Tuesday Must Reads: Berkeley Councilman Targets Tall Buildings; State Senate to Reconsider Kill Switch Legislation


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Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Berkeley Councilmember Jesse Arreguin is backing a proposed ballot measure that would require tall buildings planned for the city’s downtown area to meet strict environmental standards, Berkeleyside reports. Any buildings more than 75-feet tall would be required to meet LEED platinum standards. In addition, tall buildings also would have to include at least 30 percent affordable units. Opponents of the measure say it would effectively block new development planned for downtown Berkeley. The proposal also appears to conflict with a measure adopted by Berkeley voters in 2010 that sought to increase density in the city’s downtown area.

Mark Leno
  • Mark Leno
2. State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) plans to ask the Senate to reconsider kill switch legislation this week despite staunch opposition from the powerful smartphone industry, the Mercury News$ reports. Last month, the Senate narrowly defeated Leno’s bill, which sought to require smartphones to come equipped with kill switches that render the devices inoperable when stolen. The legislation is backed by law enforcement officials statewide, but smartphone manufacturers have lobbied hard to block it.

3. A bill that would ban so-called dark money in California politics starting this July passed the state Assembly on 56-7 vote, the SacBee$ reports. The legislation, which now goes to the state Senate for consideration, requires nonprofit groups that engage in political activity to reveal their donors. Currently, they can keep their donors’ identities secret.

4. Five Catholic Supreme Court justices voted to allow cities to sanction Christian prayer during official public events, the LA Times$ reports. Of the four US Supreme Court justices who voted against the ruling, three are Jewish, and one is a non-practicing Catholic.

5. And Chef Daniel Patterson, who owns the Oakland restaurants Haven and Plum, was named the best chef in California by the prestigious James Beard Awards, the Chron reports.