Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: Obama Pushes for Police Body Cameras; Feds Decide to Thin Eucalyptus Rather than Clear-Cut the East Bay Hills

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. President Obama is proposing that the federal government spend $75 million to equip 50,000 police officers nationwide with body cameras in the wake of the deadly officer-involved shooting of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, McClatchy News reports. Body cameras, which are mandatory in Oakland because of past police abuse cases, record all interactions between cops and the public and are widely supported by civil rights organizations and by police officers. Yet despite the president’s body camera proposal, he declined to scale back a federal program that has been supplying military equipment to the nation’s police departments.

click to enlarge KATHLEEN RICHARDS/FILE PHOTO
  • Kathleen Richards/file photo
2. The federal government has abandoned its controversial plan to clear-cut eucalyptus groves in the East Bay hills and instead will fund a scaled-down proposal to thin the flammable trees, the Trib$ reports. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said that clear-cutting eucalyptus would have destroyed habitat for some species, including the endangered Alameda whipsnake and red-legged frog.

3. Most Californians oppose the proposed tuition hikes at the University of California and want the state to spend more money on higher education — but they are unwilling to tax themselves to do it, the Bay Area News Group$ reports, citing a new Field Poll.

4. State Water Project officials said that they plan to only release about 10 percent of the water requested next year because of the prolonged drought, the Chron reports.

5. And some Orinda parents are calling for the ouster of school district Superintendent Joe Jaconette after the Bay Area News Group revealed that the district had hired a private investigator in order to kick out a seven-year-old girl from school. The district claimed that the girl doesn’t reside in Orinda, even though she lives with her mother, who is a live-in nanny with a family in Orinda.

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