4. State regulators have fined Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and the Oakland police and fire departments more than $135,000 for not properly responding to a bacterial meningitis outbreak late last year, the Chron reports. The highly infectious disease, which can prove fatal, sickened a Summit respiratory therapist and an Oakland police officer after they came in contact with an Oakland man who had the illness.

5. A new jobs bill by Democratic Congressman George Miller could save 6,200 government jobs in the East Bay, including police and firefighter positions, the CoCo Times reports. However, Miller’s bill, which would pump $75 billion into local governments nationwide, including $340 million in the East Bay, appears to be a tough sell for moderate Democrats wary of the growing backlash against government spending.

6. And California lawmakers are siding with law enforcement to support a new bill that would illegalize a Tea Party favorite past-time — carrying unloaded guns openly in public, according to AP.

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