.Wednesday’s Briefing: Berkeley OKs Cops to Use Pepper Spray on Protesters; CoCo County Gets First Woman DA

Stories you shouldn’t miss for Sept. 13, 2017:

1. The Berkeley City Council voted 6-3 to overturn a 20-year city ban on the use of pepper spray by police during political protests, saying cops can now use it on violent demonstrators, reports Peter Fimrite of the San Francisco Chronicle. The council’s decision came despite impassioned pleas from progressive residents to keep the ban in place. Mayor Jesse Arreguin pushed to overturn the ban, citing concerns about radical anti-fascist protesters, known as antifa, being violent during demonstrations.

2. Diana Becton, a retired judge, has become the first woman and African-American district attorney of Contra Costa County, reports Nate Gartrell of the East Bay Times$. Becton’s appointment by the board of supervisors drew praise from west county progressives, but her candidacy also sparked controversy because she plagiarized large sections of her application for the position.

3. East Bay MUD and city officials warned customers in Alameda Point not to drink or use tap water, because it’s contaminated, reports George Kelly of the East Bay Times$. EBMUD officials cited “a possible cross-contamination between a potable water drinking line and a non-potable water line used for irrigation.”

4. ICYMI: Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval announced that the team selected a site next to Laney College as its favored spot for a new privately financed ballpark, the San Francisco Chronicle first reported. However, college instructors and community activists quickly denounced the decision, saying a new stadium threatens to push immigrant families and small businesses out of the neighborhood near the site, reports Darwin BondGraham of the East Bay Express.

5. ICYMI: Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and UC Berkeley conservative students announced that ex-White House senior advisor Steve Bannon will speak later this month on campus, along with conservative firebrand Ann Coulter, reports Jessica Lynn for the East Bay Express. However, Cal officials say they have not yet received confirmation of the planned speaking events.

6. The Peralta Community College District board of directors tabled a vote on a controversial contract with a lobbying firm that represents weapons manufacturers and is led by a conservative former Defense Department official who has backed a Mexican border wall, reports David DeBolt of the East Bay Times$. College faculty strongly oppose the deal.

7. Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers agreed to earmark $30 million in public funds to assist Dreamers impacted by President Trump’s decision to end DACA, an Obama-era program that protected some undocumented residents from deportation, reports Melody Gutierrez of the San Francisco Chronicle$.

8. And San Ramon-based oil giant Chevron tops the list of corporations worldwide for producing greenhouse gases that cause climate change, reports Kurtis Alexander of the San Francisco Chronicle, citing a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.


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