Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: BART to Launch Late-Night Bus Service; Brown Signs Bill to Lessen Sentencing for Crack Cocaine

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 9:25 AM

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Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. BART plans to begin offering late-night bus service on weekends from San Francisco to the East Bay as part of a pilot program later this year, the Chron reports. The lack of BART service after midnight on weekends has long been a problem for nightclubs and bars in San Francisco — and for East Bay patrons. BART contends that it can’t run trains late at night because it needs to shut down the system for maintenance. The new bus service would take passengers from San Francisco to select BART stations in the East Bay.

2. Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will equalize prison sentencing for felony convictions of crack and powder cocaine, SF Gate reports. The bill, long advocated by civil rights activists who note that African Americans are more likely to be convicted of crack cocaine crimes than whites, lowers sentencing for crack convictions to equal that of powder cocaine.

3. Friends of an Alameda musician — Stephen Michael Peterson — say they can’t believe he is responsible for a series of arson fires in Alameda over the weekend, the Chron reports. Friends say that Peterson, who fronts a folk band, is a pacifist.

4. Governor Brown also signed legislation that will allow California community colleges to offer four-year degrees in certain vocational subjects as part of a pilot program, the SacBee$ reports.

5. Wright Lassiter, the embattled CEO of the financially troubled Alameda Health System, is resigning from his post to take a job in Detroit, the Bay Area News Group$ reports.

6. And Stanford University scientists say California’s drought is likely caused by climate change, although other scientists say there isn’t enough evidence to reach that conclusion, the Mercury News$ reports.     

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