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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

Re: “Two Highly Touted Oakland Charter Schools Quickly Closed, Now Owe the District Money

Oakland schools have been suffering years at the expense of students. So interesting during this boom in housing prices that expectations rise along with home amd rent increases. Some charter schools fail, some are great and are successful, ultimately providing alternative and innovative options to an antiquated, broken and underfunded system. What about public schools who underperformed for whatever justifying reasons, who is angry about the kids that are under served or schools that dont make the district money, is making a profit what this is about? What a coincidence that performing public schools are in affluent areas with privileged PAC'S. The system is now making people ignore the real issues and fight over non relevant issues (like a recent big election), public vs charter. EVERY parent has the right to try and do best by their child without paying over 20k a year for an elementary or middle school education. It is counterintuitive to point fingers at public vs charter and not recognize who suffers, what real issues get ignored. Someone who supports charter schools im sure supports public schools but for one reason or another makes a decision. Having no options is like having one cell phone provider, one grocery store, one banl, one car maker, etc. Stop blaming the wrong people because I guarantee closing charter schools would fix nothing!

Posted by aki on 01/25/2017 at 6:54 PM

Re: “Gray Area, Leading Ghost Ship Fire-Relief Fundraiser, Hasn't Distributed a Dime

Who's responsible for the money and where is it being stashed? That is a tremendous amount of cash to have just sitting somewhere...

Posted by Kimberly Lynn Davis on 01/25/2017 at 5:41 PM

Re: “Two Highly Touted Oakland Charter Schools Quickly Closed, Now Owe the District Money

The implication is that Charter Schools can burn through public tax and grant money without accountability. How much does each pupil cost to educate in public school? How much for a charter? What is the salary levels of staff and teachers between the two? Too much administrative overhead? What accountability is there to any of this? In the end, these charter mavens do not seem to care about documenting real outcomes. They cannot claim real benefit for this program when the enrolled students were in it for so short a period and not compared with public school outcomes.

Posted by Franklin Graham on 01/25/2017 at 3:34 PM

Re: “Fump Truck: The Women's March in Oakland Felt Like A New Beginning

I'm not sure that feeling good about a "new beginning" is going to cut it. While Obama seemed to be a "new beginning" it was actually just the Democratic party treading water while the Republicans continued their take-over of local and state politics so that redistricting and voter disenfranchisement could give the election to Trump while he lost by 3 million. We can continue to gather in feel-good events or we can start organizing -- hard work, not necessarily feel-good -- to try to take back the election process.

Play is play and work is work and I'm not sure they should be conflated: play is defined in one dictionary as: "to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose." When 'play' ends everyone goes home. Work is what's needed now.

Posted by chris gilbert on 01/25/2017 at 12:17 PM

Re: “Were Oakland Police's Tactics Against Anti-Trump Protesters 'Excessive'?

It sounds to me that OPD did a good job. No violent force was used on either side and no vandalism occurred. Given Oakland's history of night-time marches and what happened on inauguration day in other cities, this sounds like a positive result.

I don't believe that "clamping down on the movement of the march" equates to preventing freedom of assembly or speech. A couple hundred people gathered in front of city hall and then marched through Chinatown and Downtown. It might not have lasted as long as the protestors wanted, or covered the distance that they wanted, but they were still allowed to express themselves.

Posted by Tommy Katz on 01/25/2017 at 9:51 AM

Re: “Two Highly Touted Oakland Charter Schools Quickly Closed, Now Owe the District Money

And to think that James Harris ran his re-election campaign primarily by slinging mud at his challenger for his alleged fiscal mismanagement, all the while knowing that he himself was at the helm of a sinking ship. 2 sinking ships if you count that multi-million deficit he was helping Antwan create in OUSD.

Posted by Tony D 1 on 01/25/2017 at 8:48 AM

Re: “Two Highly Touted Oakland Charter Schools Quickly Closed, Now Owe the District Money

More of Oakland nepotism at work. not only do we have to follow the money.... in Oakland, you have to know who is related to whom. Because... there are generations of extended families who all make their livelihood off the school district. So... the Executive Director of CCTS is the wife of an OUSD Executive Director in charge of equity who has a history of working on many community special interest projects with a guy who happens to be the President of the school board. THIS is why protocols are not followed. And you think the "south" has a " good 'ol boy" network???

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Renae McGlamery Briggs on 01/24/2017 at 9:51 PM

Re: “Two Highly Touted Oakland Charter Schools Quickly Closed, Now Owe the District Money

Its been a long time but change is coming. Change needed is to make sure charters have language that requires a charter to notify the District when they go out of business. I say business because a charter is like a free business license.

Another thing that bothers me about this article is that Board members take positions on charter school Boards and don't see a conflict of interest between public and private. "...OUSD board President James Harris joined the CCTS board. The Board is entitled to place their representatives on non-profit school boards but the Board needs a rule barring Board members from joining privately managed charter school governing boards.

And, that those charters the District votes on from now on should contain a provision stopping a charter from borrowing against future revenue without the Board as the authorizing authority authorizing such a loan.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 01/24/2017 at 9:21 PM

Re: “Two Highly Touted Oakland Charter Schools Quickly Closed, Now Owe the District Money

What was Olis Simmons' salary?

Posted by Trish Gorham on 01/24/2017 at 9:17 PM

Re: “Two Highly Touted Oakland Charter Schools Quickly Closed, Now Owe the District Money

James Harris needs to recuse himself from all votes and contracts which address charters. His obvious conflict of interest in these matters creates an ethical and legal problem for the district and undermines the credibility of the School Board and OUSD.

Posted by Ann Nomura on 01/24/2017 at 9:11 PM

Re: “Two Highly Touted Oakland Charter Schools Quickly Closed, Now Owe the District Money

Again this proves that charter schools are not public schools. What happened to all the extra startup money these charters were given?

Posted by Mike Hutchinson on 01/24/2017 at 8:32 PM

Re: “California Traffic Tickets Amnesty Program Leaves Many Behind

Santa Clara County is one of the most corrupt Counties I have ever encountered. I am eligible for this amnesty program and they denied me. I sent in 4 applications and they denied me for different reasons each time, on one app they claim there was no citation under my name. It took them 8 months to deny me, to deliberately run down the clock. They said 14601.1 is not eligible because it was a reckless driving. Really? hmmm cause when I look it up that is a driving while suspended which is what this program is for.
I am so fed up with these people and the courts. I even have documents where SCC actually changed the dates to appear as tho I missed the cut off. Now where do you go with this proof. Not the DOJ or the Grand Jury. They are not interested in that.

Posted by Andrea Dgeorge on 01/24/2017 at 8:19 AM

Re: “Critics Say Oakland's Entertainment Permit Process Too Arduous, Contributes to Unsafe Spaces Like Ghost Ship

Ummm... Possibly a silly question, but how is it that other have managed to navigate this "too arduous" process? And how is fair to those who have jumped through those hoops that other want to bypass them?

The primary effect of the vaguely requested changes are that more events are held. What are the things the process are intended to block?

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 01/23/2017 at 10:32 AM

Re: “Oakland Port Trucking Boss Embroiled in Controversy

I am One of the employees that sued bill aboudi and have not been paid or contacted by the lawyers representing me So what do I do or who can I talk to? Will I ever get paid? Please contact me at or at 9165591595 or 2098983152, ASAP.

Posted by Preciousg on 01/20/2017 at 3:06 PM

Re: “Kaiser Still Violating Mental Health Laws, Clinicians Say

@jamesweaver and everyone else: from personal experience yes you can go outside Kaiser with the ok from your psychiatrist or intake nurse. There is a catch, if you are going outside Kaiser and you require a referral to a Kaiser specialty group (trauma group, don't, intestine outpatient groups) as well you are no longer eligible for a referral from your doctor because the outside therapist does not share their records with Kaiser. Also their year long DBT GROUP is not run as it should be with the group members seeing interns for 1x a month visits. In 3 years I had 3 therapists brcause they were interns and left every august and new 1s cone in every September. Furthermore I waited 6-8 weeks in crisis to see a non intern phd, who asked me about my suicide plan I explained told her my preparation thus far my anxiety about having to start over ever year with an intern for her to say hours up, I don't have any more appointments for 3 month. Seriously u have a suicidal patient who is in crisis and that's how you end the appointment? I never went back

Posted by libragirl0925 on 01/18/2017 at 7:37 PM

Re: “Critics Say Oakland's Entertainment Permit Process Too Arduous, Contributes to Unsafe Spaces Like Ghost Ship

There are so many challenges here, where to begin? I'll give it a crack:

-Oakland's budget is such a mess, it can't provide basic services. Even though the recession is long behind us & there's lots more prop tax income. Why? Where's all the money going?

As a result:
-The City uses inspections as a revenue generator. So permit costs are sky high and they don't want to help people bring up to code...they want/need to hand out fines.

-The City doesn't have enough fire inspectors, or OPD officers to make sure venues are safe. So they probably discourage them out-of-existance (in addition to any potential discrimination).

-Oakland Zoning is a mess. Even if underground artists communities are up to code, how is it they would get the permits to live in an obvious industrial space? Does it matter? For those who have enough money Oakland routinely gives variances to the point where the only purpose of Zoning is to collect all the fees that entails.

For the rest (who can't afford the process), since there's little $ spent on enforcement, why bother? Until all hell literally breaks loose.

This is all the result of underfunding basic services in Oakland. So once again...Where is the Money?

Posted by Hugh Morrison 1 on 01/18/2017 at 5:39 PM

Re: “Critics Say Oakland's Entertainment Permit Process Too Arduous, Contributes to Unsafe Spaces Like Ghost Ship

Are there any cities that have a successful event permitting system that works well? Oakland could adopt it instead of trying to modify and keep the inefficient one we have now.

Posted by bill h on 01/18/2017 at 4:28 PM

Re: “Critics Say Oakland's Entertainment Permit Process Too Arduous, Contributes to Unsafe Spaces Like Ghost Ship

It absolutely is too arduous. Cabaret reform is long overdue, and the entire process of special event permitting is daunting to most people.

Posted by Conan Neutron on 01/18/2017 at 3:11 PM

Re: “Kaiser Still Violating Mental Health Laws, Clinicians Say

My children were needing CA HHSA DS 5862 this month and saw an excellent service that hosts an online forms database . If you require CA HHSA DS 5862 too , here's

Posted by Pat Redman on 01/18/2017 at 4:51 AM

Re: “Top Commander Accused of Turning California National Guard Into ‘Criminal Syndicate’

It's worse than you can imagine. I personally have identified a number of people (not at all exclusive to SSO) that do not come to work, some for months at a time...but keep drawing a paycheck. So-called "soldiers" who openly refuse to go overseas but keep full-time jobs. Soldiers who are injured overseas and then sent home, only for the CAARNG to discharge them without medical separation! So-called "Soldiers" taking government vehicles (with their families driving and on-board, no less) to sporting events out of state. "Soldiers" and "airmen" retiring from active duty National Guard and then being hired in as effect civilian consultants for the same jobs they left. Guardsmen being told they will lose their full-time NG jobs if they dare to actual go into hostile combat...and when they come home, no job - while their colleagues who sat home still draw a paycheck and job. Shameful: fear of losing a job while others are losing life and limb, yet they use the words "selfless service" and "heroes." Absolutely appalling; convenient self-indoctrination.

Other superbly-qualified leaders and Soldiers are not retained on active duty in the CNG while those without the training, less experience, no active duty overseas time, and even those with letters of reprimand are not only retained but moved to new locations at government expense. When an imminently-qualified Guardsman applies for a tour or job with the California National Guard, if not one of the sycophants of the status-quo, his packet will be "lost" and never accepted for consideration; the same for promotions. Sometimes Soldiers are "not renewed" within months of retirement so others can keep jobs AFTER military retirements. So-called senior leaders who have NEVER been in the regular Army! Look at the General officers of the CAARNG and most senior leaders - they command Infantry units and pride themselves as Infantrymen yet NO combat time as Infantrymen; some have never even been awarded the job skill qualification. It may be legal, but absolutely not moral. Certainly the most qualified are not the ones selected for senior leadership, merely those politically-connected who avoid actual direct service.

These issues are usually clouded and explained as budget considerations; dedicated Soldiers and Airmen, both officer and enlisted, are often told their organization is being downsized due to budget constraints and their position goes away, yet within weeks multiple new bootlickers are hired, including relatives of the very ones who said there was no budget allotment.

Appalling, and this is YOUR National Guard. This is YOUR tax dollar being abused. I have many more examples and evidence of all...but no one will do a darn thing. Our properly-elected civilian leadership, not being of the military profession, do not which questions to ask or issues to explore. Inquiries solicit information from the very same praetorian guard protecting said corruption. The base fact is that many of the National Guard leadership (surely the culture) did not join for service; they joined to be pretend Soldiers, enjoying the reputation and benefits of professionals all while enabling their perception of self-importance.

Posted by Joshua McCorkendale on 01/15/2017 at 11:38 AM

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