Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Stories that you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums broke his promise to take a pay cut last year, the Trib reports. Dellums said last June that he would reduce his $183,000 salary in a show of solidarity with city workers who had agreed to compensation givebacks. Dellums said in a statement yesterday that he didn’t live up to his vow because of “changed family circumstances following the death of a close family member.” Dellums owes the IRS more than $250,000 in back taxes. His decision to go back on his word also may hurt the city’s attempts to win further concessions from its unions.

2. AC Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit program may have endured a serious blow last night when the Berkeley City Council refused to give the proposal its full backing, according to the Berkeley Daily Planet website. AC Transit officials have said repeatedly that they will not build BRT in any city where the council doesn’t support it.

3. The Oakland City Council punted on a decision to put an $18 million parcel tax measure on the November ballot that would help the city avoid laying off police officers. A majority of the council instead asked city staffers to come up with a range of possibilities to balance the city’s budget, the Trib reports. Council President Jane Brunner, who backs the $18 million parcel tax, criticized the council majority for not “pulling the trigger.” Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente wants the police and firefighters’ union to agree to more compensation cuts before going forward with a ballot measure.

4. The lead prosecutor in the murder case of ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle maintains that Mehserle admitted in the hours after shooting Oscar Grant that it wasn’t accidental, the Trib reports. Prosecutor David Stein said in court papers that Mehserle’s admission proves that he later fabricated a story about meaning to shoot Grant with his Taser.

5. Yesterday’s one-day teacher strike in Oakland was mostly peaceful as the vast the majority of parents decided to keep their kids out of school.

6. Oakland may join a growing number of cities that have decided to boycott the state of Arizona because of its new anti-immigration law, the Trib reports. Most legal experts agree that the law will lead to racial profiling because it allows police officers to demand identification from anyone whom they believe might be an illegal immigrant.

7. A new audit severely criticizes the state's proposed bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

8. And the possibility of the Oakland Raiders moving to Santa Clara to share the San Francisco 49ers new proposed stadium may hurt the prospects of that project winning approval from voters, the Merc reports. Some Santa Clara residents are worried about rowdy Raiders’ fans descending on their city on game days. The proposed stadium deal between the 49ers and Santa Clara allows the 49ers to share the new facility with the Raiders — a move supported by the National Football League.

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