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Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

- I am a working class person who has been living in West Oakland for a long time and want nice things too. I survived the housing crash because I did not borrow and cash out against my home like some of my friends and neighborhoods. I like what they are doing on for the neighborhood and West Oakland. It is our turn to get a grocery store and other services. We are hoping that their investments will help bring them

20 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Emmanuel Mendoza on 04/02/2014 at 5:46 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

- I am a working class person who has been living in West Oakland for a long time and want nice things too. I survived the housing crash because I did not borrow and cash out against my home like some of my friends and neighborhoods. I like what they are doing on for the neighborhood and West Oakland. It is our turn to get a grocery store and other services. We are hoping that their investments will help bring them

15 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Emmanuel Mendoza on 04/02/2014 at 5:22 PM

Re: “Oakland's New City Administrator Fred Blackwell Takes Job with San Francisco Foundation

"Blackwell decided that he could not pass up the position of CEO of the San Francisco Foundation."


No, the rats aren't leaving the sinking ship--they just have better opportunities elsewhere.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Michele Ocla on 04/02/2014 at 5:17 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 04/02/2014 at 4:40 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

Please stop attacking business who are making Oakland better and safer place to live.

21 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Rajni Dutt on 04/02/2014 at 3:50 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

The most telling quote in the article: "but banks could only sell to cash buyers in 2008, 2009, and 2010." The same banks that engaged in predatory lending, first in African-American communities and when that started running out extended to latino communities, chose to sell only to cash buyers, thereby shutting out Oakland residents from buying affordable homes. The question is, why? On top of the predatory lending we had prosecutors on all levels who refused to prosecute predatory lending. The recent Inspector General's report on the Department of Justice failure to prosecute is telling.

What if instead of "investors" owning those homes, they were now owned by the families living in them? That would do more to stabilize the community than having out of town investors owning so many homes.

Mr. Sullivan did nothing wrong, he only took advantage of an opportunity that presented itself. The banks were never held responsible for their conduct. As Bob Ivry recently wrote in his book the Seven Sins of Wall Street:

"In 2009, Treasury earmarked $50 billion to help failing homeowners. By October 2012, the department had spent $5.5 billion, with another $5 billion committed. That might seem like a staggering bounty, until you compare it to assistance for the banks, which in 2008 -- the depths of the financial crisis -- collectively got $1.2 trillion of loans from the Federal Reserve on a single day."

Keep Your Homes California was created in 2009 with almost $2 billion of federal Hardest Hit Funds. To date the State has only given out a bit over 36 percent of the money to help homeowners. At the end of 2017, any unused funds will revert to the federal government. The government on all levels has failed homeowners while refusing to prosecute those most culpable for the financial meltdown.

22 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ralph Kanz on 04/02/2014 at 3:26 PM

Re: “Waste: The Dark Side of the New Coffee Craze

For one, we already now recycle enough aluminum that we don't really need to mine for bauxite..So that argument is off the table.

2. PE, EVOH, HIPS coextrusion is virtually impossible to recycle however, it does not mean that the PE or HIPS used in these cups, and or the "7" used for Krup (which is actually fairly odd unless it's just code for mixed material like PS,PE EVOH etc) didn't come from recycled materials.

3. The worry about Styrne leaching into our bodies is not really a concern with the EVOH barriers...Or even really without. The FDA clears a lot of, even post consumer PS for direct food contact applications...Does that guarantee it's safety? No but as long as you aren't smoking PS you are probably ok. Especially if it has a barrier.

4. The manufacturers aren't really thinking this through but are also responding to consumers taste and price points. They need the EVOH so your coffee is fresh and to keep the oxygen out and flavor in. The consumer wants easy and fresh and this is what they come up with. Now, taking the PS component out would help...or taking the PE out would help or replacing the PS with PP would also help.

5. The foil is a problem when dealing with hips at a consumer level. HIPS with foil skeletons which are left over from the cup manufacturing process is recyclable. Foil will also sink when washing PP and PE which will both float in water/wash lines. I don't know exactly how these cups and devices work but perhaps a recycled paper or poly lid would be the answer. Why the manufacturers wouldn't just try starting with a PP w EVOH barrier and a paper or poly lid is beyond me. Now, a rigid PP lid would probably work but would be much more expensive... but then completely recyclable..Are you guys willing to pay $.25 more per cup for something that is recyclable and requires MORE plastic to manufacture?? Are you going to actually recycle it afterwards?? is it even recyclable in your area??

Same with the water bottle argument, just because something isn't getting recycled doesn't mean that it can't be recycled and or didn't come from recycled materials to begin with. And with the water bottle thing you have to consider what it's replacing...Tax bottled water and people drink Coke and get fat and our health care costs go up and they STILL use the plastic bottle the Coke came in...Which is actually thicker than water bottles and their caps use much more plastic than the water bottle caps....And, a lot of bottled water is made from recycled (post industrial and post consumer) PET in the first place and can then also be recycled again after it is used...Don't blame bottled water for the consumers lack of effort in recycling it.. There are carpet manufacturers in GA and Nike plants in China that are more than willing to turn that into another product.

And lastly, our biggest environmental concern right now is NOT that we are running out of landfill space...For every landfill you get a new golf course...Our biggest concern is the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere that are warming the planet and melting the ice caps. The main sources of those are Coal Plants, car exhaust and livestock herding...If anything gets your time and attention it should be that...The coffee cups aren't going to kill us or drastically shift global populations...We'll just have to deal with higher golf courses.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John Wayman on 04/02/2014 at 2:59 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

In reading this article and some of the comments that have been left in response to it brings a few questions to mind. If there weren't investors like Sullivan Management what would the city look like? What would become of Oakland? If the improvements aren't wanted then what is the alternative? Abandoned buildings that have been empty for years that become unsafe havens for horrendous illegal behavior, which adds to the already high percentage of crime that takes place in Oakland? There is so much complaining about the lack of interest and care that goes into Oakland and that is why the crime is so high etc., but when a group of people do take interest in not only rehabilitating homes but also rehabilitating the atmosphere and environment of Oakland, which in turn would reduce the crime and increase the attraction to the city, there is so much negative backlash. I think what Sullivan Management is doing is great. It's putting pride back in the city and giving the City of Oakland a chance to change the perspective that is depicted in the media. It's about time that groups like Sullivan step in and actually do something to change our city as opposed to just talking about how bad the city is and "someone" needs to do something to change it. Anything that is done well takes time, as time goes on I am sure all the naysayers will see the benefit in this transformation. I think the work "gentrification" is being used loosely as well. Oakland has a VERY strict rent board that governs market rents and protection against it's tenants. Any landlord in Oakland are limited to "market rents" which is not dictated by the landlord but by the market. From what I've seen any working class person or group of people can afford homes from Sullivan. Instead of focusing on the negative we should focus on the MANY positive things that can and will come from their investments. Culturally and historically any person or group that has been a trailblazer to make things different and better has had to face adversity and it appears that is still the case.

18 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Maximus Arnelis on 04/02/2014 at 2:31 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

I don't know Mr. Sullivan personally, but I live in Oakland and I am encouraged that meaningful investment is being made in our distressed neighborhoods. Your article describes responsible behavior by long term investors--not quick buy and sell--that is leading to real improvements in the quality of life for our residents. I hope they do make a profit. That's how such investing behavior becomes sustainable. Tom Higgins

22 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Higgins on 04/02/2014 at 2:26 PM

Re: “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 04/02/2014 at 1:56 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

I have lived in a Sullivan Management unit in West Oakland for 4 years. They have been great property managers! They fixed my floors. They also fixed up a house two doors down from me that was in terrible condition. I'm appalled by reading some of the negative comments about them. How can you possibly hate on a company for taking the initiative to cleaning up the filthy, damaged houses, and attempting to enhance Oakland's appearance??? Kuddos to the brilliant masterminds behind these works. When people begin to realize how nice some of Sullivan Magament houses/ units are, more working class people will gravitate towards these properties which will be better for the community in multiple ways. Sullivan management is looking at the bigger picture which is cleaning up some of these raggedy a** streets in Oakland, which should have been handled a LONG time ago! By the way... I'm a black male in my mid 20's that actually realizes this! Are people oblivious or just... Dumb??? Wake up people! They are doing Oakland a huge favor.

18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by LaJon Survillion on 04/02/2014 at 1:12 PM

Re: “DEA Says It Will Ignore President Obama's Wishes During Congressional Hearing on Marijuana Policy

Nothing fights harder--or dirtier-- than a cornered, wounded rat.

28 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Miles Monroe on 04/02/2014 at 1:07 PM

Re: “DEA Says It Will Ignore President Obama's Wishes During Congressional Hearing on Marijuana Policy

Great article but a correction: Rep. Hal Rogers is the chair of Appropriations, and is a Republican representing the 5th District of Kentucky. The Subcommittee Chair, who presumably chaired the hearing, is Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA). Rogers did submit an opening statement for the record, his is the only document that appears on the hearing page. Since Leonhart was being advised in that statement by Chairman Rogers that he wants to see more money going into the agency than is being requested, I'd guess that this was a very friendly hearing for DEA.

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by dougmc on 04/02/2014 at 1:05 PM

Re: “Can Oakland Afford Affordable Housing?

Bud Verde,

All new housing in Oakland already is exempt from rent control. Rent control in the city only applies to multi-unit buildings constructed before 1983.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Robert Gammon on 04/02/2014 at 1:03 PM

Re: “Can Oakland Afford Affordable Housing?

Want new housing? Exempt developers from rent-control and watch rents fall as developers rush to build.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Bud Verde on 04/02/2014 at 12:45 PM

Re: “Free By Choice

I've been an avid Broke For Free fan for abut three years now, and Cascino never fails to impress me through his creativity. His genre diversity blows me away - kind of like an electronic Van Morrison or Beck. His tunes stay in my head for days, and for once in my life, BFF ear worms don't drive me crazy. I can't wait for his Petal release.

13 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by debfagan on 04/02/2014 at 12:38 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

Seems to me that anyone in Oakland who is trying to run a business is a Villan. I have lived 10 years in Oakland. You are trying to tell me that someone who is fixing up a bunch of crack houses and run down foreclosures is a problem in Oakland? .

Oakland needs investment. Any investment. Look how wonderful downtown has become for ALL of us. Look at what happens when people invest in Oakland.

If Mr. Sullivan has to pay 1.35% property taxes on a home of $500,000 value over the next 30 years, versus a $150,000 abandoned home, that is $140,500 in extra property taxes over the next 30 years. How can anyone miss this headline: OAKLAND LOSES $140,000 IN TAX REVENUE PER HOME by not improving these homes.

On Mr. Sullivan's 200 homes, that is $28,000,000 to Oakland. $28 million dollars in extra tax revenue.

But, when he fixes up a neighborhood, then everyone has to pay more taxes, so that means the entire Oakland tax base is increased. That could be another $200 million in property taxes.

I am all in favor of the working man and i am by no means rich, but we need jobs, more tax income, more police and more services. People like Mr. Sullivan should get an award from the city for providing $28 million in extra tax revenue to the city. Why is leadership so incapable of understanding how the world works?

The real question is how do we attract more people like Mr. Sullivan to Oakland. Creating property tax revenue is what we need!

31 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by bill ran on 04/02/2014 at 12:35 PM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

They also tried scamming my housemates and I out of our deposits because of a mistake made in PG&E billing where they claimed that they had been paying for half our electricity the entire year we lived there without noticing/telling us. They demanded we give them this money over the phone without any documentation. We had to ask for a week to put it in writing. A friend of mine told me the exact same scam was pulled on them at another one of their properties.

15 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by Hadley Barleycorn on 04/02/2014 at 11:37 AM

Re: “Neill Sullivan's Oakland

thank you for this article. where is this google map of the properties from? is it possible to share a link to a live version of the map?

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Andrew Malk on 04/02/2014 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Alameda County Trashes Library Books

Physical books are obsolete, it is the Internet Age of tablets and smartphones. Just have these books scanned and put on a pdf. Libraries are dinosaurs, get rid of them and turn it into a museum or something, sooner or later all books will be replaced by electronic books and trees will be saved for housing material.

11 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Peter Yuan Liu on 04/02/2014 at 10:23 AM

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