Friday, November 23, 2018

Friday’s Briefing: Suspected Arsonist Arrested in Housing Development Fires; Massive Housing Project Proposed for West Oakland BART

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Nov 23, 2018 at 10:59 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF KTVU
  • Photo courtesy of KTVU
Stories you shouldn’t miss for Nov. 23, 2018:

1. ATF agents arrested a suspected arsonist in connection with a series of huge hires at housing construction sites in Oakland and Berkeley in the past few years, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Federal agents said in court documents that they found evidence linking Dustin Bellinger, 45, to a botched arson fire in West Oakland that took place on the same day that a massive blaze destroyed the City Ventures Station House condos about a mile away. Bellinger also has gone by the name Faheem Bey and has connections to the murderous Bey family that used to run Your Black Muslim Bakery and assassinated Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey. KTVU reports that Bellinger expressed frustration on Instagram that developers weren’t hiring African-American construction workers. Investigators believe Bellinger was working with accomplices.

2. A development team led by African-American owned Strategic Urban Development Alliance of Oakland has submitted an application to the city of Oakland to build a giant, 762-unit housing development at the West Oakland BART station, reports Blanca Torres of the San Francisco Business Times$. The proposal also includes 600,000 square feet of office space.

3. The storms that swept into the Bay Area on Wednesday have dumped more than a foot of snow in the Sierra Nevada and are expected to drop at least another 16 inches this weekend, reports Scott Sonner of the Associated Press (via the Sacramento Bee$). The storms have also been a boon to Tahoe-area ski resorts.

4. Heavy rainfall has also effectively extinguished the horrific Camp Fire, which killed at least 84 people, reports Sarah Ravani of San Francisco Chronicle. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office said 605 people remain missing in the wildfire, which is expected to be fully contained today. “So far, 18,733 structures have been reported destroyed in the blaze, including 13,672 single-family homes.”

5. And in an effort to reduce the number of bird deaths caused by birds flying into glass buildings, the Alameda City Council is scheduled to address a proposal on Tuesday that would require opaque glass on construction and other “protection measures such as screens and netting or glass installed in a grid pattern,” reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$.

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