Monday’s Daily Briefing: Bees Rampage in Concord Neighborhood; Transportation Officials Plan Gas Tax

Plus, the cash-strapped University of California has spent $700,000 on a new fence around the home of Berkeley's chancellor.


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Killer bee.

Stories you shouldn’t miss for May 16, 2016:

1. A swarm of suspected killer bees rampaged through a Concord neighborhood over the weekend, killing two dogs and stinging residents and visitors repeatedly, report Rachel Swan and Peter Fimrite of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The rampage occurred after an experienced beekeeper attempted to move two hives. Killer bees were first discovered in the East Bay in 2014.

2. Bay Area transportation officials are considering a 5- to 10-cents-a-gallon gas tax measure for the November ballot in order to pay for road repairs throughout the region, reports Erin Baldassari of the East Bay Times$. A recent poll showed that 72 percent of area residents back a 5-cents-a-gallon tax, while 58 percent support a 10-cent tax. However, some transportation advocates are worried that there will be too many measures on the ballot, including a $3.5 billion BART bond.

3. UC Berkeley, which will likely slash academic programs because of a massive budget shortfall, has spent $700,000 on a new fence surrounding Chancellor Nicholas Dirks home on campus, report Matier and Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The expensive fence is designed to keep protesters away from Dirks’ house.

4. Gov. Jerry Brown is backing a $2 billion plan to build housing for the state’s mentally ill homeless population, report Gale Holland and Abby Sewell of the LA Times$. Under the plan, the state would float $2 billion in bonds to be paid back by the 2004 “millionaire’s tax” approved by voters.

5. Brown, however, does not support spending more state money on affordable housing, despite the massive housing shortage in California, reports Liam Dillon of the LA Times$. Rather, the governor is pushing a plan to streamline the construction of housing projects that include affordable units.

6. Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent affirmed the department’s conclusion that a cop who killed himself last fall did not shoot his wife to death in 2014, reports David DeBolt of the East Bay Times$. However, the chief said that the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is reinvestigating the matter, along with a department sex scandal linked to the death of the officer and his wife.

7. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said her office will now investigate all deaths involving police officers—not just ones that include fatal shootings, reports Dan Lawton of the East Bay Times$. O’Malley was the only DA in the Bay Area that wasn’t investigating all deaths involving police.

8. Luxury-electric carmaker Tesla has been bringing in immigrants from overseas to work for extremely low wages—as low as $5 an hour—at its Fremont plant, reports Louis Hansen of the Mercury News$.

9. And moviemaker George Lucas of Star Wars fame may locate his film museum on Treasure Island, report Matier and Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle.  

$ = news stories that may require payment to read. 

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