Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday Must Reads: Oakland Leads Nation in Robberies; County Supe Scott Haggerty Accused of Corruption

By Robert Gammon
Wed, May 8, 2013 at 6:56 AM

News stories that East Bay progressives and environmentalists shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland had the most robberies per capita in the nation in 2011, the Trib reports, citing its own analysis of FBI crime data. The number of robberies in Oakland has more than doubled in the past decade and the epidemic is being spurred by the bustling black market for stolen cellphones. The Oakland Police Department also has been unable to solve robbery cases — solving less than 10 percent of them — thereby allowing thieves to commit more crimes.

Scott Haggerty
  • Scott Haggerty
2. Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty has been accused of corruption by his former longtime chief of staff, who alleges in a lawsuit that Haggerty ordered staffers to work on his political campaigns and run personal errands for him on the taxpayers’ dime, the Trib reports. Chris Gray, who worked for Haggerty for fifteen years before being fired last year, said he and other staffers spent at least twenty hours a week doing personal tasks for Haggerty.

3. Governor Jerry Brown downplayed the widening bolt scandal on the new Bay Bridge yesterday, telling reporters that “shit happens.” Brown also said it was premature to “pull our hair out” over the problem of giant, badly designed bolts snapping on the new span, the Bay Area News Group reports. Caltrans is expected to announce this morning its initial plans for solving the bolt problem.

4. Limousines like the one that caught fire and killed five nurses on the San Mateo Bridge last weekend have virtually no regulatory oversight in California, the Bay Area News Group reports. Such stretch limos do not undergo safety tests and are not required to carry fire extinguishers.

5. BART staffers are expected to recommend that bikes be allowed on trains at all hours following a successful recent experiment by the transit agency, the Chron$ reports.

6. And US Attorney Melinda Haag is attempting to oust Berkeley Patients Group from its new home by filing an asset forfeiture case against the medical cannabis dispensary’s landlord, even though the location is nowhere near a school, the Trib reports. Haag forced the pot club to move from its former spot because it was within 1,000 feet of a school.

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