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Re: “The High Cost of Driving While Poor

Eric Breidenbach,
This government racket should be addressed by Bernie Sanders, along with the drug war, the corporate takover of schools and other issues Obama would not confront. Nor will Hillary stand up to the money crowd. We need municipal Government that is not corrupt slime happy to suck the blood from the poor.

Posted by Eric Breidenbach on 04/06/2016 at 4:06 AM

Re: “Oakland Housing Emergency

Property taxes suppress the rent of real estate by diminishing the incentive to speculatively invest in land. In fact, a heavy tax on land values would promote optimal market development of land, raise enormous public revenue enabling reducing or abolishing business taxes and the sales tax, as well as the property tax on buildings. Why not attend a free Save San Francisco Real Estate School seminar?

Posted by David Giesen on 04/05/2016 at 11:18 PM

Re: “Oakland Housing Emergency

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.

Posted by Editor on 04/05/2016 at 9:37 PM

Re: “Berkeley Progressives Say Mayor Bates’ Housing Plan is a “Blueprint for Gentrification”

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.

Posted by Editor on 04/05/2016 at 6:46 PM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

This is BS. Our building needs extensive work. We have a $200 month renter, and we can only raise rent 3%? EVICT'

Posted by David Peters on 04/05/2016 at 6:36 PM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

For those actual readers of books here there is a new book (published in March) on the critical problem of eviction in the U.S. It is evidence- and data-based and written by Harvard Sociologist Matthew Desmond.

I heard about it on the neoliberal PBS News Hour today in case some of you rightwingers are looking for bona fides. Next best thing to Fox News.

The Washington Post said this:

“Thank you, Matthew Desmond. Thank you for writing about destitution in America with astonishing specificity yet without voyeurism or judgment. Thank you for showing it is possible to compose spare, beautiful prose about a complicated policy problem. Thank you for giving flesh and life to our squabbles over inequality, so easily consigned to quintiles and zero-sum percentages. Thank you for proving that the struggle to keep a roof over one’s head is a cause, not just a characteristic of poverty.”

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 04/05/2016 at 3:58 PM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

Senor Not-a-reader: "Ignorance is bliss my friend."

Ignorance is quite evidently your bliss; it's not mine.

I don't have reactionaries like you as friends.

There's was a writer by the name of Karl Marx who addressed very thoroughly your ignorance regarding the nature of ownership of money. Many other writer-researchers have followed in his footsteps.

Read something other than Ayn Rand and deal with your ignorance.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 04/05/2016 at 2:40 PM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

Haha. Hobart, given the childish behavior and ad hominem attacks, it's almost impossible to take you seriously.

Maybe you should cite your source when you claim "Even if every single eviction notice processed through Oakland's official Rent Adjustment Section is fully, completely and utterly legal, each of those evictions is also likely to be unethical, unfair, driven by greed and definitely demonstrative of the exploitation of the poor by the wealthy". All that is is PURE speculation on your part and nothing that is supported by facts. Ask yourself, how do YOU know that this is the case? Did you ask all 1,000+ people who received eviction notices? Do you have the capability and/or resources to track and measure this? Not to say that the county/city is the best, but they have more resources and don't seem to have the ability to do so.

Case in point, you're not special and all you are stating is your opinion which is like any other opinion floating on the internet.

Also, I know this is something you can't imagine, but there are renters out there that are not good renters, miss payments, and/or break terms of the lease. Those are the people that get eviction notices too. Since you obviously can't quantify your opinion with facts, it would be impossible to refute that with just your feelings.

Ignorance is bliss my friend.

Posted by Robert Hope on 04/05/2016 at 12:57 PM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

If our goal is to improve the quality and cost of housing for people of all income levels, I think we should listen to what people who have actually studied this matter found.
One such place to look is the California Legislative Office, a non-partisan policy advisor. They state:

In this follow up to California’s High Housing Costs, we offer additional evidence that facilitating more private housing development in the state’s coastal urban communities would help make housing more affordable for low–income Californians. Existing affordable housing programs assist only a small proportion of low–income Californians. Most low–income Californians receive little or no assistance. Expanding affordable housing programs to help these households likely would be extremely challenging and prohibitively expensive. It may be best to focus these programs on Californians with more specialized housing needs—such as homeless individuals and families or persons with significant physical and mental health challenges.

Encouraging additional private housing construction can help the many low–income Californians who do not receive assistance. Considerable evidence suggests that construction of market–rate housing reduces housing costs for low–income households and, consequently, helps to mitigate displacement in many cases. Bringing about more private home building, however, would be no easy task, requiring state and local policy makers to confront very challenging issues and taking many years to come to fruition. Despite these difficulties, these efforts could provide significant widespread benefits: lower housing costs for millions of Californians.

Full report available here: http://www.lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/…

Posted by Tommy Katz on 04/05/2016 at 12:55 PM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

Prof. Know-nothing: "Darwin, thank you for providing the evidence that your number is a distortion of the facts."

Not only are you ignorant you are yourself a twister of facts.

Darwin said that the facts are uncertain regarding actual evictions. You offer absolutely nothing confirming that what he wrote is "distorted." If the facts were indeed "distorted" meaning that they were somehow changed in order to give a false impression, then you are welcome to provide numbers, with a reference, about the number of actual evictions in Oakland, whether officially noticed or not.

Further, whether actual evictions are a few hundred, a few thousand, or absolutely none at all, the fact of getting an eviction notice is far from a happy event for the recipient of said eviction notice. To be threatened with the loss of your home is upsetting to say the least. A thousand such notices a month upsets not just a thousand people but a thousand families. A thousand upset families each month.

Of course such families are of no interest to you. They do not exist in your world.

Sorry Prof. Know-nothing, but not only are you ignorant about the reality of life for those not as well-off and isolated as you are, you are the very epitome of a distorter of facts. First among your distortions is your completely unfounded assumption that an eviction notice is without harm.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 04/05/2016 at 11:28 AM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

"Demolition of a historic resource is only allowed if it "cannot generate a reasonable economic return" and its replacement "is equal/superior to that of the original structure.""

Dunno but maybe putting a bunch of houses on top of an abandoned, unused lot is a superior replacement? Joyce, I'd love to hear how stopping this being demolished is helping curb evictions and putting more houses in the supply :)

Posted by Victoria Fierce on 04/05/2016 at 11:07 AM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

Matt Chambers,

You raise a good point, which I also raised in my first response to you: we simply don't know how many evictions are occurring in Oakland and Alameda County. The Oakland Rent Adjustment Program doesn't (and can't) track all threats of eviction and actual removals of tenants from a property. And the courts are not tracking, or at least they're not making public, data that would show the numbers of unlawful detainers filed, and the outcomes of these lawsuits.

Then again, many evictions occur without any paperwork whatsoever. Some tenants are simply told to leave, and they do because they don't know how the process works.

Anyhow, I'd like to see public agencies step up and produce solid data on how many tenants are being affected by an eviction.

Posted by Darwin BondGraham on 04/05/2016 at 10:43 AM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

Hobart, if you think questioning purported facts lacking citation is a sign of ignorance -well, that thinking speaks for itself.
Darwin, thank you for providing the evidence that your number is a distortion of the facts. You requested the count of how many "eviction notices" were issued and then reported that those notices actually represent real evictions. An eviction notice does not equal an eviction and you know it. In a 100 unit building you'll issue ~6/month resulting in ZERO actual evictions. The notices happen for a number of reasons, but mostly it's due to a late rent payment or lease violation and are resolved without an actual eviction. Like Fox News I think people leave this publication less informed than if they didn't read it at all.

Posted by Matt_Chambers on 04/05/2016 at 10:19 AM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

Senor Not-a-reader: "Maybe you could shed some light on the types of evictions that are being done."

Please reread my comments and you will discover a source for the information you desire. Do your own research.

At issue originally, Senor Not-a-reader, was whether there are actually 1000 evictions a year in Oakland. In fact the number is ten times that, excluding those that involve any type of legal noticing.

Even if every single eviction notice processed through Oakland's official Rent Adjustment Section is fully, completely and utterly legal, each of those evictions is also likely to be unethical, unfair, driven by greed and definitely demonstrative of the exploitation of the poor by the wealthy.

Exploitation of the poor by the wealthy is the real heart of the matter. Along with the failure of Oakland's government to protect the poor effectively. In order to understand this you not only need to be able to read, you also need to experience something called compassion.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 04/05/2016 at 9:27 AM

Re: “Cholita Linda Won’t Be Coming to Lakeshore Avenue After All

I agree with the previous comments. Holy Land has great falafels and another so close makes no sense whatsoever. I also don't trust the Gilberts, and wonder if they will somewhere down the line pull a fast one on the new leasees.

Posted by Rochelle Robinson on 04/04/2016 at 11:01 PM

Re: “Berkeley Progressives Say Mayor Bates’ Housing Plan is a “Blueprint for Gentrification”

> the current Affordable Housing Mitigation Fee — a charge on market-rate development projects that helps fund affordable housing in the city

Linking taxes and subsidies is generally a fallacy. Say we agree that we should subsidize affordable housing. But why should we tax market rate housing development? You want to tax negative externalities.

https://medium.com/@ClayShentrup/what-to-t…

Posted by Clay Shentrup on 04/04/2016 at 10:57 PM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

Oakland City Council on Tuesday will consider a proposed massive project of overwhelming scale with mish-mash design at a major site, 27th Street and Broadway. Both the Landmarks Board and the Planning Commission were troubled by its design.

To allow the developer, Hanover Co., to cover every inch of the property with seven stories of 255 units, the city is violating its Planning Code and the Preservation Element of the General Plan by permitting the demolition of a historic resource, Biff's Coffee Shop, on the back half of the site.

Demolition of a historic resource is only allowed if it "cannot generate a reasonable economic return" and its replacement "is equal/superior to that of the original structure."

Biff's -- as a restored, operating 24/7 family-friendly restaurant -- is of greater value to Oakland than more unaffordable, family-unfriendly apartments. A qualified operator has offered to lease it for $20,000 per month and it would cost less to restore it than constructing four units.

The City Council meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

Posted by Joyce Roy on 04/04/2016 at 10:42 PM

Re: “Town Business: Housing Emergency; Biff's Demolition; “Love Life”; Pop Tax

"Nope, P. K-n., you're 1000% ignorant."

Maybe you could shed some light on the types of evictions that are being done. Can you substantiate that all those evictions per month are not justified as in the renters weren't behind in rent payments or didn't break a clause in the lease?? Or are you stating that all 1,000 per month evictions are no fault?

I bet you got all excited when other articles state Ellis Act evictions are skyrocketing up 100% even though the number climb from 5 to 10.

Yes, 1000% ignorant indeed!!

Posted by Robert Hope on 04/04/2016 at 7:44 PM

Re: “Berkeley Progressives Say Mayor Bates’ Housing Plan is a “Blueprint for Gentrification”

Sounds like a pretty well thought out plan.

Posted by Julian Urmson on 04/04/2016 at 7:30 PM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

Eucalyptus and acacias are often cut back with the intent of reducing fire risk or improving the view. However, they are very tenacious and will quickly resprout thicker than before than before unless actively deterred.
Shortly after moving to the East Bay hills in 1996, we completely removed the eucalyptus trees surrounding our house and replaced them with redwoods. The redwoods are now 20 to 30 feet high, and volunteer oaks and bay trees are starting to sprout around them.

Posted by Mitchell Craig on 04/04/2016 at 6:18 PM

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