A.M. Splash: OPD Retreats on Crime War Statement; Gov. Brown Says Oakland Must ‘Solve Its Own Problems’; Marin Gun Buyback Popular
- Oakland backs down on crime war figures (SF Chronicle)
Oakland police retreated Tuesday from Chief Howard Jordan’s statement that almost all of the violent crime in the city in recent months is linked to a war between two groups that exploded after the killing of a 16-year-old girl last summer. “These are two groups that are involved in about 90 percent of the violence in Oakland,” Jordan said at a press conference Monday, three days after four people were shot to death in the city in a matter of hours…Questioned about the statement Tuesday, Jordan’s chief of staff, Sgt. Chris Bolton, said, “It’s an extremely high percentage, not 90.”
- Gov. Brown says Oakland must “solve its own problems” (Oakland Tribune)
A proposal to put more police on Oakland streets and free up officers to focus on crime fighting won a ringing endorsement Tuesday, while Gov. Brown made it clear that the city should not expect an influx of state aid to solve its crime woes. “Certainly I want to help where we can, but Oakland has to solve its own problems,” Brown told reporters, according to the Sacramento Bee. “The clergy, the Police Department, the Fire Department, the mayor, you’ve got to pull together in extraordinary ways to respond. And as a citizen of Oakland, I wish you well and I’ll do my part.”
- Mayor Ed Lee fastracks decision on Housing Authority director (SF Chronicle)
Given the San Francisco Housing Authority’s recent poor report card, Mayor Ed Lee said Tuesday he may make a decision on the future of the authority’s embattled director, Henry Alvarez, sooner than he previously indicated. Lee had said he was going to await the outcome of a months-long independent investigation into Alvarez’s leadership being conducted by former City Attorney Louise Renne after three Housing Authority employees sued Alvarez alleging discrimination or retaliation. Dozens of other employees have also complained about Alvarez’s management.
- Marin gun buyback so popular there’s no money left; vouchers being handed out instead (Marin Independent Journal)
So many firearms were traded in for cash Tuesday that all five gun buyback stations in Marin ran out of money by early afternoon, leaving vouchers to be handed out instead. The tally for the collection day, which ended at 8 p.m., was 827 guns, said police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher. Of those, 277 were collected at the Novato station, 223 in San Rafael, 206 in Larkspur, 71 in Marin City and 50 in Point Reyes Station.
- California high-speed rail cost figures coming in, but no one will see them yet (SJ Mercury News)
More than four years after California voters approved a bullet train, the biggest project in state history, sealed envelopes containing the actual cost for the first leg of the high-speed rail line will finally be hand-delivered to state offices this week. But you won’t see the bid prices yet — and neither will the officials planning the project. They’ll be filed away in sealed containers, with the supporting documents locked up in fireproof cabinets. Five major firms Friday will submit their final bids to build the first 29 miles of train track in the Central Valley, an eagerly anticipated milestone as it will provide the first gauge on whether the project is on pace to meet its $69 billion budget and actually be completed.
- San Jose weighs putting trash pickup on property tax bills (SJ Mercury News)
San Jose officials moved toward abandoning in-house billing for residential trash collection with a vote Tuesday to explore having residents either pay with their county property taxes or directly to the garbage companies. For residents, the switch is expected to save them money that the city otherwise would have to charge them to replace an outdated billing system. City officials estimated the annual savings to ratepayers at anywhere from $333,000 if haulers handle billing to $3 million if it’s included with county property taxes, as the city does with sewer fees.
- Occupy Oakland protesters sue OPD and Alameda County Sheriff’s Department in federal court (Oakland Tribune)
A federal class action civil rights lawsuit was filed against Oakland and Alameda County by a group of Occupy Oakland protesters who were arrested and held in jail but never charged with a crime. The lawsuit stems from a Jan. 28, 2012, protest during which more than 400 protesters were arrested in front of the downtown YMCA and booked into Santa Rita Jail after a day of marches that included protesters trying to take over the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center.