Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Must Reads: No BART Strike for At Least 60 Days; Feds Criticize California’s Prison Practices

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A San Francisco judge ordered a sixty-day cooling off period for BART negotiations, meaning that there will be no strike for at least two months, the Mercury News reports. The sixty-day postponement was requested by Governor Jerry Brown and BART management. The transit agency and its employees remain far apart at the bargaining table and BART unions had planned to go on strike today in the absence of a new contract.

The hunger strike began at Pelican Bay State Prison.
  • The hunger strike began at Pelican Bay State Prison.
2. The US Justice Department has called California’s practice of keeping prison inmates in longterm solitary confinement “a risk of serious harm,” the LA Times$ reports. Prisoners throughout the state have been holding a hunger strike over the past month because of the solitary confinement controversy, contending that the practice amounts to torture. The DOJ, however, stopped short of taking sides in the dispute between the state and prison inmates.

3. Oakland police once again plan to ramp up a violence-prevention program known as Ceasefire in the wake of recent shootings that claimed the lives of two innocent children, the Chron$ reports. Ceasefire is designed to convince young people to avoid engaging in crime by offering them job opportunities, but critics contend that the program has failed in the past to provide participants with a real chance for employment.

4. Authorities today may identify a body found late last week in Vacaville during a police search for Sandra Coke, a missing investigator for the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Oakland, the Trib reports.

5. And legislation that would create an earthquake warning system in California has moved forward in the state Assembly — although lawmakers have yet to find a funding source for the $80 million program, the LA Daily News reports (via Rough & Tumble).

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