Officer Casimiro Pierantoni of the Berkeley Police Department's Community Services Bureau issued a crime update to North Berkeley residents yesterday regarding BPD's takedown of a debit-card thief in their neighborhood.
An investigation by ESPN's "Outside the Lines" has turned up evidence of widespread food-safety issues at sports venues across the country. Our two East Bay pro sports facilities didn't acquit themselves too well. 34 percent of the vendors at McAfee Coliseum reported "critical" violations, including an absence of handwashing equipment. And 19 percent of the vendors at Oracle Arena failed the test, with special scrutiny being extended to some yucky potato salad that was left out an an unsafe temperature, only to be put back in the fridge to be resold the next day (Memo to self: time to switch to garlic fries.)
Another parcel tax. The Oakland School Board voted 6 to 1 Thursday night to ask Oakland voters to approve a $195-a-year parcel tax designed to raise $20 million for Oakland teacher salaries, the Bay Area's lowest, the Oakland Tribune reported. On top of the $360-a-year parcel tax being sought by the Oakland city council to help rehire 80 laid-off police officers, it promises to be a costly election season for Oakland voters. Trustee Gary Yee was quoted by the newspaper as saying "we have cut everything we could possibly cut," but a recent analysis by this newspaper suggests otherwise. Oakland has way too many schools for its current student population, which has declined significantly in the past decade. But school closures are politically unpopular and the board's current leadership shows no signs of being willing to buck the opposition that would certainly arise to such a move.
Out of deference to the wishes of Major League Baseball, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has agreed to table a proposed November vote on a new stadium for the Oakland A's, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The mayor said that MLB president Bob DuPuy has promised to pay for a portion of any special election if the league decides to allow the A's to move there in spite of the South Bay territorial rights once granted to the San Francisco Giants.
Carpooling is down, full-fare trips are up, and yet commute times are faster across Bay Area toll bridges since the Metropolitan Transportation Commission recently rejiggered toll pricing, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. On the Bay Bridge, a total of 6,199 fewer drivers are crossing the bridge each day, the agency reported. Meanwhile, a BART spokesman said roughly 1,500 more people per day are using the system during the morning commute hours.
The Oakland School Board may place a $195-a-year parcel tax on the November ballot to raise an estimated $20 million for teacher raises, the Oakland Tribune reported. The proposed tax measure, which must be supported by four of the seven school board members at Thursday's board meeting, would join a proposed $360-a-year parcel tax being sought by the city council to enable it to rehire 80 laid-off Oakland police officers. The district's last attempt to raises taxes, in 2008, failed to secure enough votes. Oakland's teachers are among the lowest-paid in the Bay Area and yet still earn an average starting salary of $53,000 a year, the paper reported.
Trevordactyl! The Oakland A's are alone in second place after starting pitcher Trevor Cahill, who carries a few extra pounds and the aforementioned nickname, threw two hits in eight innings at the team dead ahead in the standings, and the Athletics hit the sheets, 7 1/2 games out of first place.
Major League Baseball has told San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed to chill out with regard to asking residents to vote in November on how they feel about building a new ballpark for the Oakland A's, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Reed told the newspaper that he would consider MLB's request after speaking to the sport's president Bob DuPuy and A's co-owner Lew Wolff. As an incentive to take it's request, MLB reportedly told Reed that it would be willing to help pay the costs of a spring 2011 special election if one should ultimately be needed.
The huge Safeway Store in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto might finally get a much-needed makeover, which would include landscape devices designed to filter pollution from surface runoff water.
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A Superior Court judge ruled that the prosecution has presented enough evidence to continue to charge three people with felonies for their part in crimes allegedly committed after the Johannes Mehserle verdict was announced, the Oakland Tribune reported.