Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: Supreme Court Upholds Anti-Affirmative Action Measure; Warriors Buy New Property for San Francisco Arena

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The US Supreme Court today upheld a Michigan law that bans affirmative action in public programs, including university admissions, the Mercury News$ reports. The high court held that states have the right to establish such bans — a ruling that likely means California’s nearly identical anti-affirmative action law, Proposition 209, cannot be overturned by the courts. As a result, opponents of Prop 209 will need to now pass a statewide ballot measure to overturn it. A recent attempt at such a measure, however, stalled in the state legislature after Asian-American lawmakers blocked it, arguing that it would make it tougher for Asian students to gain admission to the University of California system.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Must Reads: OPD Overseer Endorses Interim Chief Whent; UC Berkeley Accepts Fewer California Students, More Out-of-State Applicants

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland police overseer Robert Warshaw praised the work of Interim Police Chief Sean Whent and criticized the city’s drawn out hiring process for a permanent chief, the Trib$ reports. In a report, Warshaw also said that the lack of a permanent chief has harmed OPD’s efforts to comply with federally mandated reforms. Mayor Jean Quan said through a spokesman that she plans to name a permanent chief in May.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Must Reads: Cal-OSHA Fines BART for Worker Deaths During Strike; Obamacare Signups Top 8 Million Nationwide

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Cal-OSHA slapped BART with a $210,000 fine — the largest such penalty in more than a year — for negligence leading to the deaths of two track workers during the 2013 strike, the CoCo Times$ reports. Cal-OSHA noted that a BART manager who was training another non-union employee to drive trains during the strike was seated in a passenger car and could not even see the track when the train struck and killed the two workers. Cal-OSHA also found that the track workers were not properly trained by the agency. In addition, Cal-OSHA found fault with a BART policy that placed the onus of safety on track workers. The transit agency rescinded the policy after the deadly crash.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday Must Reads: Home Prices Skyrocket in the Bay Area; Oakland School Board Zeroes In On New Superintendent

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Home prices soared throughout the Bay Area last month, jumping 29.2 percent in Alameda County compared to last year, the Mercury News$ reports. The median home sales price was $575,000 in Alameda County. Prices rose by 22.8 percent in Contra Costa County, with the median at $425,000. The huge price jumps were fueled by an extreme shortage of inventory. The number of home sales in March was the lowest in six years, as buyers engaged in feeding frenzies, outbidding each other for a small number of properties.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Environmental Activist Forcibly Removed from Chevron-Sponsored Event in Oakland for Mocking the Company's 'News' Website

by John Geluardi
Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Security guards forcibly removed Paul Paz y Miño, an employee of the environmental group Amazon Watch, from a Chevron-sponsored event today in Oakland because he was carrying flyers that he said he had planned to distribute outside the building after the program. When Miño, who had paid $75 for a ticket to the public event, refused to leave, guards forcibly removed him.

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Libby Schaaf’s Aide to Take On Desley Brooks

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks has a challenger in this year’s election, and she comes from the office of one of her council rivals. Shereda Nosakhare announced her candidacy today for the District 6 council seat. Nosakhare already knows her way around City Hall. She currently serves as a community advocate and policy analyst for Councilmember Libby Schaaf after stints at the district offices of Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Alameda County Supervisor’s Keith Carson.

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Rosenblum Cellars Coming to Jack London Square

by Sam Levin
Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:05 AM

More development news for Jack London Square: A month after we reported on plans to build a massive entertainment complex at the site of the old Barnes and Noble, Rosenblum Cellars has announced that it will be moving its East Bay Visitors Center from its current location in Alameda to the Oakland waterfront at Jack London Square. Rosenblum Cellars, which is produced by Diageo Chateau and Estate Wines and is known for its Zinfandels and Rhone varietals, plans to open up a new Oakland site as soon as the lease expires on its Alameda center in June.

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Wednesday Must Reads: Bay Area Rents Soar to Record Levels; Smartphone Companies Finally Propose Kill Switches

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Apartment rent prices jumped nearly 10 percent in the Bay Area during the first quarter of 2014 compared to the previous year and have now reached record levels, averaging more than $2,000 a month, the Mercury News$ reports. Rents in Oakland soared 12.3 percent and now average $2,187. The average in San Francisco is $3,057. Overall, the average in Alameda County is 1,814, and in Contra Costa County, it’s $1,544. Economists warn that if rent prices continue to skyrocket, they could choke off the Bay Area’s economic recovery.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: AC Transit Official Charged with Stealing Church Funds; Oakland Parks Consider Selling Naming Rights to Raise Money

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Prosecutors have charged AC Transit’s chief financial officer, Lewis Clinton Jr., with felony theft and say he embezzled $500,000 from Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, the Chron and Trib$ report. Clinton, who was arraigned Monday in court, is accused of using his position as board president of two church-run nonprofits that provide housing to low-income Oakland residents to steal money. The charges do not relate to his position with AC Transit, but the bus agency put Clinton on paid leave on Monday.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Opinion: Don’t Be Fooled by Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s Supreme Court Petition

by Amy Trainer
Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 12:03 PM

The Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s relentless push to overturn the congressional wilderness designation for Drakes Estero got closer to the end of the road on Monday when the company’s army of corporate lawyers filed a petition for review to the US Supreme Court. The millions of advocates for our national parks, wilderness, and coastal protection refuse to let the Koch Brothers-funded Pacific Legal Foundation — the oyster company’s main proponent — and their public lands exploitation interests destroy Drakes Estero, the ecological heart of the Point Reyes National Seashore.

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