A crew of fifteen thieves — ski-masked, armed, and dangerous — pulled off a painstakingly well-organized heist at a Fremont high-tech manufacturing company yesterday.
Last Veteran's Day, 52-year-old Antioch resident Craig Carlos-Valentino pulled his SUV over on the upper deck of the Bay Bridge. He got out of the car, stood by the railing, and began making phone calls —reportedly to 911 dispatchers and a local radio show — saying he had a gun and a bomb. He threatened to kill himself and brandished what might have been a toy gun, which he ultimately tossed into the water. Hostage negotiators spent more than an hour talking Carlos-Valentino down before they were able to take him into custody. In the meantime, traffic slowed to a halt and 8,000 commuters decided to take BART into the city instead of driving, according to SF Appeal. Carlos-Valenino was a security guard and father of eight children, one of whom was with him the day of the standoff. He pleaded guilty to charges of child endangerment and a false bomb report, citing marital problems as the impetus for his bizarre behavior.
The two other finalists for Alameda's city manager position are former Alameda assistant city attorney David Brandt and Millbrae City Manager Marcia Raines, the Island reports, citing an anonymous source. Brandt and Raines are competing againt Oakland City Attorney John Russo.
Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. Republican state lawmakers say it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to strike a deal with Governor Jerry Brown over his proposal to put a tax measure on the June ballot before his March 10 deadline, AP reports. Brown has said that if the deal is not in place by then, he’ll go forward with slashing $26 billion from the state’s budget. GOP legislators also say that even if Brown meets their demands, they may still not vote to put his tax proposal on the ballot.
DailyGourmet.com, a website that lets members buy avant-garde food at deep discounts and have it home-delivered anywhere in the US, has picked vegan cinnamon rolls from Berkeley-based Cinnaholic as its first-ever "deal."
Threats to move the A's away from their East Bay home created a wellspring of controversy in Oakland. But now another issue looms — namely, contraction to a larger market. Apparently, talk has been in the air for several years now, according to The Bay Citizen. And in the interim, several minor-market teams were placed on the chopping block (and later saved by legal wrangling). Their ranks include The Expos, The Twins, The Marlins, The Tampa Bay Rays , The A's, and The Pirates. There are, indeed, many favorable arguments for contraction, considering all the inequities of major league baseball. It's set up as a revenue share, so that larger market teams have to give millions of dollars a year to their unprofitable peers. That's a major point of contention, wrote Fox Sports columnist Ken Rosenthal. But contracting the smaller teams still seems like a last-ditch solution.
Apparently the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has gotten a lot better about cracking down on violations, lately. On Tuesday, University of Connecticut head basketball coach Jim Calhoun was suspended from three conference games over several missteps, including improper phone calls and text messages to prospective recruits, along with more than $6,000 in recruiting inducements. That wasn't the worst of it. In light of the scandal, UConn's team received a whole bullet list of penalities: scholarship reductions; a halt on financial contributions; limitations on recruiting assistance; a "show-cause" order that limits athletic duties for the former operations director; three years of probation. The latest casualty of stricter enforcement is UC Berkeley, men's basketball which was penalized for a narrower list of infractions — namely, 365 impermissible recruiting phone calls, most of them made by two assistant coaches. Penalties, determined partly from Cal's self-imposed protocol for recruitment violations, include two years probation and restrictions on phone calls, official visits, and off-campus meetings with prospective players. It's yet another big imbroglio in what's already been a shaky year for Cal sports.
If campaign contributions are any indicator, then Oakland City Attorney John Russo may have the inside track to the Alameda city manager’s job. Campaign finance reports show that Russo donated at least $1,750 in the second-half of last year to the same three Alameda city leaders who ousted the last city manager. As the Express reported last week, some island residents also fear that those same three city leaders — Mayor Marie Gilmore, Vice Mayor Rob Bonta, and Councilwoman Lena Tam — may be attempting a power grab inside Alameda City Hall. The three also have the power to select the next city manager.
Yikes. The East Bay's Prince-mania took a decidedly ugly turn on Wednesday night when a man was beaten by other concertgoers after catching a guitar His Purpleness threw into the crowd. According to KGO, Perry Litchfield says after he caught the guitar, "the crowd mobbed him and he has the scratches on his knuckles and back to prove it."
Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. Disgruntled Oakland City Attorney John Russo is one of three finalists to become Alameda’s new city manager, the Trib reports, citing anonymous sources. Russo has been unhappy in Oakland for some time, and has clashed repeatedly with Oakland council members and new Mayor Jean Quan. Last week, Russo acknowledged to the Express that he has considered quitting his post and admitted to the Tribune that he hadn’t attended a closed-session meeting with the council in at least two years. Closed sessions are where the council confers with the city attorney on pressing legal matters. Campaign finance records also show that Russo is a big supporter of new Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore, who is leading the city manager search.