Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Must Reads: Oakland Loses Bid to Keep Pot Club Open; Judge Indicates that He Will Uphold Berkeley’s Cellphone Law

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 10:05 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A federal appeals court turned down the City of Oakland’s bid to keep the US government from closing Harborside Health Center — the nation’s largest medical cannabis dispensary, the Chron reports. The Ninth Circuit court ruled 3-0 that the city does not have legal standing to intervene in the US Department of Justice’s decision to seize Harborside’s property through asset forfeiture. The city had argued that the DOJ’s action would illegally rob Oakland of more than $1 million a year in tax revenues and would force the dispensary’s patients to buy pot on the black market. Harborside’s own suit against the DOJ is ongoing and the club remains open.

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2. Despite industry objections, a federal judge indicated that he intends to uphold Berkeley’s cellphone warning law, except for language that states that cellphone radiation poses dangers to children, the Chron reports. US District Judge Edward Chen said that the dangers to children aspect of Berkeley’s law is “controversial,” and thus too far-reaching. But Chen said the rest of the law is based on FCC findings.


3. Family members and friends of Richard Linyard, who died after he fled a police stop earlier this month, don’t believe the Oakland Police Department’s assertion that he died when he got wedged between two buildings, the Chron$ reports. Jessica Gatewood, Linyard’s mother, plans to watch police body camera video today — the same video that OPD showed to a select group of journalists earlier this week.

4. California legislators are scrambling to fix a testing snafu that has prevented thousands of teenagers in the state from graduating high school, the SacBee$ reports. The teens have not been able to take the California high school exit exam because the state stopped administering it last month.

5. Climate scientists increased the odds of a strong El Niño bringing a wet winter to Northern California and the Sierra Nevada, the Chron reports. Scientists had previously limited their predictions of an El Niño wet winter to Southern and Central California and the Bay Area.

6. July was the warmest month ever recorded on Earth, the LA Times$ reports, citing new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. July’s average temperature was 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th century average and broke a record dating back to 1880.

7. And state wildlife officials say that a wolf pack has established itself in Northern California, near the Oregon border — the first time that has occurred since wolves were hunted to near-extinction one hundred years ago, the LA Times$ report.

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