Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 7:10 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland City Council President Jane Brunner is proposing $20 million in budget cuts and revenue enhancements to close a $31 million city deficit, the Trib reports. Brunner also agrees with Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente’s proposal that the Oakland police officers start contributing 9 percent of their pay to their own pensions. Brunner also supports a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot, as Mayor Ron Dellums’ plan for an $18 million parcel tax appears to be going nowhere.

2. The AC Transit board of directors slashed bus service by 7.2 percent across-the-board yesterday, just months after cutting service by a similar amount, the CoCo Times reports. The cuts will be especially difficult for low-income residents who depend on buses to get around. The board, by contrast, chose to not substantially cut bus service across the Bay Bridge that is used by wealthier riders, even though it duplicates service provided by BART.

3. Oakland Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Larry Reid are proposing to tax and regulate up to four large medical cannabis grows in the city, the Trib reports. The proposal follows a study that estimated that just one large grow could generate up to $2 million in annual revenues for the cash-strapped city and create hundreds of jobs.

4. Thanks to her powerful husband, state Treasure Bill Lockyer, Alameda County supervisor candidate Nadia Lockyer has raised a staggering $649,000 for her campaign, far outdistancing her opponents, the Trib reports. Most of the money — $469,000 — has come from Bill Lockyer’s campaign funds.

5. Greenhouse-gas emissions will be regulated for the first time under standards adopted yesterday by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board, the CoCo Times reports. The new rules will require large building projects to become greener, however the standards may not curb suburban sprawl or spur urban growth — two factors that would have the biggest impact on climate change.

6. Despite sweeping cuts this year in the UC system, some highly paid university employees have received pay increases, the Chron reports.

7. Job losses in the Bay Area last year were significantly worse than the national average, the Chron reports.

8. And in what could be good news for gay couples, the IRS has adopted new rules that could lower taxes paid by registered domestic partners in California, the Chron reports.

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