Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Must Read: Occupy Oakland Clashes with Police, Again; Richmond Seeks Tax Settlement Deal with Chevron

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 6:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Occupy Oakland protesters clashed once again with police on Saturday night after some of the demonstrators hurled objects at the officers, prompting a half-dozen arrests, the Trib and Chron report. The demonstrators were protesting police brutality, and some carried signs that read “Fuck the Police.” Protesters also broke police car windows and windows of a Starbucks coffee shop. A video, below, also showed police attacking a woman on a bicycle. Protesters said they plan to hold demonstrations against police once a week.

2. The City of Richmond is trying to reach a side deal with Chevron should the oil giant win its property tax appeal against Contra Costa County, the CoCo Times reports. Chevron is seeking property tax refunds in excess of $100 million, contending that its Richmond refinery property has been overvalued by the county. And if the company wins, it could force the City of Richmond to finance some of the refund — money the cash-strapped city does not have.

3. Opponents of a planned sports park in Piedmont have filed suit in an attempt to require additional environmental review of the controversial project, the Trib reports. Friends of Moraga Canyon contend that the Blair Park project was rushed through the Piedmont City Council without adequate study. The City of Oakland has threatened to sue Piedmont over the same issues.

4. Oakland is eyeing a pay-to-play immigrant visa program as a possible funding source to help finance new stadiums for its sports teams, the Trib reports. Known as EB-5, the program allows foreign investors to buy their way to a US green card by investing in development projects that create full-time jobs in America. The purchase of the Tribune Tower in downtown by a call center company was financed through the EB-5 program. Mayor Jean Quan said Chinese investors have expressed interest in financing more EB-5 projects in Oakland.

5. And most of the Oakland City Council is refusing to comment on the recall efforts against Quan, the Trib reports. Only Councilwoman Nancy Nadel, who supported Quan in the 2010 mayor’s race, has spoken out against the two recall campaigns, saying she will actively work against them.

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