Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 7:14 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. As the Oakland City Council considers laying off 200 cops, a new police department report shows that Oakland officers have a heavier workload than their peers in other cities, the Trib reports. A preliminary draft of the new report shows that the number of calls for service for an average Oakland patrol officer was 787 last year compared to an average of 465 in other California cities. In addition, the Oakland police response time for violent crime averaged 14.8 minutes compared to a 5.2-minutes in other cities. The council has said that it would prefer that the Oakland police union agree to compensation concessions rather than layoffs.

2. Ex-BART cop Marysol Domenici testified that things were so chaotic before the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant that she considered using user her Taser, the Chron and Trib report. But Domenici also appeared to commit perjury when she claimed that there were fifty people on the Fruitvale BART platform when she arrived, and many of them were ridiculing her. Videos showed by prosecutor David Stein revealed that the platform was empty. BART fired Domenici for allegedly lying about what happened in the moments before Grant was killed by Johannes Mehserle.

3. The disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is partially the fault of former BP CEO John Browne, the man who awarded UC Berkeley $500 million for biofuels research, the Chron reports. Browne, who was replaced by Tony Hayward, had a reputation for being progressive on green issues, but he also was a relentless cost-cutter who created an atmosphere of cutting corners at BP that led to the Gulf catastrophe.

4. The median home price in the Bay Area topped $400,000 in May for the first time in two years as more upscale homes sold and fewer low-priced and foreclosed properties changed hands, the Chron reports. However, the higher home-sale values may have been due to people rushing to take advantage of the $8,000 homebuyers’ tax credit that expired in May.

5. Carly Fiorina’s troubled tenure as CEO of Hewlett Packard has prompted Silicon Valley execs to endorse her Democratic rival, US Senator Barbara Boxer, Bloomberg reports. Silicon Valley is well aware that Hewlett-Packard lost half of its market value under Fiorina.

6. And in another sign that Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums is not running for reelection, his longtime spokesman Paul Rose has decided to quit and is taking a job as a spokesman for Muni in San Francisco.

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