In Case You Missed It...

Below are the top Oakland development stories for the week of Sept. 18, 2017:

Progress for affordable housing in Berkeley made possible with approval of state bills
Published by the Daily Cal on Sept. 17, 2017
http://www.dailycal.org/2017/09/17/california-legislature-approves-package-housing-bills/
The California State Legislature passed a package of bills late Thursday night to address the statewide housing crisis, and two of the bills will likely directly affect Berkeley — which was recently rated the most expensive college town in the country.

Golden Gate Audubon Society opposes Oakland A’s stadium plan
Published by the San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 18, 2017
http://www.sfchronicle.com/athletics/article/Golden-Gate-Audubon-Society-opposes-Oakland-A-s-12207726.php
The Oakland A’s got a thumbs down Monday from the Golden Gate Audubon Society, which claimed the proposal to build a ballpark on land owned by the Peralta Community College District is a bad deal for birds.

Oakland Business Leaders Pledge Support For New A’s Baseball Stadium
Published by CBS Local on Sept. 19, 2017
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/09/18/oakland-business-leaders-pledge-support-for-new-as-baseball-stadium/
 Members of a coalition of business, labor leaders and community leaders said Monday that they support the Oakland Athletics’ recently announced plan to build a new baseball stadium near Laney College.

Town Business: Who Is Lobbying Against Oakland's Flavored Tobacco Ban?
Published by the East Bay Express on Sept. 19, 2017
https://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2017/09/18/town-business-whose-lobbying-against-oaklands-flavored-tobacco-ban
Shelter crisis: The Oakland City Council is considering declaring a shelter crisis. If passed, the declaration loosens some city and state rules and provides the city with more flexibility to address the homelessness crisis. City staffers hope the declaration will help them secure funding and approvals for another transitional housing facility.

Asbestos discovery leads to indefinite halt of Oakland mall construction
Published by KTVU on Sept. 19, 2017
http://www.ktvu.com/news/its-unacceptable-asbestos-discovery-leads-to-indefinite-halt-of-oakland-mall-construction
A hulking, half-demolished, now-defunct Chase Bank now sits at the corner of a prominent corner in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood. And it will continue to sit there indefinitely. 

Unions and City of Oakland Remain Far Apart in Contract Talks
Published by the East Bay Express on Sept. 19, 2017
https://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2017/09/19/unions-and-city-of-oakland-remain-far-apart-in-contract-talks
Workers represented by SEIU Local 1021 and IFPTE Local 21 told the Express that the city initially proposed a new contract that did not include a cost of living salary adjustment to help workers keep up with inflation. Like everyone else, city workers say they're having a hard time affording the Bay Area's high rents. Furthermore, pay in Oakland remains behind other comparable cities, they claim, causing many people to quit for better jobs elsewhere, leaving vacancies and making jobs here more difficult.

Local artists start conversation about ‘belonging in Oakland’
Published by SFGate on Sept. 19, 2017
http://blog.sfgate.com/inoakland/2017/09/19/local-artists-start-conversation-about-belonging-in-oakland/
A group of about 40 Oakland artists met at the Rockridge Branch Library on Friday night to discuss the development of a new city “cultural development plan,” and deemed lack of both space and funding the most pressing issues facing them.

A’s stadium: Chinatown leaders, activists split over Peralta location
Published by the Mercury News on Sept. 19, 2017
http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/19/as-stadium-chinatown-leaders-activists-split-over-peralta-location/
A day after the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce president voiced support for a new A’s ballpark, Laney College students, tenant rights groups and Chinatown activists and small business owners on Tuesday announced the formation of a unified front with a common enemy: a Major League Baseball stadium near Lake Merritt.

California Today: Amid Housing Pain, Most Californians Have Weighed a Move
Published by the New York Times on Sept. 20, 2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/us/california-today-amid-housing-pain-most-californians-have-weighed-a-move.html?_r=0
The San Francisco Bay Area is often trotted out as the worst example of the state’s housing crisis — understandably.

Deadly apartment fire in Oakland near Lake Merritt neighborhood
Published by KTVU on Sept. 20, 2017
http://www.ktvu.com/news/deadly-apartment-fire-in-oakland-near-lake-merritt-neighborhood
A person was killed early Wednesday morning in an apartment fire in Oakland. Neighbors told KTVU it was an elderly man who lived alone.
It's not your imagination: Bay Area congestion has gotten even worse
Published by the San Francisco Business Times on Sept. 20, 2017
https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2017/09/20/bay-area-congestion-increase-this-year-sf.html
Traffic congestion on the Bay Area's freeways surged 10 percent last year, a new report from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) released this week has found.

Oakland city workers threaten to strike at council meeting
Published by Oakland North on Sept. 20, 2017
https://oaklandnorth.net/2017/09/20/oakland-city-workers-threaten-to-strike-at-council-meeting/
On Tuesday, city workers belonging to two unions opened Oakland’s city council meeting—the first since summer recess—with a threat to strike.

Bay Area housing report: More starter homes are coming— OK, but who will be able to afford them?
Published by the Mercury News on Sept. 20, 2017
http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/20/bay-area-housing-report-more-starter-homes-are-coming-ok-but-who-will-be-able-to-afford-them/
With the housing supply shrinking and prices climbing around the Bay Area, potential first-time homebuyers are likely to grumble, “Fuggedaboutit.” The very idea of buying a starter home in a region where the median price of a single-family house often tops $1 million seems like an antiquated concept

Proposed agreement will ensure thousands of new livable wage jobs at Port of Oakland
Published by the Mercury News on Sept. 20, 2017
http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/20/community-groups-laud-proposed-living-wage-local-hire-agreement-at-port-of-oakland-warehouse-complex/
OAKLAND — Community groups are lauding a proposed jobs agreement with the Port of Oakland and a warehouse developer that would provide living wages, mandate local hiring and prohibit employers from asking about certain prior criminal convictions.

Getting Rich Off Low-Income Housing
Published by the East Bay Express on Sept. 20, 2017
https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/getting-rich-off-low-income-housing/Content?oid=9251947
When it was originally built in 1948, E.C. Reems Gardens was a modern, middle-class apartment complex nestled in a forested valley on the north side of MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. But according to a city report, by the 1990s, "the then privately held property had earned a reputation in the community as a site for drug traffic and violence."

San Francisco, Oakland sue oil giants for infrastructure money
Published by the San Francisco Business Times on Sept. 21, 2017
https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2017/09/21/san-francisco-oakland-sue-bp-xom-cvx-cop-rdsa.html
The cities of San Francisco and Oakland filed two separate lawsuits in state Superior Court this week against five major oil companies, saying they want the companies to fund infrastructure needed to protect their populations from climate change.

Will SF’s ambitious plan for teacher housing keep them from leaving?
Published by the San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 21. 2017
http://www.sfchronicle.com/education/article/Will-SF-s-ambitious-plan-for-teacher-housing-12216394.php
The decision by San Francisco city and school officials to commit a plot of land and $44 million in public funds toward building affordable housing for teachers came after years of waffling and wavering. And it signaled a growing desire to help educators who make too much to qualify for low-income housing and not enough to afford skyrocketing city housing costs.  

Marriott-branded boutique hotel planned for Uptown Oakland
Published by San Francisco on Sept. 21, 2017
https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2017/09/21/marriott-moxy-architecture-uptown-oakland-hotel.html
The boutique hotel boom is headed to Oakland via a Minneapolis developer's proposal to replace an Uptown gas station with a 173-room Marriott-branded hotel.

Bay Area commute times higher than last year, housing price contributes
Published by KTVU on Sept. 21, 2017
http://www.ktvu.com/news/bay-area-commute-times-higher-than-last-year-housing-price-contributes
Commute times are 9-percent longer this year than last, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Oakland group plans to launch nation’s biggest basic-income research project
Published by the San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 21, 2017
http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/networth/article/Oakland-group-plans-to-launch-nation-s-biggest-12219073.php
An Oakland nonprofit group founded by Y Combinator’s Sam Altman is raising funds to launch what could become the nation’s largest basic-income research project.