Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Must Read: Right-Wing Targets Occupy Oakland; Gun Lovers Descend on San Leandro

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Right-wing media outlets are jumping on Occupy Oakland, contending that it is a poster-child for what is wrong with the Occupy movement, Mother Jones reports. Right-wing provocateur and noted birther, Andrew Breitbart, has led the charge, using local news reports to paint Occupy Oakland as being plagued by “rat-infested squalor with complaints of vandalism, public urination, sexual harassment, and sex in public.” And other conservative outlets are portraying it as “Lord of the Flies.”

2. On Saturday, Occupy Oakland protesters marched peacefully through city streets for several hours, the Chron and Trib reported. The protesters then went back to their City Hall encampment where they continued to ignore an eviction notice from the city. It’s unclear when and if the city will enforce the notice. Protesters said they would resist it nonviolently.

3. Gun loving conservatives, toting rifles and shotguns, descended on San Leandro over the weekend for a protest against a new state law that makes it illegal to carry unloaded handguns in public, the CoCo Times reports. The demonstrators contend the new law, which does not apply to long guns and was signed by Governor Jerry Brown, violates the Second Amendment.

4. PG&E knew of more than two dozen unexplained leaks on the San Bruno pipeline that exploded and killed eight people last year but apparently did little to figure out what caused the leaks, the Chron reports. Utility workers found at least 26 leaks on the line from 1951 to 2009 that they said they could not determine what caused them. However, the existence of the leaks likely should have prompted PG&E to more thoroughly inspect the line — and if it had, it might have found the faulty weld that caused the blast.

5. And nonprofit hospitals in the East Bay are doing little to help low-income people even though they get huge tax breaks to care for the poor and uninsured, the CoCo Times reports. For example, Alta Bates Summit Hospital in Berkeley spent just 0.9 percent of its operating costs on charity care, well below the state average. As a result, care for the needy has fallen on cash-strapped county hospitals that are funded by taxpayers, such as Highland Hospital in Oakland.

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