Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday's Briefing: Oakland Police are making fewer traffic stops, but with same results; Multiple gunmen in Orinda shooting

Oakland man pardoned by Newsom

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Fifty-five percent of all traffic stops in Oakland last year were African American drivers.
  • Fifty-five percent of all traffic stops in Oakland last year were African American drivers.


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

1. Oakland Police are making far fewer traffic stops, but the racial breakdown of those pulled over have barely changed, the San Francisco Chronicle. African Americans still make up more than half of all the traffic stops in Oakland last year. $$

2. Investigators in the Orinda shooting believe multiple gunmen open fired at the large AirBNB house party, the East Bay Times reports. Five were killed during the shooting on Oct. 31. $$

3. PG&E CEO Bill Johnson is scheduled to appear at a legislative oversight hearing in Sacramento today, the Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, PG&E may shut-off power this week to about 250,000 homes in Northern California, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

4. California Democratic Party leaders are beginning to question whether Sen. Kamala Harris' presidential campaign is on its last legs, Politico reports. “I don’t think she can last until California," one political consultant said.

5. California's illegal cannabis market is estimated to be three times larger than the state's legal market. The Associated Press reports there appears to be no solution for how state regulators will fix the problem.

6. Gov. Gavin Newsom issued pardons Friday to three Bay Area immigrants convicted of crimes and scheduled for deportation, the Associated Press reports. The cause of one of those pardoned, Saman Pho of Oakland, had become a cause celebre for some local immigrant activists.

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Friday, November 15, 2019

Friday's Briefing: Arrests made in Orinda shooting; Long-time Oakland councilman to retire next year

Alameda's secret recording will be released next week

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Nov 15, 2019 at 4:00 AM

A number of candidates hoping to replace Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid has already materialized. - BERT JOHNSON
  • Bert Johnson
  • A number of candidates hoping to replace Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid has already materialized.


News you don’t want to miss for Nov. 15-17:

1. Police arrested five people on Thursday believed to be involved in the Halloween night shooting in Orinda, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Five people died and several were injured at a party held at an AirBNB rental. Earlier in the day, Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputies arrested one individual in Marin City. $$

2. Will Alameda's secret recording provide any new information on the city's previous political interference scandal? Does it contain any embarrassing off-hand remarks? Alamedans will have to wait until next week to listen to the audio recording made by its former city manager of two councilmembers, the East Bay Citizen reports.

3. An end of an era in Oakland. Long-time Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid said he will not seek re-election to his District 7 seat next year, the East Bay Citizen reports. Reid has served at City Hall for nearly three decades. First, as an aide to Mayor Elihu Harris, and then as councilmember since 1997.

4. The Oakland City Council will place a parcel tax on the March 2020 primary to fund parks maintenance, homeless services, and improvements to its stormwater system, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. The fallout from PG&E’s decision to cut power to a large swath of Northern California as a precaution against additional wildfires continues to grow. “As Californians rushed to get backup power when PG&E cut electricity to millions this fall, some generators sparked fires or sickened people with carbon monoxide poisoning,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

6. Sen. Kamala Harris is introducing a federal legislation that would prohibit public utilities who are in bankruptcy, like PG&E, from giving their executives so-called “golden parachute” severance deals, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

7. The Associated Press provides a view from 30,000 feet in the sky of the PG&E crisis in California. “It’s a story of climate change, a housing crisis and an aging power system that, like much of the U.S. infrastructure, has fallen into disrepair.”

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Thursdays Briefing: Oakland drops Coliseum lawsuit; Man detained by BART for eating a sandwich is suing

U.C. regent accused of sexual harassment by grad student

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 4:00 AM

The entire Oakland Coliseum complex covers roughly 155-acres. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The entire Oakland Coliseum complex covers roughly 155-acres.


News you don't want to miss for Nov. 14:

1. A day before Oakland was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday to defend an injunction to block the sale of Alameda County's share of the Coliseum to the A's, the Oakland City Council directed its city attorney to drop the complaint, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

2. A U.C. Santa Cruz grad student accused George Kieffer, a U.C. regent of groping her, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The accusation was made Wednesday during a meeting of the U.C. Board of Regents. The student said Kieffer slid his hand above her knee during a dinner in 2014. $$

3. Steve Foster, the man who was handcuffed by BART police earlier this month for simply eating a sandwich on the platform of the Pleasant Hill BART station, is filing a lawsuit against BART police for racial profiling, KPIX reports.

4. Police departments in three Contra Costa County cities are offering gift cards in exchange for firearms, the East Bay Times reports. Concord, Walnut Creeek, and Clayton police are involved in the program to reduce the number of guns are the street. $$

5. Dr. Damon Bell was named interim president of Contra Costa College, the Richmond Standard reports. He replaces Dr. Katrina VanderWoude, who resign in August amid controversy.

6. East Bay Rep. Barbara Lee, the "Progressive OG," is featured on The Nation's Next Left podcast. Listen here.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wednesday's Briefing: Orinda police were in Oakland at the time of Halloween night shooting; OUSD meeting could move behind closed doors

Fat Slice is closing

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 4:00 AM

On any given night, Orinda has two police cars on patrol. - ORINDA PD
  • Orinda PD
  • On any given night, Orinda has two police cars on patrol.


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

1. Orinda typically has two police officers patrolling its streets at night. The East Bay Times reports call logs show both were headed toward Oakland to retrieve a stolen car prior to the Halloween night shooting in Orinda that killed five people. The officers arrived on the scene of the shooting more than 10 minutes after the first 911 calls. $$

2. AirBNB says it has a plan to verify 100 percent of its rental listings in the aftermath of the Orinda shootings, The New York Times reports. Exactly what that plan is remains unclear. $$

3. The Oakland Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting tonight will be open to the public. It follows a contentious Oct. 23 meeting in which protesters attempted to jump barricades. But EdSource reports that Wednesday night's meeting could be moved to a nearby conference room and without the public, if a similar scene occurs.

4. A 22-year-old homeless man from Albany was arrested on suspicion of shooting arrows at two other homeless people at the San Francisco Bay Trail in Richmond, KPIX reports. Both victims were injured.

5. In most years, the Bay Area would have accumulated about two inches of rainfall between Oct. 1 and today, the East Bay Times reports. But, so far, we haven't seen a drop of rain. $$

6. Berkeley's Fat Slice has fed Cal undergrads for more than three decades, but the pizza stand has struggled to turn a profit in recent years, Berkeleyside reports, and announced it is closing shop.

7. A's pitcher Mike Fiers made an explosive allegation Tuesday, asserting his former team, the Houston Astros, used a centerfield camera in 2017 to steal the signs of opposing teams, ESPN reports. Houston went on to win the World Series that year.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Tuesday's Briefing: BART GM apologizes to African American man for sandwich fiasco; Survivors of Gilroy shooting will file lawsuit

Steph Curry to have second surgery on broken hand

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Video of an African American man being detained for eating a sandwich on the Pleasant Hill BART station train platform went viral last week.
  • Video of an African American man being detained for eating a sandwich on the Pleasant Hill BART station train platform went viral last week.


News you don’t want to miss for Nov. 12:

1. BART’s general manager apologized to the African American man handcuffed and cited by BART Police last week for eating a sandwich on the station platform, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The police union’s president, however, still believes the officer’s response was justified. $$

2. It just keeps getting worse for Sen. Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign. A new poll shows she is polling at just one percent in New Hampshire, SFGate reports. Harris closed some campaign offices in New Hampshire recently in order to focus on the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucus.

3. “Several victims of the Gilroy Garlic Festival mass shooting will file a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that negligent security led to the tragic event,” KPIX reports. Three died and 17 were injured by a gunman last June at the popular festival.

4. Contra Costa County politics has sure been screwy over the last few months. Days after the county registrar was accused of using $130,000 in campaign funds for his own personal use, comes news that the county’s embattled Assessor Gus Kramer is running for supervisor, the East Bay Times reports. Kramer was censured recently by the CoCo Board of Supervisors for creating a hostile working environment. $$

5. Stephen Curry will require a second surgery on his broken left hand, according to CBS Sports. Curry, however, said he plans to return to the team later in the season. Meanwhile, the Warriors’ record dropped to 2-9 with a loss to Utah last night.

6. Three local universities were invited to the NCAA Women’s soccer tournament on Monday, SFGate reports. Stanford received one of four top seeds, and will face Prairie View A&M. Cal will play South Bay rivals Santa Clara in the first round. This year Women’s College Cup will be played at Avaya Stadium in San Jose.

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday's Briefing: Former Contra Costa County official hit with massive campaign finance fine; Kaiser Permanente CEO dies

Oakland seeks injunction to block Alameda County's sale of Coliseum to the A's

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Joe Canciamilla was Contra Costa County's top election official. He resigned on Oct. 31 ahead of the FPPC's announcement last week.
  • Joe Canciamilla was Contra Costa County's top election official. He resigned on Oct. 31 ahead of the FPPC's announcement last week.


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

1. Contra Costa County Clerk/Recorder/Registrar Joe Canciamilla resigned from his post on Oct. 31. A week later the state's Fair Political Practices Commission levied an enormous $150,000 fine on him for using personal campaign funds for vacations and home repairs, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Canciamilla, who was also a former county supervisor, mayor, and state legislator, illegaly used $130,000 in campaign funds for the endeavors, the FPPC alleges.

2. Two Alameda County Superior Court judges were also fined by the FPPC for campaign finance violations, the East Bay Citizen reports. Judges Scott Jackson and Jennifer Madden were elected to the bench for the first time in 2016. Both used the same campaign treasurer and both were fined for similar late reporting violations, the FPPC alleges. Jackson is on the hook for a $6,000 fine, Madden for $4,000.

3. Bernard Tyson, the CEO of Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente, died Sunday. He was 60, CNN reports. Tyson is credited with growing the health care provider since after taking over in 2013, in addition, to adding his voice to the chronic issue of race relations.

4. Oakland filed an injunction in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday to halt negotiations for Alameda County sale of half of the Coliseum complex to the Oakland A's, SFGate reports. The legal move follows an announcement last week by the Oakland City Council that the city engage in negotiations with the A's to sell their half of the Coliseum to the team.

5. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will consider a ban on the sale e-cigarettes, in addition, to flavored tobacco products, KTVU reports. The proposed prohibition, however, would only cover unincorporated areas of the county.

6. Sen. Elizabeth Warren opened a campaign office in Oakland on Sunday, NBC Bay Area reports. Oakland Council President Rebecca Kaplan was on hand to issue her endorsement of Warren, who is leading the Democratic primary polls in California, and most national polls.

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Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday's Briefing: Berkeley will consider barring criminal background checks of rental applicants; Is Steph Curry out for the season?

Black man arrested for eating a sandwich on BART platform goes viral

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Nov 8, 2019 at 4:00 AM

The report described Warriors officials recently learned Stephen Curry's broken hand injury is worse than originally believed. - STEPHEN LOEWINSHON
  • Stephen Loewinshon
  • The report described Warriors officials recently learned Stephen Curry's broken hand injury is worse than originally believed.


News you don't want to miss for Nov. 8-10:

1. Berkeley is proposing a city ordinance that would prohibit landlords from subjecting rental housing applicants to a criminal background check, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Seattle has a similar ordinance, but none exists in California.

2. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry will not return to the court this season after breaking is hand earlier this month, according to Ric Bucher in the Bleacher Report. The Warriors, however, are refuting the article.

3. BART officials are investigating an incident at the Pleasant Hill station where an African-American man was arrested after BART cops questioned him because he was eating a sandwich on the station platform, which is prohibited, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Monday evening's encounter was recorded by a passerby and the video has gone viral on social media. $$

4. AirBNB will pay the funeral expenses of the five people who were killed at one of the companies rentals in Orinda last Halloween, the Associated Press reports. AirBNB will also for pay grief counseling for the families of the deceased.

5. The California presidential primary is Mar. 3. Vote-by-mail balloting begins Feb 2. The Sacramento Bee asks, why is the campaign trail mostly devoid of candidates vying for the biggest electoral prize of all? "Political experts suggest the lack of attention is a sign that crafting a strategy just for California is nearly impossible."

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Thursday's Briefing: Alameda approves release of secret recording; Skinner wants DAs to request police misconduct records

State commission orders removal of Contra Costa County judge

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Alameda's political scandal is more than two years old and began with an allegation by the former city manager of improper political interference by two Alameda councilmembers.
  • Alameda's political scandal is more than two years old and began with an allegation by the former city manager of improper political interference by two Alameda councilmembers.


News you don't want to miss for Nov. 6:

1. Alamedans clamoring to hear the infamous secret recording made by its former city manager of a meeting with two councilmembers will finally get their wish... sort of. The Alameda City Council voted in closed session late Tuesday night to release a transcript of the 55-minute conversation between Jill Keimach, and Councilmembers Jim Oddie and Malia Vella, the East Bay Citizen reports.

2. East Bay state Sen. Nancy Skinner said district attorney's should take advantage of SB 1421, the law she authored allowing public access to police disciplinary records, instead of relying on defense attorneys and the media, the Los Angeles Times reports. $$

3. The state Commission on Judicial Performance is ordering the removal of Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge John Laettner, the Associated Press reports. Laettner is accused of misconduct, including denial of due process to a defendant and inappropriate sexual comments. The commission said Laettner also lied during an evidentiary hearing.

4. Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo said the city hauled away 250 tons of debris from the homeless encampment at the Home Depot near High Street, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The growing encampment still has another 50 tons ready to be hauled away, Gallo said. $$

5. The Kincade Fire and scheduled power outages cost school district across the state about 975,000 cumulative schools days, EdSource reports. Schools receive money from the state based on attendance. In these cases, schools can file a waiver for reimbursement.

6. The Berkeley City Council will vote on a resolution next week in support of impeaching President Trump, the Daily Californian reports. Berkeley issued a similar resolution in March 2017.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Wednesday's Briefing: Oakland resumes talks with A's to sell Coliseum site, but doesn't drop lawsuit; Hayward meeting shut down by mayor

Piedmont voters approve two tax measures for schools

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Nov 6, 2019 at 4:00 AM

The city of Oakland and Alameda County jointly own the Coliseum complex. The A's hope to purchase the 155-acre property and redevelop it with housing. - STEVEN TAVARES
  • Steven Tavares
  • The city of Oakland and Alameda County jointly own the Coliseum complex. The A's hope to purchase the 155-acre property and redevelop it with housing.


News you don't want to miss for Nov. 6:

1. The Oakland City Council announced they have entered negotiations with the Oakland A's, who are interested in purchasing the city's half of the Coliseum complex, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. However, the council has not yet dropped the lawsuit that hopes to stop the county from also selling its half of the site to the A's. $$

2. A Hayward City Council meeting was moved behind closed doors after numerous disruptions by the public Tuesday night, the East Bay Citizen reports. Police accountability advocates and the family of Agustin Gonsalez, who was fatally shot by Hayward Police, were upset after one of the officers who killed their son last November showed up at the meeting.

3. Voters in Piedmont overwhelmingly approved measures to increase taxes in order to further fund schools, the East Bay Times reports. Voters backed Measure G, which extends an existing $2,763 school parcel tax through 2028; and Measure H, which enacts a 25 cent per square feet tax on home improvements.

4. Nail-biter in the San Francisco district attorney's race. After ranked-choice voting tabulations, Suzy Loftus has a slim 250-vote lead over Chesa Boudin, KRON reports. Alameda County deputy DA Nancy Tung is a distant third.

5. Scott Donahue, whose sculpture seen everyday by motorists driving on Interstate 80 in Berkeley, is threatening a lawsuit against the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He believes the cost-cutting reason given by the city for removing his art work is insufficient and taking down the sculpture will damage his reputation. $$

6. La Bayadère, a 140-year-old ballet, contains a section where dancers traditionally wear skin-darkening makeup. SFGate reports the ballet at U.C. Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall faced controversy after some parents of young dancers invited by company to perform in the production balked at wearing "brownface." The dancers were later disinvited.

7. The California Department of Motor Vehicles allowed seven agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to illegally have access to 3,200 California resident's drivers license records, the Los Angeles Times reports. $$

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Tuesday's Briefing: Orinda shooting may be linked homicides four years ago; Wood Street encampment to be cleared

A's Marcus Semien is a MVP finalist

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Nov 5, 2019 at 4:00 AM

The Oct. 31 shooting in Orinda took the lives of five people and injured several others.
  • The Oct. 31 shooting in Orinda took the lives of five people and injured several others.


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

1. Police are investigating whether the Orinda shooting last Halloween night that killed five people is linked to murders in San Francisco four years ago, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

2. An RV homeless encampment on Wood Street in West Oakland will be cleared today and tomorrow, the East Bay Times reports. The city and a property owner is doing the work. More than 100 vehicles may be towed. $$

3. Ask and you shall receive. San Leandro's mayor is getting a pay raise, the East Bay Times reports. The San Leandro City Council approved a $15,000 pay bump for Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter. Her annual salary will be $45,000, three times the amount of her colleagues. $$

4. Seven school children in Alameda have been hit by cars since September, KPIX reports. The rash of accidents has city leaders searching for solutions to the traffic problems at some busy streets near schools.

5. A judge said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is not complying with a state law that calls for additional languages to be available at polling places when at least three percent of a precinct is made up of a specific minority group, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

6. A's shortstop Marcus Semien was named one of three finalists for the American League Most Valuable Player award, NBC Sports reports. The others are the Angels' Mike Trout and the Astros' Alex Bregman. $$

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