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Recent news roundup

UPDATE: City Attorney John Russo announces that the Oak-to-Ninth Referendum Committee has dropped its countersuit. Two CEQA lawsuits are pending. To find out why they blew their referendum attempt, see my post from last year.


In Berkeley, residents frightened of “elektro-smog” from cell phone antennas wrote overblown op-eds to the Planet, accusing Verizon of “domestic imperialism” and “class injustice.” The City Council of course had to allow the antennas under federal law, but downtown (such as it is) councilmember Dona Spring advised that residents “only use cell phones for emergencies.”Local journalists bicker over the DTO’s newest restaurant, Flora.

Jesse Douglas Allen-Taylor and OaklandSucks argue over whether or not West Oakland wants neighborhood improvement and greater public safety (otherwise known as gentrification). OaklandSucks points out that with rent control, there is no reason to fear higher home prices. JDAT calls him “anti-Black.”

The SF Weekly’s Matt Smith responds to an absurd Guardian article questioning the environmental benefit of high-rise housing. A consultant with Berkeley-based DC&E, who recommended the ridiculous office tower on the Army Base, said that urban residents are unable to grow their own food in apartments, so high-density housing isn’t environmentally-friendly.

OUSD Advisory Board President David Kakishiba, an anti-development activist, is in trouble over misleading fliers distributed to Fruitvale schools. They oppose an 810-unit housing development adjacent to the BART station, with the erroneous claim that it would somehow damage the new soccer field on the other side of the BART tracks from the project. In fact, the developers are pledging to support the maintenance of the field with condo fees, and will build a high-tech multimedia center to be used by surrounding schools. Mr. Kakishiba is subject to an ethics complaint over abusing his position on the school board to advance his anti-growth agenda.

Nancy Nadel was accused via an open email of trying “threaten” and “intimidate” a Jack London Square-area resident, apparently caused by her insensitive implication that his emails accusing the Council and mayor of hampering police work could be “libelous.” He responded by filing an ethics complaint and notifying the FBI’s corruption unit of her “inappropriate behavior.” Hey crazy citizen: there’s no federal law against being a bitch.

In a marathon session, the Oakland City Council heard hours of anti-war pontificating at the request of Councilmembers Brunner and Nadel, in order to pass a resolution against the War in Iran. A leading supporter of the resolution told the Council that their actions were doomed to irrelevance. The Council also debated Nancy Nadel’s smoking ban and passed it with significant exemptions, capping almost a year of public hearings on whether or not smokers should face fines for lighting up near a bus stop.

In real news, the City Council had some angry exchanges with the city’s planning staff, as I wrote about yesterday. Councilmember Brunner reminded staffer Alex Greenwood that the CED Committee entirely rejected the four “blueprints” for Army Base development and do not want to see them as the basis of an RFQ. He replied that the mayor wants them in. Ms. Brunner told him that if Dellums wants to come to the Council and defend a skyscraper on the Bay Bridge, he is welcome, but otherwise staff is to take direction from the Council.

Speaking of the City Council, President Pro Tem Jean Quan has told NovoMetro.com that she is beginning to explore a mayoral bid (in 2010). Meanwhile, superstar developer Phil Tagami denies over and over again that he is running for the City Council’s at-large seat next year, fueling speculation that he is in fact going to run. In addition to Henry Chang’s at-large seat, Jane Brunner and Nancy Nadel are up for reelection and likely to face opposition (unlike 2004, when both were unchallenged). I used to think Ms. Nadel was planning to retire, but her fetching new ‘do on Tuesday may indicate otherwise.

Posted in armybase, breakingnews, california, citycouncil, dellums, elections, housing, oakland, ousd, planningcommission.


One Response

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  1. V Smoothe says

    A woman doesn’t need to be running for office to get a makeover. Maybe she just has a date.