Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Must Read: Occupy UC Protests Today in SF and Davis; Tax on One Percent Pushed By One Percent

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 6:59 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Student activists in the Occupy movement are planning protests today in San Francisco and Davis as UC regents meet via video-conference in those cities and two others, the Mercury News reports. The regents recently canceled a meeting in San Francisco because they said they feared violence, and so are now conducting their meeting through video-conferencing to lessen the possibility of a major protest. The Occupy demonstrators, nonetheless, are going ahead with plans for several demonstrations, protesting repeated tuition hikes and what they say is mismanagement of UC by the regents.

2. Several wealthy Californians — members of the One Percent — are pushing plans to raise personal income taxes on the rich in the state. The SacBee reports that one of the proposals, which is backed by Molly Munger, the daughter of billionaire investor Charles Munger, would raise $10 billion a year specifically for K-12 public schools in California. The proposed ballot measure would tax the state’s wealthiest residents the most.

3. Another statewide ballot measure would overhaul California’s Three Strikes law to exempt offenders who are sentenced to life in prison even though their most recent crime was nonviolent, the Chron reports. Currently, people with two convictions of what are considered violent felonies can be sent to prison for life on their third conviction, even if it’s for a petty crime. The law has contributed to prison overcrowding in the state. The proposed measure would help alleviate that overcrowding, but would not apply to those who were previously convicted of murder, rape, or child molestation.

4. Neighborhoods throughout Northern California may be sitting on top of aging and unsafe natural gas pipelines, but under an obscure state law, residents are not allowed to find out about them, the Chron reports. The 60-year-old pipeline secrecy law, which is backed by PG&E and the pipeline industry, keeps records on underground pipelines under wraps in California even though such information is widely available in other states.

5. The City of Oakland has enacted a temporary moratorium on new pawnshops amid concerns that they’re acting as fences for stolen precious metals, especially gold, the Chron reports. The moratorium, pushed by Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, will remain in effect through December 31 as city officials hammer out tougher regulations on pawnshops.

6. The Telegraph Avenue business district in Berkeley, already hit hard by a major fire earlier this month, is about to suffer another financial blow when Andronico’s supermarket closes soon. The Chron reports that the new owners of the small supermarket chain announced that the store on Telegraph at Derby Street will shutter its doors.

7. And San Francisco restaurants are increasingly frustrated by the proliferation of food trucks since the city enacted new mobile vending rules earlier this year, the Chron reports. Critics of the new regulations say they favor food vendors over brick-and-mortar eateries.

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