Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Racial And Climate Justice for Point Molate

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic collapse, the ongoing virus of American racism and the climate emergency many people are looking at land development choices in a new light.

by Courtney Cummings and David Helvarg
Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 8:53 AM

The fight to Save the East Bay’s Point Molate and keep this 413- acre public headland in public hands is, like many land use decisions, also about institutional racism and environmental justice.

When it comes to racial equity, no one can seriously doubt that if Richmond California, a poor community of color, were a wealthy white community this last unprotected natural headland on San Francisco Bay would have long ago been set aside as a regional park and visitor destination. Instead it was almost sold off for a casino complex until the people voted overwhelmingly against that. Now it's part of a wider plan to privatize the city’s shoreline for high-end luxury housing while leaving the city center and other areas with existing infrastructure and transportation little new housing for today’s citizens.

With the costs of infrastructure for the isolated and undeveloped land between a bridge and an oil refinery new homebuyers at Point Molate would require incomes of around $250,000 to buy into the planned development of up to 2050 units according to the city’s own fiscal analysis. Richmond’s average income is $64,000. This huge disparity reflects a national wealth gap between white families and families of color including a history of economic discrimination in home loans and banking that’s targeted African-Americans.

Historically Point Molate’s beach served as a place where Black residents could escape segregation. Today, Point Molate Beach Park continues to be used primarily by families of color and more recently parents with children looking for a safe and natural setting to take their kids during the COVID-19 lockdown. But SunCal, the southern California developer looking to buy Point Molate, has released plans to locate a sewage pumping station where the beach parking lot is now located! Fishing on the headland is another tradition for a multi-generational community of Black and Latinx fishermen and their families but scientists warn the SunCal development will ruin the near shore eelgrass habitat.

Point Molate is also home to multiple sacred sites of the Ohlone people. But today’s Ohlone were not consulted in the Draft Environmental Impact Report put out by the developer. Still, the city has approved $900,000 for a Sacramento-based corporate law firm to defend the widely challenged impact report. Point Molate is also the site of a historic 19th century Chinese fish camp, partly exposed by coastal erosion linked to sea level rise.

When it comes to the climate emergency, bad local land use decisions are a major driver of the problem. Point Molate is home to rare California native plants and animals including a California grassland watershed to be bulldozed by SunCal. It has one of the two highest concentrations of nesting Ospreys in the Bay Area, also the bay’s most pristine eelgrass beds, home to herring and striped bass, leopard sharks, bat rays, sea hares, Dungeness crab, and more.

There are over 600 identified species of plants and animals at Point Molate that play a vital role in both reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and contributing to human health. Protecting nature, science has shown, is one of the surest ways to address climate as well as prevent pandemics.

The people of Richmond have overwhelmingly expressed their support for a public park at Point Molate through hearings, testimony, protest, survey and petition. A planned ballot measure was derailed by the pandemic lockdown.

Despite the rush to ink an agreement to sell off Point Molate before November’s election, Richmond citizens deserve a chance to speak out against racism and environmental destruction and for a better future, by electing new city council members including candidates committed to Saving Point Molate and keeping our public lands in our well-washed hands.

Courtney Cummings is a Richmond resident, Native American Activist and steering committee member of the Point Molate Alliance

David Helvarg is a Richmond resident, Director of Blue Frontier, an Ocean Conservation group and steering committee member of the Point Molate Alliance

Tuesday's Briefing: Piedmont to fly Black Lives Matter flag; California under-reported covid-19 cases due to glitch

American Airlines is ending service at Oakland Airport.

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Piedmont city officials voted Monday to fly the Black Lives Matter banner on a city flag poll. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Piedmont city officials voted Monday to fly the Black Lives Matter banner on a city flag poll.


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

1. Piedmont, the East Bay's least diverse enclave, will fly a Black Lives Matter flag along with the U.S. and state flags, KTVU reports. The Piedmont City Council unanimously voted to raise the banner for the entire month of August.

2. There is likely a number of underreported covid-19 cases in California since early July due to a technical issue between labs doing the tests and the reporting of positive cases to the state's database, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. During an Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, a health officials added, "There is very likely underreported cases in our county right now." $$

3. American Airlines is planning to layoff 700 workers in the Bay Area and will permanently discontinue service at the Oakland International Airport, the East Bay Times reports.

4. The Oakland chapter of the NAACP condemned a planned protest by teachers at the home of Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell, who is Black, KTVU reports. The teachers group relented and changed the course of the protest.

5. A nationwide shortage of Clorox wipes will continue through next year, its CEO said, according to Reuters. The Oakland-based Clorox is working to replenish supplies for its popular covid-killing products.

6. President Trump signed the "Great American Outdoors Act" on Tuesday, legislation that provides $3 billion for conservation programs, in addition, to maintenance for national parks, the Associated Press reports. During the press conference, Trump pronounced Yosemite like someone might greet a Jewish buddy.

$$ = Stories you may have to pay to read.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, August 3, 2020

Monday's Briefing: OUSD, teachers at loggerheads over distance-learning with first day of school looming; Arrest in 32-year-old Castro Valley cold case

Some Cal, Stanford football players want to boycott upcoming season

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Oakland teachers demonstrating for higher wages and benefits in 2019. Oakland's school year is due to begin next week. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Oakland teachers demonstrating for higher wages and benefits in 2019. Oakland's school year is due to begin next week.


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

1. Oakland Unified School District officials and the teachers union are continuing negotiations for how to reopen its schools with distance-learning, the East Bay Times reports. At issue is how many hours of instruction teachers will provide each school day. $$

2. New DNA technology led to the arrest of Lesa Lopez for a 32-year-old cold case involving the death of newborn found in Castro Valley, KPIX reports. The woman, who lives in Salida, was charged with multiple cases of murder and is currently detained at Santa Rita Jail.

3. A group of college football players, including three from Cal, and one from Stanford, are threatening to boycott the upcoming season, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In light of the pandemic, the players believe staging a football season this fall is reckless. $$

4. It wouldn't exactly be eating the rich, but California Democrats in the Legislature want just a nibble after proposing to raise income taxes by one percent for those making between $1-$2 million year, and up to 3.5 percent for those making $5 million or more, the San Francisco Chronicle.

5. There are again some signs that California's covid-19 numbers are beginning to dip after a few months of skyrocketing news cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, SFGate reports. The seven-day average of new cases in the state dropped 21 percent to 7,764 last week.

6. Oakland-based Clorox sure is cleaning up during the pandemic, the Associated Press reports. The consistent dearth of Clorox cleaning supplies at your local grocery store fully explains the 33 percent jump in sales that Clorox is enjoying during the pandemic.

7. Four individuals were indicted for the theft of 27 firearms from a Hayward gun store, the East Bay Times reports. The May 31 incident occurred on the same night of protests over the death of George Floyd later morphed into a night of fires and vandalism in several East Bay cities. $$

$$ = Stories you may have to pay to read.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday's Briefing: Alameda County covid-19 surge could be worse in the fall and winter, says county health official; Berkeley sees first police shooting in 8 years

Oakland's city council races may pivot on defunding OPD

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Wear your masks. Despite the surge in new coronavirus cases n Alameda County, hospitalizations still remain manageable, at least currently. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Wear your masks. Despite the surge in new coronavirus cases n Alameda County, hospitalizations still remain manageable, at least currently.


News you don't want to miss July 31:

1. A Berkeley police officer put her best foot forward, but it wasn't enough to thwart a robbery. Three suspects allegedly robbed the CVS on Shattuck Avenue and later ran over the officer's foot, KTVU reports. The officer also discharged her weapon three times during the incident, making it the first time a Berkeley cop has done so since 2012.

2. Alameda County's interim public health officer said a local surge of new coronavirus cases could worsen in the fall and winter months, the East Bay Citizen reports. The previous interim health officer had predicted a surge in mid-August that appears to have arrived earlier than expected. Interim Public Health Officer Nicholas Moss also said the early decision against recommending county residents wear masks was a mistake.

3. While Congress is dithering about reinstating a federal unemployment benefits package, California lawmakers are looking at the possibility offering the $600 a week check to residents in the meantime, SFGate reports. The federal unemployment program is set to expire today.

4. There's one week until the deadline for candidates in the November election to file. In Oakland, Councilmembers Dan Kalb, Lynette Gibson McElhaney, are Noel Gallo up for re-election, and 11 potential candidates are seeking to replace the retiring Larry Reid in District 7. The entire election and makeup of the next City Council could rest on the single issue of defunding OPD, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. The number of passengers at the Oakland International Airport last month jumped to 255,000, a 141 percent increase over the past month, KTVU reports. The figure, however, is still significantly below the airport's typical pre-pandemic activity.

6. Maybe there's a sense of inevitability that Sen. Kamala Harris has a strong chance of becoming the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, but why don't Californians seem to care? asks the East Bay Times. Locally, the possibility of Harris' senate seat opening up could shake-up the political scene in the East Bay. For example, if state Attorney General Xavier Becerra is appointed to replace Harris, it may eventually lead Oakland Assemblymember Rob Bonta to the AG's office. $$

$$ = Stories you may have to pay to read.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Thursday's Briefing: Federal judge orders injunction against OPD use of tear gas on protesters; Sheriff's technician accused of smuggling meth into Santa Rita Jail

What's Billy Beane up to?

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 4:00 AM

A federal magistrate ordered an indefinite injunction against on Wednesday against OPD's use of tear gas and flash-bang grenades against demonstrators. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • A federal magistrate ordered an indefinite injunction against on Wednesday against OPD's use of tear gas and flash-bang grenades against demonstrators.


News you don't want to miss for July 30:

1. "A federal magistrate extended his previous restrictions against use of force by Oakland police Wednesday, prohibiting officers from using tear gas or flash-bang grenades against demonstrators, except when necessary to prevent serious injury or substantial property damage, and barring all use of wooden or rubber bullets and pepper-ball projectiles," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The injunction will remain in effect indefinitely. $$

2. An Alameda County sheriff's technician is alleged to have smuggled a cell phone and methamphetamine into Santa Rita Jail, KPIX reports. The technician and an inmate allegedly sought to split profits from the sale of the narcotic to other prisoners.

3. The U.S. economy contracted by a record-shattering 32.9 percent between April and June, the Associated Press reports. In California, the number of jobless claim jumped to 9.1 million since the beginning of the pandemic last March, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

4. The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld a law that prohibits public employees from pension spiking, an action that allows them to boost their pensions earning by increasing their last year's annual pay, the Los Angeles Times reports. The lawsuit was filed by the Alameda County Deputy Sheriff's Association. $$

5. "The pastor of The Way Church in Berkeley on University Avenue says someone tried to burn the building down, less than twelve hours after church leaders put up a "Black Lives Matter" banner in the front of the building," KTVU reports.

6. The Oakland City Council on Tuesday night passed a resolution vowing to block federal law enforcement officers from entering the city as seen recently in Portland, ABC7 reports.

7. A's general manager Billy Beane is involved with a investment group seeking to raise $500 million for a sports-related purpose, Sportico reports. Are the A's for sale? Is Beane and others laying the groundwork to potentially buy the team?

$$ = Stories you may have to pay to read.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Wednesday's Briefing: Oakland City Council approves task force to defund OPD; Oakland students to receive donated laptops after school year begins

Vallejo police officers alleged to have celebrated fatal killings

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Jul 29, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Oakland City Council chambers, pre-coronavirus. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Oakland City Council chambers, pre-coronavirus.


News you don't want to miss for July 29:

1. Oakland officials unanimously supported the creation of a budget task force to study the reduction of the police department's budget by 50 percent over the next two years, the East Bay Times reports. $$

2. A shipment of 25,000 Chromebook, procured through the philanthropic efforts of Twitter and Zynga CEOs, will arrive in the hands of Oakland students in late August, KTVU reports. However, the school year begins on Aug. 10.

3. Contra Costa County will impose a $100 fine on people who don't wear protective masks in public, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Contra Costa supervisors approved the urgency ordinance on Tuesday. Repeat violators of the ordinance will receive steeper fines. $$

4. A blockbuster report from Open Vallejo found Vallejo police officers celebrated fatal shootings with organizing barbecues, having drinks, and marking the killings by bending a corner of their badges.

5. The Oakland Zoo reopened today after making a public plea last month that it would soon run out of money if not allowed to resume some levels of activity, NBC Bay Area reports. The Zoo opened with limited outdoor-only activities.

$$ = Stories you may have to pay to read.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Tuesday's Briefing: Federal monitor gives OPD good marks, but is watching response to protests; SF fire affecting Oakland air quality

Oakland native Zendaya receives Emmy nomination

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Jul 28, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Federal monitor Robert Warshaw is keeping tabs on how Oakland Police handles George Floyd protests. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Federal monitor Robert Warshaw is keeping tabs on how Oakland Police handles George Floyd protests.


News you don't want to miss for July 28:

1. The federal monitor overseeing the Oakland Police Department said it's showing signs of improvement, including data revealing a large reduction in the number of Black residents being stopped by police officers, KTVU reports. But the monitor is keeping an eye out for how OPD handles protests following the death of George Floyd.

2. Smoke from a five-alarm building fire in San Francisco on Tuesday morning is affecting the air quality in Oakland, SFGate reports. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is advising Oakland residents to stay indoors.

3. Bay Area Rep. Ro Khanna, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, is proposing the federal government give everyone a free mask, The Hill reports. The proposed legislation would cost about $5 billion. The masks would be sent through the U.S. Postal Service.

4. Wolfman Books in downtown Oakland is permanently closing, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The bookstore has been closed since March and its narrow aisles are not conducive to social distancing. $$

5. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit against the Trump administration's attempt to cut undocumented residents from the U.S. Census count, Politico reports. Census forms do not ask about citizenship status. Removing undocumented residents from the census count could cost California one seat in Congress following reapportionment.

6. Oakland native Zendaya received an Emmy nomination for "outstanding lead actress in a drama series" for her role as a drug-addicted teen on HBO's "Euphoria," SFGate reports.

$$ = Stories you may have to pay to read.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, July 27, 2020

Monday's Briefing: Courthouse vandalism in Oakland gives Trump a chance to send in federal troops, Schaaf warns; 'Give the lake a break'

Some Oakland principals discourage 'pandemic pods'

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Jul 27, 2020 at 4:00 AM

The Alameda County courthouse near Lake Merritt in Oakland was vandalized on Saturday night following a protest in solidarity with demonstrators in Portland. - ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Alameda County Sheriff's Office
  • The Alameda County courthouse near Lake Merritt in Oakland was vandalized on Saturday night following a protest in solidarity with demonstrators in Portland.


News you don't want to miss for July 27:

1. A protest against police in Oakland on Saturday night turned violent as the Alameda County Courthouse and other locations were vandalized, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said images from Saturday night gives President Trump a reason to send federal law enforcement officers to Oakland. $$

2. Oakland officials and community members are discouraging residents from gathering at Lake Merritt, SFGate reports. "Give the lake a break," Schaaf urged residents on Friday. Meanwhile, the Oakland Zoo is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday featuring outdoor-only activities.

3. Some Oakland elementary principals are discouraging so-called "pandemic pods," parents coupling small groups of children into home-learning groups, KTVU reports. The arrangement could exacerbate social inequities in the classroom, the principals said.

4. Contra Costa County supervisors will consider an ordinance allowing fines of $100 for individuals not wearing masks and general violations of the county's public health orders, the East Bay Times reports. Fines for businesses could be as high as $1,000. $$

5. Former Contra Costa County registrar Joe Canciamilla plead not guilty on Monday to 34 felony counts of grand theft and perjury, KPIX reports. Canciamilla is alleged to have used $262,000 in campaign funds for his personal use.

6. The A's took two of three games against the Angels on the season's truncated opening weekend, but an outbreak of covid-19 among Miami Marlins players may put the entire season in doubt, ESPN reports. In the meantime, the A's are finishing off their four-game series against the Angels on Monday afternoon at the Coliseum.

$$ = Stories you may have to pay to read.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 24, 2020

Friday's Briefing: Alameda County becomes first to top 10,000 covid-19 cases; Tom Hanks to hawk virtual hot dogs at the Coliseum

Alameda County sheriff's deputy dies from covid-19

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Jul 24, 2020 at 3:19 PM

Oakland native Tom Hanks' first job was as a vendor at the Coliseum. - OAKLAND ATHLETICS
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Oakland native Tom Hanks' first job was as a vendor at the Coliseum.


News you don't want to miss for July 24:

1. Alameda County surpassed 10,000 total positive cases of covid-19 on Friday, making it the first county in the Bay Area to cross the milestone, the East Bay Citizen reports. Alameda County reported 10,214 total cases, along with 178 deaths. Oakland also topped 4,000 total cases on Friday. $$

2. Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Oscar Rocha, a 25-year veteran of the department, died from covid-19 on Thursday, KTVU reports. Rocha had been on a ventilator for several weeks. He worked primarily at the Alameda County courthouse in Oakland.

3. Tonight's fanless Opening Night will be the strangest in Oakland Athletics history. To add a bit of atmosphere to the games, the voice of Oakland native Tom Hanks will serve as a virtual vendor at the Coliseum, SFGate reports. Hanks is a former Coliseum vendor. His voice will be piped in hawking hot dogs during the games.

4. There is signs that increasing numbers of college students are choosing to take a gap year rather than attend remote-learning cases this upcoming school year, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. David Barstow, the head of investigative reporting at U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, initially pitched to ghost-write Mary Trump's memoir about the Trump family, the Mercury News reports. Trump, though, said Barstow's pursuit made her uncomfortable and was unethical. $$

$$ = Stories you may have to pay to read.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Thursday's Briefing: Alameda police chief retires amid turmoil; Richmond adds protections for residential, commercial tenants

Santa Rita Jail sees large spike in new coronavirus cases

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Jul 23, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Paul Rolleri is an Alameda native and served with the Alameda Police Department for 28 years, including seven as police chief. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Paul Rolleri is an Alameda native and served with the Alameda Police Department for 28 years, including seven as police chief.


News you don't want to miss for July 23:

1. Alameda Police Chief Paul Rolleri announced his retirement on Wednesday, the East Bay Times reports. Rolleri, who was hired in 2013, served a total of 28 with the police department. His departure follows the arrest last May of a Black Alameda resident who was dancing in the street. $$

2. Richmond bolstered eviction protections for commercial renters, while extending protections for residential tenants, who now have one year to repay rent once the city's emergency moratorium is lifted, the East Bay Times reports. $$

3. Any full restart of the local economy is going to occur on the backs of the childcare industry. But many childcare locations have been forced to either shutdown during the pandemic or significantly cut back services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

4. The number of Santa Rita Jail inmates testing positive for covid-19 skyrocketed from 65 to 177 this week. An outbreak among inmates who work in the kitchen and laundry areas is the cause the spike in cases. The Alameda County Sheriff's Office, however, said most of the new cases are asymptomatic, the Mercury News reports. $$

5. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward region has suffered 5,048 temporarily closed businesses since last March, including more 300 that have permanently gone out of business, SFGate reports.

6. Castro Valley Marketplace, a 39,000 square-foot food hall is now open, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Built at the former Daughtrey's department store on Castro Valley Boulevard, the spot is initially opening with three vendors. $$

$$ = Stories you may have to pay to read.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Most Popular Stories

© 2020 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation