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Re: “Will Oakland Lose Its Artistic Soul?

my company was needing a form last year and was made aware of a business with lots of fillable forms . If you need it too , here's a

Posted by sussanedavis on 07/19/2016 at 11:21 PM

Re: “Why are Oakland's City-Worker Unions Making it Harder to Fire Bad Cops?

The answer to the question in the title of this article: "Why are Oakland's City-Worker Unions Making it Harder to Fire Bad Cops? " is pretty obvious.

It is the same reason that any union makes it harder to fire any of its members (bad or otherwise). It is a byproduct of who they are and what they do. No union wants (in their view) for management to run roughshod over the union members and make the decisions on who gets hired, fired, working conditions, work rules, time off, whatever. They work hard to protect members even though the protection sometimes protects cheaters, liars, stealers, lazies, whatever. Comes with the package. There is nothing different here - almost...

What is different? Management is, ultimately, the public citizenry. Now, the the shoe is on the other foot and members of our liberal society are bristling at the member protections being defended by the union. So, it is Ok for unions in general but not this one?????

Yes, the stakes are higher given the bad deeds committed by some cops. No doubt about it whatsoever. But, the stakes are higher in protecting the cops too. That means the union needs to be even more vigilant to protect its members - the public moods and emotions along with protesting activists can drive decisions that are not particularly thoughtful, clear and fair - police "discipline" driven by political committees tempted to pander.

For those who are union supportive liberals, this is a dilemma, huh? If the shoe fits.......................Sorry, it ain't that simple. You either support the idea of unions or you don't. Either side of the argument has baggage. It is difficult to talk out of both sides of a mouth.

I like the idea of trying to understand the position of the other side of the argument rather than vilify it.

Posted by Michael Good on 07/19/2016 at 3:48 PM

Re: “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

Today a customer called to state she'd left a review on Yelp for us
July 19, 2016
Ugggnnn!!!! No more bing/yelp for me.
When I search for the problem with their apparent suppression of reviews, I see they recently were drawn into court and have complaints by the thousands in a class action lawsuit
I googled to find out what to do about it and see what others are encountering (since there's no way to contact the bing/yelp monopoly...I did however leave this message on a few OTHER websites where people are all up in arms about the manipulation (apparently they are all saying the same thing....if you advertise with yelp/bing your reviews MIGHT be able to be seen (!!!)

This was the note I wanted to send to Yelp....but they don't have a means of contacting them....what a joke, anonymous terrorists.
"I was called earlier by a woman customer that stated she left us a review on Bing. When searching my company name with the terms " Troy Road Computers Springfield Ohio " I see the company page come up and it states only 1 review, after clicking to see the 1 review I see it states we have 3 reviews, when I click to see what was said, the yelp page states that 'these reviews are not recommended " (!?!) Are you kidding me? I am not one to be extorted or manipulated but AM the type to inform each and every one of our customers that if they are finding that we serviced them appropriately to please use google to do so (to avoid loss). We have our own server and will be updating our notices page to reflect this recent finding with the bing/yelp monopoly asap.
Searching a bit deeper I see there's been others with the same problem with the yelp manipulation."

And to think that I've gone through the extra work of putting bing as one of the links available to a great deal of my customers favorites bar....phhhhttt......just goes to show you, our nation is overrun by capitalizing and it's at all levels.
Capitalists don't appear to be doing such a good job of managing our nation as evidenced by our very real debt/looting (pick your word):

Posted by Kenny Hendrick on 07/19/2016 at 2:22 PM

Re: “Alameda Poised to Become Next California County to Ban Fracking

Yay Alameda County! We got fracking banned in Butte County, you can do it! #ProtectCAfood

Posted by Mary Kay Benson on 07/19/2016 at 1:35 PM

Re: “An East Bay Pimp Trafficked Her Daughter. And the Man that She Turned to For Help Exploited Her For Sex.

After reading the article Betrayal of Trust I was left wondering who I should feel sorry for. Is it Ms. Pendergrass who was taken advantage of? She blames Mr. Mims the ex-con turned public servant. Certainly the young lady who was forced into prostitution is a victim…of poor parenting. Now that she’s pregnant it leaves me to wonder what sort of parenting skills she learned from her mother and what will she be able to pass along to her child. Mom’s a victim. She’s a victim. Clearly this new baby will be the next victim. Who is to blame for this lack of personal responsibility? The timing of this story is unfortunate and I am afraid it only serves to reinforce the racial divide by perpetuating the stereotype of black people as helpless victims who have children out of wedlock and then wind up on welfare. The fact that this whole thing began at a public agency doesn’t bode well for social programs either. Will more social programs alleviate problems like this? Is this story some sort of right wing propaganda? It sure fits the conservative agenda.

Posted by Sigh Coexboifrend on 07/18/2016 at 10:43 AM

Re: “Time for White Americans to be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

"This isn't racist...I'm disgusted by this lame and offensive attempt to make me guilty of a crime I didn't commit."

Remarkably naive or dishonest or both.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/18/2016 at 10:01 AM

Re: “Thousands of Black Lives Matter Activists Shut Down Oakland Freeway, Vandalize Police Headquarters

Protest, OK.
Get change through legal means, OK.
Work with the community and police to make things better, OK.
Smash windows, which happened. Not OK, you should go to jail.
Block traffic, which happened. Not OK, you should go to jail.
Attack people that stand for their rights to express another opinion. Not OK, you should go to jail

Posted by SF Tech on 07/17/2016 at 1:53 AM

Re: “Time for White Americans to be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

This is absolute rubbish.
1. No one alive is a slave or knows a slave.
2. Black people sold black people into slavery as well, there is REAL slavery today in Africa and the Middle East.
3. Black people are told to be proud of their heritage. BUT whites are told we guilty of crimes we didn't commit, crimes before we were born.
4. The black community can protest shootings, but when thugs attack the police they are held up as victims when they are clearly a thug.
5. More white people are killed by the police.
6. 10 times more black people kill black people but this can't be discussed.
7. The black community is about 75% fatherless. Black men who won't take responsibility for their sex without a condom actions.
This isn't racist, this is factcist....if the black community wants to be part of society they need to look inward and gain respect instead of demanding it with blocked streets, looted stores, and daily killing of other black people.. I'm disgusted by this lame and offensive attempt to make me guilty of a crime I didn't commit.

Posted by SF Tech on 07/17/2016 at 1:43 AM

Re: “Why are Oakland's City-Worker Unions Making it Harder to Fire Bad Cops?

Some background on binding arbitration: All City of Oakland employees covered by union contracts have the right to choose to go to binding arbitration to contest discipline imposed by management for violation of work rules that were set by contract negotiations. Alternatively, the employee could choose to go to court and pay big legal fees and court costs.

Binding arbitration does a good job protecting employees from arbitrary, capricious discipline that could be imposed on police officers as much as on City Parks maintenance employees, etc. But typically, arbitrators "split the baby in half" in their decisions. Since it is impossible to half fire someone, terminated police officers invariably get re-instated.

Regardless of a charter amendment, any change to arbitration would not take effect until expiration of current police contract, two years from now.

In addition, Police and Fire sworn personnel also get binding arbitration to resolve contract deadlocked negotiations. No other City unions get that.
Two years ago Palo Alto repealed that type of binding arbitration for police and fire. They promptly reduced fire and police pay by 5%. Police and fire fighters are prohibited by state law from striking.

Binding arbitration for all city employees including police for discipline matters is common in big cities. SF is one of the few big cities that does not allow binding arbitration for serious discipline matters of police and fire.
For discipline matters, the arbitrator is selected by a process of elimination by City Attorney's office staff and the union's attorney (or equivalent) from a pool of arbitrators certified by a state body. Arbitrators who are partial to either management or employee end up without work if both sides are on the ball and exercising their veto power in the selection process.

Everyone except the police union agrees that the discipline binding arbitration process make it very difficult to fire bad cops. There is no consensus on how to fix that without going to the other extreme and eliminating it entirely for at least serious discipline charges. Not simple to fix in an equitable way. For example, if there's a police officer disliked by brass because she/he went to the press to disclose problem within OPD and brass brought bogus charges against them, it wouldn't be good to force the accused cop to file a lawsuit if an arbitrator would do the right thing.

As the article described, the nonpublic safety unions see any reform of police discipline binding arbitration as an attack on binding arbitration for all city workers.

Will T. asked which Council Members refused to approve the amendment with even a mild reform to the method of selecting the arbitrators (which probably would have no effect on the outcome of their decisions). I'd say all of the council members other than Kalb and Gallo.

Personally, I favor a variation of the SF approach combined with an independent Police Commission (SF's is not very independent) where binding arbitration is repealed only for police and only for serious offenses.

But it's more important to establish a strong, politically independent Police Commission none of whose members are chosen directly by any Mayor, with broad oversight and subpoena powers and scope, with its own staff attorney, then to fail approval because of insistence on reforming binding arbitration.

If this charter amendment is approved by voters in November we will have two years until the police contract expires to evaluate whether the Commission is able to fire bad cops and effectively discipline other officers and their supervisors. If we see most of the officers and their supervisors who were complicit in the cover-up of the statutory rape, get off with the usually binding arbitration letter of reprimand plus full back pay and restoral of rank, then we have to come back to Council to repeal binding arbitration for police serious discipline matters.

Regardless of future binding arbitration reform, we have to insist on transparency of all future contract negotiations with the OPOA (police union) so that whether we change arbitration or not, that we make sure the City has negotiated hard for clear enforceable standards of behavior for all police officers, including the brass. Without such rules, it is always going to be difficult for either an arbitrator or a court to uphold a disciplinary action.

Len Raphael, CPA
(opinions expressed are my own)

Posted by Len Raphael on 07/16/2016 at 11:59 PM

Re: “Time for White Americans to be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

This is an insightful commentary with a dire warning. I think all Americans need to take heed and step up to individual responsibility. I KNOW most black Americans don't want blood shed just by their patience and willingness to work with system for decades. By the current status of America on race relations with black Americans, I KNOW that a large majority of white Americans DON'T CARE about race relations with black Americans as an important issue in their daily lives. I KNOW THIS FOR A FACT.....a great portion of white America can come together with other races and elect a black president for two terms, when they think its to their individual benefit but cannot come together in 250 to 300 years over racial injustice to a major racial sect. A major sect of people carrying various degrees of the white blood line too, with a skin color shades deeper. It is my opinion that a large majority of white Americans DON'T WANT TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION. Racial divisiveness continues go be perpetuated in the homes by parents, in the schools by teachers, in the workplace by employers and corporations, in the politic by power grabbers and authority enforcers. So even when Black Americans follow all the rules, rise to the top, wait on the nod or favor of someone in power, they are still disrespected....i.e. President Obama called a liar by a congressman during a State of the Union speech in front of the joint House of Congress and the SCOTUS. When black Americans, white Americans, all Americans, the world, witnesses this behavior....come on, what's next....

Posted by cynthia1948 on 07/16/2016 at 11:56 AM

Re: “Black Lives Matter Now: Short Essays by Express Readers on Racial Injustice in America

We can't hide from the headlines anymore and people from all over the world are now waking up. The European power structure with their religious jargon is now falling on deaf ears. Minorities all over the world are now being awakened.

From my first visits to Cuba, Central America, and Africa, you could feel the change and global revolution among the people worldwide within the air. That's why it's so imperative for people of color to learn their history and to be properly educated on who they are and their history of greatness.

And now I can compare the Black lives matter movement to the civil rights movement of the late 50s and early 60s. Both movements are equally powerful. Whenever I would compare their struggles, I've always thought the civil rights movement was more dangerous because of the lynching.

But now I can sadly say we are still witnessing lynching in 2016 by the same crooked cops, which has sparked the Black lives matter movement all over the world and equally placing both organization's struggles on the same page.

Pretty much we've been treading in shallow waters and nothing has changed. But it's just something special about this generation. I remain hopeful and optimistic that this generation will be victorious in our struggles.

Derrick Newton

Posted by Derrick Newton on 07/16/2016 at 4:52 AM

Re: “Why are Oakland's City-Worker Unions Making it Harder to Fire Bad Cops?

Mary, this goes beyond how bad or not OPD is, beyond how straight or not OPD's IA which is supposed to determine and act on how bad that is, beyond any oversight, to the fact that any judgements any overseeing authority have are HIGHLY unlikely to be acted on due to a systematic bias in favor of officers, REINFORCED AND PROTECTED BY ORGANIZED LABOR. I am very appreciative of recent strides local unions have been making to (yay!) keep coal out of the port, but this behind-the-scenes lobbying to protect BAD COPS, that everyone, including not just the federal overseers, but the OTHER COPS (!!!) agree are bad, is f#*ing disgusting. I'd like to know exactly WHICH city councilmembers have been persuaded that it is a good idea to coddle, placate, PAY and honorably retire these f#*ing scumbags.

Posted by Will T 1 on 07/15/2016 at 7:49 PM

Re: “Why are Oakland's City-Worker Unions Making it Harder to Fire Bad Cops?

The Ortiz case supports my suspicion since the June scandal started-----it's not just the cops who had encounters with Celeste Guap and Ms. Guap is not the only Oakland sex worker or trafficking victim to have been victimized by OPD officers. Keep digging til we know whether the OPD officer-sex worker scandal is limited and or whether OPD IA is a straight-shooting internal watchdog/professional standards organization or instead is using the same playbook as the Catholic church in Boston...

And the next time the Mayor, OPD reps or other City officials say stuff like "it's just the rookies"...."it' will all be fixed by auditing and revising screening and training", call them on that. Some of the officers in the sex and cover-up scandals were rookies, but some were not. The OPD supervisors who cover stuff up (Holmgren, home invasion case) are not rookies/recent recruits and are at the center of OPD's bad culture. Obviously, an officer who has used lethal force, cost the city millions in a settlement, has had his discipline overturned in arbitration and then offends again shows that OPD management spends more time bemoaning arbitration, little if any time correcting any management mistakes that led to the arbitration loss and zero time retraining the subject, formerly fired officers ......

Posted by Mary Vail on 07/15/2016 at 3:20 PM

Re: “Why are Oakland's City-Worker Unions Making it Harder to Fire Bad Cops?

This is all small potatoes.

Remember that our Mayor successfully fired one of the recent new police-chiefs-for-a-day because he might have had an affair a decade ago.

No need to worry about the small stuff. Our Mayor is doing a great job keeping OPD in line.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/15/2016 at 9:38 AM

Re: “Black Lives Matter Now: Short Essays by Express Readers on Racial Injustice in America

While I am honored to have had my piece selected, I'm quite disturbed that it was edited down. The call out was for up to 500 word essays and what I submitted was under that amount...yet the following was edited out. WHY? You asked for perspective, why would you limit mine when the lives of our brothers and sisters of color are on the line? Engage, especially if it makes us uncomfortable. PARTICULARLY if it makes us uncomfortable.

"I say that this impacts OUR community because these are our brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews who are dying, being locked up, and terrorized by people unwilling to interrupt and examine our personal bias as well as laws and policies that disproportionately harm our family of color.
When my black sister is curled up in a ball for days on end after seeing another video of an unarmed black man murdered by police.
When my black brother is numb and hides out in his house to avoid having to talk to anyone after another white man walks free after murdering a black person.
When my black niece makes videos about the pain of black girls not fitting in and it resonates with millions of cis and trans black women.
When my black nephew rehearses with his parents EVERY DAY before he leaves the house what to do if he encounters a police officer knowing that it may very well be an exercise in futility…#PhilandoCastille.
When any of my black family and friends have to weather a breaking point again and again and again….and then be expected to show up in service of curious white people (their boss, the person buying coffee in front of them, their landlord) who want to talk about these horrific events from a voyeuristic curiosity and be re-traumatized again and again and again.

I will NOT be silent while this country does this to my family. YOUR life matters, black family.
White family, if you see, you are EXPECTED to raise your voice and be in action with us. If you don’t see, you are EXPECTED to open your eyes. The atrocities we see (when we choose to look) on our own soil by far outweigh the smoke and mirrors our government and media will have you believe about "outside terrorism" coming in. Scared of ISIS? Try being black in any city in America. ISIS is not the priority. The liberation of our family being terrorized right in front of our closed eyes is the priority. Look, listen, learn, engage, stand up… know full well you’d burn the courthouse down if this was your brother or sister. Well, it is. Light the match, family.

#blacklivesmatter #noneofusarefreeuntilweareallfree"

Maureen Benson,
Oakland, CA

Posted by shakingmyheadindisbelief on 07/14/2016 at 10:28 PM

Re: “Black Lives Matter Now: Short Essays by Express Readers on Racial Injustice in America

Poignant, but, no, emphatically no, it is NOT always the same race. Use some facts once in a while too. (directed at Cuffs and Coffins above) That any killing of any person anywhere is a tragedy is a given. People of all races are treated in all kinds of horrific ways. Do not hallucinate within your racial being. WE all can do this: Chinese, Irishmen, Sudanese and American blacks. Try using some facts too. Finally, leadership from the top has been horrid in the USA. A total bust. Can these things above be said and still feel empathy. Of course. It is for each individual to explain how he feels. I can't speak for you and you can't speak for me.

Posted by Ken White on 07/14/2016 at 12:42 PM

Re: “Three Days in July: On Why Racial Justice in America Shouldn't Require Debate.

By reposting these images of oppression and murder (my word), we are not "…willingly spam(ing) each other with these bloody scenes…" but exposing the 'truth' of our experience in a culture that refuses to accept the evil among us. It teaches. It indicts. It reiterates solidarity. What does trifle it however, is lazy journalism.

Posted by phlpshoh on 07/13/2016 at 8:18 PM

Re: “Time for White Americans to be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

Again it is time for whites to wake up if they want to save the nation. For almost 100 years after the Civil War, whites in the south extended slavery in a de facto way with racist Jim Crow laws. At the same time, whites ignored these racist laws and terrorist tactics of the KKK along side State and local Police. Even JFK in his early Presidency was reluctant to get involved in the southern quandary, despite pressure from MLK and other civil rights groups. The Feds easy default was to let the States handle their own problems in their own way despite evidence that they had no intention of complying with the law. It took the murders of white freedom riders in Mississippi to awaken the country to the level of terrorism Blacks lived under every day. Only then did we have Federal legislation in the passing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Both were reflective of the fact that 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Blacks were not free and had never been treated as full citizens. In the last two weeks we saw film of 2 Black men murdered by white cops in Baton Rouge and St Paul. Even after Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Ferguson Missouri, Eric Gardner and others, unarmed Black men continue to be killed by law enforcement with no consequences. We also saw cops murdered in Dallas by an armed maniac fed up with the corrupt Police culture. White America needs to once again wake up and get involved. The entire criminal justice system needs reform. When you have local Police funding their own jobs on the backs of poor people of color and you have a prison system motivated by profit, their is a systemic problem. The Dallas event should put America on notice that Black people are tired of marching, praying and going to funerals. Mark my words, these young kids who grow up in neighborhoods terrorized by cops, with no dreams of a future other than oppression, incarceration and death will turn to violence. Whites need to get involved and pressure politicians to get off their asses and do something about gun control legislation and
changes to the criminal justice system. Do not allow Police unions and idiots like Rudy Guiliani to defend the status quo by racist distraction and victim blaming. Those are exactly the people who need to shut up, go away and make room for change. If they don't there will be more events like Dallas in our future.

Posted by Gary Patton on 07/13/2016 at 4:52 PM

Re: “Alameda Poised to Become Next California County to Ban Fracking

Great article to get citizens proactive in the PREVENTATIVE fight. Not easy to do when people are working multiple jobs just to pay high housing costs. And so sad after the dirty industry gets its way and is making people fatally sick.

Posted by Boudicca Hot-toddy Todi on 07/13/2016 at 1:36 PM

Re: “California Traffic Tickets Amnesty Program Leaves Many Behind

I've got a bit of bad news for the direction this is going. It is NOT a black thing that this is happening to. I am a white female, and I have been thru exactly what this article states happened to this gentlemen. It doesn't matter what color you are. These corrupt police and policy makers direct law enforcement to stalk its prey because giving tickets is a huge revenue for this twisted counties that participate in this unjust way of policing. Thank god I have every piece of document saved so that one day when I connect with the right person, I'll be ready to expose all the fraud and document tampering traffic courts routinely practice. Along with their side kicks Alliance One who is just as guilty as the courts.

Posted by Andrea Dgeorge on 07/13/2016 at 11:45 AM

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