The results of a Reason-Rupe poll released today show that support for Proposition 30 may be slipping, while Prop 32 is too close to call. The right-leaning poll also claims to measure a conservative shift in the attitudes of California voters.
Within days of our story about alleged wage violations at the Oakland Airport, representatives of the AFL-CIO and Oakland-based labor union UNITE HERE Local 2850 redoubled their lobbying efforts by writing a formal letter to the airport's primary concessionaire contractor, HMSHost, and all of its subtenants. The letter announced a formal consumer boycott at the end of August — i.e., today — to demand that all airport businesses hew to the Port of Oakland's living wage ordinance, and that an airport Subway franchise also reinstate two employees, Bikram Thapa and Hakima Arhab, who were fired in July, allegedly for union activity. UNITE HERE will officially launch its protest today at 11 a.m., requesting that airport patrons boycott See's Candies, Auntie Ann's Pretzels, Gordon Biersch, Jamba Juice, Subway, Otaez, Burger King, World Passage Duty Free, Silver Dragon, and Tech Showcase.
After two years of scuffling, an administrative law judge has finally deemed the Castlewood Country Club lockout illegal. Judge Clifford Anderson of the National Labor Relations Board maintained that the tony Pleasanton club, which came to loggerheads with workers in 2010 amid a dispute over health care, no longer showed any intent of bargaining to reach an agreement.
The California Department of Health is warning consumers not to eat oysters from Drakes Bay Oyster Company, because they may contain bacteria that causes serious illness. Drakes Bay Oyster Company is the same business that's been locked in a nasty dispute with the National Park Service over its oyster farm at Point Reyes National Seashore. As the Express has reported, US Senator Dianne Feinstein is a strong backer of the oyster farm and wants the federal government to extend its lease at Drakes Estero in Point Reyes — a move that would be unprecedented because Drakes Estero has been designated by Congress to become the first marine wilderness on the West Coast.
Oakland's free Broadway Shuttle program is sticking around for at least another couple years, and beginning in 2013 the green buses will cruise downtown streets for three more hours each weekday evening. That's all thanks to a $723,000 grant announced yesterday from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Alameda County Transportation Commission. The grant also offsets $250,000 lost when California Governor Jerry Brown eliminated state funding of local redevelopment agencies late last year.
Yup. As we've previously speculated, Ignacio De La Fuente is indeed running against Rebecca Kaplan this fall for the at-large seat on the Oakland City Council. According to a press release sent this morning, the longtime city councilman representing the Fruitvale district, whose proposal to overturn ranked-choice voting recently failed, is "frustrated with the lack of action on public safety" and is not ready to retire. De La Fuente will run against incumbent Rebecca Kaplan, who everyone is being mean to lately and who released her own press release an hour after De La Fuente's, announcing her official run for re-election and endorsements from Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, the California Nurses Association, and the Sierra Club. De La Fuente is holding a press conference today outside City Hall at 12:30 p.m. to make the official announcement.
OH, and in other election news, Kriss Worthington is running for mayor of Berkeley.
Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente has long opposed ranked-choice voting. And on Tuesday, July 17, he will ask the city council to place a measure on the November ballot that would overturn the voting system. De La Fuente has contended for years that ranked-choice voting, also known as instant-runoff voting, or IRV, is a flawed process for selecting political leaders. But he has more to gain from a ballot measure than just overturning a voting system he opposes. It could also benefit him politically, and allow him to win elections that he might otherwise lose.
BART boardmember Bob Franklin said today that he's stepping down from the BART board of directors next week and pulling out of the race for Oakland City Council in order to take a full-time job with BART. Franklin had planned to resign from the BART board at the end of this year, and was a candidate to replace Oakland Councilwoman Jane Brunner, who is vacating her North Oakland seat to run for city attorney.
The Piedmont City Council formally withdrew its approval of the controversial proposal to build a sports field at Blair Park, Piedmont Patch reported this morning. Council members voted 5-0 at last night's meeting to rescind approval of the plan, as requested by project proponents Piedmont Recreational Facilities Organization. City Administrator Geoffrey Grote and City Attorney Tom Curry also recommended that the council withdraw approval of the project, Piedmont Patch reported.
After fourteen years of planning, the Lake Merritt Dog Park may be dead for good. Nearly 100 people attended last night’s Planning Commission meeting to weigh in on the proposal, and by 11:10 p.m. the four commissioners finally issued their pained decision: denial. Speakers, who each had a minute at the mic, were split nearly down the middle. For every pro there was a con, and for every argument a rebuttal. But in the end the commissioners decided by a vote of three nays and one abstention that the open lawn near the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and Lakeshore Avenue, at the northeastern corner of Lakeside Park, was wrong for a fenced-in dog run.