Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Must Read: Marcie Hodge Enters Oakland Mayor's Race; Judge Lifts Stay on Gay Marriage Ruling

by Kathleen Richards
Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Peralta Community College District trustee Marcie Hodge has entered the Oakland mayor's race, reports the Oakland Tribune. Hodge said she is entering the race because she's not impressed with the twelve other candidates, and wants to focus on job creation, public safety, and education. However, Hodge may have trouble projecting herself as a responsible mayor. Last year, a Bay Area News Group investigation found that the East Oakland resident had charged more than $4,000 on personal expenses using her Peralta credit card, though she later reimbursed the district. The expenses included a $600 dress she purchased in Las Vegas. Last month, a grand jury criticized Hodge and her fellow board members for lax oversight, a lack of transparency, and questionable use of public funds.

Same-sex couples will be allowed to marry starting next, unless the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals stops them, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Last week, Chief US District Judge Vaughn Walker invalidated Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California, but put a stay on the enforcement of his ruling. Yesterday, Walker lifted the stay but also ruled that his order wouldn't take effect until Wednesday at 5 p.m., giving the Ninth Circuit Court time to consider the appeal by Prop 8 supporters. In his decision released yesterday, Walker criticized Prop 8 and the evidence offered by its proponents, adding that the supporters have not demonstrated that they will win their appeal. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he was pleased with the decision, but it's likely the case will go to the Supreme Court.

UC Berkeley will not send students the results of their DNA tests, reports the Chron. The voluntary plan to genetically test incoming freshmen and transfer students, called "Bring Your Genes to Cal," came under fire by state public health officials. Students were sent testing kits in the mail and asked to submit cheek swabs of their DNA. They were then to receive information about three of their genes related to their ability to break down lactose, metabolize alcohol, and absorb folates. The information was then to become the basis of lectures and discussions.

State workers will not be forced to take off unpaid days, as a state appeals court yesterday denied Governor Schwarzenegger's request to allow the three-day-a-month furloughs, reports the Chron.

The Alameda County Department of Environmental Health has temporarily shut down several public pools in order to enforce new federal safety regulations, reports the Trib. The department estimates that about 40 percent of the public pools in Alameda County are not in compliance with the law, which requires drain covers in order to prevent swimmers from being sucked or trapped in the drain.

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