The announcement earlier this week that a coordinated effort involving Oakland police and undercover federal agents had resulted in the arrests of sixty violent criminals in the city was welcome news. Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said that operation Gideon III netted the capture of “worst of the worst” in the city. It was also good to see US Attorney Melinda Haag involved in a positive effort to reduce violent crime in Oakland, rather than unnecessarily harassing law-abiding medical cannabis operators. Hopefully, the big bust will have a real impact on crime in the city.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Gressett, who was accused of raping fellow prosecutor Holly Harpham during a lunch break in 2008, has named twenty defendants in a lawsuit that alleges former District Attorney Bob Kochly led a broad conspiracy that included the Martinez Police Department, Contra Costa County, and the California Attorney General's Office to falsely charge him of rape for political gain.
Two progressive political groups — one representing environmentalists, and the other, consumer attorneys — are funding an expensive and hard-hitting campaign against East Bay Assembly candidate Joel Young. The campaign led by the California League of Conservation Voters and the Consumer Attorneys of California has focused on the numerous controversies surrounding Young, including accusations of domestic violence, violent threats, and the fabrication of endorsements. The campaign, which is using the name California Alliance, also has blanketed the East Bay with mailers, highlighting reports in the Express about Young’s troubles, including an endorsement that called Young “unfit for office.”
Listening to the critics of Mayor Jean Quan, one might think that Oakland is on the brink of financial disaster. In fact, the opposite is true. Last week, amid the panic over the Warriors’ announcement, Quan and City Administrator Deanna Santana unveiled a balanced general fund budget that includes no cuts or layoffs for the first time in four years. In fact, Quan’s 2012-13 budget has enough money to finance a much-needed police academy.
The very public announcement last week by the owners of the Golden State Warriors that they plan to move the team to a new arena in San Francisco represented a significant blow for Oakland’s plans to build Coliseum City in East Oakland. Without the Warriors, the proposed sports, entertainment, retail, and housing complex will lack a major tenant that would bring 20,000 fans to the area at least forty times a year. However, as bleak as things look for Oakland basketball fans right now, the city should not give up hope on Coliseum City. It still represents Oakland’s best chance for keeping the A’s and the Raiders in town. Plus, the Warriors’ planned move to San Francisco is by no means a done deal, especially when considering the typically contentious nature of major development projects in that city.
At the beginning of this year, it looked as if the decision in 2009 by Berkeley leaders to hire Seattle police Captain Michael Meehan as the city’s new police chief was a smart move. Meehan was successfully reforming Berkeley’s police department, implementing a zero-tolerance policy for police misconduct while slashing costly police overtime. And his get-tough stances with the city’s police union represented a refreshing break from the past. But in the past few months, the hiring of Meehan has started to look more like a mistake, as he ensnared himself unnecessarily in two mini-scandals that raise serious questions about his judgment and his priorities as Berkeley’s top cop.
News of the Golden State Warriors' planned defection to a swanky $500 mil, privately-funded arena in San Francisco caused mass hysteria earlier this week, with Oakland bloggers protesting that there was no real financial impetus for the move — given the oft-quoted statistic that the Warrior actually boast the 10th highest attendance in the NBA.
At a press conference this morning, The Golden State Warriors and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced plans to move the team back to San Francisco after a four-decade-plus absence (they played there from 1962 to 1971). (Watch the livestream of the conference here.) According to the Chron, the Warriors will move into a $500 million, privately-financed, 17,000- to 19,000-seat arena built on Piers 30-32 near the foot of the Bay Bridge. The pier is owned by the Port of San Francisco, and under the deal, the port would give the Warriors a long-term lease in exchange for the team building the arena and fixing the now-crumbling pier.
Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber have been working to return the team to SF since buying it for $450 million in 2010. The move won't happen until 2017 at the earliest, when it can get out of its lease at the Oracle Arena, reports the AP. When completed, the arena will also host conventions and concerts, and include 100,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space.
Do you have a pet? Do you have a funny/sad/poignant/heroic story about said pet? Of course you do! And we want to hear all about it.
Send your story (no more than 500 words) and optional photo, along with your name and city of residence, to Editor [at] EastBayExpress [dot] com, or Ellen Cushing, East Bay Express, 620 3rd St., Oakland, CA 94607.
We may publish your story in our Pets issue, coming out June 6. Stories must be received by May 31.
The Express won
eight nine* awards, three of which were first place, in the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club’s Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards, the winners of which were announced at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City on Saturday, May 19.