Friday’s Daily Briefing: Judge Keeps Oakland Coal Plan Alive; Trump DOJ Warns Sanctuary Cities

Plus, anti-immigration firebrand Ann Coulter says she’s coming to Berkeley no matter what.


Coal trains may be coming to Oakland after all.

Bunny Norm-Lenburg/CC

Stories you shouldn’t miss for April 21, 2017:

1. A federal judge strongly indicated that the city of Oakland might have to allow a proposed coal terminal to be built at the former Army Base, reports Darwin BondGraham of the East Bay Express. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said the city council’s decision to ban coal handling in Oakland appears to have violated its contract with base developer Phil Tagami. The judge said Tagami’s suit against the city could go forward.

2. The Trump Justice Department sent warning letters to the state of California and to sanctuary cities, threatening to cut off federal grants if they continue to refuse to cooperate with federal efforts to deport undocumented citizens, reports Joseph Tanfani of the LA Times$. The DOJ awards $2.2 billion in federal grants to law enforcement agencies each year. The Trump administration’s actions could financially impact Alameda, Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro, and other Bay Area sanctuary cities.

3. Conservative, anti-immigration firebrand Ann Coulter says she’s coming to Berkeley to speak next week no matter what—although the organizers of her speaking engagement, the Berkeley College Republicans, have yet to identify a location for her, reports Nanette Asimov of the San Francisco Chronicle. Coulter rejected UC Berkeley’s offer to reschedule her event to May 2. The campus said it couldn’t ensure safety for the planned April 27 date.

4. The Oakland Planning Commission greenlighted the city’s tallest housing project—a 40-story skyscraper to be built at 13th and Franklin streets on the old Merchant’s Garage site, reports Roland Li of the San Francisco Business Times$. Activist groups seeking more community benefits from the developer had held up approval of the 634-unit, 400-foot tower.

5. Oakland auto dealerships are increasingly moving to the Coliseum area as the city’s Auto Row on Broadway transforms into a center for new housing construction, reports Hannah Norman of the San Francisco Business Times$.

6. Faced with high housing costs, young people are increasingly living with their parents in California and other states, reports Tatiana Sanchez of the Bay Area News Group$, citing a new Census Bureau analysis. The percentage of people age 18 to 34 living with their parents soared 10.2 percent in California in the past decade.

7. FuseBOX, a popular Korean-fusion eatery in West Oakland, announced that it’s closing on April 23, reports Tracey Taylor of Berkeleyside. The restaurant’s owners cited problems with maintaining staff, who often leave the area because of region’s housing crisis.

8. And iconic Oakland rapper Mistah F.A.B. said the fire that destroyed his North Oakland clothing store appears to have been started by an arsonist, reports Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle.

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