Friday Must Reads: Oakland to Pay Injured Bicyclist $3.25 Million; Young People Now Approve of Obamacare

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Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland City Council has agreed to pay $3.25 million to a bicyclist who was badly injured when she crashed on a pothole-laden road, the Trib$ and Chron report. The cyclist, Dulcey Bower, crashed on Mountain Boulevard between Ascot Drive and the Highway 13 onramp in 2011. Prior to the crash, the city had received numerous complaints about potholes on Mountain. The city says it has since fixed the area where Bower was hurt, although Oakland has a backlog of road repair jobs due to a lack of city funds. The $3.25 million payout was the second major one this week — the city, as the Express first reported this morning, also has agreed to pay $4.5 million to Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen, who was severely injured when Oakland police shot him with a beanbag round during an Occupy Oakland protest.

Barack Obama
  • Barack Obama
2. More young American adults now approve of Obamacare than do not — now that that federal and state websites are working more smoothly, the LA Times$ reports, citing a new a Pew poll. About 50 percent of young people now approve of the Affordable Care Act compared to 47 percent who don't. Overall, just 41 percent of Americans approve of the law compared to 53 percent who still oppose it.

3. An African-American student who was the victim of racial bullying and slurs by white students at San Jose State University has filed a $5 million legal claim against the school, the Mercury News$ reports. The student, Donald Williams Jr., plans to file a lawsuit against SJSU if it denies his claim. Retired Judge LaDoris Cordell, who headed a task force that examined the university’s actions, also strongly criticized campus officials for waiting five weeks to discipline the white students who racially harassed Williams.

4. Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguin is planning to launch a ballot measure drive that would appoint an independent commission to decide council district boundaries, Berkeleyside reports. Arreguin contends that the council should not draw district lines because of alleged conflicts of interest. Arreguin opposed a student district created by the council because he contended that it was designed to oust longtime Councilmember Kriss Worthington, who often votes against the council majority.

5. And organizers of the Oakland Running Festival are expecting about 10,000 participants this Sunday, the Trib$ reports. Many city streets will be closed during the event.

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