Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Wednesday's Briefing: CoCo supervisors place moratorium on costly court fees for inmates; Trump to do 'something' to help the homeless

'The Town' jersey among six new Warriors uniforms

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Sep 17, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Contra Costa County's moratorium on some court fees will cost about $1.8 million annually. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Contra Costa County's moratorium on some court fees will cost about $1.8 million annually.

News you don't want to miss for Sept. 18:

1. Contra Costa County supervisors placed a moratorium on some administrative court fees, such as fingerprinting, drug testing, and ankle monitoring, NBC Bay Area reports. The fees raise about $1.8 million in annual revenues for the county.

2. President Trump swooped into the Bay Area and Los Angeles for fundraisers and quickly left, but not before declaring that he will do "something" to solve the state's homelessness problem, the Associated Press reports. Trump did not expand on what that means.

3. "The University of California is dumping fossil fuel investments from its nearly $84 billion pension and endowment funds because they are a financial risk," the Associated Press reports. U.C.'s $13 billion endowment portion of the investment fund will be fossil fuel-free by the end of this month.

4. Sen. Kamala Harris's presidential campaign is dropping like a rock, according to a new national poll, The Hill reports. Following last week's debate, Harris's support has sunk to five percent.

5. The news in Harris's home state is even more dispiriting for her campaign, SFGate reports. Harris's support dropped to 6 percent, just a tick behind entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Joe Biden leads both polls, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

6. The United Nations General Assembly opened Tuesday with an East Bay flair. Rep. Barbara Lee was appointed as the congressional representative for the U.S. delegation, the East Bay Citizen reports. It's the fourth time Lee has received the honor.

7. The Warriors unveiled six(!) new uniforms for their first season back in San Francisco, USA Today reports. Among them is a new version of "The Town" jersey worn during their final years in Oakland, but also two San Francisco jerseys are among the set.

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Monday's Briefing: Flurry of state legislation heads to Newsom's desk; Tribune Tavern is back

Felicity Huffman to serve time in Dublin jail

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Restaurateur Chris Pastena - LORI EANES
  • Lori Eanes
  • Restaurateur Chris Pastena

News you don't want to miss for Sept. 16:

1. A bill that would ban for three years police department's in the state from using facial-recognition in body-worn cameras was sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk for approval on Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Oakland and San Francisco recently approved ordinances banning the technology. $$

2. State legislators, however, punted on two bills that would have phased out single-use foodware and packaging, while voting on a third, approving legislation that mandates more recyclable material in plastic bottles, Calmatters reports. The bills faced stiff opposition from the plastics industry.

3. Actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to two weeks in jail for paying a proctor $15,000 to correct her daughter's SAT exam, the Associated Press reports. The "Desperate Housewife's" star will serve her time in Alameda County at a women's prison camp in Dublin.

4. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents seized unauthorized NFL gear worth $11,000 at the Oakland Coliseum before last Monday's night Raiders game, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Oakland Police were not involved in the operation. $$

5. The Tribune Tavern restaurant is re-opening, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Original owner Chris Pastena is back in charge with a new menu.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Friday's Briefing: BART board to spend $227 million on new Oakland HQ; OUSD merges two elementary schools

Kamala Harris said Trump is a 'small dude'

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

News you don't want to miss for Sept. 13-15:

1. BART directors voted, 8-1, to allocate $227 million for a move from their current headquarters near Lake Merritt in Oakland to another a few blocks away on Webster Street, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The move was touted as saving taxpayers' money in the long run. $$

2. The Oakland Unified School District voted to merge Kaiser Elementary with Sankofa Academy on Wednesday night, EdSource reports. There was strong opposition to the proposal, which is part of the district's plan to eventually close up to 24 schools in Oakland.

3. Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris appeared intent on making Thursday night's debate in Houston all about President Trump. At one point, while making a Wizard of Oz reference, Harris called Trump a "really small dude," the USA Today reports.

4. "Legislation that streamlines the process for the Oakland A’s to receive permits needed for a proposed A’s ballpark at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal was approved Thursday in an unanimous vote," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The bill was authored by Assemblymember Rob Bonta. $$

5. "California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a brief Thursday in support of Oakland’s lawsuit against Wells Fargo, alleging that the bank illegally discriminated against minority borrowers," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The lawsuit was filed by the city in 2015. $$

6. The NCAA Board of Governor's urged Gov. Gavin Newsom not to sign a bill approved by the Legislature this week and co-authored by East Bay state Sen. Nancy Skinner that allows student athletes in the state to receive compensation, The Hill reports. The NCAA believes the law will give California schools a competitive advantage in recruiting athletes, among other reasons.

13. For the first time since 2000, a full moon will coincide with Friday the 13th, Time reports. A full moon in September is known as a "harvest moon." The next occurrence in the U.S. is 2049.

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: Significant Skinner, Bonta bills pass the Legislature; Kaplan says don't buy Warriors tickets

Richmond bans the sale of flavored e-cigarettes

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

Student athletes at California universities could soon be paid for their efforts on the playing field. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Student athletes at California universities could soon be paid for their efforts on the playing field.

News you don’t want to miss for Sept. 12

1. "Athletes at California colleges could hire agents and sign endorsement deals under a bill the state Legislature sent to the governor Wednesday," the Associated Press reports. The bill co-authored by state Sen. Nancy Skinner has clearly rankled the NCAA, who have threatened to ban California schools from its competitions if it's signed by the governor.

2. East Bay Assemblymember Rob Bonta's bid to rid the state of for-profit prisons appears near a successful conclusion after the Legislature approved his bill banning their existence in California, starting in 2028, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

3. Even if AB 5, the landmark legislation that reclassifies gig-workers as employees, becomes law, ride-hailing tech companies Uber and Lyft may not comply, Vox reports, meaning the issue is likely headed to the courts.

4. Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan is still upset about the Warriors refusal to pay its share of the bond debt associated with the reconstruction of the Coliseum Arena. Kaplan tweeted Wednesday that buying tickets to Warriors games in San Francisco supports siphoning off funding for struggling communities in the East Bay, the East Bay Citizen reports.

5. A small plane caught on fire at the Oakland Airport on Wednesday afternoon, KGO-TV reports. The fire was located in the wheel well of the Cessna Citation. There were no injuries but the runway was briefly closed.

6. The Trump administration wants to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, CNBC reports. In the Bay Area, San Francisco and Livermore have made similar moves. On Tuesday night, Richmond joined the group, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

7. Trump's interest in solving California's homeless problem is flummoxing local and state officials, Politico reports. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf labelled Trump's suggestion as “pre-election political posturing at the expense of our most vulnerable residents.”

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Future is Now: A's trip Astros

Did we mention that we love three inning relief stints?

by Kibby Kleiman
Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 9:50 PM

The Oakland A's have seventeen days to grasp a place in the post-season. With tonight's victory, the Athletics climbed into a tie for the first wild card position and held their 1 1/2 game lead over the third team trying to squeeze into the two-team derby. Of course, a wild-card bid gives you a sudden death, one and done opportunity to be in the real playoffs, and to the winner comes the team with the best record in the American League, quite likely, tonight's antagonists, the Houston Astros.

But here's the thing; the A's can and have been beating the Astros. This evening, Brett Anderson, who's coach should have turned into a pumpkin two months ago stoned the slugging 'Stros and left the game down only 2-1. That counts as a moral victory (why are they "moral"?) Then Sean Murphy, rookie catcher slugged a home run to tie the game and after the 20-something vets added more runs, the rookiest pitcher, Jesus Luzardo came in to get the A's through the 6th inning. And did so well, he was allowed to pitch the 7th. Then the 8th. That never happens in the big leagues anymore. It definitely doesn't happen in September when the rosters expand to a shit ton, and teams get strategic, bringing in new relief pitchers every time the wind shifts. . A's manager Bob Melvin went way old school in having Luzardo, in the very first big league game in his life go long. And then to prove that everything the skipper touched tonight turned to gold, put closer Liam Hendriks in the game, which is awesome, because all Hendriks does is throw strikes, making him the most relaxing reliever we've had in eons.

The A's have one more game for the rest of the regular season against a winning team--and it is tomorrow at Houston. Rookies are shoring up this team, in its high profile moment-- Seth Brown, A.J. Puk and tonight's heroes are getting us very excited about 2020 in 2019. We'll keep the time machine in neutral for now. The A's won't catch the Astros during the regular season, which is why Oakland fans are counting on an irregular one to finish

Wednesday's Briefing: State moves closer to rent control, gig worker protections; Bonta charter school bill passes

Oaklander makes successful MLB debut

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

Assemblymember Rob Bonta co-authored a bill approved Tuesday that gives local control for approving charter schools.
  • Assemblymember Rob Bonta co-authored a bill approved Tuesday that gives local control for approving charter schools.

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

1. State senators approved AB5, the bill that could be a gamechanger by requiring the state's growing gig workers and freelancers to be classified as employees, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The vote was 29-11 and returns to the Assembly on concurrence. Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he will sign the bill. $$

2. The State Senate also approved AB 1482, which would limit annual rent increases to five percent, Curbed LA reports. If signed into law, the bill would cover cities that do not already have rent control.

3. A bill co-authored by East Bay Assemblymember Rob Bonta that would transfer authority for approving charters schools from the state to local school district was approved in the Assembly Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

4. Plans to clear homeless encampments near the Coliseum BART station and another in Berkeley at an underpass near University Avenue is causing concerns for advocates of the homeless, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. A U.C. Berkeley graduate student working with nitrogen was hospitalized following an explosion at Hildebrand Hall, KPIX reports.

6. The Trump administration is discussing a plan to intervene in California's homeless problem by moving individuals to government-run facilities, the Washington Post reports. "But it is unclear how they could accomplish this and what legal authority they would use." $$

7. A day after losing 15-0, the A's returned the favor, beating the Astros, 21-7, the Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, Nico Hoerner, who went to Head-Royce School in Oakland, had three hits and four RBI in his Major League debut for the Chicago Cubs, SFGate reports.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tuesday's Briefing: Medieval fare gates gone from Fruitvale BART; Grade-changing scandal at Castlemont High

Marshawn Lynch is bringing football back to Oakland

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Fare gates at the Fruitvale BART station. - BART
  • BART
  • Fare gates at the Fruitvale BART station.

News you don’t want to miss for Sept. 10:

1. BART riders at the Fruitvale station will no longer be required to run the gauntlet through fare gates, the San Francisco Chronicle. The medieval-looking gates succeeded in lowering fare evaders by 17 percent, but BART officials determined maintenance wouldn't be worth the trouble. $$

2. Administrators and school employees at Castlemont High School in Oakland are being accused of falsifying grades to help some failing students, NBC Bay Area reports. $$

3. California students can no longer be suspended for "willful defiance," incidents such as sleeping in class or talking back to teachers, the Associated Press report. The bill authored by East Bay state Sen. Nancy Skinner was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

4. Every state except California and Alabama is seeking to investigate Google for potential anti-trust behavior, the Los Angeles Times reports. Is it because Google is an enormous cash cow for the state's coffers? $$

5. Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris's campaign appears to be stuck in a rut. The Associated Press reports this Thursday's debate is a chance for the East Bay native to get back in the race. Recent polling suggests voter support is solidifying around Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

6. Marshawn Lynch will be co-owner of an Indoor Football League franchise to be named the Oakland Panthers, Sports Illustrated reports. The team will play its games at the Oakland Arena.

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Monday's Briefing: Richmond police chief placed on leave, acting chief named; Second noose found at Oakland school

A’s call-up top prospect for the stretch run

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

Allwyn Brown is out as Richmond police chief. - RICHMOND PD
  • Richmond PD
  • Allwyn Brown is out as Richmond police chief.

News you don’t want to miss for Sept. 9:

1. Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown’s days were numbered after the police union registered a stunning no-confidence vote against him on Friday. A day later Brown was placed on leave and replaced with his assistant, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Assistant Police Chief Bisa French takes over as acting chief. $$

2. Two jurors in the Ghost Ship trial were holdouts for convicting master tenant Derick Almena. They believed the warehouse’s landlord held greater responsibility for making sure the building was safe, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In the case of Max Harris, who was also charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, but was acquitted last week, one juror had previously leaned toward a conviction. $$

3. A rope fashioned into a noose was found at Chabot Elementary School in Oakland on Friday, KTVU reports. A similar rope was reported at the school two weeks ago, but school officials determined at the time that is was an accident.

4. State Sen. Nancy Skinner’s “Housing Crisis Act” was approved by the Legislature on Friday and awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, the East Bay Times reports. The bill loosens existing local zoning ordinances for housing by streamlining the permitting process, lowering fees, and prohibiting developers from demolishing affordable and rent-controlled units unless they are replaced.

5. Housing advocates believed this legislative year held great promise, but a number of high-profile bills fizzled. Perhaps the last, best hope for this session rests with a bill authored by East Bay state Sen. Bob Wieckowski seeking to accelerate the building of accessory dwelling units, also known as “granny flats,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

6. “A bill to let a troubled California utility borrow money tax free so it can pay victims of wildfires started by its equipment will not pass this year,” the Associated Press reports. In tabling the bill until next year, state legislators feared voters would view it as a bailout of the unpopular PG&E.

7. Antonio Brown’s career as a Raider is over after the team released the controversial, but talented wide receiver, ESPN reports. Just hours after Brown was released, he quickly signed with the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. The speed of the signing sparked speculation the whole ordeal was orchestrated by Brown and the Patriots. Brown never played a game in silver-and-black.

8. The A’s are calling up their top prospect as the pennant race enters the final three weeks of the season, the East Bay Times reports. Jesus Luzardo is regarded as one of the most prized young left-handed pitchers in the game. The A’s currently hold one of two spots in the wildcard playoff. $$

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Friday, September 6, 2019

Friday's Briefing: Ghost Ship verdict yields an acquittal and mistrial; Lebron James backs Skinner’s NCAA bill

Raiders may suspend star player prior to Monday night’s opener

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

Ghost Ship defendants Max Harris and Derick Almena.
  • Ghost Ship defendants Max Harris and Derick Almena.

News you don’t want to miss for Sept. 6-8:

1. Jurors in the Ghost Ship trial acquitted Max Harris of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, but could not come to a decision on the same charges for master tenant Derick Almena, the Associated Press reports. The judge ordered for Almena to return to court on Oct. 4.

2. While Harris walked out of Santa Rita Jail in Dublin a free man today, Almena’s future fate may still be unfavorable to him. The East Bay Times lays out what’s next in the Ghost Ship trial. $$

3. One of the Ghost Ship jurors dismissed by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Trina Thompson last month discussed the case with a firefighter and relayed some of the information to jurors, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

4. LeBron James is on board with legislation authored by state Sen. Nancy Skinner to allow student-athletes in the state to receive compensation, Politico reports. James encouraged his 43 million followers on Twitter to support the bill.

5. President Trump’s tariffs are worsening California’s housing crisis, the California Building Industry Association said, tacking on up to $30,000 to the price of a new home, the Sacramento Bee reports. $$

6. Antonio Brown’s shenanigans on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” was not reality show puffery, after all. The Raiders wide receiver reportedly got into a verbal confrontation with the team’s general manager on Wednesday, ESPN reports. The team may be on the verge of suspending arguably its best player just days before the season opener.

7. Alameda County prosecutors charged eight people in a multi-county crime spree that included 61 strong-arm robberies of UPS and FedEx trucks, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Among those charged is former Oakland Raider Isaiah Langley, who was only cut from the team last month. $$

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Thursday, September 5, 2019

A's Ready to finish Three Month Old Game

Suspend Belief and the Time Space continuum

by Kibby Kleiman
Thu, Sep 5, 2019 at 10:17 PM

On May 19th in Detroit, the A's took a 5-3 lead over the Tigers going into the bottom of the 7th inning. Friday in Oakland, the teams meet again to finish it.

Because the Tigers had not finished their at bat before the rains washed out the contest, rather than be punished with a shortened defeat, the game was suspended at the moment A's closer (not then a closer) Liam Hendriks had a 2-2 count on Tiger (no longer a Tiger) Josh Harrison, which is where the game will resume. Just where the teams left off. But now in Oakland

The A's were in the midst of a ten-game winning streak when the contest was interrupted, so we begin the slew of speculative scenarios that are the type that make baseball fans swoon. If the A's hold on, will we have a retroactive eleven game winning streak? Who will take the place of the lost Tigers in the line up? The batter who takes Harrison's place will have only one strike before he is out. Detroit was the home team in May, and remains so. If they come back to win in the 9th, they will walk it off in the Coliseum. Stephen Piscotty who gave Oakland the lead before the rain, is injured and will not finish the game he started. Nor will centerfielder Ramon Laureano. Five of the proto-Tigers have scattered to other teams and will be listed in a box score they've long ago exited. Neither A's catcher who started the game is around to finish, but we have three new ones to wrap things up. All in all for the newly streaking A's, who won their third straight today, a chance to maintain or add on to two separate runs. In a lost season, such a strange game would be worth it for the oddity value alone, one game ahead of the last wild card, this potential two inning contest counts as much as the scheduled nine-inning game to follow in the chase for the post season. Ecce baseball! For those who think the games take too long and those who are sad when it ends too early--tomorrow is the night when you're both right.

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