Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: Spring Storms Have Little Impact on Drought; Obamacare Signups Surge Past 7 Million Nationwide

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The series of spring storms that have drenched Northern California over the past week have had little impact on the state’s historic drought, the Chron reports. California water officials expect that the Sierra snowpack will still only be about a third of normal for this time of year during measurements this week. Yesterday’s storm, however, delivered a series of blows to the East Bay. In Berkeley, a bolt of lightning exploded a 70-foot-tall redwood tree, Berkeleyside reports. A woman in downtown was also hit by lightning, but was not injured.

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2. Obamacare signups nationwide soared past 7 million yesterday before the March 31 deadline, eclipsing White House estimates, the AP reports. Signups in California also surged to at least 1.3 million — outpacing the original projection of 1.2 million.

3. The public corruption scandals that have rocked the state Senate in recent months are prompting renewed calls for campaign finance reform in California, the Chron reports.

4. The City of Richmond successfully refinanced $27.6 million in bonds last week, despite concerns that investors would be skittish over the city’s plan to seize underwater mortgages through eminent domain, the CoCo Times$ reports.

5. And Airbnb has agreed that people who use its service will pay a 14 percent hotel tax to the City of San Francisco for each home, condo, or apartment rental, the Chron reports.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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