Monday Must Read: Brown and Boxer Extend Leads; PG&E’s Pipes Leak a Lot



Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Democrats Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer are widening their leads over Republicans Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, according to a new LA Times/USC poll. Brown is outpacing Whitman 49 percent to 44 percent, while Boxer has a strong, eight-point advantage over Fiorina, 51 percent to 43 percent. The new poll also shows that President Obama remains popular in California. Voters approve of his job performance, 54 percent to 40 percent.

2. Immigrant bashing by Republicans and Tea Party activists this year also appears to be backfirng for Fiorina and Whitman in California. The LA Times reports that Whitman trails Brown by 19 points among Latinos, while Fiorina is losing to Boxer by a whopping 38 points.

3. Brown and Whitman square off in their first debate at 6 p.m. tomorrow. It will be televised in the Bay Area on KTVU-Channel 2. The San Francisco Chronicle, meanwhile, took a cop out and refused to endorse either Boxer or Fiorina for US senator, showing once again how out of step the paper is in the liberal Bay Area, where Boxer remains popular and enjoys a huge lead among voters.

4. PG&E reports leaks in its natural gas lines at a rate that is six times higher than the national average for urban areas, the LA Times reports. The number of leaks that PG&E reports each year also is increasing, while it’s going down nationwide.

5. California is set to resume executions on Wednesday after a four-year hiatus when convicted rapist and murderer Albert Greenwood Brown is scheduled to be put to death, the Chron reports. A federal judge cleared the way for Brown’s execution after Attorney General Jerry Brown argued that California had put in place new procedures and a new death chamber that made capital punishment more humane.

6. Charter schools are thriving in California despite the recession because they typically have younger teachers who earn lower salaries and receive fewer expensive benefits than teachers in traditional public schools, the Chron California Watch reports. Nearly 90 new charter schools were scheduled to open this year, brining the total number of charters to about 900 statewide.

7. And today is a “Spare the Air Day” in the Bay Area as the fall heat wave continues, the Chron reports. Oakland is expected to reach a high of 91 degrees Fahrenheit this afternoon.