Friday, August 14, 2020

Friday's Briefing: Statewide eviction moratorium is ending soon; Heat wave is here, wear your masks

Appeals court rules state ban on high-capacity gun magazines is unconstitutional

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Temperatures will hit triple-digits this weekend for inland areas of the East Bay. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Temperatures will hit triple-digits this weekend for inland areas of the East Bay.


News you don't want to miss for Aug. 14:

1. California's coronavirus ban on evictions is about to come to an end, KQED reports. The California Judicial Council voted to end the moratorium after Sept. 1. The move allow the courts to reopen and possibly begin waves of evictions across the state. A legislative fix, however, could be on the way.

2. A Ninth District Circuit Court of Appeals judge struck down California's ban on high-capacity gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, finding it violates the Second Amendment, the National Review reports. Voters approved Proposition 63, which banned the magazines in 2016. A major supporter of the ban is East Bay state Sen. Nancy Skinner.

3. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for the coastal areas of Alameda County, along with an excessive heat advisory for the inland areas of the East Bay, SFGate reports. It's going to be a hot one, but keep wearing those masks.

4. Bay Area nursing homes continue to be fertile ground for the coronavirus to spread and kill, the East Bay Times reports. Some of the largest outbreaks in the East Bay have centered in these types of health care facilities. $$

5. A's outfielder Ramon Laureano's suspension for a bench-clearing brawl last week was reduced from six to four games, Yahoo! Sports reports. Laureano will drop his appeal and serve the suspension immediately, meaning he will not be available for this weekend's "Battle of the Bay" with the Giants in San Francisco.

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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Thursday's Briefing: Flood of water main breaks in Berkeley, surrounding areas; Could Harris' replacement come from the East Bay?

Stabbing in downtown Oakland

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 4:00 AM

About 300 residents in Berkeley and surrounding areas were without water Wednesday night. - EBMUD
  • EBMUD
  • About 300 residents in Berkeley and surrounding areas were without water Wednesday night.


News you don't want to miss for Aug. 13:

1. Fourteen water main breaks occurred around West Berkeley on Wednesday night, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Some residents in the area and surrounding cities lost access to water and some streets flooded. $$

2. A man was stabbed on Thursday morning in downtown Oakland, the East Bay Times reports. The incident occurred just after sunrise at Snow Park, near Lake Merritt. $$

3. Kamala Harris' nomination as the Democratic VP, along with Biden's lead in the polls, already has many California lawmakers lobbying for the possible appointment to replace her in the U.S. Senate, the Associated Press reports. The early list is heavy on SoCal candidates, but all three of Alameda County's congressional leaders -- Reps. Barbara Lee, Eric Swalwell, and Ro Khanna -- are possible choices.

4. Since visiting the Oakland Museum isn't possible because of the pandemic, the museum created an online archive of photographer Dorothea Lange's work earlier this month, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

5. The Avenue bar on Telegraph Avenue, has created an outdoor space for patrons to watch movies and dine on tacos, SFGate reports. The bar will screen "Spirited Away" on Friday night.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Wednesday's Briefing: OUSD, teachers union reach tentative agreement; Salesforce donates $9 million to Oakland schools

Arrest made in suspected arson at a Berkeley synagogue

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 1:05 PM

Oakland students headed back to school on Monday. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Oakland students headed back to school on Monday.


News you don't want to miss for Aug. 12:

1. A tentative deal between the Oakland Unified School District and the teachers union was announced late Wednesday morning, KRON reports. Details of the agreement have not yet been disclosed, but involved the question of protocols for distance-learning. The first day of school in Oakland was Monday.

2. With the most uncertain of school years underway, Salesforce announced a $9 million donation to the Oakland Unified School District, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Bay Area tech firm also gave $9 million to San Francisco schools. $$

3. Five people in Oakland have been fatally shot over the past five days, SFGate reports. A total of six have been shot and killed since Aug. 1.

4. "A woman was arrested for allegedly setting a plastic trash can on fire at the rear of a Jewish synagogue in Berkeley, police said Monday," the Bay City News reports. Recall that a Black church in Berkeley was the victim of arson two weeks ago.

5. Kaiser Permanente sites in Santa Clara and Sacramento Counties began administering a potential covid-19 vaccine, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. About 1,400 volunteers will receive the trial vaccine produced by Pfizer and the German firm BioNTech. $$

6. Gerald, the jerky turkey who has been terrorizing the Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland, remains a fugitive, the East Bay Times reports. $$

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Tuesday's Briefing: Kamala Harris, Oakland native, is Joe Biden's running mate; San Leandro police chief makes carjacking arrest

Some progressives want Alameda County Dems to oppose A's Coliseum deal

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Sen. Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, raised in Berkeley, and spent four years as an Alameda County prosecutor. - HARRIS SENATE OFFICE
  • Harris senate office
  • Sen. Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, raised in Berkeley, and spent four years as an Alameda County prosecutor.


News you don't want to miss for Aug. 11:

1. Sen. Kamala Harris is Joe Biden's vice-presidential nominee, the Washington Post reports. The selection brings a decidedly Bay Area flavor to the national ticket. Harris spent her formative years in the East Bay, and served in district attorney's offices in Alameda County and San Francisco before becoming state attorney general. $$

2. Berkeleyside peers into Harris' years growing up in Berkeley and attending Thousand Oaks Elementary.

3. Oakland's civic integrity could come under attack with Harris, a self-proclaimed "daughter of Oakland" facing off against President Trump, the East Bay Times reports. Harris, along with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, have long been vocal opponents of Trump. For his part, Trump has often derided Oakland as a dangerous city. $$

4. There's additional signs the battle over the A's proposed waterfront ballpark is heating up. Some Oakland progressives groups want the influential Alameda County Democratic Central Committee to formally oppose the sale of the City of Oakland's half of the Coliseum complex to the A's, the East Bay Citizen reports. The A's want to build the ballpark at Howard Terminal and redevelop the 120-acre Coliseum for housing, offices, and open space.

5. San Leandro Police Chief Jeff Tudor doesn't just sit behind a desk. Tudor arrested a carjacking suspect in downtown San Leandro on Tuesday morning, the East Bay Times reports.

6. It's not like Cal was going to play in the Rose Bowl, anyways. But, college sports this fall at Cal and Stanford, including the entire Pac-12 Conference, will be postponed through the end of the year, ESPN reports. Fall and winter sports, such as football and basketball, could potentially resume next year.

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Monday, August 10, 2020

Friday's Briefing: Oakland starts school year without deal with teachers; Kamala Harris backs upstart Oakland council campaign

Cal grad wins the PGA Championship golf tournament

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Oakland at-large council candidate Derreck Johnson raised eyebrows earlier this month by significantly outraising incumbent Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan. - DERRECK JOHNSON CAMPAIGN
  • Derreck Johnson campaign
  • Oakland at-large council candidate Derreck Johnson raised eyebrows earlier this month by significantly outraising incumbent Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan.


News you don't want to miss for Aug. 10:

1. Oakland students started school on Monday, despite no labor agreement between its teachers and the school district, KTVU reports. Students reportedly spent one hour of online class time with teachers, while spending the rest of the day studying on their own.

2. Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton will require county prosecutor to review police body-camera video before charging those suspected of resisting arrest and assaulting police, the East Bay Times reports. $$

3. California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell resigned over the weekend, SFGate reports. Gov. Gavin Newsom did not elaborate on Angell's departure on Monday, but it comes after large-scale positive covid-19 testing results failed to merge with the state's database.

4. Election season is almost in full gear in the East Bay. Upstart Oakland City Council at-large candidate Derreck Johnson received an endorsement from Sen. Kamala Harris on Monday, the East Bay Citizen reports. Johnson, the Home of Chicken and Waffles restaurant owner, is challenging Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan this fall.

5. U.C. Berkeley students will be required to receive a flu shot before Nov. 1, U.C. Chancellor Janet Napolitano ordered on Friday, KPIX reports. The executive order covers the entire U.C. university system.

6. Meanwhile, Collin Morikawa, a 23-year-old Cal alum who graduated last year, won the PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco in thrilling fashion, the Daily Californian reports.

7. Major League Baseball is has been clear that bench-clearing brawls during the pandemic will not be tolerated. Oakland A's outfielder Ramon Laureano, though, made an exception after an Astros coach allegedly talked about Laureano's mother, SFGate reports. Laureano charged the entire Astros team prior to extending the A's winning streak to nine games.

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Friday, August 7, 2020

Friday's Briefing: No agreement yet between Oakland teachers, school district over distance-learning; A's coach apologizes for strange, Nazi-like salute

Chinatown StreetFest Fridays begins tonight

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 4:00 AM

A's bench coach Ryan Christenson. - OAKLAND ATHLETICS
  • Oakland Athletics
  • A's bench coach Ryan Christenson.


News you don't want to miss for Aug. 7:

1. Oakland schools are set to begin instruction on Monday, but teachers and the school district remain in labor negotiations, as of Friday afternoon, over distance-learning issues, the East Bay Times reports. $$

2. State legislation that would ban the use of tear gas and rubber bullets by police cleared the state Senate Public Safety Committee, the East Bay Times reports. Last week, a federaa judge placed an injunction on Oakland Police's use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and other types of crowd-control devices. $$

4. Activists and friends of Steven Taylor, the 33-year-old Black man who was killed by San Leandro police last April, are planning a rally in front of Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley's office on Friday to protest her office's history of not charging local police officers, KTVU reports. It's also notable that San Leandro officials still have not released the names of the two officers involved in the shooting. The city claims the officers have received violent threats following the incident.

5. Chinatown StreetFest Fridays in Oakland begins today. To accommodate social distancing while promoting residents to help local businesses and order take-out, 9th Street between Franklin and Webster Streets will be closed between 4pm-8pm each Friday this month, the East Bay Times reports. $$

6. Laney College's football team is getting loads of national attention after the championship squad was featured on the fifth season of the Netflix documentary series, "Last Chance U," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

7. A's bench coach Ryan Christenson was seen raising his right arm in what looked like a Nazi salute following the team's sixth straight win on Thursday afternoon, CBS Sports reports. Christenson apologized and explained afterward that he was attempting to create social distancing by modifying a celebratory elbow bump.

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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Thursday's Briefing: San Leandro fatally shoot man allegedly carrying assault rifle; Jobless claims drop slightly

Duende temporarily closes, Ricky's Sports Bar is on the brink

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Aug 6, 2020 at 4:00 AM

The fatal shooting of a suspect by San Leandro Police on Wednesday comes after another killing last April. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The fatal shooting of a suspect by San Leandro Police on Wednesday comes after another killing last April.


News you don't want to miss for Aug. 6:

1. "A San Leandro police officer fatally shot a man armed with an “assault-style rifle” after pursuing a stolen vehicle late Wednesday night into Oakland, authorities said," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The fatal shooting by San Leandro police comes at a time when public criticism of the department has been heightened by the killing of Steven Taylor last April inside a San Leandro Walmart. $$

2. Wing Wo Ma, who murdered two people in Mendocino County in 2013 and was implicated with dirty Oakland Police Lt. Harry Hu, was sentenced to life in federal prison, KPIX reports.

3. Duende, the downtown Oakland restaurant specializing in Spanish cuisine, is temporarily closing due to the pandemic, SFGate reports. The restaurant opened eight years ago across the street from the Fox Theater.

4. Ricky's Sports Bar in San Leandro, the venerable hangout for Raiders fans may soon close, the East Bay Times reports. The owner's poor health and the pandemic has led to a online fundraising campaign to save the bar.

5. More than 228,000 Californians filed jobless claims last week, the East Bay Times reports. The figure is about 16,000 less than the prior week, stoking some hope for the state and local economy. Statewide, 7.31 million have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March.

6. Meanwhile, 61 percent of those unemployed during the pandemic believe they won't have a job to come back to, according to a poll, the East Bay Times reports. $$

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Wednesday's Briefing: A's file suit against state agency over waterfront steel company; Alameda County begins pilot covid-19 relief checks

Contra Costa County is thinking about close juvenile detention centers

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Aug 5, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Aerial view of the Howard Terminal site the A's are proposing for a new downtown ballpark. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Aerial view of the Howard Terminal site the A's are proposing for a new downtown ballpark.


News you don't want to miss for Aug. 5:

1. The Oakland Athletics are finally playing hard in their bid to build a ballpark at Howard Terminal. The team filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Toxic Substances Control on Wednesday asserting it failed to provide proper oversight of Schnitzer Steel, a potential future neighbor for the proposed waterfront ballpark, the East Bay Times reports $$

2. Alameda County will provide $1,250 relief payments for up to 7,500 residents suffering from the coronavirus, the East Bay Times reports. The pilot program targets communities hit hard by covid-19 and act as an incentive for those stricken to quarantine at home. $$

3. Contra Costa County supervisors are beginning a discussion on whether to close juvenile detention centers, the East Bay Times reports.

4. As millions of Californians seek unemployment benefits, problems at the state Employment Development Department continue to mount, leading Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers to beef up the department's customer service and change its mindset toward potential claimants, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. The A's played one of the franchise's potentially memorable games on Tuesday night. Budding superstar pitcher Jesus Luzardo made his first start for the A's and Pleasanton native Stephen Piscotty hit the team's second walk-off grand slam in as many weeks, the Associated Press reports.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Racial And Climate Justice for Point Molate

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic collapse, the ongoing virus of American racism and the climate emergency many people are looking at land development choices in a new light.

by Courtney Cummings and David Helvarg
Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 8:53 AM

The fight to Save the East Bay’s Point Molate and keep this 413- acre public headland in public hands is, like many land use decisions, also about institutional racism and environmental justice.

When it comes to racial equity, no one can seriously doubt that if Richmond California, a poor community of color, were a wealthy white community this last unprotected natural headland on San Francisco Bay would have long ago been set aside as a regional park and visitor destination. Instead it was almost sold off for a casino complex until the people voted overwhelmingly against that. Now it's part of a wider plan to privatize the city’s shoreline for high-end luxury housing while leaving the city center and other areas with existing infrastructure and transportation little new housing for today’s citizens.

With the costs of infrastructure for the isolated and undeveloped land between a bridge and an oil refinery new homebuyers at Point Molate would require incomes of around $250,000 to buy into the planned development of up to 2050 units according to the city’s own fiscal analysis. Richmond’s average income is $64,000. This huge disparity reflects a national wealth gap between white families and families of color including a history of economic discrimination in home loans and banking that’s targeted African-Americans.

Historically Point Molate’s beach served as a place where Black residents could escape segregation. Today, Point Molate Beach Park continues to be used primarily by families of color and more recently parents with children looking for a safe and natural setting to take their kids during the COVID-19 lockdown. But SunCal, the southern California developer looking to buy Point Molate, has released plans to locate a sewage pumping station where the beach parking lot is now located! Fishing on the headland is another tradition for a multi-generational community of Black and Latinx fishermen and their families but scientists warn the SunCal development will ruin the near shore eelgrass habitat.

Point Molate is also home to multiple sacred sites of the Ohlone people. But today’s Ohlone were not consulted in the Draft Environmental Impact Report put out by the developer. Still, the city has approved $900,000 for a Sacramento-based corporate law firm to defend the widely challenged impact report. Point Molate is also the site of a historic 19th century Chinese fish camp, partly exposed by coastal erosion linked to sea level rise.

When it comes to the climate emergency, bad local land use decisions are a major driver of the problem. Point Molate is home to rare California native plants and animals including a California grassland watershed to be bulldozed by SunCal. It has one of the two highest concentrations of nesting Ospreys in the Bay Area, also the bay’s most pristine eelgrass beds, home to herring and striped bass, leopard sharks, bat rays, sea hares, Dungeness crab, and more.

There are over 600 identified species of plants and animals at Point Molate that play a vital role in both reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and contributing to human health. Protecting nature, science has shown, is one of the surest ways to address climate as well as prevent pandemics.

The people of Richmond have overwhelmingly expressed their support for a public park at Point Molate through hearings, testimony, protest, survey and petition. A planned ballot measure was derailed by the pandemic lockdown.

Despite the rush to ink an agreement to sell off Point Molate before November’s election, Richmond citizens deserve a chance to speak out against racism and environmental destruction and for a better future, by electing new city council members including candidates committed to Saving Point Molate and keeping our public lands in our well-washed hands.

Courtney Cummings is a Richmond resident, Native American Activist and steering committee member of the Point Molate Alliance

David Helvarg is a Richmond resident, Director of Blue Frontier, an Ocean Conservation group and steering committee member of the Point Molate Alliance

Tuesday's Briefing: Piedmont to fly Black Lives Matter flag; California under-reported covid-19 cases due to glitch

American Airlines is ending service at Oakland Airport.

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Piedmont city officials voted Monday to fly the Black Lives Matter banner on a city flag poll. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Piedmont city officials voted Monday to fly the Black Lives Matter banner on a city flag poll.


News you don't want to miss for Aug. 3:

1. Piedmont, the East Bay's least diverse enclave, will fly a Black Lives Matter flag along with the U.S. and state flags, KTVU reports. The Piedmont City Council unanimously voted to raise the banner for the entire month of August.

2. There is likely a number of underreported covid-19 cases in California since early July due to a technical issue between labs doing the tests and the reporting of positive cases to the state's database, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. During an Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, a health officials added, "There is very likely underreported cases in our county right now." $$

3. American Airlines is planning to layoff 700 workers in the Bay Area and will permanently discontinue service at the Oakland International Airport, the East Bay Times reports.

4. The Oakland chapter of the NAACP condemned a planned protest by teachers at the home of Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell, who is Black, KTVU reports. The teachers group relented and changed the course of the protest.

5. A nationwide shortage of Clorox wipes will continue through next year, its CEO said, according to Reuters. The Oakland-based Clorox is working to replenish supplies for its popular covid-killing products.

6. President Trump signed the "Great American Outdoors Act" on Tuesday, legislation that provides $3 billion for conservation programs, in addition, to maintenance for national parks, the Associated Press reports. During the press conference, Trump pronounced Yosemite like someone might greet a Jewish buddy.

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