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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Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday's Briefing: Some Oakland teachers receive layoff notices; East Bay legislators fighting for renters

Future sea-level rise in the East Bay worse than previously thought

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Mar 15, 2019 at 6:00 AM

News you don't want to miss this St. Patrick's Day weekend:

1. First, there was two years of labor negotiations between Oakland teachers and the school district, a 7-day strike, an new contract with raises for teachers, then budget cuts. The East Bay Times reports some Oakland teachers received layoff notices this week. $$

2. The Berkeley school board voted to cut $2 million from its budget, Berkeleyside reports.

3. East Bay legislators like state Sen. Nancy Skinner and Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Buffy Wicks have been doing their part to alleviate the regional and state housing crisis with a number of bills that, if approved, will benefit renters, SF Weekly reports.

4. No surprise here, but the BART Board of Directors approved a resolution in support of SB 50, KPIX reports. The bill authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener would foster high-density housing projects near transit hubs, like BART stations. A similar bill nearly became law last year, but with a new governor, there's growing consensus it may succeed later this year.

5. What if another year of devastating wildfires engulfs California? What if evidence points to PG&E again being liable for the firestorms? The Wall Street Journal reports the judge overseeing the utility's bankruptcy fears the scenario will greatly worsen PG&E's financial prospects. $$

6. Sea-level rise could greatly affect shorelines between Alameda and Oakland; San Leandro to the marshlands in Hayward and Fremont more than previously believed, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, KQED reports.

7. Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley wants to allow 12-15 homeless individuals to use a portion of the Fairmont Hospital's parking lot to continue living in their cars, the San Leandro Times report.

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: Man who killed McElhaney's grandson convicted of murder; Oakland isn't building enough affordable housing

Berkeley to study ferry service

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Mar 14, 2019 at 6:00 AM

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

1. It's been a trying week for Oakland Councilmember Lynette McElhaney, who lost her son in a tragic shooting last weekend. But she received some closure on another front after a jury convicted a Vallejo man who shot and killed Torian Hughes in 2015, the 17-year-old who McElhaney referred to as her grandson, of first-degree murder, NBC Bay Area reports.

2. Oakland's building boom is undeniable. Just look at all the cranes downtown. But lost in the numbers is the fact Oakland is failing to build affordable housing, the East Bay Times reports. $$

3. Ferry service may be coming to Berkeley in a few years, Emilie Raguso reports in Berkeleyside. The Berkeley City Council approved a public planning process for ferry service possibly at a rebuilt Berkeley pier or other locations.

4. Oakland continues to study the feasibility of a public bank that could also include other East Bay cities and Alameda County. The San Francisco Examiner reports that a bill introduced this week in the state Assembly could pave the way for such an institution that could offer local residents and business owners low-interest loans, and other banking instruments.

5. Alameda County Sheriff's deputies fired on a vehicle at a thrift store in unincorporated Ashland, near San Leandro, killing one suspect and injuring another, KRON reports.

6. Alameda named Yibin Shen as its next city attorney, the East Bay Citizen reports. Rental housing activists in Alameda may view the selection in a favorable light. Just last week, the Santa Monica City Attoney's Office, which Shen is a part of, celebrated three legal victories against short-term rental scofflaws.

7. Participants in the Oakland Marathon on Mar. 24 will compete for a portion of the race on the Bay Bridge's new pedestrian pathway, SFGate reports.

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