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Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Must Reads: DeSaulnier Calls for Criminal Probe of Bay Bridge Work; Railroad Companies Block Safety System

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. State Senator Mark DeSaulnier of the East Bay is calling for a criminal probe of the shoddy construction work on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, the SacBee$ reports. A new report revealed that Caltrans knowingly accepted flawed and potentially hazardous work from a Chinese firm that welded the new span and tower.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: 2014 Is Hottest Year on Record in California; Chevron Agrees to Limit Greenhouse Gases at Richmond Refinery

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The first half of 2014 was the hottest on record in California, the Mercury News$ reports. Experts say the drought is making the state hotter. This year’s record heat topped 2013 — which set a record as the state’s warmest ever.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Must Reads: A’s Owner Softens on Lease Deal; Six Californias Campaign Accused of Lying to Voters

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A’s co-owner Lew Wolff softened his stance on a proposed lease deal at the Coliseum, saying that his staff would seriously consider modifications made to the lease by the Oakland City Council this week, the Trib$ reports. Wolff had said previously that he would reject any changes to the pact. He attributed his change of heart to a phone call he received from Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who is also a mayoral candidate. "Just based on her asking me alone is enough for me to tell [team President] Mike [Crowley] and the guys to look hard at it," Wolff said.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday Must Reads: Oakland Council Modifies A’s Lease Deal; Council Also Puts Measure Y Renewal and Ethics Measure on Ballot

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland City Council approved a ten-year lease extension for the A’s at the Coliseum — but with modifications that team ownership has opposed, the Trib$ reports. The council rejected the lease deal that had been approved by Coliseum officials, contending that it included language that could derail the city’s plan to build the privately financed Coliseum City project and a new stadium for the Oakland Raiders. The council’s decision sends the lease back to the A’s for consideration.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: Berkeley Moves Forward on Cellphone Warning Labels; Centrist Democrats Seek to Delay Cap and Trade

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Berkeley officials are moving forward with a proposal that would make Berkeley the first city in the nation to require retailers to put warning labels on cellphones about the dangers of radiation exposure, the Chron reports. Researchers are becoming increasingly convinced that radiation from cellphones could put users at higher risk of getting brain cancer. But the cellphone industry, which beat back a similar proposal in San Francisco, is expected to try to block Berkeley’s plan. Berkeley Councilmember Max Anderson is pushing the proposal, which is expected to go before the city council this fall.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: Oakland Council Wants to Keep Negotiating with A’s; Oyster Farm Wants to Keep Operating Until December

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland City Council members want to keep negotiating with the A’s in an effort to get more favorable lease terms at the Coliseum, the Chron reports. The Coliseum Authority voted last week to approve a new ten-year deal with the A’s, but it includes several costly concessions. The authority made its decision after the A’s and Major League Baseball threatened to let the team leave Oakland. City officials plan to meet later this week with A’s ownership to outline their concerns about the lease, which must be approved by the council to go into effect.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: Berkeley Council to Vote on Soda Tax Tonight; Oakland’s Revamped 911 Center Still Can’t Take Cellphone Calls

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Berkeley City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on whether to place a soda tax measure on the November ballot, the Chron reports. The proposal, which appears to have no opposition on the council, would levy a one-cent-per-ounce tax on companies that distribute sugary beverages. San Francisco voters will consider a two-cents-per-ounce soda tax this fall as well. In 2012, the soda industry spent more than $2.5 million to defeat a soda tax measure in Richmond.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Tenant Fears About Rent Increases in Oakland Materialize

by Jean Tepperman
Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Tenant organizations in Oakland have been worried that some landlords would rush to do upgrades on their buildings and jack up rents by August 1. On that date, new citywide rules take effect, limiting the ability of landlords to pass on the costs of capital upgrades to their tenants. And tenant fears that landlords would try to beat that deadline appear to have been justified — at least at one building in downtown.

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Monday Must Reads: Supreme Court Denies Oyster Farm Appeal; Oakland Housing Prices Continue to Soar

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The US Supreme Court today refused to hear an appeal filed by Drakes Bay Oyster Company, thereby upholding lower court rulings that ordered the controversial oyster farm at Point Reyes National Seashore to close, the Chron and AP report. The high court’s decision also affirms one made in 2012 by then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who decided to let the oyster farm’s lease expire to make way for the first federally protected marine wilderness on the West Coast. Today’s decision means the oyster farm has no more legal appeals of Salazar’s ruling.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday Must Reads: A’s Jump Gun on Lease Deal; Minimum Wage Hike Dies in State Legislature

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland A’s co-owner Lew Wolff announced yesterday that the team had agreed to a ten-year lease extension at the Coliseum, but city and county officials said the deal was not yet complete and that both sides were still negotiating, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. Wolff also told Major League Baseball about having a deal, even though it’s not finalized. Wolff also indicated that the team is interested in pursuing a new ballpark on the Coliseum site.

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