Former chief of staff may run for City Council

A former chief of staff to mayors Jerry Brown and Jean Quan is "seriously looking" at running for city council's District 4 seat rather than the school board seat she now holds.

Anne Campbell Washington, 43, was appointed last June by city council to the Oakland Unified School District Board to serve the remaining term of Gary Yee, who became acting superintendent; she had intended to run for election to that seat this year. But she said Saturday that Councilwoman Libby Schaaf's decision to run for mayor forced her to reconsider her own plans.

"I've worked at the city a long time, about 12 years, ... and I've been on the school board now for seven, eight months, and I'm really tied into working on city and school issues and where those overlap," she said.

Given that she's also raising her two children here, in the city's Montclair neighborhood, "I feel really compelled to enter that city council race," Campbell Washington said.

Until she stepped down last month, Campbell Washington had spent more than two years as Quan's top policy adviser, working closely with City Council, agency directors and staff; she'd done the same for Brown in 2003. In between, she served as chief of staff to the city's fire department and assistant to the city administrator, as well as a stint as operations and special projects director at the Stuart Foundation, an education and child welfare nonprofit in San Francisco.

Others potentially seeking to succeed Schaaf in District 4 include Jill Broadhurst, a community organizer and executive director of the East Bay Rental Housing Association, and Nicolas Heidorn, a former Brown aide and attorney who now is special assistant to the secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

-- Josh Richman, Staff


Police locate missing 10-year-old boy

A 10-year-old boy who failed to return home from school and was reported missing on Friday has been found, police said.

Woobonson Chery, a fourth-grade student at McKinley Elementary School in San Leandro, did not return home at 4:15 p.m. as he normally does each weekday, Lt. Robert McManus said.

Working with personnel from the San Leandro Unified School District, police were able to obtain information that led them to Woobonson, who had been at a friend's house since leaving school earlier in the day.

Woobonson is Haitian and speaks limited English. His primary language is French, police said.

Officers drove Woobonson home, where he was reunited with his family.

"This is the best possible outcome in a situation like this. We are extremely happy that he is home safe," McManus said in a news release.

-- Natalie Neysa Alund, staff


One person killed in Oakland house fire

One person is dead after a home caught fire early Saturday morning, officials said.

The fire was reported around 2 a.m. in the 200 block of Santa Clara Avenue.

The Alameda County coroner's office confirmed one person died as a result of the fire, but details on the person's identity were not available.

Oakland fire officials were not immediately available for comment.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff, Bay City News


Knife-wielding man detained by police

A 35-year-old man is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation after police say he slashed tires and threatened people with a knife this week at Union Landing shopping center.

Officers were called about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday to the shopping plaza for reports of a man threatening passing motorists with a knife and slashing tires on parked vehicles, said Cmdr. Ben Horner.

Police arrived and found a man holding a knife and an umbrella inside of Andersen Bakery.

The man refused to comply with officer's commands to drop the knife and exit the store, Horner said.

When the man put a knife to his own throat one of the officers deployed a stun gun and struck the man. He dropped the knife and fell to the ground.

Officers detained the man, who they determined suffers from a mental illness, and transported him to a psychiatric facility for a 72-hour evaluation.

-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff