Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Stories you shouldn't miss:

1. After winning some key pretrial victories, defense lawyers for Johannes Mehserle are going for more, asking a judge to exclude testimony about an angry confrontation between Oscar Grant and then-BART cop Anthony Pirone just before Mehserle killed Grant, the Trib reports. Mehserle’s lawyer Michael Rains doesn’t want the jury to hear about a shouting match between Grant and Pirone in which Pirone punched Grant and hurled a racial slur at him. Rains says the testimony could prejudice the jury against Mehserle, even though he wasn’t involved in the confrontation. But if Mehserle heard the exchange, then it could help the jury decide whether the ex-BART cop shot Grant on purpose or by accident.

2. The fate of the Oakland Raiders and the City of Oakland could be on the line today in Santa Clara, the Trib reports. If Santa Clara voters today reject the San Francisco 49ers plans for a new stadium in their city it could ignite a proposal for a new stadium in Oakland that would be shared by the Raiders and the Niners. But if Santa Clara voters approve the stadium measure it could result in the Raiders moving to Santa Clara to share that facility with the Niners.

3. US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was in Fremont yesterday to announce a $19 million federal grant to retrain NUMMI workers who lost their jobs when Toyota closed the auto plant, the Trib reports. In addition, East Bay Congressman John Garamendi proposed that part of the NUMMI plant be converted to build high-speed railcars there. Part of the plant also will be used by Tesla Motors to construct electric cars.

4. Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new iPhone 4 yesterday, but his presentation ran into problems when he couldn’t connect to Apple’s WiFi network because too many bloggers in the audience were using WiFi at the time, the Chron reports.

5. The City of San Francisco is rushing to get some sort of approval today for a proposal to jump into the public power market in case Proposition 16 passes, the Chron reports. Prop. 16, sponsored by PG&E, would make it nearly impossible for cities to get into the public power market and increase their renewable energy use.

6. And a little-noticed race in today’s election could turn out to be a huge headache for California Republicans, especially Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, Politico reports. The reason? Orly Taitz, an infamous “birther,” who has been fined for filing frivolous lawsuits that make the bogus claim that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and thus not eligible to be president, may actually have a shot at winning the GOP nomination for California Secretary of State. If Taitz wins, it could prove to be a nightmare for Whitman and Fiorina because she would be on the same GOP ticket with them.

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