An economy in tatters is making more and more things impossible, but this year in the East Bay it doesn't have to preclude attending High Holy Days services.
Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts has his work cut out for him — changing the dysfunctional culture of OPD, while lowering the crime rate at the same time. The Chron’s Matthai Kuruvila had interesting story over the weekend about Batts’ attempt to dramatically improve 911 response times, which have averaged an appalling 15 minutes. But the most insightful part of the piece was Batts’ observation of cops just standing around and doing nothing.
Stories that you shouldn’t miss:
1. The City of Oakland stands to lose $41 million in redevelopment funds under a court ruling that allows Governor Schwarzenegger to redirect the money to the cash-strapped Oakland public schools, according to AP. The ruling similarly affects cities and school districts across the state and it’s expected to be appealed.
2. Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts condemned the decision by his police officers to shoot and kill a scared deer that had run into an East Oakland backyard on Saturday.
The disturbingly funny video of the day:
Hat tip — Andrew Sullivan's the Daily Dish
A small group of pro-life protesters assembled today in front of Family Planning Specialists Medical Group, an Oakland abortion clinic. In response, members of several groups including the ANSWER Coalition, World Can’t Wait, Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights, and Bay Area Radical Women staged a counter-protest across the street on the 200 block of Webster. Police officers were on the scene, calmly talking amongst themselves as a man in a cowboy hat continuously shouted that the pro-choice protesters were “pot-smoking, government butt-kissers!”
The Berkeley City Council unanimously rejected the appeal filed by some residential neighbors of the overwhelmingly popular Sunday Brunch at the Thai Temple. Last night's decision clears the way for visitors to enjoy Pad Thai and mango sticky rice in the company of at least 200 of their fellow diners every Sunday of the year, just like they did last year, only now it's all on the up and up.
Can you imagine George Bush trying to pull off a speech like this one?
New Hampshire's governor signed a bill this afternoon legalizing gay marriage, making it the sixth state in the nation to sanction same-sex nuptials. Gay marriage is now legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The California Supreme Court had legalized same-sex marriage last year, but then voters overturned the decision by passing Proposition 8.
A lesbian couple from Berkeley has teamed up with Ted Olson, who was US solicitor general under the Bush administration and was one of George W. Bush's top lawyers in Bush v. Gore, in an attempt to overturn Prop. 8 in the federal courts. Kris Perry and Sandy Stier of Berkeley also are working with attorney David Boies, who represented Al Gore and squared off against Olson in the 2000 election fight. Olson and Boies believe that Prop. 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative upheld by the California Supreme Court on Tuesday, violates the federal constitution's ban on discrimination. As a staunch conservative, Olson's involvement in the case is somewhat surprising, but he said that he has believed for some time that not allowing gays to marry is wrong. Olson and Boies explained their views last night on CNN.
We're late on this, but considering today's Supreme Court ruling, upholding Miss California's views, we give you Jonathan Mann: