Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday’s Briefing: Oakland Workers and City Head to Mediation as Strike Continues; Thomas Fire Is 5th largest in State History

Plus, two lawmakers push to protect small cannabis farmers.

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 10:06 AM

click to enlarge oakland_downtown.jpg

Stories you shouldn’t miss for Dec. 11, 2017:

1. Oakland city employees and the city’s administration have agreed to negotiate with a federal mediator as the strike continues on Monday. Mayor Libby Schaaf declared an impasse in the talks after rejecting the workers demand of an 8 percent raise over two years. The city’s main union, SEIU 1021, previously rejected Schaaf’s offer of a 4 percent raise in the first year and a 1 percent raise in year two, along with another 1 percent increase if city tax revenues meet expectations.

2. The massive Thomas Fire in Ventura County has torched more than 230,000 acres, making it the fifth largest blaze in California history, reports Sarah Ravani of the San Francisco Chronicle. The wildfire, which is tearing through dry brush and is only 15 percent contained, is also threatening the Santa Barbara County towns of Carpinteria and Montecito. It has destroyed about 800 structures and forced the evacuation of about 95,000 people.

3. Two North Bay lawmakers are pushing for the state to revise its cannabis regulations to protect small farmers that could be forced out of business by mega-weed agribusinesses, reports Joe Garofoli of the San Francisco Chronicle. State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, and Assemblymember Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, say small farmers supported Prop. 64, the statewide pot legalization measure, with the understanding that the state would tightly regulate big farms, but California regulators have so far declined to do so.

4. State Assemblymember Matt Dababneh, D-Woodland Hills, announced that he’s resigning from the legislature amid allegations of sexual misconduct, the LA Times$ reports. Dababneh has been accused of masturbating in front of a female lobbyist and other inappropriate behavior.

5. And celebrity chef Mario Bartali, co-host of ABC’s The Chew has been fired from his show and has taken a leave of absence from his restaurants after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment, the Washington Post$ reports.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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