Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday’s Briefing: Lead Found in Water at 7 More Oakland Schools; Californians to See Big Tax Hike in GOP Plan

Plus, Alameda to only allow medical cannabis by Jan.1 — not recreational pot.

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 10:36 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss on Oct. 27, 2017:

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1. Oakland school officials discovered unsafe levels of lead in water at seven more schools this fall, reports Jill Tucker of the San Francisco Chronicle. High levels of lead in water were found at Thornhill, Brookfield, Fruitvale, Joaquin Miller, and Burckhalter elementary schools, as well as American Indian Charter High School on the former Lakeview Elementary campus. The highest lead levels were found at the temporary Glenview Elementary School site in North Oakland. Last spring, high levels of lead were discovered at McClymonds High School. Lead is a neurotoxin that harms brain development in children, even at low levels.

2. About 6 million Californians will get slammed with a big tax hike under a Republican plan in Congress, reports Emily Cadei of McClatchy. The Trump-backed GOP plan proposes to eliminate the tax deduction for state and local income taxes in order to finance large tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations. The loss of the tax deduction will result in a large tax hike and will hit middle-class Californians the hardest.

3. The sale of medical cannabis will be legal in Alameda as of Jan. 1, but weed for recreational use will not, under a plan the city council is expected to approve next month, reports Dave Boitano of the East Bay Times$. The city is proposing to permit two medical cannabis dispensaries on Jan. 1, but will continue to ban the sale of recreational marijuana — even though it will become legal statewide in 2018.

4. A Piedmont High School teacher who was accused of repeated sexual harassment of female students has been placed on leave again, pending an investigation by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, the East Bay Times$ reports. Piedmont school officials had let teacher Mark Cowherd return to the classroom after an internal investigation, but the move outraged parents and students.

5. Oakland police and the FBI say that musician Emiliano Nevarez, 26, who was shot to death in 2015 outside a downtown Oakland bar, was murdered by Dejour Jamerson, 24, who then died in car crash in the North Bay the following year, the East Bay Times$ reports. Police and FBI said that Nevarez was an innocent bystander killed by Jamerson, who was targeting another man.

6. The BART board of directors approved a crackdown on fare jumpers that will require train passengers to show their tickets on demand to agency police and personnel, reports Michael Cabanatuan of the San Francisco Chronicle. BART estimates that it loses $25 million a year to fare evaders. It’s unclear how much the new ticket inspection program will cost.

7. And a new study from Stanford has linked marijuana use with increased sex drive, reports Lisa Krieger of the Mercury News$.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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