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.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Today’s stories that you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland police have arrested the two men who brutally attacked a San Francisco man and his son thanks to tips from people who recognized the suspects from video that police made public, the Trib reports.

2. The Oakland City Council will consider much-needed rule changes for nightclubs and cabarets tonight. A proposal by councilwomen Rebecca Kaplan and Nancy Nadel includes making it easier for small establishments to offer live music and allowing nightclubs to do “soft-closures,” in which they could stay open until 5 a.m. and serve snacks and non-alcoholic drinks in an attempt to curtail rowdy patron behavior at 2 a.m.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

'Dance of the Lemons'

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Getting rid of a bad teacher is one of the most vexing problems in California. The state’s antiquated tenure system, which puts the rights of teachers above those of students, makes the job of removing an incompetent instructor nearly impossible. But brave parents at Lazear Elementary School in East Oakland stood up for their kids last week by going on strike to protest what they say is especially horrible third-grade teacher.

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Berkeley Brew Wins Big at Beer "Olympics"

by Anneli Rufus
Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Berkeley's Trumer Pils Brauerei just scored its third consecutive win at the 2010 World Beer Cup.

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The Corporate Assault on the Environment

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Pacific Gas & Electric Company has poured another $6 million into its controversial June ballot measure that critics say will block the expansion of renewable energy statewide, according to Capitol Weekly. The utility, which is worried about losing market share if more communities jump into the public power market, has now pumped $34.5 million into Proposition 16. Opponents, by contrast, have raised just $36,000.

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Monday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 7:19 AM

Today's stories that you shouldn't miss:
1. A 59-year-old man was clinging to life after he and his son were brutally assaulted in broad daylight in Oakland’s up and coming Uptown District. The vicious attack mars what has otherwise been a good year for crime reduction in the city.

2. Thousands of medical marijuana users were able to light up legally for the first time yesterday at San Francisco’s Cow Palace at the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, the Chron reports.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Today’s stories that you shouldn’t miss:

1. More money in Oakland politics? The City Council will discuss a “compromise” proposal on Tuesday to increase the individual donation limits to $1,000 and to $1,600 for committees. But it would maintain current caps on total campaign spending, the Trib reports. Vice Mayor Jean Quan, who is running for mayor this year, voted against the proposal, which was put forward by council President Jane Brunner.

2. BART took away Tasers from its police officers yesterday after a sergeant fired his at a teen-ager riding on a bike, in direct violation of agency policy, the Chron reports. BART said it needs to retrain its officers on how to use Tasers, which can sometimes prove deadly. The move came more than 15 months after ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle said he meant to use his Taser — and not his gun — when he shot Oscar Grant to death.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ten Reasons Not to Fire Don Nelson

by Phil Marshall
Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 3:19 PM

The Warriors’ season ended last night with a 122-116 victory over the Portland Trailblazers. While the win was a pleasant way to close out the season, it does little to gloss over a miserable season in which the team went 26-56. Fortunately for Warriors coach Don Nelson, General Manager Larry Riley has said there are no plans to fire him after the season. Unfortunately for Nelson, Riley might not be calling the shots next year.

Warriors owner Chris Cohen has announced his intention to put the franchise on the market next season and Oracle founder Larry Ellison has expressed a strong interest in purchasing the team. The changeover wouldn’t bode well for Nelson. The $6 million the team owes the coach next year could easily be bought out. And there are few reasons why a new owner would want to bring the aging coach back for another year — well, except for these ten reasons:

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UC Berkeley Closes Door to State Students

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 11:13 AM

UC Berkeley is cutting back on the number of California residents that it accepts and taking more out-of-state students in an apparent effort to raise money. Out-of-state students pay three times as much in tuition and fees at UC as those from California. The Mercury News reports that number of in-state offers at Cal dropped from 11,184 this year to 9,459 next year, while the percentage of out-of-state students on campus will more than double.

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The Chamber Could Bankrupt Cities

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 10:40 AM

The California Chamber of Commerce, fresh off its embarrassing attack ad episode against Jerry Brown, is now pushing a statewide ballot measure that could bankrupt California cities in the future. The Chron reports that the chamber’s initiative would require that cities obtain a two-thirds vote from residents to raise a range of fees that support local services — instead of the current simple majority. And then there's this: Why is the Wine Institute of San Francisco bankrolling the chamber’s efforts? Are winemakers secretly Tea Party activists in disguise?

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