Thursday’s Briefing: 70% of Bay Area Residents Want More Housing in Cities; Ghost Ship Owner to Get $3.1M Payout


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Stories you shouldn’t miss for Sept. 28, 2017:

1. Seventy percent of Bay Area residents and nearly two-thirds of Californians say they favor building more housing in cities to deal with the housing shortage, reports Katy Murphy of the Bay Area News Group$, citing a new survey by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. Renters are far more likely to support new housing than homeowners — 73 percent versus 55 percent. In addition, whites were less likely to support new housing than people of color. A majority of Republicans oppose new housing.

2. Chor Ng, owner of the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland where 36 people died in a fire last December, is set to receive a $3.1 million insurance payout, the East Bay Times$ reports. Ng has also managed to avoid criminal prosecution despite the fact that she was aware of the dangerous conditions inside the Ghost Ship. However, she is being sued by victims’ families.

3. California will hold its 2020 presidential primary in March rather than June, under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, reports Christopher Cadelago of the Sacramento Bee$. The change is designed to give California voters a greater say in determining the next presidential nominees.

4. California would need to increase its housing supply by 20 percent in order to achieve just a 10 percent reduction in prices, reports Peter Fimrite of the San Francisco Chronicle$, citing a new forecast from UCLA economists. The problem is that the state has failed for decades to build enough housing, causing prices to soar out of control.

5. Seventy-three percent of Alameda residents say the cost of housing on the Island is an “extremely or very serious problem,” reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$, citing a new city-commissioned survey. In addition, 42 percent of Alamedans said sea level rise falls into that category. Sixty percent identified traffic congestion in Alameda as a problem.

6. A 277-unit, eight-story housing project has been proposed in Oakland for a vacant parcel next to I-980, at Brush, 7th, Castro, and 6th streets, reports Roland Li of the San Francisco Business Times$. The property is owned by Caltrans.

7. Law enforcement officials identified the homicide suspect who died in a shoot-out with police on I-880 in Emeryville yesterday as Demilo Trayuon Hodge, 45, of San Leandro, reports Harry Harris of the East Bay Times$. Hodge was wanted in connection with a 2015 killing in Fairfield.

8. Half of California voters say they do not want U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein to run for reelection again next year, reports Phil Wilon of the LA Times$, citing a new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California. Feinstein, 84, has not yet announced whether she plans to run again.

9. And a majority of Americans think that President Trump is unfit for office, Politico reports, citing a new Quinnipiac University poll. The poll also reports that “59 percent say Trump is not honest, 60 percent say he does not have good leadership skills, and 61 percent say he does not share their values.”

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