Thursday’s Briefing: Teachers Strike in Oakland, Lights Fail in Berkeley

Plus, questions about Oakland Diocese’s list of molesters

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Oakland Technical High School
  • Oakland Technical High School

Stories you don’t want to miss for Feb. 21:

1.Oakland teachers went on strike today. Union teachers and Oakland Unified School District negotiators met Wednesday to discuss the district’s latest offer, reports the San Francisco Chronicle, a 7 percent raise spread out over three years with and a 1.5 percent increase paid retroactively. $$

2. Big Tech is prospering wildly in the Bay area writes Shirin Gaffary in Recode, but it's skipping some groups. For example, Oakland school teachers. “What makes Oakland’s case unique — and raises the stakes of the issue at hand — is that it’s the first strike in the recent wave of teacher action in the San Francisco Bay Area, the backyard of tech. Oakland, along with the greater region, has seen a sustained economic boom amid growing income inequality and higher costs of living over the past several years.”

3. With already razor-thin reserves, many East Bay municipal governments have been quietly preparing for a possible recession sometime this year or next. But Jeff Collins of the Bay Area News Group reports, some housing economists believes a downturn is more likely in 2021. Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that if a recession occurs this year, don’t blame it on a cooling housing market. $$

4. The Oakland Diocese released the names of 45 clergymen “credibly accused” of sexual misconduct of minors, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. None of them, the diocese said, occurred after 1988. “I hope this will help bring healing to those who have suffered,” Oakland Bishop Michael Barber said in a letter. Five of the names had not been known previously to the public. But some are questioning the breadth of the disclosure, speculating there are more accused out there, Robert Solanga reports in the East Bay Times. $$

5. Oakland writer Pendarvis Harshaw pens a loving ode in The Root to the city’s diverse culture, along with some of the obvious and less obvious contributions African Americans in The Town have made to popular culture. He writes: “There’s a spirit here that takes anything and makes it blacker than it was before. Shit, after you read this, you’re going to be blacker, too.”

6. All of the streetlights in Berkeley will soon be replaced just four years after being installed, Berkeleyside reports. The LED lights were expected to last up to 15 years, the city said, but soon experienced failures. Good news is the streetlights are still under warranty.

7. U.C. Berkeley suspended a tenured arts and humanities professor after learning he sexually harassed a student last year, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

8. Fremont Councilmember Vinnie Bacon is the latest candidate seeking to break the incumbent’s stranglehold at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Bacon announced his candidacy last weekend to unseat Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty in the March 2020 primary, the East Bay Citizen reports. Haggerty has served Fremont and the Tri-Valley for 20 years, but has never once faced a single challenger for his seat until now.

ON TAP THURSDAY: Striking Oakland school teachers will hold a rally at Oakland City Hall at 11 a.m.

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