Year In Review: Quan’s Downfall Begins; Solyndra Abruptly Files For Bankruptcy

Dec. 29, 2011 | Part 3 of the East Bay Citizen Political Year in Review: July to September.

The Department of Labor announces $8 million in additional aid for over 4,500 unemployed workers at the shuttered Nummi auto plant in Fremont.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris files an amicus brief in support of the Eden Township Healthcare District in its appeal against Sutter Health’s right to San Leandro Hospital.

An internal memo sent by Alameda’s powerful firefighters’ union to its chief in 2009 surfaces warning about the risk associated with eliminating the city’s water rescue program. A probe later found at the time of Raymond Zack’s drowning, firefighters and cops were confused over whether the program actually existed any longer.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan urges Congress to reauthorize funding for the Federal Aviation Administration saying the potential lack of resources from the agency will stop the city from finishing construction upgrades at Oakland International Airport. Congress later resumes funding temporarily, but a looming fight in the new year looms over the exact same issue.

St. Rose Hospital asks the Eden Township Healthcare District for a $3 million short-term loan after a computer conversion gone awry prevents them from billing Medicare for nearly a month leading to a shortfall of $2.2 million.

Hayward Councilman Bill Quirk enters the race for the 20th Assembly District. With the new district redrawn to exclude the Tri-Valley, Quirk appears to be the front runner. Jennifer Ong, Mark Green and Adnan Shahab also enter the race.

Three-year-old Carlos Nava is murdered in his stroller on International Boulevard in Oakland. The senseless crime galvanizes, for a moment, a city racked with homicides. One-year-old Hiram Lawrence, Jr., shot in November, would later pass away after two weeks on life support and further sadden the community.

Word breaks that Joel Young, an assembly candidate for the 18th District, is accused of physically abusing his former girlfriend during an alleged confrontation in March. The disclosure does little to convince Young that his once-promising candidacy is toast.

Fremont’s Solyndra abruptly announces it will file for bankruptcy and immediate lays off over 1,100 highly skilled workers at the solar panel company.

As a sideshow to Alameda’s search for a new city attorney, Councilman Doug de Haan accuses his colleagues of leaking candidate information to the press. Later in the meeting, Mayor Marie Gilmore insinuates de Haan may actually be the leaker.

Rep. Pete Stark threatens executives at Solyndra with federal inquiries over the lack of notification they gave former employees if they did not extend salaries and other benefits for 1,100 unemployed workers.

At a town hall meeting in Hayward, the outspoken Pete Stark calls President Obama a “lousy politician.”

Ellen Corbett files for a campaign committee exploring a run for Stark’s congressional seat, although, she says later she’s aiming for 2014. We’re not so sure about that. Dublin Councilman Eric Swalwell, though, officially enters the race to challenge fellow Democratic Stark in 2012.

San Leandro passes a ban on polystyrene food containers starting in November 2012. It is estimated over three-fourths of the population in Alameda County live in locales with similar bans. Could a plastic bag ban be on deck?

Oakland resident Ken Pratt begins the downfall of Mayor Jean Quan when photos of her home show overgrown vegetation and broken wooden stairs. He famously pronounces her “the residential queen of blight” and its downhill from there for Quan.

Across the country, protesters angry with the astonishing inequity of the nation’s economy system, pitch the first tents at Zuccotti Park in New York City. The occupy movement is born and its seeds of change will soon land in a once forgettable patch of land in front of Oakland City Hall known as Frank Ogawa Plaza.