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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Election 2012

Re: “Redefining Sex Work

Excellent article. I'm tired of the assumption that it's only privileged, educated, women who actually choose to do sex work. There are so many shades of grey between the streetwalker and the "high class" hooker, and I agree that if we could truly "come out" of the shadows people would be surprised at how many of us there are. Keep fighting the good fight, it's absolutely worth it.

27 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Adrienne Porter Hodges on 10/17/2012 at 3:47 PM

Re: “BART Board Races Look Competitive

Agreed! I also believe that Anthony Pegram should win the District 3 seat. Pegram has the experience and know how to improve the imbalance of contracting opportunities for small businesses (women, minorities) which supports our local economy and creates local jobs. I read on Saltzman's blog that she was against the BART extensions. She's touting all of the endorsements but the bay area's policy vision is to get people out of their cars and onto public transportation out of environmental and congestion concerns, so why the opposition against building what's been referred to as the backbone of the regional transportation system? It sounds like the public would not benefit from from Ms. Saltzman's vision for many reasons.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Deb Leone on 10/17/2012 at 3:31 PM

Re: “Big Oil Targets Little Richmond, Again

The Times endorsed Bell because he "went through the fiscal crisis of nearly a decade ago and should be well-grounded to attack the next difficult challenge," rather than endorsing the progressive candidates working closely with Mayor McLaughlin, the mayor who led the city as it "climbed up from the bottom of the hole." (CCT doesn't even credit McLaughlin.)

Thanks for shedding some light on the real work the RPA has done and offering some 'facts' on Gary Bell that Chevron won't be printing on glossy flyers.

Overall, I find this to be a well-balanced piece, and am pleased to see EBX covering this news!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jessica Langlois on 10/17/2012 at 3:26 PM

Re: “Redefining Sex Work

I'm so happy this article turned out so beautifully! Thank you Ellen for being such a sensitive ear to the many stories of sex work in Oakland. Feel free to follow me on twitter @jolenestarshine to interact, if you want!

18 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jolene Parton on 10/17/2012 at 1:44 PM

Re: “Liberal v. Liberal

I have been following the race of Abel and Bonta. Each man is a democrat, but this is not a liberal versus liberal race. Bonta is very much a moderate at times a conservative with no accomplishments to date except his parent's few years with UFW 40 years ago and his work as a volunteer to pass our Measure A.

Bonta has not impressed us in Alameda and if you can't impress your own City then to me he is not worthy to represent us in Sacramento. He came to our Island a few years ago and we didn't even know that was on our Alameda Hospital District Board. This tells you even more how he is not his own man.

I don't want him as our Assemblyman and I have been very disappointed in his lack of effort on our City Council.
Abel is a straight shooter in my book. I approached him directly a few times in the last few years and even though he knows Oakland well, I appreciate his work ethic and how vocal he is for his constituents. I remember telling him a few years back that we needed folks like him in Alameda. I would trust him in Sacramento to fight even us here in Alameda. Wilma Chan and Don Perata didn't do much either and Sandre Swanson is a lame duck. I remember Sandre losing many elections because he just couldn't cut it. Bonta being supported by these folks and the developers make me worry he will sell out again.

We are not all old stodgy conservative white people, but we do take umbridge at a man who acts one way publicly to get our money and vote and then has a whole another side to him after he gets elected and Bonta is that kind of man and has no character.

I am sad to say I did vote for him and his slate of Gilmore and Tam and I have never been so disappointed with my vote. He is not a man I would trust to represent me.

I read a few more articles on these two men before I decided to write and comment and I have to say, this isn't journalism. It is one sided and I know Bonta is good at playing the offense. He is trying to make this a positive campaign because he has nothing positive going for him and to put Mr. Abel on the spot for something that is Bonta's own doing is inappropriate. I won't be voting for Bonta and if the recall happens, I will vote to recall him too.

13 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Alex Lind on 10/17/2012 at 1:09 PM

Re: “Endorsements Part II: Vote Bates, Capitelli, and Moore and Yes on Measures R and T

Smart growth = real estate development.

4 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by BruceKap on 10/17/2012 at 10:20 AM

Re: “BART Board Races Look Competitive

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, 6 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 10/17/2012 at 9:19 AM

Re: “New Lipstick on an Old Pig

The choices we Californians make on Nov 6 will determine California’s course for years. We are kidding ourselves by believing that education funding shortfalls disappear with Prop 30, Prop 38.
Prop 30, Prop 38 both levy significant taxes on each one of us. The wounds that Prop 30, 38 are to heal have been self inflicted largely by our elected Sacramento politicians who simply do not say no to any influential interest group be they higher education, public employees, business, teachers, or other unions or lobbyists.
And now Prop 30, 38 are used by Sacramento politicians and lobbyists to blackmail us.
Save California for our children. Vote No on Prop 30, 38, 32. Keep the California dream alive

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Milan Moravec on 10/16/2012 at 11:33 PM
Posted by Tony Daysog on 10/16/2012 at 10:07 PM

Re: “New Lipstick on an Old Pig

32 still allows voluntary contributions, but not forced contributions from union members.

I remember my wife was in a union and did not agree with their politics. She requested they not withhold for political purposes, and they gave her only the option of contributing to a charity OF THE UNION'S CHOICE.

Union rules are undemocratic and against the constitutional right of free association.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Gary Baker on 10/16/2012 at 8:55 PM

Re: “New Lipstick on an Old Pig

Only Union Members Are Working People.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Gary Baker on 10/16/2012 at 8:45 PM

Re: “Endorsements Part I: Vote Kaplan and Yes on Measures B1 and S and Props 34 and 37


De La Fuente took money from a hotel after it shut down because it was full of underage hookers. What does that hotel want in return.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Norma Grombet on 10/15/2012 at 12:26 PM

Re: “Berkeley at a Crossroads

Just wondering - is the Express really trying to blow its credibility? Opening up the print edition last week, there was this story with an accompanying photo (not in the online edition) of a deserted-looking 4th St., one lonely old camper truck and nobody around. The story and photo caption claim this was a typical weekday scene, and that the buildings in the photo were "mostly abandoned." This is blatantly false. First off, if you are reading this, please take a short drive down that block on any weekday. Go ahead, do it. It's packed with cars; if you need to get out, you'll have a hard time finding a place to park. So when was the photo taken? Perhaps on a Sunday, or maybe on a holiday, but on a typical weekday? Not possible, sorry.

Now, about the "abandoned" claim. The large, long building on the left (it takes up the whole block) is the warehouse. Nope, not abandoned. And of course all the people who work in that warehouse (and in all the other the surrounding businesses) are parking on the street, hence the crowding. It's closed on the weekend by the way, except for the small retail section which is only closed on Sunday. The tallish black building (background right) is also apparently not abandoned. It's hard to say what's going on in there, but with the lights on and stuff in the windows, you couldn't say it was abandoned. The multi-unit commercial building on the far side of it (not visible in the photo) is occupied by functioning businesses, not abandoned. Vik's used to be in that building, until it moved to a much bigger place farther down 4th St. The light colored building directly on the right (the old Berkeley Pump building) and the building next to it do not look occupied, rather they seem to have been taken off the to-lease market some time ago by the owner, Doug Herst. Anybody care to find out why?

These aren't the only false claims in the article, but it was the obviously wrong photo that struck me first, and besides if I tried to rebut the entire piece it would be so long nobody would bother reading it. This is enough however. Express, consider your credibility gone.

5 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Steven Tupper on 10/14/2012 at 9:51 PM

Re: “Berkeley at a Crossroads

Mr. Gammon (who, like our retired city manager and our new one) is a "big cog" now for the Bates machine that continues to steam-roll the Berkeley community. This is not reporting. It is unadulterated campaigning for an agenda that has no business in Berkeley. Gammon is who he is ... a shill. Does he run the East Bay Express? It would seem so. How could an otherwise good newspaper so flagrantly abuse good reporting? Mother Jones you are not ... and shame on you. And by the way, Mr. Gammon, when was the last time you attended a Berkeley council meeting? Surely if you had you would have seen that many in this community are beginning to see that our small community has been "played" by professional politicos ... as well as by people like you.
To Berkeley, vote for whom you may, but do vote YES for Measure V, the FACTS Initiative. It will require this City to finally "come clean" on our fiscal debt. Then, perhaps, Berkeley will "clean house" and chart a real future ... hopefully before bankruptcy.

5 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Victoria Peirotes on 10/14/2012 at 5:26 PM

Re: “Endorsements Part I: Vote Kaplan and Yes on Measures B1 and S and Props 34 and 37

Norma Grombet: You and I both know that Oakland's crime problems will only continue to fester if we support soft-on-crime candidates like Rebecca Kaplan and Jean Quan (and please don't tell me about the potential to curb crime through "Youth programs"---this approach has cost Oakland untold millions and has utterly failed). Why not follow New York's example and elect officials who take a non-nonsense approach to fighting crime? We both know that this worked in NYC, and it can work here in Oakland. Yes, NYC's approach to fighting crime involves some amount of so-called "profiling," but so what? Are you really willing to hand entire neighborhoods over to violent gangs and witness the continued slaughter of scores of young people just so you can feel good about the fact that you didn't "profile" anyone?

5 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Andrew Hatch on 10/14/2012 at 4:17 PM

Re: “Endorsements Part I: Vote Kaplan and Yes on Measures B1 and S and Props 34 and 37

This comment was deleted because it violates our website's Terms Of Use. People who repeatedly violate our policies will lose their right to post comments. You can read our entire Terms Of Use here.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Editor on 10/14/2012 at 12:16 PM

Re: “Endorsements Part I: Vote Kaplan and Yes on Measures B1 and S and Props 34 and 37

Rebecca Kaplan has presided over a 21% increase in violent crime---a remarkable achievement in a city that already has that country's 4th highest violent crime rate. Oaklanders have an opportunity in this election to vote in candidates who are serious about fighting crime and who care about restoring safe urban living to all neighborhoods in Oakland. Unfortunately, Rebecca Kaplan has consistently shown that she cares more about upholding "civil rights" for violent gangsters than about making Oakland safe. Please vote NO on Rebecca Kaplan and YES on candidates who are serious about public safety.

8 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Andrew H. on 10/14/2012 at 9:08 AM

Re: “Berkeley at a Crossroads

As Mr. Gammon has seen fit to go on the attack, I must in turn respond to his false and misleading statements:

1. I identified myself by full name. The fact that I have spoken to Council in opposition to Measure T is on public record, and views have been only one issue of many raised.

2. I did not falsely charge Mr. Gammon regarding interviews. I said it appears he did not interview opponents, given that he did not fairly represent the views of residents or businesses in West Berkeley. Robert, I invite you to interview me for a follow-up piece.

3. Mr. Moore's campaign donations are public record, and people can draw their own conclusions. It is false to imply that I am opposed to smart growth; I live and work (no commute) in an urban infill project. What is unfortunate is that 'smart growth' has been co-opted by some developers to greenwash projects that are not truly green or sustainable.

4. Mr. Gammon mis-states my comment about the air quality impacts of Measure T, as documented in the City's EIR. I suggest Mr. Gammon read it, rather than presume to intuit my understanding of GHG and climate change.

5. Mr. Gammon makes the point that loss of manufacturing is nothing Council has the power to change, though fails to mention that zoning (Parts 1 & 2 of the West Berkeley Project) was passed by Council in 2011, which eases permitting and opens up space for expansion and new businesses.

7. & 8. West Berkeley zoning already provides for increased residential density in West Berkeley. Mr. Gammon is so focused on promoting Mr. Herst's project he fails to mention that San Pablo and University are already zoned for high density residential on the primary transit corridors, a goal of smart growth.

10. Mr. Gammon seems overly fond of pejoratives in describing opponents; in addition to 'anti-growth' he has previously used 'nimbys' and 'aging hippies' to describe West Berkeley residents and business owners. A journalist would be well advised to use the latter in the interest of unbiased reportage.

6 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Patrick Sheahan on 10/14/2012 at 8:08 AM

Re: “Berkeley at a Crossroads

Until now, I’ve resisted responding to some of these comments, because many of the reactions to them by readers have been somewhat negative. But there have been so many false and misleading statements, that I can’t, in good conscience, continue to allow them to go unaddressed:

1. Patrick Sheahan and Becky O’Malley should have identified themselves to readers. Mr. Sheahan has long opposed the Berkeley City Council’s plans to spur growth in West Berkeley. At some of the public meetings I attended on this issue, Mr. Sheahan complained repeatedly about the proposal to allow buildings of up to 75 feet in height in West Berkeley, arguing at times that such buildings could block resident’s views of the bay, including his own.

Ms. O’Malley, meanwhile, is the longtime editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet, a newspaper that was forced to stop publishing its print edition because it could no longer attract enough advertisers. This fact came as no surprise to many Berkeleyans, considering the perception by lots of folks that Ms. O’Malley is anti-business.

2. In response to Mr. Sheahan’s false charge that I did not interview opponents of Measure T, here are the facts: I interviewed the following Measure T opponents: Kriss Worthington, Sophie Hahn, and Jacquelyn McCormick. If Mr. Sheahan had actually read the story, he would have known that, considering that he has endorsed all three of those people for office. I also tried to interview Measure T opponents Jesse Arreguin and Denisha DeLane, but neither returned my call. Mr. Sheahan, it should be noted, has endorsed both of them, as well.

3. Mr. Sheahan’s decision to cast aspersions on Councilman Moore’s positions because of campaign donations is not only without merit, but out of line. I have covered Darryl Moore’s political career for nearly a decade, and I can attest to the fact that he has long been an advocate of smart growth and urban infill development. In short, he’s a true believer (much like progressive Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan) in the idea that cities must grow if we are going to limit suburban sprawl, long car commutes, and greenhouse gas emissions. As such, it should come as no surprise that developers who want to build smart growth projects in Berkeley have donated to his political campaigns (as they have done with Kaplan in Oakland). So to allege that he (or Kaplan) votes the way he does because of the donations is reckless and unsubstantiated.

4. Mr. Sheahan’s contention that attracting more people to live in Berkeley will make climate change worse displays a complete lack of understanding about the primary causes of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, it’s so wrong, it’s utterly incredible that he other anti-growth activists continue to proffer it.

Cars and trucks are among the leading emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. And when Berkeley adds jobs but not housing, it forces workers to live elsewhere and commute to the city, thereby creating more greenhouse gases — not less. Darryl Moore and the Berkeley council majority realize this basic truth — and that’s one of the main reasons why they want more people to live in the city, so that workers won’t have to reside in suburbia and then drive to get here.

5. The fact that Doug Herst sold his Peerless Lighting manufacturing business to Acuity Brands is irrelevant, despite Mr. Sheahan apparent claim to the contrary. The fact is, Acuity Brands closed the West Berkeley plant in 2006 because it concluded that it could no longer compete internationally against other businesses that use cheap labor. That’s a worldwide phenomenon that the Berkeley City Council has no power to change.

6. Ms. O’Malley’s contention that Fourth Street between Allston and Bancroft ways is “livelier” now than in the 1990s is ridiculous, considering the fact that the Peerless Lighting manufacturing plant was bustling at that spot in the 1990s, and is now mostly abandoned. Perhaps Ms. O’Malley’s definition of “livelier” means less busy.

7. The argument made by Ms. O’Malley and other opponents of growth in Berkeley that Doug Herst is a “land speculator” because he wants to build condos and apartments in the city is devoid of reality. Berkeley has an intense housing shortage; as any Cal student knows. Down Fourth Street, closer to University Avenue, another housing development was recently built, and people in desperate need of housing snapped up those units quickly. Herst is going to have no trouble finding people who want to live in his nearby ultra-green project.

In fact, anti-growth activists oppose his project precisely because they know it will bring in more residents — which they do not want.

8. Ms. O’Malley seems to think that it’s a big deal that Mr. Herst is bankrolling Measure T. But why is that any different from anti-growth activists working overtime to defeat it? As the story clearly states, Mr. Herst’s proposal may not be built unless Measure T passes. Is it any wonder, then, that he wants it to succeed?

9. Before embarking on a seventeen-year career in journalism, I managed bookstores for thirteen years, and several of them were in Berkeley. My “real world experience,” as Ms. O'Malley calls it, taught me some valuable lessons about the city. First and foremost, Berkeley small retailers desperately need more customers. Second, they depend a lot on Berkeley residents to shop at their stores. But anti-growth folks like Becky O'Malley, who oppose nearly all proposals to attract more residents to the city, make it very, very difficult for small retailers to succeed.

10. Finally, the term “anti-growth.” I decided to use it, because as I was reporting this story, it was the favored term used by progressives in describing folks who oppose more housing in Berkeley; these progressives also prefer anti-growth to the term NIMBY (a term I have used in the past, because I think it’s more apt).

22 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Robert Gammon on 10/13/2012 at 4:10 PM

Re: “Who'll Replace Jane Brunner?

Here's the thing with Mr. Raphael's negative self-presentation. He projects an air of righteous grievance. Everyone else is on the take (except Mr. MacLeay, evidently). And beyond the complaints, there's little hint of a forward program. An interesting tale about his own financial disclosure form, trying to have it several ways. Says basically that it was the fault of the respected firm of Henry C Levi, but not explicitly saying that. And then saying that there had been a failure to communicate, all related in an oddly person-absent voice. Communication is kind of a basic thing, both for an accountant and a potential city councilperson.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by David Cohen on 10/13/2012 at 3:32 PM

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