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Morning Wrap: 10/27/11

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Oakland abruptly changes course and says protesters can return to City Hall, Gov. Brown to propose sweeping pension cuts, “60 Minutes” lands Ruth Madoff exclusive, San Jose readies to sell ballpark land to A’s for a bargain, plus lots more inside.

Top of the morning’s news
  • Gov. Jerry Brown is set to propose sweeping cuts to public employee pensions and a raising of the retirement age from 55 to 67 for new hires among elements of a reform package to be unveiled today, according to a draft proposal obtained by the AP. Contra Costa Times
  • A 3.6 earthquake at 5:36 this morning was centered near the UC Berkeley campus, in the same area as quakes on Oct. 20 measuring 4.0 and 3.8. Oakland Tribune
‘Occupy’ protests

  • The Occupy Oakland protester critically wounded during a Tuesday night confrontation with police was Scott Olsen, a Marine veteran who had done two tours of duty in Iraq. The Bay Citizen
  • In an abrupt reversal, Mayor Jean Quan announced late last night that Occupy Oakland protesters can return to Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall, less than 48 hours after police broke up their encampment and following widespread criticism of her handling of the response. The Bay Citizen
  • Questions continued to swirl about just what kind of ammunition police fired into the Occupy Oakland encampment and whether they included rubber bullets. Oakland PD said its units didn’t use the bullets and that it was investigating the matter. The Bay Citizen
  • Protesters in San Francisco were warned again by police that they may be arrested if they continue to camp in Justin Herman Plaza. The Bay Citizen
  • In Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa warned that the Occupy LA encampment outside City Hall “cannot continue indefinitely.” AP
  • Today is the day for so-called independent expenditure committees, who’ve played a huge role in the San Francisco mayor’s race, to reveal their updated campaign finance reports. Chronicle
  • It isn’t even his district, but Rep. John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) was the first Bay Area House member (his district covers a broad swath of the East Bay) to issue a statement on the police sweep of the Oakland protesters. Political Blotter 
Notable Quote

"I don't know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening."
-- Ruth Madoff, wife of imprisoned swindler Bernie Madoff, on she and her husband’s purported attempted suicide after the Madoff scandal erupted, from the transcript of her interview to air Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

Other news
  • After years of acquiring land for a downtown San Jose ballpark, the city is ready to sell five acres of prime real estate to the Oakland A’s for $6.9 million, not quite a quarter of what it originally paid for it and $7 million less than its worth on the open market, the Mercury News says.
  • Amid jeers from more than 500 parents, teachers and children, Oakland Unified School District’s board voted 5-2 last night to close five elementary schools at the end of the school year. Chronicle
  • The Bay Area’s seven largest public transit agencies could save $235 million a year and protect or even expand service by cutting labor costs, analysts with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission said. Contra Costa Times
  • A crew from the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry was credited with rescuing three men clinging to the hull of their capsized boat in Richardson Bay over the weekend. Marin IJ
  • A Bakersfield couple pleaded no contest to animal cruelty for cutting off their dog’s leg and are awaiting sentencing. AP

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