Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday Must Reads: EBMUD Establishes 25% Drought Surcharge; Experts Say Drought Likely Will Not Hurt State’s Economy

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 9:35 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

click to enlarge watering_lawn.jpg
1. The East Bay MUD board of directors voted to establish a drought surcharge of up to 25 percent, beginning July 1, in an effort to meet the governor’s mandate for slashing water use, the CoCo Times$ reports. In addition, the board approved a general 8 percent rate increase, voted to limit garden watering to two days a week, and agreed to slap penalties on water guzzlers who use more than 984 gallons of water a day.

2. The state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office says the drought likely will not harm California’s economy — mainly because agriculture only represents 2 percent of the state’s economic activity, even though it uses 80 percent of the available water, the LA Times$ reports.


3. Democratic state Senator Richard Pon of Sacramento, who authored a bill that would repeal the personal belief exemption on vaccinations, has received death threats, presumably from members of the anti-vaxx movement in California, the SacBee$ reports. Pon now is receiving extra security because of the threats.

4. Sex workers in San Francisco are suing to legalize prostitution in California on First Amendment grounds, the Sacramento Business Journal$ reports (h/t Rough & Tumble). “Their argument centers on people’s right to do what they want as long as it’s legal. ‘It’s legal to have sex, so why should it be illegal to pay for it?’ the argument goes.’” Lawyers for the sex workers “compared it to having the freedom of the press but making it illegal to sell newspapers.”

5. The City of San Jose has decided to take its case against Major League Baseball to the US Supreme Court in a last-ditch effort to get the Oakland A’s to move to their city, the Mercury News$ reports. Lower courts have rejected San Jose’s argument, ruling that only the Supreme Court or Congress can force MLB to allow the A’s to move.

6. And anti-police-violence demonstrators took to the streets throughout the Bay Area yesterday, demanding more accountability for cops who kill, the Chron reports.

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