Thursday’s Daily Briefing: 12,000 People Apply for 32 Affordable Housing Units; Alameda Council OKs Just Cause Eviction Law

Plus, ex-FBI chief Robert Mueller named special prosecutor in Russia-Trump probe.


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Stories you shouldn’t miss for May 18, 2017:

1. Nearly 12,000 people applied for 32 affordable housing units at a new apartment complex in Alameda, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. The huge number of applications underscored the magnitude of the region’s housing crisis. ‘“That’s the measure of the need in our community,’ said Baker Lyon of Resources for Community Development, the Berkeley nonprofit that partnered with Alameda’s Housing Authority to build the $17.4 million project” known as Stargell Commons.

2. The Alameda City Council voted 3-2 to establish a just cause law that prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for no reason, reports Steven Tavares of the East Bay Citizen. Councilmembers Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Jim Oddie, and Malia Vella voted in favor of the new law, while Mayor Trish Spencer and Councilmember Frank Matarrese voted against. The new ordinance mandates that landlords must have a valid reason to evict renters—such as failure to pay rent or violating a lease agreement. Oakland and Berkeley have similar ordinances.

3. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the wide-ranging investigation of Russia interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties to the Trump campaign. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller, who is widely respected and is a former U.S. attorney in San Francisco. President Trump called the appointment of a special counsel a “witch hunt.”

4. President Trump knew that Gen. Michael Flynn was under federal investigation before appointing Flynn to be his national security advisor, a job that gave Flynn access to the nation’s highest secrets, The New York Times$ reports. In addition, McClatchy reports that Flynn, as NSA, personally intervened to stop a U.S. military operation against ISIS, a move that was favored by the Turkish government, without disclosing that he had been on the Turkish payroll.

5. GOP House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, said in a recorded conversation before the election last year that he believed Trump was being paid by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Washington Post$ reports. Spokespeople for McCarthy and GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was also present during the conversation, initially denied that it occurred, but then later said McCarthy was only joking.

6. Scientists say California’s new rules on groundwater pumping are woefully inadequate after they released a report estimating that state farmers created “a groundwater deficit large enough to fill an empty Shasta Lake seven times in order to keep their profitable orchards alive during California’s epic five-year drought,” the Sacramento Bee$ reports. The report was conducted by researchers at UCLA and the University of Houston.

7. Ex-Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who was forced out of his job by a sex harassment scandal, has died at the age of 77.

8. And Erwin Chemerinsky, “an influential legal scholar, author and founding dean of UC Irvine School of Law, was named the dean of UC Berkeley School of Law,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

 

Published May 18, 2017 at 10:37 a.m.

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