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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

Re: “Alameda Poised to Become Next California County to Ban Fracking

Great article to get citizens proactive in the PREVENTATIVE fight. Not easy to do when people are working multiple jobs just to pay high housing costs. And so sad after the dirty industry gets its way and is making people fatally sick.

Posted by Boudicca Hot-toddy Todi on 07/13/2016 at 1:36 PM

Re: “California Traffic Tickets Amnesty Program Leaves Many Behind

I've got a bit of bad news for the direction this is going. It is NOT a black thing that this is happening to. I am a white female, and I have been thru exactly what this article states happened to this gentlemen. It doesn't matter what color you are. These corrupt police and policy makers direct law enforcement to stalk its prey because giving tickets is a huge revenue for this twisted counties that participate in this unjust way of policing. Thank god I have every piece of document saved so that one day when I connect with the right person, I'll be ready to expose all the fraud and document tampering traffic courts routinely practice. Along with their side kicks Alliance One who is just as guilty as the courts.

Posted by Andrea Dgeorge on 07/13/2016 at 11:45 AM

Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

*Mudslides: live tree roots hold the soil in place. Why not move to Pacifica?
Grassfires: at least as bad as forest fires. One of the many reasons you don't live in So Cal.
*Homeless tree rats in your attic: remember the deluge of rats after the '91 fire?
*Unknown amounts of Roundup and Garlon over a large area for an unknown length of years: you eat organic, so why would you want Roundup and Garlon in your environment?
*Desertification: those hills were always forest. Now they will be desert, degrading the environment, reducing the air quality, altering your microclimate.

Posted by Holly Harwood on 07/13/2016 at 2:00 AM

Re: “The Collapse of Berkeley Health Center

Just another organization Gwen rowe Lee ran into the ground, much like AMHI or giving contract to friends at EM cleaning (Elijah Mohammad). giving jobs to family and friends. Keith Carson got hip to her doings and gov't funding began to evaporate. AMHI was guilty of double dipping. Getting two grants of say $40,000 but only half went to AMHI.

Like the East Bay AIDSWALK (kicked my org Friends of Ugandan Orphans out) She packed board of overseer: East Bay AIDS Advocacy Foundation which had not met in 2 years just to throw me out over objections from now Summit Director Steve O'Brien, Hazel Wesson and Steve Chase, formerly of Walgreens. If Steve was not there getting Walgreens to help out (1/2 the walkers). Gloria Cox Cowell, Adreinn Mc Call are bellicose opportunists (much like Black Agenda Reports' Glen ford spoke of Susan Rice. Deanna roberts totally incompetent as $1000s of $ specified for a certain org went to the general walk in2012? sometime around there. No walk in 2015, the 2016 wALK WAS in March. No 990s ever sent to me. robert and sam, yet another AIDS org to examine! John Iversen Free Leonard Peltier! co-founder Occupy AIDS, Act Up East Bay, both berk and Oak needle exchanges, worked 30 years alongside Maudelle Shirek (RIP 101.75--exemplary life for sure! If anything Sam was easy on her as he did not know her previous philandering, double dipping, nepotism, cronyism

Posted by John Tango Iversen on 07/13/2016 at 12:14 AM

Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

The “studies” Mr. Sigg refers to were done well after the decision was made. California State Parks announced it was going to remove the eucalyptus forest from Angel Island and then contracted to have a study done to justify that action. People writing environmental impact statements can’t stay in business if their studies contradict the plans of the agency hiring them. Even so, it is notable that the Angel Island study found lots of wildlife using the eucalyptus forest.
A genuine scientific study was done in the East Bay Hills directly comparing the species diversity in eucalyptus forest with that in oak forest. Invasion Biology Professor Dov F. Sax found, “Equal diversity in disparate species assemblages: a comparison of native and exotic woodlands in California.” (Global Ecology and Biogeography (2002) 11 p.49-57)

The claim that wildlife needs native plants has been repeated over and over for 30 years. But that’s just a romantic story. On-the-ground scientific study tells a different story.

Mr. Sigg is “grateful” to the Sierra Club. Perhaps he didn’t notice that the Sierra Club said, “This [East Bay tree destruction] is not about us wanting to have native vegetation.“

Posted by Keith McAllister on 07/11/2016 at 3:28 PM

Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

The “studies” Mr. Sigg refers to were done well after the decision was made. California State Parks announced it was going to remove the eucalyptus forest from Angel Island and then contracted to have a study done to justify that action. People writing environmental impact statements can’t stay in business if their studies contradict the plans of the agency hiring them. Even so, it is notable that the Angel Island study found lots of wildlife using the eucalyptus forest.

A genuine scientific study was done in the East Bay Hills, directly comparing the species diversity in eucalyptus forest with that in oak forest. Invasion Biology Professor Dov F. Sax found, “Equal diversity in disparate species assemblages: a comparison of native and exotic woodlands in California.” (Global Ecology and Biogeography (2002) 11 p.49-57)

The claim that wildlife needs native plants has been repeated over and over for 30 years. But that’s just a romantic story. On-the-ground scientific study tells a different story.

Mr. Sigg is “grateful” to the Sierra Club. Perhaps he didn’t notice that the Sierra Club said, “This [East Bay tree destruction] is not about us wanting to have native vegetation.“

Posted by Keith McAllister on 07/11/2016 at 3:16 PM

Re: “Thousands of Black Lives Matter Activists Shut Down Oakland Freeway, Vandalize Police Headquarters

Nick Miller describes the first ones to run out on the freeway to be "brave." We now have a new synonym for "stupid."

Pedestrians walking or running onto a freeway is against the law for good reason, beyond the good sense that they are made for motorized vehicles. It is dangerous and people have died from this.

I am waiting for someone to get killed with this activity. Putting the Darwin Award aside, we'll see how these protesters feel when this happens. They will be filled with excuses and rationalizations why it is Ok for someone to get hit by a car and die. They will look for a way to blame the police for not protecting them. Will it be OK for the motorist to have to live with it for the rest of his/her life? Or, what about the pregnant woman or sick person that doesn't make it to the hospital in time?

Libby Schaaf should have any and all of these people that attempt to march on a freeway in jail. Protest in front of City Hall all you like. No one is about to turn you into 65 mph road kill there.

Posted by Michael Good on 07/11/2016 at 12:49 PM

Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

In the late 1980s, California State Parks did thorough studies regarding potential impacts of removing the Tasmanian blue gum plantations--note, not forests--on Angel Island. The studies were extensive and covered all aspects of natural history. Their findings were unsurprising: there were more plant and animal species and more of them in the areas where the tree plantations had not yet invaded.

The studies should not have been needed, as the point has been proven over and over that native wildlife need the plants that they are familiar with. We should cherish our native wildlife--they, like the plants, help to create a sense of place that is like no other place in the world. As for the danger of catastrophic fire, it beggars understanding that people invite a 1991 rerun.

Whenever anyone talks about the need of removing blue gum plantations they are accused of unworthy motives, of being a tree-hater. I love the blue gum and have written several articles on it; you can find some in the September, October, and December 2015 issues of San Francisco's Westside Observer (westsideobserver.com). I have urged San Francisco's park department to plant more of them in developed parks where they can be irrigated and where they can't displace wildlife habitat. Climate warming and droughts are taking a toll on these plantations, and it is only a matter of decades when most of them will die out from lack of adequate rainfall.

I am grateful to the Sierra Club for its intelligent stand and for the courage to not be intimidated by the whipped-up fervor of ill-informed people.

Jake Sigg
San Francisco

Posted by Jake Sigg on 07/11/2016 at 9:49 AM
Posted by Will Hall on 07/11/2016 at 8:45 AM

Re: “Thousands of Black Lives Matter Activists Shut Down Oakland Freeway, Vandalize Police Headquarters

Similar to "Occupy" this is nothing more than a collection of misfits whose parents didn't pay enough attention to them.

Where is the "Occupy" movement these days?

Posted by Robert Hope on 07/10/2016 at 1:04 PM

Re: “Thousands of Black Lives Matter Activists Shut Down Oakland Freeway, Vandalize Police Headquarters

CHP should put their ticketbooks aside, break out the batons and get those lawbreakers off the streets within the hour.

Posted by John Kracht on 07/09/2016 at 5:51 AM

Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

How much money is being spent on this project? With people losing their homes, record numbers on food stamps, stagnant wages, and we're talking about trees. Misplaced priorities. Spend the money where it's needed most.

Posted by chris gilbert on 07/09/2016 at 12:19 AM

Re: “Thousands of Black Lives Matter Activists Shut Down Oakland Freeway, Vandalize Police Headquarters

This just in (my mailbox) from your Mayor:

"As a white woman, I can't pretend to understand fully the pain, the anger, the frustration and the fear that many in our communities of color feel..."

White people don't have compassion? Politicians don't pretend?"

"As a civilian, I don't know intimately how police officers around the country and their families are grieving..."

As a civilian you, as Mayor, are directly responsible for Oakland's police department about which you are obligated to have just a smidge of intimate knowledge.

"But as your Mayor, what I do understand is the need to change this reality because neither our communities, nor law enforcement can continue on this trajectory we're on."

So you've finally come around, after 14 years in city hall, to recognize that there's a problem?

"I have talked often of how Oakland is trying to change this narrative, the progress we've made in principled policing in Oakland and about the fact that it's still not enough as evidenced by our police department's most recent struggles, but this is not the time for that discussion."

If now now, when?

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/08/2016 at 9:46 PM

Re: “Will Lehman Abandon Oak Knoll?

Helpful blog post , I learned a lot from the insight . Does someone know if my business would be able to find a fillable KY DoR 62A500 (P) form to fill out ?

Posted by Estrella Lipman on 07/08/2016 at 1:45 PM

Re: “Thousands of Black Lives Matter Activists Shut Down Oakland Freeway, Vandalize Police Headquarters

Meanwhile where are our elected officials, especially Mayor Libby? Whose constant PR efforts are what she dos.

OTL (out to lunch).

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/08/2016 at 1:12 PM

Re: “Inside the Monster

Dear Ms. St. Clair,
Despite the subject matter of the interviews you had with Kenneth Eugene Parnell, I must say that I really did enjoy reading your article; it was very well-written and gave me a sense of being right there with you. I usually lose interest in a story after the 2nd page, but you held my attention by bringing everyone in the article to life.
I realize that this article is 7 years old, but the story sparked my interest after seeing a Discovery Channel story about Cary Stayner on YouTube. I remember both stories very well because I've lived in Modesto for over 25 years. I saw the movie "I Know My Name Is Steven" when it came out on TV, and it left an impression on me. I could not imagine having to interview a man like Parnell, so I commend you for your bravery as well as your writing skills.
I raised my two kids in Modesto, and didn't realize how much crime history this small town has; The Lacy Peterson case; Sandra Levi case, and the 3 women murdered in Yosemite are among the most famous....and the most recent. To leave on a better note, this town did produce people like George Lucas, Timothy Olyphant, Jeremy Renner and many others who are famous for more credible things.
I hope to find more of your writings because I believe that they will be as interesting as this one.

Posted by Marlene Torres on 07/08/2016 at 3:45 AM

Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

Most of the trees that will be destroyed are no where near buildings.

Posted by Millie Trees on 07/07/2016 at 5:41 PM

Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

UC Center for Fire Research and Outreach at Berkeley, which Jack Cohen is affiliated with would disagree. Having read some of their work, which formed the some of the basis of the Berkeley plan to remove Eucalyptus from their land in the hills, and advocated for a larger removal, they don't view Eucalyptus an equal to native tree species.
Jack Cohen has never published on Eucalyptus fires, nor presents himself as an expert on this type of forest fire. Rather than get into dueling fire scientists, I would note Mr Cohen advocates a 100 foot gap between buildings and a forest as the minimum for safety. The vast bulk of the trees slated for removal fail within this 100 foot gap.
http://www.firewise.org/wildfire-preparedn…

Posted by David O'Sullivan on 07/07/2016 at 5:35 PM

Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

Mr. O’Sullivan describes a firestorm in Australia. He could just as easily be describing a firestorm here in Western North America where wildfires consume thousands of acres of native trees and vegetation every year. Such firestorms also occur in Australia where the climate is similar and in that case the trees are predominantly eucalyptus. Eucalyptus trees are not inherently more flammable than bay laurel which contains twice as much oil in its leaves nor are they taller than our resinous conifers. Rather the fire conditions are weather related and the consequences for human development is where we choose to build our homes and how we maintain them.

Jack Cohen is a world renowned fire scientist at the US Forest Service fire science laboratory in Missoula, Montana. He has evaluated eucalyptus fires here and in Australia and says of our 1991 fire: “This indicates that the eucalyptus trees did not burn with high intensities (or any intensity) leading to home destruction. This strongly suggests that eliminating eucalyptus and replacing it with some other vegetation would not prevent future WU fire disasters because the problem was inappropriately defined as a eucalyptus vegetation problem and not a home ignition-home ignition zone problem.” Here is his assessment, including the photos he supplied to illustrate his conclusion: https://milliontrees.me/2016/05/06/fire-sc…

There are many reasons why people defend our urban forest. Aesthetics has little to do with my motivation for defending it. We have lost 66 million native trees in California in the past few drought years and millions more are expected to die. These dead trees are, indeed, a fire hazard, yet we are wasting millions of dollars destroying living, healthy trees that are expected to live another 200-300 years. Such voluntary and natural deforestation is contributing to climate change and the warming climate is the primary cause of increasing wildfires and the death of our native trees. I am as concerned about fire safety as Mr. O’Sullivan.

Posted by Millie Trees on 07/07/2016 at 4:27 PM

Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

Having witnessed a Eucalyptus fire first hand in Australia and having a forester uncle who worked with them (including in fire fighting and fire management) for 25 years, if the opponents of removal are successful a large fire in the hills will involve the deaths of people.
People are right that Eucalyptus are highly fire resistant, but they do this by becoming incredibly dangerous to any building or human near by. Gums (the name they commonly known by in Australia and NZ) have evolved to burn extremely hot to rapidly exhaust the available fuel. The mean the fire burns itself out very quickly on the individual tree itself, but causes immense heat and embers which mean Eucalyptus fires often turn into fire storm events. (google Australian fire storm to see how terrifying this is)
As trees literally explode in minutes to shooting out flames 40-50 feet high the intense heat sucks in so much air to feed the fire it starts to generate its own weather, which when added to the huge amounts of embers that are generated means you get a very rapidly moving fire, as glowing hot embers will travel miles on the self generated winds.
These fires are almost impervious to conventional North American fire fighting techniques. In Australia back burning and very wide fire breaks (I think the aim is to get a least 1 kilometer( or 2/3 of mile) wide) is the main way these fires are fought. I've seen a controlled burn where so much heat was generated that when a heavy rain storm blew in it hardly reduced the size of the flames, as the heat from them turned the falling rain into steam which didn't reach the ground.

Australians living in forested area are instructed that if a fire is reported 5 miles away or less to pack and evacuate immediately. They are also told to make sure no large tree is within 60 to 100 feet of any building. Even then, many Australians have been killed in bush fires in the last 20 years. Some have been incinerated in their cars as the fire engulfed it as they were trying to escape.

In the closely settled hills with narrow and steep roads an Eucalyptus fire event would likely turn into a tragedy as some people wouldn't be able to escape the rapidly moving fire.
It is this reality which is driving public safety authorities to push to remove Eucalyptus from a closely settled area. Failure to do so before the next fire will result in people dying.
Keeping the trees is very much about choosing aesthetics over human lives.

Posted by David O'Sullivan on 07/07/2016 at 3:27 PM

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