Thursday, November 13, 2014

Crime and Wealth and FBI Stats

by Anna Pulley
Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Despite Oakland's decrease in violent crime of late, according to the FBI's recently released annual report "Crime in the United States," it's still rated the most dangerous of any California city. Gleaned from 2013 data, the FBI report noted that Oakland has almost 20 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, with "violent crimes" meaning "murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault." 

See Also:
Reality Check: Violent Crime Is Down in Oakland 
Violent Crime Plummets in Oakland

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gilmore Concedes Alameda Mayor’s Race to Spencer

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Marie Gilmore concedes mayor's race. - STEVEN TAVARES
  • Steven Tavares
  • Marie Gilmore concedes mayor's race.
Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore conceded today that she lost the mayor’s race to school board member Trish Spencer. With only few thousand provisional ballots yet to be counted in Alameda County, Spencer holds what appears to be an insurmountable 129-vote lead over Gilmore. 

During a press conference near the steps leading to Alameda City Hall, Gilmore congratulated Spencer and the two new members of the city council for their victories. She also said she would not seek a ballot recount. Gimore, however, said she had not yet spoken with the mayor-elect to offer her congratulations. “I haven’t had the opportunity. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and what is going to be in the best interests of the city. That’s why I didn’t ask for recount — to end the process and move on.” In an interview, earlier this week, Spencer said she wasn’t expecting a call from Gilmore.

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Wednesday Must Reads: Bay Bridge Bike Path in Jeopardy; Kaiser Nurses Enter Second Day of Strike

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

The western span of the Bay Bridge.
  • The western span of the Bay Bridge.
1. Plans for a proposed bike path on the western span of the Bay Bridge appear to be in jeopardy after Caltrans officials balked at the estimated cost of the project: $400 million to $500 million, the CoCo Times$ reports. Currently, the bike path that starts in Oakland and runs along the new eastern span of the bridge ends at Yerba Buena Island. Bike activists have long advocated for extending the bike path to San Francisco. Caltrans officials say they plan to study alternative — and cheaper — proposals.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Trish Spencer Wins Alameda Mayor's Race

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Trish Spencer.
  • Trish Spencer.
Challenger Trish Spencer has unseated incumbent Marie Gilmore in the Alameda mayor's race, winning 50.15 percent to 49.55 percent. The Alameda County Registrar of Voters posted a ballot count update this morning for the November 4 election. Spencer has 129 more votes than Gilmore, 10,443 to 10,314. Spencer has led throughout, and it appears that Gilmore will not be able to catch her.

In the other extremely tight contest in the East Bay, Lori Droste is leading George Beier by just four votes in ranked choice voting in the Berkeley City Council District Eight race. Droste has 2,058 votes to Beier's 2,054 votes, giving her a lead of 50.05 percent to 49.95 percent. It's unclear whether Beier will request a recount.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Updated: Environmentalist Marguerite Young Wins EBMUD Race

by Robert Gammon
Sat, Nov 8, 2014 at 9:12 PM

New election results this afternoon show that environmentalist Marguerite Young has won the East Bay MUD Ward Three contest. Young extended her lead over incumbent Katy Folks, 50.59 percent to 48.81 percent and now looks unbeatable.

It looks impossible for the moderate Foulkes to catch up to the liberal Young. Foulkes' stronghold is Contra Costa County, but election officials there finished counting late absentee ballots today, and Foulkes was not able to gain ground on Young with the new tabulations. Instead, Young's lead increased thanks to new vote counts in Alameda County, where she is winning handily over Foulkes.

In other updates, the Express is now calling the Alameda City Council race, with Jim Oddie joining Frank Matarrese as the two winners in the contest. Incumbent Stewart Chen has been ousted.

The Alameda mayor's race, however, has tightened further. Challenger Trish Spencer's  lead over Mayor Marie Gilmore is now just 50.09 percent to 49.62 percent. That race remains too close to call.

Another race that we're calling is the Peralta Community Colleges Area Seven race: Julina Bonilla has defeated Richard Fuentes, 51.86 percent to 47.13 percent.

Update 9:15 p.m., Nov. 8:
According to new vote counts, Young's insurmountable lead has grown to 51.51 percent, compared to Foulkes' 47.90 percent.

Young declared victory earlier today:

"The voters have spoken. Almost all absentee votes in both counties have been counted. I have extended the lead I opened over the last few days; the outcome is clear! I am excited to bring my experience, passion and imagination to my service as the newest member of the East Bay MUD Board.

I want to thank everyone who participated in my campaign and all of the voters who have put their faith in me. I promise as your EBMUD Director to do everything I can to make every drop count as we confront more frequent and persistent droughts and other impacts of climate change, address how to sustainably manage our water resources, and tackle the need to fix our leaky infrastructure. I look forward to working with the rest of the board, the communities we serve and other stakeholders to address these issues over the next four years."


Close School Board Races in Oakland and Berkeley Decided: Senn and Hemphill Win

by Robert Gammon
Sat, Nov 8, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Nina Senn.
  • Nina Senn.
New vote counts from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters reveal that Nina Senn has won the Oakland school board District Four race, defeating Karl Debro, 52.41 percent to 47.59 percent in ranked-choice voting. Senn will join two other new Oakland school board members who won election on November 4 — Aimee Eng in District Two and Shanthi Gonzales in District Six.

In addition, Karen Hemphill has won the final spot on the Berkeley school board, defeating Julie Sinai, 21.91 percent to 21.26 percent. The other two seats were won by Ty Alper (26.67 percent) and Josh Daniels (25.22 percent).

Meanwhile, two super-close races in Alameda and Berkeley appear to be headed for possible recounts. In the Alameda mayor's race, challenger Trish Spencer's lead over Mayor Marie Gilmore has shrunk to just 58 votes. Spencer leads 50.00 percent to 49.70 percent.

But the Berkeley District Eight city council contest is even closer. George Beier leads Lori Droste by just two votes in ranked choice voting. Beier is at 50.03 percent versus Droste's 49.97 percent.

There are still about 25,000 provisional ballots to count in Alameda County. And those ballots may take several days to process. 

Republican Wins East Bay Assembly Race

by Robert Gammon
Sat, Nov 8, 2014 at 9:28 AM

  • Catherine Baker.
New vote tabulations from the Secretary of State's Office reveal that Republican Catherine Baker has an insurmountable lead over Democrat Tim Sbranti in the East Bay's 16th Assembly District contest. Baker's victory breaks the Democratic stranglehold on East Bay politics. She's now the only Republican in the East Bay to hold statewide or national office.

Sbranti, the mayor of Dublin, had been trailing Baker since Election Day and was unable to pick up ground during tabulations of late-absentee ballots in Alameda and Contra Costa counties this week. As of last night, Baker led Sbranti, 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent.

The latest counts also allow us to call another contest: Democratic incumbent Jerry McNerney has won reelection to the US House of Representatives in the East Bay's 9th Congressional district. McNerney defeated Republican Tony Amador, 52.4 percent to 47.6 percent.

Friday, November 7, 2014

It's Official: Richmond Progressives Sweep City Council Race, Chevron Is Shut Out

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Gayle McLaughlin.
  • Gayle McLaughlin.
Contra Costa County elections officials finished counting all of the late absentee ballots in the election today and the results show that Richmond progressive candidates — Gayle McLaughlin, Jovanka Beckles, and Eduardo Martinez — have swept the city council contest. Chevron's favored candidates were shut out of the race.

McLaughlin finished first with 17.04 percent of the vote, followed by Beckles with 16.15 percent, and Eduardo Martinez with 14.75 percent. Those three take the three available four-year seats on the council.

Incumbent Jim Rogers, a moderate who is not aligned with Chevron, finished fourth with 13.30 percent of the vote and is now out of office. Chevron candidate Donna Powers finished fifth with 13.09 percent. Chevron's other two candidates — Charles Ramsey and Al Martinez, finished well back.

Contra Costa County officials said that they only have provisional ballots left to count.

This Week in Photos

Turkeys gone wild, Japanese curry and photos from election night parties.

by Bert Johnson
Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 12:00 PM

As the sole staff photographer for the Express, I go on a lot of different shoots. Since the East Bay is such a photogenic place, we always end up with more photos than we can use in the paper, but it's a shame to let them go unseen.

With that in mind, here are some of my favorites from this week's stories. My assignments took me from a wildlife hospital in Walnut Creek to three different election night parties for Oakland's top-ranked mayoral candidates.

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Mike Honda Wins Reelection to Congress

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Mike Honda.
  • Mike Honda.
New ballot tabulations this morning from the California Secretary of State's Office reveal that Congressmember Mike Honda has maintained his lead over challenger Ro Khanna — so we're calling this race for Honda. According to the latest results, Honda leads Khanna 52.2 percent to 47.8 percent.

Honda also declared victory this morning.

We're also calling the Emeryville City Council contest. Dianne Martinez, who received 33.00 percent of the vote, and Scott Donahue, who garnered 30.66 percent, are the winners.

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