Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Caltrans Demolishes Bordertown Skate Park

by Cassie McFadden
Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Yesterday was a somber day for the skateboarding community: Three months after Caltrans tore down The Spot, a popular skate park built on state-owned property in West Oakland in 2009, the agency made good on its promise to demolish the nearby Bordertown skate park near the Oakland-Emeryville border. Both parks have sparked fierce debate over the rights of skaters to appropriate the otherwise underutilized spaces for recreational purposes, with Caltrans citing liability concerns and park supporters countering that the parks were a positive addition to an otherwise desolate area.

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Oakland's Clorox Settles over Illegal Packaging Claim

by Nate Seltenrich
Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Talk about chump change. Oakland-based Clorox, which posted $5.3 billion in revenues last year, agreed to pay $199,654 in a settlement regarding the improper packaging of household bleach products over a two-year period, announced Alameda County district attorney Nancy O'Malley today. The settlement covered civil penalties, law enforcement costs, and restitution after Marin, Monterey, Napa, and Sonoma counties joined Alameda County in bringing a consumer protection action against the company.

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Wednesday Must Read: Cal Students Sue over Police Brutality; Telegraph Residents Complained About Building that Burned

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. UC Berkeley students and protesters sued the university and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in federal court, alleging police brutality when cops hit nonviolent demonstrators with their riot batons, the Chron reports. Video of the over-the-top police response went viral and made national headlines. The incident also prompted an apology from Cal Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. But Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern maintains that the protesters had attacked his officers first — although none of the numerous videos taken of the incident corroborates his claim.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Who Are California's Richest Congressional Representatives?

by Ellen Cushing
Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 2:59 PM

As you may have seen, in this week's paper, we published a great read by Will Evans about which California congresspeople are members of the One Percent, based on their net worth. And now, for all you visual learners out there, journalist and Express freelancer John C. Osborn — aka @Bayreporta — has made an awesome, interactive map to go along with the story, which he published on his blog, The Classist earlier today.

San Franciscos Nancy Pelosi: rolling in ca$hmoney, apparently
  • San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi: rolling in ca$hmoney, apparently
John used public data (found via the Center for Responsive Politics) to create a zoomable, layerable, sortable map showing which congressional districts are governed by representatives with more than a million dollars in net worth, as well as which are represented by actual, official One-Percenters, according to the definition put forth by the economist Edward Wolff: a net worth of $8.2 million or greater. (Spoiler alert: it's a lot!). Map nerds, data geeks, and money-in-politics obsessives, have at it.

Scott Olsen Interviewed Upon His Release From the Hospital

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Scott Olsen, the Iraq War vet who suffered a severe head injury during last month's raid on Occupy Oakland, spoke with a reporter from IndyBay shortly after his release from the hospital. Olsen said his thinking is clear, but he still speaks haltingly. He suffered a brain injury that rendered him mute in the days after the October 25 raid. Protesters say it happened when Olsen was hit with a tear gas canister, though others suggest he may have cracked his head after falling on the pavement, as police shot tear gas at demonstrators outside Frank Ogawa Plaza. In the interview, Olsen remembers falling and being carried away, but doesn't specify the source of his injury. The incident is currently under investigation.

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Tuesday Must Read: Despite Occupy Protests, UC Regents Raise Administrators’ Salaries; The Fed Secretly Helped Big Banks Make Big Bucks in Recession

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 6:48 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Hundreds of Occupy protesters temporarily shut down the UC Regents videoconference meeting yesterday, forcing regents to move to another room, where they promptly voted to raise top administrator salaries by as much as 20 percent, The Bay Citizen reports. Protesters have been demonstrating against the regents, alleging mismanagement of UC, and have criticized the regents for doling out raises to top campus officials while repeatedly hiking student tuition. UC President Mark Yudof defended the raises, as he has done in the past, arguing that they are necessary to attract and retain top talent.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Must Read: Occupy UC Protests Today in SF and Davis; Tax on One Percent Pushed By One Percent

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 6:59 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Student activists in the Occupy movement are planning protests today in San Francisco and Davis as UC regents meet via video-conference in those cities and two others, the Mercury News reports. The regents recently canceled a meeting in San Francisco because they said they feared violence, and so are now conducting their meeting through video-conferencing to lessen the possibility of a major protest. The Occupy demonstrators, nonetheless, are going ahead with plans for several demonstrations, protesting repeated tuition hikes and what they say is mismanagement of UC by the regents.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday Must Read: Police Use of Pepper Spray Appears to Have Been Illegal; UC Davis Chancellor Says Police Disobeyed Orders

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 7:20 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. UC Davis police officers appear to have violated the law when they pepper sprayed peaceful demonstrators who were sitting on the ground, linked arm-in-arm, in an Occupy movement protest. The Chron notes that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2000 that cops can only use pepper spray to prevent harm to themselves or someone else. And no evidence has surfaced so far that the nonviolent protesters at UC Davis posed a threat to anyone. However, legal experts say that if the protesters sue, it will be up to a jury decide whether UC Davis cops broke the law, and juries often side with police officers in use of force cases.


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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Experts Weigh in on Pepper Spray Used Against UC Davis Students: Dangerous and Cruel

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Even as Amazon users are writing snarky reviews about the brand of pepper spray used against students at UC Davis, experts are weighing in on the danger and intensity of its burn. A blog posted yesterday on Scientific American explained why the ACLU has been fighting pepper spray use in law enforcement for more than a decade: Turns out it can have adverse respiratory, cardiac, and neurologic effects according to a paper written by health researchers at University of North Carolina and Duke University. They claimed that certain brands of Oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray — such as the kind used to "subdue" peaceful protesters — can cause arrhythmias and sudden death.

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Updated: Occupy Oakland Seizes Lot in West Oakland Despite Protestations from Owner

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Undeterred by the spate of raids that occurred in Oakland and San Francisco over the weekend, Occupy Oakland launched a new encampment last night, at a vacant lot on 18th and Linden Streets in West Oakland. Campers contended that a home adjacent to the lot was going into foreclosure, and that they had the owner's permission to camp there. It seemed like a laudable raison d'etre, except that as of midnight last night, most occupants at the camp could neither confirm which home they were defending, nor identify the owner.

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