Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday Must Read: Oakland Lowers Layoff Estimate; Richmond Wins Second Lab Campus

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and City Administrator Deanna Santana lowered the number of proposed city layoffs to 105 full-time employees after conducting a major reorganization of City Hall in the wake of the state’s decision to kill redevelopment, the Trib and Chron report. Quan and Santana also are proposing to slash funding to Children’s Fairyland and Oakland Zoo as part of $28 million in budget cuts. However, it will be up to the city council to make the final decision on the number of layoffs and on what cuts to make.

2. As expected, the City of Richmond won the intense competition to host a second campus for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Richmond had been considered the frontrunner from the beginning because the University of California already owns the land proposed for the campus. Richmond defeated proposals from numerous East Bay cities, including Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, and Oakland.

3. Yusuf Bey IV’s conviction for murdering Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey could be affected by the US Supreme Court’s unanimous decision yesterday that said police must obtain a search warrant before placing a tracking device on a suspect’s vehicle, the Chauncey Bailey Project reports. Oakland police had placed a tracking device on the Bey IV’s car and the evidence was used in his murder trial to bolster the testimony of the prosecution’s star witness, Devaughndre Broussard. However, some legal analysts say the tracking device evidence was not necessarily pivotal to Bey IV’s conviction so it may not help him gain a new trial.

4. Joel Young, an Assembly candidate who was accused earlier this year of beating his girlfriend, is now being accused of threatening Jason Overman, an aide to Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, the Trib reports. Overman said Young threatened him earlier this month outside Make Westing bar in Oakland’s Uptown district. Young denies the accusation. The Express reported earlier this year that Young’s former girlfriend had accused him of domestic abuse. Young denied that charge, too, but a judge questioned Young’s version of events.

5. And super wealthy presidential candidate Mitt Romney finally released his 2010 tax return today and it shows that his effective income tax rate was just 14 percent — well below that of most Americans, the LA Times reports. Romney is increasingly being viewed by Republican blue-collar voters as the candidate for the One Percent.

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