Stories that you shouldn’t miss:
1. The City of Oakland stands to lose $41 million in redevelopment funds under a court ruling that allows Governor Schwarzenegger to redirect the money to the cash-strapped Oakland public schools, according to AP. The ruling similarly affects cities and school districts across the state and it’s expected to be appealed.
2. Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts condemned the decision by his police officers to shoot and kill a scared deer that had run into an East Oakland backyard on Saturday.
3. The Oakland teachers' union voted to authorize union leaders to call for a ten-day strike and to allow a group of about 100 union leaders to call for an indefinite strike, the Chron reports.
4. The Oakland City Council voted unanimously last night to join a growing boycott of Arizona because of its draconian new anti-illegal immigration law.
5. The home of liberal Berkeley Rabbi Michael Lerner was vandalized over the weekend apparently by conservative Zionists who are angry about his criticisms of Israel. Lerner, like lots of progressive Jews, has been critical of the settlement expansion by right-wing Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
6. The City of Oakland will face a $58.7 million deficit in 2011 because of an old, underfunded pension plan for police and firefighters, the Chron reports. Some city officials, however, are advocating that the city sell bonds to delay payment of the costs — much like the city did previously.
7. Farmers who grow water-intensive crops in the dry western Central Valley remain angry that their water supply allotment is just 40 percent of normal this year despite heavy winter rains, the CoCo Times reports. The lower allotment is due to the lack of water in Lake Oroville, the state’s second-largest reservoir, and because of federal rulings designed to protect California’s decimated salmon and smelt populations.
8. And despite vows by Democrats to help small farmers, giant farms and agribusiness still receive the bulk of federal subsidies, the Chron reports. The paper also notes that the federal government is still subsidizing farmers to grow water-intensive crops in dry places, and subsidizing unneeded crops.