Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 7:06 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Talks between the Oakland police officers’ union and city officials extended well into the night as both sides attempted to avoid the layoff of eighty cops, the Chron reports. The deadline for reaching a deal was extended until 5 p.m. today. The union says it will start contributing to its pension plan in exchange for no cop layoffs for three years, but city officials say they can’t make that promise because next year’s projected budget deficit is higher than this year’s.

2. A UC Berkeley panel says the university should dramatically cut its annual subsidy to sports programs, the Chron reports. The panel, convened by Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, recommends slashing the sports subsidy from an average of $11 million a year to $5 million. However, such deep cuts could force the university to eliminate non-money-making sports, including some women’s athletic programs. The only two Cal sports that make money are men’s football and basketball.

3. The Oakland A’s proposed move to San Jose may be in jeopardy in light of the decision by team co-owner Lew Wolff to go public with his frustrations, the Mercury News reports. In an interview Sunday with Merc sports columnist Mark Purdy, Wolff complained that Major League Baseball has taken too long to release its report on whether the team should be allowed to relocate to San Jose or should work with the City of Oakland on new ballpark sites in Jack London Square.

4. Several grassroots education groups sued the State of California yesterday alleging that it’s formula for funding public schools is unconstitutional, the Chron reports. The groups point out the substantial differences between public schools in low-income neighborhoods and those in wealthy areas. The suit was the second filed against the state in the past few months over its education funding formula.

5. The growing popularity of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs is raising environmental and health concerns because the bulbs contain toxic mercury and must be disposed of properly, the Mercury News reports.

6. And problems for Apple’s iPhone 4 continue to mount as Consumer Reports magazine refuses to recommend the new smart-phone, the Chron reports. The highly respected magazine notes that the iPhone 4 drops calls when you hold the device in the palm of your hand. Putting the phone in a bumper case solves the problem, but so far Apple is refusing to provide consumers with a free fix.

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