Tuesday’s Briefing: Gas Tax Repeal May Be Headed to Ballot; New Shopping Center Opens in East Oakland

An initiative to repeal California’s new vehicle and gas tax
may be heading to the November ballot. If voters approve the repeal, thousands of road and transit projects — including the BART extension to the South Bay — would be in jeopardy. (East Bay Times)

A new shopping center in East Oakland opened last week. The 27,000-square-foot Seminary Point plaza, located at Foothill Boulevard and Seminary Avenue, was 12 years in the making and so far includes a Walgreens, It’s a Grind Coffee House, and Metro PCS. Six of the eight retail spaces are still available. (Hoodline)

Attorney Cecily Brewster has withdrawn from Berkeley’s District 1 city council race, citing the racial bias and lack of progressiveness among Berkeley voters. (Daily Cal)

California has raised billions for free mental health programs through the state’s Mental Health Services Act, but finding out information on these programs and whether one qualifies isn’t easy. Meanwhile, a state audit in February found that counties have amassed hundreds of millions of unspent funds through Prop 63. (Sacramento Bee)

A Baptist church in San Mateo wants to move to Hayward and build a 39,500-square-foot church, plus 61 affordable senior housing units and a 15,000-square-foot exercise facility on a lot that straddles the Hayward fault. Neighbors are not thrilled. (East Bay Times)

The state’s commercial salmon season opens this week, and experts say drought-related effects will result in a limited supply — and high prices. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Two train tankers carrying liquid propane derailed near the Shell refinery in Martinez this morning. According to a Union Pacific spokesperson, the wheels on the tankers “popped off” but did not cause the tanker cars to leak, overturn, or threaten public safety. (East Bay Times)

A new redwoods park is slated to open south of Los Gatos next spring. When completed, Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve will include six miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding, many of them on old logging roads. (East Bay Times)

A seven-mile stretch of Highway 1 in Big Sur is expected to reopen in September after closing a year ago due to a massive mudslide. (San Francisco Chronicle)
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