Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Must Reads: Black Worker Says Boss Kept a Noose; Swastikas Drawn on Poster of Jewish Councilwoman

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. An African-American employee of an East Bay company says his racist boss kept a hangman’s noose at work and regularly hurled epithets at him, the Chron reports, citing a lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court by the worker, Gordon Tillman. "Race harassment unfortunately appears alive and well in the 21st century — even in the Bay Area," Tillman's lawyer, Kelly Armstrong, said in the suit. The boss, Shawn Geaney, also likened Tillman to a monkey and threatened him with violence after he reported the racist incidents, according to the suit. The company, Vulcan Materials of Livermore ignored the complaints at first but eventually fired Geaney.

Libby Schaaf
  • Libby Schaaf
2. Oakland police are investigating a possible hate crime involving the drawing of swastikas on posters featuring Councilmember Libby Schaaf, who is of Jewish descent, the Trib$ reports. The posters were plastered around the city’s Montclair district, which Schaaf represents. The posters also called for the elimination of the city’s controversial surveillance center, known as the DAC. Similar swastika posters appeared last year in the Fruitvale district, targeting Councilmember Noel Gallo, who is Latino.

3. Solar installation firms in the Bay Area, including Oakland’s Sungevity, are experiencing explosive growth as more and more homeowners are deciding to install solar rooftops as prices drop dramatically, the Chron reports. Solar leasing plans offered by Sungevity and other companies that require no money down from homeowners are helping fuel the growth as they make solar installations immediately affordable.

4. The rapid growth of electric car sales in the Bay Area is causing problems because employers don’t have enough charging stations to accommodate the high demand, the Mercury News$ reports.

5. And if you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet — remember that Obamacare has made flu shots free to consumers, the Mercury News$ notes.

$ = stories that may require payment to read.

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