Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wednesday's Briefing: Protesters deface Mayor Schaaf's home, later she breaks council tie to block further defunding of OPD

Alameda removes Andrew Jackson from park's name

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf


News you don't want to miss for July 22:

1. A large group of protesters vandalized Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's home early Tuesday morning, ABC7 reports. Schaaf's home and adjacent sidewalk was littered with graffiti that included, "Defund OPD."

2. Schaaf broke a deadlocked tie at the Oakland City Council by casting a no vote against a proposal to further slash the Oakland Police Department's budget, KPIX reports.

3. A Zoom bomber hurled racist and threatening comments at two Oakland school board candidates during a virtual candidates forum, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. An online forum held by two Hayward City Council candidates was similarly crashed on Monday night. $$

4. Alameda officials unanimously voted to remove President Andrew Jackson's name from a city park because of his history of alienation against Blacks and Native Americans, the East Bay Citizen reports. Jackson Park, located on Encinal Avenue near Park Street, was originally Alameda's first city park. A community group will be tasked with renaming it.

5. The Sierra Club disavowed its founder famed naturalist John Muir for his racist attitudes, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

6. U.C. Berkeley is reversing course and will begin the fall semester entirely online, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In June, the university planned to hold remote classes with hopes of mixing in some in-person instruction. But the uptick in recent coronavirus cases changed their plans. $$

7. Filipinos in California are dying from covid-19 at a rate higher than its portion of the state's Asian-American population, the Los Angeles Times reports. $$

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Tuesday's Briefing: Oakland nurse dies from covid-19; Large outbreak at a Walnut Creek nursing home

Trump is upset with Oakland, Giants manager

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Jul 21, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Nearly 9,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Alameda County, as of Tuesday, including 167 deaths. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Nearly 9,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Alameda County, as of Tuesday, including 167 deaths.


News you don't want to miss for July 21:

1. A nurse at Sutter Alta Bates Summitt Medical Center in Oakland has died from covid-19, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Janine Paiste-Ponder, 59, passed away on July 14. $$

2. A large outbreak of covid-19 at a Walnut Creek nursing home has killed 12 people and infected a total of 130 patients and employees, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

3. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Gov. Newsom, and even the Oakland Police Department rejected President Trump's comments on Monday that he would like to send federal law enforcement agents to places like Oakland to restore order, KPIX reports.

4. The A's lost to the Giants, 6-2, in an exhibition game at the Coliseum. But in statement that also rankled Trump, Gabe Kapler, the manager of the Giants, and several other players, took a knee during the National Anthem. Trump tweeted the "game is over for me!" in response to the action, CBS News reports.

5. United Airlines may cut 6,000 jobs at the San Francisco International Airport due to covid-19 and declining revenues, the Mercury News reports. The massive number of jobs lost could ripple across the Bay Area. $$

6. The economic doldrums of the pandemic is not only affecting individuals and families, but small churches, mosques, and synagogues, that are struggling to survive, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

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Monday, July 20, 2020

Monday's Briefing: 'Oakland is a mess,' Trump says, while advocating for more law enforcement at protests; A's-Giants play tonight

Fall high school sports postponed until the winter

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 4:00 AM

President Trump said on Monday that leaders in liberal cities are afraid of anarchists. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • President Trump said on Monday that leaders in liberal cities are afraid of anarchists.


News you don't want to miss for July 20:

1. President Trump wants to send additional law enforcement to quell protests in liberal cities, including Oakland, he said on Monday, KRON reports. "Oakland is a mess," Trump told White House reporters. The comments come after unidentified federal agents in Portland were seen grabbing protesters off the streets during protests.

2. Coziness between district attorneys and police has long been a concern, in particular, for progressive in Alameda County. The East Bay Times looks at the potential conflicts of interests that arise and whether the state should take over investigations of police-killings from local DAs.

3. Residents painted "Black Lives Matter" on downtown San Leandro street near East 14th Street, KTVU reports. The mural comes three months after San Leandro police officers killed Steven Taylor, a 33-year-old black man, and roughly a week after the California Attorney General's office declined to launch an independent investigation into the shooting by police inside a local Walmart.

4. The high school fall sports schedule will be moved back to December, or possibly, January due to covid-19, the California Interscholastic Federation announced on Monday, KPIX reports. For sports like football, local and state champions will not be crowned until April.

5. Baseball, though, is back in the Bay Area. The A's and Giants will meet tonight at the Coliseum in an exhibition game, Athletics Nation reports. It's the first professional sports the Bay Area has seen since last March. Opening night for the Giants is Thursday, and Friday for the A's.

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Friday's Briefing: Oakland settles Ghost Ship lawsuits for $32.7 million; John Lee Cowell receives life sentence for murder of Nia Wilson

Peralta chancellor resigns, blasts trustees

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Oakland officials estimate the costly $32.7 million settlement is less than the amount that could have been paid out after going to trial. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Oakland officials estimate the costly $32.7 million settlement is less than the amount that could have been paid out after going to trial.


News you don't want to miss for July 17-19:

1. Oakland has agreed to settled claims with the 36 families and survivors of the 2016 Ghost Ship warehouse fire for $32.7 million, SFGate reports. The city will claim no liability for the deadly fire, under terms of the settlement.

2. "John Lee Cowell, who was convicted of fatally stabbing 18-year-old Nia Wilson to death two years ago at the MacArthur BART station in Oakland, was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole in a hearing conducted over the internet," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

3. Peralta Community College Chancellor Regina Stanback Stroud resigned in a letter to its Board of Trustees in which she ripped their misbehavior towards one another and others, the East Bay Times reports. She also alleged violations of the Brown Act among board trustees and disclosure of confidential closed session information, and kowtowing to unions. Stroud was only named chancellor last September.

4. The FBI is joining an investigation into the death of 21-year-old Alameda resident Donald Stanifer, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Stanifer's body was found last Sunday afternoon at the Huckleberry Regional Preserve in Oakland.

5. A fire at a PG&E substation in San Ramon was put out Friday morning, although firefighters were stymied by the lack of nearby fire hydrants, KTVU reports. Earlier this week, PG&E took the blame for starting the Kincade Fire in Sonoma last year.

6. Every Bay Area county will soon be under the state's covid-19 watch list, with the inclusion of San Francisco and San Mateo, the East Bay Times reports. Alameda County was added to the list on July 12 after a recent spike in new cases.

7. Oakland A's rookie pitcher Jesus Luzardo will rejoin the team on Friday after testing positive for covid-19 earlier this month, NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Thursday's Briefing: Potential covid-19 outbreak at Santa Rita Jail; DA finds fault with Alameda officers who arrested black man dancing in the street

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Jul 16, 2020 at 4:00 AM

As of Thursday, Santa Rita Jail had 65 reported cases of covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in March. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • As of Thursday, Santa Rita Jail had 65 reported cases of covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in March.


News you don't want to miss for July 16:

1. An attorney alleges there is an outbreak of about 40 covid-19 cases at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, primarily among inmates working in the kitchen areas, KTVU reports.

2. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley found Alameda police officers who arrested a black man for exercising in the street last May did not follow protocols, but neither will be charged for wrongdoing, East Bay Citizen reports.

3. Richmond named Bisa French to be its next police chief, the East Bay Times reports. French, who has served as interim since last September, becomes the city's first black police chief. $$

4. Eight Cal student-athletes have tested positive for the coronavirus, including five announced this week, after returning to campus for practice, Sports Illustrated reports. The university has tested 126 athletes for the virus.

5. It is indeed a seller's market in the Bay Area. Single-family homes sales surged by 70 percent over the previous month, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The increase is nearly 8 percent behind the pace set a year ago. Meanwhile, the median home price is now $1 million. $$

6. The A's may utilize recordings of the beloved rightfield drum squad to liven up the fan-less Coliseum, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. And with long-time PA announcer Dick Callahan taking a break this season, there is talk of using recordings of Tom Hanks to announce the players. Opening night is July 24, sports fans. $$

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Wednesday's Briefing: Berkeley creates department to enforce traffic stops instead of police; Fairyland also in financial trouble

Outdoor dining approved in Alameda County; Zoo can reopen

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Like the Oakland Zoo, Fairyland is struggling without ticket revenues. - VISIT OAKLAND
  • Visit Oakland
  • Like the Oakland Zoo, Fairyland is struggling without ticket revenues.


News you don't want to miss for July 15:

1. Berkeley officials made national news early Wednesday morning by approving sweeping reforms to its police force, including taking away responsibilities for traffic enforcement away from the department, KTVU reports. A Berkeley Department of Transportation will soon be tasked with making traffic stops. Berkeley's long-range goal is to eventually reduce its police budget by 50 percent.

2. When Alameda County's interim public health officer said the state approving its variance to allow outdoor dining would be quick, he wasn't kidding. One day after submitting the county's application, the state approved the variance, meaning outdoor dining can resume and the Oakland Zoo can reopen with limited outdoor-only activities, SFGate reports.

3. Oakland's Fairyland is also in financial trouble because it cannot reopen during the pandemic, SFGate reports. The famous Oakland landmark at Lake Merritt, like the zoo, has exhausted covid-19 stimulus funding provided by the federal government.

4. The Tesla electric vehicle plant in Fremont has about 130 cases of the coronavirus, KPIX reports. In April, Telsa founder Elon Musk attempted to sue Alameda County in order to allow the factory to quickly reopen during the pandemic.

5. A noisy peacock roaming North Oakland has both a faithful following and legion of haters, SFGate reports. Incidentally, NBC's new streaming service named Peacock makes it debut today.

6. A woman riding BART apparently set her own hair on fire on Tuesday evening, SFist reports. Video of the incident went viral on TikTok.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Tuesday's Briefing: Alameda County to seek variance from state, outdoor dining and Oakland Zoo could reopen soon

'Town Fridges' are popping up in Oakland

by Steven Tavares
Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 4:00 AM

State variance, if granted, will allow the Oakland Zoo to reopen for outdoor-only uses. - OAKLAND ZOO
  • Oakland Zoo
  • State variance, if granted, will allow the Oakland Zoo to reopen for outdoor-only uses.


News you don't want to miss for July 14:

1. Alameda County supervisors gave their support for its public health officials to ask for a variance from the state allowing outdoor dining to resume in the county, the East Bay Citizen reports. Approval for the variance should be quick, the county's interim public health officer told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, and also allow the strugglin Oakland Zoo to reopen for outdoor-only uses.

2. State officials will soon require health insurance companies to cover the cost of coronavirus testing for most patients, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

3. BART, along with several transit agencies from around the country, is asking for up to $36 billion in additional federal aid due to significant drops in ridership due to covid-19, Bay City News reports.

4. Refrigerators with free food are popping up in Downtown, West Oakland, and Northgate neighborhoods, SFGate reports. The food is part of a grassroots effort to help feed people struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic.

5. Oakland Police are warning that with reductions in funding, a rise in violent crimes will follow, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Oakland City Council is eyeing further cuts to the police department's budget. $$

6. Burger Boogaloo, a rockabilly and punk music festival hosted in Oakland by movie director John Waters, is cancelled due to the pandemic, SFGate reports. The event will be rescheduled for next summer.

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Monday, July 13, 2020

Monday's Briefing: Alameda, Contra Costa Counties added to state's watch list as new cases soar; Body found at Oakland preserve

Is predictive policing falling into disfavor?

by Steven Tavares
Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Alameda County is closing in on 8,000 total cases of the coronavirus, as of Monday. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Alameda County is closing in on 8,000 total cases of the coronavirus, as of Monday.


News you don't want to miss for July 13:

1. Alameda County was added to the state's watch list of counties where the number of coronavirus cases is rising rapidly, KPIX reports. If the trend does not show signs of reversing in the next three days, the state will reimpose restrictions on reopening. Alameda County has nearly 8,000 total coronavirus cases, and 148 deaths, as of Monday.

2. With a number of restaurants and local business districts promising outdoor reopenings over the weekend, Alameda County public health officials pulled the plug last Friday night, citing the rise in new cases and a change in the state's guidance rules. The move sparked confusion and defiance in a number of cities, where plans for outdoor dining moved forward, KPIX reports.

3. Contra Costa County was also added to the state's watch list over the weekend, KRON reports. Outdoor seating is still allowed, but patrons must wear masks, except when eating and drinking, starting today. Indoor religious services are again not allowed.

4. East Bay Regional Park District police found a male body at the Huckleberry Regional Preserve in Oakland on Sunday afternoon, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

5. With services like Doordash becoming less of a convenience and more of a necessity for many during the pandemic, Berkeley officials capped their commissions at 15 percent, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The rule will stay in place for 90 days or whenever indoor dining is allowed in the city. $$

6. Predictive policing's days may be coming to end soon, KQED reports. The software, which promises to use data to pinpoint potential hotspots for crime, has been criticized for exacerbating racial bias. Santa Cruz recently discontinued its use.

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Friday, July 10, 2020

Friday's Briefing: Alameda voters will be asked to repeal ban on multi-family housing; Berkeley Bowl employees test positive for covid-19

Bay Area covid-19 testing sites are struggling to keep up with demand

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Jul 10, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Alameda voters approved Measure A in 1973 to stop the demolition of Victorian homes, but opponents believe the charter amendment's true intent was to inhibit a diverse population on the island. - MEGAN SMALL
  • Megan Small
  • Alameda voters approved Measure A in 1973 to stop the demolition of Victorian homes, but opponents believe the charter amendment's true intent was to inhibit a diverse population on the island.


News you don't want to miss for July 10-12:

1. Alameda voters will be asked this November to repeal an amendment to its charter approved in 1973 that effectively banned the construction of multi-family housing on the island for a generation, the East Bay Citizen reports. The charter amendment known as Measure A has served as a lightning rod in Alameda politics for more than four decades.

2. Higher demand for coronavirus testing in the Bay Area due to the recent increase in new cases is eating away at supplies and creating a backlog at laboratories, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Some sites, like one in Hayward that closed early one day last week because it exhausted its number of daily kits, said demand is also rising because people returning to the workplace need verification that they do not have the coronavirus.

3. The McDonald's on Telepgraph Avenue in Oakland that led to up 25 employees and their families contracting the coronavirus, can reopen on Monday, but only if complies with 11 health and safety procedures ordered by an Alameda County judge, Bay City News reports.

4. A unspecified number of employees at Berkeley Bowl tested positive for the coronavirus, Berkeleyside reports. Management is not revealing how many workers were infected at the popular grocery store.

5. Three Contra Costa County sheriff's deputies were shot by a suspect after a hostage standoff in Knightsen, KPIX reports. The suspect was shot and died at the scene.

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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Thursday's Briefing: East Bay good deeds: Fundraising efforts to save the Oakland Zoo, and a West Oakland man's home yields results

Founder of the East Bay Dragons motorcycle club passes away

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Giraffe at the Oakland Zoo. Last week, zoo officials said the park must be allowed to reopen or it will risk closure due to lost revenues incurred during the pandemic. - OAKLAND ZOO
  • Oakland Zoo
  • Giraffe at the Oakland Zoo. Last week, zoo officials said the park must be allowed to reopen or it will risk closure due to lost revenues incurred during the pandemic.


News you don't want to miss for July 9:

1. A six-year-old girl from Castro Valley is leading a online fundraising effort to save the Oakland Zoo, which officials said is in danger of closing due to the pandemic, KRON reports. As of Thursday morning, her efforts have yielded $57,000 in donations.

2. Meanwhile, there is a fundraising effort to save the West Oakland home of Warriors superfan Lloyd Canamore, KTVU reports. The bank recently sought to take over Canamore's home, which is painted in blue and gold Warriors colors, or force him to pay $350,000, he said. The community effort has already raised $137,000, as of Thursday morning.

3. U.C. officials believe a large number of recent frat parties is behind a sharp increase in coronavirus cases at the university, the East Bay Times reports. The spread of the virus could put the scheduled opening of the fall semester in danger.

4. Bay Area residents seeking a modicum of leisurely normalcy in Wine Country are out of luck after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in Napa County is leading to indoor dining, movie theaters, and wine tasting rooms, to again be shutdown, SFist reports.

5. Tobie Levingston, the founder of the East Bay Dragons, the Bay Area's first all-Black motorcycle club, has died, the East Bay Times reports.

6. Instead of stories about local businesses closing, here's one about one that is opening during the pandemic. Rocky's Market and The Kitchen, a grocery store/restaurant combo on the Oakland Waterfront at Brooklyn Basin is holding its grand opening this weekend, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$



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