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If you live in Oakland, you might notice elephants all over the city, decked out in different costumes and outfits or covered in eclectic colors and designs. They're depictions of Stomper, the Oakland Athletic's mascot. This year, there are 50 of them scattered throughout the city, created by different artists, to celebrate the baseball team's 50th year in The Town.
There's a lot of baseball history in Oakland. In his latest piece, KQED columnist Pendarvis Harshaw looked at this rich history — who are the notable players from Oakland, what they've meant for the sport and the city's African American community.
Harshaw also checked out an exhibit commemorating the A's 50 years in the city at the Oakland Public Library. There, he met library historian Dorothy Lazar and posed this question: Is it possible to tell the story of America's pastime without mentioning the black community in Oakland? Lazar's answer was an immediate 'no.'
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sat down with KQED a day after a guilty verdict was handed down to President Donald Trump's former campaign manager and a guilty plea came from his former lawyer. Pelosi said Trump has "engendered a culture of cronyism and corruption in D.C.," but warned that any effort at impeachment would need to be bipartisan. Pelosi also addressed the indictment of San Diego Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter on campaign embezzlement charges.
Pelosi said the litany of legal developments doesn't change her view that Democrats should focus on the issues that matter to their constituents. She says Democrats shouldn't be running on impeachment promises. And she pushed back on recent calls for her to step down as leader of the House Democrats.
"They attack me because they're scared of me," she said, ticking off her list of legislative accomplishments, including the Affordable Care Act. "I eat their lunch."
Anger mounted this week after news came out that the company Verizon limited the data speeds to and from a crucial mobile command center for Santa Clara County firefighters battling the Mendocino Complex Fire. The firefighters were forced to negotiate with Verizon for higher internet speeds while they tried to perform their intended function as a communications hub for incident commanders.
Verizon acknowledges that it limited data speeds to the command center. The company blames the issue on a "mistake" in communicating with the fire department and says full-speed access should have been restored because the agency was responding to an emergency.
California lawmakers approved a bill that would radically change how California treats people accused of crimes by ending the state's cash bail system and giving judges more power to decide who is safe for release. If Gov. Jerry Brown signs the bill, California would become the first state to completely end bail for suspects awaiting trial.
The state assembly approved the bill after months of negotiations between supporters and opponents of the measure. The compromise appeased some concerns that judges and law enforcement had raised. But many of the criminal justice reform groups that pushed the Legislature to take up bail reform now oppose the bill, saying it gives too much power to judges and will result in more people staying in jail while they await trial.
Bay Curious listener Robin Duryee says she loves looking for unusual things when she’s walking around the city. The retired nurse has lived in San Francisco for 43 years. On a recent trek from BART, she spotted adorable knitted animals near City Hall: chameleons with leopard spots, brown fuzzy otters and giraffes licking branches with long pink tongues.
Duryee posed this question to Bay Curious: What’s the story behind the knitted creatures on the trees in Civic Center?