Thursday, February 7, 2019

Thursday’s Briefing: Oakland Schools May Lay Off 150; Housing Crisis Causes Displacement to Exurbs

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge Kyla Johnson-Trammell. - FILE PHOTO BY PAT MAZZERA
  • File photo by Pat Mazzera
  • Kyla Johnson-Trammell.

Stories you shouldn’t miss for Feb. 7, 2019:

1. The Oakland Unified School District may lay off up to 150 employees in order to close a $22 million budget gap, reports Ashley McBride of the San Francisco Chronicle$. Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell plans to slash nearly $12 million from the district central office, which could result in layoffs of about 90 workers. In addition, “close to 60 layoffs could happen across school sites for support staff, such as security officers and staff members who work with student behavior and discipline.”

2. The Bay Area’s extreme housing shortage and unaffordable prices have disproportionately displaced people of color, pushing them to the region’s outer exurbs in search of cheaper housing, reports Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle$, citing a new UC Berkeley study. “Historically black neighborhoods — in places like the Bayview, East Oakland and East Palo Alto — lost scores of low-income black families. Often, they moved to outlying cities of the region: Antioch, Fairfield, Vallejo and so forth.”

3. The family of Joshua Pawlik, a 31-year-old homeless man who was shot to death by Oakland police as he awoke from a slumber last March, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Oakland and OPD, reports Angela Ruggiero of the East Bay Times$. “It’s despicable that an unconscious man is awakened by the police with loud shouts and bullhorns and before he could gather himself, is shot and killed,” said the family’s attorney John Burris.

4. Embattled utility PG&E is proposing to shut off power to large numbers of people in Northern California during windstorms, as part of its plan to reduce the chances that one of its electrical lines will spark another horrific blaze, the San Francisco Chronicle$ reports. “PG&E said it will now consider de-energizing any of its power lines running through high-risk fire areas, a marked departure from the more limited shut-off program the utility rolled out last year.”

5. And California’s massive wildfires last year played a major role in making 2018 the fourth costliest year on record for disasters, reports Kurtis Alexander of the San Francisco Chronicle$, citing a new report from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Last year, catastrophes inflicted at least $91 billion in damage.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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