Moths, Books, and Confessions

Legislators clamor to ban pesticide spraying, murder suspect says cop coerced him, and Cody's is moving again.

State legislators were falling all over themselves last week to stop the planned aerial spraying of the pesticide CheckMate throughout much of the Bay Area. Senator Carole Migden of San Francisco was the first to publicly oppose the spraying, which is designed to combat the invasive Light Brown Apple Moth. But several other legislators outmaneuvered Migden by introducing state legislation to halt the spraying, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Among them were East Bay Assemblywoman Loni Hancock and San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno, who is challenging Migden for her senate seat in June.

The California Agricultural Department has already sprayed CheckMate in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, angering residents who reported a higher incidence of allergic reactions, including shortness of breath, headaches, and muscle aches.

State ag officials expect to begin spraying most of the Bay Area in June. The Light Brown Apple Moth is an Australian immigrant that officials fear could cause huge damages to the state’s agricultural economy.

Claim: Cop lobbied not to finger Bey IV

In a jailhouse interview broadcast February 24 on 60 Minutes, murder suspect Devaughndre Broussard, the accused killer of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey, dropped a bombshell. The former handyman for Your Black Muslim Bakery suggested that an Oakland homicide detective encouraged him to take the fall for Bailey’s murder. If true, the police have likely blown the entire case.

Broussard told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Derwin Longmire, the lead detective in the Bailey murder, was acting friendly with bakery CEO Yusuf Bey IV after Bailey was killed. “They were getting along like they really knew each other,” Broussard said of Bey and Longmire. “The detective, he was saying, like, ‘You can’t let Yusuf Bey IV go down. He doing good in the community. He helping out black people.'”

The San Francisco Chronicle first broke the story about the long relationship between Longmire and Bey IV, who is in custody on kidnap and torture charges. But the revelation that Longmire allegedly lobbied Broussard not to finger Bey IV was new. Broussard’s lawyer had previously revealed that Longmire allowed Bey IV to meet privately with Broussard at police headquarters. After emerging from that meeting, which Longmire failed to record or videotape, Broussard admitted to killing Bailey. But he retracted that confession soon thereafter, claiming that Bey coerced him into making the confession, and urged him to be a “good soldier” for the bakery.

Cody’s is moving

Cody’s Books, a longtime Berkeley institution, is moving late next month from Fourth Street to downtown Berkeley, where it will occupy the Shattuck Avenue/Allston Way corner, formerly home to the Eddie Bauer store. “We have a super-accelerated program” to make the move, Cody’s events planner Melissa Mytinger told the Express, which broke the story online.

The store plans to refocus its selection in its new digs. “The something-for-everyone model is dead and gone,” she said. So the staff will, instead, “curate the sections that we feel the strongest about: history, politics, current affairs, and literature.” Cody’s will continue to carry children’s books, young adult literature, travel books, cookbooks, reference titles, and more, along with a new “Green World, Green Living” section.

Why the move? After three years that Mytinger called the most challenging in Cody’s’ 52-year history — during which its flagship Telegraph Avenue and ambitious San Francisco stores closed, longtime owner Andy Ross sold the business and resigned — “we were hit with a skyrocketing rent increase” at the remaining Fourth Street store. “It just about doubled and there was no room for negotiation,” she said.

Three-dot roundup

In one year, conventional analog TV will no longer work, and if you aren’t willing to pay $100 a month to watch something that used to be free, you won’t be able to get your fix of Lost any more. But wait; those of us with old-school analog TVs are eligible for a $40 coupon usable toward buying a digital-to-analog converter box. Don’t wait too long. According to ZD Net, the government only has 33.5 million coupons available. … And as long you’re at the electronics store, you’ll also need to replace your HD DVD player, because it’s so 2007. If you’re one of the unlucky saps who went with HD DVD rather than Sony’s Blu-Ray, you were kicking yourself when Toshiba announced that it would no longer manufacture HD DVD players and recorders. … Despite efforts by the federal government to eliminate the racial disparities in infant mortality, black children in California are more than twice as likely to die as newborns than whites, Latinos, or Asians, the Oakland Tribune reported. … Employees of the Trib, the Contra Costa Times, and fourteen other Bay Area newspapers learned about “across-the-board” job cuts through buyouts and layoffs. … The property that is home to Neldam’s Danish Bakery is up for sale, which means the longtime Oakland institution may close this summer, according to the Trib. … BART will start replacing its paper tickets with plastic ones this year, the Trib reported. … And state Senate Boss Don Perata’s former Dodge Charger — you know the one that got carjacked in December — was put up for sale on eBay.

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