Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ignacio De La Fuente's Big Fib

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 7:14 AM

When Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente announced last week that he was giving up his District Five seat to run this fall against at-large Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, he made it clear that he intends to portray himself as a law-and-order candidate. De La Fuente is already pointing to his proposals for more gang injunctions and a youth curfew — and Kaplan’s opposition to those ideas — as proof that he’s tough on crime and she’s not. In reality, however, public safety has not been a top priority for De La Fuente during his long tenure on the council. He also was the driving force for why Oakland now has far fewer cops than it did just two years ago.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

'The Father of Prop 8' Going to San Francisco

by Kathleen Richards
Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, who, you may remember, helped conceive, fund, and organize the same-sex marriage ban Proposition 8, is headed to San Francisco — you know, that bastion of anti-gay rights — to replace retiring Archbishop George Niederauer. Does that make any sense?

It was odd enough when Cordileone was chosen to lead the diocese in Oakland — a progressive city with a sizable LGBT population — in March 2009, just months after helping Prop 8 to victory. Cordileone, who is currently chairman of the Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has never been shy about his stance against same-sex marriage. (Read our 2009 cover story on him here.) In fact, this is what he recently said at a news conference, according to ABC 7 News: "Marriage is the union between a man and a woman because children can only come about through the embrace of a man and a woman." Which really makes you wonder why the Catholic Church would put him in a city where 75 percent of voters were against Prop 8.

Salvadore Cordileone

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's Official: Ignacio De La Fuente Running Against Rebecca Kaplan

by Kathleen Richards
Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 10:11 AM

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.

Ignacio De La Fuente
  • Ignacio De La Fuente

VS.

Rebecca Kaplan
  • Rebecca Kaplan

OH, and in other election news, Kriss Worthington is running for mayor of Berkeley.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

California Building Standards Commission Changes Its ADA Code to Comply with Federal Law

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 6:01 AM

Here's some good news in light of our recent cover story about the discrepancies between California building codes and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, many of which leave business owners vulnerable to lawsuits when they think they've done everything right. It turns out that architect and ADA specialist Erick Mikiten, who we interviewed for the story, was just appointed to the California Building Standards Commission, which reviews the law and recommends changes.

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The commission held a public hearing last Thursday during which it declared "a state of emergency" since parts of the state's building code require architects and engineers to break federal law. Its members also revised seven items in the California code to make them conform with federal code. The system still isn't perfect, but Mikiten is confident these changes will go a long way. "As we move ahead over the next 7-8 months, the entire accessibility chapter in the code will be re-written to conform with the ADA," he wrote, via e-mail. "So things are changing!"

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Criticism of Rebecca Kaplan Is Misguided

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 7:07 AM

Over the past few weeks, Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan has come under fire for publicly objecting to the federal crackdown on medical cannabis and the attempt by US Attorney Melinda Haag to close Harborside Health Center. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson and Oakland Tribune columnist Tammerlin Drummond both argued that Kaplan’s objection to the crackdown was wrongheaded and that she should have focused instead on the spike in violent crime in Oakland. But the criticisms of Kaplan are not only misguided, they’re ridiculous.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Smog Standard Rejected by Obama Would Save Thousands of Lives Yearly

by Marla Cone
Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 6:57 AM

A new smog standard that President Obama withdrew last fall would save thousands of lives throughout the nation each year if implemented, particularly in the Los Angeles region, New York City, and Chicago, according to a new study led by Johns Hopkins University scientists.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oakland City Council Embarrasses Itself

by Pamela Drake
Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 2:08 PM

After I got home from last Tuesday’s Oakland City Council meeting, I left a post on Facebook that I was embarrassed by the council’s behavior that night, and many of my Facebook friends responded by asking what was new with that.

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BRT Coming to East Oakland

by J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 11:39 AM

The Oakland City Council unanimously approved AC Transit's Bus Rapid Transit project Tuesday night for East Oakland, after insisting upon a voluntary hire-Oakland preference provision for project workers that everyone agreed was non-enforceable under federal law.

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Generation X on Climate Change: Meh

by Brett Israel
Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Generation X may not be the stereotypical slackers of those Nineties cult classic movies, but here's one issue they have trouble caring about: climate change. Record-breaking heat waves, epic droughts and killer tornadoes haven't sounded the climate change alarm for Gen Xers, aged 32 to 52, according to a University of Michigan report released this week.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Where Is Kamala Harris?

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

When Kamala Harris ran for state attorney general in 2010, she portrayed herself as a staunch advocate for medical cannabis. Medical marijuana groups, in turn, strongly supported her campaign. In fact, Harris partially owes her narrow victory over Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, a medical pot skeptic, to her stance on medical cannabis and the backing she received because of it. After all, she only defeated Cooley by about 75,000 votes, or just 0.8 percent of the ballots cast. And yet, despite her campaign pledges and the debt she owes the medical cannabis community, Harris has been conspicuously silent during the nine-month-long federal crackdown on medical marijuana.

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