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Comment Archives: stories: Blogs

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

The PHI study did not confirm a total pass through of the tax to consumers. What it did show is that some retailers were passing through the tax to consumers, to greater or lesser degrees, and some were not. The small grocers were generally not. They are a competitive disadvantage if they have to sell higher priced soda than neighboring stores in Albany etc. that do not have the tax, and have fewer resources to absorb it. http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_2913761…

Posted by MarleenLee on 08/15/2016 at 5:21 PM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

I watched a consumer grab a $1.79 16 oz soda from a refrigerator at a cash register and buy it without asking or caring about the price, which was higher than the food they were buying. If consumers who will be impacted are not price sensitive, the tax is irrelevant.

The people against soda need to work on having a substitute that is acceptable by consumers. Otherwise, they will just be paying more...and will buy cheaper, less good food.

Posted by OaktownGirl 1 on 08/15/2016 at 11:51 AM

Re: “"Quiet Storm" Brand May Dissolve in Wake of KBLX Sale

when the genre smooth jazz hit the scene, and replaced modern jazz. That's when the Quiet Storm got a little to quiet for me. I bailed on this station years ago.

Posted by Kenny Reigh on 08/14/2016 at 6:24 PM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

MarLeenLee et al: The Contra Costa Times (now East Bay Times) article is based on 1 person checking soda prices in 4 stores over a year ago in May 2015. Since then, researchers at UC Berkeley have confirmed that "Approximately 3 months after the tax was implemented, SSB [sugar-sweetened beverage] retail prices increased more in Berkeley than in nearby cities." [http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302881]

That conclusion was confirmed later in 2015 when Public Health Institute presented preliminary findings from their BEST (Berkeley Evaluation of Soda Tax) study to the American Public Health Association. PHI concluded that "the one cent per ounce tax has been fully passed on to the retail pricing of sugar sweetened beverages in large and small chain supermarkets and chain gas stations." In fact, that study - the most thorough evaluation of Berkeley’s SSB excise tax at the time - revealed that the price of SSBs increased by MORE than the 1 cent per ounce anyone hoped a pass-through of the tax would achieve! [http://www.phi.org/uploads/application/files/qi9zljgph8jvfuu6g8q9j703sk5v6ei1tzy2jdkds8s87kpjfm.pdf]

The evidence collected so far reveals that anyone who claims the tax is A) not increasing the cost of SSBs, B) increasing the cost of untaxed beverages, or C) both, is either misinformed or lying. Of course, the beverage industry will cite out-of-date and poorly-researched articles as part of their propaganda, so we must remain vigilant to catch their deceptive practices.

Posted by B Safrutord on 08/14/2016 at 2:59 PM

Re: “Answering Some Reader Questions about the Kay Sorg Arrest

I guess being an awesome teacher gives you a hall pass to go down on your students.

Daughter: Mom, I have to tell you something. My teacher has been molesting me.

Mom: Is she a good teacher or a bad teacher? If she won any awards we are gonna let that slide....

All the people who supported this child molestor would feel completely different if it was their kid. 15 years later is when the victim was able to get the strength to report it.

*** I love the girl that said she stayed after class and Mrs. Sorg didn't hit on her. I love the assumption that Mrs. Sorg just munches on everything and anything

Posted by Seliena Calban and Bianca Cano on 08/12/2016 at 10:26 PM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

MarLeenLee: The grocers aren't the distributors, they are the retailers.

And with regard to the article you cite, that was an opinion piece written shortly after the Berkeley law passed. The only statistics that the author relies on are his own price-point comparison of two stores in Berkeley to two stores in Concord--that is not sound statistics.

Posted by Tommy Katz on 08/12/2016 at 4:39 PM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

It is the proponents of this tax that are being deceptive, not the beverage industry. Read the measure. Really. Read it. The actual tax must be paid by the beverage distributors - i.e. the grocers. The grocers do NOT need to increase the cost of sodas by a single penny, and if you look at how Berkeley's tax worked, apparently the cost of soda did not go up by one penny. http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_28170…
What actually happens is that most grocers decide to absorb the cost themselves, or distribute to consumers by upping the cost of all groceries. So it IS a grocery tax. And the money gets dumped into the general fund with no requirement that the money be spent on any health programs.

Posted by MarleenLee on 08/12/2016 at 12:48 PM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

As an earlier commentor mentioned: if soda taxes had no effect on gross sales revenue, then soda companies would not care at all about them.

We know that these soda companies are spending millions - risking their reputation within the health community - to defeat these ballot measures because they are terrified of losing consumers.

Basic economics suggests that when you tax a product its consumption goes down. Soda consumption contributes disproportionately to tooth decay and type 2 diabetes.

Therefore, taxing soda will save many lives. Not a hard argument to make.

Posted by Travis Close on 08/12/2016 at 12:14 AM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

The deceptiveness of the ads in your mailbox and on your television should convince you that something is scaring the American Beverage Industry. If they're that scared, I urge you to vote YES! Tax the high fructose corn syrup drinks! We tax liquor. Why not soda pop?! It is NOT a "grocery tax" and the grocers appearing in the ads have probably been as mislead as everyone else.

Posted by Maryly Snow on 08/11/2016 at 11:52 PM

Re: “Chief Justice Seeks Emergency Traffic Court Reform, Jerry Brown Pushes Amnesty Program

But certainly don't take mine or anybody's else word as truth. Always research for yourselves before ever coming to any of your own conclusions. Spouting off regurgitated information tends to make us look foolish in the eye's of those who know and are aware of the truth's.

Posted by Izraul Hidashi on 08/11/2016 at 7:29 PM

Re: “Chief Justice Seeks Emergency Traffic Court Reform, Jerry Brown Pushes Amnesty Program

Why are people thanking them? Oh, that's right, cause they do not understand what it's really about? So I'll gladly explain. You see, when a giant unlawful scheme comes under scrutiny by the public, it tends to draw unwanted attention. And when the number of people who start to wake up and take it upon themselves to research facts, then question authority based on those facts, you start to notice things which never happen, done by people who never give and always take, such as amnesty. And you can always bet there's some ulterior motive which has nothing to do with kindness or caring for anyone other than themselves.

For example, if you recall the illegal contracts with red flex, the Australian company behind the red light camera's, that came under scrutiny by citizens who were tired of being abused and extorted by corrupt officials acting under color of law. They, taking it upon themselves to dig into matters, uncovered a slew of unlawful problematic issues and gross violations by officials that could no longer be ignored. So the system, being as kind as it is, suddenly and cheerfully, offered amnesty to thousands of drivers who had pending cases, or had not yet paid fines.

Those drivers were happy,.... until sometime later when the real issues came out, and municipalities were forced to return some of the peoples money. By "some of the people", I mean, it did not include those who participated in the ever so gracious and cleverly premeditated plans to fleece the public for as much as they could while they still had the chance, all under the guise of amnesty.

It's a funny thing when people start to wake up and look into facts for themselves. My guess is people other than myself must have come across past traffic engineering manuals and took a closer look at how surveys were being done and applied to the legal factors used to convict offenders for crimes without prosecutors, to substitute in the place of non-existent evidence. They also must have then noticed the odd issues of the seemingly artificial lowering of speed limits under false pretenses, which not only cause more tickets to be issued, but an increase of accidents as well.

The question must of then begged them, as it did me, who exactly would be liable for all the damages that might have been caused as a result of the city merely trying to screw the public out of more money? Exactly how many unlawful and invalid tickets were issued to people who were actually not in violation of the presumed limit laws? And more importantly, just how much revenue has been consistently generated through such illegal and harmful practices, and all under the guise of public safety? Oooops! Or was I the only that noticed.

And that's not even counting the issues of intentional deceptive language that's been used to falsely require registration of millions of "private automobiles" as "commercial motor vehicles" for illicit profit. Oh what tangled webs we weave.

Posted by Izraul Hidashi on 08/11/2016 at 6:50 PM

Re: “Las Vegas Now A Bust for Most California Medical Pot Patients

A lot of people who live in Nevada have California marijauna medical cards but not California State Issued cards. A person who resides in NV can not get a Ca state issued card. People who reside in NV get these cards from Ca because it is cheaper, less of a wait and California Cards are not obtained at the DMV. Nobody wants the police to know that they have a medical marijuana card. If a cop pulls you over for any minor violation and checks your dmv record then it is quite possible for that office to administer a DUI test and take you to the hospital for a blood test. Considering the 2ng law a person might be charged with a DUI even if that person is not under the influence and had not smoked for a week or two. What is safer for a person living in Nevada who has to drive some times. Getting a Nevada mj medical card or a California mj recommendation?

Posted by Betty Dekota on 08/11/2016 at 5:05 PM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

@Garden Gal, from the pro-soda tax campaign's web site: >>>The tax is estimated to generate $6-8 million per year and all tax revenue will go into the city’s general fund. Accountability is written into the measure: the measure creates a Community Advisory Board with representatives from health, dental care, and nutrition, as well as parents from the Oakland Unified School District and residents of communities most impacted by the negative health effects of sugary drink consumption. The Board will make recommendations to the City Council about funding programs that improve children’s health and will issue annual public reports detailing the impact of funded programs.<<<
http://www.oaklandvsbigsoda.com/faq

This is similar to the community advisory board that has been overseeing the Measure DD funding that renovated Lake Merritt, where the citizens oversight process has worked well. I know many people are cynical about allowing money to pass through the General Fund, but to structure it to have its own separate account puts it into a category of ballot measures for which election laws require a super-majority of 66% to pass, a very difficult standard to achieve. With the example of the Measure DD money, I am willing to trust this process and I support this tax.

Posted by Valerie Winemiller on 08/11/2016 at 4:29 PM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

how will the revenue from such a tax be spent?

Posted by garden gal on 08/11/2016 at 3:41 PM

Re: “Marijuana Legalization Proponents Sue Sen. Dianne Feinstein Over Proposition 64

@Dave Armstrong: Gonzales v. Raich took *three years* to wind its way through the court system before it *lost* in the SCOTUS; assuming your lawsuits even get that far--and many others have tried the same route and failed--that's still at least 15,000 people busted for weed *per year* in California alone until the case is *even heard*, because there are no "right now" (!) shortcuts; and if the decision goes against you--as it very likely could, given the court's current and probable future makeup--then what?
- OR -
Less than *three months* from now, we can *definitely* end the prohibition of possession, cultivation, sales to, and use of cannabis by adults not only in California, but Nevada, Arizona, Maine, and Massachusetts, plus medical use in Florida, North Dakota, and possibly even Arkansas; if that happens, nearly one out of every four Americans (23.5%)--at least the adults--will be *free* of the threat from prosecution for their personal possession and use of cannabis, and well over half the states will allow at least some kind of medical use. At that point, the obstruction to reform in Congress on such issues as access to banking, federal tax equity, and scheduling under the CSA by corporate prison and LE tools or prohibitionist relics like Feinstein and Grassley will become increasingly untenable.

How about this: you keep working on your "front" with your magic-bullet lawsuits and blogs--which nobody from the pro-64 side is working against, right?--and let those of us with a more pragmatic and *proven* strategy--and sans an existing vested interest, BTW--continue working on ours unhampered by the unfounded fear and disinformation tactics from you and your cronies in the "215" weed industry; fair enough?

Appreciate the offer for a personal dialogue, but we prefer to discuss the issue in a *public* forum, where everybody can view and weigh the arguments for themselves.

Also, just a piece of honest, well-intentioned advice: you might want to check out this thing called a "paragraph break" ... !

Posted by Miles Monroe on 08/11/2016 at 2:27 PM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

Russell Mondy: "Soda isn't unhealthy. Too much soda is."

This is basically wrong. According to a study published in the Lancet, for each additional 12-oz soda per day that a child consumes, his/her odds of obesity increase by 60% in a 1.5 year follow up. This fact sheet published by Harvard School of Public Health talks about the many, many studies that have found various harmful effects of soda:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsour…

Posted by Tommy Katz on 08/11/2016 at 9:48 AM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

Brian E. Williams.

Why shouldn't they help themselves to a cut of what you pay for anything that's not healthy for you? Because it isn't their money that's why. They didn't earn it. Soda isn't unhealthy. Too much soda is. Too much of anything is. Maybe charge a soda tax to the individuals that get sick from drinking soda and then using public facilities.

Chris Darling, citing some obscure Canadian study doesn't justify you ripping off my money for something that does me no harm. When people want a soda, they're not going to say "The tax is keeping me from buying it." Now they'll buy it with your hand in their pocket over you pretending like you care about their health when all you want is their money because you got other stuff you want to pay for and you're desperate for new revenue.

Posted by Russell Mondy on 08/11/2016 at 8:28 AM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

If taxes on soda and candy do not reduce sales of soda and candy, then why have beverage companies spend more than $1 million in two cities to stop a tax that won't affect them at all? Surely the demand for soda is more elastic than the demand for cigarettes. Or beverage companies just so concerned for the well-being of their customers, that they are trying to stop the tax solely from the goodness of their hearts? Do they care more about the happiness of poor people than they care about the million dollars that they spent? Surely not. I they were to do such a thing, then beverage company stockholders would sue for failing in their duty to the owners.

Why should the public NOT take a cut of this soda pop bonanza? If the costs of sugar consumption fall upon the public through negative health effects, and the attendant cost to the public of dealing with these negative health effects, then it only makes sense to extract some portion of that money from the corporate profits of beverage manufacturers. Government regulation, whether over toxic pollution or cigarettes or sugared beverages, is essential to combating the negative externalities corporations choose to ignore. Those who gain from producing Pepsi, Red Bull & Snapple can bear some of the costs to society.

Posted by Brian E. Williams on 08/11/2016 at 7:43 AM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

Actually, in places that have placed a tax on sodas and sugary drinks, consumption has gone down. And it is poor people who are both most likely to get diabetes and also have least access to dental and medical coverage to deal with the problems.
Link about soda tax decreasing consumption:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/13/upshot/yes-soda-taxes-seem-to-cut-soda-drinking.html?_r=0
Link about poverty being a cause of diabetes:
http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/poverty-a…

Posted by Chris Darling on 08/11/2016 at 7:32 AM

Re: “Big Soda Is Spending Big Money Against Oakland Sugary Beverage Tax Proposal

Taxes on soda, snacks or candy is just a way to tax poor people. Their not going eat any less of it. They'll just pay more. They already pay more whenever the price goes up. So now government gets a cut. Calling them "Big Soda" is designed to vilify these companies for doing legal business. Soon I can see taxes on all food for our own good for some future reason.

Posted by Russell Mondy on 08/11/2016 at 1:46 AM

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