Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 7:07 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Meg Whitman’s temper cost eBay a $200,000 settlement when she flew into a rage and berated a subordinate in 2007, the New York Times reports. The incident apparently was caused by Whitman’s infamous fear of the media. She lost her temper while being prepped for an interview with Reuters and reportedly felt unprepared for it. During the gubernatorial campaign, Whitman has routinely avoided the press.

2. Meanwhile, Whitman’s dependence on her own wealth — instead of using the news media — is continuing as she pumped another $20 million into her campaign, raising the total to a staggering $71 million, according to the Mercury News.

3. PG&E’s expenditure of more than $40 million on Prop. 16 prompted Democratic state Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco to author a bill that would make such actions illegal, the Mercury News reports. Leno’s bill would prohibit large utilities from using ratepayer funds on political campaigns.

4. The Oakland City Council may consider a plan tonight to issue layoff notices to 200 police officers to help bridge a $31 million budget deficit, the Trib reports. City officials would prefer that the cops’ union agree to compensation cuts instead.

5. AC Transit is asking the bus drivers’ union to make $15 million in concessions to help bridge a $56 million budget deficit, Bay Citizen reports. AC Transit recently made two service cuts totaling nearly 15 percent.

6. The City of Oakland’s boycott of Arizona over its anti-illegal-immigration law could kill its lucrative billboard deal with Clear Channel Outdoor, because the company has offices in Phoenix, the Trib reports.

7. A friend of Oscar Grant who was just two feet away when Grant was killed testified that Grant was not resisting arrest, the Trib and Chron report. However, the same friend also testified that then-BART cop Johannes Mehserle appeared shocked after he shot Grant to death.

8. Ex-Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby molested 8-year-old Sandra Cantu of Tracy with a rolling pin before murdering her, the CoCo Times reports, citing newly released court documents. Huckaby was sentenced to life in prison yesterday.

9. A giant temporary sound wall near Highway 24 in Oakland is causing headaches for CalTrans, the CoCo Times reports. The 30-feet tall barrier is in place to protect nearby residents from sound and dust during construction of the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel.

10. And lawyers for UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo say he should not be held responsible for the torture of prisoners during the Bush administration, because he was just a “midlevel” attorney giving “honest” legal advice to the president, the Chron reports. But attorneys for abused prisoner Jose Padilla argued in court yesterday that he would not have been tortured had it not been for Yoo’s infamous legal memos.

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