Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. Is Oakland Mayor Jean Quan trying to help city employee unions avoid making substantial concessions? That appears to be a basic question stemming from the mayor’s controversial proposal to sell the shuttered Henry J. Kaiser Center to Oakland’s Redevelopment Agency for $28.3 million. The Chron reported that Quan wants to use proceeds from the sale to help close Oakland’s massive $58 million budget deficit. But at least three councilmembers — Desley Brooks, Ignacio De La Fuente, and Larry Reid — allege that the proposal is illegal because it would use money from a different redevelopment area than the one that the closed Kaiser center resides in. The council, as the governing body of the redevelopment agency, has the power to scuttle the proposal, and if it does, it could force employee unions to choose between making bigger concessions than they want or watching hundreds of their members get laid off.
2. Los Angeles police announced yesterday that they arrested the primary suspect in the savage beating of San Francisco Giants’ fan Brian Stow, who remains in a coma. Police say they arrested 31-year-old Giovanni Ramirez after receiving a tip from his parole officer.generate numerous logistical problems for state officials, including what to do about state beaches that must be accessible to the public under California law, the Mercury News reported. The question is: Will the issues ultimately force the governor to scuttle his plan?
4. A video on the state prison guards’ union web site provides a link between the $7 million the union spent on state political campaigns last year and the sweetheart deal it just got from Brown and the state Legislature, the LA Times reports. The video features politicians that the union backed heavily and who voted for the sweetheart contract, including GOP state Senator Anthony Cannella, who broke with fellow Republicans and cast the deciding vote to ratify the prison guards' deal.
5. East Bay school districts are still doing a miserable job at closing the racial achievement gap, as black and Latino students continue to lag far behind whites and Asians on test scores, the CoCo Times reports, citing a new study by Education Trust West. West Contra Costa Unified, which includes Richmond and El Cerrito, scored the worst, receiving a “F.” Oakland Unified got a “D.”
6. Recent polls showing that a majority of Americans now approve of same-sex marriage might convince judges to strike down anti-gay-marriage laws, some legal experts tell the LA Times. The most recent national poll from Gallup showed that 53 percent of Americans favor giving gays and lesbians full legal rights to marry.
7. And Oakland false prophet Harold Camping tells the Chron that he’s “flabbergasted” that the Rapture didn’t happen on Saturday.