Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: Supreme Court Upholds Anti-Affirmative Action Measure; Warriors Buy New Property for San Francisco Arena

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The US Supreme Court today upheld a Michigan law that bans affirmative action in public programs, including university admissions, the Mercury News$ reports. The high court held that states have the right to establish such bans — a ruling that likely means California’s nearly identical anti-affirmative action law, Proposition 209, cannot be overturned by the courts. As a result, opponents of Prop 209 will need to now pass a statewide ballot measure to overturn it. A recent attempt at such a measure, however, stalled in the state legislature after Asian-American lawmakers blocked it, arguing that it would make it tougher for Asian students to gain admission to the University of California system.

The Warriors are moving their new proposed arena in San Francisco.
  • The Warriors are moving their new proposed arena in San Francisco.
2. The owners of the Golden State Warriors have purchased new property in San Francisco and plan to build a basketball arena on it — a move that all-but-guarantees that the team is leaving Oakland. The new land, near UC San Francisco in the city’s Mission Bay area, has none of the political drawbacks that the team’s other proposed waterfront site faced, the Chron reports. In an interview with the Mercury News$, Warriors’ co-owner Joe Lacob also confirmed that he is interested in buying the A’s and building a new ballpark for the team in Oakland.

3. A group of Berkeley activists, calling themselves the Robin Hood Committee, are proposing a ballot measure that would levy higher taxes on landlords and use the revenues to build more affordable housing in the city, the Trib$ reports. The proposed tax initiative would generate about $3 million a year — but it’s already facing strong opposition from Berkeley landlord groups.

4. Federal prosecutors indicated in court that they plan seek extra financial penalties against PG&E — beyond the $6 million previously proposed — for the utility’s alleged criminally negligent acts leading up to the 2010 deadly explosion in San Bruno, the Chron reports.

5. And aviation and medical experts are at a loss to explain how a teenager who stowed away in airplane wheel well could have survived without oxygen while enduring ultra-cold temperatures that reached negative-85 degrees Fahrenheit during a 2,400-mile flight from San Jose to Maui, the Chron reports. The fifteen-year-old’s body likely entered a hibernation-like state that allowed him to stay alive.

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