Friday, December 13, 2019

Friday's Briefing: Raiders play their last game in Oakland on Sunday; Picket lines coming to East Bay Kaiser hospitals

Express lanes coming to the I-880 next summer

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 4:00 AM

The Oakland Coliseum has been the Raiders home for most of its 60 years of existence. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • The Oakland Coliseum has been the Raiders home for most of its 60 years of existence.


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

1. The Raiders will play their last-ever game in Oakland on Sunday. The East Bay Times looks back at the team's two runs in Oakand (Remember they did this before) and forward to their new home next season in Las Vegas. $$

2. Unionized Kaiser Permanente mental health workers will begin a five-day strike on Monday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Picket lines will form at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland on Tuesday and Friday, and in San Leandro on Wednesday. $$

3. An express lane is coming to a large portion of Interstate 880 in the East Bay, NBC Bay Area reports. The lanes may open by the end of next summer and stretch southbound from Hegenberger Road in Oakland to Milpitas, and northbound from Lewelling Boulevard in San Leandro to Milpitas.

4. The California Air Resources Board may require that a small percentage of new truck sales be electric or zero-emission vehicles, the Associated Press reports. Harmful pollutants from trucks are plentiful in a state that is home to a number of large shipping ports, like one in West Oakland.

5. Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, is experiencing a 16 percent increase in the number of people purchasing health plans, the Associated Press reports. Part of the reason is the state is helping to further subsidize lower income residents, but also because those who don't have insurance will be taxed starting next year.

6. Acclaimed Berkeley authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman are taking some heat for their plans to produce a television series based on the 2016 Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, KQED reports. Other portrayals of the warehouse disaster that took 36 lives have also been criticized by some in the past.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: Kaplan pitches using cruise ship to house homeless; Oakland approves tax cut for cannabis

Berkeley reaches agreement for new housing near two BART stations

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Dec 12, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan. - ARIEL NAVA
  • Ariel Nava
  • Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan.


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

1. Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan proposed using a docked cruise ship as a means for temporarily housing more than 1,000 homeless individuals in the city, the Associated Press reports. The Port of Oakland, however, appears cool to the idea.

2. Berkeleyside, the Berkeley local news website, is making a foray into Oakland. Through grants from the Google News Initiative and the American Journalism Project, the founders behind Berkeleyside said they will launch a news site for Oakland next spring.

3. The Oakland City Council approved a major tax break for large cannabis companies Tuesday night, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The move was opposed by Mayor Libby Schaaf. The city administrator's office said the tax cuts will require eliminating funding for nine currently vacant positions in the city. $$

4. The Berkeley City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with BART Tuesday night for construction of housing at the North Berkeley and Ashby stations, Berkeleyside reports.

5. Berkeley's precedent-setting ban on natural gas in new housing units won support from the California Energy Commission to move forward, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The ban, however, is being challenged by some in the restaurant industry. Nevertheless, nearly 20 municipalities have followed Berkeley's lead since the City Council approved its natural gas ban last summer. $$

6. "An Alameda County sheriff’s deputy is on paid administrative leave after investigators from his own department accused him of sending sexual text messages and having inappropriate physical contact with a 15-year-old girl," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The deputy last worked at the Eden Township Substation in San Leandro. $$

7. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg traveled to Stockton on Wednesday and declared a "war on poverty" in America, the Associated Press reports. Bloomberg received an endorsement for Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. Earlier this week, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo also backed Bloomberg's late bid for president.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wednesday's Briefing: Kaiser names new CEO; Oakland apartment rents now second-highest in Bay Area

World Famous Hotboys coming to Oakland on Dec. 30

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Greg Adams replaces Bernard Tyson as chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente - KAISER PERMANENTE
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Greg Adams replaces Bernard Tyson as chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente


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

1. Kaiser Permanente, which is headquartered in Oakland, announced Greg Adams as its next chairman and chief executive officer, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Adams served previous as the interim after the unexpected death last month of CEO Bernard Tyson. $$

2. Oakland passed an ordinance three years ago requiring fees from developers in order to fund affordable housing projects. "The city has collected just under $9 million in fees and distributed $4.8 million to help fund about 160 new affordable units — none of which are yet under construction. Oakland has not approved any new projects that have applied for funds from the fees since 2017," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

3. Oakland apartment rents are now the second-most priciest in the Bay Area, after San Francisco, the Mercury News reports. Rents for a unit in Oakland increased by 5.1 percent this year. $$

4. An audit by the California Public Utilities Commission found PG&E redirected $123 million over a nearly a decade from a program to move power lines underground to other projects, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. A second trial for Derick Almena in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36 people in Oakland three years ago is coming next year. A mistrial was declared in Almena's case earlier this year in which he was charged with involuntary manslaughter. KTVU reports Almena's lawyers are seeking information from the previous trial's jury in order to prepare for the next.

6. World Famous Hotboys, the purveyors of Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches, is opening a spot at 1601 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland at the end of the month, SF Eater reports.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tuesday's Briefing: Critically-ill undocumented woman from Concord wins reprieve to stay in U.S. for treatment

Van full of rescue dogs found in Oakland

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Dec 10, 2019 at 3:59 PM

The case of Concord resident Isabel Bueso had become a cause celebre for immigration activists. - CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Creative Commons
  • The case of Concord resident Isabel Bueso had become a cause celebre for immigration activists.


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

1. "A disabled Concord woman who faced deportation to Guatemala earlier this year will be allowed to remain for at least two more years in the United States, where she receives critical medical care for a rare genetic disorder," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Isabel Bueso's fight against the Trump administration had attracted the attention of activists and elected officials, such as Rep. Mark DeSaulnier and Assemblymember Rob Bonta. $$

2. A stolen van containing 27 rescue dogs was located in Oakland on Monday, SFGate reports. The canines were reportedly on their way to meeting with their forever families across the country.

3. California Attorney General Xavier Beccera is expected to subpoena six Catholic Diocese in the state as apart of an investigation into how each handling sexual abuse cases, KCRA reports. The San Francisco Diocese is part of the probe, but not Oakland.

4. "If the University of California drops the SAT, what would take its place?" Calmatters asks. A "test-optional" criteria like one used by the University of Chicago could be used. A push to drop the SAT for college admissions at the U.C. has been growing after some groups allege the test is tilted against minority students.

5. A Cal football player was arrested after approaching a Berkeley police officer's patrol car on Sunday night and forcibly attempting to open the door, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Joseph Adeyem Wisdom Ogunbanjo also allegedly made an attempt at the officer's weapon. $$

6. Meanwhile, Old Blues excited about Cal's upcoming appearance in the Redbox Bowl might be upset about merchandising for the Dec. 30 game in Santa Clara that labeled the school as "Cal State," SBNation reports.

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Monday, December 9, 2019

Monday's Briefing: Former Coliseum JPA exec authorized a $25k check to Don Perata's son; Cal to play in the RedBox Bowl

PG&E's $13.5 billion settlement will help Ghost Ship fire survivors

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Dec 9, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Former Coliseum Joint Powers Authority executive director Scott McKibben charged lucrative NBA Finals tickets to the authority, the East Bay Times found. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Former Coliseum Joint Powers Authority executive director Scott McKibben charged lucrative NBA Finals tickets to the authority, the East Bay Times found.


News you don't want to miss for Dec. 9:

1. The scandal at the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority is growing. David DeBolt in the East Bay Times reports that former JPA executive director Scott McKibben, who now faces felony conflict of interests charges, received NBA Finals tickets and charged them to the JPA. McKibben also failed to explain why the son of former state Sen. Don Perata received a $25,000 check from the JPA.

2. PG&E announced a tentative agreement Friday to pay victims of several wildfires caused by the utility's equipment, including the Camp Fire that nearly erased Paradise off the map, in addition, to the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, the Associated Press reports. The deal, which includes $13.5 billion to settle claims from the fires, is likely to quicken the pace of PG&E's bankruptcy proceedings.

3. Oakland's Harborside has long wrangled with the federal government. Now after a judge ruled last October that it must pay $11 million in back taxes from 2007 to 2012, the dispensary, one of the largest in the country, indicated last week that it will appeal the decision, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

4. The post-mortem of Sen. Kamala Harris' presidential hopes is providing more insights into a campaign in disarray. Politico reports Harris had approved the removal of her campaign manager just prior to ending her bid for the Democratic nomination. A Political Action Committee supporting Harris had already scoured up $1 million to help her in Iowa during the same period of time, yet she pulled the plug lat week. The developments had some Harris supporters urging her to stick with the campaign a bit longer.

5. Cal is going to a bowl game for a second consecutive year and they won't have to travel far to get there. Cal (7-5) accepted an invitation to play in the Redbox Bowl against Illinois (6-6), Sports Illustrated reports. The game is scheduled for Dec. 30 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

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Friday, December 6, 2019

Friday's Briefing: Oakland city administrator criticizes City Council for allowing her assistant to be berated by the public

Rent control proposition may be coming to the 2020 ballot

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Oakland City Administrator Sabrina Landreth, in an email to the City Council, called them complicit with community activist who called her assistant a "murderer." - D. ROSS CAMERON
  • D. Ross Cameron
  • Oakland City Administrator Sabrina Landreth, in an email to the City Council, called them complicit with community activist who called her assistant a "murderer."


News you don't want to miss for Dec. 6-8:

1. Oakland City Administrator Sabrina Landreth slammed members of the City Council's Life Enrichment Committee for being "complicit" by way of their silence after a community activist berated Assistant City Administrator Joe Devries, calling him a "murderer," while another grabbed his arm, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Wednesday's special meeting focused on the city's plan for banning overnight camping in parks and plazas. $$

2. A rent control ballot initiative may once again come before California voters next year, the Sacramento Bee reports. The same group placed a rent control initiative on the ballot in November 2018, but it was defeated. $$

3. Speaker Nancy Pelosi directed House committees to begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump, the Associated Press reports. Based on an early timetable, the House could vote on impeachment just days before Christmas. "The only remedy for his repeated misconduct is impeachment," Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee tweeted.

4. Bay Area home prices are dipping, but limited supply is still keeping prices high, the Mercury News reports. A "modest correction," though, could be on the horizon in 2020. $$

5. The Trump administration's new rule will strip food stamps from up to 3.7 million Americans, including 625,700 in California, Calmatters reports. The move is intended to encourage "able-bodied" recipients toward self-sufficiency, but is forcefully opposed by Democrats, and some Republicans.

6. "The family of Dujuan Armstrong, who suffocated to death in jail last year, is suing the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and deputies who put the jailed man in a restraint device, the family’s attorney announced," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

7. Don't get too down on Sen. Kamala Harris dropping out of the Democratic presidential race this week. Her former chief rival, Joe Biden, said he would consider her as his vice-president, if he wins the nomination, Politico reports.

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: PG&E near $13.5 billion deal to pay victims of wildfires; Oakland eyes ban on nighttime camping in parks, plazas

Bernie Sanders leads new California presidential poll

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Sen. Bernie Sanders is back on top in California, according to new polling for the March presidential primary. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders is back on top in California, according to new polling for the March presidential primary.


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

1. PG&E is close to finalizing a deal that would pay $13.5 billion to victims of the Northern California wildfires that its equipment started in recent years, the Los Angeles Times reports. The payments would include both cash, paid immediately, and stocks, paid over 18 months. $$

2. Two PG&E power shut-offs last month in San Leandro, cost the city $15,000 in overtime for its police department, the East Bay Times reports. The shut-offs were primarily located in the city's hilly eastside. $$

3. Oakland officials are proposing a pilot program to prohibit overnight camping in parks, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The item was heard in an Oakland City Council committee on Tuesday. The city already has a similar ban on its books, but it's typically not enforced by the Public Works Department because of staff limitations. $$

4. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the Trump administration is purposefully holding up the release of point-in-time data for the number of homeless individuals in the state, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The data is used to determined how the $500 million in federal funding for homelessness is split among California cities. $$

5. Skiing, seafood buffets, and gambling will have to wait for another week. A major snowstorm is forecast to hit the Tahoe Basin starting Friday through Sunday, SFGate reports. Driving to the Sierras during those days is discouraged. Seven inches of snow has fallen on the region in recent weeks.

6. Sen. Bernie Sanders is the new front runner in California's March presidential primary, according to a new poll, SFGate reports. Sanders received support from 24 percent of respondents, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 22 percent. But Warren's support dropped seven points from polling in September. Joe Biden registered 14 percent, followed by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 12 percent.

7. "Kamala Harrris' backers are up-for-grabs," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. With a tight California primary ahead, Democratic presidential candidates have a number of high-profile official to woo. In Oakland, for example, Mayor Libby Schaaf and Assemblymember Rob Bonta endorsed Harris for president. $$

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Wednesday’s Briefing: Former Coliseum JPA charged with felony conflict of interest; Kamala Harris drops out

Oakland Zoo's African elephant dies

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Dec 4, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Former Coliseum JPA CEO Scott McKibben illegally sought a fee from RingCentral to negotiate naming-rights at the Coliseum, Alameda County prosecutors allege. - @RINGCENRAL/TWITTER
  • @RingCenral/Twitter
  • Former Coliseum JPA CEO Scott McKibben illegally sought a fee from RingCentral to negotiate naming-rights at the Coliseum, Alameda County prosecutors allege.


News you don’t want to miss for Dec. 4:

1. Alameda County prosecutors charged former Coliseum Joint Powers Authority CEO Scott McKibben with felony conflict of interest, KPIX reports. McKibben allegedly sought a $50,000 fee from RingCentral to negotiate naming-rights for the Oakland Coliseum.

2. Sen. Kamala Harris ended her bid for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination on Tuesday, Politico reports. Citing dwindling campaign finances and a belief she no longer had a path to the nomination, Harris pulled the plug on her campaign.

3. Electric and hybrid cars costing more than $60,000 will no longer qualify for state rebates, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The rebates for lower-priced models will drop to $500. $$

4. D'Munda, the Oakland Zoo's 50-year-old African elephant died unexpectedly Tuesday, SFGate reports. She lived at the zoo for 26 years.

5. Former Oakland Raider George Atkinson III, whose father was a team legend also of the same name, died Tuesday, Yahoo Sports reports. Atkinson III, who played for the Raiders for two seasons battled depression following his twin brother’s suicide in January.

6. The Oakland Roots’ success at the turnstiles did not necessarily translate to the field during their inaugural season. In advance of their Spring 2020, the team elevated assistant coach Jordan Ferrell to head coach, SFGate reports.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Tuesday's Briefing: Judge's ruling could give housing approval authority back to charter cities; Ghost Ship three-year anniversary

Walnut Creek referenced in 'The Irishman'

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Dec 3, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Housing developments like the proposed market-rate project on Bancroft Avenue in San Leandro could be affected by a judge's ruling Monday allowing charter cities to retain authority to approve housing projects at the local level. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Housing developments like the proposed market-rate project on Bancroft Avenue in San Leandro could be affected by a judge's ruling Monday allowing charter cities to retain authority to approve housing projects at the local level.


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

1. In a development that could reverberate all over Alameda County and potentially limit new housing in areas typically opposed to density, a judge ruled that San Mateo could retain local control from the state for approving new housing projects because it is a charter city, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A majority of the cities in Alameda County are charter cities and a few hold strong local control streaks. $$

2. On the three-year anniversary of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36 people, the Mercury News looks at how the tragedy continues to affect the survivors and loved ones. $$

3. The Alameda Police Department is offering potential new recruits from other local agencies a $30,000 bonus to join its ranks, the East Bay Times reports. Alameda has nine vacancies availbale. In addition, a large number are also eligible for retirement next year. $$

4. Walnut Creek is name-dropped in Director Martin Scorsese's gangster film, "The Irishman," SFGate reports. The movie, which opened in theaters last month and released on Netflix last week, references a mob hit that was to occur in the now tony Contra Costa County city.

5. Just one year after dominating the American League and garnering votes for the Cy Young award, the A's released star reliever Blake Treinen, SFGate reports. Treinen struggled with his control last season and was quickly demoted as stopper. He also faced an injury-plagued 2019 season.

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Monday, December 2, 2019

Monday's Briefing: Former inspector alleges another also took bribes; Bay Area meth overdoses on the rise

More evidence that Kamala Harris's campaign is in disarray

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Dec 2, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Harry Hu was the target of a FBI corruption investigation. - FILE PHOTO
  • File Photo
  • Harry Hu was the target of a FBI corruption investigation.


News you don't want to miss for Dec. 2:

1. A former Oakland police officer and inspector for the Alameda County District Attorney's office testified that he was not the only one who accepted bribes from an informant, but there is another who currently works for the county, the East Bay Times reports. $$

2. The nine counties that make up the Bay Area is experiencing an overdose epidemic attributed to methamphetamine use, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Deaths from fentanyl are also on the rise. $$

3. PG&E told a U.S. District Court judge last Friday that while its widespread power shut-offs have deterred any wildfires from starting, it found 218 instances where damages to its transmission equipment could have ignited fires, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

4. The University of California system outsources to outside vendors $523 million annually in contracts for services such as security guards, custodians and groundskeepers, the Los Angeles Times reports. The arrangement sidesteps union membership and why labor is fighting back. $$

5. When the staff starts turning against each other, that's a telltale sign the campaign is likely irreparably harmed. The New York Times published a scathing portrait of Sen. Kamala Harris's presidential campaign over the weekend. Fingers pointed to the top of the organization and Harris's sister, among other issues. $$

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