Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 7:00 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Chronicle’s Demian Bulwa has an excellent piece on how the murder trial of Johannes Mehserle may be as much about the life of victim Oscar Grant as it is about the ex-BART cop. That’s because Mehserle’s attorneys plan to put Grant’s troubled past on trial when the case goes to court tomorrow in Los Angeles. But Grant’s family says the young man was beginning to turn his life around when he was fatally shot in the back.

2. Foreclosures are no longer relegated to low- and middle-class neighborhoods and have now spread to wealthier sections of the Bay Area, the Chron reports. The newspaper credits the trend to the state’s continued high unemployment rate and to adjustable rate mortgages.

3. At the same time, the Bay Area job market remains mired in a historic slump, the Trib reports. And no industry appears to be harder hit than construction.

4. The Chronicle’s Matthai Kuruvila caught Nadia Lockyer in another lie as her campaign for county supervisor continues to implode. Lockyer had said that she had not decribed herself as a “deputy district attorney” in campaign literature, but Kuruvila notes that she called herself exactly that in at least one of her mailers. Lockyer is a lawyer who works for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office but she is not a prosecutor.

5. Initial Construction on the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel has been under way since January and tunneling will begin July 1, the Chron reports. The bore, which many environmentalists oppose, will make it easier to commute to the suburbs for jobs.

6. Carpoolers will no longer be able to ride for free on the Golden Gate Bridge now that the bridge district has decided to charge carpools $3 per ride, the Chron reports. The change follows a similar move on the region’s other bridges, which will take effect on July 1. Toll authorities are charging carpoolers to raise funds, but they could end up lowering the number of carpools crossing the bay each day.

7. “Drill, Baby, Drill” is no longer the mantra of California Republican gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner in the wake of the BP oil-spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the Chron reports. The about-face by both right-wing candidates provides proof that the unpopularity of offshore oil drilling has suddenly become bipartisan.

8. As for BP, the oil giant maintained cozy relations with Sacramento insiders over the years by handing out free tickets to basketball games and other popular events, California Watch reports.

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