Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: Lawmakers Order Probe of UC Berkeley Sex Assaults; Fire Near Yosemite Grows More Massive

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. State lawmakers ordered an investigation into how UC Berkeley handles sexual assault cases involving students, the LA Times$ reports. The decision followed complaints by Cal female students who said the university failed to adequately investigate sexual assault cases. At a hearing in Sacramento on Wednesday, several female students accused UC Berkeley officials of ignoring their complaints.

The rim fire
  • The rim fire
2. The massive “rim” fire burning near Yosemite has grown to at least 54,000 acres — or 84 square miles, NBC Bay Area reports. The huge, fast-moving blaze forced the evacuations earlier this week of two family camps popular with East Bay residents: Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp and Camp Tawonga. San Jose Family Camp has also been evacuated.

3. California legislators have also ordered an investigation into the secretive accrediting agency that is threatening to shut down City College of San Francisco next year, the Chron reports. Lawmakers said the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges lacks accountability, routinely destroys public records, and has conflicts of interest.

4. Small business owners in Los Angeles say Yelp continues to use extortion tactics in an effort to sell advertising, the LA Times$ reports. At a town hall meeting that Yelp organized, small business owners complained that after they declined requests by overly aggressive sales people from Yelp to buy ads, negative reviews of their businesses became more prominent on the online review site, while positive ones got downplayed. Those are the same charges that East Bay small businesses have been making for years about Yelp.

5. And a weak bill that would regulate fracking in California is being opposed by some liberal and environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, because they contend that SB 4 by state Senator Fran Pavley does not go far enough, the LA Times$ reports. Those groups want a moratorium on fracking, but Pavley and other environmental organizations say that there aren’t enough votes in Sacramento for such a ban.

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