Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Must Read: Oakland Tribune Endorses Rebecca Kaplan; ‘Whore’ Is Not the N-word

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 7:05 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times are endorsing Rebecca Kaplan for mayor of Oakland, saying she’s “the candidate who best blends intellect, fresh ideas, an ability to work with diverse groups, a clear understanding of city issues and the passion and communication skills needed at Oakland’s helm.” The papers recommend college professor and new analyst Joe Tuman as their second choice, and Councilwoman Jean Quan as their third pick. The papers refused to endorse ex-state Senator Don Perata, saying they found his “poor grasp of the issues appalling. He has repeatedly dodged tough questions while blaming others for the city's problems rather than offering constructive solutions. He has no viable plans to avoid the looming layoffs of 122 more police officers. He also would not commit to reopening pension negotiations with the police union, which supports his candidacy.” The Express is endorsing Kaplan, Quan, and Tuman. See what we have to say about Perata here.

2. Last night’s big debate battle between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman offered some sharp and juicy exchanges, the Chron reports, but it also devolved into ridiculous argument by the ex-eBay CEO that calling a woman a “whore” is the equivalent of using the N-word. If it were, of course, then people would be able to say the N-word. Still, longtime Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters argues that Whitman appeared to have won the debate because she was more aggressive than in the previous two — although he noted that it might not change voters’ minds at this point. Whitman also made news yesterday when she pumped another $20 million of her own into her campaign, raising the record-breaking total to more than $140 million.

3. An Oakland City Council committee agreed last night to increase the number of licensed medical cannabis dispensaries in the city from four to eight, the Trib reports. The proposal, co-sponsored by Kaplan and Councilman Larry Reid, also raises the city’s annual permitting fees for pot clubs from $30,000 to $60,000. Oakland needs more dispensaries because numerous cannabis patients are shopping in Berkeley, costing the city much needed tax revenues. The proposal now goes to the full council for approval.

4. The recent fatal shootings of an old dog and a young deer is prompting all Oakland police officers to undergo training on how to deal with pets and wildlife, the Chron reports.

5. PG&E announced yesterday that it will install emergency, automatic shut-off valves on all of its pipelines, the Chron reports. The utility has admitted that automatic shut-off valves would have greatly reduced the time it took to turn off the gas that fed the deadly San Bruno pipeline disaster.

6. And in another victory for gay rights, a federal judge in Southern California ordered the US military to immediately suspend its controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, the New York Times reports. Judge Virginia Phillips had ruled last month that DADT is unconstitutional and she denied a request by the Obama Justice Department to stay her ruling.

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