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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Feature

Re: “Grinches of the Year: Oakland and East Bay Residents with Hearts a Few Sizes Too Small

I read "of" a genuine miracle. Pardon my typo.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/21/2016 at 4:04 PM

Re: “Grinches of the Year: Oakland and East Bay Residents with Hearts a Few Sizes Too Small

Oh, they're not just deified but saints and martyrs...crucified upon a cross of rising Oakland housing costs...let us give them all saintly names and titles!

Our Lady Of Not Born A Lady But Don't You Dare Mis-Gender Her.

Saint Francis Of Two Turntables And A Microphone, patron saint of all who have no known day job but somehow can party right before college finals.

Blessed And Holy Infant Of Infantile Lifestyle Habits.

Just yesterday I read if a genuine miracle as writing appeared on a wall!!!

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/21/2016 at 5:25 AM

Re: “Grinches of the Year: Oakland and East Bay Residents with Hearts a Few Sizes Too Small

Got to give EBX full props for talking out of both sides of it's figurative neck...

"Breaking the Law

Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney either thinks she's above the law, or she's so disorganized she can't even comply with her own city's rules."

And at the same time deifying the arts community for the same behavior.

You can't make this up!

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 12/20/2016 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Can you provide a link to an article with the facts you are citing?

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/19/2016 at 10:52 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Chief Reed was hired by her former BFF, ex-Oakland city administrator Deana Santana, who later apologized to the OFD for hiring her. How in the heck does one earn the enmity of just about every member of the OFD, too. She simply doesn't to care about the OFD, and she does not know anything about being a fire chief and thus the de-facto leader of the OFD. Fact is if Chief Reed weren't a black woman, she would have been fired a long time ago. So much for "diversity." I'd take Trump over her any day.
Keyser Soze.

Posted by Keyser Soze on 12/19/2016 at 7:34 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Fine. Give us a link to the second-in-command's resume and let's all look at his "stuff" too. What kind of stuff?

Benevolent Fire Department Committee For Expressive Art To Promote Progressive Values...Committee To Stamp Out Sexist Posters In Fire Hall Gear Lockers...

What kind of dumb "stuff" are you talking about on the second-in-command's resume? More of that politically correct crap?

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/17/2016 at 3:26 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Blame Jerry Brown's ballot Measure X changing the politics in Oakland to a strong mayor type of government vs a strong council/city manager. The citizens voted it in. And being a retired firefighter, I know so many upper management chief positions held by chiefs with online degrees and lots of them are fire chiefs. I wander what Chief Hoffman's resume says. I also wander why the fire station that was a couple blocks away never did any area familiarization to know what was in their first due area. This building certainly would have been on a "let's go pre-plan this building" list. So yes, the buck stops with the fire chief but there's blame to go around throughout the department and Reed's resume is just like most fire chiefs with a bunch of "stuff". Also being a fire inspector in Oakland as recent as summer 2015, there isn't enough inspectors for a city that size, they are the lowest paid in the Bay Area so folks leave for better pay, they are not sworn (civilianized) and are in a totally different union than the firefighters which is something the union gave up years ago and has created a obvious rift between BFP and the union because there is NO relationship. So the feeling IS that the bureau of fire prevention is the red headed step child of the fire department and has major problems (why I left). So we will hear the union go after Chief Reed and protect their own even though the union is just as much at fault. Having been in a firefighter union I know the attitudes the line guys have when it comes to certain jobs like pre-planning. They'd rather sit in the fire stations until that bell rings. So the finger pointing is in high gear, so high that we are analyzing a fire chiefs resume. Well don't stop with hers, let's see her second in commands resume. He's in bed with the union anyway and I'm sure that he can't wait till Reed is gone so he can get the spot and put his union cronies in position. That's what happens at the top. Real talk.

Posted by Kaytux on 12/17/2016 at 1:45 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Let's get rid of this ineffectual, unqualified fire chief already. Surely we can afford to fully staff the fire department/fire marshall's office if we are throwing money at a sports team? Where are people's priorities? I'm inclined to agree with the commenter who said we need to return to the strong city manager/weak mayor form of government, because no Oakland mayor since Jerry Brown has been any good. SOMEONE needs to clean up the corruption and put the money where it will do the most good, and that someone is not likely to be a politician.

Posted by Jan Van Dusen on 12/14/2016 at 8:57 PM

Re: “The Art of Canvassing

JLEV, I definitely see your point. However, like all employees, we canvassers bring in more money than it costs to pay us, making us beneficial assets to our organizations. Being in oceans saving whales is true activism no doubt, but funds need to be raised to send that boat out there. The reason our organizations pay us to be put there is because people don't donate online. They just don't. However they do give on the street when "harassed" as you put it. We give people the push to part ways with some cash and help an issue they feel passionate about but aren't motivated enough to become a part of in their free time. If no one "harassed" people on the streets people would cling to their money and these organizations would have no budget and the Japanese whalers would be killing whales. We ask for monthly donations so we can budget out campaigns. Just like people who get jobs need a guaranteed monthly income to budget their expenses. Also you seem to have a problem with giving a canvasser your credit card but ok with giving it to the orgs website, where the same people get hijack it. I'm unclear how giving me your card on the street is different to giving it to they barista in Starbucks 25 ft away from me under a roof.

Posted by ckelley72 on 12/12/2016 at 7:39 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Here. Everybody can read her resume here.

http://www2.oaklandnet.com/government/o/OFD/a/ourTeam/index.htm

Yes, she was a captain at one point, but she rose beyond that. But please note the three awards listed, as follows:
--------------------------------------
Chief Reed has received many awards during her professional career, including the NAACP Henry Gage Senior Excellence in Leadership Award, the IABPFF Black Chief Officers Committee Metro Lifetime Achievement Award and the Martin Luther King Associations Public Safety and Service Award.
-----------------------------------

Each of the three awards listed is a "diversity" award. It's not an award for brilliance or competence, but an award for being "diverse" and rising to a prominent position. Also, note her education, as follows:

---------------------------------

She holds an Associate in General Education Degree from Evergreen Valley College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership from Mountain State University and holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from National University.

-------------------------------

Evergreen Valley College? Are you serious? Mountain State University? And the so-called "National University?" Does that last one even have actual bricks and mortar?

More "diversity" achievements listed here:
-----------------------------------------------
Chief Reed serves on the Black Chief Officers Committee of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters on the California Fire Chiefs Cultural Diversity Committee and is an active member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
-------------------------------------------------

More emphasis on "diversity."

Is there a damn Let's Make Sure Every Building Is Actually In The Fire Department Database And Gets Inspected More Often Than Once Every Thirty Years Committee?

I guess not.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/12/2016 at 7:08 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Bea Burg, Fire Chief Reed was an Assistant Fire Chief when she retired from San Jose. There is NO WAY a city the size of Oakland would hire a Captain to be it's Fire Chief. That's just ridiculous. Get your facts strait before throwing someone under the bus.

Posted by Kaytux on 12/12/2016 at 12:22 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

First black female fire chief of a major city.

http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2016/10/10/exp-oakland-fire-chief.cnn

Was she hired for her qualifications or so the Mayor could put another politically correct feather in her cap of diversity? Are we even allowed to QUESTION such a thing?

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/12/2016 at 7:21 AM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Conservatives seuze upon this as a spectacular example of what happens when "diversity" in hiring is emphasized over ither qualifications in 3...2...1

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/11/2016 at 9:08 AM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Useful information to pass on to readers, no matter how contradictory, conflicting, self-serving, and chaotic it may be. This isn't yet another straightforward Oakland budget fight, pitting department against department, neighborhood against neighborhood for gaining more city funding and resources, politician jockeying for position against other politicians. This also involves defending reputation that one or one's fellow staffers bore any responsibility for those deaths.

This kind of infighting is often seen in both the public and private sector organizations when leaders are ineffectual, ignorant, inexperienced, or just not capable of gaining the respect of the people under their responsibility.

I think both MS Kaplan and Mr. Patton are correct that mismanagement starts in the Mayors office, extends thru the City Administrator, and is reflected in incompetent, ineffectual department heads and upper management.

An Oakland mayor does not need to personally have the management skills of ex NYC Mayor Bloomberg, but they have to know how to find a City Administrator who does.. And we don't have to go back to the City Manager form of government that we had before Measure X. Few cities of our size or bigger kept the City Manager structure as they grew.

Regardless of why Mayor Schaaf chose Sabrina Landreth as City Administrator, it is time for Landreth to move on and for Schaaf to break the pattern set by Dellums and Quan of selecting unexperienced or inexperienced City Administrators. Find someone with solid line management experience in a much bigger city, either at the top or just below the chain of command. Not a manager or administrator from a tiny city who you hope will grow into the job. We might well have to offer a much longer, sweeter contract than normal to get that City Administrator. We might have to recruit form the non-profit or the for-profit sectors.

We can't afford to keep stumbling on from one departmental disaster to another.

Posted by Len Raphael on 12/10/2016 at 8:39 PM
Posted by Rick Gower on 12/10/2016 at 8:27 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

There is a vast group of retired firefrighters who have eperience and training, that could be pqassed on to the now acive members, This cadre of firefighters, engineers, and officers, is wide and deep in experience, and manyu would be happy an proud to come to service for the city to train, educate, and have the history necessary to mainyain an excellent department We have at least three or four members who retired as chiefs of other departments, such as Richmond, South San Francisco, and other major departments in the bay area, who shouold have been considered for the chiefs job in Oakland.
Just contact the retirement office and you will find all the names and places of these dedeicated, highy trained individuals.

Posted by Rick Gower on 12/10/2016 at 8:26 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

The fire chief is a retired fire Capt. from San Jose FD. When she interviewed for the position, the panel said she was the worst candidate they had. Were surprised she got the position. The Oakland city manager, was a friend of hers from city of San Jose. She was given the position. She is collecting a retirement and a salary from the City of Oakland. There others in the department, that were more qualified than her. That knew the city and needs of department. I am making a assumption, that they needed someone from the outside to cut costs.

Posted by Bea Burg on 12/10/2016 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

As I said...something is wrong with the assessed value in the first place. But usage outside proper zoning should result in more than a fine...it should nullify Prop 13 protections.

Should. Somebody would have to make the legal argument and have it stick...what a fascinating legal mess.

Did the assessed value keep going up? I find that hard to believe. Place had no power or water and stole from the neighbors. It appears that tax-wise the property was VACANT.

TAX FRAUD???

Out of all this human drama...what a dull little angle. I wonder if anybody in the media could be made to care?

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 3:57 AM

Re: “When the Mind Splits

I currently have a friend that had Dissociative Disorder and I need to get her help ASAP. I live in the bay area but do not know who to get it from and how to contact her family about it; right now as I am typing it is 1:45Am and I just got off the phone with her, she is drunk and possibly might be in shock and I have no idea where she is. I'm hoping she wakes up tomorrow and calls me.

I need help, if anyone knows any professional Psychotherapist in the bay area that works with DID: please contact me in a comment reply here or message me immediately.

Thank you.

Posted by Molly 1 on 12/09/2016 at 1:49 AM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Mr Eroster I assume your economic calculation is correct but remember due to Prop 13 that is irrelevant . Just determine the assessed
value when acquired and the most it can be increased is 2% a year. This under assessment of commercial property is the cause of many of our City's financial problems.

Posted by ed gerber on 12/08/2016 at 6:28 PM

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