Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Must Reads: OPD Refuses to Identify Suspects Arrested in Ceasefire; Monstrous Yosemite Blaze Tops 100,000 Acres

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland police officials are refusing to identify eight men that they say they arrested as part of the city’s Ceasefire crime prevention program, the Chron reports. OPD said that releasing the names of the arrestees could jeopardize the department’s ongoing investigation of criminal street gangs that it believes are responsible for much of the violence in Oakland. But legal experts say that the refusal to identify those arrested could violate the suspects’ civil rights.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: Lawmakers Order Probe of UC Berkeley Sex Assaults; Fire Near Yosemite Grows More Massive

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. State lawmakers ordered an investigation into how UC Berkeley handles sexual assault cases involving students, the LA Times$ reports. The decision followed complaints by Cal female students who said the university failed to adequately investigate sexual assault cases. At a hearing in Sacramento on Wednesday, several female students accused UC Berkeley officials of ignoring their complaints.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday Must Reads: PG&E Improperly Declared Two Pipelines Safe; Governor to Skip Bay Bridge Opening

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. PG&E declared that two of its major gas pipelines in the Bay Area were safe, when, in fact, they had bad welds, the Chron reports. The utility quietly disclosed the problem to state regulators, saying that its records were inaccurate. The disclosure alarmed administrative law judges for the California Public Utilities Commission, who raised questions as to whether PG&E has fixed its records problems that led to the deadly San Bruno pipeline blast in 2010. In that case, PG&E had maintained that the San Bruno pipeline was safe when it also had bad welds.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Massive 'Rim' Fire Near Yosemite Prompts Evacuations at Two Camps Popular with East Bay Residents

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM

A massive wildfire near Yosemite National Park has prompted evacuations at two camps that have long been popular with East Bay residents: Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp and Camp Tawonga. The director of Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp, which is run by the City of Berkeley, is bringing home counselors from the camp tonight because the 11,000-acre "rim fire" is closing in on the camp, Berkeleyside reports. And sheriff''s deputies have ordered the evacuation of nearby Camp Tawonga, MyMotherLode.com reports.

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Tuesday Must Reads: Sea Levels May Rise Three Feet By 2100; Environmentalists Oppose Proposed Changes to CEQA

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The international panel of scientists that won the Nobel Prize in 2007 for its work on climate change predicts in a draft report that sea levels may rise as much as three feet by 2100 — if the current pace of greenhouse-gas emissions continues, The New York Times$ reports. A three-foot rise would endanger many cities around the globe, including San Francisco, New York, London, Shanghai, Venice, Sydney, Miami, and New Orleans. Temperatures worldwide could also rise as much as five degrees Fahrenheit, and ten degrees at the north and south poles, causing “widespread melting of land ice, extreme heat waves, difficulty growing food, and massive changes in plant and animal life, probably including a wave of extinctions,” The Times adds.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Chronicle Needs to Correct Headline on Oakland Black Males Story

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 5:36 PM

The San Francisco Chronicle is making big waves this week with its three-part series, highlighting the Oakland school district’s innovative response to the problem of young black men being suspended, expelled, and dropping out of high school — at a time when so many black males are being killed each year in the city. The stories are well-done, and feature excellent photojournalism, but they contain a major error: The headline on the first story of the series “Even Odds” and the subheadlines on both the first and second stories are wildly inaccurate and grossly overstate the chances of a black male being killed in Oakland.

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Monday Must Reads: Oakland to Launch Police Chief Search; BART Management Among Highest Paid in Nation

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Mayor Jean Quan said the city is launching a national search later this month to hire a new permanent police chief, the Chron reports. Interim Police Chief Sean Whent, who has been running the police department since Howard Jordan abruptly resigned in May, said he will apply for the permanent spot. Quan said the city will also spend $100,000 on a headhunting firm to help find a permanent chief.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Must Reads: Bay Area Home Sales Soar; Wells Fargo Locks Out Richmond’s Mayor

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Home sales in the Bay Area reached an eight-year high last month as the number of homes on the market soared, the Mercury News reports. The number of homes sold in July was the highest since 2005 with sellers coming back onto the market as prices skyrocket. The median sales price in the Bay Area was $562,000 last month — a 33.5 percent increase over a year ago. In Alameda County, it was $570,000, and it was $450,000 in CoCo County.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: CEQA Reform Bill Moves Forward; Brown Proposes to Move Giant Water Tunnels

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Legislation that would reform California’s primary environmental law to make it easier to build smart-growth projects in cities moved forward in the state capital, the LA Times$ reports. The bill by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg would speed up approvals of infill development in urban neighborhoods. Business groups, however, oppose the bill because they contend it does not go far enough to reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which is often used by anti-growth activists to block projects that would help in the fight against climate change.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday Must Reads: New Bay Bridge May Open on Labor Day; Sweeping Gun Control Package Moves Forward

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Bay Area transportation officials plan to decide tomorrow whether to open the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge on Labor Day after all — following a letter from federal authorities that approved a temporary seismic fix to the bridge, the Chron and CoCo Times report. Federal transportation officials said the temporary fix, which would be in place until a permanent one can be installed in December, would protect the new bridge during an earthquake. Both the temporary and permanent repairs of the bridge are necessary because of the failure earlier this year of 32 giant steel rods. If the new bridge does open on Sept. 3, however, officials said a planned celebration will not take place because preparations for the event had been put on hold and it’s too late to restart them.

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