Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Wed, May 26, 2010 at 6:49 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland and Berkeley consider themselves “sanctuary” cities for undocumented immigrants, but a little noticed new federal program effectively overturns their sanctuary status. Under the program, Secure Communities, the fingerprints of every person arrested in Oakland and Berkeley and booked into county jail are sent to federal immigration authorities to check if they’re in the country illegally, the CoCo Times reports. The mandatory program applies to all cities in the East Bay. As a result, it essentially eviscerates Oakland and Berkeley’s pledge to not share people’s immigration status with the federal government. San Francisco County has attempted to opt out of the program, but state Attorney General Jerry Brown said yesterday that it couldn’t.

2. Nadia Lockyer, the wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, has misrepresented herself to voters in her campaign for Alameda County supervisor, the Chron reports. Lockyer has said on her campaign website that she’s a deputy district attorney for the county — but she is not, according to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.

3. State Assembly Democrats unveiled a budget proposal that would solve the California budget crisis through borrowing and a tax increase on oil drilling, the Chron reports. Governor Schwarzenegger does not appear enthused about the plan.

4. A federal judge has overturned regulations to protect Delta fish populations, including salmon, and ruled that Central Valley agribusiness can receive more water over the next several weeks, the CoCo Times reports. However, the ruling does not extend to next year.

5. Bay Area homes prices are rebounding, up 16.2 percent compared to last year, the Chron reports, citing new data. The increase in home prices in the region bucks a national trend.

6. President Obama is visiting Fremont this morning for a tour of Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer, the Merc reports. Last night, the president held a fundraiser for US Senator Barbara Boxer, who is facing a tough reelection fight.

7. And Alameda Police Chief Walt Tibbet is stepping down to become Fairfield’s police chief, the Alameda Journal reports. Tibbet will replace Kenton Rainey, who is taking over as new chief of BART’s troubled police department.

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