Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Must Read: Brown’s Poll Numbers Rise; BART May Get to Ban Protesters

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown’s approval ratings have gone up in recent months, at the same time that other politicians’ poll numbers have been taking a nosedive, the SacBee reports, citing a new Field Poll. The poll showed that Brown’s approval ratings rose three points to 49 percent, while those for President Obama and Senator Dianne Feinstein are plummeting. Voters also don’t think much of the state Legislature — only 20 percent approve of the job it’s doing.

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Pollsters, however, warn that Brown’s numbers could tank in January when the state will likely have to enact deep cuts to public schools because of declining tax revenues.

2. A bill on the governor’s desk would allow BART to ban protesters if they violate the agency’s rules on three separate occasions during a ninety day period, the CoCo Times reports. The bill was originally written for transit agencies in Sacramento and Fresno, but then BART was added to it. The legislation, which the BART board supports, could give the agency another tool in combating repeat protesters. Demonstrators have held at least eight protests against BART since transit police fatally shot a homeless man in July.

3. The owners of the infamous Cosco Busan, the ship that struck the Bay Bridge and dumped 53,000 gallons of bunker fuel into the bay in 2007, killing thousands of birds, have agreed to pay a $44 million settlement, the Mercury News and Chron report.

4. A federal judge has ruled that the video of the Prop 8 trial should be made public, the Chron reports. Anti-gay marriage forces, who want to keep the video secret, say they will appeal the judge’s decision.

5. The whooping cough vaccine may not last as long as doctors had thought, the Chron reports, citing a new study. The results may provide a reason for why there’s been outbreak of whooping cough recently.

6. And Netflix, the movie-rental company that was once beloved by its customers, can’t seem to do anything right these days. The company is taking a beating from its customers who are not only angry about the 60 percent rate hikes, but also about Netflix’s new decision to split off its DVD rental operation as a new company, Qwikster.

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