The defense attorney for former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle is considering calling prominent Oakland civil rights lawyer John Burris as a witness in Mehserle’s upcoming trial on charges that he murdered unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III, according to court documents.
Mehserle, 28, who is free on $3 million bail, is charged in connection with the shooting death of Grant on the platform of the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland shortly after 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2009, after Mehserle and other officers responded to reports that there was a fight on a train. Read More
What to read
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
By Heidi W. Durrow (22.95)
The novel, winner of the Bellwether Prize recognizing fiction that addresses social issues, is a 1980s-set coming-of-age story of the daughter of a white Danish immigrant and a black GI. Having survived a tragic accident, the girl is sent to live with her black grandmother in a strange city, where she grapples with race and identity. Read More
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved, on a party-line vote, the nomination of 39-year-old UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to be a judge on San Francisco’s 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, clearing the way for possible confirmation by the full Senate. Republicans are concerned Liu will be an activist judge. Democrats said he’s clearly qualified, and pointed to his statement at a hearing last month that he could set aside his personal views and decide cases based on legal precedent. Read More
WHAT: New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is suing Ivy Asset Management hedge fund and its two former principals for not warning all its clients that by 1997 they had evidence that now-imprisoned Bernard Madoff wasn’t making the stock trades he claimed to be profitably investing in. Read More
WHO: Gov. Chet Culver, D-Iowa
WHAT: When Culver was Iowa’s secretary of state, his office received $30 million in federal funds to update the state’s voting machines under the Help America Vote Act.
WHY IT’S AN OUTRAGE: The Des Moines Register reported that federal election officials will soon decide whether $2.5 million of that amount should be returned after auditors found that Culver spent it inappropriately on public concerts and festivals. Read More
Your May 12 letter from the past chair of the Lake Merced Task Force is disingenuous and misleading. His contention that the San Francisco Rod and Gun Club is being subsidized by The City is absurd. It actually pays rent to The City. None of the other proposed uses for their site would work without city subsidies. Read More
Right now, San Francisco is struggling to close a $483 million deficit, and most of the public employee unions — including those representing Municipal Transportation Agency workers — are supporting a plan for voluntary givebacks to save $200 million. But Muni’s 2,220 bus and rail operators in Transport Workers Union Local 250-A are due to get an automatic $9 million annual raise starting July 1. And in February they voted down a $15 million concession request. Read More
There is much to inspire Republican political operatives in the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC News national survey.
Among those most interested in the 2010 congressional election, the GOP holds a commanding 20-point margin over the Democrats, who have controlled Congress since 2007. There’s also a massive swing among independents back to the GOP. Read More
Federal officials are planning new regulations on tobacco products, including those marketed as alternatives to smoking — such as dissolvable tobacco tablets sold by Camel.
But some of the men and women on the government’s official advisory panel have financial ties to the drug companies selling competing products, such as Nicorette. One government adviser even holds a patent for a new nicotine gum.
It’s a full-fledged regulatory rumble between Big Tobacco and the even larger Big Pharma.
Some quick background: Read More
Exactly fifty years after police turned high-pressure fire hoses on a group of singing demonstrators seated on San Francisco City Hall’s rotunda floor, singing echoed once more Thursday under the high domed ceiling as participants in what is now known as “Black Friday” gathered to commemorate the historic incident.
“My life changed as a result of May 13, 1960,” said Burton White, an activist who was arrested at the demonstration against the House Un-American Activities Committee. Read More
The South San Francisco Police Department is offering $25,000 rewards for information leading to an arrest and conviction in connection with either of the two murders in the city this year.
Jose Manual Lopez, 15, was shot to death at about 7:30 p.m. May 4 while walking with another juvenile in the 800 block of Hickory Place, according to police.
Lopez, a student at South San Francisco High School, was pronounced dead at the scene. Read More
The murder trial of an alleged San Francisco gang member accused of shooting another man after unsuccessfully trying to steal his jeweled necklace got underway Thursday morning with the prosecutor telling jurors the crime fit the suspect’s “business plan.”
Prosecutor Michael Swart told a San Francisco Superior Court jury during opening statements Thursday that accused murderer Charles Heard, 25, “specializes in certain types of armed robberies” and was known to target “men who wear large, ostentatious, expensive pieces of jewelry.” Read More
A San Mateo County Superior Court judge on Friday will decide whether to unseal a search warrant affidavit in connection with a next-generation iPhone prototype found at a Redwood City bar in March.
A joint police task force served the search warrant at the Fremont home of a technology blog editor who had purchased the iPhone, disassembled the phone and posted details of it on the blog, gizmodo.com. Read More