.Racetrack Protest

Activists want Golden Gate Fields closed

Four Bay Area residents lay on the track at Golden Gate Fields Thursday afternoon to stop racing and to shut down Golden Gate Fields forever, according to Direct Action Everywhere, an animal advocacy group.

The four were on the track at 1100 Eastshore Highway as of about 12:20 p.m., connected by PVC pipes in a move the activists called a sleeping dragon. They lit purple flares as they lay in place.

Outside the track, people chanted and demonstrated by holding banners.

“It’s not entertainment,” they chanted. “It’s violence.”

The advocates said they successfully delayed the horse race scheduled for 12:45pm and hoped to stop horses from participating in the 3:45pm race. Two horse races are scheduled for thursday.

The four activists on the track were prepared to be arrested, according to DxE, who identified them as Omar Aicardi, Rachel Ziegler, Rocky Chau and Jamie Crom.

At least five horses have died at the track so far this year. Twenty-seven horses died at the track last year. Deaths of horses gained more public attention when 23 died over three months in early 2019 at Santa Anita Park in Southern California.

Oakland Man Set on Fire in Critical Condition

A man was in critical condition Wednesday night after someone set him on fire in East Oakland, police said.

Officers responded at 8:07pm Wednesday to the 500 block of Douglas Avenue following a call that a man was on fire.

Officers located the victim, who was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Police are investigating the assault.

Anyone with information about it should call the Police Department’s Felony Assault Unit at 510.238.3426.

Oakland City Council Appoints City Clerk

The Oakland City Council has appointed, as city clerk, the person who filled the role for the past eight months.

Asha Reed was appointed city clerk and clerk of the council, officially assuming the role she has filled as acting city clerk since June.

First hired by the city in 2013, Reed joined the city clerk’s office in 2017. A Bay Area native, she has a bachelor’s degree in advertising from San Jose State University and a master’s in integrated marketing communications with a focus in public relations from Golden Gate University. She recently received her master’s degree for public administration from California State University, East Bay.

“Ms. Reed is an excellent leader in our city,” said Nikki Fortunato Bas, council president. “Our council unanimously approved of her appointment as our city clerk, which is an important position charged with managing our council meetings and elections. We thank Ms. Reed for her service and appreciate her leadership.”

Oakland Fire Department Gets Rescue Equipment Grant

Oakland firefighters will soon have new tools to rescue people trapped in vehicle accidents. 

The California Office of Traffic Safety awarded a $30,000 grant for new extrication equipment to the Oakland Fire Department, which responded in 2020 to over 500 vehicle crashes, 38 of which required the use of such equipment to remove people trapped in wreckage.

“The faster we are able to reach someone who is injured, the faster we can get them the help they need,” said Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief Demond Simmons.

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