Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday Must Reads: State Tax Revenues Jump Again; Delta Fish Might Already Be Extinct

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 10:02 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. California’s tax revenues jumped again last month and are $633 million higher this fiscal year than projected by Governor Jerry Brown’s administration, the LA Times$ reports. Much of the bump — $385 million — came from personal income taxes as the economy continues to improve. The extra cash could mean that the state will be able to better fund education and social service programs next year.

click to enlarge Delta Smelt. - UC DAVIS
  • UC Davis
  • Delta Smelt.
2. A renowned expert on fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta said the endangered Delta Smelt might already be extinct, Capital Public Radio reports (h/t Rough & Tumble). UC Davis fish biologist Peter Moyle told a group of scientists with the Delta Stewardship Council that the latest trawl for smelt only came up with six fish. At one time, smelt were plentiful in the delta, but their numbers have plummeted because of overpumping of freshwater from the estuary.


3. Homeless advocates plan to protest a Berkeley City Council proposal that they say will effectively criminalize homelessness in the city, the CoCo Times$ reports. The proposal, authored by Councilmember Linda Maio, includes banning panhandling near ATMs and cooking on public sidewalks.

4. Oakland police arrested two more suspected gunmen in connection with the slaying last week of Chyemil Pierce, a West Oakland mom who was killed while trying to protect her children during a daytime gunbattle, the Trib$ reports. Police said the suspects, Shelton McDaniels and Jerry L. Harbin Jr., took part in the shooting.

5. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón has launched an investigation into the criminal cases involving four SFPD officers who were caught sending virulently racist and homophobic texts, the Chron reports. Gascón wants to determine whether any of the criminal convictions that were obtained with the help of the four cops were racially motivated.

6. Scientists have confirmed that the measles outbreak that began in Disneyland was caused by parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, the LA Times$ reports, citing a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

7. And the state Supreme Court issued a posthumous law license to a Chinese immigrant who was denied one 125 years ago because of a racist law, the LA Times$ reports.

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