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Re: “About the Data: What Our Reporters Analyzed to Learn About Officer-Involved Killings in Oakland

I get the point, but intentionally reporting in a vacuum (as is normal at EBX) is just wrong. There have been over 11,500,000 violent crimes in the United States since 2000, 250,000 of which were homicides. We live in an extremely violent society. The whole damn thing needs examination.

Posted by Matt_Chambers on 08/16/2016 at 10:07 PM

Re: “Alameda Superior Court Judge: Landlord Acting "Unbelievably Callous" in Chinatown SRO Harassment Case

Judge Seligman totally rocks. And the investors are vermin.

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 08/16/2016 at 9:17 PM

Re: “Homelessness, Caltrans, and the East Bay's Forgotten People

Got to say there's a bunch of truth in Ms, Kittell's rant. "Let It Be" is not good policy - just ask City of Albany and how it ignored its waterfront "bulb" property which turned into a giant 200+ homeless camp (with no sanitation, security etc).

What I don't get is that the tent camps are often boarding fenced parking lots which probably belong to Caltrans (since they are within the right of way) and so why not, at least as a stop-gap, open up those lots, add some portable toilets and showers, trash cans, etc. and let them camp with a bit more dignity? How much could that cost? The Express should ask the City why it can't do something like that since it's happened in other cities like Portland and now SF.

Last year I noticed one guy who started living in his car along at a metered parking spot on Lake Merritt. He lived in his car for at least two months before (somehow) the City forced him to move. Not a single parking ticket! How long would my car last parked out there like that?

Posted by Tom Gan on 08/16/2016 at 5:24 PM

Re: “How to Find an Apartment in the East Bay

If you are searching the apartment in the South Bay, give rentberry.com a try. I've found my recent apartment through this service. It's free to search properties and there are no application fees.

Posted by Nancy Hubert on 08/16/2016 at 8:00 AM

Re: “Queer Porn Revolutionist: Courtney Trouble

If you’ve decided to become an online model, http://www.studio20.live/ will help you reach your full potential. We will guide you all the way and we will be there for you 24 hours a day to help you succeed in this field.

Posted by Alina Popescu on 08/16/2016 at 6:57 AM

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: “Best Marijuana Strains of Summer 2016

The Haze or the Blue Family of marijuana strains are my favorite! Whether you are aiming for that relaxing body high or an energetic head high, both families offer unique effects. no wonder the world is crazy over any of the Blue or Haze strains.

Posted by Artemis2318 on 08/14/2016 at 11:14 PM

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: “East Bay Homeless Campers Accuse Caltrans of Illegally Confiscating and Destroying Valuable Property — and Even Family Heirlooms

I posted this comment on another article, but I'm reposting it here. Lies, lies, lies. I've been in these encampments, several times. I've interacted with the people in these photographs. They see an opportunity to gouge the State for money, and they're taking it. Attorney's are loving this. Anyway, here's my reposted comment:

No, no, no, no, no!!! Now this is where I draw the line. I hate articles like this because they're completely one sided. "Harassment from government agencies...," GTFOH!!!!!! I have a pretty in-depth knowledge of how these CalTrans clean-up days work. Yes, homelessness is a problem. I'm not debating that fact, but to expect or imply CalTrans, the State of California, or any police agency should turn a blind eye to these encampments, is ridiculous. Due to the B.S. bureaucracy, CalTrans is required to "post" their clean-up intentions DAYS in advance. Their posting schedule gives people several days notice to move their belongings. Sure as hell, when they come back, the people are STILL there (acting like it's the first time they've heard CalTrans was coming). COME ON!!! CalTrans not only has a pretty regular schedule, but they take photos when they post notices. Not CalTrans' fault the people in the encampments remove the notices. Additionally, when CalTrans arrives, due to the fact they've already posted a notice, they're not REQUIRED to afford the encampment residents with additional time to clean their crap up. They do, but they're not required to. No one wants to be heartless meanie. Due to the ridiculous missing property claims, and lawsuits, CalTrans is now required to videotape (as opposed to simply photographing), the property they discard. They receive claims of jeans worth hundreds of dollars getting thrown away, valuable jewelry going missing...YEAH RIGHT!!! These places are filthy and full of rummaged and/or stolen property!! Don't insult my intelligence.

The people who work for CalTrans and go out and clean these encampments DO NOT have the power to disregard the order of their bosses. They have a job to do. And as a tax paying, home in West Oakland owning (an epicenter for this filth), and resident of California, I expect CalTrans to do their job!! I've been in these encampments (and stepped in "dookie bombs" the homeless left behind), and I've interacted with the hopeless HOMEOWNER who also feels like they're being punished/victimized. I belong to the latter group. So I have to suffer because people feel sorry for the homeless? I have to deal with the filth, trash, noise, and vermin, because people feel sorry for the homeless? What about me, the HOME OWNER, THE TAX PAYER, THE PERSON THAT GOES TO WORK EVERY DAY? What about the tax paying, home owning (or renting) residents who call in or go to the police begging for help with the encampment problem in their neighborhood, and they get brushed off, or their complaints get discarded, because the City and the State's hands are tied? How do you tell a person who does EVERYTHING RIGHT, and "PAYS THEIR DUES", that their complaints are invalid. "Sorry my friend, you're successful and own your home and pay your taxes, but because you're not homeless, we don't care you feel victimized too."

I spoke to one defeated home owner who lived next to an encampment. He said, "I don't understand how these people are not being arrested for trespassing...at the least! If i cut the lock and drove onto State property and started vandalizing stuff, or doing donuts, i would get arrested!!! Why are they not getting arrested ?!!!!" My response was, "Because they're homeless and you're not." But he's absolutely right. This is asinine!!!

And to go back to that line about "harassment." When CalTrans goes into these encampments to DO THEIR JOB, they're threatened, assaulted, and harassed themselves. Sometimes, they're not even CalTrans employees...they're contracted out to some work program. Men and women just trying to earn a living and/or fulfill the terms and conditions of their probation. If some of these homeless people weren't so hostile, perhaps CalTrans wouldn't need the police's assistance. I tell you what, this liberal Oakland City Council and spineless OPD (and their moratorium on the homeless) have made it difficult for other agencies to do their job. Because the City of Oakland and OPD refuse to address the problem, let people live in their cars (illegally parked or not), and let people pitch tents and block the sidewalks (out of compliance with ADA laws and regulations), then the homeless and activist think all other agencies are supposed to do the same. The City of Oakland's and OPD's LACK OF ACTION, is counter productive to the problem. They don't want to victimize the homeless, but they're victimizing the homeowner. oh but wait, NOT IN THE "NICE" NEIGHBORHOODS THOUGH!! Let a homeless person pitch a tent or live in their car on College Avenue, Piedmont Avenue, or Lasalle Avenue. OPD would be on their butt REAL QUICK!!! Hypocrites.

This whole problem gets me worked up, as you can see. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 08/13/2016 at 6:14 PM

Re: “Homelessness, Caltrans, and the East Bay's Forgotten People

No, no, no, no, no!!! Now this is where I draw the line. I hate articles like this because they're completely one sided. "Harassment from government agencies...," GTFOH!!!!!! I have a pretty in-depth knowledge of how these CalTrans clean-up days work. Yes, homelessness is a problem. I'm not debating that fact, but to expect or imply CalTrans, the State of California, or any police agency should turn a blind eye to these encampments, is ridiculous. Due to the B.S. bureaucracy, CalTrans is required to "post" their clean-up intentions DAYS in advance. Their posting schedule gives people several days notice to move their belongings. Sure as hell, when they come back, the people are STILL there (acting like it's the first time they've heard CalTrans was coming). COME ON!!! CalTrans not only has a pretty regular schedule, but they take photos when they post notices. Not CalTrans' fault the people in the encampments remove the notices. Additionally, when CalTrans arrives, due to the fact they've already posted a notice, they're not REQUIRED to afford the encampment residents with additional time to clean their crap up. They do, but they're not required to. No one wants to be heartless meanie. Due to the ridiculous missing property claims, and lawsuits, CalTrans is now required to videotape (as opposed to simply photographing), the property they discard. They receive claims of jeans worth hundreds of dollars getting thrown away, valuable jewelry going missing...YEAH RIGHT!!! These places are filthy and full of rummaged and/or stolen property!! Don't insult my intelligence.

The people who work for CalTrans and go out and clean these encampments DO NOT have the power to disregard the order of their bosses. They have a job to do. And as a tax paying, home in West Oakland owning (an epicenter for this filth), and resident of California, I expect CalTrans to do their job!! I've been in these encampments (and stepped in "dookie bombs" the homeless left behind), and I've interacted with the hopeless HOMEOWNER who also feels like they're being punished/victimized. I belong to the latter group. So I have to suffer because people feel sorry for the homeless? I have to deal with the filth, trash, noise, and vermin, because people feel sorry for the homeless? What about me, the HOME OWNER, THE TAX PAYER, THE PERSON THAT GOES TO WORK EVERY DAY? What about the tax paying, home owning (or renting) residents who call in or go to the police begging for help with the encampment problem in their neighborhood, and they get brushed off, or their complaints get discarded, because the City and the State's hands are tied? How do you tell a person who does EVERYTHING RIGHT, and "PAYS THEIR DUES", that their complaints are invalid. "Sorry my friend, you're successful and own your home and pay your taxes, but because you're not homeless, we don't care you feel victimized too."

I spoke to one defeated home owner who lived next to an encampment. He said, "I don't understand how these people are not being arrested for trespassing...at the least! If i cut the lock and drove onto State property and started vandalizing stuff, or doing donuts, i would get arrested!!! Why are they not getting arrested ?!!!!" My response was, "Because they're homeless and you're not." But he's absolutely right. This is asinine!!!

And to go back to that line about "harassment." When CalTrans goes into these encampments to DO THEIR JOB, they're threatened, assaulted, and harassed themselves. Sometimes, they're not even CalTrans employees...they're contracted out to some work program. Men and women just trying to earn a living and/or fulfill the terms and conditions of their probation. If some of these homeless people weren't so hostile, perhaps CalTrans wouldn't need the police's assistance. I tell you what, this liberal Oakland City Council and spineless OPD (and their moratorium on the homeless) have made it difficult for other agencies to do their job. Because the City of Oakland and OPD refuse to address the problem, let people live in their cars (illegally parked or not), and let people pitch tents and block the sidewalks (out of compliance with ADA laws and regulations), then the homeless and activist think all other agencies are supposed to do the same. The City of Oakland's and OPD's LACK OF ACTION, is counter productive to the problem. They don't want to victimize the homeless, but they're victimizing the homeowner. oh but wait, NOT IN THE "NICE" NEIGHBORHOODS THOUGH!! Let a homeless person pitch a tent or live in their car on College Avenue, Piedmont Avenue, or Lasalle Avenue. OPD would be on their butt REAL QUICK!!! Hypocrites.

This whole problem gets me worked up, as you can see. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 08/13/2016 at 6:03 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: “Guacamole 61 Brings the Meat to Epicurious Garden in Berkeley

I read this review/article yesterday so a co-worker and I ventured over there at lunch to try it. I'm with Jono...I wasn't impressed. I got the Hawaiian ham torta and she got the 5 taco platter. While they weren't "bad", they weren't "great" either. Let's just say I wouldn't venture over there JUST to stop by for a bite to eat. One thing I will say is their staff was very pleasant. So good job for that. Of course I recommend you give it a try, so you can come to your own conclusions, but I've had much better and cheaper tortas and tacos.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 08/12/2016 at 12:38 PM

Re: “Hate Man

I'm one of the faces of the crowd that defied the 'authorities', clashed with police, stood up to the Natal Guard army and helped build that park in 1969. Just a few years later, I moved on and spent decades living elsewhere around the country, with occasional visits to Berkeley. I noted some of the changes in the park, and claims about it variously, like acetate overlays atop the original.

I wasn't aware of Hate until some years into my move returning me to East Bay and, off and on, Berkeley again. I only ventured 'Hate Camp' some time later and for some years, Hate and I maintained something of an arm's length, unspoken acknowledgement of one another with especially brief exchanges of pertinent pragmatic information/advisories once in awhile.

Two winters ago, both the University and City police Dept's launched a relatively strict 'enforcement' program, which was routinely conducted nightly. First UPD officers 'swept' the park (formally "closed" at 10pm) hassling and removing people from the park, either to the surrounding curbs or across the streets. Later, BPD officers showed up to drive them out of the neighborhood entirely. This continued for months - until crews showed up early one morn, setting barriers up with police in the background, and began cutting trees down, then shredding those into a 'sawdust/woodchip' which was strewn around.

Finally, there would be nights when only Hate and would be around there. But I had a vehicle. During that spell, I included his camp in my regular round and e increased our interacting quite a bit. However, I wasn't interested nor amenable to what I regarded as essentially a quirky self-styled 'etiquette' and I avoid or resist demands for social performance.

I, too, have a professional career background n print media, including newspapers (starting with the Berkeley Barb in '69), although my emphasis was the visual design/production. I've also authored magazine articles and was a blogger for a well-known 'social justice' website, etc. Hate and I have never discussed these things.

There is more to the guy than I usually see covered in articles like this. For instance, probably most people (including locals) aren't aware of how much picking up of messes and things caused by others that he's doing again and again. Then there are realms of what I may consider more esoteric or metaphysical, but I'll leave it to him to elucidate if and as he pleases. I can't credit that 'camp' as a 'peace keeping' function, since a probable majority of boisterous (or worse) confrontations take place there.

But, of course, he's become an iconic fixture. Personally, I have found that despite the reported refusal of 'handouts' he eagerly accepts certain proffered gifts, which include cups of black coffee, mayonnaise and baked sweets. And he reciprocates in his own ways.

Posted by Christoverre Kohler on 08/12/2016 at 10:43 AM

Re: “Classic Brewmaster: Rodger Davis of Faction Brewing Co.

Having travelled a bit here and in famous beer brewing countries - like Germany, Netherlands, Czech. - we have to say that Oakland has the BEST IPAs by far. I was just this week under impressed with the brews served in Miami - glad to be back here in Oaktown where the REAL IPA lives.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 08/12/2016 at 8:44 AM

Re: “Tireless Educator: Vidrale Franklin

Yes, this quite aptly describes Vidrale Franklin. She is an innovator extraordinaire. Not that often do you find one individual with so much passion for the success of students and families. I am so proud to have seen this flower bloom and to have worked with her! She knows first hand t what an excellent education can mean. Proud to say I saw it first! What a tribute to you Vidrale.

Cheryl Curtis

Posted by checurtis on 08/12/2016 at 7:58 AM

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