Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 7:06 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Jerry Brown unveiled a renewable energy plan that he estimates will produce 500,000 jobs in California, the Mercury News reports. Brown’s proposal calls for creating 20,000 megawatts of new green energy by 2020, and draws a distinct line between him and GOP gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman, who has called for the suspension of AB32, a landmark California law that requires substantial increases in clean energy production. Brown also appeared to regret an off-hand comment he made to a KCBS reporter in the Oakland hills, comparing Whitman’s propaganda machine with Joseph Goebbels.

2. Texas oil-company Valero pumped another $550,000 into a November ballot measure campaign that would indefinitely suspend AB32, the greenhouse-gas law, raising its total contributions to more than $1 million, California Watch reports.

3. Toyota began road testing plug-in Priuses in anticipation of widespread release of the electric-hybrid cars in 2012, the Chron reports. The new vehicles, like the Chevy Volt scheduled for release next year, would allow motorists to drive for miles before their gasoline engines click on.

4. The cash-strapped University of California system is spending about $300 million a year more than it needs to because of a failure to request more funding from large grant donors, the Chron reports, citing a new study. At the same time, UC employee wages rose again last year even though the university system dramatically raised student fees and slashed programs, the Sacramento Bee reports.

5. Anti-gay marriage activists asked a federal court judge to invalidate 18,000 gay marriages in California during the Proposition 8 trial in San Francisco, the Chron reports. The request, if granted, would overturn a state Supreme Court decision that allowed the gay marriages that took place before Prop. 8 passed to stand.

6. A majority of the Oakland City Council instructed staff to begin preparations for layoffs of 200 police officers to bridge a $31 million budget deficit, the Trib reports. The council plans to make a final decision on the layoffs next week.

7. And firearms experts testified that Johannes Mehserle did almost everything wrong in the minutes before and after the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant, the Chron and Trib report. But it was not clear whether the testimony was more helpful to the prosecution or the defense.

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