Friday, February 10, 2012

Updated: Kathy Neal Makes Surprise Exit from Assembly Race

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Updated below. In a somewhat cryptic farewell, 18th Assembly District candidate Kathy Neal has suspended her campaign, according to a statement sent early today. “I am proud of the progress we made in such a short period of time and greatly appreciate the help, partnerships, and backing that emerged from a widely diverse base of support,” Neal said. “While I will not be an active participant in the race at this time, I will continue to be involved in state and local politics, because I am committed to improving the lives of those in our community, especially for those among us who are less fortunate or disenfranchised.”

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Another Tax on the 99 Percent

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

This week we told you about Governor Jerry Brown’s regressive tax plan, and how it will hurt low- and middle-income earners through a sales tax hike, but there’s another proposal vying for the November ballot that also raises taxes on the 99 Percent, and may be just as bad as Brown’s. The proposal is being pushed and financed by wealthy Los Angeles lawyer Molly Munger, and it would raise income taxes across the board, including for Californians who make as little as $14,642 a year.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Liberal Police Chief Accused of Racism Takes the Stand

by John Geluardi
Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Richmond’s Chris Magnus, perhaps the most progressive police chief in the Bay Area, took the stand this week to respond publicly about accusations that he instituted racial discriminatory policies that obstructed the promotion of seven of the highest ranking and highest paid black officers in his department. Under tough questioning from plaintiffs’ attorney Stephen Jaffe, Magnus answered questions about his knowledge of Junetenth, his promotion of a white female to assistant chief, and his plans to reform flawed department policies.

Chris Magnus

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

UC Berkeley Buys XXX Domain Names in Order to Protect Itself

by Rachel Swan
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 4:31 PM

In an effort to gird itself against public humiliation, UC Berkeley just went on a preemptive XXX buying spree, purchasing six trademarked web domains — ucberkeley.xxx, universityofcaliforniaberkeley.xxx, uc-berkeley.xxx, universityofcalifornia-berkeley.xxx, goldenbears.xxx and cal.xxx — at $200 apiece, The Daily Cal reports. And apparently, it's not the first school to do so. As soon as the ICM registry put adult web addresses on the market in December, universities rushed to block them. Some, like the University of Kansas, began purchasing domains as early as October. (ICM gave trademark holders the ability to buy early, lest these domains go to a cyber mercenary and be held for "high-dollar ransom," wrote USA Today reporter Mike Snider.) Thus, schools across the country found themselves in a rather awkward and improbable line of business. Adult domains don't come cheap — UC Berkeley has already paid a total of $1,300, and the name gay.xxx sold to film production studio Corbin Fisher for a hefty $500,000, Snider wrote — but an unsullied reputation is evidently worth the price.

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Piedmont Election Results In; Rood and Sewer Tax Out

by Nate Seltenrich
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Did Piedmont voters have more on their mind than just Blair Park when casting their City Council votes on Tuesday? Or has opposition to the controversial new sports field died down, eroding support for challenger and outspoken project critic Tim Rood? Without exit polling it's hard to say, but from final results released in the last hour we know that Rood lost very narrowly to fellow challenger Bob McBain — an ardent supporter of the project who voted for it as a member of Piedmont's Recreation Commission — by a mere 26 votes, or 0.38 percent of the vote. Regardless of voters' motives, McBain's victory may mean a smoother road ahead for the embattled sports field, especially considering his candidacy was backed by project proponents Piedmont Recreational Facilities Organization.

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Oakland Council Was Right to Reject Occupy Crackdown

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Although support for Occupy Oakland has nosedived recently in the wake of violent protests, the Oakland City Council made a smart decision last night, rejecting a call for a police crackdown on future demonstrations. The proposed crackdown likely would have resulted in more violent confrontations between Oakland police and so-called Black Bloc protesters — which is exactly what the violent fringe of Occupy covets.

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Anonymous Warns Black Bloc in Oakland: Quit It or Else

by Kathleen Richards
Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 10:26 AM

A video posted on YouTube by the group Anonymous warns Black Bloc protesters to quit their violent, co-opting tactics in the Occupy Oakland movement, or else face their wrath. The five-minute video also questions whether some Black Bloc members are actually police, trying to incite violence.

"The response from fellow anons to Black Bloc has been overwhelming. Peacefully shutting down banks and locations has had a far greater economic impact than Black Bloc's pitiful acts of vandalism could ever dream of. ... You are at best misguided, harmful, and idiotic in your actions ... We suspect that many of you are agent provocateurs ... Your tactics demonize us in the eyes of the general public, robbing Occupy of much-needed support ... and worse, your activities justify the use of police brutality .... Consider this an act of diplomacy before we start doxing your asses all over the Internet and paying special attention to personally ruining your lives."


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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bay Citizen to Merge with the Center for Investigative Reporting

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 4:41 PM

A lot of hand-wringing followed last week's announcement that The Bay Citizen had entered merger talks with the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Berkeley-based nonprofit run by former San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein. Launched by the late San Francisco philanthropist Warren Hellman as a potential replacement for the money-losing Chronicle, The Bay Citizen had been poised to become the daily paper of note in San Francisco. Yet it was crippled not only by Hellman's death in December, but also by the departure of several top employees, including interim editor-in-chief Steve Fainaru and founding chief executive Lisa Frazier. Its contract with the New York Times, which currently runs Bay Area news on a weekly basis, was apparently not sufficient to halt the merge, announced this afternoon.

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East Oakland Boxing Association Might Have to Shut Its Doors

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Just months after local hero Andre Ward took the Super Six Middleweight Title, a venerable boxing center in his home town might have to shutter. For 25 years, the East Oakland Boxing Association has provided free after-school programs for kids, teaching everything from nutrition to academics to sparring. But in the last few years the organization has been crippled by the deaths of four leaders — head trainer Paul Wright passed away in 2008, youth intern Phillip Wright was fatally shot the following year, founder Stanley Garcia died in 2010, and last year marked the death of board president and esteemed social activist Frank Rose. Diminished funding and a paucity of resources have only exacerbated the EOBA's woes and imperiled operations. The directors are now appealing to civic leaders and community members to come visit and support; they'll hold an Open House tomorrow, 1-3 p.m. at EOBA, (816 98th Ave., Oakland).

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BREAKING NEWS: Prop 8 Ruled Unconstitutional in Federal Court

by Ellen Cushing
Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 10:01 AM

YAY: a The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal just voted to uphold an earlier decision that said California's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. In a 2-1 vote, the three-member panel essentially validated Vaughn Walker's 2010 decision, writing that Prop 8 violated the equal protection clause and "served no purpose...other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California." At this point, the stay on same-sex marriages is still in place, pending another appeal, so don't all rush out and get gay-married right now. In the meantime, if you're bored and looking for some light reading, here's a PDF of the full decision, all 128 pages of it.

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