Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 6:57 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oscar Grant snapped a photo of Johannes Mehserle as the then-BART cop was pointing his Taser at him in the minutes before the fatal shooting, the Chron reports. The photo, revealed yesterday by Alameda County prosecutor David Stein, raises doubts about Mehserle’s claim that he meant to use his Taser on Grant, but got confused and mistakenly pulled out his gun. In addition, the Los Angeles judge overseeing the case rejected a request by Mehserle’s attorney Michael Rains to exclude testimony about Mehserle’s partner using a racial slur against Grant just before the shooting.

2. The fact that there were no black jurors selected for the Mehserle trial likely will not affect the outcome of the case, criminal trial experts say, the Trib reports. However, the lack of African Americans on the jury could harm the legitimacy of the verdict if Mehserle is acquitted.

3. Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata pulled out of tonight’s first mayoral debate, which will feature Councilwomen Rebecca Kaplan and Jean Quan, the Trib reports. Perata said in a letter that he changed his mind about participating because Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums also will not be on hand and has not yet announced whether he will seek reelection. Perata, however, knew that fact when he agreed to participate in the debate in the first place.

4. Oakland and Alameda County officials are determined to find a way to keep the Raiders from joining the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara in the wake of Tuesday’s election, the Trib reports. The city and county are working with the Raiders on a plan for a new or refurbished coliseum that would also serve as a retail and redevelopment hub. However, it’s unlikely that the NFL would help finance two new stadiums in the Bay Area — one in Santa Clara and one in Oakland.

5. Berkeley will get its first two charter schools because of a vote last night by the Berkeley school board, the Trib reports. Berkeley had been one of the last holdouts against the charter school movement in the Bay Area.

6. The California State University system may raise student fees by another 10 percent, the Chron reports, because of uncertainty over the state budget. Students had hoped that CSU, which increased student fees by 30 percent last year, would not raise them by more than 5 percent this year.

7. And PG&E lost its battle over Prop. 16 because of a poor showing in the Bay Area and the Central Valley, the Chron reports. In fact, the controversy over PG&E’s SmartMeters in the Central Valley may have played a pivotal role in the defeat of the measure.

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