Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Must Read: Oakland A's, pot farms, Franklin Canyon, 401(k) borrowing, and Jack Tatum

by Stephen Buel
Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 8:31 AM

Major League Baseball has told San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed to chill out with regard to asking residents to vote in November on how they feel about building a new ballpark for the Oakland A's, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Reed told the newspaper that he would consider MLB's request after speaking to the sport's president Bob DuPuy and A's co-owner Lew Wolff. As an incentive to take it's request, MLB reportedly told Reed that it would be willing to help pay the costs of a spring 2011 special election if one should ultimately be needed.

More and more Bay Area residents are making withdrawals from or borrowing against their 401(k) retirement accounts, according to data provided by the human resources consulting firm Hewitt Associates and reported in the San Jose Mercury News. The firm told the Merc it recently measured the biggest increase in permanent withdrawals since it first began collecting data. Permanent withdrawals from a 401(k) plan are subject to a 20 percent withholding tax and a 10 percent penalty.

The Muir Heritage Land Trust paid $3.3 million to buy two large parcels in Hercules from an overseas developer, saving them forever from development, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The deal will evidently spare a 482-acre portion of Franklin Canyon and the 702-acre Fernandez Ranch. The former owners had hoped to turn the former property into a sprawling development called Green Park that would have included 1,000 homes, hotels, and a shopping center. The city of Hercules contributed the final $200,000 needed to make the deal a reality.

As expected, the Oakland City Council voted Tuesday night to approve the construction of four large medical marijuana cultivation facilities, the Oakland Tribune reported. The measure included a variety of environmental conditions; operators will have to reduce their use of electricity and pesticides, and curb their release of greenhouse gases.

The council also went ahead with plans to charge single-family homeowners a $25.80 annual fee for sewage services, which is designed to pay for required maintenance and system upgrades, the Trib noted.

The Assassin is dead. Former Oakland Raider and Ohio State Buckeye Jack Tatum died of a heart attack at age 61, the Tribune reported.

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