Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday Must Read: Silicon Valley Execs Want A’s; Airport Connector Moves Forward

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland A’s planned move to South Bay got a boost when 75 Silicon Valley executives sent a letter yesterday to Major League Baseball, calling for the team to relocate to San Jose, the Mercury News reports. Some of the biggest names in high-tech signed onto the letter, including the heads of eBay, Yahoo, and Cisco Systems. The letter shows that the A’s appear to have strong corporate backing for a new San Jose ballpark. Recently, thirty East Bay companies raised $500,000 for corporate sponsorships should the A’s remain in Oakland.

2. BART’s controversial Oakland Airport connector moved closer to breaking ground yesterday when the Metropolitan Transportation Commission allocated $20 million in state funds for the project, the CoCo Times reports. The new funding will help replace $70 million in stimulus funds that federal officials took away because of BART’s civil rights violations. Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, who sits on the MTC board and believes the $500 million elevated tram to the airport is a boondoggle, voted against the new funding.

3. Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger will not have to defend Proposition 8 in court under a ruling by the California Supreme Court, the Chron reports. The decision upheld earlier lower court rulings and denied a petition by a conservative group that sought to force the state attorney general and governor to defend the anti-gay-marriage law. The court’s ruling also further raises the possibility that the decision by federal Judge Vaughn Walker, reinstating gay marriage in California, will be upheld on procedural grounds.

4. California likely will be sued by four coal-producing states that want to overturn its landmark climate-change law should Proposition 23 lose in the November election, California Watch reports. The attorneys general in Alabama, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Texas contend that the California’s law, mandating a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions in the state, unfairly harms interstate commerce. But they only plan to sue California if Prop 23, which would roll-back the state’s climate-change law, is defeated.

5. The California Supreme Court appears poised to okay Governor Schwarzenegger’s state-employee furlough program, the Chron reports. At a hearing yesterday, members of the high court noted that the state Legislature appeared to endorse the furlough plan earlier this year. Schwarzenegger put state employees on furlough as a cost-cutting move, but state-employee unions sued the governor, alleging that he overstepped his authority.

6. And construction of the new Bay Bridge suspension span will cost $293 million more than anticipated because the $2 billion signature-tower design is more complicated to construct than expected, the CoCo Times reports.

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