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For a board long-known to play to a hard-nosed brand of politics, the tongue-lashing Chan gave some of her colleagues Tuesday was one of the most ferocious by any supervisor in years. Miley and Valle appeared stunned by the takedown. "I appreciate the candor," Valle said, stoically.
Miley said he would support Chan, but continued to push for a postponement in order to extract additional community benefits from the developer. "If it were my district, I would probably push that developer a little further."
The decision was 3-1, with Valle voting no. Supervisor Scott Haggerty was absent from the vote.
The San Lorenzo Village Green is to be constructed on the old Mervyn's site on Hesperian Boulevard that has been a vacant lot for more than two decades. Various proposals to develop the area with housing and retail have failed over the years to the consternation of San Lorenzo residents. The vacant lot had become a symbol for some in San Lorenzo for the county's indifference toward the unincorporated area. A similar sentiment exists in nearby Ashland, Cherryland, and Fairview, where development is scant and poverty is growing.
But at a time when large housing developments are routinely opposed by neighborhood groups for increasing traffic, and reducing parking, among other complaints, there was little opposition to the Village Green project, which also will add 11,500 sq. ft. of retail to the area. The developer also plans to refurbish signage on the historical Lorenzo Theater across the street from the project.
Wahab Suspends Congressional Campaign
Hayward Councilmember Aisha Wahab is suspending — but not ending — her campaign for Rep. Eric Swalwell's seat in the 15th District, she announced Monday. She provided no indication why she chose the less definitive description for ceasing the campaign's operations other than focusing on her advocacy on the Hayward City Council and elsewhere.
"I may be suspending this campaign, but I will continue to be a vigilant voice for every member of my community through my work on the Hayward City Council," she wrote in an email to her supporters. "The fight for affordable housing, fair wages and access to economic opportunity is critical and I will continue to speak up and speak out where change is necessary."
As a first-term councilmember, Wahab made a quick splash in the city's local politics by tapping into a progressive consciousness that had not been served by Hayward elected officials in decades. Her entrance into congressional politics came only after Swalwell announced his run for presidential last April. At the same time, the congressman suggested he would not seek re-election to his seat, leaving it open. But Swalwell soon hedged on whether he would eventually rejoin the 15th District race, and he ended his campaign for president on July 8.
Swalwell's campaign sent a mailer to district voters last week reminding voters of his accomplishments over the years, while also highlighting Muslims in his district. Wahab is the nation's first-ever Afghan-American elected official.
Money is likely an issue that factored heavily into Wahab's decision. Her campaign raised $56,000 over a roughly three-month span last spring and reported $40,000 in cash reserves, according to mid-year finance reports released earlier this month. Swalwell, meanwhile, reported over $2 million in combined reserves that include his congressional and presidential accounts.
In Other News ...
Another fire at an Oakland construction site late Thursday night is attracting scrutiny from Oakland fire investigators and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. ... The rate of homeownership in the Bay Area is at a seven-year low, the East Bay Times reported. ... A homeless encampment near the Home Depot in East Oakland was cleared Tuesday, KTVU reported. ... Some mayors in the East Bay want the recently closed Glen Dyer Jail in Oakland to be converted into a homeless shelter, the San Francisco Chronicle reported . ... Emeryville repealed an ordinance that exempted some small businesses from paying employees the city's minimum wage, which was raised to $16.30 an hour on July 1, the Chron reported. ... The renovation of the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center near Lake Merritt will begin construction in early 2020 and be renamed "Oakland Civic," the Times reported. ...
U.C. Berkeley's football and men's basketball teams know a lot about being unranked, but now the entire university knows the feeling after the U.S. News & World Report's popular Best Colleges list removed the school's number two ranking, SFGate reported. Cal was downgraded to unranked after it "greatly overstated" its contributions from alumni. ... Growing suspicions about China in the realm of science and technology by the Trump administration is affecting university research at U.C. Berkeley and other U.C. schools, the Los Angeles Times reported. Chinese students and professors are facing delays in securing visas. ... Berkeley will start a pilot program this September to support reusable cups at various cafes in the city, SFGate reported. The stainless steel coffee cups are scanned at the register. If you don't return them within five days, you will be charged for the cup. ...