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Re: “A New Era for Charter Schools?

Many common misperceptions persist about charter schools. The truth is that all charters schools are public schools just like traditional district schools. They are tuition-free and open to any student who wishes to attend. Charter public schools give parents and students a choice in their education. They are diverse and reflect the communities they serve. Charter public schools are held accountable by their authorizer (usually the local school district) and, most importantly, by the families they serve. Currently there are 38 charters schools in Oakland serving an estimated 13,550 students either authorized by the Oakland Unified School District or the Alameda County Board of Education.

Passionate teachers, parents and leaders from the community often choose to open charter public schools in order to drive positive change in public education. Research shows Oakland charter public schools have successfully demonstrated that they are able to deliver a high-quality public education for their students and graduate higher numbers of students ready for college.

In California, public school funding follows the student with the funding going to the public school that parents choose, whether a charter public school or a traditional district school. When charter public schools are funded, there is no overall loss of public school money because charter schools are public schools serving public school kids. However, even with the funding "following the student," charter public schools receive less funding for each student than a school district would if it were to serve the same student.

We can all agree that there is a longstanding lack of quality schools in Oakland. Parents, teachers and community leaders want a role in making things better for Oakland students. We hope that the debate on public education in Oakland will focus on what matters most - finding solutions that provide better outcomes for kids.

Aida Mariam, Regional Director, Alameda County, California Charter Schools Association

6 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Jed Wallace on 01/21/2015 at 5:22 PM

Re: “Berkeley's Unequal Punishment of Teachers

Yep -- PAR is a joke. I know for a fact that a PAR teacher (sycophant is more like it) lied about a teacher and got them fired. Why was the teacher PARred in the first place? Speaking truth to power.

Trust the teachers. Admins lie.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Richard Sugerman on 01/21/2015 at 4:56 PM

Re: “Radically Sharing Temescal

If you are stoked by the ideas in this project, please check out our fundraising campaign - one week left!: http://omnicommons.org/donate

Mike, your concern is well taken. To speak to your thoughtful reflections here, my understanding is Gabriela Laz has been in Temescal as a business and a resident raising her family for many years. As mentioned in the article, the redevelopment was in fact put on hold for many years - while the notice of eviction came suddenly, and the original time given to move out was short. IE so far as I know, there was in fact no long-known 'deadline' given to move out as you might think.

Your quite-right point that artists often ultimately end up as the shock troops of gentrification was voiced by many in the article, including Gabriela. But that's the thing - Omni Commons is not just an 'artist space' - not by a long shot. Its intent is to be a full-blown community resource center welcoming the entire community of Oakland, and most of the activity there is constituted by community meetings, free classes and workshops - the bulk of which have little to do with 'artists' per se in the way I think you mean.

Also it's important to point out that this part of the neighborhood, with fancy restaurants and nice new condos already, was clearly already in the grips of gentrification. Your impression of Omni would make more sense if Omni had plopped itself down in the middle of East Oakland or the Lower Bottoms to 'revitalize' that area - in my view, the decision not to go that route was deliberate as well for precisely the reasons you describe. At the same time there are clearly many communities in need of resources that Omni can serve in its general vicinity, and unlike a fancy 'artist space', I do not think anyone will be priced out of all Omni would like to offer.

I would invite you and all who read the article, to come by Omni and talk with some of the organizers there and help us achieve the sort of community space that you would like to see :)

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by David Keenan on 01/21/2015 at 11:20 AM

Re: “Radically Sharing Temescal

the omni is a cool place that does great and interesting things, but let's be honest--artist spaces like this take part in driving that gentrification train despite their best intentions. to deny that is to be delusional. i appreciate their efforts to minimize that impact, however.

also, i'm assuming gabriela laz, owner of rise above, is a recent oakland/temescal resident--otherwise she would know that her building/that corner has been on the demo/redevelopment block for about a decade.

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mike Thorn on 01/21/2015 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Funny Escapism Never Goes Out of Style

good article!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by John Pulley on 01/21/2015 at 10:09 AM

Re: “Monday Must Reads: East Bay Marked By Cluster of Unvaccinated Kids; Anti-Police Violence Protesters Demonstrate At Schaaf’s House

Finally, somebody in the Mayors office that understands that if the Oakland sports teams are either leaving, planning to leave or on year to year leases, there is no Coliseum City project because nobody in their right mind would finance a project with that much risk. The first step is to get a long term commitment from the A's and Raiders, then a realistic development process can move forward with some possibility of being financed. Having the teams submit proposals that work for them is a good first step. Hopefully those proposals include some sense of how much money the teams can put on the table.

Posted by Gary Patton on 01/21/2015 at 3:42 AM

Re: “It’s Not Legalization If There’s No Place To Smoke It

Four guys find a bottle of booze, drink it, and a fight breaks out. Four guys find a joint, smoke it and they form a band.
If you were a cop, would you rather answer a disturbance call at a bar or a Cannabis club?
Cannabis never should have been banned.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jim Heffner on 01/21/2015 at 2:36 AM

Re: “Shell-Shocked

Perhaps you should consider glass blowing for a living and leave the crabbing for the ones who won't feel sorry for themselves

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Sarah Yager on 01/20/2015 at 9:21 PM

Re: “Shell-Shocked

Poor little man living in big world. So many great fisherman to compete against. No one ever complains about great doctors that travel. Did you not know what u signed up for. Fisheries are managed to protect the resource not innoficiant operations.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Sarah Yager on 01/20/2015 at 9:18 PM

Re: “How Fracking Changes Everything

I remember reading long ago an article related to Putin's period as a KGB officer in East Germany. Putin reported something like, " The Stasi is really Orwellian, even by our criteria. "
I can not get rid of the impression that Putin is actually in some manner guiding the exact fall in petroleum prices. Every one's designating culpability towards the oil shieks, although I have been carrying out a large amount of researching.
This kind of report, for instance:
http://derivativesdaily.techquisys.com/cia2.html

Plus in my opinion Putin has an item incredibly sinister up his pretty KGB sleeve.

Posted by John Penney on 01/20/2015 at 7:51 PM

Re: “Tuesday Must Reads: Some Republicans Support Gas Tax Hike; Brown and Napolitano May Create Tuition Panel

These are the reasons why "ethnic studies" were banned in Arizona:

Political indoctrination and Ethnic divisiveness:

http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/art…

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report…

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Don Honda on 01/20/2015 at 6:30 PM

Re: “California's Legalization Quagmire

We need Unity in the Community.
As a legitimate cannabis patient,
I just want Safe and AFFORDABLE Access.
I would really like to hear the views of the
Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project on this.

Posted by Rory Murray on 01/20/2015 at 3:49 PM

Re: “California's Legalization Quagmire

With optimism and a RSVP invitation I attended this meeting, suffering from "walking pneumonia," still I drove up from Santa Cruz to hear and be heard.

I really felt inspired, activated even, during the first part of Mr. Zimmerman's keynote speech; however, as he went on to champion DPA as the tool and "...there will be winners and losers," I started to feel betrayed. Then when he so slickly spoke about 1/3 California voters are ready to approve legalization, 1/3 always will oppose such, and 1/3 are still riding the fence, a bell started ringing in my head...maybe it was just the pneumonia, but my common sense light was starting to strobe: didn't he earlier say over 50% of Californians polled want to see marijuana/cannabis legalized? Don't all the major polls show similar majority support among Californians! So, if over 50% want to see this marvelous plant made a respectable member of California's medical and recreational culture then why all that 1/3 -1/3 - 1/3 hyperbole?

Then there was Mr. Zimmerman's "...elections are not won by committee." comment. Since when? Yes, having a well known, or intelligent front man works wonders; however, for example, President Obama never utters a word publicly that hasn't been vetted by a team of advisors, a committee. I feel Mr. Zimmerman is the front man for Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). Smoothly he wants the rest of us to more or less sit-back and let the potentates at DPA craft what rules they think best for the rest of us. Seeing all the turmoil in other states where DPS has held sway over the main ballot measure's language, I'm more strongly than ever for final wording input from other cannabis legalization groups, instead of the unilateral approach Mr. Zimmerman so subtlety proposes.

Then there was Mr. Zimmerman's "...going to cost four times more than they do.." comment. As Mr. Zimmerman pointed out we already know what the arguments against legalization are, will be. Fine, craft now, ahead of time, instant response "zingers" that we, too, already know are effective counters to the disinformation our opponents will attempt to infect Californians with. This is the "5 P" rule: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

When presented the opportunity I raised my own personal issue during one of the Q & A periods: the 2016 ballot measure must contain language that places California state law supreme over local county and municipality ordinances. The Brown Act states such, but so far a long list, and growing longer every month of California county board of supervisors, and cities and towns are opting to pass local ordinances that effectively strangle-to-death the ability for cannabis patients and the businesses that supply these patients adequate amounts of medicine. This not only flys in the face of the Brown Act, but effectively says local rule trumps state laws. And, as I see it a number of counties and municipalities are using such obstructive and repressive ordinances as a frame work for even greater restrictions on recreational cannabis, up to and including completely banning such from their county. This isn't being made any easier with California's high court's recent ruling giving the green light to local rule over state law.

Perhaps a better way to demonstrate the absurdity of this is to offer an absurdity: There is a state law making murder illegal; however, it can be argued that "...some people need kill'n," so this or that county could make an ordinance that says "...in _____ county it is legal to kill some people." This ordinance could claim in its defense the precedent established by California's Supreme Court giving counties, etc., the right to side-step, effectively pay no attention to state law, and ignore the will of the people of California so that a small but vocal and organized percentage of that county's citizens could just go out and kill who ever they think need killing. Absurd isn't it; well, that's how California's high court sees local marijuana ordinances: legally able to trump legislated state law and the will of the majority of California voters.

So as not to be seen as just another voice against this or that, I offer that language in the 2016 ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in California contain something like: "The rights and privileges now afforded the people of California within this law legalizing recreational use of cannabis can only be challenged at the state level Any and all California counties and or cities or towns who wish to decrease or void such protections must appeal their wishes to the California legislature for an up or down vote on such measures.
Yes, I know the wording in not perfect, still, I'm showing my intent here not to be just another pot-hole in the highway toward full legalization, but willing, if asked to work with those who beyond the hyperbole are willing to work toward crafting a ballot measure that will get that +50% of the California voters who already are in favor of legalization to get off their arse and vote for it.

Otherwise all the grand words in what ever is presented to the voters in 2016 is just so much "Hogwash.", using Dale Sky Jones comment.

No, I do not propose I have all the answers; however, I do not think we should rely on DPA to have all of them either. What's worked in the past for DPA is all well and good, but that's a classic Platonian logic fallacy to think that because it worked in the past it will work now. It might not even be DPA who leads ind developing what will be presented to Californians in 2016, but rather just one of several level-headed members of the team, the committee that congeals the will of the people into a cohesive whole that does protect all of us, that does not leave out any of us.

Posted by Grady Padgett on 01/20/2015 at 1:28 AM

Re: “Residents Collect Donations for Victim of West Oakland Bike Crash, Robbery

Thanks for writing this piece. Let's wish Greg a full and speedy recovery. The mother is very courageous in such trying circumstances.

As far as the "human beings" who robbed these two people in such a horrible accident, what the h-ll is wrong with you as a human being? Robbing someone who is unconscious and also an 81 year old man? You bring shame on humanity by your dispicable acts.

Let's help this family so that they understand that there are caring people in Oakland and the East Bay.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by E. Gonsalves on 01/19/2015 at 6:51 PM

Re: “Jerry Brown Channels His Inner Republican

What is disturbing about Jerry Brown is his inconsistences. He claims global warming is his highest concern and yet he coddles the oil industry. When he was governor in 1975 he pushed for the end of oil depletion allowances, but in 2015, he is silent on that, and deaf to cries to stop allowing fracking.

Where he is always consistent is preserving an image of not being soft on crime. Before he ran for Attorney General he used a robo call to urge citizens to vote against a three-strikes reform Prop! And now instead of restoring the cuts to social services, he is increasing the budget for prisons!

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joyce Roy on 01/19/2015 at 2:33 PM

Re: “Dear @nna: How Do I Remember My Passwords?

ID federations (single-sign-on services and password managers) create a single point of failure, not unlike putting all the eggs in a basket. It remembers all my passwords when un-hacked and loses all my passwords to criminals when hacked. It should be operated in a decentralized formation or should be considered mainly for low-security accounts, not for high-security business which should desirably be protected by all different strong passwords unique to each account. Needless to say, the strength of the master-password is crucially important.

At the root of the password headache is the cognitive phenomena called “interference of memory”, by which we cannot firmly remember more than 5 text passwords on average. What worries us is not the password, but the textual password. The textual memory is only a small part of what we remember. We could think of making use of the larger part of our memory that is less subject to interference of memory. More attention could be paid to the efforts of expanding the password system to include images, particularly KNOWN images, as well as conventional texts.

By the way, some people shout that the password is dead or should be killed dead. The password could be killed, however, only when there is an alternative to the password. Something belonging to the password(PIN, passphrase, etc)and something dependent on the password (ID federations, 2/multi-factor, etc) cannot be the alternative to the password. Neither can be something that has to be used together with the password (biometrics, auto-login, etc). What could be killed is the text password, not the password.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Hitoshi Anatomi on 01/16/2015 at 5:57 PM

Re: “Jerry Brown Channels His Inner Republican

People are still struggling out there. We need to reinforce our social programs now more than ever.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Hawkser on 01/16/2015 at 3:39 PM

Re: “The Power of No

https://www.facebook.com/events/1539824722969428/

Posted by Ruby Rogers on 01/16/2015 at 2:49 PM

Re: “Jerry Brown Channels His Inner Republican

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.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Editor on 01/16/2015 at 11:33 AM

Re: “The Breakdown of West Oakland Medical Care

1968 - wasn't that the turning point, the period when liberals took over, the time of "ending" welfare, opening the borders?

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Erik Kengaard on 01/16/2015 at 9:57 AM

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