Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wednesday Must Reads: CHP Is Investigating Caltrans Bay Bridge Scandal; Attorney Says Sheriff’s Deputy Killed Unarmed Man in Oakland

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The California Highway Patrol is investigating allegations that Caltrans punished whistleblowers who raised serious concerns about shoddy work on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, the Chron reports. Last week, a state Senate probe concluded that nine engineers had suffered some form of retaliation. However, the CHP investigation is an administrative probe — not a criminal one — so it’s unclear what the outcome of it will be.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: Judge Okays Suit Against PG&E Execs; Richmond Councilmember Still Subjected to Homophobic Slurs

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A judge has ruled that PG&E shareholders can move forward with their lawsuit against the utility’s executives for the 2010 deadly blast in San Bruno, the Chron reports. San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Steven Dylina said that PG&E executives could be questioned under oath and held personally liable for negligence leading up the explosion. The move is significant because PG&E’s top officials are not being held personally accountable in the federal criminal case against the utility or by state regulators who plan to fine PG&E.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Must Reads: 14 Large Wildfires Rage in California; Scott Olsen Decries the Reinstatement of Cop Who Threw Flash Grenade

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Fourteen large wildfires are raging in Northern and Central California, burning a combined area of nearly 120,000 acres, the LA Times$ reports. Two big fires are scorching Shasta County in Northern California in extremely dry conditions. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over the weekend because of the fires, many of which were started by lightning strikes. The large fire in Yosemite National Park that was threatening a historic sequoia grove is now mostly contained.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday Must Reads: Caltrans Punished Bay Bridge Whistleblowers; Brown Wins Major Bullet Train Ruling

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Caltrans punished nine top engineers, removing them from their jobs, after they voiced concerns about the problem-plagued new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, the Chron reports, citing a state Senate probe. "The final report just corroborates that things need to change at Caltrans," state Senator Mark DeSaulnier told the Chron. "There is a culture there that doesn't like to be criticized — ever. As a worker told me: ‘Caltrans goes after the troublemakers, not the trouble.’"

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