Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: Jordan Says He Was Not Forced Out; US Atty Says Berkeley Pot Club Is too Close to Preschools

By Robert Gammon
Thu, May 9, 2013 at 6:59 AM

Stories that East Bay progressives and environmentalists shouldn’t miss:

1. Retiring Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan told KGO-TV yesterday that he was not forced out of his job, and decided to step down based on the recommendation of his doctor. Jordan cited an unnamed medical problem as the reason for this sudden retirement — and not a recent scathing report from OPD’s court-appointed Compliance Director Thomas Frazier, who faulted the department’s command staff for failing to investigate police misconduct and hold problem officers accountable for wrongdoing.

Melinda Haag
  • Melinda Haag
2. US Attorney Melinda Haag said yesterday that she is attempting to seize property occupied by Berkeley Patients Group because she said the medical cannabis dispensary is too close to two preschools, the Trib reports. Haag’s attempt to oust BPG for the second time drew a strong rebuke from Berkeley city leaders, including Mayor Tom Bates, who noted that that pot club’s operators have worked closely with city staff to abide by local regulations.

3. Bay Area transportation officials have delayed making a decision until May 29 about whether the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge will open as scheduled on Labor Day, SFGate reports. Caltrans officials also unveiled their proposed fix for 96 defective bolts on the bridge. The agency is also conducting tests on some of the 2,300 other hardened steel fasteners that were designed to the same specifications.

4. The state agency that will oversee the implementation of Obamacare in California has been given the power by state lawmakers to conceal how it spends hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, AP reports (via Rough & Tumble). Other states have mandated that the expenditures must be made public.

5. And state legislative leaders, along with several large unions, are protesting the proposed sale of the Los Angeles Times and several other newspapers to the Koch Brothers, the LA Times$ reports.

$ = news stories that may require a paid subscription to read.

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