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Re: “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

I find with great irony and amusement, that if you "Yelp Yelp" you will see how the biter bit as it were - they are generally hated and they have Yelps Yelp ratings is down there with Comcast, Chase Bank and the phone trees of Covered California. Try it. Write a review of your own!

BTW I finally got them to stop harassing me and my staff - but it took some high-pressure sales tactic of my own

Posted by Bennett Hall on 12/16/2015 at 4:15 PM

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

Oakland has Wells Fargo in court for predatory lending.
Oakland should request that Wells be required to compensate the city, and the county, for it's illegal activity by financing the construction of affordable housing or by subsidizing landlords who wish to provide such housing.
Wells was engaged in a relationship with El Chapo Guzman's drug cartel. This relationship lasted for 18 months and generated $378 billion. If this amount of money were granted to the city and county, the issues of affordable housing, unemployment, homelessness and funding for education would be resolved.
The Colosseum City project and the West Oakland Bart project could be constructed. Separate stadiums could be constructed for baseball, basketball and football...
All of this can be done within the next 5 years, and it wouldn't cost taxpayers one dime!!!
The reason that Mayor Libby Schaaf will not press this issue is because Governor Jerry Brown is her mentor.
As Attorney General, Brown allowed the criminal activities of the banks, as well as the criminal activities of lawyers, who cheated people out of what little money they had left, with phony mortgage modification operations..
Homeowners Protection Services is such an operation, they are still doing business,in spite of the " Foreclosure Revue Strike Force" that has been established by Kamala Harris.
Ms. Harris' "Strike Force" has only prosecuted 10 cases out of 6,000 complaints of foreclosure fraud scams, even though it has had a $5 million budget to get the job done...
Read, Facebook pages titled "Real Estate Crisis or Government Sanctioned Racketeering?"
My name is Allen Sanford

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Allen Sanford on 12/16/2015 at 2:25 PM

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

The Dougherty example does not make fiscal sense: "I wanted to raise [Young's] rent by $25, but she said she couldn't do it." Seriously? Over $300/year?

This lessor is being more than reasonable - the tenant apparently states they can afford to move over that little? There has to be more to this.

I would wager nearly anyone's monthly budget can save $25/month by reviewing wasteful spending, and save that much if not hundreds or more. Do you have cable (wire ears Netflix and DSL work fine)? Do you pay more than $10/month for a smart phone (try Ptel)? Have you reviewed your insurance, bank junk fees (should be zero), parking tickets if you have a car (utterly unnecessary) and, any other expenses that could be eliminated or shopped around? How many time month do you eat out? Clothes are now nearly free whether you buy the imported "slave-labor made" goods (see "high cost of cheap Fashion") or go to recycled shops. If you are that low income, have you researched ALL the available subsidizes that could help out? Do you eat junk food - factory food EVER? Drink? God forbid you spend $ on smoking - I know someone late on rent that spends $300 smoking - interesting priority there.

The question to ask is what are your priorities? Hopefully it is a nice place to live with people you want to be with, healthy real food, and required expenses such as insurance and utilities. Everything else that are "wants" should be looked at with great scrutiny and adjusted to resolve this. This is not that difficult, to cut the budget a bit if you line item analyze is and focus on the NEEDS first then the WANTS and make sure you are not being over charged or wasting.

That said, if you only make $2500/month or so and a studio market rate rent is $2100+ then we have an unsustainable problem on the brew. And, if due to the costs of construction, labor, insurance, governmental permit fees etc,. there is no possible way to produce new housing that does not sell in the $500/ square foot range or rent in the $2.50/ s.f. range, which appears to be the case, then frankly I do not have a good feeling that there will be a happy landing on this issue. You cannot mandate $50/hour minimum wages. And, the Fed today, says that we have little to no inflation - 2%? Really Ms Yeltsin? You must not now be in the Bay Area. Tricky issues indeed.

Posted by Bennett Hall on 12/16/2015 at 2:19 PM

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

Butler, now in her 30s, launched her jewelry business, True Fire Electric Production, in September. She wants to stay in Oakland because it’s a hub for artists. She couch-surfs among friends in Walnut Creek in order to afford the materials needed to produce her line of earrings. Every day, she catches the BART to the Lake Merritt station and then works inside local shops, which substitute as stable workspaces. She works on her earrings sitting outside by the lake, or at Noah’s Bagels. Butler sells her work at Oakland festivals: Hair festivals, dance festivals, any type of festival.

As the days get shorter and the nights colder, she reminisces about her grandmother’s home. “In order to be middle class, you have to have assets. In African American families, grandmothers bought their houses—that’s where the ‘Big Mama’s House’ came from,” said Butler. “When my big mama died, that’s a big example of how the displacement started.”

Butler’s story is not unique. After the great recession of 2008, inequality widened along racial lines as people lost their homes, often their only major asset. Earlier this month the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C. think tank, reported in “Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of US,” that the average white family today has net assets of $141,900, compared with the $11,000 for African American families. This hollowing out of the African American family asset base is a nationwide phenomenon that can be explained by the shrinking African American middle class. It’s even more a factor in “strong market” regions like the Bay Area, where housing costs are soaring.

Quote article by Nailah Morgan, UC Berkeley journalist via Oakland North newspaper

Posted by T.K. Butler on 12/16/2015 at 12:09 PM

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

Jewelry designer T.K. Butler had nestled her booth among drummers, a fire twirler and a posh clothing boutique on wheels. She wore a multicolored African headscarf and patterned shawl. Every time someone would attempt to take a photo of her one-of-a-kind earrings, she’d jump in front of the table, using her body and shawl to shield her pieces from the flash. Butler didn’t want anyone to steal her designs.

Butler has never made the same earring twice. Made of cowrie shells, Pan-African colored beads and circular carved wood, each one represents an aspect of her experience as a displaced Oakland native, part of a growing African American outmigration.

On each earring, Butler paints a phrase she pulled from articles published in the East Bay Express: “It’s really daunting. Everyday I look at Craigslist, but there is nothing,” one reads. Another: “We’re just people falling through the cracks in the economy, and we have nowhere to go. ”

Butler describes her earrings as “a way to speak about issues that mattered to me.”

Quote from Oakland North newspaper, UC Berkeley

Posted by T.K. Butler on 12/16/2015 at 12:03 PM

Re: “Salmon RIP?

To Erik Wilson: You say it would not be favorable for Americans to get their food from other countries, since that would generate a carbon footprint larger than if we all bought domestically grown food. Okay -- but then why is it acceptable for California's agriculture industry to export massive quantities of its crops to other nations? Would you object if someone proposed that CA food production be curtailed so that it meets only national demand?

Posted by Alastair Bland on 12/16/2015 at 8:15 AM

Re: “Why the Curtain Fell

A nicely done story, Laurel! And thanks for the photos. Despite looking at hundreds of old Oakland theatre photos I hadn't seen either of them. -- Bill Counter https://www.facebook.com/groups/bayareahistorictheatres/

Posted by Bill Counter on 12/15/2015 at 7:27 PM

Re: “Learning Medicine the Cuban Way

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Posted by Editor on 12/15/2015 at 7:23 PM

Re: “No Place to Go

Why should one red cent go to fixing or installing any toilets for people who make them filthy? Many of the homeless have little respect for private property. I propose have the very people with ample time on their hands clean their own mess. Of course they wont, so have petty criminals do the work for them. Homeless are used to having others do their dirty work.

Posted by Garry Ovalbach on 12/14/2015 at 8:23 PM

Re: “No Place to Go

Is It Bathrooms Or Evil Men Our Problem?

Parking Lots, Parking meters...
I once read that the common law of the land was this, that in order to have a license or permit for a parking lot in California, with a certain number of spaces, say for a University Federal Park, or State parks, and say publick government, private or city parking lots, all had to build with that parking lot a mandatory 24 hour restroom, and at least one was needed every year to get the parking lot permit renewal, same for gas stations.
Who bypassed that law goid nieghbor laws? Take thier houses.

Now ye rich men.
What is a legal above the board "mark up" on products sold or exchanged in Berkeley?
What is the nations mark up?
What is considered good nieghbor policy mark up? I0%? is that 10% mark up above board or fair in Gods eyes? Some say 35% is common practice. If it is common bussiness practice to mark up at 35% why hide it if you love your nieghbor?

If mark up is deceptive or hidden, what then is every bill of sale? Is it deception or a fraudulent sale? What if some bussiness man and his hireling wolf Garda is always found selling above a nieghborly mark up, say they always buy for 10.00 but say they paid 20.00 all the time a 100% mark up? Is that not deceptive, is it teaching or leading many in a bad way a perverted way of injustice?
Are the teaching us how to decieve? How is it not teaching everyone to walk in deception, and confusion?

And What if a bussiness owner lies about any mark up? Have they when it is not on the bill of sale? Is that practice perverse from love of nieghbor? Is that tresspassing God bringing all Gods wrath on cop and rich man who hired cops?

Bussiness men who love money the root of all evil, Do they now dictate by force with Garda? Is Garda the only ones who do oppression upon the weakest and poorest?
Did you warn and tell your child that bussness men are mostly all in love with money, the root of all evil. Is not that root Satan? Did you tell them busness men cannot help themselves they love money gave themselves to the god of lies, they are liars walking in the root of all evil? Will they your youth know not to be taken to the cleaners by rich men?

Where are the signs posted for love of strangers, passengers, the travelers, passerby's who pass through in Berkeley, the sign that warns all weak humble unawares passengers, be ware of the CITY OF BERKELEY, they are the most rebelious AGRESSIVE PAN HANDLERS Meter maids band of the wicked Roman Garda Gangs who WILL ROB YOUR WAGES OR TERRORIZE YOU TO ROB YOU OF YOUR HOUSE CAR, CART WAGON, HOUSE AND HOME AND PROPERTY, DID NOT THEY TAKE AN OATH TO PROTECT THOSE ROGHTS, BUT THEY TRESSPASS EVERY RIGHT? Are they not thieves, menstealers, terrorists defined in Ezekiel 32, 33 causing thier terror in the land of the living? Are they in Gods eyes free to be perverting JUSTICE, doing treason, RUNNING AGRESSIVE REBELLIONS near Gods children, near ministers in training, near the homeless or near your children?

How do they make laws, when they are agressive pan handling against pan handling, and decieve and lie by putting unconstitutional laws and codes and cause thier terror in the land of the living? Should evil doers rich men hirelings government paid for rule, all these thieves be using Pharaoh force against the children of God? If Pharaoh and the Multitude of Egypt with army did not live for they were crushed in the red sea, how have you all escaped, to terrorize Gods children in a God given city of refuge?

And what Will justice be for all those whome ye all have defrauded? How long will you do violence to God at his poor, and be found without God coming with vengeance? How many evil cities are still on the face of the earth who surpass the sins of Sodom and Gomorha? Can Berkeley build on fields of oppression, on poor peoples beat downs, thefts from the poor, stolen parks, and the shedding of innocent blood. Who can gain by blood money of a war on drugs, war on poverty, war on drunk drivers, war on the homeless, war on freedom to travel, war on freedom of parking, war on anyone who is found on our own streets we paid for, war on resting, war on sitting, war on body functions, war on freedom of travel, war on freedom of religion, war on freedom of speech, and war on the innocent. More and more War on all you snared and have taken to the cleaners, who might say so so you make war on them. Bussiness men are teaching evil, teaching perversions, theft, fraud, deception. Shall evil doers set snairs, and teach theft to the weak, then hire security, Garda, law enforcers who walk in a perpetual hatred, take Garda jobs to put pain take revenge not on the one they hate but the poor who fight not you back.
Havent you law enforcers alway taken up the Bully sword of fear, and have alway come out to put pain on those you corupted, perverted, ripped off, taught rebellion, made hate, directed the lead to theft, made all walk as you in deceptions?
Ye rich men now think they will administer the law that worketh death by Decapolis the cop police Garda and this is the love of God and loving your nieghbor? But ye know not that the law worketh death, condemnation, strife, the putting the law causes all law breaking, every lust, rebelions, deception, thefts, wrong doing, and shall evil come not upon you all who wield those swords upon tbe poor?

I also warn you all...
too banish every
"no publick bathroom" signs, or "bathrooms for customers only" signs.
Is it true those signs would also be against the publick health codes, and are those signs a notice to all, give us notice of a bussiness owners hatred of God and hate of love and hate of nieghbour?
That is a sign the food is cursed the sale is cursed, the products in that store have innocent blood shed on them,
They are separated as wheat or tares. Wheat or sheep would have a good nieghbor policy. As a young man in order to sale by building second street to main street traffic and have a store front or food restuarant adjucent we must provide a mandadory restroom? How did the rich become so destined for destruction in America God only knows? My God you all are crying out to God to ban you all from having bathrooms, and have more military menstealers, military food lines, just like your Roman Catholic Garda god you set over your Homeless JC Doprin. Is he Jesus but looks like Moses acts like Belly god teacher leader, worships the prais of himself or you get the beat down by his military god of forces.

This is a Christian Nation if you do not like the nation of love your nieghbor as your self, and love God with all your heart then leave, or God will destroy you from among his people.
And all who are in bed with J.C., Doprin shall feel the wrath of God he has been warned and all in bed with him again, touch not mine anointed and do my proohets ni harm, Jesus is so in all the poor. JC moses or pharaoh who thinketh he will have the preimenance, hypocrites, scribes pharasees, all have the greater damnation enjiy your tribulation.

Posted by Mark Terpening on 12/14/2015 at 8:17 PM

Re: “Keystone 2.0

Our children and residents are already experiencing rates of respiratory illness at double the average national rate.
We must begin investing in new, cleaner sources- not continue to dig for finite resources which become more and more polluting. Why are we not investing in more solar, wind and tide energy harvesting?

Posted by Kim Thelen on 12/14/2015 at 7:24 AM

Re: “Keystone 2.0

Sadly, a proposed project in Vallejo for a new deep water marine terminal at the outlet of the Napa River is another battle point. Vallejo residents are fighting to keep the project from being approved and poisoning the city. http://www.freshairvallejo.com/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/NoCementVallejo/ https://www.change.org/p/vallejo-city-council-and-planning-division-please-help-stop-vallejo-from-cementing-a-toxic-future

Posted by Boudicca Hot-toddy Todi on 12/13/2015 at 9:40 PM

Re: “How Oakland Landlords Fight Rent Control

Thank you James Vann for upholding tenants' rights in this city where the regulations and the Housing Board totally favor the landlords.

Posted by Pat Kaplan on 12/13/2015 at 12:05 PM

Re: “Time Is Running Out for Oakland

A correction regarding the Berkeley density bonus proposal, which has not yet been passed by the City Council: The idea is to create a City density bonus that would allow developers to receive a density bonus in return for higher affordable housing fee payments into the Housing Trust Fund (HTF). The reason for this is that fees paid into the HTF can be matched with Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits or State funding and result in production of more affordable housing off-site than would be provided on-site to meet the requirements of the State density bonus.

I see from the other comments that opponents of affordable housing requirements for new development claim the authority of economics in support of their position. They fail to consider the economics of land values, however. When a City requires community benefits from new development, as long as the developer knows the requirements in advance the developer can reduce the price they offer for the land by the same amount. Then, as long as the cost of the community benefits is not so high that the land owner won't make money by selling the property for higher density development, the required community benefits will not reduce development or increase rents. Empirical studies of the effects of "inclusionary" housing requirements have mixed results but most find that such requirements have little overall effect on housing production.

Posted by Stephen Barton on 12/11/2015 at 10:58 PM

Re: “Salmon RIP?

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Posted by Editor on 12/11/2015 at 11:39 AM

Re: “Salmon RIP?

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Posted by Editor on 12/11/2015 at 11:39 AM

Re: “Hacking the Racial Divide

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Posted by Editor on 12/10/2015 at 10:04 PM

Re: “Why Oakland's Free Holiday Parking Is Hurting Businesses

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Posted by Editor on 12/10/2015 at 8:50 PM

Re: “How East Bay Tenants Get Displaced

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Posted by Editor on 12/10/2015 at 8:49 PM

Re: “Salmon RIP?

Yes I'm in Ag....I grow food. Where should food be grown? California has a climate like that of no other place in the world. 400 different crops are grown here. No other state can do that. California has the largest patch of Class 1 soil in the world. Growing the food in the abundance that we do.....cannot be duplicated anywhere else. San Joaquin Valley is nature's green house. The long, predictably dry,humid free summers make this place one of the safest places on earth to grow food. High humidity is condusive to soil born pathogens that can plaque other regions. It is our semi-arid climate that makes growing all the things we eat possible. Asking, or hoping another country to do it is a risk most people don't want to take. It also would put into question the carbon footprint of all Americans to ship food thousands of miles from countries who don't have the same standards to food and environmental standards. As someone who loves the outdoors and especially fly fishing....fish and people need water. It is sad that I get discredited for my concern for Salmon because I happen to grow food. Everyone who call California home is 100% dependent on water projects. San Francisco can't escape it, Los Angeles can't escape it, San Diego, Fresno Sacramento, all would be inhospitable without dams and water conveyance.

Posted by Erik Wilson on 12/10/2015 at 8:34 PM

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