Friday Must Reads: Oakland Restaurateurs Outraged Over Composting Charges; Berkeley Ecology Center Director Facing Deportation


Stories you shouldn’t miss:

Rebecca Kaplan.
  • Rebecca Kaplan.
1. Oakland restaurateurs are outraged about new composting charges from Waste Management, noting that it now costs more to compost food scraps than to throw them away, the Trib$ reports. Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan is also angry about the new charges and said they were not approved by the city council and were not part of a new contract between the city and Waste Management. Many restaurant owners say they now plan to throw away food scraps rather than compost them — a move that would undermine the city’s Zero Waste program.

2. Daniel Maher, the director of the Berkeley Ecology Center, is sitting in a Southern California prison cell, facing deportation to China, the Trib$ reports. Maher, who emigrated from China when he was two years old, was picked up by immigration officials last month on an old deportation charge. He was actually ordered to be deported in 2000, following a stint in prison, but at the time, China refused to accept him. The country is now willing to do so.

3. Governor Jerry Brown’s administration released final environmental documents for its plan to build two giant water tunnels underneath the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the SacBee$ reports. The move brings Brown one step closer to building the controversial project, which would send freshwater from Northern California to San Joaquin Valley agribusinesses and Southern California residents. Environmentalists oppose the tunnels plan because they say it  could destroy the delta.

4. The City of San Francisco is defying an order from state water officials to curtail water use because the city says it would force the closure of Camp Mather, a popular camp for families and kids near Yosemite National Park, the Chron$ reports.

5. The National Park Service has decided to require reservations to visit Muir Woods in Marin County because the wildly popular park has led to massive traffic jams and illegal parking on narrow county roads, the Chron reports.

6. President Obama has designated the Lake Berryessa-Snow Mountain area of Northern California a national monument, in a move that will provide federal protection for wilderness, the LA Times$ reports.

7. And ex-Oakland Raiders star quarterback Ken Stabler died of cancer yesterday at the age of 69. Stabler led the team to its first Super Bowl victory in 1977.