Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Must Read: Oakland Awaits Mayor's Race Results; AC Transit Avoids More Service Cuts

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 6:54 AM

Stories you shouldn't miss:

1. Will we find out the results today in the Oakland mayor's race? As of last Friday, Councilwoman Jean Quan was leading ex-state Senator Don Perata 51% to 49%, a difference of about 1,800 votes. But the Alameda County Registrar of Voters decided not to release updated results on Monday or Tuesday because it had not finished counting provisional ballots. The registrar said Tuesday afternoon that there were still "hundreds" of them to count. If they don't finish counting today, we may not get results until Friday because Thursday is a county holiday — Veteran's Day.

2. As of last night, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley had extended his lead over San Francisco DA Kamala Harris to about 43,000 votes. But the race is still too close to call. In the East Bay's super-tight Congressional race, Democratic incumbent Jerry McNerney was leading Republican David Harmer by 628 votes as of last night. The Sacramento Bee reports that Harmer is asking donors for help in funding a recount.

3. AC Transit will avoid devastating service cuts planned for next month because of an arbitration deal with the bus drivers' union, the Trib and Chron report. The settlement calls for the union to make about $38 million in concessions over three years. AC Transit had planned to decimate weekend and overnight service, starting in December.

4. The Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians plans to move forward with its proposed Las Vegas-style casino on Richmond's waterfront despite the overwhelming defeat last week of Measure U and the election of two anti-casino council candidates, the Chron reports. The tribe argues that the council does not have the legal authority to kill the casino deal when it votes on an environmental impact report early next year.

5. Laid off employees of KPFA radio in Berkeley took over the station on Tuesday and broadcast a renegade show, the Berkeley Voice reports. The station said it had to lay off the employees because of declining listener donations.

6. McDonald's can no longer give away kids' toys with high-fat, high-sodium "Happy Meals" in San Francisco as a result of an 8-3 vote yesterday by the board of supervisors. The Chron reports that Mayor Gavin Newsom has said he will veto the legislation, but the board of supes appears to have enough votes to override such a move.

7. Governor-elect Jerry Brown plans to eliminate the cabinet-level position of secretary of education in a cost-cutting move, California Watch reports. Over the years, the post has been considered duplicative with the elected position of state superintendent of instruction. Brown also may kill the job of chief of staff in his office.

8. And PG&E has suspended the executive who clumsily tried to infiltrate an anti-SmartMeter group, the Chron reports.

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