Tuesday’s Daily Briefing: Oakland Blocks Coal Plan; Gov. Brown OKs $122 Billion Budget
Plus, a Berkeley school receives threats because of activist teacher.
Stories you shouldn’t miss for June 28, 2016:
1. The Oakland City Council voted 7-0 last night to block a proposal to ship coal through a new marine terminal at the former Army Base, reports Rachel Swan of the San Francisco Chronicle. The coal-ban vote, which drew a standing ovation from environmentalists, followed two city-commissioned reports that concluded the coal shipment plan posed a health risk to West Oakland residents and to port workers. Proponents of the coal plan vowed to sue the city over the council’s unanimous vote (Councilmember Desley Brooks was absent).
2. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a $122 billion budget that directs more money to public schools, higher education, childcare, and social services, and places an additional $3 billion into the state’s reserve fund, reports Melody Gutierrez of the San Francisco Chronicle. The budget package also sets aside $400 million for affordable housing, but that money will not be released until Brown and the legislature hammer out a deal on streamlining new housing projects throughout the state.
3. Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School has received threats of violence because of a radical activist teacher’s involvement in a counter-demonstration in Sacramento on Sunday that turned into a bloody clash with neo-Nazis, reports Emilie Raguso of Berkeleyside. The teacher, Yvette Felarca, has long been involved in protest politics in the East Bay and is a member of the radical group By Any Means Necessary.
4. The city of Berkeley is moving forward with a plan to build a 16-story, 335-room hotel in downtown, reports Tessa Love of the San Francisco Business Times$. Another developer, meanwhile, is seeking approval for a 180-foot-tall, mixed-use high-rise in downtown as well.
5. Gov. Brown and legislative leaders announced a sweeping reform package that would tighten restrictions on the scandal-plagued Public Utilities Commission, reports Liam Dillon of the LA Times$. The proposal would allow the state Attorney General to prosecute PUC members who have backroom dealings with the utilities they’re supposed to regulate. The package also would transfer oversight of Uber and Lyft from the CPUC to the state Department of Transportation.
6. And the East Bay Regional Park District has once again closed Lake Temescal in North Oakland because of another toxic algae bloom, reports Jenna Lyons of the Chronicle. This is the third year in a row that the district has closed the lake because of toxic algae.
$ = news stories that may require payment to read.