Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday Must Read: Richmond Kills Point Molate Casino; Brown Says UC Tuition Could Double

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 6:59 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Richmond City Council voted 5-2 to kill a plan for a massive Indian-run casino at Point Molate, saying the Guidiville Tribe of Pomo Indians had refused to address numerous problems with its proposal, the Chron and CoCo Times report. The council’s vote also came after Richmond voters soundly rejected a ballot advisory measure last November that asked if the casino should go forward. However, the tribe likely will sue the city to reinstate the project because it has spent millions developing it.

2. University of California tuition could double to $20,000 to $25,000 a year, Governor Jerry Brown warned yesterday, if Republicans continue to block his plan to put tax measures before voters, AP reports. Brown is still hoping to gain Republican votes in the legislature to put his tax proposals on the ballot — although he has abandoned plans for a June election and has decided against an initiative drive for November.

3. Vaughn Walker, the judge who overturned Proposition 8, the anti-gay-marriage law, said that he never considered recusing himself from the case because he is gay, the Chron reports. “If you thought a judge's sexuality, ethnicity, national origin (or) gender would prevent the judge from handling a case, that's a very slippery slope,” he told reporters yesterday.

4. Barry Bonds’ defense team decided to not call a single witness to the stand, apparently because it’s confident that the prosecution has failed to prove that the ex-baseball star allegedly lied about his steroid use. Closing arguments are scheduled for today, California Watch and the Mercury News report.

5. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is pushing forward with her proposal for a citywide parcel tax, the Chron reports. Quan is asking the city council to hold another meeting to reconsider calling for a special election so that voters can weigh-in on the tax measure after three councilmembers blocked the plan on Tuesday. The city may also have to call a special election if the council can’t agree on a replacement for City Attorney John Russo.

6. A federal government shutdown likely will prompt the closure of national parks throughout the country, including Yosemite National Park in California, California News Service reports. A meeting last night with President Obama, Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid, and Republican House Speaker John Boehner failed to produce a budget deal that would avoid a shutdown.

7. And Governor Brown has asked President Obama to declare a major disaster in six coastal areas, including Santa Cruz and Crescent City, to free up federal funds to help pay for the damage inflicted by last month’s tsunami, the Chron reports. The Santa Cruz Harbor suffered more than $26 million in damage.

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