Friday, March 29, 2019

Friday's Briefing: 1,000 Bay Area tech workers could get pink slips

PG&E again in Newsom's cross hairs

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for Mar. 29-31:

1. More than 1,000 tech workers could be laid off within the next two months, the San Jose Mercury News reports. $$

2. California has added 15 million new residents since its last reservoir was built. A robust snowpack this winter begs the question whether the state's water infrastructure can do the job when all the ice melts this spring, the Washington Post reports.

3. The woman who accused Cal football players and staff of sexual harassment earlier this month spoke out Thursday on NBC's Today, SFGate reports. "It's not just in Hollywood. It's always been in sports. And now it's at Cal," she said.

4. Gov. Gavin Newsom slammed a plan to restock PG&E's Board of Directors with hedge fund managers instead of individuals with backgrounds as regulators and clean energy experts, the Associated Press reports.

5. A bankruptcy judge ruled PG&E can gain access to $5.5 billion in funding it previously secured from banks, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

6. A Hayward resident said American Airlines employees accused her of human trafficking while on flight to Sacramento because she didn't look like her family, NBC Bay Area reports.

7. Fans of Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto who are aching for a reminder of the now closed venerable Berkeley restaurant can soon find it at The Kingfish Pub in Oakland, Berkeleyside reports.

8. Sen. Bernie Sanders has good taste in coffee. The San Leandro Times reports the presidential candidate caused a stir last Sunday when he unexpectedly dropped in at a coffee shop on Bancroft Avenue. Sanders's entourage was heading to a campaign rally in San Francisco.

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: Oikos University killer dies in prison; Opening Day, Part II for the A's

Alameda County Board of Supervisors to reconsider 'mutton busting' ban

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for Mar. 28:

1. The man who killed seven people at Oikos University in Oakland in 2012, has died in prison, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The number of murders was the second-worst in Bay Area history. $$

2. Animal rights activists thought they had convinced the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to take steps toward banning some rodeo events in the county. But one county supervisor wants to reconsider the potential ban, the East Bay Citizen reports.

3. Berkeley is moving ahead with its prohibition on overnight RV parking on its city streets, Berkeleyside reports. The council approved the second reading of the ordinance, 6-3. Enforcement, however, will have to wait while a three-month permitting process is created.

4. Rep. Barbara Lee sure has it in for U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Lee lambasted DeVos during a House Appropriations hearing for, among other issues, attempting to leave the Special Olympics unfunded, the East Bay Citizen reports. Lee jumped all over DeVos at the same setting almost exactly one year ago.

5. For those who have already attempted to get Real IDs, you have probably witnessed the long lines and confusion evident at the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Associated Press reports an audit by the state Finance Department found the DMV was unprepared for the rollout of the new IDs required for air travel starting in October 2020.

6. A Mega Million lottery ticket worth $994,000 was purchased in San Leandro, KRON reports. The ticket had five of six correct numbers. The winnings could buy you a nice home, at least in quasi-affordable San Leandro, and with a little cash left over.

7. Opening Day, Part II for the Oakland Athletics is today. The A’s open their home schedule this afternoon against the Los Angeles Angeles at the Coliseum. The A's started the season last week in Tokyo. The San Francisco Chronicle takes a look at Charlie Finley, the famously chintzy, yet innovative former A’s owner and his rollout of Opening Day in 1969. Meanwhile, The crosstown rival San Francisco Giants open their season down south against the new-look San Diego Padres. $$

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Wednesday's Briefing: Berkeley approves overnight RV parking ban; 'ShakeAlert' test coming

Crab season to end three months early

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for Mar. 27:

1. The Berkeley City Council approved a second reading late Tuesday night of a controversial ban on overnight sleeping in RVs on city streets, along with amendments inlcuding a short-term permitting process, according to Berkeleyside.
2. In an unusual move, Oakland Council President Rebecca Kaplan weighed-in on the Berkeley RV ban ordinance in a press release Tuesday afternoon, SFGate reports. Elected officials rarely interject themselves into the matters of neighboring municipalities.

3. This is only a test. Around 11 a.m. today, smartphone users in and around Downtown Oakland will receive a "ShakeAlert," KTVU reports. Some Alameda residents may also receive the earthquake early warning message, Alameda city officials said.

4. Anticipating East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell is about to announce a run for president soon, Casey Tolan reports in the San Jose Mercury News, that a list of potential successors is forming in the 15th Congressional District. $$

5. As the Trump administration continues to rollback environmental regulations, the Los Angeles Times details how state lawmakers are seeking to undermine the effort. $$

6. The crab season in California will end early in an effort to protect whales from being harmed by crabbing equipment, the Associated Press reports. The season will end April 15, three months earlier than usual.

7. An Alameda County Sheriff's deputy and sergeant was exposed to fetanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid, while on duty at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Both were given Naxolone to counteract the drug. $$

8. "I Got 5 on it," the hip-hop classic by the Oakland duo Luniz is receiving a revival thanks to the Jordan Peele's latest film, "Us," The New York Times reports. To fit the mood of the horror film, the song's beat was slowed to an ominous tone. $$

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Tuesday's Briefing: Swalwell maintains Russian collusion, tells Trump to sue him

AG Becerra never reviewed police shooting of 16-year-old pregnant girl in Hayward

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for Mar. 26:

1. Over the past two years, East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell has become one of the most visible faces of the resistance against President Trump, lodging allegations of Russian collusion on a daily basis. Some of his claims now appear tenuous, but Swalwell doubled down Monday, the East Bay Citizen reports, and even challenged Trump to sue him.

2. The killing of a 16-year-old pregnant girl by Fremont Police in Hayward became a highly-charged political affair after the Fremont Police Officers Association contributed $10,000 to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley's re-election campaign. Critics howled with news of the contribution and O'Malley's decision not to charge the two Fremont cops. Now, the East Bay Times reports, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra never reviewed O'Malley's investigation, even though he said he would. $$

3. Earlier this month, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by San Francisco and Oakland that alleges oil companies have contributed to climate change. Bob Egelko reports in the San Francisco Chronicle that Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris are urging for reinstatement of the complaint. $$

4. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Otis Taylor, Jr. checks in with a Cal graduate student struggling to survive while living in a RV in Berkeley. $$

5. A 40,000-square-foot market hall is coming to Jack London Square, the Associated Press reports. The dining hall coming to 55 Harrison Street will include food and beer options.

6. Stanford advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament after defeating Brigham Young, 72-63, Reuters reports. Stanford meets Missouri State on Saturday. Cal, meanwhile was routed by top-seed Baylor, 102-63, Fox Sports reports.

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Monday, March 25, 2019

Monday's Briefing: No collusion, questions persists; Refinery shut down in Benicia

San Leandro questions red-light cameras deal

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Mar 25, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for Mar. 25:

1. Many questions remain following a determination in the Mueller Report that President Trump and his campaign did not conspire with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle takes a look at some of the open questions and the ramifications for 2020. $$

Here's a take from one of Trump's biggest opponents, East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell:

2. Coke particles escaping from the Valero oil refinery in Benicia is forcing officials to shut down the North Bay plant, the San Francisco reports. $$

3. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, also a former East Bay assemblymember, is showing himself to be a dream come true for progressives. CalMatters reports Thurmond last week questioned charter schools and pinned recent teachers strikes on school districts.

4. Two years ago, CBS Sports agreed to pay more than $1 billion a year to televise the Men's NCAA Tournament. Compensation for students: Zero. With March Madness in full-swing, KQED takes a look at state Sen. Nancy Skinner's bill that would allow student-athletes at public and private universities in the state to sign sponsorship deals.

5. In recent years, Oakland and Hayward declined extensions for red-light cameras. Last week, the San Leandro City Council stopped short of doing so, but seriously questioned whether the age of the equipment and terms is a good deal for taxpayers, the East Bay Citizen reports.

6. The Oakland Symphony has featured some inventive new female composers in recent months, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday's Briefing: Oakland Police mourn 10-year anniversary of fallen officers; Activists call for firing of Chief Anne Kirkpatrick

St. Mary's exits the Big Dance

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Mar 22, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for Mar. 22-24:

1. Oakland Police and others Thursday observed the 10-year anniversary of one of the department's darkest days, the killing of four officers on 74th Avenue by a convicted felon suspected of violating parole, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

2. Curious timing, but the Coalition for Police Accountability held a rally at Oakland City Hall Thursday to call for the firing of Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick for the department's handling of the police shooting of a homeless man last year, the Oakland Post reports.

3. Meanwhile, the Oakland Police Department's seemingly never-ending quest to get out of the grasp of 16 years of federal oversight took another turn for the worse, according to the court monitor's new report, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

4. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and other big city mayors were in Sacramento Thursday urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to allocate additional money to combat homelessness, Capital Public Radio reports.

5. Newsom is proposing a $10 a month water tax to help low-income and rural areas suffering from contaminated water, the Associated Press reports. The plan is another in a long list of propose taxes coming from Sacramento this legislative year.

6. April rain brings May flowers is actually a harbinger of an uncomfortable allergy season this spring, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

7. Under the category of "At least he wasn't clipping his toenails": Video of a BART rider shaving his head on a train become a social media sensation, reports SFGate.

8. Following approval by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, the Oakland City Council gave the final imprimatur on a lease agreement with the Raiders to play the 2019 season in Oakland, SFGate reports. The deal is for $7.5 million for 2019 with a $10.5 million option for 2020.

9. "One Shining Moment," the traditional anthem played for winners of the NCAA Tournament will elude the St. Mary's Gaels this year. St. Mary's was defeated by defending champion Villanova, 61-57, during the first day of March Madness, SFGate reports.

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: Woman alleges Cal football players, coaches of sexual harassment

Skinner wants audit of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Mar 21, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for Mar. 21:

1. A former Cal sports medicine intern alleges members of the football, coaches, and staff sexually harassed her on numerous occasions, ESPN reports. "I will get you fired if you do not have sex with me," the Cal student wrote on Facebook about the advances of one Cal coach. The allegations have been sent to the university's Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination.

2. President Trump is expected to sign an executive order today that was first spurred on by an incident last month at U.C. Berkeley when a conservative voter was attacked on campus, Politico reports. The order may require universities to declare support for free speech on campus in order to receive federal research grants.

3.Oakland voters approved Measure KK, a $600 million infrastructure bond measure, in 2016, but two years later the city's roads continue to be in a sorry state, Rachel Swan reports in the San Francisco Chronicle. $$

4. With the U.S. Census count just around the corner, the state and Alameda County is beginning to put time and money into making sure the state gathers an accurate count of its residents. If not, just like in 1990, according to Capitol Weekly, California could lose seats in Congress and hundreds of millions in federal funding.

5. Two Richmond police officer, including one who was named in the Celeste Guap police sexual misconduct scandal was fired for lying to investigators, while the other for having sex on duty, KQED and the East Bay Times report.

6. At a racuous Hayward City Council meeting late Tuesday night, city councilmembers decided against a controversial proposal from its city manager to limit their policy referrals to five per year for each elected official, the East Bay Citizen reports. One councilmember said the idea was unconstitutional, but not before the entire discussion got really personal.

7. Berkeley saw a 12 percent reduction in violent crime last year, Berkeleyside reports. Meanwhile, property crime also dropped by 10 percent.

8. State Sen. Nancy Skinner wants an audit of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department after reports of misconduct at its jails, KTVU reports, including a woman who gave birth in prison while unattended.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wednesday's Briefing: College admissions scandal comes to Cal; friends mourn Victor McElhaney in L.A.

Alameda cannabis dispensary approved by Planning Board

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Mar 20, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for Mar. 20:

1. The college admissions scandal could be spreading to the East Bay. The San Francisco Chronicle reports Cal is investigating a 2014 admission of a member of its crew team whose father allegedly paid someone $100,000 to take the SAT on behalf of the student. $$

2. An estimated 700 gathered at a memorial on the campus of U.S.C. to remember Victor McElhaney, the son of Oakland Councilmember Lynette McElhaney, the Los Angeles Times reports. Victor McElhaney was killed last week during a robbery in Los Angeles. $$

3. Job Torres Hernandez, a Hayward construction company owner was convicted for recruiting undocumented immigrant workers from Mexico and paying them little under threat of violence, the East Bay Times reports. Hernandez could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

4. Ranked-choice voting in San Francisco will soon allow for 10 candidates to be ranked by voters, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In the East Bay, only Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro have ranked-choice voting. Could they be next? $$

5. "Why does Alameda County charge up to $1 a page to view court records online?" Berkeleyside asks.

6. A cannabis dispensary is coming to Webster Street in Alameda, the East Bay Times reports. The dispensary, approved last week by the Planning Board, is slated for a former bank near Haight Street. $$

7. Oakland Councilmember, a noted environmentalist, appeared Tuesday with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Tuesday's Briefing: Four Oakland churches to allow homeless to sleep overnight in cars

Pregnant Alameda councilmember says there's no place for breast-feeding at City Hall

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for Mar. 19:

1. The homeless living in their cars can now safely use parking lots at four Oakland houses of worship, SFGate reports. There is an estimated 2,700 homeless individuals in Oakland alone.

2. Alameda Councilmember Malia Vella is expecting her first child in May. Antiquated Alameda City Hall does not have a dedicated area for employees to breast-feed and pump breast milk, a likely violation of federal law, the East Bay Citizen reports. If they don't fulfill her request in time, Vella says she will just breast-feed at the council dais.

3. The owner of a convenience store on International Boulevard in Oakland is accused of defrauding a federal food stamp program of more than $1 million, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

4. Last November, Mike Siegel, the son of noted civil rights attorney and 2014 Oakland mayoral candidate Dan Siegel, almost won a seat in Texas' 10th Congressional District. Siegel is running again in 2020 and former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is holding a fundraiser for him tonight, the East Bay Citizen reports.

5. A memorial for Victor McElhaney, the slain son of Oakland Councilmember Lynette McElhaney, will be held this Saturday, KGO-TV reports.

6. The Nation takes a look at the Oakland teachers strike from a lefty angle.

7. The U.S. Ninth District Court of Appeals in San Francisco has been a thorn in the side of President Trump, but Bob Egelko in SFGate, reports a proposal to expand the judiciary could give Trump the opportunity to add conservative jurists to the Ninth District and other left-leaning courts across the country.

8. "It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart," Major League Baseball commissioner/poet A. Bartlett Giamatti once said about the duration of a baseball season. Well, baseball is back later tonight (Wednesday, 2:35 a.m.) as the Oakland Athletics begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo against the Seattle Mariners.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Monday's Briefing: Husband of former Berkeley councilmember drowns

St. Mary's begins March Madness on Thursday

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Mar 18, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for Mar. 18:

1. The husband of former Berkeley Councilmember Linda Maio drowned last Friday in Mexico, Berkeleyside reports. Rob Browning, 77, died while swimming off the coast of Baja California. Maio, who served District 1 for 27 years on the Berkeley City Council before retiring last year, was on a vacation and business trip.

2. Allegations of cannabis interests bribing California public officials are being seen up and down the state, the Los Angeles Times reports, including one in Oakland, involving a cannabis dispensary permit and Oakland City Councilmember Larry Reid. $$

3. The presidential campaign of progressive Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard gave a brief stump speech to voters in Fremont Sunday afternoon, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, before meeting with prospective donors, and addressing a local Democratic club. $$

4. The rollout of Sen. Kamala Harris's presidential campaign is widely viewed as the most successful yet, but the Washington Post reports, Harris's has shown a propensity for flubs and "imprecise language." The mistakes, however, are not yet hurting her fledgling campaign.

5. The long-proposed Veterans Administration complex at Alameda Point has stalled over numerous issues, but the East Bay Times reports, at least the national cemetery, actually a columbarium, could begin construction next year. $$

6. St. Mary's hopes for a Cinderella run through the NCAA men's basketball tournament will start Thursday against Big East champion Villanova, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Gaels received the 11th seed in the East Region after upsetting top-ranked Gonzaga last week and winning the West Coast Conference tournament. The women's bracket will be unveiled later today. $$

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