Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 7:08 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A judge Ok’d an injunction against a North Oakland gang, the Trib reports, in what could be a prelude to similar injunctions in other parts of Oakland. The injunction — sought by City Attorney John Russo and Police Chief Anthony Batts and opposed by the ACLU — allows police to keep known gang members from associating with each other. Russo and Batts also hope to obtain injunctions against other violent gangs throughout the city.

2. Oakland Unified is laying off 125 secretaries and other support personnel in a cost-cutting move, the Trib reports. In addition, another 188 will be demoted or transferred as the district grapples with an $85 million budget deficit.

3. Enrollment for summer classes at UC Berkeley is skyrocketing and is estimated to reach 15,000 this year thanks to an influx of foreign students, the Chron reports.

4. A judge upheld an Alameda schools parcel tax measure, overruling objections from island businesses and commercial property owners, the Alameda Journal reports. The ruling on Measure H, which Alameda voters approved two years ago, also effectively means that a replacement ballot initiative — Measure E, which is before Alameda voters right now — is legally valid, too, notes Alameda journalist Michele Ellson. Businesses and commercial property owners had argued that the measures were unlawful because they require them to pay higher taxes than homeowners.

5. An Oakland activist who was captured by the Israeli military during last weekend’s flotilla raid is on her way back to the East Bay, the Trib reports. Janet Kobren was in Israeli custody after she and others attempted to run Israel’s blockade of the Gaza in a confrontation that turned deadly. The activists were attempting to bring supplies to the Palestinians.

6. Meg Whitman has opened up an insurmountable 51-25 lead over Steve Poizner in the race to become the Republican Party nominee for governor, the Chron reports, citing a new Field Poll. Whitman is especially popular with right-wingers and Tea Party members.

7. The Mercury News has a must read on how Whitman and Carly Fiorina parlayed their tremendous wealth into huge leads as the June 8 primary rapidly approaches — and for why GOP voters believe that the women’s riches give them the best chance of winning in November.

8. Finally, the only hope that moderate Tom Campbell has in the race for the GOP nomination for US Senate is a last-minute appeal to independent voters. Campbell is banking on independents breaking his way on Tuesday, and polls may have failed to measure his popularity with them. Under California primary rules, independents can vote for a Republican if they want to, but they often are not surveyed by pollsters prior to Election Day.

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