Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 7:14 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Up to four large medical cannabis farms will open in Oakland next year under a plan adopted late last night by the city council. Councilmembers voted 5-2-1 for the proposal, which they hope will add significant tax revenues to the city’s ailing budget and bring stability and regulation to the growing medical marijuana industry. The council also agreed to devise a plan this fall to permit mid-sized cannabis grows after local growers complained that the big farms would put them out of business. The new law will not affect small growers. Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Larry Reid proposed the plan. Also voting “yes” were Ignacio De La Fuente, Desley Brooks, and Pat Kernighan. Jean Quan and Nancy Nadel voted “no,” while Council President Jane Brunner abstained.

2. The Alameda City Council killed private developer SunCal’s proposal for a massive housing development on the former Naval Air Station, Alameda journalist Michele Ellson reports. The council voted 4-0 early this morning, with Lena Tam abstaining. Tam, a longtime SunCal supporter, is under fire for allegedly leaking confidential city documents earlier this year to the developer. The city will begin examining new development plans for Alameda Point. SunCal has vowed to sue.

3. The heavily armed right-wing extremist who shot at CHP officers in Oakland over the weekend allegedly told investigators that he was on his way to launch an attack on the ACLU and a San Francisco environmental group in an attempt to start a "revolution," the Chron reports. Prosecutors charged the shooter, Byron Williams, with four counts of attempted murder yesterday. He now faces up to four life terms in prison.

4. More than 75 percent of BART riders aren’t interested in a temporary fare decrease, according to a survey conducted by the agency, the Chron reports. Riders prefer that BART use its multimillion-dollar surplus to extend service hours and clean train cars. The BART board, meanwhile, is scheduled to vote Thursday on a new financing plan for its $500 million rail extension to Oakland airport, the CoCo Times reports.

5. Berkeley authorities are investigation a rash of ten arson fires near the Cal campus over the past five days, the Berkeley Voice reports.

6. Governor Schwarzenegger plans to nominate moderate Republican appellate court Judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye of Sacramento to replace retiring state Supreme Court Justice Ronald George, the Sacramento Bee reports.

7. And Apple posted a record profit of $15.7 billion last quarter thanks to the introduction of the new iPad, the Chron reports.

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