April 2013

>>>San Leandro City Council approves the construction of a private 100-foot wind turbine on its shoreline and angers a group of homeowners at the neighboring Heron Bay housing development. The homeowners association sues the city and the story remains the most commented article on EBC this year.

>>>In a story that invokes the craziness of 2012, the wife of former Assemblymember Alberto Torrico gets into a fight with current Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski’s chief of staff at a luncheon during the Democratic Party State Convention in Sacramento. Wieckowski’s chief reportedly sports a shiner and later takes a leave of absence. It’s another sign Wieckowski is losing control of his office.

>>>Ro Khanna, a former Obama administration appointee to the U.S. Commerce Department, finally gives Rep. Mike Honda a reason to worry when he formally announces his run for the 17th Congressional District.

>>>With the issue of debarring Goldman Sachs from doing business with Oakland in retaliation for its behavior leading to the Great Recession, Councilmembers Pat Kernighan and Libby Schaaf say the movement is going nowhere. They may be right. A year after the subject was first broached, nothing legislatively has occurred.

>>>Alameda County Board of Supervisors, sans Scott Haggerty, approve a resolution urging Sheriff Gregory Ahern to deny requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain undocumented residents. The issue reveals a rift between the conservative Haggerty and the progressive Supervisor Richard Valle.

>>>After criticizing Pete Stark’s reliance on political action committee donations last year, Swalwell’s reports one-third, or over $90,000 in special interest money, according to campaign finance reports.


>>>Pope Francis names 59-year-old Jesuit priest Michael Barber to become the bishop of the Oakland. Barber is the fifth-ever head of the Oakland Diocese, but third in the past five years.

>>>Alameda County announces a $80.2 million funding gap. The shortfall is daunting and forces further cuts to the county’s safety net. However, the number represents the smallest shortfall in five years. It’s another sign the local economy is on its way to real recovery.

>>>One of the strangest weeks in Oakland PD history begins May 8 with the abrupt resignation of Chief Howard Jordan. Capt. Anthony Toribio is named acting chief, but he steps down a day later, giving way to Sean Whent. That’s three police chiefs within 48 hours. The position has yet to be filled.

>>>The details of a lawsuit alleging discrimination against Supervisor Scott Haggerty by his former chief of staff describes lurid and wildly inappropriate comments made by Haggerty towards women and his current and former female colleagues. It also alleges Haggerty watched the infamous sex tape of Nadia Lockyer on county computers.

>>>Two months after an explosive audit in Oakland against Councilmembers Desley Brooks and Larry Reid, the entire issue appears to go away. Reid drops his plea to “audit the auditor” and Councilmember Pat Kernighan withdraws her agenda item to discuss possible censure.

>>>The entire East Bay Legislative Caucus appears in Oakland to discuss the on-going problem of gun violence in the region. Hayward Assemblymember Bill Quirk’s comments, though, raise the ire of gun advocates when he says, “In the area we come from guns are for killing people.” He later adds support for Assemblymember Nancy Skinner’s ammunition bill, saying, “You can’t shoot people if you don’t have ammunition.”

>>>After four years of uncertainty, San Leandro is saved by a dogged group of nurses, residents and politicians. The renamed Alameda Health Systems takes over the facility after it is donated by Sutter Health. The successful conclusion is a credit to the community, but also to Supervisor Wilma Chan, who brokered the final agreement.

>>>Hayward’s beleaguered school district loses it superintendent Donald Evans to Berkeley. However, an EBC investigation finds a large number of absences and comments to certain board members suggesting the job of turning around HUSD was too large for him.


>>>AC Transit board member Joel Young is in hot water, yet again. This time his colleagues threaten to censure him for using closed session information involving a labor dispute for his own personal advantage that involves a similar suit at the law firm he is employed. The AC Transit board later censures him. Young says nothing.

>>>The Hayward school board names Stan “Data” Dobbs its next superintendent. An EBC investigation into Dobbs’ background causes him to momentarily withdraw his candidacy. However, three days later after the board increases his salary, he changes his mind.

>>>Bill Lockyer, one of the East Bay’s legendary politicians, chooses not to run for controller in 2014 and announces his retirement.

>>>The O.o Coliseum makes national headlines when the home and visitors clubhouses are flooded with raw sewage. A’s co-owner Lew Wolff goes on a media blitz and calls for MLB to allow the team to move to San Jose, which sues the league a day later. In December, we learn MLB denied the team’s request a day before the incident.

>>>Alameda Point is officially reconveyed from the U.S. Navy to the city at no cost. The lure of developing one of the Bay Area’s most dynamic and scenic properties, by year’s end, already attracts the likes of Phil Tagami and Don Perata.

>>>A scathing Alameda County Grand Jury report blasts Oakland for a lack of transparency and reignites talk of censuring Councilmember Desley Brooks for 12 alleged violations of the City Charter. A few days later, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley says she won’t charge Brooks.

>>>A tear in the space-time continuum nearly occurs when Hollywood actress Halle Berry poses for a photo with Assemblymember Bill Quirk. Berry appeared in Sacramento to support an anti-paparazzi bill.

>>>The U.S. Supreme Court repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act sets off celebrations in the East Bay’s LGBT community and a rush to filing marriage licenses.

>>>BART employees go on strike for the first of two times with a work stoppage by AC Transit workers also looming.


MONDAY, Part I: The Fight Over Public Safety Erupts Over Bratton, Drones
WEDNESDAY, Part III: July-September