Tuesday, December 18, 2012

OPD Complains About the National Standards for Police Stops

by Ali Winston
Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Having narrowly averted federal receivership for failing to complete federally ordered reforms for a decade, the Oakland Police Department will be under the control of a to-be-named compliance director for at least one year. Whoever is selected for that position will face off against a segment of the department's rank-and-file officers who view the Negotiated Settlement Agreement as nothing more than a burden.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

The Best Reporting on Guns in America

by Blair Hickman, Suevon Lee, and Cora Currier of ProPublica
Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 9:25 AM

In the wake of last week's shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, we're republishing this list of the best pieces we could find about guns. They're roughly organized by articles on rights, trafficking, and regulation. We originally published this list July 24, 2012 after the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and unfortunately it is relevant again.

Gun Rights

Battleground America, New Yorker, April 2012
Jill Lepore's thorough look at the evolution of US gun laws — from the Second Amendment, to the 1968 Gun Control Act, to the NRA's rise to political prominence — is an excellent primer for the modern day gun debate. And provides great context for the articles below.
Contributed by @Corinneavital

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Friday, December 14, 2012

UC "Suspends" New Logo

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Well, that was fast. From Daniel M. Dooley, senior vice president for external relations at the University of California Office of the President:

A controversy has developed over an element of an integrated visual identity designed for use by the University of California’s systemwide office. This controversy has created a major distraction for the UCOP External Relations Division as it pursues its broader mission ... The controversy has been fueled in large part by an unfortunate and false narrative, which framed the matter as an either-or choice between a venerated UC seal and a newly designed monogram.

... The monogram was only a piece of thevisual identity system — a new approach to typography, photography, colors and the like — that was developed by UCOP design staff.

Since it debuted in the past year, this new “look” has served the UC system well, replacing what was a clutter of dated materials that varied from UCOP department to department. And it has received praise from an array of accomplished design experts not affiliated with theuniversity.

And yet, while I believe the design element in question would win wide acceptance over time, it also is important that we listen to and respect what has been a significant negative response by students, alumni and other members of our community.

Therefore, I have instructed the communications team to suspend further use of the monogram. For certain applications, this process could require a measure of time to complete. In due course, we will re-evaluate this element of the visual identity system.

My hope going forward is that the passion exhibited for the traditional seal can be redirected toward a broader advocacy for the University of California. For it is only with robust support from the citizens of this state that the university will be able to serve future generations of Californians as well as it has those of the past.

Congratulations, internet hivemind!

Guns Are Cheap and Plentiful in Oakland

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 1:26 PM

In the wake of Connecticut school massacre today, there's been much talk of the need for stricter gun control measures nationwide — as their should be. But even before today's tragic events unfolded, there was strong evidence that our nation needs to launch a major crackdown on guns. And that's especially true in Oakland, where illegal guns are plentiful and cheap — and have been for decades. According to a report published on TheAtlanticCities.com, Oakland ranks fourth nationally for gun-related homicides per capita — behind only New Orleans, Detroit, and Baltimore. "The importance of gun control cannot be minimized," the authors noted.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Walgreens Fined $16.6 Million for Landfilling Pesticides, Bleach, Paint, and More in East Bay

by Nate Seltenrich
Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Illinois-based Walgreen Co. has been ordered to pay a settlement of $16.57 million for illegally sending hazardous materials including pesticides, bleach, paint, and aerosols to local landfills throughout California, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley announced today. The ruling was made by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Wynne Carvill in a case brought by O'Malley and 42 other California District Attorneys and two city attorneys.

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It’s Almost Christmas: Time to Count Some Birds

by Nate Seltenrich
Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Tomorrow, December 14, holds the dubious distinction — at least among retailers and time-strapped shoppers — of being the second-to-last Friday before Christmas. Much more importantly, as far as we’re concerned, it’s also opening day of the Audubon Society’s 2013 Christmas Bird Count.

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EPA to Examine Whether Small Amounts of Chemicals Harm Human Health

by Brian Bienkowski of Environmental Health News
Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Spurred by mounting scientific evidence, the US Environmental Protection Agency is initiating a new effort to examine whether low doses of hormone-mimicking chemicals are harming human health and whether chemical testing should be overhauled. The EPA, responding to a report by a group of twelve scientists published in March, is collaborating with other federal agencies to assess whether traces of chemicals found in food, cosmetics, pesticides, and plastics affect human development and reproduction. As part of that review, they will evaluate whether current testing is capturing effects linked to hormone mimics, and if the agency should alter its risk assessments.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In Defense of the New UC Logo

by Ellen Cushing
Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 6:00 AM

So. As you have probably heard, because I and approximately one bajillion other journalists have reported on it, the University of California has a new logo. Some people have not taken too kindly this. You probably haven't taken to kindly to it. But guys: Calm down. Take a deep breath. Don't panic. It's not that bad.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oakland City Council Moves Forward with Anti-Graffiti Ordinance

by J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 2:25 PM

With Oakland City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf declaring that, “I really get pissed off when people trash my city” and a visibly angry council President Larry Reid inviting fellow committee members to “come out to my district and talk to my constituents” if they failed to take quick action against graffiti, the council’s Public Works Committee sent a modified anti-graffiti ordinance today to the full council for consideration. After the City Attorney’s Office does some more minor tweaking, the council is expected to take up the new ordinance at its December 18 meeting.

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