Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tuesday's Briefing: Bay Area median homes prices drop; Ghost Ship trial opening statements start today

Newsom wants to increase health care funding for undocumented residents

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for April 30:

1. Signs of a recession are popping up here and there. Here's another: Kathleen Pender at the San Francisco Chronicle writes, year-over-year median home prices for the nine-county Bay Area dropped for the first time in seven years. $$

2. There's not many places in the Bay Area where you can afford to rent a place, roommate-free, on a $100k, the East Bay Times reports the sobering news. $$

3. "The long-awaited opening statements in the trial of two men facing dozens of counts of involuntary manslaughter in the December 2016 Ghost Ship warehouse fire are expected to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday," KQED reports.

4. Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to increase health care funding for undocumented California residents from $360 million a year to $620 million a year, and include young adults, the Sacramento Bee reports. The state already covers children and teenagers. $$

5. Two men were arrested for allegedly assaulting a female student at a U.C. Berkeley fraternity house, the Associated Press reports.

6. The Warriors head into Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against Houston tonight with, depending on your perspective, a whiff of gamesmanship on the part of the Rockets or sour grapes after ESPN reports the team sent memos to the NBA league office that assert bad calls by referees have favored the Warriors.

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday's Briefing: Ex-PG&E CEO gets paid big bucks while your rates are set to increase

Hayward councilmember to offer plan for reducing displacement in her city

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for April 29:

1. Former PG&E CEO Geisha Williams was paid $9.3 million last year, The Mercury News reports. This comes after the utility was linked to several large wildfires over the past two years. $$

2, "California regulators have approved a $373 million rate hike for Pacific Gas & Electric to pay costs related to a series of wildfires," SFGate reports. The average bill will go up about $3.50 a month.

3. The avalanche of cannabis tax revenue coveted by many East Bay cities has not yet materialized. "It’s been a little more than a year since California legalized marijuana — the largest such experiment in the United States," writes Thomas Fuller in The New York Times," but law enforcement officials say the unlicensed, illegal market is still thriving and in some areas has even expanded." $$

4. Hayward Councilmember Aisha Wahab has another idea for stopping displacement in the city. She will offer a plan to the Hayward City Council on Tuesday to give Hayward residents first dibs on any housing and home ownership opportunities within projects partnered or supported by the city, the East Bay Citizen reports.

5. The Warriors held off the Houston Rockets, 104-100, to take a 1-0 lead in the highly-anticipated Western Conference semifinals match-up, SFGate reports.

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Monday's Briefing: Ex-PG&E CEO gets paid big bucks while your rates are set to increase

Hayward councilmember to offer plan for reducing displacement in her city

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for April 29:

1. Former PG&E CEO Geisha Williams was paid $9.3 million last year, The Mercury News reports. This comes after the utility was linked to several large wildfires over the past two years. $$

2, "California regulators have approved a $373 million rate hike for Pacific Gas & Electric to pay costs related to a series of wildfires," SFGate reports. The average bill will go up about $3.50 a month.

3. The avalanche of cannabis tax revenue coveted by many East Bay cities has not yet materialized. "It’s been a little more than a year since California legalized marijuana — the largest such experiment in the United States," writes Thomas Fuller in The New York Times," but law enforcement officials say the unlicensed, illegal market is still thriving and in some areas has even expanded." $$

4. Hayward Councilmember Aisha Wahab has another idea for stopping displacement in the city. She will offer a plan to the Hayward City Council on Tuesday to give Hayward residents first dibs on any housing and home ownership opportunities within projects partnered or supported by the city, the East Bay Citizen reports.

5. The Warriors held off the Houston Rockets, 104-100, to take a 1-0 lead in the highly-anticipated Western Conference semifinals match-up, SFGate reports.

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Friday's Briefing: Alameda school board chooses Love over Haight; BART board chooses license plate readers

Richmond selects SunCal to develop Point Molate

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Apr 26, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don’t want to miss for April 26-28:

1. The Alameda Unified School District is changing the name of Haight Elementary School to Love Elementary School, the East Bay Times reports. Alameda activists had pushed for the name-change after learning former California Gov. Henry Huntly Haight had espoused racist views. $$

2. Automated License Plate Readers are coming to BART station parking lots after the BART Board of Directors unanimously approved a new surveillance and privacy policy, NBC Bay Area reports.

3. “A man carjacked a vehicle on Thursday and rammed it into a preschool attended by his children, Oakland police said,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “The man was arrested at a playground near the school, Highland Childhood Development Center” $$

4. “A Caltrans plan to rebuild portions of the MacArthur Maze to accommodate larger trucks has hit a roadblock, for now, in the form of angry local officials and community groups who say the agency failed to tell them the project was coming and performed only a cursory study of its potentially far-reaching environmental effects,” KQED reports.

5. A U.S. District Court judge ruled the Berkeley Police Department used minimal and reasonable force when dismantling a homeless camp during a pre-dawn raid in November 2016, Berkeleyside reports.

6. The Trump administration is proposing to open up 1 million acres of federal land from the Central Valley to Santa Barbara for oil drilling and fracking, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

7. The Union City Council sidestepped the threat of a lawsuit by a Latino legal group that alleged it violates the state's Voting Rights Act, and instead, approved a move from at-large city elections to a district-based system, the East Bay Citizen reports. Keep an eye on Alameda and Hayward. Both still use at-large elections.

8. The Richmond City Council agreed to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with SunCal to develop Point Molate for 1,200-units of housing, along with retail, office space, and open space, the Richmond Confidential reports.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: BART weighs license-plate readers at stations; Marshawn Lynch to retire, says reports

Alameda County Sheriff Ahern floats closing Oakland jail

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Apr 25, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for April 25:

1. The BART Board of Directors take a look at a proposal today to install controversial Automated License Plate Readers at station parking lots throughout the Bay Area, The Mercury News reports. $$

2. Oakland community legend Marshawn Lynch is reportedly retiring from football for a second time, Sports Illustrated reports.

3. With the Alameda County Board of Supervisors entering the thick of its budget season, Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern is raising the possibility of closing the Glenn E. Dyer jail in downtown Oakland, as a cost-cutting move, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

4. An Alameda County Superior Court judge ordered the suspected killer of Nia Wilson, the 18-year-old woman who was fatally-stabbed at the MacArthur BART station last July, to undergo a psychiatric examination, KPIX reports.

5. The Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco finds the "percentage of people in the Bay Area borrowing to finance higher education has nearly doubled since [2003], and the default rate has more than doubled, the analysis finds, a trend that's hit lower-income African American and Hispanic communities particularly hard," KQED reports.

6. "A Berkeley Fire Department ambulance caught fire in the Berkeley Hills while taking a patient to the hospital Wednesday evening, authorities report," according to Berkeleyside.

7. "Spoiler Alert: I'm a white man!" East Bay presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell tweeted Tuesday, the USA Today reports. Swalwell later vowed to select a female running mate if nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate.

8. The Golden State Warriors missed a chance to close out their NBA Playoffs first round series with a Game 5 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night, The Mercury News reports. $$

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wednesday's Briefing: Skinner brokers deal to bolster use-of-force legislation

Alameda County supervisors agree to tentative deal to sell their half of Coliseum

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for April 24:

1. East Bay state Sen. Nancy Skinner engineered a surprise compromise during a Public Safety Committee hearing in Sacramento Tuesday by attempting to combine two bills that would enact new guidelines for when police officers use lethal force, the Associated Press reports.

2. Gov. Gavin Newsom visited the East Bay Tuesday to join Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf in an effort to highlight the importance of fire breaks between woodland and large urban areas in this new era of deadly wildfires, KPIX reports.

3. Gas prices are going up and Newsom wants to know why? "Newsom asked the California Energy Commission for an analysis of the state’s gas prices by May 15. California drivers were paying an average of $4.03 per gallon Tuesday, or $1.18 more than the national average," the Associated Press reports.

4. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously directed staff to finalize a tentative deal with the Oakland A's to sell its half of the Coliseum for $85 million, the East Bay Citizen reports. The A's plan to redevelop the property for housing and retail, while pursuing a new ballpark at Howard Terminal.

5. Oakland's Damian Lillard drained a long-range jumper as time ran out to lead the Portland Trailblazers into the second round of the NBA Playoffs, the San Francisco Chronicle report. But the San Jose Sharks topped his heroics, winning Game 7 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series in one of the greatest comebacks in hockey history, NBC Sports reports.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tuesday's Briefing: Embattled Oakland housing chief is ousted; PG&E asks to raise monthly rates by $20

Big Soda crushes another proposed state bill to limit sugary drink consumption

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don’t want to miss for April 23:

1. Oakland Housing Chief Michelle Byrd is leaving her post. NBC Bay Area reports she was fired. The department has faced criticism for lax enforcement of the city's eviction regulations.

2. A wildfires tax? PG&E asked state regulators to approve a plan to increase utility bills for California customers by about $20 a month, the Sacramento Bee reports.

3. Oakland’s restaurant scene has long fueled the city’s renaissance. Now its cooking oil will fuel the city government’s vehicles. The San Francisco Chronicle reports Oakland is partnering with a biomass company to convert spent cooking oil into biofuel. $$

4. The crumbling Richmond-San Rafael Bridge has about a decade of use before it needs to be replaced, a Metropolitan Transportation Commission representative told the Mercury News. Following recent reports of concrete falling from the upper deck of the span, a $300,000 study will begin this week to analyze its condition. $$

5. More school districts in the state and Bay Area are coping with the housing crisis and the loss of good teachers by building their housing projects, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

6. Big Soda registered another super-sized victory in the state Legislature Monday after downing a third proposed bill over the last month to limit access to sugary drinks, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

7. A man was arrested at the Apple store in Walnut Creek after allegedly attempting to use a digital camera attached to his shoe to record video from under a girl's dress, the East Bay Times reports. $$

8. An bill introduced by Assemblymember Rob Bonta to clarify a patchwork of tideland and trust issues at the A's proposed waterfront ballpark passed its first legislative hurdle Monday, the East Bay Citizen reports. Another A's bill, this one from state Sen. Nancy Skinner, will be heard Wednesday. But not before the Alameda County Board of Supervisors meet today to sign an intent to sell its half of the existing Coliseum property to the A's.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Monday's Briefing: Alameda County is getting out of the sports business; A's to buy half of Coliseum for $85M

Schaaf is critical of Kaplan's call for a Measure AA re-do

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for April 22:

1. For years, several Alameda County supervisors have sought to get the county out of the "sports business." Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle reports the A's have a deal to purchase the county's share of the Coliseum complex for $85 million. $$

2. On the Howard Terminal ballpark front, a bill that could aid the A's in navigating regulatory hurdles inherent with building on the bay, debuts Monday at the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, the East Bay Citizen reports.

3. Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley and elected officials from other levels of local government will detail a new pilot program Monday morning to combat illegal dumping in Oakland, SFGate reports.

4. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told KQED that Council President Rebecca Kaplan's suggestion for a replacement of the Measure AA early education initiative on a ballot in 2020 is an effort to appease landlords and developers.

5. A genuine threat or merely bluster? Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo said Home Depot sent him a letter indicating they would close stores in his district and another in Emeryville if growing homeless encampments are not controlled, The E'Ville Eye reports.

6. Assemblymember Rob Bonta said he could introduce a bill to ask the state to waive the remainder of the Oakland Unified School District's $100 million loan, but he won't because it doesn't have a chance of succeeding, the East Bay Citizen reports. "I like to introduce bills that pass, he bluntly said.

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Friday's Briefing: Bay Area leaders react to Mueller Report; Racist mailer opposes SB 50

A's sign slugger Khris Davis to contract extension

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for April 19-21:

1. Bay Area congressmembers reacted on Twitter to the release of the Mueller Report, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Several called for U.S. Attorney General William Barr to resign and all of them urged for further investigations into the report's findings. $$

2. Opponents of SB 50, the bill that aims to reduce zoning requirements for new housing around transit hubs, are equating the proposed legislation with "negro removal" in political mailers and ads, ABC7 reports.

3. A federal appeals court decided Thursday that California's sanctuary city laws can continue to be enforced, the Los Angeles Times reports. $$

4. Kaiser Permanente patients in Oakland, perhaps at the behest of the union representing hospital workers in contract negotiations, protested Thursday over shorter appointments times for mental health patients, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. About 10,000 research and technical workers at the University of California's 10 campus are considering a strike, the Sacramento Bee reports, after reacting to a proposed annual 3 percent wage increase to imposed by the U.C. $$

6. A Hayward High School senior who was set to play football next fall at the University of Wyoming drowned in the surf at Half Moon Bay, KTVU reports.

7. Contract extension mania in Major League Baseball finally came to Oakland after the A's signed defending American League home run champ Khris Davis to a new 2-year, $33.5 million contract, Sports Illustrated reports. The Warriors rolled over the Clippers Thursday night to regain a 2-1 lead in their first round NBA playoff series, CBS Sports reports.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: Oakland council restores recent OUSD cuts; Port workers balk at A's ballpark plans

Berkeley Symphony names 37-year-old as next music director

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss for April 18:

1. Oakland elected officials voted Tuesday to fill in cuts made recently by the Oakland Unified School District for restorative justice programs, foster care managers, and libraries, KTVU reports. The City Council will use $1.2 million in real estate transfer taxes to restore the programs.

2. Labor unions and maritime businesses at the Port of Oakland say the proposed A's ballpark on the waterfront at Howard Terminal will negatively effect the port and put union jobs at risk, ABC7 reports.

3. The convicted killer of Torian Hughes, the 17-year-old who was killed in Oakland in 2015, and who Oakland Councilmember Lynette McElhaney considered a grandson, rejected an offer of lighter sentence made by Hughes' mother, SFGate reports. The defendant's attorney declined the offer because it included giving up his client's rights to an appeal.

4. The East Bay Times issued a retraction after mistakenly including in a slideshow the wrong photo of a Catholic priest accused of child molestation. They apologized for the error. $$

5. The Berkeley Symphony Orchestra named Joseph Young, 37, as its next music director, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The choice was a surprise and came after Young filled in as conductor on 48-hours notice earlier this year. $$

6. The NFL released its 2019 schedule Wednesday. If you still care, the last Raiders game ever to be played in Oakland could be Dec. 15 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. But this might help former fans upset about the team leaving for Las Vegas in 2020. Sports Illustrated reports the Raiders have the "most unfair" schedule in the league.

7. The Mueller Report is due to be released Thursday morning. A press conference is scheduled for 6:30 a.m. PT. Will the report give East Bay presidential candidate Eric Swalwell a boost since he has spent the last two years suggesting Trump colluded with Russia?

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