Thursday’s Briefing: Kaplan pitches using cruise ship to house homeless; Oakland approves tax cut for cannabis

Berkeley reaches agreement for new housing near two BART stations

News you don’t want to miss for Dec. 12:

1. Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan proposed using a docked cruise ship as a means for temporarily housing more than 1,000 homeless individuals in the city, the Associated Press reports. The Port of Oakland, however, appears cool to the idea.

2. Berkeleyside, the Berkeley local news website, is making a foray into Oakland. Through grants from the Google News Initiative and the American Journalism Project, the founders behind Berkeleyside said they will launch a news site for Oakland next spring.

3. The Oakland City Council approved a major tax break for large cannabis companies Tuesday night, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The move was opposed by Mayor Libby Schaaf. The city administrator’s office said the tax cuts will require eliminating funding for nine currently vacant positions in the city. $$

4. The Berkeley City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with BART Tuesday night for construction of housing at the North Berkeley and Ashby stations, Berkeleyside reports.

5. Berkeley’s precedent-setting ban on natural gas in new housing units won support from the California Energy Commission to move forward, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The ban, however, is being challenged by some in the restaurant industry. Nevertheless, nearly 20 municipalities have followed Berkeley’s lead since the City Council approved its natural gas ban last summer. $$

6. “An Alameda County sheriff’s deputy is on paid administrative leave after investigators from his own department accused him of sending sexual text messages and having inappropriate physical contact with a 15-year-old girl,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The deputy last worked at the Eden Township Substation in San Leandro. $$

7. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg traveled to Stockton on Wednesday and declared a “war on poverty” in America, the Associated Press reports. Bloomberg received an endorsement for Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. Earlier this week, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo also backed Bloomberg’s late bid for president.

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