Dollars & Change: a special report tracking Obama donations

by RHYEN COOMBS, LISA PICKOFF-WHITE and ELIZABETH SHEMARIA.  Bay Area residents gave over $26 million to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, making our region one of the nation’s most concentrated centers of donation to Obama’s candidacy. This multi-media close-up, produced by reporters in the U.C. Berkeley School of Journalism’s advanced multi-media program, invites you to track the buildup of money, compare Obama donations to those for previous campaigns, and hear the voices of people who chose to contribute to the 2008…

Voters approve more cash for children’s hospitals

By CLARE MAJOR Nov. 5 — A proposition to give additional funds to children’s hospitals passed with 54 percent of votes in favor and 45 percent against. Proposition 3 authorizes $980 million in general obligation bonds to fund grants for the construction, renovation, or related improvements of California children’s hospitals. The bonds will be repaid over 30 years, for a total estimated cost to the state of $2 billion, or $64 million per year.

Kaplan wins at-large Oakland council seat

By CHRISTINA SALERNO and MARTIN RICARD Nov. 5 – AC Transit board member Rebecca Kaplan won the race tonight for the at-large seat on the Oakland City Council, with 61 percent of the vote. Her opponent, Oakland school board member Kerry Hamill, trailed with 38 percent.

Get out vote effort starts before dawn

By MELANIE MASON Nov. 4 – It is 6 am, and most of the storefronts on Broadway are dark and shuttered.  The sun has yet to rise.  But the lights are on at the Oakland Democratic Party headquarters, and the people streaming in are awake and attentive.  This is no day for early morning grogginess.  It is Election Day, and the activists and volunteers are ready to get down to business. 

WW seeking big new money for East Bay Parks

by BAGASSI KOURA After its first approval 20 years ago, a local park development measure running out of money is back on the ballot this fall. The East Bay Regional Park District is asking residents of Alameda and Contra Costa counties to vote for Measure WW, which would raise up to $500 million through government bonds.

Bay Area child sex trafficking stings lead nationwide effort

  By ISABEL ESTERMAN OCT. 28 –Thirteen juveniles have been taken into custody in the Bay Area and 123 adults have been arrested as part of Operation Cross Country II, a nationwide effort to combat the sex trafficking of children, law enforcement officials announced this morning. Bay Area operations are responsible for almost 25 percent the juveniles apprehended, and a fifth of nearly 650 arrests nationwide, said FBI spokesman  Joe Schadler. “A bulk of the national work was done in…