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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

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

It doesnt seem like this story has changed much since the last time it was reported on. Eucalyptus may not be native, but there's very little hard evidence to suggest they should shoulder the blame for the firestorm's devastation. The biggest factor was almost certainly the failure to clear rooftops of accumulated dry brush and the build up of shrubbery next to houses, which caused the fire to spread extremely rapidly, torching houses in its path. It takes a lot of heat for eucalyptus crowns to burn, and had the houses been adequately maintained, the fire could have been managed with far less damage. There's also evidence which suggests that Eucalyptus are naturally fire-resistant below a temperature threshold. On top of that, had Berkeley and Oakland firefighters used the same size plugs for their water hoses, they would have been far more effective at stopping the fire. In any event, clear-cutting 100,000's of trees without a reforestation plan and widely using pesticides doesnt sound like environmental conservation to me.

Posted by Eric Arnold on 07/06/2016 at 1:22 PM

Re: “Oakland, Developers Look to Convert SRO Housing into Boutique Hotels

SRO's keep people sheltered and housed, tourists feel at ease, doorways are not crashpads, streets are cleaner, the city stays income-diverse. SRO's have a bad rep, but renting rooms at affordable rates to us working poor is a real civic benefit. IF the owners could maintain cleaner and more functional buildings, they would attract more young working people and artists of all ages.It's true many down-and-out folks rent in SRO's, but with this displacement going on, you can also rent to people who have good rental history and steady income who make responsible tenants -these are folks getting priced out of the Bay Area who could get a foothold in an SRO.

Posted by Suzanne Gamble on 07/06/2016 at 11:07 AM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

As this sordid affair plays out, there are many other equally important issues languishing in Oakland.

One such issue is the ever increasing incidents of illegal dumping. On many occasions I have contacted the Mayor's Office to give greater attention to this issue. To this day, I have received no response from Mayor Libby Schaaf. Various individuals I have spoken with inform me that Mayor Schaaf has actually thwarted community efforts to deal with this pandemic issue.

If Mayor Schaaf cannot or will not address this issue, perhaps Oaklanders need a mayor who will. Citizens of Oakland have suffered too long from mayors who get elected and proceed to do
nothing to improve the quality of life. We deserve and should demand better.

Posted by Dennis the Menace on 07/03/2016 at 4:21 PM

Re: “#LibbyLeaks: Oakland Mayor Launches Investigation Against City and Police Whistleblowers

While this is going on, the efforts to combat illegal dumping in Oakland languishes while Mayor Schaaf basically ignores this pandemic problem.

Perhaps the duties of this office are beyond Mayor Schaaf's willingness and capabilities to fulfill the needs of the good people of Oakland.

Posted by Dennis Wanken on 07/03/2016 at 12:28 PM

Re: “Q-and-A: 'Dogtown Redemption' Recycling and Homelessness Documentary Will Have West Oakland Debut This Saturday

Some of the folks like me a retired OUSD administrator save our soda cans. I go down there twice a year, get my little $30 bucks worth. I have interacted with the shopping cart folks and most are just so very interesting. Yea a bunch do drugs and bunch do not. I went to chidcare down the street at the Old Clawson school.This was in the late 40's as i started elementary school in 1949 at Durant. I remember when all the black firemen were on Magnolia, in what the white firefighters called the "coon " wagon. Some of our chiefs sarted there in the 40's, and I know Burl Smith who grewup on 34th, served as a Tuskeggee airmen started there. his mom and dad were our neighbors. I feel bad for the newbies there who have no answer for the homeless, the disposessed who are veterans of both that neighborhood, yea I still call it Clawson not the dope dealers Dogtown appellation . For the life of me, I cannot understand why these mostly white new folks have such disdain for the area they have moved into and do not want to know the history of a neighborhood destroyed by 580. I think it is obscene that these folks have no where to go, theese gleaners who clean up our scraps . That folks in my town are so ignorant of history of an area they do not know that in Anglo culture we have always had gleaners as thats what these folks are. So where are they to go..All the way down Peralta? What plan have these new folks fomr adding to the area instead of just living there? do they particiapte with the kids at neighboring Popular Park, or he veggie garden across from alliance? Man my town is losing it's soul.

Posted by Earl Marty Price on 07/01/2016 at 11:08 PM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

Tommy---I do not know what if anything DA O'Malley is doing about prosecuting OPD officers Faeth and Turner; I wouldn't hold my breath. Just that recent articles imply that the Cortez family has filed claim (precursor to civil suit) against City/OPD. Lastly, little if anything can be known at this point about OPD's investigation of the two officers, because of the Peace Officrers Bill of Rights, as expanded by 2006 decision of CA Supreme Court in Copley Press vs. Superior Court. The law and the Copley decision shield from public disclosure police personnel records, police/complaint boards/police commission proceedings in public complaints and disciplinary matters, even when a complaint is sustained, the officers/PD/City is sued and loses or settles. Legislation to modify that law (SB 1286) was held in committee in May, because State Senate leadership did not want a floor vote on the issue, given police union's money and endorsement leverage in primary and general elections. The only reason Oakland residents know anything about OPD's handling---or avoiding handling ----OPD officer misconduct---- is because of the Riders lawsuit and ensuing Court oversight and the investigative reporters at the Express and the East Bay Times/former Oakland Tribune.....

Posted by Mary Vail on 07/01/2016 at 4:57 PM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

Mary Vail -- thanks for your response, that makes sense with regards to the civil lawsuit. Do you know if the district attorney is bringing criminal charges against the officers involved? If that is yet to be determined, do you know if the Cortez family has filed a criminal complaint--petitioning the DA to pick up the case?

Posted by Tommy Katz on 07/01/2016 at 10:00 AM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

Wow. This is some good fiction. I have had a hearty belly laugh over this supposed "reporting" and even better are the poor schmuck citizens who believe this crap. Go OPD!

Posted by Trina Scott on 06/30/2016 at 3:40 PM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

In response to Tommy's message, the Cortez family quickly and astutely discerned that OPD could not be trusted to investigate crime where all the suspects were OPD officers and hired a lawyer. Before you can sue a government defendant you have to go thru making an admin claim against City. Since the public learns much more about OPD misconduct after the victims sue the City, will be interesting to see if City tries to damage & info-control this one by settling the admin claim, to avoid lawsuit, which government defendants rarely do.

Posted by Mary Vail on 06/30/2016 at 3:19 PM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

It's not about bad apples. To paraphrase Philip Zimbardo in the "Lucifer Effect", the barrel is bad. I don't just mean the OPD barrel. I mean the entire system of policing in this country is flawed and needs to be completely reworked.

Posted by Eileen Morentz on 06/30/2016 at 1:36 PM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

Mary, OPD was a difficult place to navigate as a woman, a person of color, and someone committed to issues of social justice.

Posted by Holly Joan on 06/30/2016 at 12:02 PM

Re: “When Landlords Target Tenants in Rent-Controlled Buildings

It really tans the hide off my tendons every time some average thinking so in so who lifts their laurels to post the most unimaginative, ineffective default retorts to this huge problem of greed in the landlord business to suggest that people simply move out if they don't like what the landlord is doing.

These lame suggestions serve as proof why things are in the mess they are. it's because people that say that stuff are doing nothing to make the world a better place because doing something to take a stand is a concept that simply does not compute for the complacent members of society fixed to a routine. Those who rather give their kids 5 bucks to donate to the bake sale than roll up their sleeves and bake a cake from scratch is who I am talking about. Anyone and take the easy road and so often that's where the traffic is bumper to bumper, but if everyone did that we would be even worse off than we are now.

These armchair quarterbacks fail to see what is so blatantly obvious which is that some people may actually like what they have going on many levels such as the schools are close, they have the best view in the world, or they can walk to work or a host of many other good reasons why they don't want to move, nor should they have to. Landlords need to quit crying broke when if they know what they are doing and live right they would not be broke. Landlord & Tenant is Business nothing less. Money hungry landlords in the landlord business should worry more about how they are going to finagle their way past Gods judgment to get beyond the pearly gates when they die. They should watch Shindler's list and gain a new perspective. Money is the root of the rich mans evil and the wanna be rich mans evil -period.

PEOPLE MUST use the laws given to us and FIGHT! People should make it a priority to learn everything they can about the rent laws that apply to them whether they live in an apartment, house or anyplace else they rent, especially if they are living someplace for the long haul. Folks should also prepare and make and keep up a rental file of everything to do with their tenancy, the building and all interactions with resident managers and make it their business to observe and document and acquire as much information as they can from a variety of sources and that includes the tenants that live in the building too. Get to know your neighbors..

When opportunity for such things arise then jump on them. Stay in the KNOW and you won't have to say I DON'T KNOW, and that way you don't fall into the same ideology as No. 4 down from the top of this comment section Bianca Goodnight. She suggest such people should run away rather than live in fear, but she misses the boat on the knowledge is power, and how being an empowered renter does the job of warding off fear in the first place. So that way one can think straight when there comes a battle ahead. My hats off to the lady in the news article who fought for what she wanted and WON. That's proof anyone can do the same.

People should also get familiar with the best of the best in the way of tenant lawyers in the area, like when they don't need one. Do some homework (you have the world at you finger tips) Find some good ones and schedule some time for a free consult and introduce yourself when you don't need legal help and see what they are all about. Get friendly with the secretary(s), wear something that might compel a compliment or give them one. Say or do something at the consultation that is likely NOT to be forgotten that they will remember you by (leave behind something and see if they call you or if it was not noticed you call them and when they retrieve it then YOU have just built a lasting memory.. Then follow up and send some thank you cookies for good measure while thanking them for taking the time to see and meet with you at a time you need nothing at all but are still a potential client. If the ladies running the office who are the right hands of the lawyer remember you THEN if you ever call for help then those ladies won't forget you and they will remind the Boss who you are if he forgot. You won't get the brush off, you will get help you need.

Follow up with more appreciation during the annual holidays with a card that has your photo and some little phrase to aid them to remember you by. The fact you came to predetermine your future lawyer is a great one for starters, who could forget that in a business that serves a 99.99% at time of need client base? Believe me should SHTF someday you will thank yourself if you have done your preparation, when you call that lawyer down the road YOU WILL BE HELPED WITH BELLS & WHISTLES!

People should always keep a little money put away for a rainy day legal defense fund especially if they rent. Assume you will have a problem and let it grow. That way should anything happen like happened in this article then YOU are prepared to call YOUR go to lawyer and be able to plop down a retainer and present your case file that should contain 3 important elements for him. 1. What happened to you in writing 2. Why it should not be happening to you (with facts to support that) and 3. What you want the lawyer to get for YOU. Start with having the problem disappear (such as some bogus notice telling you to move out for some reason like renovations to justify huge rent hikes) There is nothing like a friendly letter from your legal eagle sent to some rogue landlord or their self interested management company that asserts your rights on paper with a legal letterhead at the top that requires those shameless BOLD ONES who tried to kick you out of a rent controlled area apartment to now tell their story to a qualified legal advocate and lets see how far their shenanigans fly then. All because they thought you were IGNORANT of the LAW and now you have the right guy tell them what time it is and just watch them back off. What else can they do but back off! They sure can't talk to you anymore, they have to go through you lawyer, HA HA HA that’s what you do MS Goodnight the #4 commenter (step up your game and then maybe you can offer some real advice if you want to see your name in print)

If you are prepared and you can help the lawyer help you then you lessen the likelihood that when peril strikes you aren't coming unglued at the seems in a clueless quandary of what to do, and who to call. Lawyers have enough on their plate than play Annie Sullivan to a horde of blind, deaf and dumb victims at time of need and no money to spend. May GOD grant us all the seventy to know we can change the things we can NOT accept, give us courage to take responsibility to preserve our rights and withstand the powers that be, and give us the wisdom to discern the difference between wishful thinking and knowing when we have been truly unjustifiably wronged... AMEN That's all I'm saying.

Posted by Calli Camalli on 06/30/2016 at 1:48 AM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

If you read the Federal Monitors reports through the years, you will find numerous criticisms of OPD Internal Affairs poor and biased work product. For years I have referred to IA as a civilian complaint laundromat and as to internal investigations, an "Officer Justification Unit". For years , it has been apparent to me that for the entire term of the NSA, rank and file officers have resisted complying with the NSA's edicts and reforms. Now we know that resistance extends also to supervisors and high ranking management of the department. Worse, the forms of resistance go well beyond the handling of internal investigations and civilian's complaints against officers to how OPD officers and supervisors investigate crime (they don't like you or the crime you are reporting, they do nothing or do a cover up) to opposing or undermining the City's public safety policies (e.g., the war on sex trafficking). A large swath of OPD officers and supervisors obviously have no intention of ever operating in accord with the NSA's terms or the numerous OPD policies and rules re-written for compliance with the NSA. Their collective conduct goes beyond resistance to defiance of the NSA process and the Federal Court's authority. That long term employees and supervisors have been involved in misconduct/cover-up's and schemes to prevent discipline of officers who engage in misconduct means the problem won't be fixed, as some suggest, by a receivership for screening, training and hiring only. OPD remains a broken law-breaking organization and must be a miserable if not frightening place to work for (particularly) female officers and oficers who try their best to follow the rules.

Posted by Mary Vail on 06/29/2016 at 5:15 PM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

How is it that we still are not hearing anything at all about Guap's mother amidst all of this, who is an OPD dispatcher?

Posted by Sherri Rita on 06/29/2016 at 1:36 PM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

So what is the current status of the Faeth/Turner incident? Did the Cortez family press charges? Is there a lawsuit or criminal charges against Faeth or Turner?

Posted by Tommy Katz on 06/29/2016 at 12:36 PM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

"We need better training and selecting for promotion Sgt's and above brass in OPD."

We also need better-qualified politicians who carry the ultimate authority for what OPD does.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 06/29/2016 at 9:31 AM

Re: “How the Oakland Police Department Worked to Cover-Up Sex Crimes and a Home Invasion Committed by Cops

More we learn about this, the less sense it made for our Mayor to order an audit of OPD training and recruiting young cops. We need better training and selecting for promotion Sgt's and above brass in OPD.

Posted by Len Raphael on 06/28/2016 at 11:24 PM

Re: “Banking on Coal in Oakland

thanks for this excellent article . tonight, the council rejected coal!

Posted by demotro polis on 06/27/2016 at 11:03 PM

Re: “Building a Prison-to-School Pipeline

you guys are freaking awesome.

Posted by Tanvi Mongia on 06/27/2016 at 3:58 AM

Re: “#LibbyLeaks: Oakland Mayor Launches Investigation Against City and Police Whistleblowers

Ali Winston, and Darwin BondGraham, are real journalists and have been for a good long time. And the East Bay Express is a real newspaper, printing the truth researched and written by Winston and BondGraham.

So, Mr. Boom, if the way a newspaper is folded means that much to you, and you need to have your "news" created and vetted by multiple layers of government and corporate control, by all means choose that one (or five, or more). But remember the truth is somewhere else.

Posted by Cynthia Morse on 06/26/2016 at 5:48 PM

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