Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: Oakland OKs $615K for Fire Victims; 292-Unit Housing Project Proposed for Alameda

Plus, Berkeley’s soda tax is working, according to new report.


Courtesy Oakland Fire Department

Stories you shouldn’t miss for April 19, 2017:

1. The Oakland City Council unanimously approved $615,000 in financial assistance to victims of the West Oakland fire, reports Darwin BondGraham of the East Bay Express. The council voted to redirect federal community block grants to 70 families that were displaced by the March 27 blaze, which also killed four people. The financial assistance ranges from $6,500 to $12,375 per household.

2. Developers are proposing to build a 292-unit housing project in Alameda along the Estuary, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. The Alameda Shipways development by the Cavallari Group is to be built near the Posey Tube and the Marina Village Shopping Center and would include 40 units of affordable housing. The large housing project would be in addition to the Encinal Terminals and Del Monte housing developments.

3. Berkeley’s soda tax is working: It has reduced the sales of sugary beverages in the city without impacting overall revenues for retailers, reports Nicholas Cheng of the San Francisco Chronicle, citing a new study from University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and Oakland’s Public Health Institute. The study found that since the tax went into effect two years ago, soda sales have plunged 9.6 percent in Berkeley.

4. The University of California has agreed to pay a $1.7 million settlement to a former UC Berkeley employee who was sexually harassed by ex-Cal law school dean Sujit Choudhry, reports Nanette Asimov of the San Francisco Chronicle. Choudhry stepped down from his position as dean but remains a professor at the university.

5. BART officials estimated that the transit agency loses up to $25 million a year because of fare jumpers, reports Michael Cabanatuan of the San Francisco Chronicle. BART officials believe 4 to 5 percent of riders, up to 22,000 a day, don’t pay their fares.

6. President Trump’s plan to gut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would eliminate an anti-lead program that helps prevent Oakland children from being poisoned by lead paint, reports Casey Tolan of the East Bay Times$.

7. Climate change is worsening air pollution in the Bay Area and other parts of California, reports Kurtis Alexander of the San Francisco Chronicle, citing a new study from the American Lung Association. Hotter, dryer weather and wildfires and dust storms are filling the skies with more pollution.

8. New legislation in Sacramento would make it more difficult to terminate police officers accused of lying in California, reports Liam Dillon of the LA Times$. The bill by Democratic Assemblyman Miguel Santiago of Los Angeles is backed by police unions.

9. Troubled Oakland solar company Sungevity won approval from a bankruptcy court to sell itself to a private equity fund for $50 million, reports George Avalos of the Bay Area News Group$.

10. And A.G. Ferrari is closing its four remaining delis, including two in Oakland, and will refocus its business on its packaged line of imported Italian products, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. A.G. Ferrari will shutter its stores in Montclair and Piedmont Avenue on May 1.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.


 Published April 19, 2017 at 10:45 a.m.

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