Narrow Search

  • Show Only

  • Category

  • Narrow by Date

    • All
    • Today
    • Last 7 Days
    • Last 30 Days
    • Select a Date Range

Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Full Disclosure

Re: “Oakland to Spend $1.5 Million to Help Influential Contractor

This article is full of garbage, I would not trust any information in the EBX.

0 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Bill Aboudi on 09/19/2013 at 8:33 PM

Re: “Oakland to Spend $1.5 Million to Help Influential Contractor

$1.5M in taxpayer money to a problem tenant at the Port. Has Aboudi donated campaign or "birthday party" money to Rebecca Kaplan. This stinks.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Timothy Terry on 09/19/2013 at 1:18 PM

Re: “Oakland to Spend $1.5 Million to Help Influential Contractor

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.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 09/19/2013 at 9:19 AM
Posted by Bill Aboudi on 06/05/2013 at 1:27 PM

Re: “City Contractor Faces Labor and Environmental Charges

While I work on a a more eloquent Letter to the Editor, in response to this article, I must agree that Gammond has done some weak at best, dodgy at worst reporting. For someone who has seen both sides, this article seems regurgitated from teamster smear literature.

Its really depressing there isn't better journalism at EBX.... I would hope that someone there, if not Gammon could try and do a somewhat more in depth, balanced, quality article on this subject, because the topic is very interesting. Go interview, people that actually work at OMSS now, talk to community members, community leaders, city staff. Most will tell you Bill is doing a significant service to multiple communities on multiple fronts, working with minimal resources and no help from the city, the landowner, who was one of the major forces asking him to provide the trucking facility, to get them out of the community.

Brent Bucknum

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Bio Bricoleur on 03/11/2013 at 9:40 PM

Re: “City Contractor Faces Labor and Environmental Charges

I am not sure why the City is not at least partially responsible for Aboudi's seeming mess- it seems to me that the city should have put stronger clauses in his lease about storm water or fixed the problem as the landlord. AB trucking was obviously going to be a trucking facility on the waterfront so the city cannot now say it's his fault for being in violation of water/drainage issues- they should have known in advance of this situation and either done the work themselves or had him do the work. Furthermore shouldn't the city as the landlord known of the necessity to obtain permits for drainage and also addressed that in their lease. They (OAK) have apparently let him slip with late rent/habitation, storage a situation they should have addressed in their lease and as each late rent and other situations occurred. That Tagami is "acting as agent for the city." What nonsense what do we have all these city departments for if individuals can act on behalf of the city. Furthermore is it Aboudi's problem to ensure each business (small independent truckers) have a business license- I don't think so anymore than a gas station operator ensures that each purchaser has the required drivers license, insurance, plates and tags that's why we have a DMV, and that is why the city has a department to handle business licenses. As for the Blyth living on the property claim- sounds suspicious, why is this now coming to light, where was the city's enforcement of it's lease at the time, and it doesn't sound adjudicated it is just one person's statement for 2 months over 4 years ago- get over it. it also sounds as if the workers claims to back wages are also being adjudicated and the matter will be settled at the end not in the middle of the situation. Finally I cannot understand why Aboudi would make the city make a deal for him with the port. He can cry all he wants but the city is not required to intervene.

This is just the shoddiest reporting, sounds like a planted story. Gammon do some work!

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Diver on 03/07/2013 at 1:16 PM

Re: “City Contractor Faces Labor and Environmental Charges

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 03/06/2013 at 7:44 AM

Re: “Oakland: An Alternate Universe

So, do you think that this could effect home additions in alameda county ca ( )? I guess that politics effect just about everything, but I don't want to be hit super hard. Thanks a ton!

Posted by Marth Tolkien on 12/19/2012 at 4:51 PM

Re: “Oakland Zoo Operators Violate Election Laws

I was very indecisive about A1. Although it does allow for expansion, interviews say that the expansion is already funded and they plan to go ahead with it regardless. Although it is a private organization, it includes accountability measures and a sunset clause if money is misused. At the end of the day I was left with two significant issues that can't be contested: one is that it disproportionately taxes businesses over individuals, apparently to make its cost more palatable. The other is that it requires the zoo to process exemptions from low-income elderly people, and they have no legal obligations with regard to correct management of private financial information. If this was a uniform tax and a publicly managed zoo, the situation would be different. I am also concerned that they are entertaining such an expensive expansion if they truly need additional funding to care for their existing exhibits.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Derrick Coetzee on 10/27/2012 at 9:34 PM

Re: “Oakland Zoo Operators Violate Election Laws

I will be voting against A1 also. It'll take a lot of word of mouth though... this is just like the "Kids" city of oakland measure (Measure BB? can't keep track of all these letters... we need a sourcewatch/corpwatch for oakland!) - who will vote against animals or kids, even if the money is being nefariously mis-used? no local media will be able to keep up - and barely are. (mostly aren't.)

this ebx piece is just a finer example. keep it up ebx!!

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by ken.linott on 10/26/2012 at 3:20 PM

Re: “Oakland Zoo Operators Violate Election Laws

Thanks East bay express for this informative article. I had no idea there was this much corruption happing at the Oakland zoo. I think Jeffrey poses a very good question.

15 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Alexa Gilweit on 10/25/2012 at 9:56 PM

Re: “Oakland Zoo Operators Violate Election Laws

The zoo, a private entity, receives a lot of tax payer funds already (from the East Bay Regional Parks, from measure G, from the hotel tax). They claim not to have enough funds to take care of their animals and facilities - isn't that the most basic thing a zoo is supposed to do? Do they really need the money for the animals? It appears not. They found a million dollars to fund the A1 campaign. They want to do a massive multi-million dollar expansion ($70 million plus, of which they have about $40 million now). They've had millions of dollars in surpluses in the past several years. Why don't they spend this money on their animals now? Don't fall for the "for animal care" message - our taxes would be used to fund a massive, destructive expansion into Knowland Park. I don't remember anyone asking us if it was OK to give the zoo 54 acres of public property for the expansion, do you?

14 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Beth Wurzburg on 10/25/2012 at 6:38 PM

Re: “Oakland Zoo Operators Violate Election Laws

I agree, open media is crucial for good government. This article does a great job of exposing the most recent of a long list of the manipulative, dishonest tactics used to thwart public scrutiny of its actions and finances. And as has happened in the past, when confronted with this exposure, zoo management simply lies. On KQED Forum on Oct. 22, zoo rep. Nik Dehejia said illegal signage on public property at the zoo was just "a few eager volunteers", even though one of the signs was a giant banner attached to the chain-link fence on a steep hill overlooking the freeway. And how can illegally using public property at the zoo as campaign headquarters be the result of "a few eager volunteers"? Measure A1 is no different: It explicitly covers expansion and new construction, but the zoo responds that it MUST be used for animal care. A1 covers development of conservation projects, a conveniently vague phrase for destruction of 54 acres of native wildlife habitat in Knowland Park. Knowland Park has been a well-kept secret by the zoo and the city of Oakland for years. I hope good investigative journalism like this will continue to work to shine a light on this kind of subterfuge. Good job EBX.

24 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Karen Smith on 10/24/2012 at 5:39 PM

Re: “Oakland Zoo Operators Violate Election Laws

The zoo will directly or indirectly use the Measure A1 funds for the expansion and can legally do it...check out your voter's pamphlet: Section 1, Chapter 2.30, H..."constructing, expanding, remodeling, renovating, furnishing, equipping, or financing of facilities"

19 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Delia Taylor on 10/24/2012 at 4:57 PM

Re: “Oakland Zoo Operators Violate Election Laws

I appreciate the fact that the Express has started to question whether there are Dark Money aspects to the Zoo's foundation and how that impacts the Measure A1 campaign. Certainly the most interesting aspect of Measure A1 is the smell of big money in a local campaign. The zoo has obvious deep pockets and its avid quest for more money from the public has come all dressed up in glossy color photos of tigers and tots.

The hard truth is that, currently, we have no way of knowing who's funding the foundation contributions to the zoo's million-dollar campaign. Actually, we have no way of knowing what the zoo is actually spending. After the Zoo Director, Joel Parrott, let the cat out of the bag at the Oct. 13 Piedmont League of Women Voters' forum that the zoo's spending a million dollars on their campaign, Nik Dehejia, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Zoo, flatly denied it on KQED's Forum this past Monday morning. But Parrott and Dehejia work hand in hand. Curiouser and curiouser.

This past week we found out from the Alameda County Auditor that the zoo has already been receiving county property taxpayer money for years. Who knew? This isn't the same money that it gets from the East Bay Regional Park District bond measures which tax the county. This is an apportionment straight off the top just like cities and other entities get from the 1% of assessed value collected by the county. This past year the zoo's share came to over $600,000. The money is passed through the City of Oakland to the zoo. What isn't clear is whether that money is on top of what the city gives the zoo or whether the city is passing it off as coming from its own apportionment. If it's the latter, then county taxpayers have been pulling the city's load. If it's the former, it still indicates that the public hasn't been told the whole truth about sources of public funding before it goes to the polls to vote on whether to give the zoo even more. The zoo's own audited statement won't help clarify anything since it doesn't identify a county source of funding.

If the definition of Dark Money is that it's money that's been hidden from the public either to protect the identity of big donors or to keep the public from knowing how much of its own money is footing the bill, then surely this is the biggest case of Dark Money in our local election.

23 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Laura Baker on 10/24/2012 at 4:33 PM

Re: “Oakland Zoo Operators Violate Election Laws

If I vote for a new tax, I need to be confident it's really needed---all these different taxes really do add up for individuals like me, and for small businesses. If the Zoo reports year-end "surplus funds" to the IRS in recent years to the tune of millions of dollars, and they are not required to open their books to show us how they are spending money they already get from the City of Oakland and other public sources, how can I tell if they really need the money for "humane animal care"? I feel blind on this one. All I know is I've gotten my third full-color, glossy campaign mailer from the Zoo, and there are SOOO many full-color, double-sided lion signs everywhere, and all that is not cheap. I can't help but conclude the Zoo has more money in their wallet than they lead me to believe.

28 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Karen Asbelle on 10/24/2012 at 4:23 PM

Re: “Oakland Zoo Operators Violate Election Laws

As a long time resident of Oakland's "flatlands", I am disgusted with the zoo board of directors. They say they have to tax residents in order to give the animals proper care - in other words they can't afford it now - but they can spend $1 million on this campaign. And they have already gotten commitments for tens of millions for their expansion. Why didn't they raise the money for animal care instead? As for the tax: Somebody explain to me why it's fair that a homeowner should pay the same tax as the owner of a multi-multi-unit apartment or why a small business should pay the same as a multi million$ corporation.

29 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by John Reimann on 10/24/2012 at 3:09 PM

Most Popular Stories

© 2016 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation