Oakland, CA

Tuesday in the East Bay: Oakland bar shutters amid rising COVID infections, Dubs beat the Kings and more

Refugio Garcia

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(Refugio Garcia/NewsBreak)

Eli’s Mile High Club temporarily closes out of caution as omicron spread continues

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The owner of Eli’s Mile High Club announced on his Instagram page Monday that he’s closing his bar ahead of the holidays due to the rampant spread of the omicron variant in the area, ABC7 reports.

"I just didn't want to deal with this close to the holidays," said Eli’s owner Billy Joe Agan. "I don't want me – staff potentially going home for the holidays possibly carrying this thing."

While no infections were reported among the employees at Eli’s, Agan said there’s been numerous outbreaks at other area bars.

"I know other bar owners who've told me they are dealing with it," Agan said. "It is spreading rapidly and we share clientele."

The Oakland City Council will consider a new ordinance during the upcoming meeting Tuesday that would require all businesses to verify the vaccination status of any and all individuals wishing to enter an establishment.

"We need to protect people who are inside these indoor locations and reduce the likelihood they come in contact with those who have the virus and who are positive," said Councilmember Dan Kalb, who proposed the ordinance. "This has been in the works before omicron, but now it is more timely. We hope this just keeps encouraging those not vaccinated to get the shot."

Agan said that he supports the move by the city council as he believes there isn't sufficient guidance on dealing with this variant of COVID-19 and that he wants to prioritize the health and safety of his staff and customers.

"I feel for those who have to stay open, because it has been tough," he said. "We are willing to help our staff as much as possible."

Dubs topple Kings – Draymond serves up triple-double

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(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Warriors took down the Kings Monday night at the Chase Center 113-98 with Draymond Green pulling down his 31st career triple-double – a franchise record, ESPN reports.

Green contributed 16 points to the Warriors’ bottom line while grabbing 11 boards and served up 10 assists against the Kings.

Fans gave Steph Curry a standing ovation during the first quarter as it was the new three-point king’s first game at home since he broke the record formerly held by Ray Allen. Curry scored a total of 30 points during Monday’s game.

Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are both out indefinitely due to the NBA’s COVID safety protocols, ushering in Jonathan Kuminga’s second career start but was pulled after playing six minutes due to tightness in his lower back.

Damian Lee also joined the starting lineup, with four 3-pointers, going 7 of 8 for 18 points on the night.

Warriors Vice President of Player Health and Performance, Rick Celebrini, addressed the team prior to Monday’s start stressing the importance of staying safe and vigilant during this most recent wave of COVID-19 infections.

“It’s nerve-racking for everybody," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. "Rick Celebrini just addressed the guys in our walkthrough about the importance of just being as smart as possible and wearing masks as often as we can and doing all the things that are recommended. It’s tough to be back in this state, but tough for everybody all over the world.”

The Warriors will face the Grizzlies Thursday at the Chase Center.

Oakland PD to reorganize officers amid rising crime in East Oakland

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On Monday, Oakland Police chief LeRonne Armstrong announced that the department will be reorganized in order to place more officers in the area of East Oakland in order to curb the ongoing spike in crime, East Bay Times reports.

Armstrong’s plan includes the creation of a sixth patrol district by deploying 48 officers to the area – the largest reorganization within the department in nearly a decade.

The change in patrols will go into effect starting Jan. 22, according to Armstrong.

“This is significant, because it means the department has recognized the impact of the calls for service, the emergency calls, that are coming in from our East Oakland residents, and the need for more presence in our community,” Armstrong said during a press conference Monday.

However, the proposed plan will limit the department’s ability to respond to crime hot spots but will allow more dedicated and focused patrols in East Oakland where violent and gun-related crimes have greatly outpaced other parts of the city.

Patrol districts three, four and five will now be adjusted to incorporate a new patrol district that will focus on the most eastern part of the city.

Armstrong specifically focused on districts four and five, which are positioned east of Fruitvale Avenue, 35th Avenue and Redwood Road and have seen a massive disparity in homicides when compared to the rest of the city.

A total of 76 homicides were recorded in that area of the city through Dec. 12, compared to 53 recorded across other parts of the city. Oakland has recorded a total of 133 homicides as of Dec. 20 – the deadliest year in the city since 2006.

While the plan to bolster patrols includes increasing the divisions from 240 to 296 officers, Armstrong says the plan is not dependent on new hires but will utilize the department’s “tac teams,” which are used to support other officers in high-crime areas and situations.

“Those officers will be there full time, around the clock, 24-hours a day,” said Armstrong. “We’ve been supplementing current patrols with overtime. This will fill that gap, making it less of a responsibility on our officers to fill into overtime shifts.”

“This is something that I’ve been calling for — the reallocation of resources in a structural way,” said City Council member Loren Taylor, who added that the council will be monitoring the progress of the new patrol district in East Oakland to determine the effectiveness of the new strategy.

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