Friday’s Briefing: Oakland Hit With Another $1 Million Judgment in Brooks Case; Senators Call for Investigation Into ICE Lying About Schaaf

Plus, Bay Area housing prices soar to new record highs amid extreme shortage.


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Stories you shouldn’t miss for March 23, 2018:

1. A judge ordered the city of Oakland to pay an additional $1 million in the case involving Councilmember Desley Brooks’ assault on ex-Black Panther Elaine Brown, reports David DeBolt of the East Bay Times$. The ruling by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Paul D. Herbert is for Brown’s attorneys’ fees and court costs and comes on top of a previous $3.75 million judgment against the city for Brooks’ violent actions. In addition, Brooks has been ordered to personally pay $550,000 to Brown.

2. Twelve U.S. senators, including Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, are calling for an investigation into the resignation of former ICE spokesman James Schwab, who quit after he refused to lie about the impact of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s warning of immigration sweeps, reports Lisa Fernandez of KTVU. Schwab left his job because he said ICE officials' claim that 800 immigrants avoided capture because of Schaaf was false.

3. Bay Area housing prices continue to soar to stratospheric levels amid the region’s extreme housing shortage, reports Marissa Kendall of the Bay Area News Group$, citing a new report by housing data company CoreLogic. In San Francisco, the median home price reached $1.5 million, up 30 percent from last year. In Alameda County, it hit $750,000.

4. A dam on the Tuolumne River near Yosemite nearly collapsed on Thursday during heavy rains, forcing nearby residents to evacuate, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Moccasin dam is operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and is just above Lake Don Pedro.

5. Craigslist announced that it’s killing personal ads in response to new legislation passed by Congress that seeks to hold publishers criminally accountable for any content that may involve sex work, reports Annie Ma of the San Francisco Chronicle. “The new bill, called the Fighting Online Sex Trafficking Act, or FOSTA, imposes a penalty of fines or a prison term for anyone who operates an online service that promotes or facilitates prostitution.”

6. Oakland may impose strict new rules on plastic straws, reports Ali Tadayon of the East Bay Times$. Under the proposal by Councilmember Abel Guillen, restaurants and fast-food outlets would be barred from handing out plastic straws unless requested by customers. Guillen noted that plastic straws often end up in local waterways where they harm wildlife.

7. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said she’s returning a $2,500 campaign contribution made by Tri-Valley developer James Tong, “who was indicted last August for violating federal election campaign finance laws and, prior to that, was ordered to pay $650,000 in fines in late 2015 for falsifying environmental documents,” reports Steven Tavares of the East Bay Citizen. O’Malley has also come under fire for accepting a $10,000 donation from the Fremont police union just months before her office cleared Fremont cops of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a pregnant teen.

8. President Donald Trump is threatening to shut down the federal government because he’s unhappy that a bipartisan Congressional spending bill includes only $641 million for his controversial border wall, The New York Times$ reports. Trump said he may veto the bill today, which would likely shut down the government tonight.

9. And Gov. Jerry Brown’s chief of staff, Nancy McFadden, has died at the age of 59 after a battle with cancer, the Sacramento Bee$ reports.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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