Thursday, February 14, 2019

Thursday’s Briefing: New City Manager for Alameda, Plus Trump Wants His Money Back

By Steven Tavares
Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 7:28 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss for Feb. 14, 2019:

1. The Alameda City Council named Eric Levitt as its next city manager Tuesday, the East Bay Citizen reported. Levitt served the last five years as city manager in Simi Valley, Calif. His first day is April 12. The appointment by the Alameda City Council comes nearly nine months after the controversial departure of former city manager Jill Keimach, who alleged two councilmembers violated the charter. Keimach was later placed on administrative leave after the council learned she secretly recorded the same two councilmembers. The city later bought out Keimach’s contract for $900,000.

2. Oakland administrators plan to move up to two dozen homeless individuals from a growing encampment at Lake Merritt, reports Kimberley Veklerov in the San Francisco Chronicle. The city will begin enforcing a no-camping zone at Lake Merritt starting Thursday. The city plans to move the homeless individuals to two facility and Tuff Sheds located nearby at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. $$

3. The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board is coming down on CalTrans and the vast amounts of garbage flowing from highways in the bay. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the regional body. “The seven-member board, fed up with unsightly garbage on the roadways, voted unanimously, with one person absent, to require Caltrans to install devices to capture roadway debris or otherwise clean up all 8,820 acres of land under its jurisdiction in the Bay Area identified as “significant trash generating areas” by 2026. Failure to comply with the directive could result in fines of up to $25,000 a day.” $$

4. With an Oakland teachers strike looming, the non-profit Teach for America is taking heat for "pressuring” its members to become scabs, the Associated Press reports. Instructors with Teach for America were warned they could forfeit up to $10,000 in financial rewards if they do not cross the picket line, in the event a strike is called possibly next week, according to letter obtained by AP.

5. State Sen. Nancy Skinner’s police records accountability law gets the national treatment from The New York Times. The new law requires the records of police officers involved in shootings of individuals be publicly released. Proponents of police accountability laud the bill, while police unions across the state have fought to block implementation of the law or undermine its scope, arguing the law is not retroactive to Jan. 1. $$

6. Gov. Gavin Newsom surprised many last Tuesday by mothballing the controversial High-Speed Rail project. Now President Trump wants California to refund the federal government $3.5 billion in funding, according to Politco. “We want that money back now,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. Newsom responded he does not intend to return the federal money, but a state audit last year warned the money may have to be refunded if a construction benchmark for a portion of the proposed project was not finished by December 2022.

7. A bouquet of red roses and baby’s breath in a vase will cost you $100 at the Safeway in Alameda. Love also hurts your wallet. So other than simple supply and demand, why do roses costs so much around Valentine’s Day? One reason is the long supply line coming from South America, but the holiday also affords retailers to recoup slim profit margins during the rest of the year.

$$ = Stories you may have to pay to read.

ON TAP FOR THURSDAY: BART’s Board of Directors is expected to approve a resolution to name a road between 33rd and 35th Avenues near Fruitvale BART after Oscar Grant at Thursday morning’s meeting. …

The Oakland City Council will hold a special meeting at 11:30 a.m. to discuss approving an interim emergency rental ordinance to remove exemptions from the Rent Adjustment Ordinance for owner-occupied parcels with, two or three units. To do so, the council will need six of eight members to approve the legislation. …

An Alameda County Board of Supervisors Public Protection Committee will hear a proposal by the Alameda County Fire Department to begin formulating a drone policy. …

Early Friday morning, the Oakland Coliseum Joint Powers Authority holds its monthly meeting, 8:30 a.m. at Oracle Arena. The board will meet in closed session to discuss the renewed possibility of the Raiders playing their final season at the Coliseum.

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