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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Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday’s Briefing: Alameda councilman wants secret recording released to the public; Orinda eyes ban on AirBNB rental

Kamala Harris’s campaign is closing some New Hampshire offices

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

Alameda Councilmembers Jim Oddie and Malia Vella were accused by the city's former city manager of political interference two years ago. - STEVEN TAVARES
  • Steven Tavares
  • Alameda Councilmembers Jim Oddie and Malia Vella were accused by the city's former city manager of political interference two years ago.


News you don’t want to miss for Nov. 4:

1. In the wake of the Orinda shootings on Halloween night that occurred at an AirBNB rental, banning short-term rentals could be on the table when the Orinda City Council next meets, KGO-TV reports. Five people died at the party. No arrests have been made. Meanwhile, AirBNB announced it will ban so-called “party houses,” like the rental in Orinda, TechCrunch reports.

2. Alamedans have been clamoring for it and Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley urged for its release earlier this month. Now, Alameda Councilmember Jim Oddie said the secret audio recording of a meeting created by former City Manager Jill Keimach with the intent of gathering evidence of wrongdoing by him and Councilmember Malia Vella, should be released to the public, the East Bay Citizen reports.

3. President Trump declared “no more” federal aid for California in a tweet Sunday morning, Vox reports. As fires continue to burn all over the state, Trump added, California officials had failed to heed his previous warnings last year to “clean the forest floor” of brush.

4. The blackouts in Northern California were followed by more suspected wildfires started by its power lines, J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle lays out the California Public Utilities Commission’s task of regulating PG&E. $$

5. Oakland Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s bill to ban for-profit prisons in the state was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last September. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the U.S. Immigration, Customs Enforcement, in the meantime, want to sign five-year contracts with private prisons, including beds for 5,000 immigration detainees, before the ban the law goes into effect on Jan. 1.

6. Sen. Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign reshuffled her staff last week, now she has closed three offices in New Hampshire. Is there a way back for a campaign that once had so much promise? The Hill reports.

7. The long lines at Tucker’s Ice Cream in Alameda may not be human, but canines after the venerable Park Street institution unveiled a banana and peanut peanut yogurt created just for dogs, the East Bay Times reports.

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Friday, November 1, 2019

Friday's Briefing: 4 dead in Halloween party shooting in Orinda; Berkeley teachers reach tentative contract deal

Group wants court documents unsealed in Nia Wilson murder trial

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Nov 1, 2019 at 4:00 AM

The deadly party late Thursday night was held at a large AirBNB in Orinda.
  • The deadly party late Thursday night was held at a large AirBNB in Orinda.


News you don’t want to miss for Nov. 1-3:

1. Four people are dead after a shooting Thursday night at a Halloween party in Orinda, SFGate reports. Three died at the scene, another later. Others were also injured. The incident occurred at an AirBNB rental on Lucille Way. There had only been one homicide in Orinda over the past 15 years.

2. Berkeley teachers and the Berkeley Unified School District agreed to a tentative two-year contract agreement that includes 2.5 percent raises this year and next year, Berkeleyside reports. The deal also includes another seven percent increase if Berkeley voters approve a school parcel tax next year.

3. There is no doubt the public views PG&E as Public Enemy #1. The San Francisco Chronicle reports on fears employees are having about some customer’s fury over power outages and the company’s transmission lines starting deadly fires in Northern California. $$

4. A resident in the Upper Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland was allegedly abducted Tuesday night by two suspects wearing masks and taken to an ATM in Berkeley to withdraw his money, KTVU reports. Because of the PG&E power shut-off in the Oakland Hills, the victim's Ring door-bell camera was offline and did not capture the incident, which occurred in the driveway.

5. The First Amendment Coalition, which advocates for government transparency, wants a judge to unseal court records stemming from the trial of John Lee Cowell, the suspect accused of the 2018 murder of Nia Wilson at the MacArthur BART station, the East Bay Times reports. The group said the request to seal the records came without justification and is illegal. $$

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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Thursday’s Briefing: Santa Rita Jail inmates stage hunger strike; East Bay rep calls for PG&E to become a public utility

Stephen Curry breaks his left hand

by Steven Tavares
Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Last weekend's death of an inmate at Santa Rita Jail was the eighth incident this year. - FILE PHOTO
  • File Photo
  • Last weekend's death of an inmate at Santa Rita Jail was the eighth incident this year.


News you don’t want to miss for Halloween:

1. Prisoners at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin staged a one-day hunger strike and work stoppage on Wednesday, the East Bay Times reports, to protest unsanitary living conditions. $$

2. An inmate also at Santa Rita Jail died last weekend after ingesting an unknown substance, KTVU reports. It’s the eighth time this year that a prisoner at the jail has died while in custody.

3. State regulators are investigating whether PG&E’s equipment started two fires last Sunday in Contra Costa County, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Meanwhile, Fremont Rep. Ro Khanna said PG&E should become a public utility, the East Bay Citizen reports. $$

4. Here’s a top-notch lede from Mattias Gafni in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Say what you will about Russian interference, it just might get us Northern Californians out of this year’s precarious fire season.” Rain is brewing in somewhere over Russia and forecast to fall in Northern California around Nov. 10. $$

5. Not a good sign for Sen. Kamala Harris’s struggling presidential campaign: Politico reports Harris is cutting staff at her Baltimore headquarters and reshuffling others to Iowa.

6. A potentially dismal season just got worse for the Warriors. Stephen Curry broke his left hand during last night’s loss to the Phoenix Suns, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. $$

7. In observance of Halloween we present the tale of the Niles Canyon Ghost. Legend has it that she wanders the dark, woodsy road near Sunol, still wearing her white prom dress. Will she ever find the date who murdered her?

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wednesday’s Briefing: Nancy Skinner 1, NCAA 0; ALCO Board of Supervisors ban mutton-busting

Advocates vow to sue if U.C. system does not drop SAT for admissions

by Steven Tavares
Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Mutton-busting has long been a featured event at Castro Valley's Rowell Ranch Rodeo. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Mutton-busting has long been a featured event at Castro Valley's Rowell Ranch Rodeo.


News you don’t want to miss for Oct. 30:

1. East Bay state Sen. Nancy Skinner registered a major victory for college student athletes across the country after the NCAA announced it would allow them to be paid when their name, image, and likeness used, ESPN reports. Skinner’s “Fair Pay to Play Act” bill was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom last month. The NCAA had previously voiced strong opposition to the bill and had threatened to ban California universities from participating in championship events.

2. Advocates for African American, Latino and low-income students are threatening to file a lawsuit against the 10-campus University of California system if they do not drop the use of SAT and ACT admission tests for incoming freshman, EdSource reports. Critics said the admissions tests discriminate against minorities and the poor.

3. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash will seek a ballot measure for next year asking voters to exempt its gig-workers from the landmark AB5 bill signed into law last month, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The bill was created in part to force the three tech companies to reclassify their workers from independent contractors to employees. The proposed statewide measure needs roughly 630,000 valid signatures to make the November 2020 ballot. $$

4. As firefighters continue to battle the Kincade Fire in Northern California, the air in the East Bay will continue to be smoky in some areas on Wednesday, the East Bay Times. The forecast is prompting the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to issue a third consecutive Spare the Air alert. $$

5. Mutton-busting, the rodeo ride that features little kids riding sheep like bronco-busting horses, is now banned in Alameda County, the East Bay Times reports. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors narrowly approved the ban. Animal rights advocates said the ride causes significant mental and physical trauma for sheep. $$

6. Finnish entrepreneur Samuli Seppälä received approval from the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board to convert a long-closed school into his personal residence. The building will also features an artists colony, Berkeleyside reports. Hillside School was closed in 1980.

7. Conspiracy! ESPN reports Kevin Durant hatched an exit strategy for leaving the Warriors and teaming up with two other NBA stars way back in 2016 during training camp for the Olympics. Durant and the others followed through on the pact often speculated about last summer and joined the Brooklyn Nets.

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