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Re: “Can I Get HIV From Kissing or Oral Sex?

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Posted by Alesha Marks on 10/20/2014 at 1:28 AM

Re: “Save Knowland Park Releases Poll Showing Strong Voter Opposition to Oakland Zoo Expansion

Most of the stuff that's been published mentions the gondola ride without going into any detail about it, but it alone is an environmental disaster. The line will be nearly a mile long. Eight concrete towers up to 60 feet high will be required to support it. The terrain is so rough, the components will have to be brought in by helicopter. And it is located directly -- directly -- above the Hayward fault, on ground that has been designated unstable by the US Geological Service. It is also, as we know, located in the middle of rough parkland in the East Bay Hills, one of the highest fire danger areas in the state. All we need, when the Big One hits or the next Firestorm starts (perhaps because a kid sneaks a cigarette at the new campground up top), is a bunch of people trapped mid-air in closed gondola cars. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by Stefanie Gandolfi on 10/20/2014 at 12:47 AM

Re: “Vote Libby Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland

I think prospective voters should read carefully what Len Raphael has written.

In particular leadership is certainly the glaring problem in Oakland. Jean Quan is anything but an inspiring idea person or public speaker. These are minimal qualifications for the particular needs of Oakland and our particular rather weak mayor's office.

In terms of the endorsement of Schaaf--I simply cannot understand it. Schaaf in her four years on the Council did little or nothing for her District 4's floundering retail areas like the Laurel. Where Schaaf could have been a leader and a visionary for a part of Oakland with lots of potential as well as real problems, she failed. I think she is much less a leader than a modest follower and, if elected, will deliver much like Quan has, but perhaps a bit more gracefully.

And I agree about the comments about Dan Siegel. He certainly has the ability to get people enthused about new ideas. That's an important aspect of leadership. My appreciation for Siegel is damped by understanding that many of his ideas are impractical and by the fact that he has been around city hall far too long.

Last, I suggest people strongly consider Len Raphael for Auditor. He has long taken an interest in Oakland's challenges and his opponent is basically unfamiliar with those challenges.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Hobart Johnson on 10/19/2014 at 4:27 PM

Re: “Vote Libby Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland

I don’t see a clear-cut stand-out among when I look at the Mayoral candidates. I find admirable traits and policy positions among almost every one of the 15 or so candidates, but I don't see enough of them in any one candidate to make ranking them a "no brainer."

Voters might keep in mind that under the City Charter, (…) the mayor's power consists largely of submitting a draft budget to Council and hiring and firing the City Administrator. Despite Jerry Brown's "strong mayor' charter amendment we still have 8 mini mayors whose collective legislative power outweighs the Mayor's executive power. In many ways the Mayor's power is largely what the City Charter calls "providing leadership and taking issues to the people and marshaling public interest in and support for municipal activity."

It will be very difficult for any mayor to effectively exercise that kind of leadership over the Council without a strong mandate from the voters.

A TKO under ranked choice voting won't be sufficient.

My reluctant conclusion is that for Oakland to move forward, voters should vote for mayor with their heads and not with their hearts.

Read the websites of the mayoral candidates for clues to their true policy positions and job related experience to make your initial choices.

Then read all the polls to get a sense of which of your preferred candidate has the best chance of winning a plurality of votes at the earliest stage possible.

Keep in mind what the political consultant pros say: the best qualified candidate rarely wins. But if we get a decent candidate with a mandate, we'll do fine as long as she or he can hire a competent long lasting City Administrator and back that person up.
Nor do I understand how you can say that "The city's finances are in much better shape than they were when she took office" unless you are only looking at the two year budget cycle that has been buoyed by real estate bubble transfer tax revenue.

The City's five year forecast has only improved from horrendous to awful. The recent report from the incumbent City Auditor whom you respect warned of a "solvency" risk. That is uncomfortably close to a bankruptcy situation.
4 years later and no plan from either the Council or the Mayor for dealing with the massive deficits projected by City staffers to start in 2016 and last at least several years. Deficits caused by 2.4 billion of unfunded retirement promises to city employees and delayed public works maintenance.

I don't recall hearing any of the 'viable" mayoral candidates doing more than alluding to that elephant in the room.

Please provide the source for your statement that “unemployment has tumbled" and say exactly which population segment here has shown that improvement. I would be very pleasantly surprised if the extremely high chronic unemployment of much of East and West Oakland has dropped from high double digits to anything close to the low unemployment of the well-to-do sections of town. Unemployment has been so high for so long in many parts of Oakland that it no longer counts in the unemployment statistics because people long ago gave up finding work.

To this day, most elected officials appear to think that residential construction and sports stadiums is the most important form of economic development as compared to attracting a mix of service, light manufacturing/assembly, high tech, and low tech long term, benefit paying good jobs from tax paying businesses.

Len Raphael, CPA
Len Raphael for Oakland City Auditor

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Leonard Raphael on 10/19/2014 at 12:08 AM

Re: “Oakland Is Killing Adoptable Dogs

The numbers LIE. Staff say whatever they want in the paperwork. They kill a dog for "aggression" when any normal person can see that the dog was just excited or fearful. They're LYING and in turn skewing the numbers. No one is watching so the staff aren't being held accountable!!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by jennarw146 on 10/18/2014 at 8:24 PM

Re: “Vote Libby Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland

If the editorial board agrees with Dan Siegel on pretty much every issue then why is endorsing Ms. Schaaf? Please explain why this board worries about Dan Siegel's ability to work with the council.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ed Jones Jr. on 10/18/2014 at 6:33 PM

Re: “Vote Libby Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland

I don’t have anything to add to your analysis of Libby. I thought it was right-on and that is why she is my first choice. The second is Tuman.

I also agree with Max Chanowitz’s comments. There can be too much concern about right/left. Of course, we need a progressive who will be able to move things forward. But someone with left views who shows the most energy in propounding them but does not do the hard work behind the scene to implement them is just blowing in the wind.

Just like Jerry Brown who liked to take credit for downtown revitalization that the dotcom produced, Quan can boost about her dotcom 2 development. Neither recognized that building housing at a car dependent isolated site like the Brooklyn Basin was not smart growth.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joyce Roy on 10/18/2014 at 5:22 PM

Re: “Warrantless Medical Marijuana Raids Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Finds

Since it was a federal Judge that said the protection of constitutional rights and the guarantee of access to state-recognized medicine. That means in every legal state police or dea can bust you now if you are a legal patient.

Posted by Tom Zinke on 10/18/2014 at 9:42 AM

Re: “A Little Dab Could Doom Ya

I take multiple dabs 30min before I go to workout for 2 hours and during that time i'm focused, I feel wired.I do go on runs before I workout either on the bike or treadmill, like a mile on the treadmill and about 5 on the bike. During the time of running i have no problems with my breathing, my lungs feel fresh after I run. The dabs that I took before I workout realy intensifies the music and you appreciate the music and you feel in the zone. When i'm done with the workout I take a shower, and get my dinner ready and during that time I go smoke come Indica cannabis. I have gone from 260lb to 210lb. Cannabis did help me loose 50lb.....

Posted by Keegan on 10/17/2014 at 9:51 PM

Re: “Vote Libby Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland

Abel Guillen didn't live in District 2 for years the way Andrew Park has. I don't see how you can overlook that. People need representatives who actually know them.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Judith Rathbone on 10/17/2014 at 9:17 PM

Re: “Review: Gone Girl

This was a terrible movie . Although i like Ben Affleck, the story line did not make sense. End of the story was the worst.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Nazanin Zare on 10/17/2014 at 8:45 PM

Re: “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

So today I've noticed that Yelp now disguises how many stars a 'filtered' reviewer has given. Now let's think about this. Why would they disguise how many stars was left by a customer or so called customer if they're filtered and 'not suggested'? Is it because they're protecting us from a non trusted reviewer leaving a one star review? Oh wait..... Until today, I had no 1 star reviews that were filtered. Which I'm sure ah'hem....cough.... Is simply a coincedence.... Uh huh... Today I have a new review. A very good one.... I think anyway, there's nothing negative about it. It reads good, says she loves us and will be back. But the stars are all grayed out. So I have no clue what she left. I think Yelp is trying a new tactic that someone figured out while up on the ropes for extortion, blackmail or whatever else comes up or down their deserving pikes, that if we now don't know how many stars we were actually given, then maybe we can't complain that our filtered reviews are all by coincedence 4 and 5 star reviews, therefor leaving us again in the dark on how many stars we received and which ones are being filtered. This of course now seems like some other kind of law being broken but I'm no lawer. And if I was, I wouldn't sleep very well at night. Waiting for the day the Supreme Court takes these guys down. Hopefully the reviewers of yelp will now see how useless their efforts are because the good review they wanted to honestly give, won't even show how many stars they gave. That's because yelp doesn't care about anyone or anything besides how much MONEY THEY make. And eventually yelpers will realize it's all a gaming for cash. If yelp wanted to run an honest business without leverage, let the people decide if the reviews are real or fake. Stop with the disguise of 'governing/filtering/algorithm for our safety'. There's nothing less safe than what they're doing.

Posted by John Boothman on 10/17/2014 at 5:44 PM

Re: “So It Begins: The California Legalization 2016 Primer

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

Posted by Editor on 10/17/2014 at 12:53 PM

Re: “Save Knowland Park Releases Poll Showing Strong Voter Opposition to Oakland Zoo Expansion

How is the zoo planning to pay for the expansion and ongoing operations?

The EZS has taken out a $10million dollar bridge loan to begin the expansion. The money will run out, and it will have to be paid back. They will have to ask for more revenue.

Where is this bridge loan taking us? A bridge to nowhere or a bridge to somewhere?

Every budget and plan is only as good as its assumptions. What are the revenue assumptions the Oakland Zoo has built into their plan? There are only so many ways in which the EZS can pay for the development and operations of the ridgeline, the ongoing operations of the current footprint as well as their proposed mitigation land.

They can do some of the following:

1) Increase private donors: will not be enough

2) Raise admission fees: current price for a family of four with parking is $63. For every dollar the zoo raises the admission fees, it will exclude the same families that the Oakland Zoo says it is for. There is no way for them to not substantially increase admission fees.

If the zoo plans to charge a fee for the gondola, they will be creating a two tier pricing system for the zoo. Those who can afford the gondola ride to an area that is now free to all, and those who cannot afford the ride and must remain at the base.

3) Ask local city governments and agencies for more money: If this is the plan, then you, the city, and most importantly, the people need to know.

4) 2016 ballot measure for property taxes: Property taxes hurt the low income and fixed income more than anyone. What if this does not pass? Who will pay? EZS was confident in 2012. The people of Oakland need more than EZS self-proclaimed confidence. We need unbiased facts:

From 2012:
Dr. Joel Parrott, the executive director of the Oakland Zoo, told the board he is confident the measure will be successful this fall after polling revealed 75 percent of respondents to a survey about the tax said they backed the measure or were “likely yes.”…

My proposal is that before any agreement is made on the mitigation easement, the EZS to hire a third party auditor to conduct an audit of the EZS finances to see the proposed financing mechanisms for the proposed development and ongoing operations of the ridgeline, ongoing operations of their current footprint, and the maintenance of the proposed mitigation easement.

The Oakland Zoo needs to prove to the people and to the city that it is living within its means. It cannot move forward with an expansion without transparency to the great people of Oakland.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tom Cieszynski on 10/17/2014 at 12:02 PM

Re: “The Express' Endorsements So Far

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 10/17/2014 at 9:37 AM

Re: “Can I Get HIV From Kissing or Oral Sex?

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

Posted by Editor on 10/17/2014 at 6:42 AM

Re: “Can I Get HIV From Kissing or Oral Sex?

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

Posted by Editor on 10/17/2014 at 6:40 AM

Re: “It's All About the BART Strike

Vote no on dumping more money into a poorly managed system. Vote no on BART extensions. Vote no on BB.

Robert should return his focus to bicycle advocacy which is much more important than BART.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Vince Rubino on 10/17/2014 at 5:10 AM

Re: “Save Knowland Park Releases Poll Showing Strong Voter Opposition to Oakland Zoo Expansion

I have read the documents from the survey company: both the actual questions as well as their methodology and findings. This survey was fair and open. I am thrilled to know that a huge majority of Oakland voters strongly value the natural world around us. Of course they want our beloved zoo to develop their exhibits and visitor centers in a way that minimizes habitat destruction! Of course they don't want unspoiled public land turned over to development! Oakland residents are not ignorant of the benefits of having unfettered access to wild, open space. Let council members know that you want them to keep wonderful Knowland Park's best views and trails available for the public -- not closed off by gates and fences! And by all means, when the zoo builds their new California Trails project close to their current footprint, below the ridgeline, on land that is appropriate for development, let's go and enjoy a fun visit to the zoo!

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by batya_lee on 10/17/2014 at 5:07 AM

Re: “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

I have 30 count em 30 unpublished 4/5 star reviews that are in the not recommended section of Yelp.This is 30 of my customers who've been lead to falsely believe that their opinions matter. I don't have one negative review written but I'm willing to bet that as soon as I do that will be printed. They have the right to print what they want but they don't have the right to deceive the public. I'm currently in the midst of a B.B.B.complaint against Yelp in which they keep pointing to the magic filter and shrugging their shoulders saying , golly we can't do nutin ,it's all done by the magic filter. Yet I personally experienced them removing various reviews. If we all keep flooding the B.B.B with our complaints and let them know that we are all unhappy with the B.B.B. protecting them, it may serve to help expose Yelp.Also I take all my unpublished reviews and 1] make sure I send a public response on the Yelp site telling all who sees that Yelp considers the person who wrote the review a fraud and doesn't value their opinion. 2] I then print the review on my facebook at A League of Extraordinary Movers,under the caption," Yelp may hate ya but I still luv ya".I give a gift certificate each month for the review with the most likes. Please go look.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ward Blanchard II on 10/17/2014 at 4:46 AM

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