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Re: “Berkeley's Special City Council Election Zeroes In On Housing, Homelessness Issues

Looks like this website not-so-subtly endorses baby Ben. Look at the front page photo for this article: it shows Ben fully and cuts Kate off so one cannot recognize her. The photo should be recropped or removed. Or put a full presentation of Katie's face and clip Ben's face untl he is unrecognizable. You know, act like journalists and be fair.

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 03/03/2017 at 12:38 PM

Re: “The Bay Is Brutal: A Love Letter To Concrete and Brutalism in the Bay Area

Good subject. Embarrassing writing style. What are you in high school?

Posted by Tom Limecooler on 03/03/2017 at 2:20 AM

Re: “Alameda County Officials Say Repealing Affordable Care Act Would Be ‘Devastating’

I work. I have worked since I was 16. Maybe Mr. Udinsky has made a ton of money every year that he has worked, but I have not. He says people didn't plan adequately. Maybe people could not save because employers don't pay adequate wages. Maybe people can't save because they are saddled with ever increasing college costs and interest rates or by huge increases in their rents. Maybe someone had a life-threatening illness or injury that wiped out their savings. Maybe people got bilked by speculators or by the Wall Street-created recession. Maybe we got laid off because we are too old or too expensive (although they of course don't tell us that). Maybe our employers left the country to get even cheaper labor elsewhere. Maybe natural disasters wiped them out.

There are many factors which may have led to people not being able to purchase health insurance. Please do not assume we were all out there wasting our money. I must rely on Obamacare because after I was laid off none of my current three employers offer health care. I will not be able to buy health insurance on my inadequate wages. Oh and by the way, I do pay for my insurance. Yes, I receive a subsidy but I do pay a significant chunk of my income for insurance.

If you don't want to pay taxes to help your neighbors, how about working to get everyone a decent wage so we can afford to pay for health insurance (mind you, that does not necessarily mean health care). You and I both subsidize every employer who pays minimum wage because those employees are the ones who go to the emergency room and need food stamps.

Posted by Karen Hesse on 03/02/2017 at 9:14 PM

Re: “Alameda County Officials Say Repealing Affordable Care Act Would Be ‘Devastating’

I am so happy to hear that Vincent and Gilbert are enthusiastic about Obamacare. Vincent, Obamacare is subsidized health insurance. I would be delighted for Vincent and Gilbert to contribute their hard earned money to a big fund for the benefit of all of those who did not adequately plan for the future. I have no problem with Vincent and Gilbert giving charity to those who were not responsible enough to take care of themselves. However, other people in this country are tired of subsidizing those who failed to take care of themselves. The number of people on welfare will continue to increase as Vincent and Gilbert give more and more. But if Gilbert and Vincent want to spend their money in that manner, that's fine with me. What gives Vincent and Gilbert the right to impose upon others the necessity of paying into the charity favored by Vincent and Gilbert? As I mentioned, Liberty requires that each person take responsibility for himself. If not, we will have an authoritarian welfare state that grows bigger every year. In fact, our Federal Government has become a huge income redistribution mechanism. This was never the intention of the Founding Fathers or the nature of this country.

Posted by Jerry Udinksy on 03/02/2017 at 8:20 AM

Re: “Alameda County Officials Say Repealing Affordable Care Act Would Be ‘Devastating’

Could be an opportunity to finally get Calif. on single-payer. It's been bandied about for decades. It may finally be time. Many small economies than ours already have it: Canada, Taiwan, many European countries. We are the 6th or 7th largest economy in the world. If smaller countries can do it, we can, although we still have to "pay our dues" to the U.S. as a whole which takes a chunk of change.

Posted by chris gilbert on 03/01/2017 at 9:24 PM

Re: “Alameda County Officials Say Repealing Affordable Care Act Would Be ‘Devastating’

Jerry Udinisky, you're not even addressing the article.The POINT of the article: Donald Dump is cutting people off from their health insurance, not only that but he has NO substitute. These are people who PAY for their health insurance under the Affordable Care Act; it isn't freely given to them. I know many working people who pay for their OWN insurance. If that's not taking responsibility, I don't know what is.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 03/01/2017 at 3:37 PM

Re: “Alameda County Officials Say Repealing Affordable Care Act Would Be ‘Devastating’

More and more people on food stamps. More and more people unemployed. More and more people in need of welfare from the government. That is the legacy of Barack Obama. Now the working citizens need to foot the bill for those who have not taken care of themselves and their families. These people who are in such great need are helpless like children. When are they going to grow up. When will our society demand that these "helpless" adults take care of themselves and not be dependent upon others. The working people of the country have spoken with the election of Donald Trump. Being a citizen in a free society requires that the citizens assume the responsibility of liberty and freedom. Freedom is not "free," it requires responsibility and independence of the individual.

Posted by Jerry Udinksy on 03/01/2017 at 1:08 PM

Re: “Berkeley's Special City Council Election Zeroes In On Housing, Homelessness Issues

They use their technology to play God as they gut our cities carry out a racist genocide
Hover claimed it was just the gays he was targeting back in the 1960s they operate with impunity targeting the heterosexual since they were never brought to justice they still continue their attacks, we backed the Muslims in Pakistan instead of India the Muslimization of the world and America Google it by smokingspirit they torture Kirby the libertarian candidate in Cali, they held him till he pissed blood then they gave him a chemical substitute for weed, at that time they should of been man enough to admit weed was a medical necessity but instead they held him until he was thoroughly brain washed and the first thing he said when he got out was how great their chemicals are and how dangerous weed is, since beginning of time man has used technologies to play God do you think today is any different?

Posted by Smkngsprt Sprt on 03/01/2017 at 4:09 AM

Re: “Oakland's Biggest Landlord is Fighting For His Life in Federal Court

OK, multiple issues here;
1.) Landlord/tenant disputes amplified by size of his holdings and shady practices.

2.) separate issue of how he got the holdings.

In issue one, there are very clean practices for how to deal with "I didn't get the letter/check". It costs about 3 dollars to send them certified. They have to sign or refuse delivery. No if's ands or buts on deliveries. And an eviction court will crucify them for a refusal. Of course they can claim there was no check, but a photocopy of the check or money order will usually deal with that.

Handing the office manager a letter is sure recipe for disaster, no matter HOW satisfying it is. I grew up very poor. This is how the war with these jerks is won. Let an unbiased, third party be your testimony (the post office). Don't make it your word. I know, your word is good. like it or not, the post office receipt is better.

Issue two; Too many of his co-conspirators have plead guilty. If the prosecution is half on the ball, they flip some of them into testifying against. This looks exactly like what RICO was intended for and can strip him naked.

And onto the third, unmentioned issue. While it MAY not apply here (and I'm not saying it doesn't... No one seems to have done the investigation to follow the money for this set of facts) the absolute largest landlords in the country today are hedge funds. And they've turned rent checks into financial investment instruments.

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 02/28/2017 at 12:54 AM

Re: “Oakland's Biggest Landlord is Fighting For His Life in Federal Court

Where is the sympathy for the person looking for an apartment, who can afford to pay MARKET rent and can't find one? We go to the market and buy food at the price labelled on the shelves, we buy gas at the pump price, but all of a sudden we want rents to be below the market "for us" because we live there and for no one else. Cities are living things and if they can't organically grow they die.

Posted by stan miller on 02/27/2017 at 9:48 PM

Re: “Oakland's Biggest Landlord is Fighting For His Life in Federal Court

Something does not compute?? How can they get a sale if the property is this bad? Who would buy it? I have another take. I've bought property with squatters and I call the police and they say it's "a civil matter" and I have to go to court and evict them. Then the squatters or tenants who just stop paying go to Legal Aid and legal aid says they want a JURY trial. My lawyer says a JURY trial will cost $15,000. Then legal aid says, "we want our clients to stay 3 months at no rent, dismiss any back rent and seal the case (so they don't have a record and can do it again). If you are people of good will and not ideologues you should sit down with a landlord who operates in depressed areas (not the techie areas) and see the reality. My buildings are spotless, I have a 24 hour number for emergencies, I have regular maintenance and pest eradication, but have a lot of trouble evicting people who stop paying rent for one reason or another.

Posted by stan miller on 02/27/2017 at 9:20 PM

Re: “Oakland's Biggest Landlord is Fighting For His Life in Federal Court

Sometimes a foreclosure never gets to a courthouse auction. A guy on our block bought a house with two mortgages and now down in 2005. Soon he let it lapse into default. Then he persuaded the bank to accept a short sale -- which he rigged. He and his real estate agent refused to let anyone see the place and make an offer, except the partner in the scam. He bought it for a pittance, let the guy live in it for several years, and then they sold the house and split the profits. While the guy lived there, he was a complete nuisance to the neighborhood, right up to a federal ATF raid on the marijuana grow in the garage.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 02/27/2017 at 9:04 PM

Re: “Oakland's Biggest Landlord is Fighting For His Life in Federal Court

Community Fund LLC owns many properties like 408 Tennessee Street in Vallejo California. That particular one they just bought for $225,100 about 5 months ago and they already have it listed for sale for over $450,000. It is filled with squatters who are destroying it and terrorizing the neighbors. The police go about once a week and get them out but they go right back in. The police say the owners are not doing enough to secure the property and that the police aren't the property owners private patrol. The property is in much worse condition and the owners are not concerned at all with the welfare or safety for anyone. The City of Vallejo, other cities, the State of California, and the Federal Government should all document the properties these companies own and ensure they stop allowing the drug dens, prostitution homes, gang member havens etc these alleged racketeering scammers are operating or allowing. It's quite possible they are also collecting money from the drug lords who are also renting rooms out to squatters, prostitutes, etc in many of these properties like this. There should be a huge class action lawsuit by all neighbors of their properties as well. I'd love to be contacted if/when this happens and might be starting one myself if I don't find one soon.

Posted by Scott Brown on 02/27/2017 at 6:21 PM

Re: “Berkeley's Special City Council Election Zeroes In On Housing, Homelessness Issues

Ben Gould has no experience but school and is in his early twenties. Kate Harrison has worked in government for at least twenty years. She is also invited as a consultant around the world as governments try to improve their system of governance. Kate managed the SF entire court system for years.

This kid, Ben, tells completely different speeches depending on his audience. He's a classic flip flopper: he says progressive things to progressive audience and conservative things to real estate interests.

We need honesty and ingegrity. Kate has it and Ben's wildly divergent campaign speeches suggests he'll say anything to win, which indicates a lack of integrity.

Interesting that you only have his campaign donations through 2016. He is said to be raking in real estate money and he has been seen meeting with Tom Bates, our finally-gone bad mayor.

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 02/25/2017 at 11:53 AM

Re: “NBC Paid for Ghost Ship Operator Derick Almena's Hotel Room During Exclusive Interview

What the fuck, Charles C. Eroster?! Who the fuck do you think you are? You obviously have absolutely no fucking idea what you are talking about and it is people like you who would (and did) elect a white supremacist fascist to reign over the FREE states of America and kill all hope for anyone other than idiot middle class white men to live peacefully and happily in the country that promised them "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." You are the disgusting storm cloud that robs all the sunlight and beauty from the world and I hope that your life is doomed to mediocrity and you die knowing that you did this whole thing called life completely wrong.

Posted by Annie Tull on 02/25/2017 at 10:11 AM

Re: “Racial Profiling Via Nextdoor.com

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Posted by Carolina Sander on 02/23/2017 at 11:22 PM

Re: “City of Oakland Clears Out The Village Homeless Encampment

Garry Ovalbach...I can understand your concern as a property owner, but dumping the houseless population off in another city is not a solution...it's simply handing what you consider a problem off to someone else. Do you think the same thing you complain about won't also be the concerns of homeowners in Richmond as well. Do you assume that Richmond doesn't have it's own houseless population to deal with? This is a much more complex issue than just moving them to another town. Let's not forget that these are human beings.

Posted by N. Patterson on 02/23/2017 at 4:20 PM

Re: “Two Highly Touted Oakland Charter Schools Quickly Closed, Now Owe the District Money

A lot of people do not understand the ins & outs of schooling in this country and many of our educational leaders will tell different stories to look good rather than to truly support children and their communities. I was employed at CPA upon its commencement in 2015. I was attracted by their petition and written commitment to the Castlemont community. What attracted me was the following: For awhile, I've been noticing how both OUSD and charter organizations focus on recruiting Latino communities while continually marginalizing African American children. This to me is an intentional strategy. It is my observation that the entire district let alone the Bay Area continues to practice pervasive attitudes towards our Black students. I am Afro Latina and can speak to both sides of the story. Castlemont's vision was truly inspiring. However, what was the challenge was the poorly skilled leadership and roll-out of this program. It feels to me that many educational leaders go into positions of authority for the status quo and not necessarily to lead and inspire. This is what was observed while there. When I was hired, I had the skills necessary to do what I was hired for. We had a staff that was so committed and so driven to support these students. However, speaking for the primary academy in 2015 there were 2 out of 5 teachers who had experience as teachers but were previously released by OUSD. This means they did not pass their evaluations at that district. The other three teachers never stepped foot in a classroom. Of the three teachers only one had just completed her credentialing program. The other was enrolled in Teach For America and the other did not even have an emergency permit to teach in a class. My responsibility was to coach all of these teachers as a Dean of Instruction. However, there was NO principal or Dean of Students at the primary academy to address the plethora of students being kicked out of their classrooms by the same teachers. So, I spent most of my time either substituting in a class or restoring normalcy in the office as I counseled students, parents and teachers to support them in keeping students in the classroom. The leader whom I worked for made the decision to pull the principal out and have him only lead the junior academy. She thought for some reason I would juggle both. There were also some power struggles observed between the two. At this time I was also a member with New Leaaders for New Schools and my coach of the time flatly stated that I would not survive if things did change quickly. Things didn't change and I made the decision to leave. I learned a few months later the CJA closed. I also learned through others that the leader I was working for was known for poor leadership skills. I learned in the summer that NONE of the previously employed staff was returning. So, how did this happen to a predominantly Black school in Castlemont? How is it that Education for Change, Aspire, Vincent Academy and others survive? What can be learned by what happened? How about this new school OUSD is about to unleash next year to support language immersion? I would take a very close look at what recruitment strategies are being. I would also look at how similar Open Enrollment rhetoric has really looked like in other cities. Anyone committed to both Black and Brown students should always see both sides of the story. Ignorance is no longer tolerable.

Posted by Adelfa Chala on 02/22/2017 at 5:04 PM

Re: “Bay Area Might Adopt World’s First Regional Oil-Refinery Emissions Caps

Thank you Will for another important piece. Now with the document shredding scandal, how long will the board tolerate this type of behavior? Bunger and Broadbent must go!

Posted by Andres Soto on 02/22/2017 at 3:32 PM

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