Wednesday’s Briefing: Oakland Homicides Drop to Lowest Level in 19 Years; Newsom Wants to Spend $1.8B on Early Childhood Programs


Stories you shouldn’t miss for Jan. 2, 2019:

1. The number of homicides in Oakland in 2018 dropped to their lowest level — 68 — since 1999, and major crimes in the city declined 11 percent compared to 2017, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. Major crimes also plummeted in Berkeley by 16 percent and declined slightly in Richmond by 3 percent. In Oakland, “non-fatal shootings, robberies and burglaries all decreased too, the latter by 22 percent. There also were 31 percent fewer rapes and 28 fewer aggravated assaults.”

2. After he takes office on Monday, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will propose to spend $1.8 billion on early childhood education programs that are designed to help close the gap between low-income and wealthy families, reports John Myers of the LA Times$. “The spending would boost programs designed to ensure children enter kindergarten prepared to learn, closing what some researchers have called the ‘readiness gap’ that exists based on a family’s income. It would also phase in an expansion of prekindergarten and offer money to help school districts that don’t have facilities for full-day kindergarten.”

3. A 6-year-old Oakland girl was struck in the head by stray bullet that police believe came from New Year’s celebratory gunfire, the East Bay Times$ reports. The young girl was standing in her backyard when she was struck by the bullet. She was taken to Children’s Hospital Oakland where she was listed in stable condition.

4. About 200 people attended a vigil on Tuesday at the Fruitvale BART station commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the death of Oscar Grant, who was killed by a BART police officer, reports Rachel Swan of the San Francisco Chronicle$. BART “recently commissioned a mural to honor Grant on a wall of Fruitvale Station, and Grant’s family filed an application to rename the station and a small side street after Grant.”

5. California’s drought hurt the state’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because the state was forced to rely more on fossil-fuel power due to reduced electricity produced by hydropower, reports Kurtis Alexander of the San Francisco Chronicle$, citing a new Stanford study. The study found that “10 percent of the total carbon dioxide spewed from California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho for power generation this century is the result of states turning to fossil fuels when water was too sparse to spin electrical turbines at dams.”

6. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, 48, was hospitalized with several broken bones after he was hit by a car while bicycling on New Year’s Day, reports Tracey Kaplan of the Mercury News$.

7. And Golden State Warriors’ superstar Steph Curry is throwing a free party at Oakland’s Fox Theater on Friday, Jan. 4, to show his appreciation for The Town, reports Katie Dowd of SF Gate.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.