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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Feature

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

Mr. BondGraham,

The police department is authorized to have 779 sworn officers, of which 746 are actually filled -- leaving 33 positions vacant. That is your "apples to apples" comparison. The total number of vacancies is 92 as I stated, which includes civilian employees such as dispatchers, crime analysts, records personnel, etc.

The source of the true data: OPD has prepared a Personnel Distribution Report for many years. It reflects reality.

The administrative report to which you link is flimflam. It says that the total sworn police positions is 685 when the City does have 746 officers. For years public discussion of OPD staffing has revolved around the number 800 officers: is that still too few (yes), will the City get to 800 soon, etc.

Anyone with experience observing Oakland government would find it highly exceptional that the City was almost fully staffed up to its budgeted police officer count. Haven't you read the routine news reports once or twice a year when a police academy graduates? The numbers always reveal that OPD is understaffed. And it has been reported many times that four or five officers on average retire and resign every month. To think that only two of our authorized police positions are vacant at a given moment is unreal.

Mr. BondGraham, consumed by your antagonism to the police department as shown in article after article, you let yourself accept a ridiculous number. Whatever the reason, the case remains that basic facts in your articles are unreliable.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 12/08/2016 at 9:28 AM

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

Somehow people keep ignoring the bottom line problem when it comes to leadership at the City of Oakland. MEASURE X needs to be repealed. Mayor Schaaf is a nice person and tries hard, but at the end of the day, just because you can get 50 % of the 30% of citizens who vote to check the box next to your name does not qualify you to run a city. Running the day to day operation of a city the size of Oakland is complicated and should be done by a trained, educated and experienced City Manager. Being Mayor is political not technical or professional. The problems in Oakland with leadership in many areas are a direct result of weak and inexperienced people in key executive management positions. Trained experienced top level managers in the workforce will never ever be interested in working in a place like Oakland because they recognize dysfunction and are not interested in working for Mayors and administrators who are political and do not know what they are doing. Without the change I am suggesting, this will never get better. Jerry Brown was a unique candidate when Measure X was adopted in 1998. Not one of the Mayors elected since has been even close to being capable of running a City. When Robert Bobb was the City Manager in charge of the day to day operation, qualified and experienced professionals in all areas of the organization were flocking to Oakland. Since X was adopted, Bobb resigned and the City Administrator, with less authority, now works for the Mayor, the quality of managers and level of services to the citizens has gone down each and every year. The structure of the organization mandated by Measure X is set up for this to continue and trust me it will continue to get worse.

Posted by Gary Patton on 12/08/2016 at 5:14 AM

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

Charlie Pine,

I relied on the city administration's October 24, 2016 Semi-Annual Vacancy Report.

It shows that the Oakland Police Department currently has only 2 vacant sworn police officer positions.

The Fire Department has 63 sworn firefighter positions vacant right now, according to that same report.

Another document I have from the Fire Department shows that they filled one position since then, bringing their sworn staffing vacancy to 62.

I'm comparing apples to apples.

I invite readers to review the document here: https://oakland.legistar.com/LegislationDe…

Posted by Darwin BondGraham on 12/07/2016 at 10:39 PM

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

This expose is marred by a blatant falsehood that makes one wonder: "The Oakland Police Department has only two vacant positions." The current OPD personnel report, prepared Nov. 28, 2016, details 92 unfilled positions. So much for Mr. BondGraham's crude attempt to set OPD against OFD. What other basic facts did he get wrong?

Posted by Charlie Pine on 12/07/2016 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Art Gallery Grifter: How White Walls Owner Justin Giarla Scammed Artists Out Of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, Then Disappeared

What a loser piece of shit! Using people is bad enough but fucking with their art is deplorable. His ass deserves prison time for sure. Karma will follow.

Posted by nanabriggs on 12/02/2016 at 9:50 PM

Re: “Just Vegas, Baby?: What Are the Odds that the Oakland Raiders Move to Sin City?

If you don't want the raiders moving to Las Vegas, sign the petition at nolvraiders.com

Posted by adrock702 on 11/25/2016 at 11:40 PM

Re: “Art Gallery Grifter: How White Walls Owner Justin Giarla Scammed Artists Out Of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, Then Disappeared

Really no one that's a competitor? How about FIFTY24SF, 111 Minna, Mirus, Heron Arts? Thanks for supporting all the local galleries that have never screwed anyone over Lauren Nopalitano!

Posted by Cleva on 11/25/2016 at 12:17 AM

Re: “Art Gallery Grifter: How White Walls Owner Justin Giarla Scammed Artists Out Of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, Then Disappeared

I was never paid for works sold (by Cerasoli LeBasse gallery, L.A.) at Aqua Art Fair Miami in 2008. I've given up but I'm still miffed...

Posted by jenniferdavis on 11/24/2016 at 11:46 AM

Re: “Top Ramen For Life: The Student Loan Crisis

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Posted by Daniel Silver 1 on 11/11/2016 at 10:49 PM

Re: “Access Denied

The leads are inciting anger and bullying people. I cannot understand why this should be allowed online. They are doing this in Walnut Creek and all the complaints are ignored

Posted by sheri garay on 11/11/2016 at 3:12 PM

Re: “Did An Oakland Cop Kill His Wife?

So EBX accepts the Alameda County DA's report on ex-OPD officer Gantt that there was no wrong doing, but is suspicious of Alameda County DA's report on the death of Lopez? Does not raise a single question about Gantt's trustworthiness, or that he may of mishandled evidence in an ongoing murder investigation where the suspect could face life in prison? Nope, DA says it was all fine so we'll leave it at that.

It seems like Bond-Graham only gives the benefit of the doubt to anyone in the OPD when they become a client of the authors friend Dan Siegel. If Siegel was not representing Gantt the only thing you would have heard about Gantt is how some innocent person may be going to jail because Gantt mishandled evidence.

Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 11/10/2016 at 12:36 PM

Re: “Did An Oakland Cop Kill His Wife?

Libby Liibby say what? Impeding a police investigation? Add that to your resume.

Posted by Steve Redmond on 11/09/2016 at 4:21 PM

Re: “Did An Oakland Cop Kill His Wife?

Well done BondGraham! Gantt's integrity speaks for itself, while OPD's history speaks for ITSELF. He put up with the politics and corruption for as long as he did because of his passion for his job and service to the people of Oakland

Posted by marv on 11/08/2016 at 10:46 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Tony I'm still waiting?

Posted by Mike Yarmouth on 11/04/2016 at 9:46 AM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Tony, I've spoken with you before and I'm surprised what a fraud you are coming off as...this the issue you're planting you pole on? Sad.

I live just off Buena Vista and Webster...please answer me a quick little litmus test question...what is the single biggest issue facing people living on the west end? There is one clear answer.

Posted by Mike Yarmouth on 11/03/2016 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

When the 470 Central evictions happened days after council issued a moratorium on no-fault evictions (the eviction notices using the loophole-ridden language that the city put into the moratorium), council was outraged and rushed to close the loopholes they had opened. Months later, they drafted their rent ordinance that now will allow mass evictions just as long as it's only 25% per year. There are no rent caps. It puts the burden on already burdened tenants to appeal to a mayor-appointed mediation body and air all of their financial hardships into the public record. That is what Tony Daysog is championing here. He happens to also be up for reelection next week.

Posted by Jason Buckley on 11/03/2016 at 10:42 AM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Ms Nader writes, "Tony Daysog would like to see the entire island gentrified. He stood by while 700 families were unjustly evicted from Harbor Island. " To see four hundred families evicted en masse on short notice in 2004 was, indeed, terribly tragic, the repercussions of which to this day affects the West End of town in the form of closed schools, some of which only recently re-opened as charter schools that attract youth from throughout the island. That mass eviction was indeed tragic . . . and contrary to what Ms. Nader says, I and the then-Council took the matter to court, all the way to Judge Alsop's court, where he ruled that the out of town property owner could displace 400 families en masse. As for gentrification, no, I don't want to see the entire island or parts of the island gentrified, and I see in Measure L1 a tool that council and the City finally has in slowing down the indicator of gentrification, ie excessive rent increases. While I believe the relocation benefit\penalty (a fee that the landlord must pay to tenants in instances of 'no cause' evictions) we, the Council, adopted in March 2016 is too high, there is, nonetheless, such a tool to stifle 'no cause' evictions, along with other tactics in the March ordinance (ie Measure L1). So I encourage residents to give L1 the chance to keep working, as it has in the form of the ordinance adopted in March. Thanks.

Posted by Tony Daysog on 11/02/2016 at 7:56 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Evictions are very serious and carry negative consequences for everyone involved. Renters lose their homes, communities are disrupted - the effects are obvious and terrifying. For property owners, evictions are time-consuming and very expensive. Vacancies generate no income while overhead stays the same or increases. Evicting your renters is like shooting yourself in the foot.
Normally, we don't need laws against shooting ourselves. Unfortunately maintaining rent below market value in the face of pending rent control legislation is more like shooting yourself in the head. Especially for new owners with a high mortgage and unknowable rising costs, like new Rent Board fees.
Simon-Weisberg is right, there have been waves of evictions in Richmond as well for similar reasons.
When the balance sheets don't balance and you have to sell at a loss because rent control depresses income (on which property values are based, in part); a foot starts looking pretty expendable - evictions are the only option - If the landlord goes out of business, are renters better off? This is the problem with trying to make public housing out of private investments.
The biggest losers in rent control are undoubtedly renters evicted by large property owners. The next biggest losers are small property owners who are just scraping by and can't spare a foot or even a toe.
I wish Richmond (my city) had an "L1" to vote for.
Measures M1 and L in Alameda and Richmond, respectively are toxic to all.

Posted by Ilona Nesmith Clark on 11/02/2016 at 5:20 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

What wasn't included in this article is the messaging used by L1 advocates targeted to Alameda homeowners like myself. Various large real estate investors, like Ballena Bay, are sending mailers with racist and classist messages, e.g., M1 will make Alameda less safe. Your property values will decrease.

M1 simply allows Alamedans to stay in their homes. I've lived here 22 years and there's a great community of involved islanders - many of whom are renters. Why should they be held to an incredibly unfair standard of high rents so real estate investors can make a profit. Tony Daysog would like to see the entire island gentrified. He stood by while 700 families were unjustly evicted from Harbor Island. We're on a precipice in Alameda - do we want a thriving intact community that includes both renters and homeowners or an exclusive enclave? I vote for the former! M1 is the most reasonable approach and L1 is nothing but a poison pill!

Posted by jnader4bc6 on 11/02/2016 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

The lack of protection against no cause evictions, as well as the proven inability to enforce the current law (L1) provides a solid foundational argument as to why M1 was proposed and is being championed by many. Those being faced with 60 day notices in advance of the election are the perfect representation of this - these people pay their rent on time, are active members of the community and are being displaced without merit - L1 doesn't prevent this. Under L1, the burden to challenge rent increases and unfair practices is with the tenant, who is most cases too fearful to pursue what's lawfully within their right because they, too, could easily come home to a 60 day notice. Proponents of L1 will argue that the 5%+ increase will trigger a review once the landlord files their intent but what if they do not? My complex alone provides an example of 4 families who received increases and no corresponding lease as per L1. Each one of these families personally requested a lease; each one was denied. Unless the tenant takes on the risk to follow up with the city and force the issue (again, a scary act for people with no protection), they'd be free to ignore the law with no repercussions.

Lastly, it is important to note that L1 was fiercely opposed by landlords and the powers behind them like the CAA when it was first proposed - and still is challenged or per the above ignored. Without tenant proponents on city council, there is no guarantee that the even the currently weak protections will stay in place post-election if L1 prevails.

Posted by Megan L on 11/02/2016 at 2:24 PM

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