Dr. Death is amassing a silver-and-black horde of Raiders fans to crowd Oakland City Hall's chamber next week for an important meeting on the future of the city's professional sports teams.
Happy that the Coliseum City development dream has attracted deep-pocketed suitors with the money to build it, season ticket-holder Ray Perez said he is more hopeful than ever about building the Raiders a new stadium that will keep them in the city.
Identifying himself as Dr. Death and wearing face paint, striped jailbird paints and a silver hard hat with fake knives piercing it, Perez spoke Tuesday at an Oakland City Council committee meeting about the project to build a massive new East Oakland sports complex for one, if not all three, of Oakland's professional sports teams surrounded by a new hotel, housing, retail and tech office space.
"You have to spend money to make money," he told council members, some of whom were taking photos of him from the dais. "If you get this done, all of you here will be considered legends in this city forever. Just do it and just win, baby."
City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf made clear "I do not think this city can afford to subsidize" the building of stadiums, but she and fellow committee members Pat Kernighan and Lynette Gibson McElhaney all appeared to share Perez's enthusiasm for allowing Colony Capital and HayaH Holding to join the stadium-planning team under the banner of the Bay Investment Group. Colony alone manages investments totaling $32 billion, offering the chance for the city to get its Coliseum City without giving public money away to have it built.
The more important meeting happens before the full council on Tuesday evening. More controversial than bringing aboard the new investors is whether the city should also extend its exclusive negotiating agreement with the development group by a year.
With the Raiders already known to be looking at property in Concord, and the A's and the Warriors determined to decamp for San Jose and the San Francisco waterfront, respectively, some Coliseum City boosters are worried about losing an important window of opportunity.
Drug take-back law delayed
Alameda County is delaying the implementation of its law forcing drug companies to pay for the cost of collecting and throwing away unused prescription pills.
The law was supposed to take effect Nov. 1, but the pharmaceutical industry sued last year trying to invalidate it. A federal judge on Aug. 28 upheld the ordinance, but after months of litigation, county health officials say they are giving the companies until May 1 to come up with a stewardship plan to safely dispose of medicine sold locally -- which is meant to curb drug abuse and keep pills from contaminating the watershed.
Meanwhile, Washington's King County is pursuing a similar law, and Los Angeles County is considering one, said Supervisor Nate Miley at a board meeting this week.
"This is a real big deal, this ordinance. People are talking about it all over the country," Miley said.
Social services fair for families Saturday
Nutrition, health care and education resources for families with children younger than 5 will be showcased at Malcolm X Elementary School in Berkeley on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the school multipurpose room at 1731 Prince St.
The Ready to Learn Fun Fair will include sign ups for health insurance through Alameda County Medi-Cal and the new health care law. Twenty other organizations that provide resources for families with children will be on hand at the fair.
For kids there will be a clown, Clifford the Big Red Dog, face painting, games, a dance performance and raffles for prizes including tickets to museums and sports equipment.
For more information, visit www.acgov.org/board/district5/calendar.htm or call 510-272-6768.
San Leandro to study foreign flag proposal
An ad hoc committee created by the City Council will study whether San Leandro should fly foreign flags at City Hall, including the divisive People's Republic of China flag.
The council voted 4-3 last month to approve a request by Chinese-American Councilman Benny Lee to fly the flag on National Day on Oct. 1, but after backlash from Tibetan rights' activists and others, the mayor halted the plan for reconsideration under a power granted in the City Charter.
The council decided at Monday's council meeting to create the committee to tackle the issue and bring the council a proposed foreign flag-raising policy. Appointments will be made at the Oct. 21 council meeting.
A peaceful China flag-raising ceremony was held in Marina Park on Oct. 1 by a group of supporters as a way of honoring the local Chinese population. The city of Alameda had plans that same day for a China flag-raising ceremony, as done in years past, but called it off when up to 75 protesters rallied. San Francisco raised the China flag at City Hall on Sept. 25.