Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday Must Reads: OPD Ordered to Reinstate Cop Who Shot at Scott Olsen; Black BART Workers Subjected to Racist, Violent Threats

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. An arbitrator ordered the Oakland Police Department to reinstate a cop who was fired for shooting a flash-bang grenade at people who were coming to the aid of injured Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen during an Occupy protest in 2011, the Trib$ and Chron report. However, the reason why arbitrator David Stiteler ordered Officer Robert Roche to be reinstated is not entirely clear. The city is refusing to release the Stiteler’s ruling, contending that it’s a personnel issue. According to Roche’s attorney, the arbitrator concluded that Roche was merely following orders when he fired his weapon at unarmed demonstrators.

2. A group of African-American workers employed by BART have been subjected to racist, violent threats by white fellow workers and they say BART is doing nothing about it, the Chron reports.

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3. The respected environmental group the Bay Institute has concluded that Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two giant water tunnels underneath the delta will cause the extinction of winter-run Chinook salmon, the Chron reports. The group’s findings, which are similar to those of other environmental organizations, state that the tunnels would divert too much freshwater from the delta and thus make it too salty for fish.

4. A wildfire raging in Yosemite National Park has forced the closure of Highway 120 and is threatening the Merced Grove, a historic stand of sequoias, the Chron reports.

5. And the new license-plate reader system on bay bridges is plagued by glitches and is sending incorrect bills to motorists, the Chron reports. The automated system is replacing the jobs of toll takers.

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