Raiders talk lease extension in Oakland

Raiders lease talks getting underway

The authority that runs Coliseum will meet behind closed doors Monday to discuss how it will approach a lease extension for the Oakland Raiders, providing further indication that the team is staying put for at least one more season.

“The Raiders and ourselves have agreed to sit down and have discussions about a lease extension,” Scott McKibben, executive director of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, said Thursday.

With Raiders owner Mark Davis still weighing his options after the NFL blocked him from moving to Los Angeles next season, he is likely to want another one-year lease in Oakland while continuing to negotiate with city leaders for a new stadium. San Antonio has been floated as a possible landing spot for the Raiders if talks don’t progress here. San Diego could also be an option if the Chargers decide to join the Rams in Los Angeles.

McKibben, who was scheduled to meet this week with Raiders President Marc Badain, said negotiations will be kept private. “We will talk to the press once we have something to talk about,” he said.

Seismic strengthening grants available

Homeowners living in houses that are particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage can apply for up to $3,000 for seismic retrofit grants.

The Earthquake Brace + Bolt program is accepting applications through Feb. 20 as it seeks to dispense $4.8 million in grant funds.

The grants are targeted for property owners whose pre-1979 homes aren’t bolted to their foundations, include a crawl space and have low, unbraced “cripple walls” between the foundation and the first floor.

Seismic strengthening of these homes requires bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space. The retrofit typically costs between $2,000 and $10,000.

To learn more about the program, call or visit .

Hayward gives birds and bees a break

The birds and bees are now OK in Hayward — with a permit.

The permit lets residents keep up to four chickens in backyards.

The previous rules were fairly onerous, especially in a city where farms once were common and old-timers remember some students riding horses to school.

Chickens weren’t strictly banned, but setback rules effectively prohibited them from scratching around in most yards.

And the fee to keep domestic fowl sure wasn’t chicken feed at $500. The city lowered the permit fee to $52.50.

$52.50? What’s up with that, Hayward?

The Hayward City Council approved the change Tuesday on a second reading of a revised ordinance.

The revised rules also make it easier for beekeepers to keep hives. The minimum lot size was cut to 4,000 square feet from 40,000 square feet.

The fee for keeping bees is higher than for chickens, $210. The city will use the money to cover the cost of alerting neighbors within 100 feet of proposed hives, in case anyone is allergic to bee stings and objects to the insects buzzing around.

Oh, and even though the pot belly pig fad is over, Hayward threw them in for good measure. They can now be considered pets.

Fremont launches online civic forum

Fremont has taken community meetings online, launching forums on city matters such as traffic, water and public safety.

Fremont planners will use the comments posted on the Fremont Open City Hall site as they review new projects and make recommendations for any changes in city regulations. They also will evaluate policies suggested by residents.

The forum can be found at . Residents can sign up to be notified when new topics are posted.

The forums will not replace traditional community meetings but are another way for residents to weigh in on civic matters.

Current topics include electronic cigarettes, downtown restaurants and stores, and compassionate communities charter.

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