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Comment Archives: stories: Blogs: Last 7 Days

Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

Probably the same reason why Indians in India might protest against Americans for eating beef.

Posted by David Ell on 07/30/2016 at 3:37 AM

Re: “Mayor's Power Will Grow if Voters Approve Oakland Police Commission

The argument over all appointments thru selection/nomination ctee. or having Mayor directly appointment three was not about increasing or decreasing the power of the Mayor, it was so not about Libby...it was not about saving democracy and Mayoral accountability.........It was about both removing direct influence of the OPOA over who gets nominated and more importantly, getting the OPOA and electoral politics influences out of the Commission's decision making. In a City where the police union both bullies politicians and has a substantial role in running OPD, that separation is essential. The Oakland Post reports that the Mayor told Council members that she would run an opponent against them if they voted against her direct appointments.....And believe me, if Post has facts right, that threat is not about her career or preserving the executive powers as Mayor.....it's Libby going to war on behalf of the OPOA. Lastly, the undue influence of police unions is a problem throughout CA (they bully the State Legislautre, too). As I told the Council, in SF (Police Commission appointments are direct by the electeds and shared between Bd. of Supes and Mayor).....SF District Attorney Task Force (made up of retired judges) issued study earlier this month saying SFPOA had way too much influence over SFPD policy and operaions and that the SF Commission, to the City's detriment had failed to exercise many of its policy oversight prerogatives....

Posted by Mary Vail on 07/29/2016 at 8:46 PM

Re: “Controversial 'Bulletproof' Police Firearms Training Canceled by Santa Clara Sheriff

Congrats to Susan Harmon and the others in the Privacy Council who prevailed in stopping this training. There is a growing movement in law enforcement to embrace the idea of guardians instead of warriors. Training such as that put on by the Killology Research Group go against this trend and perpetuate the 'us' vs 'them' mentality that relies on the use of force rather than de
escalation strategies that are now being taught in San Francisco.

Posted by Rashida Grinage on 07/29/2016 at 4:54 PM

Re: “Expert: You Don't Have to Be a State Resident to Get Medical Marijuana In California Right Now

But what about this: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/MMP/Pages/MMPPatientsRespon.aspx

Posted by Dave Butler on 07/29/2016 at 1:32 PM

Re: “Controversial 'Bulletproof' Police Firearms Training Canceled by Santa Clara Sheriff

If you want to make sure you'll go home to your family every night, don't be a cop--or a fireman, Coast Guard seaman, infantryman, etc--because that's not part of the job description; making sure the rest of us get to go home to our families *is*.

Posted by Miles Monroe on 07/29/2016 at 12:58 PM

Re: “Updated: Oakland Pot Union Bribery Scandal Exposed

when a Union Official squanders over half a Million Dollar$ of unclean money in Las Vegas, on personal property, paying street gang bills and secret interests, isn't there a tax liability?

Where's the IRS?

Posted by Alan Anderson on 07/29/2016 at 10:54 AM

Re: “Mayor's Power Will Grow if Voters Approve Oakland Police Commission

I haven't read the measure in detail, but if Brooks and Kaplan are against it, it's probably good for Oakland.

Posted by alphie noakes on 07/29/2016 at 6:30 AM

Re: “Mayor's Power Will Grow if Voters Approve Oakland Police Commission

Grinage: "The ballot measure strips the City Administrator of that authority [to discipline officers] and hands it to a sub-committee of the police commission -- a group of Oakland residents who are volunteers." That is welcome candor, folks. Ms. Grinage, who has spewed demagogic venom at OPD since her son started a gunfight with officers sent to pick up his vicious dog in 1993, has her "group of Oakland volunteers" all ready to jump on this. Meanwhile, Oakland residents suffer in a city that has half the police and two to three times the burglaries, robberies, and assaults of most major cities.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 07/28/2016 at 9:40 PM

Re: “Fake 'Organic' Pot Gardening Products Yanked From Oregon Stores

SNS 217C Stop Order Lifted
Update: The Washington State Department of Ag informed SNS that they have lifted the Stop Sale of SNS 217C.

Posted by Teri Perigen Vitigo on 07/28/2016 at 12:53 PM

Re: “Mayor's Power Will Grow if Voters Approve Oakland Police Commission

With all due respect, Darwin, I cannot agree with your analysis. Currently, the Mayor appoints all of the members of the Citizens' Police Review Board. Under the proposed measure, the Mayor can appoint only 3 of the 7 commissioners and they are subject to public input and Council confirmation. Currently, the City Administrator who is hired by the Mayor and reports to the Mayor decides on discipline for officers who are found to have violated OPD policy or General Orders. The ballot measure strips the City Administrator of that authority and hands it to a sub-committee of the police commission -- a group of Oakland residents who are volunteers - not employees. The Commission can also unilaterally fire the police chief with a super majority vote.

So, the notion that this measure enhances or enlarges the power of the Mayor is difficult to accept, given the historical and current circumstances. The fact that it is not as independent as the Coalition for Police Accountability had intended cannot be translated into an argument that it increases the power of the Mayor.

There are other provisions as well that serve to increase the community's involvement in police practices and policies, budget allocations and the Commission can investigate any public safety issues that arise even if no official complaint has been filed.

All in all, if this measure is passed by the voters, it will significantly shift the authority over the police department away from the City Administration and provide a much greater role for Oakland residents to impact how our neighborhoods are served by Oakland police officers.

In summary: although it is not as much as the Coalition had hoped for, this Charter change is a dramatic improvement over the status quo and sets the stage for further reforms in the years to come.

Posted by Rashida Grinage on 07/27/2016 at 10:35 PM

Re: “Oakland Designer's Ugly Donald Trump Coloring Book Raises Thousands for Immigrants

Trump deserves to be treated as a buffoon and as a serious danger. Congrats to Joey Yang for covering the buffoon angle so well!

Posted by Will Leben 1 on 07/27/2016 at 3:39 PM

Re: “Oakland Cell Phone Surveillance Vote Postponed to Improve Privacy Protections

What are the penalties for police violating the policy, or using the surveillance equipment to spy on people without justification? If they can still use the gear to wrongfully invade our privacy and no one is held accountable, that's not acceptable.

Posted by Starchild on 07/27/2016 at 12:21 AM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

I am glad to hear that Rashidah Grinage and Pamela Drake of the Coalition are still positive about the likely benefits of the prospective Police Commission.

It is a sad fact that the realization of the Commission is coming at possibly the worst possible time with the Police Officers Association with its hackles up so the process is fraught with a great deal of mistrust. And of course the Mayor is concerned above all with protecting her administrative power. The Council is having to do a lot of work in a very short period of time in their characteristic reactive "last minute" mode rather than in an extended process of democratic outreach and reflection and planning ahead. This sort of policymaking, although typical of Oakland, isn't guaranteed to produce the best possible outcomes.

Although I have for many years supported a Police Commission for Oakland, these days I am also feeling very sympathetic with our cops because of the revolving door of the Chiefs, the ongoing low morale and constant high level of attrition and the Mayor's utter irrationality and incompetence.

I'm also very concerned about the citizens who don't have nearly the level of police service they need and deserve, and who at the same time bear the high dollar costs of our department due to lawsuits and constant turnover. All this in a time when there is no evident leadership or vision for the future.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/25/2016 at 11:38 PM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

Pamela is correct. Does the Commission still have 'teeth?' It may not have wisdom teeth, but it still has molars. The most important accomplishment of the measure is that it cuts the City Administrator out of the disciplinary process. This is a major reform. Although the Coalition is not getting everything we wanted, placing this item on the ballot is a significant step in what will be an ongoing process to bring the Oakland community into the process of how it is policed and will strengthen the ability to hold accountable officers who abuse their authority, racially profile and violate Department policy. The glass is not full, but it is more full than empty. No doubt there will be more work needed in the future, but make no mistake: this is a victory that should be celebrated and the work will soon begin to ensure a win in November!

Posted by Rashida Grinage on 07/25/2016 at 9:45 PM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

Wow. How many more teeth will get pulled out of this thing by Tuesday?

Christopher Fallis
Oakland, CA

Posted by Christopher Fallis on 07/25/2016 at 1:40 PM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

This "strong Mayor" proposal smacks of Jerry Brown's administration...
Let's make the police officers get private insurance for firearms, that way if they engage in activity that results in unjustified use of force with a firearm it will come directly out of their pocket or the pocket of the police union....
Read my Facebook pages for the rest of the solution to the problems facing Oakland and the rest of California...
" Real Estate Crisis or Government Sanctioned Racketeering?"
Regards, Allen Sanford

Posted by Allen Sanford on 07/25/2016 at 10:27 AM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

I am still formulating my thoughts on the final proposal and the coalition will set a date to meet and vote on whether to endorse it after Tuesday's final council vote.
At one point we had discussed an "elastic clause" with CM Kalb and CM Gallo to prevent the scope from being narrowed. We'll continue to lobby for that language until Tuesday evening.
We are disappointed in the mayor and council's inflexibility on the issue of her appointments. It seems a compromise to this
mayor is that she gets everything she wants.

But it is NOT gutted and is stronger than the original council proposal. We hope people will understand the level of hard work put in by both the coalition-all of us, including people who emailed, called or spoke at council and the CMs who struggled with us and each other. This is landmark legislation that many said couldn't be done. In a city with a tradition of terrible police misconduct and little credibility, change has come.

Posted by Pamela Drake on 07/25/2016 at 9:25 AM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

Sounds gutted to me.

Posted by JP Massar on 07/25/2016 at 7:42 AM

Re: “Marijuana Laws On The Ballot in Seven States And Climbing This November Election

Of course, the "old Guard" republicans in Michigan, have pulled out all the tricks they could and have silence the voices & will of the citizens in Michigan. The Kingdom has put the kibosh to a rec. marijuana vote. (for now only - it will be back)

Posted by Mark Chartier on 07/24/2016 at 2:32 PM

Re: “What A Trump Presidency Would Mean for Marijuana Law Reform: Worry

I sure it becomes legal all over the world. I live on the Big Island & grow the best smoke on the island. If I could burn with Trump he'd be all for it. Come on Mr. Trump, let's burn some.

Posted by Keatz Mcintosh on 07/23/2016 at 3:17 PM

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