Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday’s Briefing: Oakland Moves Forward with Plan to Buy County’s Share of Coliseum; Blizzard Closes I-80 in Sierra

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 10:07 AM

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Stories you shouldn’t miss for March 16, 2018:

1. The city of Oakland is moving forward with its plan to purchase Alameda County’s share of the Coliseum property in order to make it easier to develop the land, reports Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The need for the city and county to co-manage the property will lessen once the Oakland Raiders and the Golden State Warriors leave in the next few years. The A’s have yet to decide whether they plan to build a new ballpark at the Coliseum site or at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square, but city officials have long sought to turn the property into a housing or commercial development.

2. Heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada forced the closure of Interstate 80 this morning over Donner Pass, reports Amy Graff of SFGate. The storm has dumped more than 2 feet of snow in the area and weather forecasters expect snow to continue to blanket the region throughout the day.

3. State lawmakers are considering a bipartisan plan to cut the retail tax rate on cannabis from 15 percent to 11 percent for the next three years — and eliminate all taxes on growers until 2021, reports Brooks Edward Staggs of the Cannifornian$. The legislation authored by state Assemblymembers Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, and Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, comes in response to complaints that high tax rates are keeping the black market for weed alive.

4. The Berkeley City Council moved forward this week with an ambitious affordable housing project that includes 186 below-market-rate units, reports Madeleine Gregory of the Daily Cal. The Berkeley Way housing project, which is to be built in conjunction with nonprofit developer Bridge Housing Corporation and the Berkeley Food and Housing Project, would feature “53 permanent units for the homeless, 12 beds exclusively for veterans, 32 homeless shelter beds, and 89 affordable housing units for low-income residents.”

5. Bicyclists will get their own dedicated lanes next to Lake Merritt on Lakeside Drive under a plan moving forward in the city of Oakland, reports Ali Tadayon of the East Bay Times$.

6. The West Contra Costa County school district, which includes Richmond schools, is a considering a plan to remove law enforcement officers from campuses, reports Sarah Ravani of the San Francisco Chronicle$. A district task force says that “a police presence at schools contributes to a ‘school-to-prison pipeline.’”

7. And a panel of California judges has concluded that embattled Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Bruce C. Mills has committed multiple ethical violations, and he could be removed from the bench later this month, reports Nate Gartrell of the East Bay Times$.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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