Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday Must Read: Oakland Officials Apologize to A’s Owner; Attorney General Reopens Criminal Probe of State Parks

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland city officials have apologized to A’s co-owner Lew Wolff and admitted that they were wrong when they accused him earlier this week of not forwarding a letter to them that requested a lease extension at the Coliseum, the Trib reports. On Monday, City Administrator Deanna Santana said at a public meeting that Wolff had sent the letter to the media but not to the city or county and accused Wolff of not negotiating in good faith; Mayor Jean Quan then backed up Santana’s allegation. But then yesterday, Santana admitted to making a mistake, and acknowledged that Wolff had sent the letter to her office and to the mayor’s office.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cadmium and Lead Linked to Hearing Loss in Adults

by Lesliam Quirós-Alcalá of Environmental Health News
Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Loud noise can harm hearing but two common metals — lead and cadmium — may have a similar effect, according to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. The study is unique because it links hearing loss and low-level exposures to lead and cadmium in a large sample of men and women in the United States. It is also the first to report cadmium’s effects on hearing in adults.

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Wednesday Must Read: Oakland Enviro Group Sues Over Toxic Nap Mats; New Bill Would Outlaw Lead Ammunition in California

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. An Oakland-based environmental group has sued several major retailers, including and Target, for selling children’s nap mats that contain toxic chemicals, the Chron reports. The group, Center for Environmental Health, noted that the mats contain chlorinated Tris, a poisonous flame retardant that was outlawed for use in children’s pajamas more than thirty years ago. The center based its lawsuit on a new Duke University study that showed that 22 of 24 nap mats bought in California and other states contain toxic flame retardants. The group also is suing retailers, including Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, and Babies R Us, for selling crib mattresses that contain chlorinated Tris as well.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Oakland Officials Accuse A’s Owner of Playing Games in the Media

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Oakland city officials had tough talk for Oakland Athletics co-owner Lew Wolff Monday night, accusing him of manipulating the media and refusing to engage in negotiations with the city concerning a new ballpark for the team. “Lew Wolff won’t talk to us,” said Oakland Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell at an event in Oakland for the grassroots group, Save Oakland Sports. Blackwell also said a change of ownership “would do wonders to negotiations.”

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Experts Call Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals a 'Global Threat'

by Brian Bienkowski of Environmental Health News
Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM

An international team of experts reported today that evidence linking hormone-mimicking chemicals to human health problems has grown stronger over the past decade, becoming a "global threat" that should be addressed. The report is a joint effort by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme to give policymakers the latest information on chemicals that alter the hormones of people and wildlife.

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Tuesday Must Read: American Indian Charter Schools Face Closure; Berkeley Re-Examining Its DUI Policies

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The three American Indian Public Charter schools in Oakland could be closed within the next month or so because of a multi million-dollar financial scandal, the Chron reports. The charter schools, which have extraordinarily high test scores, are facing a public hearing next week in front of the Oakland school board, and then a likely vote next month on whether they should be allowed to remain open. The schools have come under intense scrutiny after an audit found that $3.8 million in public funds had been steered to the schools’ controversial founder Ben Chavis.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Army Base Tenants Close to Reaching Deal to Stay

by J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Representatives from the City of Oakland, the Port of Oakland, and port-related businesses facing imminent eviction from the East Gateway section of the old Oakland Army Base said last week that they were close to an agreement on moving those businesses to the port portion of the Army Base property.

Four companies — PCC Logistics, Port Transfer, Inc., Industrial Railways, and Impact Transportation — must agree to vacate their locations on the Army Base by May 31 in order to prevent Oakland from losing more than $200 million in state grant funds for the base development project. The companies want to move over to port property that also was once part of the Army Base in order to continue their work with the port.

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Monday Must Read: Keystone Pipeline Protest Draws Thousands; Electric Cars Still Face Challenges

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. About 4,000 demonstrators in San Francisco yesterday protested the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would ship dirty tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, the Chron reports. The large demonstration coincided with protests throughout the country, including one in Washington DC, which drew tens of thousands of demonstrators. Environmentalists oppose the construction of the Keystone XL because it promises to expand the extraction of tar sands oil, which is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel in the world and a major threat to climate change.

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Has Obama Kept His Open-Government Pledge?

by Jennifer LaFleur of ProPublica
Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 7:53 AM

After eight years of tightened access to government records under the Bush administration, open-government advocates were hopeful when Barack Obama promised greater transparency. Four years later, did the president keep his promise? "It's a mixed bag," said Patrice McDermott, executive director of, a consortium of right-to-know groups. "I think they've made progress, but a whole lot more remains to be done."

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Large Rally on Climate Change This Sunday

by Express Staff
Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Organizers of a rally on climate change are predicting that thousands of people will show up on Sunday in downtown San Francisco to protest the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed Keystone XL would ship dirty tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, and environmental groups across the nation fiercely oppose it. Sunday’s big rally at One Market Plaza coincides with a massive one planned for Washington DC, along with other events around the nation.

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