Friday, August 30, 2019

Friday's Briefing: Stakes are raised over bill giving gig workers more rights; Skinner is making the NCAA nervous

Son of former Union City police chief is charged with murder in Oakland

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Aug 30, 2019 at 4:00 AM

  • Wikimedia Commons

News you don't want to miss for Aug. 30-Sept. 1:

1. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash are threatening to spend $90 million on a statewide ballot measure if a bill that gives its so-called gig workers more rights is approved by the Legislature. The group of tech companies offered Thursday to raise the minimum wage of its workers to $21 an hour, in addition, to allowing them enter into a bargaining agreement, Politico reports.

2. East Bay state Sen. Nancy Skinner's potentially landmark bill that would require universities in California to pay student-athletes when their name, likeness, and image is used is already forcing the NCAA's hand. The Associated Press reports a NCAA working group on the matter is pondering the NCAA's next move and the result could be rule changes that make an end-run at Skinner's legislation, if signed into law.

3. A new seismic study of buildings at U.C. Berkeley found at least six of them would likely be severely damaged during a large earthquake, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The university is contemplating whether to limit the use of some of the buildings, including the five-story Moffitt Library. $$

4. Healthcare workers in the East Bay plan to demonstrate on Labor Day in front of Kaiser Permanente in downtown Oakland, the Mercury News reports. Kaiser workers are planning a strike sometime in October after contract negotiations with Kaiser again faltered recently. $$

5. The high-cost of housing in the East Bay is leading residents to move to place like Oregon and Texas. The East Bay Times reports more people are leaving Alameda County than moving in. The trend is the same in Santa Clara and Contra Costa Counties. $$

6. Tyrone McAllister, the son of former Union City Police Chief Darryl McAllister, was charged this week with the murder of a 32-year-old man in downtown Oakland that occurred on Aug. 20, KPIX reports. Last year, Tyrone McAllister was convicted for attempted robbery after attacking a 71-year-old Sikh man. His father resigned as Union City police chief shortly after the incident was publicized.

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: Trump is coming to the Bay Area next month; Newsom brokers charter schools deal

An urban mystery in Berkeley

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 4:00 AM

The location of Trump's re-election fundraiser in the Bay Area is unknown. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • The location of Trump's re-election fundraiser in the Bay Area is unknown.

News you don't want to miss for Aug. 29:

1. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that he's dropping an idea made during his gubernatorial campaign last year to hire a "homelessness czar" to help combat the growing the problem in the state, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Newsom, instead, will rely on a homelessness task force he convened last February. $$

2. Newsom also brokered a deal announced Wednesday that would make it more difficult for charter schools to be approved, the Associated Press reports. The bill transfers authority to approve new charter schools from the state to local school districts.

3. Donald Trump is coming to the Bay Area for the first time as president sometime next month for a campaign fundraiser, Politico reports. However, it's not yet known where the event will be held. Don't bet on Oakland, that's for sure.

4. Oakland's two largest public employee unions, representing 3,000 city workers, held a demonstration at City Hall on Wednesday over an impasse in negotiations, San Francisco Chronicle reports. The city is offering a four percent wage increase spread over two years. The unions want an annual four percent raise. $$

5. Researchers from a number of high-profile California universities published a paper calling on the California Air Resources Board to "bolster accounting reviews" in order for the state's landmark cap-and-trade environmental law to remain on pace for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, KQED reports.

6. A series of metal medallions inscribed with witty comments and phrases has shown up in Central Berkeley over the past few months, Berkeleyside reports, and nobody has any idea who is behind the effort.

7. San Francisco is not only taking the Warriors away from Oakland, but bringing the city's popular Bakesale Betty chicken sandwiches along for the move. SFGate reports the venerable Oakland institution will have concession stand at the Chase Center.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wednesday’s Briefing: Noel Gallo's plan for the homeless in Oakland: 'Put them at City Hall'

East Oakland homeless encampment can remain for two more weeks

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo, left, wants to enlist military recruits to help clean up city streets. - FILE PHOTO
  • File Photo
  • Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo, left, wants to enlist military recruits to help clean up city streets.

News you don’t want to miss for Aug. 28:

1. Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo told KTVU that he wants to seek help from Army recruits to clean up the mess left by illegal dumpers. Gallo, who represents the Fruitvale district, also said police should be more forceful in removing the homeless. Where should they go? “Put them at City Hall,” he said.

2. Homeless individuals living at a sprawling encampment along the BART tracks in East Oakland will not have to leave for another two weeks, KPIX reports. Oakland city officials had intended to clear the area because of safety issues, but advocates for the homeless intervened.

3. Affordable housing advocates protested a proposed 38-story tower in downtown Oakland Tuesday because the residential development's 300 units have none set aside for affordable housing, KTVU reports. The project at 1750 Broadway was previously approved by the Oakland Planning Commission.

4. East Bay Rep. Barbara Lee is backing Kamala Harris for president, but another Democratic candidate is proposing an idea long sought by the East Bay congressmember. Marianne Williamson said, if elected, she would create a cabinet-level U.S. Department of Peace, UPI reports. Lee made the same proposal in 2013.

5. Google, with help from former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, unveiled a new app in Hayward that uses augmented reality to superimpose famous women in American history on currency, CNET reports. Earlier this year, the U.S Treasury Department said it would delay printing Harriet Tubman’s image on the $20 bill until 2026.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A's Playoff Run--Who do you Hate more?

The enemy of my enemy is one game back

by Kibby Kleiman
Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 6:57 PM

Love how the ballplayers always reject the idea that they are "scoreboard watching" this time of year. Pennant races were proto-multi-tasking. Still are. Watching the A's, while scrolling the Rays and trolling the Indians (and examining the Astros while at it). Their losses are as good as our wins, and when they start playing one another, it becomes fine sport to figure out what result you want. As if that makes any difference at all as to the results themselves.

So baseball season rolls to its best time of the year, where watching three games at once is fair game. Our hope is that Tampa Bay goes icy. If Houston and then Cleveland push the Rays around this weekend, the A's can create the distance they need to get into the wild card game against a team they can beat. All this with the looming knowledge that a good month will give the A's the opportunity to be play in a game that historically has proven they can't beat anyone. So for now, go A's, Astros and Tigers. And what the hell, Diamondbacks too. Still can't believe, we couldn't beat the Giants.

Tuesday's Briefing: KFOG is signing off; Second phase of OUSD school closures upset parents

PG&E may gradually increase utility bills by $30 a month

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 4:00 AM


News you don't want to miss for Aug. 27:

1. Another Bay Area radio institution is going by the wayside. KFOG 104.5 FM , which has curated Rock music for generations, will become the FM home of KNBR sports radio. The San Francisco Chronicle's Peter Hartlaub reports on the station's impact on the Bay Area music scene. $$

2. PG&E customers may ultimately pay up to $30 a month more on their utility bill in order to help pay for planned infrastructure improvements following the California wildfires, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

3. A controversial plan by the Oakland Unified School District to downsize its number of schools is coming up on its second phase this fall, KQED reports. The closures and mergers could affect more than 1,300 Oakland students. Needless to say, parents and students are not happy about the plan.

4. The California Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors have to tell suspects if they were arrested by officers who have been accused of police misconduct in the past, the Associated Press reports. The ruling overturned a lower court decision that Los Angeles County prosecutors were not compelled to give suspects the information based on the state's stringent police confidentiality laws.

5. Inspired by President Trump's wish to buy Greenland, Fox & Hounds columnist Joel Fox floats the tongue-in-cheek idea that California should buy Nevada rather than solve the disconnect between the state's divergent gun laws.

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Monday, August 26, 2019

Monday's Briefing: Berkeley school trustee returns 8 months after serious injury; California cannabis tax receipts are dismal

A's are swept by the Giants

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Berkeley school board trustee Judy Appel and her wife were struck by a car last January while crossing the street. - JUDY APPEL
  • Berkeley school board trustee Judy Appel and her wife were struck by a car last January while crossing the street.

News you don’t want to miss for Aug. 26:

1. California's legal cannabis market has struggled to gain a foothold, but here's the numbers: During the second quarter of this year, the state received $74.2 million in tax revenues, Capital Public Radio reports. The state's January budget forecast $355 in cannabis taxes, but lowered it to $288 million in the May revised budget.

2. Berkeley school trustee Judy Appel made her first appearance at a school board meeting last Wednesday eight months after being seriously injured, Berkeleyside reports. Appel and her wife were struck by a car while crossing the street in Berkeley last January.

3. The cost to your bank account due to the California wildfires started by PG&E's faulty equipment could be a monthly increase of 15 percent., Calmatters reports. At 20 cents per kilowatt hour, PG&E customers already have one of the highest gas and electric bills in the state, and double the national average.

4. Sen. Kamala Harris may have a home-state advantage, but her Democratic presidential opponents believe they can win a slice of the California's large delegate pie next March, The New York Times reports. That's because the California primary in not winner-take-all. So its 500 or more slate of delegates could be larger than the take from most other states. $$

5. Long-time Bay Area radio personalities Chuy Gomez and Victor "Big Daddy" Zaragoza were let go last week, SFGate reports. Entercom, the owners of Q102.1, made the move because of budget cuts. The duo have been morning drive-time legends for three decades.

6. The A's were swept by the Giants in a two-game series over the weekend that attracted more than 100,000 fans to the Coliseum, the East Bay Times reports. While celebrating the 30th anniversary of the A's own sweep of the Giants in the 1989 World Series, the A's announced they will retire Oakland-native Dave Stewart's number 34 next year, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

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Friday, August 23, 2019

Friday's Briefing: 1,000-unit project near West Oakland BART gets planning permits; 'The Great Pave' begins

A's sweep Yankees; Raiders win on an 80-yard field

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Aug 23, 2019 at 12:16 AM

A rendering of the 33-story tower proposed as part of the 1,000-unit 500 Kirkham Street project near the West Oakland BART station.
  • A rendering of the 33-story tower proposed as part of the 1,000-unit 500 Kirkham Street project near the West Oakland BART station.

News you don’t want to miss for Aug. 23-25:

1. A transit-oriented development near the West Oakland BART station featuring 1,000 new housing units received planning permits, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The projects also includes spaces for retail and open space, along with a 33-story tower. $$

2. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Councilmember Noel Gallo commenced the start of the city's three-year, $100 million road improvement initiative named "The Great Pave," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Work crews are already working on Harold Street, a road off Fruitvale Avenue near MacArthur Boulevard. $$

3. Seven passengers on a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Oakland to Honolulu Thursday morning were hospitalized for smoke-related symptoms, SFGate reports. An in-flight emergency was declared 20 minutes from landing in Hawaii. The smoke is believed to have emanated from the cargo hold.

4. East Bay Assemblymember Buffy Wicks is urging Nevada lawmakers to hold a joint legislative summit on gun control, the Politico California Playbook reports. The Gilroy shooter used a type of assault weapon that was purchased in Nevada, where it is legal, but illegal in California.

5. A BART board director's plan to ban busking and panhandling at its station is unconstitutional, said the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California, Curbed SF reports. The proposed prohibitions are free speech, the ACLU added.

6. The deadline to apply for California's 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission was extending because the pool of applicants failed to match the state's diversity. With the deadline near, Calmatters reports, that while the commission received more applications, most were still white and male.

7. The A's swept the Yankees in Oakland Thursday night with a 5-3 win, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Bronx Bombers came into the three-game series with the best record in the Majors. The A's and Giants resume the Bay Bridge Series in Oakland on Saturday and Sunday.

8. The Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas next season, but played a pre-season game Thursday in Winnipeg, Canada, and on an 80-yard football field, Deadspin reports. Don't ask! But the Raiders beat the Green Bay Packers, 22-21, to raise their pre-season record to 3-0, NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: Initiative to rescind Livermore's e-cig ban makes the ballot; Oakland charter schools are not enrolling enough disabled students

Federal judge faults Oakland, OPD for backsliding on police reforms

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Aug 22, 2019 at 1:55 AM

San Francisco's ban on e-cigarette sales is also the subject of a ballot measure backed by Juul that hopes to overturn the ordinance. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • San Francisco's ban on e-cigarette sales is also the subject of a ballot measure backed by Juul that hopes to overturn the ordinance.

News you don't want to miss for Aug. 22:

1. A bill that restricts sales of flavored e-cigarette cartridges is moving through the state Legislature, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Meanwhile, Livermore's recent ordinance that follows San Francisco in banning the sale of e-cigarettes will be challenged at the ballot box next year after an initiative backed by e-cig maker Juul was certified by the county registrar, the East Bay Citizen reports.

2. "The federal judge overseeing Oakland’s efforts to combat racial discrimination in policing told the city’s mayor and police officials Wednesday that their current approach doesn’t seem to be working," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

3. The line of groups opposing PG&E's plan to shut off power during wildfire-prone period of time is getting longer. Now, California oil companies are raising concerns that the plan could create environmental dangers and raise gas prices, KQED reports.

4. Ghost Ship trial: After three days of deliberations, the revamped jury is taking some time off, the San Francisco Chronicle. The jury will return after Labor Day to resume discussions on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter against Derick Almena and Max Harris. Earlier this week, the judge in the case removed three jurors for undisclosed reasons. $$

5. The California Teachers Association said charter schools in Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego school districts enroll a smaller portion of disabled students than public schools, according to a study, the Sacramento Bee reports. $$

6. Hector David Mendoza-Vela, a former priest at St. John's Catholic Church in San Lorenzo and Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Fremont,who was charged with allegedly molesting a boy in 2017 and 2018, could face up to five years in prison, the East Bay Times reports. $$

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wednesday's Briefing: Oakland businessman indicted in $110 million fraud scheme; Half of guns used in Alameda County crimes were not registered in the state

Alameda USD eyes a parcel tax, but polling results show tepid support

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Oakland businessman Tom Henderson was indicted Tuesday. - OAKLAND POST
  • Oakland Post
  • Oakland businessman Tom Henderson was indicted Tuesday.

News you don't want to miss for Aug. 21:

1. Tom Henderson, the former owner of the iconic Tribune Tower in Oakland, was indicted Tuesday for allegedly setting up an scam that involved the federal EB-5 visa program, KTVU reports. Henderson and a Chinese national, who was also indicted, allegedly raised $110 million from hundreds of foreign investors who believed they were funding businesses created to use EB-5 workers. The scheme put 2,000 jobs in Oakland at risk, the U.S. Attorney said.

2. A report released by the Alameda County District Attorney's office shows nearly half of the 862 guns used in crimes in the county last year were not registered to owners who live in California, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Furthermore, 8 percent did not belong to the person arrested. $$

3. After back-to-back deadly wildfire seasons in California, so far this year has been one of the slowest starts in years, The Wall Street Journal reports. $$

4. Good thing, because over the last four years insurers have dropped an estimated 350,000 policies for homeowners who live in fire-prone areas, the Sacramento Bee reports, including 88,000 last year. $$

5. Facebook is being sued for allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act after allowing housing providers to place ads on the social media site that excluded users from seeing them based on race, national origin, and disabilities, among other factors, the Mercury News reports.

6. A new survey of California developers found investors are skittish about building new multi-family projects in the Bay Area, Curbed SF reports. A sense that Bay Area home prices are in decline, along with expected higher inventory is cited, but the region's stringent rent protections may also be a strong reason. “As the most expensive rental market in California, [the Bay Area] is the most likely to be impacted by the growing movement towards rent control.”

7. Alameda voters might be asked to approve a school parcel tax next March to increase pay for its low-earning teachers (who, incidentally, are not exactly keen about a parcel tax). But polling done by the school district shows the parcel tax, which could raise up to $11 million a year in new revenue, is anything but a sure bet at the ballot box, the East Bay Citizen reports.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Oakland Planning Commission to Consider 5G Cellphone Facilities

Aug. 21 meeting will also consider Oakland Museum site improvements, Sobrante Park traffic issues, West Oakland Housing, and Redevelopment of CCA Campus.

by Patricia Maurice
Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 3:16 PM

The Oakland Planning Commission is set to consider a variety of items at Wednesday’s meeting including 5G antennas, and major residential developments near West Oakland BART and at the former campus of the California College of the Arts.

The director will issue reports on the following three items:

  • An update to zoning standards for telecommunications facilities. Staff will require: Measurement of actual Radio Frequency emissions prior to building permit sign-off, as well as of cumulative RF emissions; a 200-foot radius measurement separating antennas; applications to demonstrate that a community meeting regarding cell sites has been held. Staff will post a database/map on the City’s website indicating Telecommunications facilities by application, approval, construction and inspection phase.

  • Addressing traffic issues related to the Lodestar School in the Sobrante Park neighborhood.

  • A discussion of proposed site and building improvements at the Oakland Museum of California.

Public hearings will be held on the following items:

  • Construction of a total of 1,032 residential units (including 85 very low income affordable), approximately 35,000 square feet of retail and commercial flex space, 59 parking spaces, dog park, playground and pedestrian pathways at 500 Kirkham Street and 1255 7th St.; one block east of West Oakland BART station. Environmental determination: Detailed CEQA analysis shows project consistent with CEQA and City policies.

  • Environmental scoping session to redevelop California College of Arts Oakland Campus and Clifton Hall properties at 5200 and 5276 Broadway, respectively. Proposal includes construction of 554 residential units in four residential buildings including one 19-story residential tower, 367-space parking garage, 554 bicycle parking spaces; renovation of three historic structures, office space and an interpretative center, 1.71 acres public open space. Environmental determination: EIR will be prepared, a Notice of Preparation was published on June 21, 2019; comment period ends August 23, 2019.

The Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers, at One Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.

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