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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

Re: “Beverage-Industry Playbook Expands as 'Big Soda' Spends Large to Defeat Oakland and San Francisco Taxes

So, grown folks need to give up some more tax money to keep their kids from drinking too much soda pop....Are we stupid??? If blaming/taxing the manufacturers was the solution,smoking would be over. This reminds me of the mom who sued McDonalds because she could not stop feeding her child fast foods...grow up. This is just more government where it is not needed

Posted by Coastrider711 on 10/13/2016 at 6:39 AM

Re: “Berkeley's City Council Races: A Dozen Progressives and Moderates Vie for Four Seats

"Both Hahn and Murphy support the Downtown Area Plan." Hah! You've got to be kidding. Hahn led the fight AGAINST the Downtown Plan - that's exactly what Measure R was when it got defeated just two years ago. Hahn co-authored it, helped to fund it, and led the fight. Did you vet what these candidates told you?

Posted by Goodkind on 10/12/2016 at 8:42 PM

Re: “Beverage-Industry Playbook Expands as 'Big Soda' Spends Large to Defeat Oakland and San Francisco Taxes

I'm voting no regardless. I can make the decision for myself and my family to drink soda or not. I don't need the City of Oakland to "Look out" for my *best* interest.

Funny that pot is good, soda is bad.

Posted by Robert Hope on 10/12/2016 at 3:25 PM

Re: “Beverage-Industry Playbook Expands as 'Big Soda' Spends Large to Defeat Oakland and San Francisco Taxes

Councilmember Campbell Washington admits the campaign against the grocery tax "is compelling because it appears authentic." She made it a grocery tax and gave it authenticity. The tax would be levied on distributors, who recover increased cost by the prices they charge retailers, who recover increased costs by raising prices on whatever they sell, according to their best judgment of impact on sales. That's how the tax impacts the price of milk, bottled water, diapers, whatever. And Campbell Washington's proposed law sends the tax revenue into the general fund, where, to her delight, it can be spent on anything. No wonder Bernie Sanders opposed this tax when it was proposed in Philadelphia.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 10/12/2016 at 2:37 PM

Re: “Berkeley Mayoral Candidates Debate Who Can Fix the City Council 'Circus'

For the most part I support these progressive candidates and their policy agendas. But the one issue that far-left candidates are totally wrong about—and arguably the most important issue in the Bay Area today—is housing policy.

To please their environmentalist voter bases, progressive politicians generally support heavy restrictions on building, massive levels of environmental review for proposed buildings, etc. Progressive voters love this because it FEELS like they're helping the environment by stopping those big scary construction projects (and evil developers) from trashing the city. But in reality, restricting housing construction in the hub cities only creates more pollution and waste, as people have to move farther away to seek housing, and drive their cars longer distances to their jobs.

Progressive politicians also generally cling to the notion that forcing developers to build affordable housing will lead to them to capitulate and give the city what it needs, rather than just cancelling projects and going somewhere else. Affordable housing is fantastic, but it's such a tiny portion of the overall housing stock that you literally have to win a lottery to get one. It's a band-aid solution, not a real substantive one. What we really need is a streamlining of the planning process and approval of denser buildings throughout the city (and the Bay) so we can start building the 30 years worth of housing we should've built by now, but didn't thanks to 30 years of NIMBYism and obstruction.

We will see if progressive candidates wake up to the fact that their heavily-restricted housing policies are hurting the poor and vulnerable people they're so earnestly trying to help. The data has shown it to be so — now we'll see how long until the ideology catches up.

Posted by Max Chanowitz on 10/12/2016 at 2:19 PM

Re: “Beverage-Industry Playbook Expands as 'Big Soda' Spends Large to Defeat Oakland and San Francisco Taxes

What about this so-called regressive tax aspect of Proposition HH?

The Big Soda campaign is pushing the line that the 1 cent/oz distributor tax is a regressive tax that unfairly burdens low income folks. Let’s talk about that.

How deeply has Big Soda really thought about the evils of regressive taxing, and based on these principled concerns, what actions have they taken to alleviate disproportionate burdens placed on low income communities that might speak to their bona fides? I obviously doubt that this is a sincere concern of Big Soda, but others, in good faith, may be giving this argument some weight; so let’s look more closely.

Surely the “regressive tax” concern rests on the theory that lower income communities consume and spend on Big Soda at rates that are higher (proportional to total expenses or to total income) than those of higher income communities. If that’s true, then doesn’t it also follow that the damaging effects on health (of which there is no doubt) would be disproportionately greater than the ill effects visited on higher income communities? Shouldn’t that, actually, be the real concern?

Proposition HH is designed to engage market forces to tamp down Big Soda consumption across the board (not to eliminate it), to use money collected, as channeled through the general fund, to run programs that encourage healthy patterns of food and beverage consumption, and to broadly raise awareness of the harm inflicted by massive Big Soda consumption. As Proposition HH has the intended societal impact, to the extent that the distributor tax is "regressive aspect", it will dissipate.

It’s all good. Vote Yes on HH.

Posted by David Cohen on 10/12/2016 at 12:10 PM

Re: “Beverage-Industry Playbook Expands as 'Big Soda' Spends Large to Defeat Oakland and San Francisco Taxes

Money isn't everything, Gerry! Voters won't believe the lies if they realize that they're lies. The industry needs to be called out clearly and sharply on the nature of those lies (as I've described).

Whining about being outspent isn't the answer. Smarter counter-advertising might do the trick.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 10/12/2016 at 11:23 AM

Re: “Berkeley Mayoral Candidates Debate Who Can Fix the City Council 'Circus'

In addition to local developer contributions made directly to his campaign Capitelli is also benefiting from independent expenditures from outside Berkeley. The National Association of Realtors Fund reported to the City yesterday spending of $39,384.63 to support his candidacy.

Posted by Rob Wrenn on 10/12/2016 at 10:09 AM

Re: “Beverage-Industry Playbook Expands as 'Big Soda' Spends Large to Defeat Oakland and San Francisco Taxes

The soda industry will defeat HH, more money spent and voters will believe their ads and TV commercials.

Posted by Gerry Pong on 10/12/2016 at 8:58 AM

Re: “Candidates Vying for Oakland School Board Seats Defined by Positions on Charter Schools

Parents United for Public Schools' full endorsements, as well as full candidate questionnaires, can be found here: https://ousdparentsunited.wordpress.com/elections/

Posted by Ann Swinburn on 10/11/2016 at 9:37 PM

Re: “Beverage-Industry Playbook Expands as 'Big Soda' Spends Large to Defeat Oakland and San Francisco Taxes

Why don't proponents of the measure feature store owners who say they'll compensate for the tax by raising prices on soda alone -- that the tax won't affect the cost of other groceries? They can even point out that it's the soda industry itself that would benefit by pressuring grocers to shift the tax onto other items.

This is a no-brainer. Proponents of the measure should respond directly to the attacks with such a clear presentation.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 10/11/2016 at 8:32 PM

Re: “Candidates Vying for Oakland School Board Seats Defined by Positions on Charter Schools

Good report, I consider it fair.
I feel correctly quoted.

There are basically two slates:

The local school slate led up by the four Oakland Justice coalition candidates, including me (don4ousd.org)

The privatization / Eli Broad, outside money friends group mostly defined by GO Public Schools endorsed and funded incumbents.
(With a couple exceptions of course)

Glad to see some of this incredible money and influence in the press. This has been the big story in our schools for a couple elections now. The big difference is that we now have a challenger from the pro public school side in every district in contention. If 3 of the 4 win, we have a new board majority free of GO control, where as they currently helped elect 6 of the 7 incumbents.

What I felt deserves to be added is the consistent 15 year erosion of racial integration caused by charter and charter style school choice. KQED did a good recent series on the subject:

https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2016/08/31/oakla…

Posted by Don Macleay on 10/11/2016 at 7:28 PM

Re: “A Look at Who is Financing Oakland City Council Candidates

Thank you Ann Normura. You've nailed it!

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 10/11/2016 at 1:31 PM

Re: “A Look at Who is Financing Oakland City Council Candidates

Libby is trying to build a political machine; she came up with Ignacio De LaFuente, a leading Peratista, in the Perata political machine. Libby excels at campaigning and sucks at leading, so she's trying to stack the deck with Council Members who owe their offices to her, developer friends, the Chamber of Commerce, the Charter Lobby, and her signature pseudo-science, dog-whistling, racist public safety agenda. Mayor Schaaf staunchly maintains that she isn't a racist because she supports schools and scholarships and has albums of selfies with Oakland's Black youth. Like Ignacio, her mentor, she campaigns on fear of Black criminals & anarchists, home security, a police state and restorative justice; as her pals the police, lobbyists, private security, her neighbors and the Chamber of Commerce profile, harass ,arrest, imprison, shoot, and kill Black and Brown people.

Posted by Ann Nomura on 10/09/2016 at 4:16 PM

Re: “Unmasking The Art of Living

I am not here to defend or attack the foundation or the author of the mentioned blog. I will attack the statement that 'the foundation has only helped people and harmed no one'.

This foundation is responsible for destroying as many families as it has possibly touched.

In the olden days, women feared if their men decided to follow Buddhism full-time, thereby abandoning their families and social obligations in their entirety.

The Buddha never asked anyone to renounce their day to day lives – he simply pointed a way that made each living moment seem richer and free of ‘dukha’ (pain). Yet, while some people got this message, and used Buddhist practices (mindful practices) to enrich their day to day lives, MOST people actually used Buddha’s teachings to ESCAPE from their day to day life!

The same can be said for Art of Living followers! They are looking for an ESCAPE from their everyday lives. I know several well-employed people who quit their jobs in the prime of their careers to ‘follow their heart’ full-time. I know several people who routinely leave their kids at home (near abandoned) so they can attend a 3 day silence course!

They claim that their guru ‘calls out’ to their inner being –and it is not a call that they can easily reject. Yet, they feel no remorse in rejecting the call of their family or their immediate work-family, in the pursuit of this ‘fake’ inner call. It is FAKE, because no real guru will ask you to abandon everything to follow him or her. It is only the devotee that has this interpretation of the guru’s teachings.

I am YET to meet an AOL follower who is able to successfully balance their family and work life with their AOL responsibilities - which is ironical, because that is EXACTLY what the art of living is supposed to teach you ! And I hope your response to this will not be 'Well, this is not true because I know so many people who DO balance everything'....You may have met such people, but I repeat, I am YET to meet ONE such person -after having interacted with a few hundred AOL followers.

Posted by AV on 10/09/2016 at 8:15 AM

Re: “Oakland's Street-Repair Deficit is Deep. The Mayor Says a $600 Million Bond Needed to Address the Problem.

Why is it that people who don't own property can vote on how to spend the money of those of us that do? Talk about injustice..

Posted by H Johnson on 10/08/2016 at 9:08 PM

Re: “A Look at Who is Financing Oakland City Council Candidates

I've lived in Oakland for 30 years and seen its ebb and flow.

Posted by Silvia Sykes on 10/07/2016 at 8:50 AM

Re: “A Look at Who is Financing Oakland City Council Candidates

Question Silvia Sykes what District do you live in? and how long have you lived in Oakland?

Posted by Son of Oakland on 10/07/2016 at 7:18 AM

Re: “A Look at Who is Financing Oakland City Council Candidates

Delsey Brooks certainly fits the model of the "good old boys" network that undermines the honest work of people like former mayor, Jean Quan whose quiet determination supported the revitalize areas like the Laurel and Dimond districts. Libby Schaaf now wants to take credit while insinuating herself into the GOBN.

Posted by Silvia Sykes on 10/05/2016 at 7:39 PM

Re: “A Look at Who is Financing Oakland City Council Candidates

What about desley brooks career council woman who never relinquishes her post in over 10 years. She's an example of how term limits need to be adopted in Oakland.

Posted by whicho on 10/05/2016 at 7:31 PM

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