02/16/2013 01:22 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Oakland Art Walk: City Officials To Enforce Liquor Laws At First Friday Celebration

Open bottles of booze will be banned from the streets at next month's First Friday celebration.

City leaders and community representatives met three times this week to discuss changes to the monthly street festival after a gunbattle at this month's event killed an Oakland teenager and injured three others.

After a meeting on Tuesday, stakeholders agreed to "fully enforce a total ban on drinking in the streets," for the March 1 First Friday celebration, according to a document provided by the mayor's office.

The March First Friday also will end at 9 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. and involve fewer street closures on Telegraph Avenue.

The event has grown in popularity and now consistently draws more than 10,000 revelers to Oakland's Uptown District.

Several business owners have expressed concerns that the event is now too big and that the widespread drinking in the streets poses a major security risk. Much of the alcohol consumed on city streets is being purchased from liquor stores or unlicensed mobile vendors, stakeholders said.

Bonta to head Assembly Committee on local gun violence

Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, has been appointed to head a newly formed select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay.

As chairman, Bonta, whose district includes much of Oakland, will convene hearings exploring proposals to reduce gun violence in the East Bay, especially Oakland.

The city

experienced a 23 percent increase in major crimes last year. The 131 homicides were the most since 2006.

"Stemming gun violence in the East Bay will take the entire community's time and resources," Bonta said in a prepared statement this week. "I welcome input from every individual who cares about improving the quality of life for all of us."

Bonta has proposed legislation taxing the sale of ammunition with proceeds going to help high-crime jurisdictions.

On Tuesday, Oakland's City Council will consider prohibiting the city from investing in any maker of firearms and urging the public pension systems to do the same.

Hayward to review red-light cameras

Hayward will look at how effective its red-light camera program is as the five-year contract comes up for review.

The City Council is tentatively scheduled to discuss the red-light cameras at its Feb. 26 meeting.

Hayward has red-camera lights at eight intersections: B and Second streets, A Street and Hesperian Boulevard, Winton Avenue and Hesperian, Industrial Parkway Southwest at Whipple Road, Mission and Industrial Parkway, Santa Clara and Jackson street, Industrial and Huntwood Avenue, and A Street and Interstate 880.

The cameras were installed based on where red-light running was the highest, said Hayward police Capt. Darryl McAllister, field operations division commander.

Fremont council member suggests A's ballpark as downtown anchor

Toward the end of the City Council meeting Tuesday, Vice Mayor Anu Natarajan was noting the importance of an attention-grabbing anchor for the proposed downtown area, when she mentioned a green-and-gold specter that hadn't been raised in more than three years: an A's ballpark in Fremont.

From 2006 to 2009, A's co-owner Lew Wolff made several presentations at Fremont meetings and said he wanted to move the Major League Baseball team to the Bay Area's fourth largest city. But when the housing market crashed and some Fremont residents voiced opposition, Wolff changed course. In early 2009, he announced he was setting his sights on a new stadium in San Jose. To say that then-Mayor Bob Wasserman, an ardent supporter of a Fremont ballpark, and other city boosters were disappointed would be a major understatement.

About four years later, Natarajan noted that Wolff's plans in San Jose might be stalled. When reached by phone Wednesday, she said that no city officials have had talks with Wolff or other A's representatives, but she would like to revisit the idea.

"If nothing is happening in San Jose, I believe Fremont needs to be at the table, even if the chance is remote," she said. "A downtown is not going to happen with little steps. We need to think big."

Wolff said Friday he remains focused on the South Bay.

"The only option we see for a new ballpark that has the infrastructure we need would be in downtown San Jose," he said. "Nothing against Fremont; we love the people of Fremont, but the project we had there at the time depended on a significant amount of residential development and that, and a lot of other factors, no longer exist today." ___



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