Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Must Read: Chez Panisse Damaged in Fire; Man Arrested with 65 Pounds of Marijuana at Oakland Airport

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Chez Panisse was damaged by an early morning fire today, but the interior of the famed Berkeley restaurant appears to not have been seriously affected and no one was hurt in the one-alarm blaze, Berkeleyside reports. The 3 a.m. fire started at the front of the building, but the sprinkler system appears to have saved most of the restaurant. The Trib reports that chef-owner Alice Waters may reopen the restaurant as early as next week. Our food writer, Luke Tsai, has more here.

Chez Panisse
  • Chez Panisse
2. A 21-year-old San Francisco man was arrested at Oakland airport with 65 pounds of marijuana stuffed in his suitcase, the Trib reports. Tony Nguyen apparently also almost got away with the pot-smuggling attempt; the weed was found during a random search of US Airways luggage. Nguyen was booked at Santa Rita Jail and is now out on bail.

3. A Richmond cop is being investigated for corruption after a prosecution witness alleged that the officer took $140,000 in bribes from drug dealers, the CoCo Times reports. The witness also said that Sergeant Michael Wang tipped off a drug dealer to a police sting that led to the killing of a police informant.

4. A California appellate court invalidated portions of an Alameda schools parcel tax measure, ruling that it was illegal because it taxed commercial properties at a higher rate than residential homes, the Trib reports. The ruling could have sweeping impacts in the state because other parcel taxes have similar structures. Alameda Unified is expected to appeal the ruling to the California Supreme Court.

5. The California Dream Act has attracted more than 20,000 applications for student aid for young people who were brought to this country illegally, the Trib reports. The state’s Dream Act is designed to help the children of undocumented workers.

6. And the Sierra Club has named PG&E’s proposed natural gas power plant in the East Bay community of Oakley as one of the five biggest “utility money wasters” in the state, Rewire reports. The Sierra Club also slammed PG&E for overcharging ratepayers who have solar panels on their homes.

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