Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday Must Read: Oakland Rehires 24 Laid Off Cops; Women to Get Healthcare Upgrades

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The City of Oakland has rehired 24 cops who were laid off last year, and the officers are expected to return to duty this Saturday, the Trib reports. Some of the officers had taken jobs elsewhere but decided to return to Oakland. One cited the no-layoffs deal struck between the police union and Mayor Jean Quan’s administration. The rehired cops will take the place of veteran patrol officers who are being assigned to crime reduction teams to help quell this year’s spike in violent crime. To date, the city has rehired 34 of the eighty cops laid off last year. One more laid-off officer is expected to return to the force in the coming weeks.

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2. The Obama administration unveiled new healthcare guidelines yesterday, mandating that women receive free birth control, domestic violence counseling, sexually transmitted disease screening, and breastfeeding support under their insurance plans, the Chron reports. The new rules are part of last year’s comprehensive healthcare reform package and take effect in 2012.

3. Governor Brown signed a bill into law yesterday that will make it easier and cheaper for small breweries to offer beer tastings to the public, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. The new law exempts breweries that don’t serve food from strict health code requirements imposed on restaurants. Wineries that don’t serve food have enjoyed a similar exemption since 1985.

4. Brown also signed a bill that makes it illegal for companies to sell beer infused with caffeine, the LA Times reports. The new law came in response to several high-profile incidents in which young drinkers were hospitalized after drinking caffeinated beer drinks.

5. Brown also vetoed a bill sponsored by East Bay legislator Ellen Corbett that would have made it illegal to pay ballot-measure-petition-signature gatherers by the signature, the Trib and Chron report. Advocates of the bill argued that paying per signature induces signature gatherers to lie to the public. But Brown said the bill, which would have required that signature gatherers be paid by the hour or day, would have driven up the cost of putting measures on the ballot.

6. And a San Ramon woman fell to her death on Sunday while hiking on Half Dome in Yosemite, the CoCo Times and Chron report.

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It was the fourteenth death this year in Yosemite. Three hikers died last month when they were swept over Vernal Falls. The latest death appears to have been caused by slick conditions on Half Dome following a thunderstorm.

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