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Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

There's a much more pressing problem in our own back yard: the Bay Area's many live animal food markets. California annually imports some TWO MILLION non-native American bullfrogs for human consumption (commercially-raised). Plus an additional 300,000 to 400,000 non-native freshwater turtles, all taken from the wild in states East of the Rockies, depleting local populations. These markets are common in Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles, mostly in various "Chinatowns." Often illegally released into they wild, they prey upon and displace our native species.

Worse, the majority of the bullfrogs (60+ %) test positive for the dreaded chytrid fungus (Batrachrochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd), which has caused the extinctions of 200+ species of frogs and other amphibians worldwide in recent years.

ALL of the market frogs & turtles are diseased and/or parasitized, though it is ILLEGAL to sell such products: E. coli, pasturella, salmonella, blood parasite, giardia, et al. Many of the animals are stacked four and five deep, often without food or water, and butchered while fully conscious.

Now THERE's an issue where the Berkeley and Oakland City Councils could REALLY make a difference. Follow the money.

x
Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS
Oakland

Posted by Eric Mills on 07/27/2016 at 2:04 PM

Re: “The Big One: Scientists Say the East Bay is Overdue for the Largest Earthquake in Centuries. And We're Not Prepared.

IT'S TOO BAD YOU CAN'T TELL WHEN AN EARTHQUAKE IS GOING TO HAPPEN

Posted by Jean Blake Fleming on 07/27/2016 at 1:36 PM

Re: “City Forcing West Oakland’s Alliance Metals to Close on August 20, But Supporters Argue Recyclers Have No Safety Net

Let's march out the Elephant in the room here! The City of Oakland gets a huge "franchise fee" (estimated by some to be up to $25 million) from its granting of exclusive rights to companies for their collecting solid waste and recyclables. Such a fee cannot pertain to recycling companies (like Alliance) whose recyclables are not collected by them, but brought to them by individuals (whether in shopping carts or trucks). Oakland's "franchised" collectors charge their clients by volume, and every piece of recyclable material not being collected by them (but by others) cuts the revenue those franchised collectors can charge their clients. This also probably affects the revenue percentage based franchise fees collected by Oakland from their franchised collectors - reducing the city's revenues. The Alliance Recycling outdated website states it collected 15,600 Tons of recyclables in 2008. Imagine how much volume that 15.6 tons removed from the franchised collector's revenue streams, and how they must be complaining about that lost revenue to a city government that is also losing revenue from its reduced franchise fees as a result. The city of Oakland is squarely in bed with those big businesses it granted exclusive collection rights to. One look at the Alliance Recycling location on Peralta Street will confirm that street is packed with industries - it is nobody's idea of a residential or gentile neighborhood setting. Oakland has laws against the illegal collection of recyclables (such as raiding waste bins of such), so rather than expensively policing such violations, it chooses to shut down the recycling company. This is less about sidewalk blocking or nuisances and more about a conspiracy between Oakland and its franchised collectors to do what in anybody else's viewpoint would be the illegal restraint of trade. The elephant in the room here is holding a bundle of money in its trunk, and that money is headed straight for Oakland and its exclusive franchised collectors.

Posted by William H. Thompson on 07/27/2016 at 1:24 PM

Re: “Make Voting Great Again: Introducing the Express' Weekly Election 2016 Column

We can only write-in Bernie's name if there are 55 electors filed. Keep in mind that those disqualified in the primary and independents will be voting in the General Election.

Anyone interested in becoming an elector for Bernie?

Only those names written on the ballot at the General Election for President of the United States, for which a group of 55 Presidential Electors pledge their votes to that write-in candidate, shall be counted as votes.

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/upcoming-elections/june-7-2016-presidential-primary-election/qualifications-running-office/

November 8, 2016, General Election
Summary of Qualifications and Requirements:

Presidential Elector - Independent Candidates (PDF)

Presidential Elector - Write-In Candidates (PDF):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9SQmm-iXRGtblJHZ2tFT2FMQjg/view?usp=sharing

In nearly every state, the candidate who gets the most votes wins the "electoral votes" for that state, and gets that number of voters (or "electors") in the "Electoral College." http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/electoral-college/

Posted by Donald Switlick 1 on 07/27/2016 at 12:37 PM

Re: “Make Voting Great Again: Introducing the Express' Weekly Election 2016 Column

Just to be clear: what I meant by "Goldilocks" was that the rent ordinance adopted by Council in March and that we recently placed on the November ballot rests neatly in between the rent control activists' initiative ("too strong") and the California Apartment Association's initiative ("too weak") -- our ordinance, as Goldilocks would say, is "not too strong, not too weak, but something in between that's just right." Thanks! : )

/s/ tony
tdaysog@alamedaca.gov

Posted by Tony Daysog on 07/27/2016 at 10:27 AM

Re: “Oakland Cell Phone Surveillance Vote Postponed to Improve Privacy Protections

What are the penalties for police violating the policy, or using the surveillance equipment to spy on people without justification? If they can still use the gear to wrongfully invade our privacy and no one is held accountable, that's not acceptable.

Posted by Starchild on 07/27/2016 at 12:21 AM

Re: “City Forcing West Oakland’s Alliance Metals to Close on August 20, But Supporters Argue Recyclers Have No Safety Net

Super unfortunate and unjust. If the reason for closing is theft and compromised-hygiene in the nearby area, I imagine the city could think of more clever and useful means of regulation and maintenance than simply closing Alliance.

What if Alliance needed to see proof of purchase or ownership for certain metals (fancy copper and lead; BBQs, etc.) , and not for others (cans, bottles, old scrap)? Or something similar?

What if the city helped set up a homeless outreach clinic in the vicinity? Teamed up with the Berkeley Suitcase Clinic, create an Oakland buddy project. With a restroom or two? Or teamed with UC Berkeley's Haas Business School or School of Social Welfare to find a more just solution?

Instead of shutting down these humans' means for sustenance, they could put in some more energy and time and find ways to reach a compromise.

Posted by William Renauld on 07/26/2016 at 2:22 PM

Re: “Best of the East Bay 2016

There's no list here. What gives east bay express. Very misleading

Posted by Jack Blangy on 07/26/2016 at 11:32 AM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

I am glad to hear that Rashidah Grinage and Pamela Drake of the Coalition are still positive about the likely benefits of the prospective Police Commission.

It is a sad fact that the realization of the Commission is coming at possibly the worst possible time with the Police Officers Association with its hackles up so the process is fraught with a great deal of mistrust. And of course the Mayor is concerned above all with protecting her administrative power. The Council is having to do a lot of work in a very short period of time in their characteristic reactive "last minute" mode rather than in an extended process of democratic outreach and reflection and planning ahead. This sort of policymaking, although typical of Oakland, isn't guaranteed to produce the best possible outcomes.

Although I have for many years supported a Police Commission for Oakland, these days I am also feeling very sympathetic with our cops because of the revolving door of the Chiefs, the ongoing low morale and constant high level of attrition and the Mayor's utter irrationality and incompetence.

I'm also very concerned about the citizens who don't have nearly the level of police service they need and deserve, and who at the same time bear the high dollar costs of our department due to lawsuits and constant turnover. All this in a time when there is no evident leadership or vision for the future.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/25/2016 at 11:38 PM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

Pamela is correct. Does the Commission still have 'teeth?' It may not have wisdom teeth, but it still has molars. The most important accomplishment of the measure is that it cuts the City Administrator out of the disciplinary process. This is a major reform. Although the Coalition is not getting everything we wanted, placing this item on the ballot is a significant step in what will be an ongoing process to bring the Oakland community into the process of how it is policed and will strengthen the ability to hold accountable officers who abuse their authority, racially profile and violate Department policy. The glass is not full, but it is more full than empty. No doubt there will be more work needed in the future, but make no mistake: this is a victory that should be celebrated and the work will soon begin to ensure a win in November!

Posted by Rashida Grinage on 07/25/2016 at 9:45 PM

Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

I can't wait for a branch group of Direct Action in Mumbai to take exception to Americans devouring cows.

Do something real people.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 07/25/2016 at 6:12 PM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

Wow. How many more teeth will get pulled out of this thing by Tuesday?

Christopher Fallis
Oakland, CA

Posted by Christopher Fallis on 07/25/2016 at 1:40 PM

Re: “East Bay Environmentalists at Odds Over Future of Eucalyptus Trees

Eucalyptus are no more flammable than our native chaparral. They do not crowd out or poison other plants. WHat you see are old plantations, where they were planted densely. A little thinning, as I've seen in bits of Tilden Park, creates a more natural open forest. I quit the Sierra Club because of its ignorant tree-hating. Read the facts at sutroforest.com/eucalyptus-myths

Posted by Robert ANderson on 07/25/2016 at 12:35 PM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

This "strong Mayor" proposal smacks of Jerry Brown's administration...
Let's make the police officers get private insurance for firearms, that way if they engage in activity that results in unjustified use of force with a firearm it will come directly out of their pocket or the pocket of the police union....
Read my Facebook pages for the rest of the solution to the problems facing Oakland and the rest of California...
" Real Estate Crisis or Government Sanctioned Racketeering?"
Regards, Allen Sanford

Posted by Allen Sanford on 07/25/2016 at 10:27 AM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

I am still formulating my thoughts on the final proposal and the coalition will set a date to meet and vote on whether to endorse it after Tuesday's final council vote.
At one point we had discussed an "elastic clause" with CM Kalb and CM Gallo to prevent the scope from being narrowed. We'll continue to lobby for that language until Tuesday evening.
We are disappointed in the mayor and council's inflexibility on the issue of her appointments. It seems a compromise to this
mayor is that she gets everything she wants.

But it is NOT gutted and is stronger than the original council proposal. We hope people will understand the level of hard work put in by both the coalition-all of us, including people who emailed, called or spoke at council and the CMs who struggled with us and each other. This is landmark legislation that many said couldn't be done. In a city with a tradition of terrible police misconduct and little credibility, change has come.

Posted by Pamela Drake on 07/25/2016 at 9:25 AM

Re: “City Forcing West Oakland’s Alliance Metals to Close on August 20, But Supporters Argue Recyclers Have No Safety Net

Here is what one resident of the area reported, "My house was broken in for the fourth time in two months today. A $600 barbecue was stolen out of my back yard. ... I am at a loss as how to deal with the 'clients' at Alliance Metals. A good number are decent folks, but there are just as many if not more who are serious trouble. The amount of drug dealing and using, public defecation, urinating, etc. by the shopping cart folk is bad enough. ... shopping cart customers from Alliance Metals simply loiter on our street all day long looking at our houses, when people come and go from their homes, and what cars people drive."

And Randall Reed of Reed Brothers Security reported that thieves stole $800 of welding leads (large gauge expensive copper wire) from a company truck. The leads "had been bolted to the welder and locked with a chain and padlock to the ladder rack." Doing his own detective work, Reed found the thief, who even admitted his crime. It was "Sonny," a morning regular at Alliance Metals.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 07/25/2016 at 8:36 AM

Re: “Town Business: Did OPOA Gut Oakland's Police Commission?

Sounds gutted to me.

Posted by JP Massar on 07/25/2016 at 7:42 AM

Re: “Marijuana Laws On The Ballot in Seven States And Climbing This November Election

Of course, the "old Guard" republicans in Michigan, have pulled out all the tricks they could and have silence the voices & will of the citizens in Michigan. The Kingdom has put the kibosh to a rec. marijuana vote. (for now only - it will be back)

Posted by Mark Chartier on 07/24/2016 at 2:32 PM

Re: “All Hail Jasmine Infiniti, the Self-Proclaimed Queen of Hell

I love you forever and a day Jasmine!!!

Posted by Maya Ivy on 07/23/2016 at 6:42 PM

Re: “What A Trump Presidency Would Mean for Marijuana Law Reform: Worry

I sure it becomes legal all over the world. I live on the Big Island & grow the best smoke on the island. If I could burn with Trump he'd be all for it. Come on Mr. Trump, let's burn some.

Posted by Keatz Mcintosh on 07/23/2016 at 3:17 PM

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