Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 6:51 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Jurors in the Johannes Mehserle murder trial will begin their first full day of deliberations today after discussing the case for a few hours on Friday afternoon. Although voluntary and involuntary manslaughter convictions are both possible verdicts in the case, prosecutor David Stein pushed hard during closing arguments for second-degree murder, telling jurors that Mehserle was lying when he told fellow BART cops after the shooting that he thought Oscar Grant had a gun. Stein also said Mehserle lied on the witness stand when he said he meant to use his Taser. Defense attorney Michael Rains, meanwhile, argued strongly for an acquittal. The Chron’s Demian Bulwa did an excellent job over the weekend, summing up the prosecution and defense arguments.

2. Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts warned during an interview with the Tribune that laying off eighty police officers could harm public safety. Batts also appeared to undercut the negotiation stance of a majority of city council members who are trying to get the police officers’ union to start contributing to its pension plan in order to avoid the layoffs. Batts has yet to call on cops to pay 9 percent of their retirement plans as other city employees do.

3. Alameda public school officials are considering a new parcel tax measure for next spring after Measure E came up just short in the June mail-in ballot election, the Chron and Alameda Journal report. The Alameda school board also is considering closing schools and increasing class sizes.

4. The nation’s unemployment rate dipped slightly to 9.5 percent in June, but that was only because 652,000 people stopped looking for work, the Chron reports.

5. Meg Whitman is running for governor on her record as CEO of eBay, but during her last three years at the helm of the company, its stock price plummeted by 50 percent and its market value lost $30 billion in part because of the missteps she made, the Bay Citizen reports.

6. And reading a printed book is still much faster than reading one on an iPad or Kindle 2, PC World reports, citing a new study. As for reading a book on a traditional computer screen, people don't appear to like it very much.


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