Oakland, CA

Justice for Oakland Students files suit against OUSD over school closures

Refugio Garcia

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Justice for Oakland Students coalition sues school district

The Justice for Oakland Students coalition is suing the Oakland Unified School District, alleging the district violated the California Environmental Quality Act after deciding to close or consolidate several area schools, KRON4 reports.

The decision to close seven campuses and merge two others has been met with protests and other opposition from the community, with Wednesday’s filing going further in an attempt to keep that from happening.

The coalition says that OUSD failed to carry out the required environmental analysis to determine the impact on low-income communities, such as forcing students to commute to distant schools – also causing an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, according to the petition.

Outdoor dining in Fremont is here to stay

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The Fremont City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved making outside dining at restaurants permanent, joining numerous other Bay Area cities that have adopted similar rules after restaurants began offering patio dining during the height of the pandemic, East Bay Times reports.

The approval of the new rule builds on the “Pop-Up Patio” that Fremont launched during the pandemic and has been in place for the last two years, with as many as 70 businesses in the city taking advantage of the program at one point.

“This was something we started in the time of COVID, but it’s probably something we should have been doing all the time. We want to have people outdoors, on patios, and create nice environments where you can get together and have some excitement,” Vice Mayor Raj Salwan said, adding, “A lot of people complain Fremont is boring, and we’re trying to change that.”

Businesses looking to use the program must purchase a permit for $500. However, city officials have said they plan on using federal COVID relief money to reimburse businesses who decide to buy a permit. All permits issued are tied to businesses and not the owner and don’t require annual renewals or other city-imposed fees.

PG&E helicopter crash in Livermore leaves 2 injured

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A PG&E helicopter crashed during a training exercise Wednesday, injuring the pilot and a man who was suspended from a cable at a training facility in Livermore, East Bay Times reports.

The facility is located north of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the 7200 block of National Drive in a mainly industrial area. The crash happened at approximately 9:55 a.m.

The Bell 407 helicopter was being operated by a contractor and crashed in a parking lot near some PG&E training poles, the utility company said in a statement. “The safety of our customers, communities and coworkers is PG&E’s primary responsibility,” the statement read.

Officials have not disclosed any details of the incident leading up to the crash, which is currently under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Both people involved in the crash were transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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