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Morning Wrap: 7/25/11

Monday, July 25, 2011

Why California’s high-speed rail project hangs by a thread, Amazon’s dicey political play, NFL lockout on the verge of ending, an alleged mini-Madoff in Orinda, Jerry Brown’s bid to become “Governor Sunbeam,” and more after the jump.

Top of the morning’s news
  • NFL owners and players agreed to terms of a deal to end the lockout early today, and players are expected to begin the voting process to approve it later today. AP
  • Newsweek scores the first interview with the maid at the center of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sex scandal.
  • George Ramos, a longtime former LA Times reporter who was editor of Cal Coast News, was found dead in his Morro Bay home over the weekend although foul play is not suspected. He was 63. LA Times

  • Oregon Democrat David Wu had his obligatory woodshed talk with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi over the weekend, but the congressman says he won’t resign, despite being accused of having an “unwanted sexual encounter” with the teenage daughter of a close friend last Thanksgiving. Politico
  • The LA Times’ George Skelton says Amazon’s attempt to float a ballot measure to turn back California’s online tax collection law will most likely denounce the company “as just the latest arrogant corporate behemoth to try to buy an election and carve out a competitive advantage for itself.”
  • Gov. Jerry Brown, once known as Governor Moonbeam, wants the state to produce 20,000 new megawatts of renewable electricity by 2020, prompting the Mercury News to dub him a potential “Governor Sunbeam.”
Other news
  • Nearly 60 percent of Californians would let local officials put new taxes on cigarettes, sugary drinks, liquor and oil pumped from the ground if voters in their communities said it was OK, a new LA Times-USC poll shows. LA Times
  • The prospects for California’s high speed rail project—which counts on a $19 billion federal infusion to help with the $43 billion price tag—are fading with each day the federal government struggles to find trillions of dollars in savings to raise the national debt ceiling. California Watch
  • Columbus Foods unveiled a new state of the art meat processing plant in Hayward two years after its South San Francisco salami factory burned to the ground. Oakland Tribune
  • Carl Blake Miller, the Orinda son of the late attorney Harry Miller who co-authored “California Real Estate,” is accused of swindling numerous investment clients, including $16,000 from a Boy Scout troop. Contra Costa Times
  • The Oakland Tribune has more details about the February takeover armed robbery of a Fremont tech company of $37 million worth of computer chips, being called the largest high-tech heist in Bay Area history.
  • An 11-year-old girl struck by a stray bullet during a sleepover in the Western Addition was said to be improving. Chronicle

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