Friday Must Read: Brown Cool on Amazon.com Offer; Oakland Merchants Complain About New Parking Enforcement

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Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown appears to be uninterested in Amazon.com’s offer to scuttle its sales tax ballot measure drive in exchange for a three-year delay on having to collect sales tax from its customers and the construction of large distribution centers in the state that would employ 7,000 workers, the LA Times reports. Brown said he’s concerned that the state cannot afford to lose out on $200 million in expected revenue from the new law that requires large online retailers, including Amazon, to charge sales tax like brick-and-mortar stores must do.

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Legislative Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing forward on new bill by Berkeley Senator Loni Hancock that would block Amazon.com from trying to overturn the sales tax law at the ballot box.

2. Merchants in Oakland’s Grand Lake district harangued Mayor Jean Quan yesterday for a new parking enforcement policy that requires disabled motorists to pay for parking when they park in city-owned lots, the Trib and Chron report. Quan said she was unaware of the new policy, which Councilwoman Pat Kernighan said was apparently implemented by city parking director Noel Pinto without informing the council or the mayor. Under city law, disabled motorists are supposed to pay for parking in city-lots but the city has never enforced that law. Quan said the city would not require disabled motorists to pay tickets that have been issued so far, and will order Pinto to properly notify the public if he plans to continue to enforce the law.

3. Opening a big box store like Walmart will be tougher in California under a bill sent to Governor Brown by the state Assembly, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The bill would require large retailers to conduct a study on the economic impacts of mega-stores on small retailers. The bill is backed by small, independent businesses who contend that superstores often result in small businesses having to close. It’s unclear whether Brown plans to sign the legislation.

4. Two to three buyers have emerged to purchase the shuttered Andronico’s supermarket stores, which are now in bankruptcy, the Trib reports. Owners of Andronico’s say that at least one of the buyers intends to invest millions in the stores to remodel and reopen them. One of the buyers also plans to rehire many Andronico’s workers.

5. Large retailers reported a 4.6 percent growth in sales in August, despite the struggling economy and the volatile stock market, AP reports.

6. Oakland cops are not confiscating as many guns as usual this year, and the police department is blaming the trend on the fact that it has fewer officers, the Trib reports.

7. And President Obama overruled the EPA today, blocking the implementation of new air pollution standards, AP reports. The White House cited the potential damaging effects on employment and the economy, but environmental groups immediately condemned the action.

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