Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Must Read: Obama Gets Osama; Quan Unveils Budget Scenarios

By Robert Gammon
Mon, May 2, 2011 at 6:58 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. President Obama announced last night that US forces killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden during a raid yesterday inside Pakistan. The president said he had approved the secret mission on Friday after months of intelligence gathering determined that the Al Qaeda terrorist leader was holed up in a fortified compound in the city of Abbottabad. US Navy Seals carried out the mission, AP reports, shooting bin Laden in the head. His remains were then discarded at sea in accordance with the Muslim tradition of immediate burial. Bin Laden had escaped US forces for nearly a decade, and his death represents a major political and foreign policy victory for the president.

2. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan unveiled three budget scenarios on Friday to close the city’s $58 million budget gap next year, the Chron and Trib reported. The mayor clearly supports the third scenario, which assumes that public-employee unions will make substantial concessions and that city voters will approve an $11 million a year parcel tax. That scenario also would result in the fewest layoffs and service cuts. The first scenario, by contrast, is an all cuts budget that assumes public-employee unions will refuse to make concessions and that the parcel tax will lose. It would result in the layoff of 368 city employees, and would require the closure of some fire stations and city library branches. The second scenario, which assumes employee concessions but no parcel tax, would result in the layoff of 145 workers.

3. Federal raids and prosecutions for medical marijuana cultivation and sales have not abated, in fact, the number of raids has increased despite President Obama’s promise to curtail them, the Chron reports. There have been 87 federal raids since the Obama Justice Department announced new guidelines in October 2009, compared to two hundred during the entire Bush administration, according to a new report by the group Americans for Safe Access.

4. The ocean salmon season officially got underway yesterday, but it remains to be seen whether there will be a bounty of fish caught this year despite a reported increase in the number of salmon, the Chron reports.

5. And state public employee unions plan to target Republican legislative districts in the coming weeks in an effort to get the four GOP votes that Governor Jerry Brown needs to put his tax measures on the ballot, the Chron reports.

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