Politics

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Must Reads: Kaplan Disbands Shady Ballot Measure Campaign; East Bay Cities May Collaborate on Minimum Wage Hike

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who is running for mayor this year, has disbanded a ballot measure committee that appears to have violated campaign laws, the Trib$ reports. In 2010, Kaplan used the committee — the Coalition for Safe Streets and Local Jobs — to pay staffers who were working on her mayoral campaign and not on the ballot measure campaign, in apparent violation of city and state election laws. Kaplan’s political allies pressured her to kill the committee out of fear that it would harm her 2014 mayoral bid.

More …

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday Must Reads: Oakland Council Votes to Ban Oil-By-Rail Shipments; Anti-Tunnels Activists Gear Up to Fight Water Bond

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland City Council voted this week to ban train shipments of crude oil, coal, and petcoke within city limits, the East Bay Citizen reports. The legislation is advisory, because only the federal government has the power to regulate the nation’s railways. But environmentalists hope that if enough cities oppose oil-by-rail shipments, it could prompt the feds to tighten regulations. Concerns over crude oil trains have heightened since one exploded in Canada last year, killing 47 people. Coal shipments, meanwhile, worsen air pollution. The council also urged the city to divest from publicly traded fossil fuel companies.

More …

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Oakland Animal Services to Face Major Reform Following Euthanasia Controversies, Chronic Vacancies

by Sam Levin
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 2:07 PM

For months, Oakland Animal Services (OAS) has been plagued by a steady stream of controversies surrounding the shelter's chronic understaffing and repeated accusations of officials unnecessarily euthanizing animals. After an onslaught of negative headlines, a number of city council members in April proposed a substantial restructuring of the city-run shelter — with legislation that the full council approved last night. Most significantly, the passage means OAS, which is currently a part of the Oakland Police Department, is on track to become a standalone city department.

More …

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: OPD Makes More Progress on Reforms; SoCal Lawmakers to Take Control of Legislature

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jun 17, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland Police Department has achieved its highest-ever level of compliance with federally mandated reforms, the Trib$ reports, citing a new report from Court Monitor Robert Warshaw, who also is the compliance director of the department. Warshaw credited Police Chief Sean Whent for the department’s progress, noting that OPD is in compliance with all but six of 51 of the mandated reforms stemming from the infamous Riders scandal. Warshaw, however, cautioned that OPD still has work to do, and expressed concern about a recent department report that showed Oakland police officers are still disproportionately targeting African Americans in car stops and searches.

More …

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Must Reads: Lawmakers Reach Budget Compromise; Government Refuses to Disclose Oil-By-Rail Shipments

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Democratic lawmakers reached a budget compromise with Governor Jerry Brown that includes funding for preschool programs for all low-income four-year-olds and overtime pay for in-home aides who care for the elderly and disabled, the Mercury News$ reports. However, the budget deal also includes demands of fiscal prudence by the governor, including funding a so-called rainy day reserve. In addition, one-quarter of the state’s cap-and-trade revenue will help fund high-speed rail, while a third will go to the construction of affordable housing near major transit hubs.

More …

Thursday, June 12, 2014

West Oakland's Kilovolt Coffee Vandalized After Controversial Redevelopment Plan Gains Approval

by Sam Levin
Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 3:39 PM

At around 1 a.m. this morning, two people dressed in black with masks covering their faces threw concrete into the windows of Kilovolt Coffee, a new West Oakland business that opened its doors in April. That's according to co-owner Ethan Ashley, who reviewed security footage this morning after the manager opening the store discovered the damage. Ashley, a West Oakland resident, said he has little doubt why his business was targeted: Last night, the Oakland Planning Commission approved a controversial redevelopment plan that has been in the works for years and has sparked protests about gentrification.

The stated intent of the so-called West Oakland Specific Plan is to spur new housing and commercial development in the neighborhood through zoning changes and other strategies. Critics, however, say the plan (which still requires approval from city council) will drive out longtime, low-income residents. And this week, some opponents have argued that the best way to fight back is to vandalize establishments they believe are responsible for gentrification.

More …

Thursday Must Reads: Berkeley Council Okays $12.53 Minimum Wage; Oakland Moves Forward with Controversial West Oakland Plan

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Berkeley City Council unanimously voted to move forward with a plan to raise the city’s minimum wage to $12.53 an hour by October 2016, the Trib$ reports. The proposal will come back to the council on June 24 for final approval, and city officials are expecting opposition from restaurant owners. Under the plan, the city’s minimum wage would increase to $10 on hour on October 1 this year, and then to $11 an hour by October 1, 2015, before rising to $12.53 an hour the following year.

More …

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Oakland Moves Forward on Fossil Fuel Bans

by Jean Tepperman
Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Two Oakland City Council committees unanimously approved measures yesterday that would, in different ways, combat the harm being done by fossil fuels to the City of Oakland and to the planet. The Council Public Works Committee passed a proposal to ban the shipment of coal through the city and the Port of Oakland and to oppose the shipment of crude oil on railroad tracks through Oakland. And the council Finance Committee approved a measure that would remove city funds from investments in fossil fuel companies and urge public retirement funds and other local communities to do the same.

More …

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: Bates Pushes to Save Berkeley Post Office; Quan’s Car Crash Incident Remains Murky

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Mayor Tom Bates is pushing a plan that is designed to protect the downtown Berkeley Post Office and other historic buildings, Berkeleyside reports. Under the mayor’s proposal, thirteen historic structures around City Hall, including the post office, could not be used for commercial purposes. The proposal is meant to dissuade developers from purchasing the post office. The US Postal Service has been selling historic buildings around the country to raise funds. The language of Bates’ plan comes directly from a citywide ballot measure pushed by Councilmember Jesse Arreguin. But Bates opposes other aspects of that measure, because they would make it tougher to build housing in the downtown area.

More …

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Must Reads: Voluntary Water Rationing Isn’t Working; Caltrans Lied About Bay Bridge Cost Overruns

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Voluntary water rationing isn’t working in the Bay Area, as residents continue to soak their green lawns and hose down their vehicles, despite the record drought conditions, the Chron reports. Earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown asked state residents to voluntarily cut water usage by 20 percent — but most areas of the region are falling far short of that request. As a result, water agencies may have to implement water rationing or levy stiff penalties against heavy water users.

More …

Most Popular Stories

© 2016 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation