Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Must Reads: A’s Co-Owner Suddenly Warms to Coliseum City; Oakland Council President Pat Kernighan to Retire

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. After years of claiming that there were no viable sites for a new ballpark in Oakland, A’s co-owner Lew Wolff has suddenly warmed to the idea of building a stadium at the proposed Coliseum City, the Trib$ reports. Wolff’s surprising comments followed the news that Oakland business and A’s boosters, along with Mayor Jean Quan, had unveiled a plan for a 38,000-seat ballpark at Howard Terminal on the city’s waterfront. Wolff said, however, that it would be “absolutely impossible” to build on that site. He also had earlier dismissed Oakland’s second plan — Coliseum City — on land that currently is home to the Oakland Coliseum and the Arena. But now thinks that proposal, which recently gained the backing of deep-pocketed investors, could work.

Pat Kernighan
  • Pat Kernighan
2. Oakland City Council President Pat Kernighan said she will not seek reelection in 2014 and plans to retire from public office when her term expires next year, the Trib$ reports. Kernighan represents the Grand-Lake area and the San Antonio district. Her announcement means that at least two council seats will be open in next year’s election because Councilmember Libby Schaaf has already said she’s giving up her position to run for mayor.

3. Oakland is one of ten cities in the state that will receive a portion of a $1.1 billion legal judgment that orders paint companies to pay for the cleanup of lead contamination in homes and buildings built before 1978, the Chron reports.

4. Federal investigators say that the State of California and other states need to do a much better job at regulating oil refineries in the wake of the 2012 massive fire at Chevron’s Richmond facility, the Chron reports. Because of a lack of funds, the state has only seven inspectors to keep tabs on 15 oil refineries and 1,700 chemical plants.

5. Billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer has launched a political drive to enact an oil extraction tax in California, noting that the state has one of the lowest tax rates on oil in the nation, the Chron reports.

6. A new study of fracking found high levels of chemicals that cause infertility, birth defects, and cancer near fracking sites in Colorado, the LA Times$ reports.

7. And a federal judge ruled that the NSA program for collecting all phone data on Americans is unconstitutional. The judge, however, stayed his ruling pending the outcome of an appeal.

$ = stories that may require a payment to read.

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