Thursday’s Briefing: Trump Admin. Overturns Plastic Water Bottle Ban; Alameda Seeks to Build Tech Campus at Alameda Point

Plus, far-right anti-Google protest postponed.


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Stories you shouldn't miss for Aug. 17, 2017:

1. The Trump administration has overturned an Obama-era rule that allowed national parks to ban the sale of plastic water bottles, reports Kurtis Alexander of the San Francisco Chronicle. Park officials have long noted that plastic bottles litter lakes and forests, but the beverage industry lobbied fiercely to roll back the rule approved by then-President Obama in 2011.

2. The city of Alameda is interested in turning a three-building complex at the former Naval Air Station into a tech campus, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. The city is asking developers to bid on the tech campus proposal for a 519,219-square-foot complex—known as the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters—at Alameda Point.

3. Far-right demonstrators who planned to protest at Google in Silicon Valley on Saturday have postponed their rally in the wake of last weekend’s deadly white supremacist rally Charlottesville, Va., the LA Times$ reports. The anti-Google protesters, who do not appear to be connected to the neo-Nazis at Charlottesville, planned to demonstrate against the firing of a Google engineer who claimed that the lack of women in tech is due to biological differences.

4. A Berkeley electrician has become the second white supremacist from the East Bay to lose his job after participating in the violent rally at Charlottesville, reports Jill Tucker of the San Francisco Chronicle. “John Ramondetta, known as Johnny Monoxide on white supremacist and neo-Nazi social media sites, was a union electrician working in the Bay Area on a project for Rosendin Electric, a national outfit.” Earlier this week, an employee at Berkeley’s Top Dog lost his job after taking part in the Charlottesville march.

5. Yvette Felarca, a Berkeley middle school teacher who was arrested for punching a neo-Nazi at a Sacramento protest last year, said in court that charges should be dropped against her, the Huffington Post reports, citing a news story in Al Jazeera.  “Standing up against fascism and the rise of Nazism and fascism in this country is not a crime,” said Felarca, a member of the radical leftist group, By Any Means Necessary. “We have the right to defend ourselves.”

6. National Park officials are reconsidering their decision to grant a permit to far-right protesters for an Aug. 26 march at San Francisco’s Crissy Field, reports Kurtis Alexander of the San Francisco Chronicle. Park officials have said that they can’t deny permits based on political speech, but they can cancel an event over public safety concerns. San Francisco political leaders have lobbied the park service to rescind the permit.

7. Cities and statehouses around the nation are starting to remove Confederate monuments after the Charlottesville violence, the Washington Post$ reports. City officials in Baltimore removed four Confederate monuments on Wednesday.

8. And Steve Bannon, a senior Trump advisor who many liberals consider to be a white nationalist, revealed in an interview with the American Prospect that he considers white nationalists to be “clowns.” “Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element.”

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