Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday Must Reads: Developer Unveils Plans for Massive Oakland Housing Project; Federal Monitor Gives OPD Its Highest-Ever Rating

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 10:09 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Developer SunCal is finally moving forward with its plans to build a massive housing project on the former Oak Knoll Naval property in the Oakland hills, the Trib$ reports. Years in the making, SunCal’s plans were derailed previously by the implosion of its former financial partner Lehman Brothers at the start of the Great Recession. SunCal, which now has new financial backing, wants to build a total of 935 single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments on the 187-acre site.

click to enlarge Robert Warshaw.
  • Robert Warshaw.
2. Federal Court Monitor Robert Warshaw has given the Oakland Police Department its highest-ever rating in its twelve-year reform effort, the Trib$ reports. Warshaw said that OPD has met nineteen of the 22 reform tasks required for the department to emerge from federal control. Two of the remaining three tasks are connected to the city and OPD’s inability to discipline problem officers. The other involves concerns about racial profiling in police stops.

3. Mayor Libby Schaaf said the demonstrators who held a peaceful protest outside her home on Monday had “legitimate” concerns about police killings of African-Americans nationwide, Bay City News (via the Trib$) reports. Schaaf, noted, however, that OPD has made progress in its reform efforts.

4. The US Department of Justice is not expected to file civil rights charges against ex-cop Darrin Wilson, who shot and killed the unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last year, The New York Times$ reports. The FBI concluded that there was insufficient evidence in the case.

5. The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office said it will not file criminal charges against a Richmond cop who shot and killed an unarmed man outside a liquor store in September, the CoCo Times$ report. The DA concluded that Officer Wallace Jensen acted in self-defense when he tussled with and then killed Richard Perez.

6. The Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputies’ union has sued four members of the county board of supervisors, alleging that they threatened to retaliate against union members after members helped gather petition signatures to overturn the supervisors’ decision to give themselves a 33 percent pay hike, the CoCo Times$ reports.

7. The death toll of Bay Area seabirds from a mysterious goo reached two hundred yesterday, the CoCo Times$ reports.

8. The measles outbreak in California, which is being attributed to the anti-vaccination movement, has reached 59 cases, with at least three cases in the Bay Area, Bay City News reports (via the Trib$).

9. And the lack of snow in the Sierra this winter is once again devastating the state’s skiing industry, the Chron reports.

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