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The Weekly Roundup

Thursday, April 20
From our Take This Job and Shove It files, the Chron’s Mark Martin and Greg
Lucas report the state is once again looking for a new corrections chief.
“The acting head of the state’s beleaguered prison system has told
Schwarzenegger administration officials she is resigning, becoming the
second corrections chief in the last two months to quit.”

Jeanne Woodford, who became acting secretary of Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation when Roderick
Hickman left the top job in February, is retiring from the department she
has worked in for 27 years, sources close to the administration told The
Chronicle.”

Friday, April 21
Who’s afraid of Deborah Ortiz? Apparently, we now have an answer to this
age-old question. “Jeff Sheehy, a stem cell oversight board member, said
Wednesday he felt ‘intimidated’ and that his position is ‘at risk’ because
he had testified against a bill by state Sen. Deborah Ortiz.

The measure, Senate Bill 401, seeks to put an initiative on the November
ballot to open up more meetings of stem cell working groups and to require a
minimum of royalties from taxpayer-funded stem cell research be returned to
the state.

Sheehy said Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata’s health consultant, David
Panush
, urged him not to testify against Ortiz’s bill at the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday–a claim Panush denied.

Sheehy, a San Francisco AIDS activist, said Panush told him testifying
against a senator’s bill–while serving as the Senate’s appointee to the stem
cell oversight committee–violated Senate protocol.

After testifying, Sheehy said he learned Ortiz sought to have him removed
from the 29-member Independent Citizens Oversight Committee–a claim Ortiz
denied.”

But Ortiz did order a professional hit on Sheehy …

Saturday, April 22
President Bush came to West Sacramento today to celebrate Earth Day and tout
fuel-cell technology, calling hydrogen “the fuel of the future.” “We’ve got
real problems with oil: We’re addicted,” Bush said during an Earth Day
speech at the California Fuel Cell Partnership. “It’s harmful to our economy
and harmful to our national security. I’m here to honor folks here who are
employing technology, using good ideas that will change the face of
America.”

Sunday, April 23
Gov. Schwarzenegger sat down with George Stephanopoulos and talked about
illegal immigration. He said a plan for a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border
was akin to “going back to the Stone ages” and urged the federal government
to use high-tech gear and more patrols to secure the nation’s southern
boundary.

“We are landing men on the moon and in outer space using all these great
things. I think that other technology really can secure the borders,” he
said. “If I say now, ‘Yes, let’s build the wall,’ what would prevent you
from building a tunnel? How many tunnels have been built in these last 10
years? I mean, we’ve detected tunnels left and right that people can drive
trucks through,’ he added.”

Monday, April 24
“A bill that would slap a windfall-profits tax on California oil producers
was approved by a state Assembly committee as gasoline prices surged past $3
a gallon,” writes the AP’s Steve Lawrence.

“The bill debated Monday would levy a 2 percent tax on oil-company income of
more than $10 million and use the revenue to help low- and moderate-income
senior citizens pay for prescription drugs.”

“‘The only thing I can think of why prices are going up is pure and simple
greed,’ [author Johan] Klehs said. ‘The way oil companies can avoid paying
this tax is reducing the price of gas at the pump.'”

Tuesday, April 25
From our Leave the Hard Work To Santa Claus files we find one more reason to
leave a spare key under the mat as police in Hayward found a man lodged in
his chimney yesterday. A 23-year-old, Michael Urbano of Hayward, “came home
early Saturday morning and, finding himself locked out and without his keys,
tried to enter the single-story house through its chimney.”

Did we mention he was bare-assed naked?

“He told us he took off his clothes because as he was going down the chimney
the clothes would rub up against it and slow him down,” Branson said. “If it
was skin on cement he felt he would go down easier.”

“Urbano’s effort ended disastrously when a cable-television wire he used to
lower himself snapped. He fell and was wedged in a section of the chimney
tapering into the home’s fireplace.”

“For the next four hours he cried out for help. A neighbor called police and
fire fighters, who dislodged Urbano, Branson said. Officers booked Urbano
for being under the influence of drugs, he added.”

Wednesday, April 26
Would you pay $1,000 for a Green Day show? Actually, it’s a bit unclear from
the invite whether Green Day will actually take the stage, but the East Bay
band is “hosting” a $1,000 fund raiser for Jerry Brown. We’re guessing they
won’t be covering “California Uber Alles.”


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