Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Must Read: Occupy SF Declared a Health Nuisance, But Not Raided; Occupy Oakland and Cal Strategize

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 7:01 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. San Francisco officials declared Occupy SF to be a public health nuisance yesterday, but concerns about an overnight raid by police turned out to be unfounded, the Chron reports. The encampment has thinned out a bit from a high of about 200 tents, but there are still more tents at Justin Herman Plaza than Mayor Ed Lee’s demand of about 100. Lee, however, has taken a cautious approach to Occupy SF and has not been under the intense pressure to clear the encampment as Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was with Occupy Oakland.

2. Occupy Oakland and Occupy Cal, meanwhile, are regrouping and planning their next actions, the Trib reports. Occupy Oakland is calling for a large march and demonstration through downtown tomorrow and then protesters plan to set up tents at a vacant city-owned lot at Telegraph Avenue and 19th Street. However, many activists sympathetic to the Occupy cause oppose the new encampment location because it’s across the street from the Oakland School of the Arts, a public charter school. Quan said that police will attempt to block any new encampments in downtown. Occupy Cal protesters, meanwhile, are also considering trying to reestablish an encampment at UC Berkeley.

3. Hundreds of faculty, students, and activists held a peaceful, one-day strike yesterday at Cal State East Bay in Hayward, the Chron and Mercury News report. The protesters demonstrated against skyrocketing tuition, the lack of faculty raises, and soaring salaries among top CSU officials.

4. Nobel Prize winner and former UC Berkeley professor Steven Chu defended the controversial $500 million federal loan to Fremont-based Solyndra, the Chron reports. Speaking to a House committee, Obama’s energy secretary said administration officials did not anticipate the worldwide collapse of solar panel prices when they awarded the Solyndra loan two years ago. Solyndra went bankrupt after it realized that its higher-priced solar tubes could not compete against cheaply made panels from China.

5. And in what promises to be a substantial blow for California’s plans to build a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, the House has killed federal funding for high-speed rail this fiscal year, the Chron reports. The Senate is expected to follow suit.


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