Wednesday’s Briefing: Democrats Score Big Victories; Majority of Oaklanders Like Laney Ballpark Site

Plus, new BART trains fail another test, possibly delaying launch again.


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Stories you shouldn’t miss for Nov. 8, 2017:

1. In a repudiation of President Trump, Democrats scored big victories on Tuesday, winning the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races easily and unseating numerous Republicans, The New York Times$ reports. Democrats also “swept two other statewide offices in Virginia, made gains in the Virginia State Legislature, and won a contested mayoral race in New Hampshire.” In addition, Democratic candidates won a series of firsts, including the first openly transgender state lawmaker winning election in Virginia, defeating an anti-LGBTQ Republican.

2. A large majority of Oaklanders — 62 percent — support the A’s’ plan to build a privately financed ballpark next to Laney College and Lake Merritt, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, citing a new poll commissioned by the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. Only 31 percent oppose the team’s proposal, with 7 percent having no opinion.

3. BART’s new train cars failed another test recently, raising concerns about more delays for the agency’s planned launch of the first its new fleet of trains, reports Erin Baldassari of the East Bay Times$. State regulators said the 10-car test fleet “failed to recognize all the cars in the line-up, instead recognizing only three of the cars on the train. At the same time, the train operator was unable to open the doors at platform stops.” The new train cars have been riddled with glitches.

4. ICYMI: The Oakland City Council voted 5-3 last night to approve a massive for-sale housing project — 918 homes — at the former Oak Knoll naval site in the Oakland hills. Affordable housing activists opposed the plan by developer SunCal because it included no below-market-rate units, while construction unions objected to the plan because it included no project-labor agreement.

5. Developer City Ventures sold out its 171-unit townhome project in West Oakland and is planning three other for-sale housing projects in the city, reports Roland Li of the San Francisco Business Times$. City Ventures is building 47 townhomes adjacent to the Station House site at 14th and Wood streets that just sold out; 126 townhomes at 2210 Filbert St. and 2310 Myrtle St., also in West Oakland; and is proposing 50 townhomes for 3927 Wattling St. in the Fruitvale district.

6. And Sierra Nevada ski resorts are open for business early this year thanks to the recent snow storms, reports Melody Gutierrez of the San Francisco Chronicle.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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