Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Must Reads: Kaiser Pays $4 Million for Mental Healthcare Violations; Opposition Grows to Tasers in Berkeley

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

click to enlarge Kaiser Oakland Medical Center. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • Kaiser Oakland Medical Center.
1. Oakland-based healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente has decided to pay a $4 million fine to the state for failing to provide adequate mental healthcare services to patients, KQED reports (via Rough & Tumble). Kaiser had previously disputed the huge fine, contending that it was “unwarranted and excessive.” But just prior to opening statements at a legal hearing concerning the fine, Kaiser dropped its opposition to it and agreed to pay the penalty.

2. Opposition is growing in Berkeley to a proposal by the city’s police department to buy Tasers for its officers, the Trib$ reports. Studies have shown that some police departments that have Tasers use them disproportionately on people of color.

3. A majority of Californians — 52 percent — say they support a $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot, the Chron reports, citing a new Field Poll. The poll also showed that 27 percent of residents plan to vote against the measure, while 21 percent are undecided.

4. A federal judge threw out a lawsuit filed by companies that do business with Drakes Bay Oyster Company, calling it “frivolous,” the Chron reports. The businesses had claimed that the federal government’s decision to allow the oyster farm’s lease to expire at Point Reyes National Seashore was illegal.

5. California’s wine industry has suffered at least $83 million in damage from the 6.0 quake that struck Napa last month, the Chron reports.

6. And expect BART trains to remain crowded for at least three more years — that’s when the agency’s new train cars will start to arrive, the Chron reports. Many train cars in BART’s aging fleet now go out of service because of maintenance problems, thereby causing overcrowding on the remaining trains. 

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