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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

Re: “Deadly Oakland Fire Ignites Tenant-Landlord Dispute

I'm so sorry to hear that, Jonah. We miss having you all as neighbors.

Posted by Jill Connaway on 04/25/2016 at 12:00 PM

Re: “Deadly Oakland Fire Ignites Tenant-Landlord Dispute

Jill Connaway thank you for your concern. It took a very long time to find housing. Many of us are living in substandard or painfully expensive situations, and most of us had to leave the neighborhood temporarily. After doing nothing progressive for ten months post-fire, Marienthal finally filed a preapplication for updating to 2016 code on Nov 30th. I hear the plans are done and that it's out to bid with contractors. It's heartbreaking that my former home and recording studio has been destroyed by rain and mold in the meantime.

Posted by Jonah Strauss on 04/22/2016 at 1:09 PM

Re: “Deadly Oakland Fire Ignites Tenant-Landlord Dispute

And still the warehouse on 24th Street stands burned out and empty. No construction has been done. It's so sad to look out my kitchen window and see this mess. And I hope the former residents have been able to find housing in this ridiculous market. Sad all around.

Posted by Jill Connaway on 04/22/2016 at 6:09 AM

Re: “Oakland Hotel Approved Despite Minimum Wage Violations

Oakland City Council has a very hard time getting anything right, regardless of these small donations to their political campaigns by the various entities involved in this hotel dispute. Of course the Patels should not be approved for another hotel when they are violating the law at the hotels they already operate. Whether that is something Planning & Zoning was "allowed" to consider or whether the City Council should have considered it separately from the P&Z report, obviously the Patels' track record should have been considered. If they are prominent politically, their track record should have been considered to avoid the appearance of favoritism. Their application should be denied. Let a more reputable investor build the hotel instead.

Posted by Jan Van Dusen on 04/20/2016 at 5:06 AM

Re: “Oakland Cops Quietly Acquired Social Media Surveillance Tool

Yet the OPD still can't get a handle on stopping car side-shows that are posted all over social media.

Paying cops to stalk their ex-girlfriends on Facebook is not a good idea.

A good idea is to get out of the cars and start walking neighborhoods.

Posted by Mike Yarmouth on 04/16/2016 at 8:14 AM

Re: “Oakland Favors Bank Over Bus Riders

I messed up a bit on this and misread the article. This was a case of Oakland doing the right thing and supporting its local businnesses. All the praise for Summit bank holds. And now praise for the city of Oakland too for correcting a mistake. (which I can obviously relate to :)

Posted by Tim Sharp on 04/15/2016 at 11:34 AM

Re: “Oakland Favors Bank Over Bus Riders

Do any of the people making comments here know the history of Summit Bank? it is a small, local Oakland-based bank. Founded and grown in Oakland. The woman who started it was a teller in the Oakland branch of big corporate bank. She started Summit Bank as a single mom to stay in Oakland and serve Oakland. Summit has stayed in Oakland (depsite offers ot move) and created jobs in Oakland for 35 years, when other businesses fled the city. Now big corporate, Phoneix-based Sprouts comes in and along with the city of Oakland pushes the bus stop down the street from in front of their shiny new corporate mega-store. All becasue Sprouts didn't want to deal with all of the issuse that Summit Bank now has to deal with. This is the city of Oakland and big corporate Sprouts dumping on a faithful, local, women-owned business. It's great that Sprouts came to Oakland, but they need to embrace everything about the city (the way Summit bank has for 35 years!) rather than shove their issues onto the businesses that helped build Oakland into a place that Sprouts wanted to locate.

Posted by Tim Sharp on 04/15/2016 at 11:17 AM

Re: “Oakland Cops Quietly Acquired Social Media Surveillance Tool

This writeup, posted under "News" is classic East Bay Express with its incredible bias and "dog whistle" type use of words:

"on the sly", "harmful effects on democracy", " surreptitious."

Oh, and OPD acquired the tool in 2014 in spite of the city's establishment of a privacy commission in 2016. What terrible insolence!

There is not a darn thing wrong with what OPD is doing and they should be applauded for their efforts to gain more data and intelligence and do it efficiently so as to better identify and apprehend some of the (all too many) fire starters, window breakers, thugs and murderers in Oakland.

You post it publicly and it becomes public information. Not complicated. If you get caught because you posted, then "stupid is as stupid does." Tough!

Posted by Michael Good on 04/14/2016 at 7:15 PM

Re: “Oakland City Council Takes Stand Against Sex Workers

http://traffickingandprostitutionservices.… This is long granted - but u have 2 follow us down the rabbit hole where things r not as they appear 2 be

Posted by Jody Williams on 04/14/2016 at 1:03 PM

Re: “Oakland Cops Quietly Acquired Social Media Surveillance Tool

Much ado about nothing here. If users actually bothered to read the privacy policies about data collection including location they might change what they say on these "free" third party services. I see no expectation of privacy if you are shouting what you are doing on one of these public "free" services. These third party services (e.g. FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) are nothing but a digital version of being in a town square standing on a soap box and proselytizing passers by. OPD is actually smart to utilize these tools that by the way also happen to be available for anyone to use. I'd be surprised if they were not: It's no different than a cop walking a beat except it's virtual.

Posted by Gene Keenan on 04/13/2016 at 5:20 PM

Re: “Oakland Cops Quietly Acquired Social Media Surveillance Tool

Oh, but no one has a problem with the police monitoring social media to thwart terrorism! The police can monitor all they want. People can post all they want. SOCIAL MEDIA is not private. Once you put it out there into cyberspace, it's out be seen, used, and critiqued FOREVER!! The problem is with people, not with the police. Most of the idiots getting "caught" doing stupid stuff "handed" the information right to the police. These idiots don't know how to filter themselves. I'm not worried about the police monitoring anything of mine. Not a picture. A conversation. My license plate. Nothing. I'm not doing anything. Privacy invasion? Haha.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 04/13/2016 at 5:09 PM

Re: “Oakland Favors Bank Over Bus Riders

It's disgusting how this bank and its greasy representatives view public transit as a wretched collector of the 'dangerous' poor rather than a critical piece of urban infrastructure — but that's to be expected from bankers and other fork-tongued business people. What's truly disgusting is the fact that the progressive city of Oakland so helplessly kowtowed to the bank's anti-populist demands, and made the city just a bit worse for its most needy citizens. Truly pathetic. We don't need their palm grease that much, do we?

Posted by Max Chanowitz on 04/13/2016 at 4:01 PM

Re: “Oakland Cops Quietly Acquired Social Media Surveillance Tool

This article is very one-sided. Some people post their illegal activities or intentions on public media for all to find. I have seen no evidence that the police are using this to target people for their political views. The police should monitor (and investigate) for those who intend to do harm to others and I see no reason that social media should be off limits.

If you want to see what happens when the police don't do their job just look at countries like Pakistan where fanatical mobs carry out their version of murderous justice.

Posted by Vincent Sauve on 04/13/2016 at 2:52 PM

Re: “Oakland Cops Quietly Acquired Social Media Surveillance Tool

What @stephenjackson is missing is that most of the activities targeted by Geofeedia are not illegal. Criticizing the police is not illegal. Peaceful protest is not illegal. Making comments on social media expressing displeasure with various politicians and members of the establishment is not illegal. The presumption of guilt prior to or via random interpretation is exactly what constitutional protections are designed to prevent. So the question is: are there consequences for being "a braggart on social media about legal activities" and if so, what does that mean for freedom of association and expression?

Geotracking is also a very specific scenario that says that your physical location can become a matter of public scrutiny because of the expression of a dissenting political opinion. While the opinion may have been offered publicly, where you are when you said it and where you went to next, are not being offered publicly. Algorithims are being offered as substitutes for a warrant.

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on 04/13/2016 at 11:54 AM

Re: “Oakland Cops Quietly Acquired Social Media Surveillance Tool

Easily converted to political/economic purposes. This is a very bad precedent. You have to get a warrant to monitor phones or tap homes for a reason.

Posted by Jim Reilley on 04/13/2016 at 8:28 AM

Re: “Oakland Cops Quietly Acquired Social Media Surveillance Tool

"If people worry that law enforcement will be monitoring social media, that will exert pressure for them not to post," said Matt Cagle.

Social media has privacy controls. If you don't use them, you're making public statements, which are not protected from government surveillance under the 4th amendment.

Don't be a braggart about your illegal activities, and you'll be just fine. It worked the same before Facebook and Instagram, kiddies.

Posted by Stephen Jackson on 04/13/2016 at 12:04 AM

Re: “Oakland Seeks to Tighten Rent Control Rules

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 04/12/2016 at 7:25 PM

Re: “Bad Credit Histories Scuttle Homeless Housing

REFORM! We need systems that after a personal crisis intentionally bring people back into a good financial state, that intentionally bring people back into housing, that intentionally bring people back into good health -not intentionally make all that nearly impossible. Affordable housing should NOT rely on a credit report. I obtained a mortgage through a non-profit and they didn't use my credit report as a barrier -they used it as a road map. To obtain a mortgage you had to take a couple financial planning classes, develop a budget, sort out your credit issues like explain to the underwriter why you missed a payment or correct anything that was just an error, last keep to a budget for 3 months that included a hypothetical mortgage payment (if your current rent was $1300/mo, but your est mortgage would be $1700/mo you had to put $400 into savings per month). I imagine a version of this could he used to rent an apartment.

Posted by Matt_Chambers on 04/08/2016 at 9:21 AM

Re: “Bad Credit Histories Scuttle Homeless Housing

Of course, few want to see others trapped in homelessness. But, even those who are not homeless seeking non-subsidized housing rentals face the possible adverse results of a credit check. A person's past behavior follows them with good or bad consequences, even if some might excuse the bad ones. The frustrating situation Anthony Dunbar faced is not isolated to the homeless or low-income populations. Property owners are justified in screening those who want to occupy their properties, because large investments are at stake. In Mr. Dunbar's case, it appears the credit check had no errors about his history, only situations that had excuses - like almost all such adverse reports usually do. To his credit, Mr. Dunbar forged onward, realizing and accepting he needed to clear up the negative factors and apply for housing again. His taking responsibility to pay off old bills now has him on a waiting list for his apartment - a welcomed outcome. It does seem some "flexibility" advocated by the article would be appropriate - but that is up to the property owners, not to be enforced by society at large. Without the ability to determine the character and stability of any property renter, low-income or otherwise, there would probably be even fewer rental properties available at even higher rates - making it even worse for all.

Posted by William H. Thompson on 04/06/2016 at 1:50 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Commission Battle Heating Up

The reality of it is, a police commission position is highly political in nature. Those on the police commission will of course be swayed by the political winds. One of the most ingenious ways devised to prevent politics from coming into due process is the lifetime appointment of federal judges. They can only be removed for serious misconduct and therefore, they enjoy insulation from politics and can make decisions that, while perhaps not always popular, are consistent with existing law. When they are wrong, they can be reversed. The same is true for the arbitration system that exists for a great number of public employees, including many police officers. The arbitrators are largely insulated from city politics and are therefore, in a position to make appropriate decisions based on evidence presented, rather than politics.

Posted by Joseph Brannan on 03/31/2016 at 5:59 PM

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