Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Must Reads: Support for Death Penalty Plummets in California; Homes Prices in Alameda County Continue to Soar

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Support for the death penalty has plummeted to a fifty-year low in California, with only 56 percent of residents saying they still back capital punishment, the Chron reports, citing a new Field Poll. The last time support was this low in the state was 1965. In 2011, 68 percent of Californians said they supported the death penalty.

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2. The Bay Area’s red-hot housing market cooled in August — but not in Alameda County, which experienced a 17.3 percent increase in home prices, the highest in the region, the Mercury News$ reports, citing new data from CoreLogic DataQuick. The median home price in Alameda County reached $688,500 last month, as prices in the county have essentially returned to pre-crash levels. Areas of Oakland remain particularly hot, real estate agents say.

3. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors has agreed to pay $80,000 to an African-American emergency dispatcher who was victimized by race discrimination by fellow workers, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. Dispatchers made racially insensitive remarks to their black colleague and draped a Confederate flag over her locker.

4. The proposal to divide California into six states appears to be falling short of the signatures required to qualify for the 2016 ballot, the Chron reports.

5. Federal regulatory reports show deplorable conditions at Foster Farms chicken plants across the nation, “including mold growth, fecal contamination and cockroaches,” the Washington Post$ reports (via Rough & Tumble).

6. The State of Nevada is providing $1.3 billion in taxpayer subsidies to Tesla in exchange for the Bay Area electric carmaker building a huge factory for batteries near Reno, Reuters reports (via rough & Tumble).

7. The federal government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day for refusing to hand over private information about its customers, the Mercury News$ reports, citing newly released court documents.

8. And President Obama declared that the Napa Valley is a major disaster area following the 6.0 earthquake last month, a move that will release federal aid to the region, the AP reports.  

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