Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oakland Council Votes for Taxes

by Stephen Buel
Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 8:08 AM

The Oakland City Council voted Monday night to submit four tax measures to voters in November, including a $360 parcel tax designed to let the city rehire 80 recently laid-off police officers. The measure was conditioned upon the police union agreeing to contribute a total of 9 percent to its pension benefits over the next three years.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Must Read

by Stephen Buel
Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Stories you shouldn't miss:

1. Oakland's recent decision to lay off 80 police officers is likely just the beginning of a wave of public employee layoffs across the state, as governments begin to come to grips with the excessively generous benefit packages they awarded workers during the past decade, experts told the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Will the Oakland Police Union Compromise?

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Oakland City Council President Jane Brunner said last night that the city is still in negotiations with the police union over pension contributions, and she and other council members hope to reach a deal by Monday when they will vote on November tax measures. The police union has been pushing the council to put a large parcel tax measure on the ballot, but several councilmembers said last night that they won’t do it unless the union abandons its demand of no cop layoffs in exchange for pension contributions.

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Friday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 7:04 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland City Council put off voting on a package of November tax measures until Monday night. And after five-hour-plus council meeting last night, it’s unclear how the council will vote. Some councilmembers expressed reluctant support for a $50 million annual parcel tax that would avoid more police cuts, while others said they would oppose such a tax until the cops’ union abandons its demand for no layoffs in exchange for contributing to pensions. The council also appears divided on how much tax to impose on medical cannabis dispensaries and the new large pot farms. The one thing the council did appear to agree on is a ballot proposal to “fix” Measure Y so the city could start collecting the $20 million annual parcel tax again without having to maintain a minimum number of cops. The measure also would allow the city to redeploy officers to community policing positions.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Slap Hitter: A's Radio finally delivers

by Kibby Kleiman
Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 12:05 PM

The Oakland Athletics have been on stations with stronger signals, FM capability and with far less right wing programming. But after yesterday's broadcast wrapping up the Boston series, I am a convert. KTRB, flaws aplenty is without a doubt the best forum the A's have had in years. Here's why...

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Thursday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 7:04 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland City Council has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle two major lawsuits filed against the police department in the search-warrant scandal, the Trib reports. The scandal involved Oakland police officers, several of whom are still on the force, falsifying sworn affidavits to obtain warrants. The officers said drug-like substances had been tested by the department’s crime lab when they had not, and the scandal resulted in the dismissal of dozens of felony drug cases. The city will have to pay $2 million to settle the suit from its own cash-strapped coffers, while Oakland’s insurance carrier will pay the other $4.5 million. The agreement settles two lawsuits filed on behalf of 104 people.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BPD Officers Carry Special Olympics Torch to EC

by Anneli Rufus
Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 4:53 PM

This summer, the Berkeley Police Department is keeping up its tradition of supporting the Special Olympics of Northern California.

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Wednesday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 7:14 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Up to four large medical cannabis farms will open in Oakland next year under a plan adopted late last night by the city council. Councilmembers voted 5-2-1 for the proposal, which they hope will add significant tax revenues to the city’s ailing budget and bring stability and regulation to the growing medical marijuana industry. The council also agreed to devise a plan this fall to permit mid-sized cannabis grows after local growers complained that the big farms would put them out of business. The new law will not affect small growers. Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Larry Reid proposed the plan. Also voting “yes” were Ignacio De La Fuente, Desley Brooks, and Pat Kernighan. Jean Quan and Nancy Nadel voted “no,” while Council President Jane Brunner abstained.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

AC Transit Drivers' Sickout Continues

by Ellen Cushing
Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 5:13 PM

For the second day in a row, AC Transit suffered an almost 20 percent loss of its workforce on Tuesday, forcing delays in service as drivers and directors remain locked in a labor dispute. Yesterday, about 209 drivers — or approximately 18 percent of the transit agency’s 1,750 unionized employees — failed to show up for work, presumably in protest of the transit agency’s new contract, which was imposed by management in a cost-cutting move. Today saw roughly the same number of no-shows, according to Sam Singer, an AC Transit spokesman. As a result, bus service has been delayed and spotty, though Singer emphasized that buses are still running.

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Slap Hitter: Anonymous with an A

by Kibby Kleiman
Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 2:35 PM

When you follow a baseball team for a season, it's possible to believe that other people might have a nodding acquaintance with your squad. We don't expect them to care about Cedric Bowers, or calculate the batting average of Matt Carson, but it seems logical to think at least other baseball fans would give your crew some contemplation. When it comes to the A's, I regret to announce that we barely appear, and there's still three months of hardball left to play

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