Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Must Reads: Oakland Council May Censure Desley Brooks; Waterfront Ballpark for the A’s Clears Legal Hurdle

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Desley Brooks could become the first Oakland city councilmember to be censured by her colleagues later this month for her apparent illegal actions regarding the construction of a swanky teen center in her East Oakland district. The Trib reports that Council President Pat Kernighan has scheduled a special July 25 council meeting for a possible censure vote, and said that censuring Brooks could help restore the public’s trust in local government. Brooks has been strongly criticized by several probes of her actions — including by the Alameda County Civil Grand Jury and City Auditor Courtney Ruby. But Councilman Larry Reid — Brooks’ closest political ally — said he does not believe that a majority of councilmembers will vote to censure her.

Howard Terminal
  • Howard Terminal
2. A plan for a new waterfront ballpark for the Oakland A’s cleared a significant hurdle yesterday when the port commission approved a legal settlement that will open up space near Jack London Square for a stadium, the Trib reports. The port commission had previously delayed voting on the settlement deal involving Howard Terminal with the shipping company SSA Terminals because another shipping conglomerate had threatened to sue the port on the grounds that it was unfair.

3. Oakland police and FBI agents are continuing to search for the missing 21-month-old toddler Daphne Webb after arresting her father for child endangerment, the Trib reports. John Anthony Webb told police that his daughter went missing when he left her in his car with his ailing mother who suffers from dementia.

4. FBI agents also raided the home of Ben Chavis, the former head of the American Indian Charter schools, which were raided by FBI agents as well, the Chron$ reports. Chavis was at the center of a $3.8 financial scandal at the schools that resulted in the Oakland school board revoking the schools’ license to operate.

5. California prison officials said there are officially 12,400 inmates on a hunger strike statewide, the LA Times$ reports. Earlier this week, about 30,000 prisoners had refused to eat, but prison officials do not consider inmates to be on a hunger strike until they’ve missed nine consecutive meals. The 12,400 striking prisoners is nearly double the number of inmates who engaged in hunger strikes two years ago.

6. And NTSB officials said the cockpit instruments on Asiana Flight 214 appear to have been working properly when the jetliner crash-landed at SFO, the LA Times$ reports. Investigators are focusing on the actions of the pilots of the plane who were slow to realize that it did not have enough air speed to land safely. Officials also said a claim by the pilot that he had been temporarily blinded by a flash of light appears to have played no role in the crash.

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