Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Must Read: Innocent Man from Oakland Freed from Prison; Lake Merritt Channel Partially Reopened

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. An Oakland man who spent nearly seven years in state prison for a crime he didn’t commit was released from custody on Friday, the Trib and Chron report. Ronald Ross had been locked up as a result of shoddy investigative work by the Oakland Police Department. Ross was freed with the help of the Innocence Project at Santa Clara University and the law firm of Keker & Van Nest, which showed that OPD had arrested the wrong man.

2. The Oakland Police Department’s ongoing failure to live up to court-mandated reforms has the cost the city nearly $900,000 in legal bills in recent months, the Trib reports. Mayor Jean Quan also said last week that the city won’t be able to beef up the city’s police force as quickly as hoped because of budget issues.

  • SFbaywalk/Flickr(cc)
3. Oakland city officials hailed the partial reopening of the Lake Merritt channel, connecting Lake Merritt to the Oakland Estuary, the Trib and Chron report. The channel is expected to be fully open by this summer as part of a multi-million-dollar renovation project that includes a new park and a pedestrian footbridge.

4. The Obama Justice Department has not yet decided whether to intervene on behalf of same-sex couples that are attempting to overturn California’s anti-gay-marriage law — Prop 8, the Chron reports. The DOJ has until this Thursday to file a brief in the case before the US Supreme Court. Late last week, the administration urged the high court to throw out the federal anti-gay-marriage law, known as DOMA.

5. If the Republican-controlled Congress and the president fail to reach a deal this week, the so-called “sequester” will take affect, forcing deep budget cuts in federal spending, including cuts to programs in California. The Mercury News has the run down.

6. And state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat from Sacramento, introduced a moderate overhaul of California’s primary environmental law in an attempt to spur more urban development and green-energy projects, the AP reports. Steinberg’s plan is not as far-reaching as the one proposed by Bakersfield Democrat Michael Rubio, who resigned from the Senate on Friday to take a job with Chevron.

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