Tuesday’s Briefing: 1.1 Million California Buildings in Fire Danger Zones; Alta Bates Closure Will Restrict Access for Poor


Stories you shouldn’t miss for Dec. 18. 2018:

1. California has 1.1 million homes and buildings that are “within the highest-risk fire zones in maps drawn by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection,” the LA Times$ reports. Some of the highest risk zones are located in the Oakland and Berkeley hills.

2. “The planned closure of Berkeley’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center would severely restrict health care access for poor, elderly and minority East Bay residents, increase wait times for emergency care, and result in a loss of jobs,” reports Catherine Ho of the San Francisco Chronicle$, citing a new report by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Urban and Regional Development. Alta Bates in Berkeley is slated to close by 2030.

3. Marc and Lynne Benioff donated another $15 million to Children’s Hospital Oakland, reports Erin Allday of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The donation will fund “much-needed psychiatric care to East Bay kids and families suffering from lack of resources.” The Benioffs have already donated more than $200 million to UC San Francisco’s two children’s hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland.

4. The FBI is accusing an Oakland man of plotting to kill thousands of people in the Bay Area, but his defense attorneys say he was an online troll who enjoyed saying outrageous things and had no intention of committing violence, the San Francisco Chronicle$ reports. Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, 23, pleaded guilty in July “to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group.” A recently released video showed “Alhaggagi detailing how he’d lace cocaine with poison, plant bombs in UC Berkeley dorms, and set the Oakland hills ablaze.”

5. The Bay Area’s new $50 million ferry maintenance and emergency hub of the Water Emergency Transportation Authority opened in Alameda, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. The new facility will be home to WETA’s ferry fleet for the Bay Area.

6. And off-duty Oakland cop accidentally shot himself in the parking lot of a San Leandro shopping center, Bay City News reports. The officer was hospitalized and was listed in stable condition.

7. And ICYMI: A new report warns that the size of the Sierra snowpack could shrink by as much as 79 percent by 2100 if humans don’t limit greenhouse emissions, the LA Times$ reports, citing a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.