Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Updated: Oakland Teachers’ Union Talks Unravel

by Robert Gammon
Tue, May 25, 2010 at 10:45 AM

The Oakland teachers’ union abruptly ended contract talks with district officials yesterday and said it would not continue bargaining, according to district spokesman Troy Flint. Oakland schools Superintendent Tony Smith said in a statement that he was “disappointed” in the teachers’ union decision. He noted that under the latest budget proposal from Governor Schwarzenegger, Oakland schools will have to cut $100 million from its unrestricted budget next year — following $40 million in cuts in the past two years.

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Tuesday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Tue, May 25, 2010 at 7:09 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland’s violent crime rate plummeted by 14.1 percent in 2009 — nearly triple the national average, the Trib reports. In addition, violent crime is plunging at an even greater rate this year. However, plans to lay off at least 180 police officers to bridge a $30 million budget gap could reverse the downward trend.

2. State Democratic leaders are proposing to raise taxes by $4.9 billion, including increasing corporate taxes by $2.05 billion, to balance California’s budget, the Chron reports. Governor Schwarzenegger, however, likely would veto such a plan if it gets through the Legislature.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Mon, May 24, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland police have been banned from amateur boxing matches after a melee broke out Friday night during a “Badge V. Badge” event in Sacramento, the CoCo Times reports. OPD officers apparently became upset after losing three straight boxing matches to law enforcement officers from other agencies. The incident appears to have inflicted a black-eye on the department, although some say it has been overblown.

2. Fremont’s chances of landing the Oakland A’s apparently were snuffed out when Tesla Motors, the electric car manufacturer, announced that it was moving into the old NUMMI plant, the Fremont Argus reports. Although Fremont officials were ecstatic about the Tesla announcement, they also had hoped the A’s would be interested in building a new ballpark at the NUMMI site. But with Tesla moving in, it now appears that the battle for the A’s is down to Oakland versus San Jose.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Slap Hitter: A's Winning is Fun, Giants Losing is Better

by Kibby Kleiman
Sun, May 23, 2010 at 7:11 PM

After the Oakland Athletics swept the San Francisco Giants out of the East Bay following a 3-0 victory today, rather than listen to the post-game celebration on the A's radio station, a.k.a. Two-tin-cans-tied-together-with-a-string, we instead tuned in to hear the post-mortems on the Giants station. It sounded like the tastiest sour grapes you can imagine.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Fri, May 21, 2010 at 6:56 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. An Alameda high school student and several school districts have sued the state, alleging that California’s system for funding public education is unconstitutional, the Island reports. Alameda Unified joined in the lawsuit, which alleges that California does not provide enough money to public schools to pay for statewide educational mandates.

2. Tesla Motors, the electric car manufacturer, has purchased the old NUMMI auto plant in Fremont and will build vehicles there thanks to Toyota’s decision to invest $50 million in the company, the Merc and Chron report.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Footage of the Fire at Berkeley East Bay Humane Society

Last night's fire gutted the animal shelter and killed several cats.

by Rachel Swan
Thu, May 20, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Berkeley resident Toshi Hoo shot footage of last night's fire at the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society, which decimated the building on 2700 Ninth Street. A dozen cats perished, and several more need foster homes. Fifteen dogs housed in outdoor kennels all survived. The society is currently accepting donations.

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Thursday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Thu, May 20, 2010 at 6:58 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The City of Oakland is seriously considering laying off 180 police officers to bridge a $42 million budget gap, the Chron and Trib report. The city also is hamstrung by Measure Y, because it requires that Oakland lay off 67 cops funded by the voter-approved initiative before laying off any regular officers. It should be interesting to see if the police officers’ union will agree to more compensation concessions rather than watch fellow cops lose their jobs.

2. The City of Richmond, meanwhile, should avoid layoffs this year because of the settlement agreement with Chevron, the CoCo Times reports. Under the agreement, the oil giant will pay the city $10 million more this year in taxes than previously scheduled.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Perata Helps Finance Ex-Girlfriend’s Career

by Robert Gammon
Tue, May 18, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Oakland Mayoral candidate Don Perata has donated at least $75,000 this year from his cancer-research committee to East Bay nonprofits that have nothing to do with the cause for curing cancer — but are run by his former campaign treasurer and close confidante, Jill Cabeceiras. Sources also say that Cabeceiras is Perata’s former girlfriend.

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Tuesday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Tue, May 18, 2010 at 7:00 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Jerry Brown called Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner “the apostles of darkness and ignorance” during a rare campaign event yesterday, the Chron reports. Brown, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for governor, also said that all the mudslinging by the GOP gubernatorial rivals has been “intellectually embarrassing.” Yesterday, Poizner unveiled an ad accusing Whitman of peddling porn as CEO of eBay. For her part, Whitman may have received the kiss of death when ex-Vice President Dick Cheney endorsed her. Plus, her claim that there’s $7.5 billion in annual fraud in state services for the poor seems bogus.

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