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Re: “Coal Money Divides Oakland's Churches

The idea of shipping coal through the Port of Oakland makes little sense. The proposal is to mine coal in Utah, transport it by rail through the Western states, through the metropolitan Bay Area, trans-ship it at the Port, and ship it to Asia, where is burned for industrial energy. That process has used carbon based energy, and created pollution, at each of those steps. When it is burned, it produces more particulate pollution that joins the Asia-sourced toxic cloud already being detected directly downwind here in the Bay Area. This idea is wrong at so many levels. West Oakland already has one of the highest incidents of asthma in the nation, due to Port and industrial history, proximity to the freeways, and lack of governmental concern. It is not sufficient to say the impact of coal shipment/trans-shipment would be negligible: we are already well beyond tolerable levels.

The Port, nor its contractors, has a good record of hiring Oakland. There is a recurring pattern of shilling community organizations, flashing money, and garnering support for myriad Oakland jobs around such projects. After the fact, the contractors always point to the fine print that requires them to make “an honest effort” to hire Oakland. Of course, they say, they looked but were not able to find Oakland residents with sufficient skill levels to fill the required jobs. Typically the jobs go to union-affiliated individuals, (great!) but they are sourced from the suburbs. From what I have learned, the number of actual jobs would be small either in construction phases or operational phases, and would be highly technical and possibly staffed through existing Longshore affiliations.

It is usually exciting to see the Churches involved in activities of the community, but I personally prefer involvement in social justice. It is personally bothersome to see community churches swooning for some flashy silver. Yes, well paying community jobs are important. Yes, youth programs are vitally needed. However, monies invested in tech skills, entrepreneur skills, business skills would be far more productive. Across the board, denominational churches, along with other major institutions, are divesting from all carbon energy sources. That day for carbon energy is past. Alternative energy sources are price-competitive, renewable, and sustainable. Alternative energy systems promise far more jobs at all levels: manufacture, sales, installation, administration, and maintenance. Oakland prides itself on being a green city, but this proposal flies in the face of that stance.

Posted by Jerry West on 02/11/2016 at 12:04 PM

Re: “An Intentional Homeless Community

"A homeless protest and occupation in Portland last year evolved into Dignity Village, which now exists with the city's approval."

Dignity Village began in 2001. It has had a permanent location on leased city land for many years.

Two out of three of Seattle's sanctioned homeless villages have already opened. There is also Opportunity Village in Eugene and Emerald Village opening, and many other examples in other cities.

Cities considering alternate housing models such as considered in the article should look at these various models/precedents which have been operating and studied for years. (see eg Andrew Heben's book and site, "Tent City Urbanism"). What happens often instead is cities mainly react to the situation in front of them, or debate abstractions like 'encampments' rather than particular models/proposals.

Tim McCormick
San Francisco / Portland

Posted by tmccormick on 02/10/2016 at 3:14 PM

Re: “Coal Money Divides Oakland's Churches

To the Ecumenical Economic Empowerment Council: I have one question. "What would Jesus do?"

Posted by Allene Warren on 02/10/2016 at 1:57 PM

Re: “Coal Money Divides Oakland's Churches

"The council isn't expected to make a decision on coal any time soon. City staffers are in the process of hiring Environmental Science Associates, a San Francisco-based consulting company, to analyze potential health and safety impacts of shipping coal through Oakland."

Sounds just like Oakland to me. Where electeds "take responsibility" and "get things done." NOT!

Some questions come quickly to mind:
!. If BART and other public institutions can divest from coal, why can't Oakland?
2. Conventional progressive politics say "no more coal" because of toxic pollution, destructive mining operations and last, but not least, global warming. I guess a progressive "no brainer" in Oakland requires an expensive outside consultant.
3. Who is Environmental Science Associates of San Francisco? In my experience environmental consultants are often, if not mostly, in service to corporations which demand permissive environmental reviews.
4. Exactly how many jobs will a coal terminal deliver to unemployed Oaklanders? For decades city hall has passed legislation which promises jobs but I have never seen any report on how many jobs were ever delivered.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 02/10/2016 at 1:34 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of February 10, 2016

Ms. Eng nails it perfectly. Create a child friendly Oakland, create a better Oakland.

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 02/10/2016 at 1:13 PM

Re: “Coastal Peril

It is too bad that you did not take the time to develop the other argument that may favor change. Historically the commission staff has tried very hard to lead the commission not just advise it.A perfect example of that was the approval of the desalinization plant in San Diego County. Staff .The staff fought it at every step and the commission nevertheless narrowly approved it. Now that plant is part of the solution to our drought problem . We need a commission staff that has a broad view of California's needs not just zealously opposing every proposal to do something in the coastal zone.
The commission members should be able to make policy not the staff. That is the real issue.
P.s. Yes there is a real issue with the lack of diversity in the commission staff.
Oh yes how about commission staff fighting with the State Department of parks over attempts to manage parking.

Posted by ed gerber on 02/10/2016 at 1:00 PM

Re: “Coal Money Divides Oakland's Churches

that coal is radioactive...radon gas mixed in with the smog just makes living in the bay area, makes the suffering that much shorter, but that much more vicious...

Posted by Harold One Feather on 02/10/2016 at 11:40 AM

Re: “How East Bay Tenants Get Displaced

This comment was deleted because it violates our website's Terms Of Use. People who repeatedly violate our policies will lose their ability to post comments. You can read our entire Terms Of Use here.

Posted by Editor on 02/10/2016 at 1:13 AM

Re: “The Return of Don Perata?

The JPA exemplifies poor leadership. The majority of the JPA voted for the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) to run the Coliseum complex and, during the 3 years since, the venues have generated less revenue according to Pollstar. Perhaps, it's because AEG has refused to hire qualified staff at the Oakland venues and instead uses its resources for it's other venues such as Staples and the Forum which both fared better.

The JPA voted AEG in after the company was sued for Michael Jackson's death which demonstrates political game playing or a real lack of business acumen.

It's unfortunate that Oakland has so many resources that continue to be abused through secrecy, political games and bums that refuse to get real jobs.

Posted by Mari jones on 02/09/2016 at 8:25 PM

Re: “An Intentional Homeless Community

Why should the government supply housing? That money comes from the middle class. Why should the middle class have to pay for laziness? Ridiculous article.

Posted by Garry Ovalbach on 02/09/2016 at 5:55 PM

Re: “When Landlords Lie

Sure, this is a well written article, by an obviously intelligent author. However, it clearly is a biased article presenting only one view, the view of the tenants in the lawsuit. The landlord or his attorney should have been given ample space in the article to articulate their point of view. Many of the statements in the article are just argument, without the counter argument or proof. Presenting two viewpoints is just normal journalistic procedure. Without such a procedure, the EBE merely becomes a mouthpiece for certain vested interests. I would encourage the EBE to present articles which are more balanced.

Posted by Jerry Udinksy on 02/05/2016 at 2:43 PM

Re: “It's Official: Marijuana Is Medicine

our government has and always will lie to us they are not to be trusted with any means or by any . these people are the big' st crooks on the planet it's like a friend sheriff told me, I belong to the big'st gang and they can't stop me . A little old lady ran over him and got off don't ask me how but that's what I heard .

Posted by Richard Elvers on 02/05/2016 at 2:36 PM

Re: “It's Official: Marijuana Is Medicine

Actually, the AMA did not take a position on cannibus in 1937. In congressional discussion of the pending legislation, the question was asked about where AMA stood. The response was that the AMA was supportive of the legislation. The AMA president, however, later asserted that the AMA was never asked.

Posted by Frank Buress on 02/05/2016 at 11:06 AM

Re: “Trapped Part Two: The Vicious Cycle of Trauma

The two in-depth articles on the California parole board illustrate mental problems, not of the inmates seeking parole but of parole board members. I'm no mental health professional, but I see cruelty and sadism in the actions of the board members toward the inmates during the hearings. Their "reasons" are nothing more than excuses for their own sick behavior. They also exhibit the same range of attitudes - smug, self-satisfied, judgmental and unreasonable - that I have seen in criminal court from DAs, judges and even bailiffs, treating inmates and their friends and families with contempt in the courtroom.

Posted by Jan Van Dusen on 02/05/2016 at 10:04 AM

Re: “Proposed Dam Sparks Government Fight

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 02/04/2016 at 8:49 PM

Re: “Banks Tighten Loan Requirements

This comment was deleted because it violates our website's Terms Of Use. People who repeatedly violate our policies will lose their ability to post comments. You can read our entire Terms Of Use here.

Posted by Editor on 02/04/2016 at 6:45 PM

Re: “The Gunrunner and the Peacemakers

“Much of the political thinking about violence in the United States comes from unfavorable comparisons between the United States and a series of cherry-picked countries with lower murder rates and with fewer guns per capita”



Posted by Kurt VanderKoi on 02/04/2016 at 5:13 PM

Re: “When Landlords Lie

Adrian Rish's LinkedIn profile lists him as interested in joining the board of a non-profit, and in pro-bono consulting. It seems like the Death Eaters might be a good fit for his talents.

It's appalling that Oakland and SF, supposed progressive havens, have laws so brutally stacked against tenants. Decent tenant protections are just the start of what we should ask for; we should talk about expropriating and making public the property of landlords who abuse their tenants like this and don't even need the money.

Posted by saul maas on 02/04/2016 at 4:49 PM

Re: “When Landlords Lie

Please keep in mind WHO owns the building. Many tenants seem to forget they are renting. Landlords should not have to jump through hoops to regain access to their property. Perhaps landlords who lie in court shouldn't have to be put in that position. The law should be written that 60 day notice to vacate must be enforced for any reason the owner sees fit.

Posted by Garry Ovalbach on 02/04/2016 at 3:56 PM

Re: “When Landlords Lie

Landlords like this are why the guillotine was invented. And there ought to be recourse under the law for such criminal activities by this landlord.

Posted by Diane Hume on 02/03/2016 at 9:16 PM

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