Thursday Must Reads: Ex-Cop Who Killed Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Still on Oakland’s Payroll; Tea Party Gubernatorial Candidate Still Leads Among Republicans

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The FBI agent who shot and killed a Boston Marathon bombing suspect in 2013 is a former Oakland cop who is still collecting a disability pension from the City of Oakland, the Boston Globe reports. Oakland city officials say they are investigating why FBI agent Aaron McFarlane is still receiving $52,000 a year from the city when he had retired from OPD on disability. After retiring, MacFarlane then passed the FBI’s stringent physical tests before the agency hired him. Then last year, MacFarlane fatally shot Ibragim Todashev, a friend of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, during an interrogation in which Todashev allegedly confessed to helping Tsarnaev pull off the bombing. In Oakland, MacFarlane had been repeatedly disciplined for police misconduct and was accused by a prosecutor of lying under oath.


Tim Donnelly.

  • Tim Donnelly.

2. Tea Party favorite Tim Donnelly is still the leading Republican candidate in the California governor’s race despite the fact that the GOP establishment is spending millions to try to defeat him, the Bay Area News Group$ reports, citing a new poll. However, Republican-establishment candidate Neel Kashkari has gained ground on Donnelly in recent months and now trails him by 5 percentage points. Governor Jerry Brown is way ahead in the race.

3. Environmental groups say the new revelations about the lack of recoverable shale oil in California have completely undercut arguments against a fracking ban, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. Governor Brown and fracking supporters have argued against a fracking moratorium, contending that it would harm the state’s economy. But the new report from the federal government shows that the vast majority of the state’s shale oil reserves cannot be extracted through fracking — a development that means the state stands to reap no economic benefit from allowing fracking to continue.

4. Federal officials are pushing for criminal charges to be filed against the tree trimmer who injured baby herons in downtown Oakland, the Chron reports.

5. Some parents of children in Catholic schools in the East Bay are withholding donations to their kids’ schools in protest of an edict by Oakland Bishop Michael Barber, who is requiring teachers to sign a “morals” pledge that extends to their personal lives, the Trib$ reports. In addition, at least three teachers have quit after refusing to sign the pledge.

6. And the amount of dense tule fog in the Central Valley has declined substantially in the past thirty years, raising concerns about the state’s agricultural industry, especially for crops like almonds, pistachios, cherries, apricots, and peaches, which depend heavily on the thick fog, the Chron reports.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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