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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Opinion

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

"By sending your children to your neighborhood public school, you are helping them by giving them the chance to develop empathy and navigational skills."

Gee and all this time I thought by sending your children to public school, you were simultaneously dooming them to limited post-high school options while silently affirming the stupidity of Prop. 13 where most folks who have lived in the Bay for 15 years or longer are simply not contributing their fare share to public education.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Bob Mulrooney on 06/16/2014 at 3:28 PM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

I was raised in a small town in Montana in the 70's. I did not notice it at the time, but there was a black girl in my class and an Hispanic boy. It wasn't until years later that I realized this. We all loved playing together and we did not even know what prejudice was (let alone racism).

If you look at the diversity and empathy, I do not see how there is any connection. Diversity is not necessary to empathy. When I was a kid, we had empathy without noticing the differences between us.

Of course, we were all poor. So, I suppose our racial diversity was greater than our class diversity. Maybe the author is using race as a proxy for class. Now, class is where people could use more empathy, and not just from one side.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Gary Baker on 06/13/2014 at 10:58 PM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

Kevin, alas, no. Thanks to various machinations over the years, the state pays schools for butts in seats. (The taxpaying parents of private school kids are paying into that fund just as much as people who send their kids there.) Not whether the brains attached to those butts are learning anything. This is called ADA (average daily attendance) and is a source of institutional obsession, including the all-important obsession with making sure absences are "excused" because then the school gets paid. The whole debacle has resulted in a whole lot of energy being put into confining kids who don't want to learn, and letting them wreak havoc with those who do.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 06/13/2014 at 8:51 AM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

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 06/13/2014 at 8:19 AM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

Doesn't more kids in private school mean more dollars per student available in the public school system? If so, shouldn't we encourage those that can afford it to send their kids to private? BTW I think that kids in private can be just as empathetic as those in public.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kevin Long on 06/12/2014 at 9:13 AM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

Kudos to Ms. Schafer for reporting her experience and perspective. In my experience, Tech has some excellent teachers and it is indeed possible to get a great education there. It would be even better if the classroom behavior she describes were effectively eliminated; it is not a valuable experience to see one's peers get away with that nonsense and be able to adversely affect your education that way.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 06/12/2014 at 9:02 AM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

I am tired of being lectured by school board members that if I don't submit my child to the public school system, I am somehow creating a scenario where "everyone loses".
Maybe they could demonstrate their commitment to public schooling by driving their kids from the North Pole of Oakland to one of the schools that are less Euro-American? You know; one of the schools where the PTA doesn't raise multiple thousands of dollars to supplement the curriculum.
Where is the evidence that Oakland Public Schools are improving significantly?
Is it that white parents are willing to send their kids to Tech?

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by roberttownsenddc346c on 06/12/2014 at 8:01 AM

Re: “A's Fans Caught in Middle, Again

Pity the taxpayer. To be an A's fan you can live here or not, you can go to the games or not; but as an Alemeda county resident and or an Oakland resident we're stuck with whatever bad deal is imposed. Why should this be any different than the bad Raiders deal, the $5million dispute described above, the Warriors deal that may cost $62 million, the $2Billion pension/healthcare shortfall, the OPD settlement deals, the Goldman Sachs swap deal.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Diver on 05/01/2014 at 1:10 PM

Re: “A's Fans Caught in Middle, Again

Actually Mr. Ferrier, I am too young for physical newspapers. I use news websites like the one we're on now to save trees. "Ton of leverage", you got be kidding. Must be fantasy land with two sites for a stadium and imaginery funding from Dubai prince. =)

I like the current Oakland Coliseum as it is, convenient near BART, even though its got plumbing issues...but even new big stadiums would have some structual shortfalls inherent in upkeep with Earthquakes, natural wind and water damage.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Peter Yuan Liu on 04/30/2014 at 4:03 PM

Re: “A's Fans Caught in Middle, Again

Actually Mr. Liu, the city has a Tom of leverage. The A's have been legally blocked from leaving Oakland. And local business people have proposed viable strategies to build stadiums on two different sites. The city has never been in a better position to get the A's to stay.

Before you comment on an issue you obviously don't understand, pick up a newspaper.

4 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Rob Ferrier on 04/30/2014 at 8:32 AM

Re: “A's Fans Caught in Middle, Again

The city does not have any leverage at this point. If they decide to move elsewhere, it is their choice. However, when I am mayor of this city, under the Community Empowered Safety Plan, I will turn Oakland into an economic powerhouse that rivals the Hong Kong of China. At that point, sport teams from the west coast of the United States will be begging to play here at the "model city" and they will pay a premium to the city for that honor. Until then, if there are no teams staying, our stadium will be played by local high schools and community colleges.

http://oaklandwiki.org/Peter_Y._Liu

9 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Peter Yuan Liu on 04/29/2014 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Getting Smart About Public Safety

Kaplan is nothing more than a political panderer.

Did you know she has threatened to cut the police force further if Oakland residents do not renew the Measure Y taxes? Mind you, this comes after the fact that Oakland residents paid Measure Y taxes and yet, the City Council still cut the police force while these taxes were being collected. Kaplan had absolutely no right to make those threats!

11 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by John Blankenship on 04/24/2014 at 6:47 PM

Re: “Getting Smart About Public Safety

This piece of writing is a perfect example of why Oakland’s electeds are completely over their heads regarding how to manage Oakland’s resources and to meet our needs for better public safety.

Kaplan is right on one matter--Oakland cops haven’t been used well to control crowds and the costs of this are unaffordable.

Kaplan’s approach is utterly misguided and is typical of our governmental dysfunction. It’s misguided because it looks at only one aspect of a complex series of problems, thus any resulting policymaking is virtually guaranteed not to solve the problem at hand and to cause further problems.

Oakland’s police/public safety/finance problems all have to do with our lack of a comprehensive plan to deal with them and no specific official or agency with the responsibility to carry such a plan to fruition.

Rather than looking at one little aspect--crowd control failures and costs, we need to create a public safety plan which looks at what resources we have, what resources are needed and needs to set specific priorities and goals for moving forward. We also need a competent agency to manage such a plan and all related resources--comprehensively, day-to-day. Most cities which do this successfully have a police commission and/or commissioner--someone who knows how to run a cop shop efficiently and ethically.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Michele Ocla on 04/24/2014 at 2:24 PM

Re: “Getting Smart About Public Safety

I am the World's Smartest Leader. God tells me to spread the Community Empowered Safety Plan to the world and an army of the righteous will spring forth to bring World Peace to Earth. No kidding.

http://oaklandwiki.org/Peter_Y._Liu

20 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Peter Yuan Liu on 04/23/2014 at 4:43 PM

Re: “Getting Smart About Public Safety

Unfortunately Rebecca (the red) Kaplan has just taken up space instead of getting into the grit of explaining in great detail how to re form OPD. even worse for demotro polis. It is a fluff piece that Kaplan has written trying to absolve herself of complicity in the abysmal performance of OPD. OPD has had the greatest payouts per capita of any city in the region. There is no doubt that OPD needs reforming. She's correct in pointing out that "drag stabilized rounds" aren't to be used for crowd control and that's what OPD used- so is RK asking for the officer in charge badge? Not really and Oaklanders paid $4.5MM and $2MM in this instance. She's arguing that OPD should not be used for crowd control- she's not afraid, lol. remember the downtown riots? Of course there has to be some public safety units to respond to rioters. She goes on with meaningless statistics- there hasn't been a riot in a while so when she averages out crowd control on a daily basis one would think OPD is actually deploying 20 officers a day for crowd control- I don't believe they are. They are deployed when needed. She states she wants more police- almost everybody does except for Dan Siegel- however even with the police academy's we only have 647 officers and how many on sick leave? 647 according to all except Siegel are too few but our finances are limited. RK how are you going to pay for more officers (and at $250,000 a pop how many can we afford? Lay it out please. How must we say no to gun crimes, robberies, and home invasions- she doesn't say. She says she'd rather spend the money on technology- but the officers still need $24MM in radios, pretty basic. RK has a many problems with OPD 1. she is accused of comparing them to abusive priests and she was at a protest ostensibly blocking officers from performing their work.

I agree with her that "Oakland residents deserve to know we are making the best use of public safety resources that we possibly can." I would argue that Oakland residents deserve the best use of resources- not only OPD but every other department. We see very little value for dollar here :(

12 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jeff Diver on 04/23/2014 at 3:57 PM

Re: “Getting Smart About Public Safety

the police came to my door 5 times in one year for noise complaints from my downstairs neighbor. the noise? my partner's snoring. 5 times. 2 officers. the last time, they apparently stood outside of our apt for 20 minutes listening for the mystery noise. if we had lived in fruitvale or further into east oakland and not at a building on the lake, would snoring be cause for 5 visits from 2 officers? as lovely as the officers were on their visits, it strikes me as a poor use of resources.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Edward Cervantes on 04/23/2014 at 2:20 PM

Re: “Getting Smart About Public Safety

the city of oakland should pass legislation which makes paying out settlements and lawsuits for police misconduct, brutality, and murder with taxpayer funds a crime . these lawsuits should be paid with the offending officers' and their superiors' own funds, along with funds from police union and whatever city officials are authorizing these uses of force . every officer causing loss of funds due to their unconstitutional actions should be immediately fired, and the intent to do so should be written into law . every officer charged or accused with violence or other unconstitutional actions against people should be immediately suspended without pay until the matter is resolved

people are locked up until trial when accused (quite often wrongfully on purpose) of any crime, unless we can afford bail . this should be the same for police officers, especially those with a history of unresolved (ie dismissed by their buddies in blue) complaints

we need a government that will pressure prosecutors to file and actively pursue convictions against every officer who breaks the law . we need to end the policy of 'internal' investigations, and hold police accountable through the courts for every infraction, including every illegal abduction without evidence, every lie in court, every instance of misconduct which violates a person's civil rights

the violation of a person's civil rights is a felony

the city of oakland, having made decisions to waste money hiring bill bratton, and waste money starting war against people for exercising our constitutional rights, is operating as an illegitimate government . it's time you all step aside and make room for the people of oakland to re-create government BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by demotro polis on 04/23/2014 at 12:11 PM

Re: “Oyster Company's Appeal Is a Sham

Don't know about you, but I like to eat, and the idea of cutting off 40% of the shellfish California produced during the middle of a drought, creating more scarcity and higher food prices does not feel like a smart move on the part of our government. In case you aren't familiar with oysters, they clean the water. The shells they produce are non-toxic.
These kind of moves by against food producers are driving up prices all over the country and will hurt a lot of incumbent Democrats in November.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Sebra Leaves on 04/20/2014 at 2:33 PM

Re: “Ban Fracking Now

Fracking has been around for 65 years. You wonder how many farms we're contaminated with the 500 to 700 chemicals they use. We live in what is called the Pacific Flyway. Where birds fly, north and south in the fall and spring. You wonder how many birds have stopped to drink, from the holding ponds laced with these deadly chemicals.
Over 2,00 Fracking sites already in our state, with holding ponds that are allowed to evaporate and contaminate the very air we breathe.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Phillip Moya on 03/27/2014 at 3:59 AM

Re: “Save Water the Delicious Way

Kristie Middleton got it right. Reducing (or eliminating) consumption of animal products needs to be recognized as the number 1 water-saving strategy for Californians to focus on.

The New York Times printed an op-ed by James McWilliams of Texas State University on March 8 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/opinion/meat-makes-the-planet-thirsty.html) in which he says: "Changing one’s diet to replace 50 percent of animal products with edible plants like legumes, nuts and tubers results in a 30 percent reduction in an individual’s food-related water footprint. Going vegetarian, a better option in many respects, reduces that water footprint by almost 60 percent."

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Kevin Sage on 03/21/2014 at 12:15 PM

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