Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday Must Read: Police Raid Occupy Oakland; Quan Opponents Launch Recall

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland police broke up the Occupy Oakland encampment this morning in front of City Hall, arresting protesters, removing their belongings, and erecting barricades, the Trib and Chron report. Mayor Jean Quan said that city officials decided to bring the two-week-long protest to an end because of health and public safety issues. The raid, which included hundreds of police, many in riot gear, began just before 5 a.m.. The mayor said that City Hall plaza would reopen after it was cleaned up and would be available as a place for protesting, but not for overnight camping.

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2. Critics of the mayor, meanwhile, filed a notice yesterday of their intent to try to recall her from office, the Chron and Trib report. Signers of the recall petition included several Oakland black leaders who are upset that the mayor did not reappoint Port Commissioner Margaret Gordon, a black progressive from West Oakland. Other signers included residents who contend that Quan hasn’t done enough to fight crime, and are upset that she did not embrace proposals for gang injunctions and a youth curfew. Interestingly, many of the black leaders who signed the petition opposed the gang injunctions and curfews. The petitioners have 160 days to gather about 20,000 signatures from registered Oakland voters to force a recall election.

3. Ex-Oakland City Administrator Deborah Edgerly lost her wrongful termination suit against the city when a jury decided that her claim that she was fired because she is a woman was baseless, the Chron and Trib report. The jury took only about 40 minutes to decide the case. Ex-Mayor Ron Dellums, who fired Edgerly, testified last week that he terminated her, not because of her gender, but because she reneged on a deal to resign quietly after being caught up in a scandal involving her nephew, who was also a city employee.

4. Two Oakland schools may attempt to become charter schools in a move that could upset the school district’s plans to close five schools because of declining enrollment, the Trib reports. Although the two schools that want to become charters were not slated for closure, district officials are worried that other schools may attempt to become charters in an effort to avoid be shut down.

5. President Obama announced a new plan to help homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages, allowing them to refinance their houses and take advantage of historically low interest rates, the Mercury News reports. However, critics contend that the president’s plan does not go far enough because it does not require banks to lower the principal owed on homes in which homeowners owe more than their houses are worth.

6. And Netflix’s stock tanked yesterday on news that the DVD rental company lost 800,000 subscribers in recent months after it decided to dramatically raise its monthly subscription fees.

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