News stories that East Bay progressives and environmentalists shouldn’t miss:
1. Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern is pulling his deputies off Oakland streets because the city has refused to pay workers’ comp for his staffers who are injured in the line of duty, the Trib reports. Ahern’s announcement followed the injury of a sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the foot during a traffic stop in the Fruitvale district. The city had hired sheriffs’ deputies to patrol Oakland streets as a temporary stopgap measure until OPD can hire and train more recruits.
3. The East Bay’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent in March as the area added 1,200 jobs, the Trib reports. The East Bay and South Bay led the region in job gains last month.
4. Alameda County supervisors are pressuring Sheriff Ahern to pull out of a federal immigration program that has led to the deportation of nearly 2,000 county residents since 2008, the Trib reports. San Francisco and San Jose both stopped participating in the so-called “Secure Communities” program.
5. Chevron is lobbying the state to roll back its landmark climate-change rules, contending that it can’t make biofuels profitable enough to meet the state’s tough emissions standards, the Chron$ reports. Chevron and other oil companies claim that profits from plant-based fuels will be too small compared to those from fossil fuels.
6. The US Environmental Protection Agency says that California has failed to spend $455 million in federal funds earmarked for local clean water programs in the state, the SacBee$ reports. The EPA has given the state sixty days to get its act together.
7. And the ultra-conservative Koch Brothers are mulling a plan to buy the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, and five other major newspapers, The New York Times$ reports. The Koch Brothers made billions in the oil and gas industry and bankrolled the Tea Party movement.
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