Bay Area Briefs

Monday September 30, 2002

Oakland cops arrested for soliciting on duty 

OAKLAND – Two police officers have been arrested for allegedly soliciting prostitutes while on duty. 

Oakland Officers Eric Richholt, 35, and Mark Neely Jr., 29, were arrested by San Leandro officers Thursday at a beauty salon that was believed to be a front for prostitution. They were cited for misdemeanors and released. 

Oakland Police Chief Richard Word said the department will move swiftly. 

“How can we expect to police the community if we can’t even police ourselves?” Word said. 

The two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal affairs probe. 


San Jose airport to increase security, decrease noise 

SAN JOSE – Mineta San Jose International Airport will receive $15 million in from the Federal Aviation Administration to increase security and reduce noise pollution. 

About half of the funding announced Friday will repay the airport for insulating 300 homes in San Jose and Santa Clara meant to protect neighborhoods from airport noise and improve airport security. 

The rest will pay for security enhancements and to reimburse the city for improvements completed since September 2001. 

Locals worried over NASA building construction 

MOUNTAIN VIEW – A plan to build housing, office and research space for thousands of people on 500 acres of land at Moffett Field has nearby cities worried about increased traffic congestion and decreased air quality. 

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which has a 1,000-acre air field there, is about to approve an environmental study that would clear the way to start design and construction on the project, which is expected to be finished around 2017. 

The project would include 1,930 new housing units, 7,100 new jobs, 3,000 students, and nearly 15,000 additional trips on the three nearby freeways. 

Those are the numbers that came after NASA got rid of 100 jobs and added 75 percent more housing, after Sunnyvale and Mountain View demanded that the agency modify its plans. 

Studies show that the increased traffic will contribute not just to gridlock, but also to increased levels of nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. 

Opponents also criticize NASA’s plan to fill in 22 acres of flood plain near wetlands, but NASA points out that it is not building on the wetlands. The agency will also add 81 acres of burrowing owl preserve, use reclaimed water to irrigate and certify its buildings as sustainably designed.