Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday's Briefing: Alameda County covid-19 surge could be worse in the fall and winter, says county health official; Berkeley sees first police shooting in 8 years

Oakland's city council races may pivot on defunding OPD

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Wear your masks. Despite the surge in new coronavirus cases n Alameda County, hospitalizations still remain manageable, at least currently. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Wear your masks. Despite the surge in new coronavirus cases n Alameda County, hospitalizations still remain manageable, at least currently.


News you don't want to miss July 31:

1. A Berkeley police officer put her best foot forward, but it wasn't enough to thwart a robbery. Three suspects allegedly robbed the CVS on Shattuck Avenue and later ran over the officer's foot, KTVU reports. The officer also discharged her weapon three times during the incident, making it the first time a Berkeley cop has done so since 2012.

2. Alameda County's interim public health officer said a local surge of new coronavirus cases could worsen in the fall and winter months, the East Bay Citizen reports. The previous interim health officer had predicted a surge in mid-August that appears to have arrived earlier than expected. Interim Public Health Officer Nicholas Moss also said the early decision against recommending county residents wear masks was a mistake.

3. While Congress is dithering about reinstating a federal unemployment benefits package, California lawmakers are looking at the possibility offering the $600 a week check to residents in the meantime, SFGate reports. The federal unemployment program is set to expire today.

4. There's one week until the deadline for candidates in the November election to file. In Oakland, Councilmembers Dan Kalb, Lynette Gibson McElhaney, are Noel Gallo up for re-election, and 11 potential candidates are seeking to replace the retiring Larry Reid in District 7. The entire election and makeup of the next City Council could rest on the single issue of defunding OPD, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. The number of passengers at the Oakland International Airport last month jumped to 255,000, a 141 percent increase over the past month, KTVU reports. The figure, however, is still significantly below the airport's typical pre-pandemic activity.

6. Maybe there's a sense of inevitability that Sen. Kamala Harris has a strong chance of becoming the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, but why don't Californians seem to care? asks the East Bay Times. Locally, the possibility of Harris' senate seat opening up could shake-up the political scene in the East Bay. For example, if state Attorney General Xavier Becerra is appointed to replace Harris, it may eventually lead Oakland Assemblymember Rob Bonta to the AG's office. $$

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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Thursday's Briefing: Federal judge orders injunction against OPD use of tear gas on protesters; Sheriff's technician accused of smuggling meth into Santa Rita Jail

What's Billy Beane up to?

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 4:00 AM

A federal magistrate ordered an indefinite injunction against on Wednesday against OPD's use of tear gas and flash-bang grenades against demonstrators. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • A federal magistrate ordered an indefinite injunction against on Wednesday against OPD's use of tear gas and flash-bang grenades against demonstrators.


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

1. "A federal magistrate extended his previous restrictions against use of force by Oakland police Wednesday, prohibiting officers from using tear gas or flash-bang grenades against demonstrators, except when necessary to prevent serious injury or substantial property damage, and barring all use of wooden or rubber bullets and pepper-ball projectiles," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The injunction will remain in effect indefinitely. $$

2. An Alameda County sheriff's technician is alleged to have smuggled a cell phone and methamphetamine into Santa Rita Jail, KPIX reports. The technician and an inmate allegedly sought to split profits from the sale of the narcotic to other prisoners.

3. The U.S. economy contracted by a record-shattering 32.9 percent between April and June, the Associated Press reports. In California, the number of jobless claim jumped to 9.1 million since the beginning of the pandemic last March, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

4. The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld a law that prohibits public employees from pension spiking, an action that allows them to boost their pensions earning by increasing their last year's annual pay, the Los Angeles Times reports. The lawsuit was filed by the Alameda County Deputy Sheriff's Association. $$

5. "The pastor of The Way Church in Berkeley on University Avenue says someone tried to burn the building down, less than twelve hours after church leaders put up a "Black Lives Matter" banner in the front of the building," KTVU reports.

6. The Oakland City Council on Tuesday night passed a resolution vowing to block federal law enforcement officers from entering the city as seen recently in Portland, ABC7 reports.

7. A's general manager Billy Beane is involved with a investment group seeking to raise $500 million for a sports-related purpose, Sportico reports. Are the A's for sale? Is Beane and others laying the groundwork to potentially buy the team?

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Wednesday's Briefing: Oakland City Council approves task force to defund OPD; Oakland students to receive donated laptops after school year begins

Vallejo police officers alleged to have celebrated fatal killings

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Jul 29, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Oakland City Council chambers, pre-coronavirus. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Oakland City Council chambers, pre-coronavirus.


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

1. Oakland officials unanimously supported the creation of a budget task force to study the reduction of the police department's budget by 50 percent over the next two years, the East Bay Times reports. $$

2. A shipment of 25,000 Chromebook, procured through the philanthropic efforts of Twitter and Zynga CEOs, will arrive in the hands of Oakland students in late August, KTVU reports. However, the school year begins on Aug. 10.

3. Contra Costa County will impose a $100 fine on people who don't wear protective masks in public, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Contra Costa supervisors approved the urgency ordinance on Tuesday. Repeat violators of the ordinance will receive steeper fines. $$

4. A blockbuster report from Open Vallejo found Vallejo police officers celebrated fatal shootings with organizing barbecues, having drinks, and marking the killings by bending a corner of their badges.

5. The Oakland Zoo reopened today after making a public plea last month that it would soon run out of money if not allowed to resume some levels of activity, NBC Bay Area reports. The Zoo opened with limited outdoor-only activities.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Tuesday's Briefing: Federal monitor gives OPD good marks, but is watching response to protests; SF fire affecting Oakland air quality

Oakland native Zendaya receives Emmy nomination

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Jul 28, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Federal monitor Robert Warshaw is keeping tabs on how Oakland Police handles George Floyd protests. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Federal monitor Robert Warshaw is keeping tabs on how Oakland Police handles George Floyd protests.


News you don't want to miss for July 28:

1. The federal monitor overseeing the Oakland Police Department said it's showing signs of improvement, including data revealing a large reduction in the number of Black residents being stopped by police officers, KTVU reports. But the monitor is keeping an eye out for how OPD handles protests following the death of George Floyd.

2. Smoke from a five-alarm building fire in San Francisco on Tuesday morning is affecting the air quality in Oakland, SFGate reports. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is advising Oakland residents to stay indoors.

3. Bay Area Rep. Ro Khanna, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, is proposing the federal government give everyone a free mask, The Hill reports. The proposed legislation would cost about $5 billion. The masks would be sent through the U.S. Postal Service.

4. Wolfman Books in downtown Oakland is permanently closing, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The bookstore has been closed since March and its narrow aisles are not conducive to social distancing. $$

5. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit against the Trump administration's attempt to cut undocumented residents from the U.S. Census count, Politico reports. Census forms do not ask about citizenship status. Removing undocumented residents from the census count could cost California one seat in Congress following reapportionment.

6. Oakland native Zendaya received an Emmy nomination for "outstanding lead actress in a drama series" for her role as a drug-addicted teen on HBO's "Euphoria," SFGate reports.

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Monday's Briefing: Courthouse vandalism in Oakland gives Trump a chance to send in federal troops, Schaaf warns; 'Give the lake a break'

Some Oakland principals discourage 'pandemic pods'

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Jul 27, 2020 at 4:00 AM

The Alameda County courthouse near Lake Merritt in Oakland was vandalized on Saturday night following a protest in solidarity with demonstrators in Portland. - ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Alameda County Sheriff's Office
  • The Alameda County courthouse near Lake Merritt in Oakland was vandalized on Saturday night following a protest in solidarity with demonstrators in Portland.


News you don't want to miss for July 27:

1. A protest against police in Oakland on Saturday night turned violent as the Alameda County Courthouse and other locations were vandalized, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said images from Saturday night gives President Trump a reason to send federal law enforcement officers to Oakland. $$

2. Oakland officials and community members are discouraging residents from gathering at Lake Merritt, SFGate reports. "Give the lake a break," Schaaf urged residents on Friday. Meanwhile, the Oakland Zoo is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday featuring outdoor-only activities.

3. Some Oakland elementary principals are discouraging so-called "pandemic pods," parents coupling small groups of children into home-learning groups, KTVU reports. The arrangement could exacerbate social inequities in the classroom, the principals said.

4. Contra Costa County supervisors will consider an ordinance allowing fines of $100 for individuals not wearing masks and general violations of the county's public health orders, the East Bay Times reports. Fines for businesses could be as high as $1,000. $$

5. Former Contra Costa County registrar Joe Canciamilla plead not guilty on Monday to 34 felony counts of grand theft and perjury, KPIX reports. Canciamilla is alleged to have used $262,000 in campaign funds for his personal use.

6. The A's took two of three games against the Angels on the season's truncated opening weekend, but an outbreak of covid-19 among Miami Marlins players may put the entire season in doubt, ESPN reports. In the meantime, the A's are finishing off their four-game series against the Angels on Monday afternoon at the Coliseum.

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Friday, July 24, 2020

Friday's Briefing: Alameda County becomes first to top 10,000 covid-19 cases; Tom Hanks to hawk virtual hot dogs at the Coliseum

Alameda County sheriff's deputy dies from covid-19

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Jul 24, 2020 at 3:19 PM

Oakland native Tom Hanks' first job was as a vendor at the Coliseum. - OAKLAND ATHLETICS
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Oakland native Tom Hanks' first job was as a vendor at the Coliseum.


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

1. Alameda County surpassed 10,000 total positive cases of covid-19 on Friday, making it the first county in the Bay Area to cross the milestone, the East Bay Citizen reports. Alameda County reported 10,214 total cases, along with 178 deaths. Oakland also topped 4,000 total cases on Friday. $$

2. Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Oscar Rocha, a 25-year veteran of the department, died from covid-19 on Thursday, KTVU reports. Rocha had been on a ventilator for several weeks. He worked primarily at the Alameda County courthouse in Oakland.

3. Tonight's fanless Opening Night will be the strangest in Oakland Athletics history. To add a bit of atmosphere to the games, the voice of Oakland native Tom Hanks will serve as a virtual vendor at the Coliseum, SFGate reports. Hanks is a former Coliseum vendor. His voice will be piped in hawking hot dogs during the games.

4. There is signs that increasing numbers of college students are choosing to take a gap year rather than attend remote-learning cases this upcoming school year, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. David Barstow, the head of investigative reporting at U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, initially pitched to ghost-write Mary Trump's memoir about the Trump family, the Mercury News reports. Trump, though, said Barstow's pursuit made her uncomfortable and was unethical. $$

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Thursday's Briefing: Alameda police chief retires amid turmoil; Richmond adds protections for residential, commercial tenants

Santa Rita Jail sees large spike in new coronavirus cases

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Jul 23, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Paul Rolleri is an Alameda native and served with the Alameda Police Department for 28 years, including seven as police chief. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Paul Rolleri is an Alameda native and served with the Alameda Police Department for 28 years, including seven as police chief.


News you don't want to miss for July 23:

1. Alameda Police Chief Paul Rolleri announced his retirement on Wednesday, the East Bay Times reports. Rolleri, who was hired in 2013, served a total of 28 with the police department. His departure follows the arrest last May of a Black Alameda resident who was dancing in the street. $$

2. Richmond bolstered eviction protections for commercial renters, while extending protections for residential tenants, who now have one year to repay rent once the city's emergency moratorium is lifted, the East Bay Times reports. $$

3. Any full restart of the local economy is going to occur on the backs of the childcare industry. But many childcare locations have been forced to either shutdown during the pandemic or significantly cut back services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

4. The number of Santa Rita Jail inmates testing positive for covid-19 skyrocketed from 65 to 177 this week. An outbreak among inmates who work in the kitchen and laundry areas is the cause the spike in cases. The Alameda County Sheriff's Office, however, said most of the new cases are asymptomatic, the Mercury News reports. $$

5. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward region has suffered 5,048 temporarily closed businesses since last March, including more 300 that have permanently gone out of business, SFGate reports.

6. Castro Valley Marketplace, a 39,000 square-foot food hall is now open, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Built at the former Daughtrey's department store on Castro Valley Boulevard, the spot is initially opening with three vendors. $$

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wednesday's Briefing: Protesters deface Mayor Schaaf's home, later she breaks council tie to block further defunding of OPD

Alameda removes Andrew Jackson from park's name

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf


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

1. A large group of protesters vandalized Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's home early Tuesday morning, ABC7 reports. Schaaf's home and adjacent sidewalk was littered with graffiti that included, "Defund OPD."

2. Schaaf broke a deadlocked tie at the Oakland City Council by casting a no vote against a proposal to further slash the Oakland Police Department's budget, KPIX reports.

3. A Zoom bomber hurled racist and threatening comments at two Oakland school board candidates during a virtual candidates forum, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. An online forum held by two Hayward City Council candidates was similarly crashed on Monday night. $$

4. Alameda officials unanimously voted to remove President Andrew Jackson's name from a city park because of his history of alienation against Blacks and Native Americans, the East Bay Citizen reports. Jackson Park, located on Encinal Avenue near Park Street, was originally Alameda's first city park. A community group will be tasked with renaming it.

5. The Sierra Club disavowed its founder famed naturalist John Muir for his racist attitudes, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

6. U.C. Berkeley is reversing course and will begin the fall semester entirely online, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In June, the university planned to hold remote classes with hopes of mixing in some in-person instruction. But the uptick in recent coronavirus cases changed their plans. $$

7. Filipinos in California are dying from covid-19 at a rate higher than its portion of the state's Asian-American population, the Los Angeles Times reports. $$

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Tuesday's Briefing: Oakland nurse dies from covid-19; Large outbreak at a Walnut Creek nursing home

Trump is upset with Oakland, Giants manager

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Jul 21, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Nearly 9,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Alameda County, as of Tuesday, including 167 deaths. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Nearly 9,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Alameda County, as of Tuesday, including 167 deaths.


News you don't want to miss for July 21:

1. A nurse at Sutter Alta Bates Summitt Medical Center in Oakland has died from covid-19, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Janine Paiste-Ponder, 59, passed away on July 14. $$

2. A large outbreak of covid-19 at a Walnut Creek nursing home has killed 12 people and infected a total of 130 patients and employees, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

3. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Gov. Newsom, and even the Oakland Police Department rejected President Trump's comments on Monday that he would like to send federal law enforcement agents to places like Oakland to restore order, KPIX reports.

4. The A's lost to the Giants, 6-2, in an exhibition game at the Coliseum. But in statement that also rankled Trump, Gabe Kapler, the manager of the Giants, and several other players, took a knee during the National Anthem. Trump tweeted the "game is over for me!" in response to the action, CBS News reports.

5. United Airlines may cut 6,000 jobs at the San Francisco International Airport due to covid-19 and declining revenues, the Mercury News reports. The massive number of jobs lost could ripple across the Bay Area. $$

6. The economic doldrums of the pandemic is not only affecting individuals and families, but small churches, mosques, and synagogues, that are struggling to survive, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

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Monday, July 20, 2020

Monday's Briefing: 'Oakland is a mess,' Trump says, while advocating for more law enforcement at protests; A's-Giants play tonight

Fall high school sports postponed until the winter

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 4:00 AM

President Trump said on Monday that leaders in liberal cities are afraid of anarchists. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • President Trump said on Monday that leaders in liberal cities are afraid of anarchists.


News you don't want to miss for July 20:

1. President Trump wants to send additional law enforcement to quell protests in liberal cities, including Oakland, he said on Monday, KRON reports. "Oakland is a mess," Trump told White House reporters. The comments come after unidentified federal agents in Portland were seen grabbing protesters off the streets during protests.

2. Coziness between district attorneys and police has long been a concern, in particular, for progressive in Alameda County. The East Bay Times looks at the potential conflicts of interests that arise and whether the state should take over investigations of police-killings from local DAs.

3. Residents painted "Black Lives Matter" on downtown San Leandro street near East 14th Street, KTVU reports. The mural comes three months after San Leandro police officers killed Steven Taylor, a 33-year-old black man, and roughly a week after the California Attorney General's office declined to launch an independent investigation into the shooting by police inside a local Walmart.

4. The high school fall sports schedule will be moved back to December, or possibly, January due to covid-19, the California Interscholastic Federation announced on Monday, KPIX reports. For sports like football, local and state champions will not be crowned until April.

5. Baseball, though, is back in the Bay Area. The A's and Giants will meet tonight at the Coliseum in an exhibition game, Athletics Nation reports. It's the first professional sports the Bay Area has seen since last March. Opening night for the Giants is Thursday, and Friday for the A's.

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