A.M. Splash: Occupy Oakland; Lee Donors Face Money-Laundering Allegations; Chuck Reed Calls for Upping Pot Tax; Conjoined Twins Separated
- City gears up for general strike, which could bring thousands to downtown Oakland (Oakland Tribune)
As Oakland braces for Wednesday’s general strike, potentially the biggest demonstration in the East Bay since the Vietnam War, Mayor Jean Quan found herself under fire, both from her own Police Department and a neighboring mayor, for her handling of the Occupy Oakland protests. In a letter posted on its website Tuesday, the Oakland Police Officer’s Association said Quan is sending conflicting orders and that “we need real leaders now who will step up and lead — not send mixed messages.”
- Ed Lee donors face money-laundering allegations (SF Chronicle)
A man infamous among San Francisco renters for strong-arming tenants out of rent-controlled apartments owned by one of the city’s most notorious landlords directed employees to donate to Mayor Ed Lee’s election campaign, telling them they would be “reimbursed right away,” according to an e-mail obtained by The Chronicle. The district attorney’s office is now “evaluating” the matter, its third probe into alleged wrongdoing by Lee’s supporters.
- Mayor Ed Lee backs Malia Cohen’s health care fix (SF Chronicle)
After vetoing one proposal to close a loophole in the San Francisco law that requires employers to provide some funding for their uninsured workers’ health care expenses, Mayor Ed Lee signaled Tuesday that he would sign on to another plan intended to tackle the same problem.
- More grim news on $99 billion high-speed rail plan, as showdown looms (Bay Area News Group)
Californians suffering from a massive case of “sticker shock” over the new $99 billion price tag for the state’s bullet train project got some more unsettling details Tuesday: The high-speed trains will attract fewer riders and less revenue than originally promised. And more than half of the money needed to build the rail line would come from federal funding that currently doesn’t exist.
- Stanford law professors submit proposed initiative to limit Three Strikes Law (SJ Mercury News)
An effort to limit California’s tough Three Strikes Law is gaining momentum, with a proposed ballot initiative that would reserve the toughest penalty — 25 years to life — for the baddest of the bad, including murderers, rapists and child molesters. The initiative, now under state legal review, was carefully crafted by a group of Stanford University law professors and stops far short of the extensive changes proposed under a previous reform measure that narrowly failed in 2004.
- San Jose City Council endorses city’s new general plan (SJ Mercury News)
After almost four hours of discussion, including plenty of enthusiastic feedback from the public, the San Jose City Council gave a unanimous thumbs up Tuesday night to a new blueprint that outlines the way San Jose should grow over the next three decades. In a 9-0 vote, the council accepted the Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan — a report that will guide the city’s future land use by emphasizing jobs before housing and retrofitting much of the city’s 180 square miles to reduce the public’s reliance on cars.
- San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed calls for upping pot tax (SJ Mercury News)
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed called Tuesday for the City Council to raise the tax on medical marijuana collectives from 7 percent to the maximum 10 percent to pay for a citywide vote on whether to repeal newly enacted pot regulations. Reed had signaled that he wanted San Jose voters to decide the fate of regulations that city officials spent two years developing — rules he supported but which marijuana collectives call unworkable. But Tuesday was the first indication Reed wants the pot clubs to pay for an election, which Reed said could cost the cash-strapped city more than $1 million.
- Conjoined twins successfully separated at Stanford (SJ Mercury News)
Two-year-old conjoined twins can finally lead separate lives, after a successful seven-hour surgery by a huge medical team at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Hospital.In a tearful meeting with the media at the hospital’s entrance late Tuesday afternoon, Angelina and Angelica’s exhausted mother Ginady Sabuco said, “I thank God for everything. This is a dream come true.” Clutching a small speech on a crumpled piece of paper she added, “I will be gratified for eternity. God bless you all.”