Regular readers may have noticed posting has been lighter than usual here lately. I’ve been having a hard time writing the past couple of weeks, partly because I’ve been incredibly busy with other stuff, and also partly because all the news going on with the City budget and the State budget is just so ridiculously depressing that every time I sit down to write I end up just staring at the screen and my half written posts all despondent until I just can’t take it anymore and turn off the computer and go pour myself some bourbon.
This Tuesday, less than a month after we passed our 2009-11 budget, the Oakland City Council will be back in Chambers (except for Nancy Nadel, who will be teleconferencing in from Jamaica) doing it all over again , looking to make nearly $19 million in new cuts. Fun!
The Assembly finally managed to get a budget through, although it’s over a billion dollars short of “balanced”. They’re still doing the property tax borrowing, but the proposal to take away gas tax failed! They also scrapped an insane proposal that would allow redevelopment agencies to extend their life by 40 years with no findings of blight. More on all this when I get a real blog about the whole thing up hopefully tomorrow, but this is a huge relief for Oakland, which would have been left basically without any money for roads at all if it had passed.
Mini hiatus continues today here at ABO, but this time through no fault of my own – I was going to put something up today about the State budget and Oakland, but of course, can’t do that until they actually, you know, pass a budget. The Senate passed the budget last night, but it’s still tied up in the Assembly. Local government money raids and education repayments (the parts I had drafted my post about) are still being debated. Hopefully something will get worked out soon, and you guys can look forward to a post about that over the weekend or maybe Monday, depending on how much they end up changing things.
Apologies for the light posting this week. It’s been tough to find time to write lately. I’ll be back in regular form next week, but for today, you guys get another links list.
Today’s the big day! The MTC will be voting this morning on whether or not to assign $140 million to the Oakland Airport Connector. The meeting starts at 10:05. If you can’t make it down to 101 8th Street, but are just dying to know what happens, you’ve got a couple of options. One, you can listen to the meeting’s live audio stream. You can get meeting updates on Twitter, where me and dto510 will be posting the highlights.
Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 21st) is your last chance to turn in ballots for Oakland’s special election! If you have not yet mailed in your ballot, you’ve missed your chance. But you can still submit your ballot by hand – take it to the Registrar of Voters office in the County Courthouse at 1225 Fallon Street in downtown Oakland.
First, thank you so much to everyone who voted for me in this year’s Best of the East Bay East Bay Express readers poll. I am deeply flattered to win the “Best Blogger” award for the second year in a row. It warms my heart.
Now onto business. Did you guys catch my announcement last week about the BEAST blogger camp on Saturday? I hope it didn’t get lost in all the fuss about the airport connector and controversy over the new Safeway. This is going to be a stellar event!
To help the Oakland Airport, right? After all, an easier transit connection will attract more passengers, right? Right?
Not according to BART.
Tonight, the new new Safeway at 51st and Broadway will have its EIR scoping session at the Oakland Planning Commission. The proposal has generated quite a bit of controversy among community members, and even managed to bring together in opposition the unlikely combination of STAND, ULTRA, and the Rockridge Community Planning Council. So why does everyone hate this project so much?