Wednesday Must Read: Brown Wins Debate, But Will It Matter?; Cal Axes Five Sports



Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Jerry Brown appeared to win last night’s debate with Meg Whitman, but because of low expectations for the ex-eBay CEO, it’s not clear whether the event changed voters’ minds. The Chron described Brown “as fiery, focused, and at ease,” and noted that Whitman looked “over-rehearsed.” But Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters pointed out that Whitman appeared to “hold her own” because she didn’t run away from questions as she has done for much of the past year. In short, expectations matter. Brown may have won the debate, but he was supposed to. And Whitman may have performed better than people thought she would.

2. UC Berkeley slashed five sports teams yesterday, including baseball, in a cost-cutting move, the Chron reports. Cal is attempting to close a $13 million annual budget deficit in its athletic program. The university also demoted men’s rugby and eliminated men’s and women’s gymnastics, and women’s lacrosse.

3. A federal judge has delayed the scheduled execution of Albert Greenwood Brown until next year in order to better review California’s revised methods for putting people to death, the Chron reports. State officials had pushed for Brown to be executed tomorrow because California’s supply of the lethal-injection drug, sodium pentothal, was about to expire.

4. A black bear was found outside a market in the San Leandro hills, but it likely didn’t come from the area, the Chron reports. Authorities believe the bear was shot elsewhere and then dumped in the East Bay. Bear hunting season just started, but there are no bears living in the East Bay hills. The Chron also has a great read about ill-advised attempts by a Mendocino County woman to turn black bears into pets.

5. New US Census data shows the depth of the recession in the East Bay, as household incomes plummeted by $3,000 annually and unemployment shot up, the CoCo Times reports. And although fewer kids were born in the East Bay in the past two years, households became larger as more children moved back in with their parents.

6. And the death toll from PG&E’s pipeline explosion in San Bruno grew to eight on Monday when a 58-year-old man died from injuries suffered in the blast, the Chron reports.