Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday Must Read: Would Brown’s Budget Kill People?; Quan and Other Mayors Push to Save Redevelopment

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 7:11 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to severely cut state health care funding for poor, sick people will end up killing some of them, health-care advocates contend, according to the Chron. The governor’s proposal includes limiting doctor’s visits for people on MediCal to ten per year, which would save the state $200 million annually. But critics say the restrictions could doom some patients. They note, for example, that dialysis patients need go to the doctor up to three times a week. "A lot of these recommendations will lead to the most dire of consequences - that people will lose their lives," said East Bay Democratic state Senator Mark DeSaulnier, chairman of the Senate subcommittee that is reviewing the health cuts.

2. Big city mayors, including Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, also met with Brown yesterday in Sacramento to decry his plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies, AP reports. Brown’s proposal could be devastating to Oakland’s finances, but he made no firm commitment to drop his plan other than to promise to start a working group with cities to find other cuts if redevelopment agencies are to be saved. Brown also noted that a new poll shows that a super-majority of California residents support his redevelopment proposal. However, many voters may not fully realize the consequences of it.

3. The poll, by the Public Policy Institute of California, had good news and bad news for the governor. The CoCo Times reports that it showed that a majority of state voters say they support Brown’s tax package, too. But when asked about each of the specific tax proposals in the package, most voters oppose them.

4. Oakland police shot and killed a gun-wielding suspect yesterday, following a high-speed chase, the Chron and Trib report. Police officers fatally shot the suspect after they said he refused to drop his weapons.

5. Oakland animal control officers found 33 pit bulls packed into an East Oakland home in horrific conditions, the Chron reports. The pit bulls were jammed into small cages, covered in their own excrement. Animal control was called to the scene after neighbors reported an awful odor coming from the home. Homeowner Arthur Yancey has been charged with felony animal cruelty.

6. About 100 demonstrators descended on Oakland City Hall yesterday to protest a proposed gang injunction in the city’s Fruitvale District sought by City Attorney John Russo and Police Chief Anthony Batts, the Trib reports.

7. Oakland police are treating the death of union official Berresford “Berry” Bingham as a homicide, the Trib and Chron report. Bingham, of SEIU Local 1021, was found dead in his West Oakland home.

8. An internal investigation of former Peralta Chancellor Elihu Harris can remain confidential, a state appellate court has ruled, the CoCo Times reports. The Bay Area News Group has sued to get access to the report after the Peralta Board of Trustees ousted Harris.

9. Federal investigators lambasted PG&E for its shoddy record-keeping in the wake of the deadly San Bruno pipeline blast, the Chron reports. PG&E still has not found accurate records of the pipeline.

10. And this month’s dry, warm weather appears to be typical for a La Nina year, and does not necessarily mean that winter is over, the Chron reports.

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