Wednesday’s Briefing: Alameda City Manager Jill Keimach to Step Down; Oakland Coal Plan Clears Legal Hurdle

Plus, a controversial plan to ship coal through West Oakland wins a significant legal victory.


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Alameda City Manager Jill Keimach and the City of Alameda are parting ways. The move comes after Keimach secretly recorded two councilmembers whom she accused of politically pressuring her to select a union-backed candidate for fire chief. In a negotiated agreement, the city will compensate Keimach $900,000 in total and prohibit her from any litigation against the city arising from her employment. (East Bay Citizen)

A controversial plan to ship coal through West Oakland won a significant victory yesterday. U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria ruled that the City of Oakland breached its contract with the company that wants to build a bulk commodity export terminal at former Oakland Army Base when the city sought to block the plan by enacting a coal ban ordinance in 2016. (East Bay Express)

Richmond City Council voted yesterday to prevent the city’s business and investment funds from using data broker companies that share personal information with ICE. It’s the first city council in the country to do so. Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda are considering similar ordinances. (KTVU)

The Oakland City Council approved an exclusive negotiating agreement with the Oakland A’s for the Coliseum, allowing the team to study the site for the next nine months to build a new ballpark. The team is also in an exclusive negotiating agreement with the Port of Oakland for the Howard Terminal site. (East Bay Times)

Meanwhile, the Oakland City Council delayed a vote on a proposal to give funding to job-training programs after the city attorney said the legislation could violate state and federal laws. Councilmember Desley Brooks, who authored the legislation, deleted language from the proposal that specified the sources of the funds, which she said would take care of any legal issues, but city lawyers said there were still problems with the proposal. (SFGate)

A vacant lot on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley appears to be a step closer to being developed into a six-story mixed-use “Moorish-castle.” The lot, owned by Rasputin owner Ken Sarachan, has been a rat-infested eyesore for almost three decades. (Berkeleyside)

A California judge threw out a 2016 state law allowing the terminally ill to end their lives. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia said lawmakers acted illegally in passing the law during a special session devoted to other topics, but did not address the issue of whether it was OK to allow people to take their own lives. (SFGate)

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Alameda County’s ordinance that bans new gun stores in unincorporated areas within 500 feet of a residential neighborhood, school, or day care center. Three businessman who wanted to open a gun store had filed a suit alleging the ordinance had effectively banned new gun stores in unincorporated areas and thereby violated the rights of prospective gun owners. But the justices ruled that the Second Amendment only protects the right to keep and bear arms, not the right to sell them. (SFGate)

A new study shows that differences in traffic-related air pollution are associated with higher rates of heart attacks and deaths from heart disease in the elderly. Using Oakland air pollution data and the electronic health records of more than 40,000 local residents, the researchers found that 3.9 parts per billion higher of nitrogen dioxide concentrations are associated with a 16 percent increased risk of diagnosed heart attacks, surgery, or death from heart disease among the elderly. (Environmental Health)

UC Berkeley’s Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology has a new digital portal allowing the public access to its collection of more than 3 million objects, photographs, films, and sound recordings. (Berkeley News)

Oakland has a new mobile library with books, laptops, tablets, electronic charging stations, and wi-fi, as well as gaming and bike repair equipment. Oakland Public Library Mobile Outreach Vehicle, or MOVe, is intended to reach underserved youth and improve library access for those who have little contact with city services. (Hoodline)

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