Monday’s Briefing: Lawmakers Push for $20 Billion for Affordable Housing; Alameda Synagogue Vandalized


Stories you shouldn’t miss for Sept. 21, 2017:

1. California lawmakers are pushing forward with a package of legislation that would generate about $20 billion for affordable housing in the state over the next five years, reports Angela Hart of the Sacramento Bee$. However, the fate of one of the bills, which would establish a new recording fee on real estate transactions, ranging from $75 to $225, is uncertain because some moderate Democrats are wary of raising taxes again this year. Earlier this year, the legislature approved a gas tax hike that has generated a backlash in some regions.

2. Temple Israel of Alameda was vandalized late last week, and state Assemblymember Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, raised alarm about the increase in anti-Semitic incidents nationwide during the Trump era, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. Two windows of the synagogue’s school were smashed at 3183 Mecartney Road.

3. A coalition of cities, counties, and environmental groups has sued to block Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two giant water tunnels under the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the Sacramento Bee$ reports. The litigation alleges that the state has illegally ignored the likely environmental harm that the tunnels will create and that 700 acres of prime Delta farmland will be rendered unusable during the 13-year construction period. The tunnels would make it easier to ship Northern California river water to the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

4. Fog in much of the Bay Area today blocked the viewing of the solar eclipse, reports Evan Sernoffsky of the San Francisco Chronicle.

5. Legislation in Sacramento would create a gender-neutral option for people to use on their California driver’s license or state-issued ID card if they identify as nonbinary, reports Tammerlin Drummond of the East Bay Times$.

6. The Berkeley City Council on Friday passed an emergency ordinance to allow the city manager to establish temporary bans on certain weapons at political protests, in anticipation of possible violence during this Sunday’s planned white supremacist rally, reports Natalie Orenstein of Berkeleyside.

7. The Oakland school district has opened a new language-immersion school in an effort to convince families from leaving or sending their kids to private schools, reports Jill Tucker of the San Francisco Chronicle$. The Oakland School of Language, which offers classes in English and Spanish for middle schoolers, is located near the Coliseum.

8. Celeste Guap, the young woman who was sexually exploited by East Bay police officers, has sued the city of Richmond, reports Steven Rubenstein of the San Francisco Chronicle. The 19-year-old previously settled her suit against the city of Oakland for $1 million.

9. And officials identified the rookie Oakland firefighter who was fatally shot last week at a San Jose event as Jake P. Walter, a 30-year-old Oakland native, the Bay Area News Group$ reports.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.