Friday’s Briefing: Bill to Reinstate Rent Control Defeated; Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant to Shut Down


Stories you shouldn’t miss for Jan. 12, 2018:

Rob Bonta.
  • Rob Bonta.
1. A bill that sought to overturn the state’s Costa Hawkins law and allow cities to reinstate stronger rent control measures failed in a legislative committee on Thursday, reports Melody Gutierrez of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The legislation, which was written by Assemblymember Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, and co-sponsored by Assemblymember Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, would have allowed cities to expand rent control and apply it to new housing. Under Costa Hawkins, apartment buildings in Oakland constructed before after 1983 are exempt from rent control. Landlord groups strongly opposed Bloom’s bill, but the issue could be headed for the November ballot, unless the legislature can reach a compromise.

2. California regulators voted to close the state’s last nuclear power plant — Diablo Canyon — in 2025, likely bringing an end to nuclear energy in the state, reports David R. Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle. State law bans the opening of new nuclear facilities until regulators can find a way to safely dispose of nuclear waste — which has so far proven to be impossible.

3. Developer Ellis Partners is breaking ground today on an 18-story office tower in downtown Oakland that will serve as the new home of the University of California, reports Blanca Torres of the San Francisco Business Times$. The 334,000-square-foot high-rise is being constructed next to the historic Key System building at 1100 Broadway.

4. Ruby Bridges Elementary School in Alameda was shut down for two days this week because of electricity problems, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. The school at 351 Jack London Ave., which serves 600 students, reopened on Thursday after being shuttered on Tuesday and Wednesday.

5. Ex-Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and her husband Floyd Huen have sued the city and county of San Francisco to overturn a decision that blocked their plan to open a cannabis dispensary in the city’s Sunset district, reports Rachel Swan of the San Francisco Chronicle$. Quan and Huen’s lawyers claim that the board of supervisors, in denying their request to open, overturned “legally correct land use decisions to favor politically connected groups.”

6. In a move that promises to harm news organizations and small businesses, Facebook announced that it will greatly deemphasize posts by the news media and from businesses in user’s feeds, The New York Times$ reports. Facebook, instead, will emphasize posts from friends and family in order to make people happier.

7. And President Trump once again embarrassed the nation with his racism, referring to Haiti and African countries as “shitholes.” Trump sort of denied making the remark today, but members of Congress who attended the meeting confirmed that he did so, the Washington Post$ reports.

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