Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: Landlords to Sue Oakland Over Garbage Hikes; Weed Legalization Qualifies for Ballot

Plus, UC spent $158,000 on PR campaign following scathing state audit.


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Stories you shouldn’t miss for June 29, 2016:

1. A powerful landlords group is suing the city of Oakland over recent garbage rate hikes, claiming they represent an illegal tax, reports Matier and Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The East Bay Rental Housing Association, which represents landlords who control 20,000 housing units in Oakland, is angry about huge rate hikes in the past two years, including another 20 percent hike coming in July, and contends that a 30 percent “franchise fee” charged by the city is, in reality, a tax because the fee is not required to pay for the actual garbage service.

2. A measure that seeks to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use in California has qualified for the November ballot, reports Patrick McGreevy of the LA Times$. “The initiative would allow adults ages 21 and older to possess, transport, and use up to an ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes and would allow individuals to grow as many as six plants.” If the proposition passes, California will become the fifth state in the nation to legalize pot.

3. The University of California is coming under fire for spending $158,000 in public funds on a public relations campaign designed to respond to a scathing state audit on UC admission policies earlier this year, reports Alexei Koseff of the Sacramento Bee$. The state audit slammed UC for creating incentives to admit more out-of-state students who pay higher tuition, thereby disadvantaging California residents. UC officials defended their PR campaign, saying the state audit was inaccurate and unfair and that the $158,000 came from non-tuition fund sources.

4. Investigative reporters Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston of the East Bay Express have uncovered new details of Oakland police cover-ups of a statutory rape case and a home invasion involving Oakland cops. OPD homicide commander, Lieutenant Roland Holmgren, was involved in both cover-ups.

5. And a Utah official says the Oakland City Council’s vote to ban coal at a new marine terminal on the former Oakland Army Base could prompt them to withdraw their $53 million investment in the project, reports Erin Baldassari of the East Bay Times$. Four Utah counties pledged to make the investment so that coal mined in Utah could be shipped through Oakland to Asian markets.

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