Friday, July 19, 2019

Friday's Briefing: Oakland Police Commission called for firing of officers involved in fatal shooting; Berkeley councilman disses Tucker Carlson

Hog's Apothecary is closing

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Jul 19, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Joshua Pawlik was fatally shot by Oakland Police in March 2018. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MARY HOWE
  • Photo courtesy of Mary Howe
  • Joshua Pawlik was fatally shot by Oakland Police in March 2018.

News you don’t want to miss for July 19-21:

1. Oakland’s Police Commission called for the firing of five Oakland police officers involved the shooting of Joshua Pawlik in March 2018, according to documents obtained by the Mercury News. The commission made the determination last month. It matches a similar recommendation by the OPD’s federal court monitor. Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick had given the officers lighter punishments. $$

2. A day after the Berkeley City Council voted to remove “manhole” from it municipal code and replace it with “maintenancehole,” a producer for Fox News’ wanted to book Berkeley Councilmember Rigel Robinson for the Tucker Carlson show. Robinson declined the invitation, calling Carlson a “white supremacist goblin,” The Hill reports.

3. San Leandro Police released audio and body-worn camera video of the June 11 fatal shooting of 56-year-old Anthony Gomez, KPIX reports. Gomez was first seen wielding a machete in the street. Later, after being confronted by police Gomez appeared in the video to aim an object at officers, who then opened fire. The object was determined to be a piece of wood painted black.

4. Warriors star Stephen Curry and Ayesha Curry unveiled “Eat. Play. Learn,” a foundation that aims to help Oakland children focus on healthy eating, recreation, and education, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg believes the state should enact a “right to shelter” requirement to ensure cities can provide enough shelter for its homeless populations, the Sacramento Bee reports. The idea is modeled after New York. The cost of such a plan could run up to $1-2 billion a year.

6. Officials are investigation a flaring incident that occurred Wednesday at the Chevron refinery, the East Bay Times reports. Black smoke could be seen over some parts of the East Bay.

7. Hog’s Apothecary in Temescal is closing Sunday, SF Eater reports. The beer and sausage joint was suffering from a number of issues affecting its bottom line, including rising rent and wages.

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Thursday’s Briefing: Berkeley says, so long to manholes; Alameda City Council agrees that its councilmembers violated the charter

Poll: Kamala Harris takes the lead in California

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Jul 18, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Call them "maintenanceholes." - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Call them "maintenanceholes."

News you don’t want to miss for July 18:

1. Berkeley’s municipal code will no longer made reference to “manholes” after the City Council voted to remove the term and replace it with the gender-neutral phrase “maintenanceholes,” Curbed SF reports.

2. The Alameda City Council agreed with a recent Alameda County civil grand jury report that found two councilmembers violated the city charter by pressuring the city manager to hire a candidate for fire chief that was backed by the local firefighters’ union, the East Bay Citizen reports. Councilmembers Jim Oddie and Malia Vella recused themselves from the discussion to pen responses to the grand jury’s findings.

3. A state auditor’s report described Information Technology security for 21 of 33 government entities in California as having “high-risk deficiencies,” the Associated Press reports. The report comes at a time when some local government IT departments, particularly on the East Coast, have been hacked and had their data held for ransom.

4. Sen. Kamala Harris is leading a new Quinnipiac poll in her home state, Politico reports. On the heels of Harris’s successful debate appearance, she has risen to the top in the delegate-rich state with 23 percent of the survey. Joe Biden dropped five points from a similar poll in April to 21 percent.

5. A resolution calling for the impeachment of President Trump on Wednesday was tabled by the House of Representatives, essentially killing it with the help of 139 House Democrats. Rep. Barbara Lee supported the resolution, the East Bay Citizen reports, but what about Alameda County’s two other members of Congress?

6. Fremont residents turned out in droves to protest a proposed navigation center for the city’s growing homeless population, KTVU reports The decision for placing the navigation center in the Decoto neighborhood of Fremont or behind City Hall was not on the agenda at Tuesday night’s council meeting and won’t be decided until later this year.

7. Pumpsie Green, a native of Richmond and graduate of El Cerrito High School, who became the first African-American to play for the Boston Red Sox, died Wednesday, USA Today reports. He was 85. Although baseball had long been integrated by 1959, the Red Sox were the lone holdout for signing African-American ballplayers. Green was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame last year.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Berkeley City Council Bans Natural Gas Hookups in New Construction

As expected, council unanimously approves Councilwoman Kate Harrison’s ordinance, the first of its kind in California.

by Jean Tepperman
Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 5:54 PM

Berkeley Councilwoman Kate Harrison - COURTESY KATE HARRISON
  • Courtesy Kate Harrison
  • Berkeley Councilwoman Kate Harrison

Calling their action “groundbreaking,” “disruptive,” and “a model for people throughout the world,” Berkeley City Council members unanimously passed the nation’s first ban on gas hookups in new construction July 16.

Representatives of organizations ranging from the California Energy Commission to the Sierra Club to Pacific Gas and Electric praised the measure as a significant step toward reducing the threat of climate disaster. Several pointed out that methane, the chief component of natural gas, is 84 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Inevitable leaks of methane along the supply chain — in addition to carbon dioxide produced by burning natural gas — make it necessary to “take drastic action” to replace gas with renewable electricity for heating, cooling, and cooking, said the measure’s sponsor, City Council member Kate Harrison.

Harrison and other speakers pointed to more dangers of natural gas, including the risk of explosions like those in Alison Canyon and San Bruno. One speaker said most of the damage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake came from fires caused by ruptured gas tanks. Berkeley community activist Kelly Hammargren reported that “In the last twelve days there have been five major explosion involving natural gas in the U.S.,” including two in California — one in Pleasant Hill, which destroyed two homes, and one in Murrieta, in which a gas company worker was killed.

Dr. Robert Gould, on the faculty of the University of California at San Francisco, said burning natural gas endangers health, not only by worsening climate change and causing accidents, but also because of its “serious air-pollution impacts,” including asthma, damage to lung development in children and “acute and chronic respiratory diseases.” He cited several studies linking asthma to gas stoves.

By using natural gas, Harrison concluded, “We’re piping a toxic, flammable, greenhouse-gas producing explosive liquid across earthquake faults and into our homes.”

During two hours of discussion, no one spoke in opposition to the measure, although several speakers reported that SoCal Gas has been working on the state level to stall moves to make buildings all electric. But supporters addressed several concerns that some have expressed.

Harrison said some people have asked her, “What if the power goes out?” She responded that most gas appliances already rely on electricity to operate, and that electricity is more “resilient,” quicker to get back online after a disaster.

Several consultants and developers addressed concerns that constructing all-electric buildings might be more expensive. Architect Brad Jacobson, for example, said he had designed and built more than 100 all-electric buildings, some “zero net energy” and that electric buildings “cost the same to build and less to operate.”

Building industry experts gave examples of all-electric buildings recently constructed in California: the new Bradley Terminal in Los Angeles Airport, where all the restaurants run on electricity, a new San Francisco Airport administration building, several new affordable housing developments in San Francisco, and new laboratory buildings at UC Berkeley. Harrison pointed out that building all-electric systems into new construction is cheaper than converting existing buildings. She and others pointed out that all-electric buildings are cheaper to operate, especially with new super-efficient technologies like heat pumps and induction stoves. And Harrison said the price of natural gas will continue to increase. As fewer people use gas, the cost to remaining customers will go up. Darren Klein, a manager at PG&E said, “We welcome the opportunity to avoid investments in new gas assets.”

Harrison and others also addressed the widespread horror many express at the thought of cooking on electric stoves. Cooking with the new electric induction stoves, said energy consultant Tom Lent, “is really fun — it’s so fast and so controllable.” To convince skeptics, Harrison brought an induction cooking unit to the city council meeting, where aromas of chocolate being melted on the induction stove wafted through the air. Klein, of PG&E, said his company operates a demonstration electric induction commercial kitchen to show how it’s done. And Harrison reported that Wolfgang Puck and other chefs have gone all electric because it’s safer for workers and works better.

Timothy Burroughs, director of the planning department, said Berkeley is already doing a lot of work to promote the transition to electricity in all buildings, including existing ones as well as new construction. “We want to hold people’s hand through the process of meeting any new requirements,” he said. The measure includes two years of staff support for developers and others working on implementing its mandate.

Burroughs and others said the new measure is consistent with many state policies, including the California Energy Commission goal of promoting all-electric buildings and the recently passed AB 3232, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. State policy also requires solar panels in all new homes

Despite these efforts, the measure is needed, Harrison said, because buildings last a hundred years and should not be constructed to require gas. Stet Sanborn of the Smith Group building consultants, said the ban on natural gas “tells the market. ‘this is where we’re going,’ and they will produce more products, driving down the cost curve of these new technologies.” Many speakers also celebrated Berkeley’s role in pioneering environmental measures and in promoting all-electric buildings in particular. Rachel Golden of the Sierra Club said “more than 50 cities across the state are showing interest in phasing out gas.”

Council member Rigel Robinson, along with many other speakers, thanked Harrison for her leadership and praised “the huge amount of work” that went into developing the ordinance, so that “now every step is thoroughly fleshed out.” Harrison specifically thanked the city attorney’s office and her staff members, Sandy Barnard and Christopher Naso, as well as many others who worked on developing the ordinance over the last seven months.

Wednesday's Briefing: Oakland passes ban on facial-recognition technology; Berkeley bans natural gas from new housing

Ghost Ship testimony ends; closing arguments set for July 29

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Privacy advocates celebrated Tuesday night after the Oakland City Council voted to prohibit its city departments, including police, from purchasing facial-recognition technology. - ACLU
  • ACLU
  • Privacy advocates celebrated Tuesday night after the Oakland City Council voted to prohibit its city departments, including police, from purchasing facial-recognition technology.

News you don’t want to miss for July 17:

1. The Oakland City Council became the second city in the U.S. to ban the purchase of facial-recognition software, the East Bay Times reports. Citing the issue of racial bias, among other reasons, the city council unanimously approved the ordinance.Oakland follows San Francisco, which approved a similar ban last month. $$

2. Meanwhile, Berkeley became the first city in the nation to prohibit natural gas in new building construction, Berkeleyside reports. Natural gas is a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Ghost Ship trail: Attorneys for the prosecution and defense rest their cases Tuesday, KRON reports. The court will head into recess until July 29 when closing arguments will begin in the trial of Derick Almena and Max Harris. Each were charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the December 2016 warehouse fire in Oakland.

4. Corporate tax breaks passed by Republicans in 2017 meant an estimated 15,000 housing units in California were delayed or outright lost, according to a study, the Sacramento Bee reports. By lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, developers had less incentive to use low-income tax credits for building housing units. $$

5. “A 27-year-old man has confessed to killing scientist Suzanne Eaton, who grew up in Oakland, on the Greek island of Crete, a police spokesperson told CNN Monday.” Eaton, 59, was found last week 200-feet inside a cave in Greece once used as a bunker for Nazi soldiers.

6. Climate change may mean the weather in the Bay Area during the summer months will be similar to Southern California in a few decades, while Sacramento may suffer sweltering heat similar to Texas, the East Bay Times reports.

7. On the heels of strong earthquakes in Southern California recently, a pair of fairly vigorous temblors shook the East Bay, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. An earthquake centered between Brentwood and Blackhawk registered 4.3 magnitude on the Richter Scale struck Tuesday afternoon and was followed by a 3.5 magnitude quake 13 minutes later. $$

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Tuesday’s Briefing: PG&E recently identified 10,000 problems with its equipment; Kamala Harris raised nearly $12 million last quarter

Yosemite is getting its historic names back

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Sen. Kamala Harris raised the fifth-highest in presidential campaign contributions received during the second quarter of this year. - CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Creative Commons
  • Sen. Kamala Harris raised the fifth-highest in presidential campaign contributions received during the second quarter of this year.

News you don’t want to miss for July 16:

1. Earlier this year, PG&E inspected roughly 750,000 pieces of its infrastructure located near potential wildfire areas and identified nearly 10,000 issues, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. “Thousands of PG&E electrical parts were broken, damaged, burned or corroded, according to documents the embattled company posted on its website Monday.” $$

2. East Bay MUD plans to rent 29 portable generators in order to keep water flowing in the event PG&E cuts off power in areas where there's a high risk of wildfires, NBC Bay Area reports.

3. The settlement of a civil lawsuit between the National Park Service and former concessionaires at Yosemite means historic names such as the Ahwahnee Hotel, Curry Village, the Wawona Hotel, and Badger Pass Ski Area are returning to the iconic national park, the Fresno Bee reports. $$

4. Monday night was the deadline for presidential candidates to post campaign finance reports for the second quarter. Sen. Kamala Harris received $11.8 million in contributions during the past three month period and $25 million for the entire election cycle. She has $13.2 million in cash on hand, according to campaign finance reports. The amount is the fifth-highest in the Democratic field behind Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders.

5. Meanwhile, Rep. Eric Swalwell, who dropped out on July 8, received just $872,000 in total contributions to his campaign (He also transferred $1.7 million from his congressional campaign) and spent $2 million since joining the race on April 8. This leaves him with $528,740, according to campaign finance reports, a total he can use for his re-election campaign next year.

6. A 59-year-old molecular biologist from Oakland was found brutally beaten to death in Greece, the Daily Beast reports. Suzanne Eaton had been missing since July 2 before she found in a former Nazi bunker in Crete.

7. A small plane crashed at the Hayward Executive Airport Monday afternoon killing a flight instructor and critically-injuring a student on board, NBC Bay Area reports.

8. BART plans to eventually add bike straps to all its trains, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The straps allow bike rider to fasten their rides to handrails inside the trains and avoid the sometimes clumsy ritual of keeping them upright and out of the way. $$

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday’s Briefing: ICE raids have yet to materialize in the Bay Area; 2,200 acres of open space coming to Concord

Developer's stunt to pay homeless to leave Home Depot parking lot is panned

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 4:00 AM

There were no reports of ICE agents in the Bay Area over the weekend, despite President Trump's warning on Friday. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • There were no reports of ICE agents in the Bay Area over the weekend, despite President Trump's warning on Friday.

News you don’t want to miss for July 15:

1. There were no confirmed reports of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in the Bay Area, KPIX reports. On Saturday, a federal judge placed a temporary restraining order prohibiting ICE from removing an undocumented immigrant without first giving them an opportunity to speak with an attorney.

2. More than a year ago, President Trump urged then-attorney general Jeff Sessions to charge Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf with obstruction of justice when she alerted undocumented immigrants in the Bay Area of impending ICE raids. The Los Angeles Times notes the irony of Trump who, himself, alerted the nation last Friday that raids were to begin on Sunday. $$

3. The East Bay Regional Park District is moving forward with a plan to transform more than 2,200 acres of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station into a regional park, Bay City News reports. A ceremony was held last weekend for the transfer. The park will be known as the Concord Hills Regional Park.

4. An Oakland developer’s stunt to entice individuals living at an encampment near the Home Depot in the Fruitvale District to leave for $1,000 fell flat, SFGate reports.Oakland Redevelopment Group developer Gene Gorelik wore an elf costume and yelled “Free money!” through a bullhorn. It does not appear he had any takers.

5. A former Alameda County sheriff’s deputy who was let go in 2015 for filing a false police report, also paid for sex, along with allegations of domestic violence, KQED reports. Nevertheless, the officer, Josh Shavies, was hired by the Pinole Police Department.

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Friday’s Briefing: Gun stolen from FBI vehicle in East Oakland; Immigration attorneys believe ICE raids have already begun

Berkeley residents miss out on free slurpees

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 4:00 AM

A gun and ammunition was stolen from an F.B.I agent's car in East Oakland on Wednesday. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • A gun and ammunition was stolen from an F.B.I agent's car in East Oakland on Wednesday.

News you don’t want to miss for July 12-14:

1. A gun and ammunition was stolen from a F.B.I. agent’s car while it was parked at the Hegenberger Shopping Center in East Oakland, the East Bay Times reports. Thieves stealing firearms left unattended in the cars of law enforcement has been on-going issue in the Bay Area. $$

2. With reports of impending raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents this weekend, some believe they have already begun in the Bay Area, KRON reports. Immigration attorneys said three individuals were detained by ICE agents last Sunday in Contra Costa County.

3. A large tree containing 41 egrets and baby black-crowned night herons on 13th and Jackson Streets in downtown Oakland collapsed and was ultimately removed, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, but not before the birds were saved by volunteers. $$

4. Ghost Ship trial: In his third day of testimony, Derick Almena, the founder of the warehouse collective, said during cross-examination that he is not blaming anyone for fire that killed 36 people in December 2016, NBC Bay Area reports.

5. Legislation that would require a presidential or gubernatorial candidate to provide five-years worth of tax returns in order to be included on a ballot in California was approved by the Assembly Thursday, ABC7 reports. The bill is inspired by President Trump, who has long avoided releasing his tax returns.

6. President Trump’s last-minute attempt to yet again include a citizenship question on the U.S. Census was withdrawn, Slate reports. Even though the question will not appear on Census forms, some expect residual fears generated by the attempt to persist.

7. 7-Eleven gave away free slurpees Thursday to celebrate July 11. The annual promotion is held nationwide, but not in Berkeley, SFGate reports, because of the city's sugary drink tax, approved by voters in 2014.

8. The Emeryville company Perfect Day has created an ice cream made without the help of cows, but through a fermentation process that replicates animal proteins, SFGate reports. However, for those on a tight budget, there’s no cherry on top of this dessert. It costs $20 a pint.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: Report: ICE raids to begin on Sunday; PG&E long ago knew about its aging transmission lines

Oakland City Council approves sale of parking garage slated for new Kaiser HQ

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 4:00 AM

San Francisco is one of 10 cities  mentioned in The New York Times as sites for ICE raids this weekend. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • San Francisco is one of 10 cities mentioned in The New York Times as sites for ICE raids this weekend.

News you don't want to miss for July 11:

1. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are expected to conduct raids starting this Sunday in 10 cities, including San Francisco, The New York Times reports. The action had been delayed since last month. The Trump administration hopes to detain 2,000 undocumented immigrants. $$

2. A blockbuster report from The Wall Street Journal detailed documents that show PG&E had long known that its transmission lines were old and outdated. Earlier this year, PG&E's equipment was found to have sparked wildfires in the state. The article is so explosive that it prompted a district court judge to order PG&E to provide line-by-line answers to allegations made in the article.

3. The state Assembly unanimously supported Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan for bringing clean water to the state's most impoverished communities, along with every state senator, except one, KQED reports. East Bay state Sen. Bob Wieckowski said he objected to using funds for the project that were set aside to fight greenhouse gas emissions. He argues, Californians deserve both clean air and clean water.

4. East Bay state Sen. Nancy Skinner's bill to allow student-athletes at California universities to be paid for their name and likeness, took another step forward Tuesday, The Deseret Sun reports. The bill, which was approved by the state Senate, is strongly opposed by the NCAA. It now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee sometime in August.

5. Coaches at Tennyson High School in Hayward want gender parity for girls' sports and are accusing the school district of providing poor athletic facilities for girls, as opposed to superior fields for boys, KGO reports. The coaches filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

6. Oakland councilmembers approved the sale of a parking garage owned by the city at 2100 Telegraph Avenue that is slated to become Kaiser Permanente's new headquarters, Bay City News reports. Lane Partners and Strategic Urban Development Alliance want to build a 29-story office tower at the location, along with 1.5 million sq. ft of office space and 85,000 sq. ft. of retail.

7. "Oakland City Council voted early Wednesday to close a section of street behind Home Depot in Fruitvale after the hardware chain store complained that homeless people parking recreational vehicles there had made employees feel unsafe," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wednesday's Briefing: New search policy approved for Oakland Police; Ghost Ship founder says landlord told him to lie

Covered California premiums drop significantly

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Jul 10, 2019 at 4:00 AM

The new policy approved by the Oakland City Council on Tuesday night is intended to promote trust between the police department and residents. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The new policy approved by the Oakland City Council on Tuesday night is intended to promote trust between the police department and residents.

News you don’t want to miss for July 10:

1. The Oakland City Council approved new regulations Tuesday night that require Oakland police officers to hold off from immediately inquiring whether someone is on probation or parole, SFGate reports. The move is intended to allow police officers to gain trust within the community.

2. The State Legislature approved a bill that proponents believe will reduce the number of police officer-involved shootings in the state, Calmatters reports. The bill, which Gov. Gavin Newsom has indicated he will sign, allows police to only use deadly force “when necessary in defense of human life.”

3. Ghost Ship trial: Derick Almena took the witness stand again Tuesday and testified that he lied to investigators about whether people lived in the warehouse where 36 people died in a fire, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Almena added the building’s landlords told him to lie to police. $$

4. Premiums for Covered California, otherwise known as Obamacare, will drop to an average of 0.80 percent, the Los Angeles Times reports. Over the past five years, the average increase has been nearly 9 percent. The low rate increase is attributed to state tax credits funded by a new penalty on those who fail to purchase health insurance. $$

5. The state launched an investigation this week into a malfunction at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, KQED reports. The incident last weekend triggered an evacuation of maintenance employees.

6. California’s climate is headed toward periods of extreme weather, SFGate reports. A study published in Nature predicts, while the overall amount of rainfall will not change much, periods of booms and busts will be more prevalent. California will not be able to rely on snowpack to irrigate the state because the vast amounts of rainfall, in this scenario, will be warm.

7. Livermore is rarely the vanguard of East Bay progressive legislation, but the Tri-Valley city became the second in the state to ban the sale of e-cigarettes, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Last month, San Francisco did the same. $$

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Tuesday's Briefing: Ghost Ship founder takes the stand; Swalwell ends his bid for president

PG&E choppers monitoring the East Bay for potential fires

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Jul 9, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Rep. Eric Swalwell announcing the end of his presidential campaign in Dublin.
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell announcing the end of his presidential campaign in Dublin.

News you don’t want to miss for July 9:

1. Ghost Ship trial: An emotional Derick Almena, the founder of the warehouse collective charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, testified Monday that he was misled about the condition of the building by the owners, the Ng family, Bay City News reports.

2. East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell’s three-month odyssey for the White House ended Monday, Politico reports. Swalwell said he made the decision to withdraw from the race after gaining no momentum following last month’s presidential debates. Swalwell isn’t going away, though, he also announced that he will run for re-election to his congressional seat. Now word yet on whether Hayward Councilmember Aisha Wahab will stay in the race.

3. The on-off-on again bid by the Trump administration to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census faces a difficult path for success, writes Ted Hesson and Josh Gerstein in Politico.

4. Legislation that would create a $21 billion fund to limit PG&E's risks from future claims associated to wildfires, was approved in the state Senate, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. It was reported last week that PG&E was deploying helicopters to monitor potential flare ups that could lead to wildfires up north. Berkeleyside reports PG&E has been using choppers over Berkeley and the East Bay to do the same.

6. “Fifty years after Sen. Kamala Harris was bused to Thousand Oaks Elementary School from her home in the Berkeley flatlands, the district is still grappling with persistent racial and ethnic disparities that decades of concerted efforts have failed to eliminate,” EdSource reports.

7. Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman participated in Monday night’s MLB Home Run Derby, but failed to get past the first round, reports. Chapman and relief pitcher Liam Hendriks will represent the local nine in tonight’s All-Star Game in Cleveland.

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