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Comment Archives: stories: Blogs

Re: “These Bay Area Businesses Want to Build Trump's Border Wall

You might want to check your references before including incorrect information in your articles.... RIO lasers in Santa Clara, which is owned by OptaSense in the UK, actually manufactures semiconductor lasers and has NOT made any bid on the FedBiz website for a border wall.

Posted by Martin Reeves on 04/24/2017 at 6:31 PM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland Fire Department Still Seriously Under-Staffed

Wrong about the police department. It has 39 vacant sworn officer positions - 5 percent, not 2 percent. Mr. BondGraham makes the same mistake he made last December. The 39 authorized but unfilled positions are listed in the OPD Personnel Distribution Report for the beginning of April. But Mr. BG insists on using a report based on a convoluted definition of vacancy. That report lists some sergeant vacancies but not one police officer vacancy! Not sensible and not true (there are actually 21 officer vacancies), but with Mr BG, ideology trumps facts.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 04/24/2017 at 2:36 PM
Posted by elmy kader on 04/24/2017 at 11:23 AM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland Fire Department Still Seriously Under-Staffed

The Chron article points out yet another aspect of fire-safety failure in Oakland--recently there have been serious fires in homeless camping areas in Oakland.

It's a double-whammy. More people displaced by gentrification and poor development policy who are also vulnerable to fires when they have to squat on our streets.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 04/24/2017 at 9:33 AM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland Fire Department Still Seriously Under-Staffed

Here he goes again... Half written, half done work by the carpet bagger. Here's a real article on the problem:

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-…

See how it should be done?

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 04/24/2017 at 8:01 AM

Re: “Federal Judge Rules Against Oakland, Allows Coal Terminal Lawsuit to Proceed

Good thing the eco orgs are joining the lawsuit because Oakland doesn't have the deep pockets to fix it's original screwup on the contract. Stadium conracts, police and fire contracts, garbage contracts, port contracts, is there a pattern here?

Posted by Len Raphael on 04/22/2017 at 9:29 PM

Re: “Community and Labor Groups Say Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Has Stacked the Planning Commission with Real Estate Industry Reps

In the planning process for the market rate apartment project between 51st and 49th on Bway, my sense is that the developer took the concerns of the neighbors more seriously than city staff or the planning commission. The developer must have been used to citiy governments less desperate than Oakland's for any development, no matter what the shortcomings.

When neighbors (or nimbies depending on you point of view) questioned the need for every unit to have it's own air conditioning system, the Planning Commission blandly referred it back to staff where it remains buried to this day.

When Kaiser took over the old Welfare building across from Tech, one Planning Commissioner kept going on about Kaiser should be required to place a terrance with greenery on the facade. That Commissioner was a landscape architect. Good idea but trivial in the overal picture. (But she was correct: Kaiser's landscaping is awful.)

Forgetabout the Commission, when I first asked about what city planner was assigned to the project, I was told by experienced staff that I must be mistaken because the staffer who I had inquired about was "too inexperienced to be put on such a large project." He was. and he was.

On the Pleasant Valley Safeway project which would be fine if it were in Pleasanton , it wasn't staff or Planning Commissioners that thwarted the united front of nimbies and smart growthers favoring high density mixed use on that site. It was the highest levels of our former Mayor's administration that was too timid to push the owner of the parcels to go mixed use.

The Commission's makeup reflects the overall failure of several City Hall administrations to guide and encourage growth.

Posted by Len Raphael on 04/22/2017 at 6:05 PM

Re: “Federal Judge Rules Against Oakland, Allows Coal Terminal Lawsuit to Proceed

So what exactly did they say they were shipping? Or did Oakland even ask? That would have been something the author here should have investigated, o/w a good article, thank you.

Posted by Todd Pratum on 04/22/2017 at 5:57 PM

Re: “Federal Judge Rules Against Oakland, Allows Coal Terminal Lawsuit to Proceed

That is because you have a group of idiots running the show in Oakland. You get what you vote for, a bunch of wan a be'es

Posted by Jim Mzt on 04/22/2017 at 5:53 PM

Re: “Community and Labor Groups Say Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Has Stacked the Planning Commission with Real Estate Industry Reps

Gary Patton is right that long before our current mayor, the Planning Commission has been stacked with members who depend on development for their livelihood. Hobart Johnson is dead right that much like everything else Oakland city government has done for years is neglect long term planning, be it public safety, schools, public transportation, recreation, or housing. Just take a walk thru Mountain View Cemetery on a weekend and multiply by a 100 the number of people holding picnics on graves, and you'll get an idea of the future impact of the CIty's failure to plan for open space and recreation.

Yes, for the Commissioners to do their volunteer jobs properly, they should be digging into the details of the projects presented to them. My limited experience from attending Commission meetings on the two projects on Bway and 51st is that only a few of the Commissioners make the effort to do that. The others at most seem to have only read the staff report.

You don't have to be an architect or real estate broker to read staff reports. And even many architects are not up to the task of visualizing very large projects. Appointing people outside of the real estate industry, and upgrading city staff qualifications and tightening revolving door employment rules for the staff, would be a better solution for the interests of all residents and businesses, current and future, than filling the Commission with people from the real estate industry, regardless of non-profit or for profit.

Len Raphael
Temescal

Posted by Len Raphael on 04/22/2017 at 5:13 PM

Re: “Federal Judge Rules Against Oakland, Allows Coal Terminal Lawsuit to Proceed

Alas, even earlier than 2013 when the development agreement was made, most environmentally-aware citizens would have thought about the threat of hazardous bulk materials being handled at the terminal.

Didn't occur somehow to Oakland's officials and their staffers. So nothing was done to protect Oakland's citizens, not to mention the city's finances, if a future environmental threat were to arise.

Maybe it's just me, but this sounds like business as usual in Oakland. We invariably seem to get our butt kicked.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 04/22/2017 at 8:38 AM

Re: “Community and Labor Groups Say Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Has Stacked the Planning Commission with Real Estate Industry Reps

This undemocratic packing of the Planning Commission may not have begun with Libby Schaaf, but it certainly has continued, and even been increased by her. Remember that her main financial backers are developers and that most of her campaign finance comes from outside Oakland.

The problem for Oakland is that it really would benefit from the urban livability and social function insights of people like Jane Jacobs whose 1961 book "Death and Life of Great American Cities" took on redevelopment baron Robert Moses in NYC.

Not that Oakland is necessarily a great American city, but so much of Oakland has been neglected for so long that this city has never quite lived up to its potential.

Oakland needs a vision which is about Oakland and its unique resources and needs. This is not the same as a vision of short-term profit which motivates developers and their captive pols.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 04/22/2017 at 8:28 AM

Re: “Community and Labor Groups Say Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Has Stacked the Planning Commission with Real Estate Industry Reps

Rich people doing what they alwsys do in urban areas.. They relocate the poor and black&brown people. This is all by design and it's going on all over America, basically a cleansing of undesirables.

Posted by Mr Jones on 04/22/2017 at 8:14 AM

Re: “Hayward Police Chief: There Is No Video of Fatal Police Shooting of 16-Year-Old Elena Mondragon

of course, Hayward police department needs to get off their hi horse and get some retraining skills Meaning ETHICS, compassion, patience logics. Because they are so sure of themselves that they have the right person, innocent people are being overlooked and automatically accused judged thrown in jail and now even killed. All due to HAYWARD POLICE SLOPPY WORK. THEY NEED TO GET OFF THIER BADGE AND TAKE A DEEPER AND CLOSER LOOK AT WHO IS WHO, STOP STEREOTYPING, THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO LOOK LISTEN AND READ A PERSON, NOT EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT, MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE YOUNG GIRLS FAMILY,JUST A YEAR AGO MY SON WAS ARRESTED FOR A HOME INVASION THAT HE HAD NO PART OF AND HAD NO CLUE IT WAS GOING TO OCCUR, HE WAS BASICALLY SET UP, WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE A KICK BACK DAY, ENDED UP HELL TO PAY, YES HE MADE THE WRONG CHOICE TO BELEIVE A PERSON HE BARLEY NEW, THE GUY EVEN ALLOWED MY SON TO DRIVE HIS GIRLFRIENDS CAR, HOW NICE, NOT!!! HE HAD AN ULTERIOR MOTIVE, SWITCHING FROM NICE TO GUN POINT, DEMANDING HIM TO WAIT IN THE CAR AND THAN TO DRIVE OFF AFTER LEAVING SCENE, THAT SOUNDS TO ME MORE VICTIMIZED THAN PARTICIPANT,CAR CRASHES MASTERMIND RUNS AND GETS AWAY SCOTT FREE, MY SON GETS ALL THE CHARGES GUNS AND ALL, MY SON WAS TO SCARED TO SAY ANYTHING, I TOOK IT UPON MYSELF TRIED TO EXPLAIN TO HAYWARD POLICE AND EVEN GAVE THE NAME OF FUGITIVE, I NEW EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED WITNESSED THE FUGITIVE THAT DAY ALSO WHEN HE BEAT MY SON UP PRETTY BAD. OH BUT IAM THE MOTHER SO I HAVE NO SAY AND TO BAD" THERE IS NO FUGITIVE" I COULD NOT BELEIVE THEY DID NOT EVEN TRY TO LOOK FOR THE MASTERMIND THAT PLANNED A KIDNAPPING, TOOK Hostages ROBBED AND HAD FIREARMS POINTED AT PEOPLE, THEY ALLOWED HIM TO WALK AND NEVER TOOK the SECOND look TO EVEN TRY AND apprehend him, OR EVEN QUESTION HIM...MY SON IS GETTING 3 YEARS, GOING TO PRISON FOR FIRST TIME JUST BECAUSE THEY WANTED AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE, WELL THAT guy IS GOING TO STRIKE AGAIN AND POSSIBLY KILL SOMEONE, GUARANTEED, I WILL BE WAITING HEAVEN FORBID, WHEN HE DOES, THE HAYWARD POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE D, A ARE GOING TO HEAR FROM ME AND SEVERAL OTHER'S THAT FEEL THIER WAS AN UNJUST ON MY SON, my son is not a career criminal he doesn't have it in him. I PROMISE FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART IAM NOT JUST SAYING THIS BEING THE MOTHER, I WOULD BE AN ADVOCATE FOR ANYONE THAT I FEEL HIS RIGHTS WERE TAKEN, I SUBMITTED CHARACTER LETTERS FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY THAT WILL PROVE MY VALIDATIONS ARE CORRECT, I AM SORRY TO SAY HAYWARD POLICE DEPARTMENT ARE LIKE ROBOCOPS THEY DON't give a damn about humanity, seems they only care for a weekly quota and go home to their families while our children are being victimised and thrown to the wolfs NOT ONLY BY THIER PEERS ALSO by our supposedly protect and serve HAYWARD police department. I PRAY FOR THEM EVERY NIGHT SO GOD WILL SOFTEN THIER HEARTS TO GIVE THEM COMPASSION, TO SLOW DOWN LEARN HOW TO READ AND CARE FOR CERTAIN PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS SO THEY WON'T BEHAVE UNETHICALly, JUST BECAUSE A PERSON IS IN A BAD SITUATION, WITH BAD PEOPLE DOESN't NESSARLY MEAN THEY ARE PART OF, THEY REALLY SHOULD BE ABLE TO READ A PERSON OFF BACK, I PRAY IT won't HAPPEN TO ANYONE ELSE's CHILD OR LOVED ONE. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE YOUNG GIRL AND HER FAMILY ASWELL AS MYSELF AND MY FAMILY...UNJUST!!! IAM DONE

Posted by Lucia G. Mejia on 04/21/2017 at 7:45 PM

Re: “Community and Labor Groups Say Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Has Stacked the Planning Commission with Real Estate Industry Reps

This is why Oakland is becoming a playground for the rich!

Posted by Beth Trimarco on 04/21/2017 at 7:43 PM

Re: “Hayward Police Chief: There Is No Video of Fatal Police Shooting of 16-Year-Old Elena Mondragon

Of course, Hayward police department needs to get off their hi horse and get some retraining skills Meaning ETHICS, compassion, patience logics. Because they are so sure of themselves that they have the right person, innocent people are being overlooked and automatically accused judged thrown in jail and now even killed. All due to HAYWARD POLICE SLOPPY WORK. THEY NEED TO GET OFF THIER BADGE AND TAKE A DEEPER AND CLOSER LOOK AT WHO IS WHO, STOP STEREOTYPING, THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO LOOK LISTEN AND READ A PERSON, NOT EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT, MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE YOUNG GIRLS FAMILY,JUST A YEAR AGO MY SON WAS ARRESTED FOR A HOME INVASION THAT HE HAD NO PART OF AND HAD NO CLUE IT WAS GOING TO OCCUR HE WAS BASICALLY SET UP, WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE A KICK BACK DAY, ENDED UP HELL TO PAY, YES HE MADE THE WRONG CHOICE TO BELEIVE A PERSON HE BARLEY NEW, THE GUY EVEN ALLOWED MY SON TO DRIVE HIS GIRLFRIENDS CAR, HOW NICE, NOT!!! HE HAD AN ULTERIOR MOTIVE, SWITCHING FROM NICE TO GUN POINT, DEMANDING HIM TO WAIT IN THE CAR AND THAN TO DRIVE OFF AFTER LEAVING SCENE, THAT SOUNDS TO ME MORE VICTIMIZED THAN PARTICIPANT,CAR CRASHES MASTERMIND RUNS AND GETS AWAY SCOTT FREE, MY SON GETS ALL THE CHARGES GUNS AND ALL, MY SON WAS TO SCARED TO SAY ANYTHING, I TOOK IT UPON MYSELF TRIED TO EXPLAIN TO HAYWARD POLICE AND EVEN GAVE THE NAME OF FUGITIVE, I NEW EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED WITNESSED THE FUGITIVE THAT DAY ALSO WHEN HE BEAT MY SON UP PRETTY BAD. OH BUT IAM THE MOTHER SO I HAVE NO SAY AND TO BAD" THERE IS NO FUGITIVE" I COULD NOT BELEIVE THEY DID NOT EVEN TRY TO LOOK FOR THE MASTERMIND THAT PLANNED A KIDNAPPING, TOOK Hostages ROBBED AND HAD FIREARMS POINTED AT PEOPLE, THEY ALLOWED HIM TO WALK AND NEVER TOOK the SECOND look TO EVEN TRY AND apprehend him, OR EVEN QUESTION HIM...MY SON IS GETTING 3 YEARS, GOING TO PRISON FOR FIRST TIME JUST BECAUSE THEY WANTED AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE, WELL THAT guy IS GOING TO STRIKE AGAIN AND POSSIBLY KILL SOMEONE, GUARANTEED, I WILL BE WAITING HEAVEN FORBID, WHEN HE DOES, THE HAYWARD POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE D, A ARE GOING TO HEAR FROM ME AND SEVERAL OTHER'S THAT FEEL THIER WAS AN UNJUST ON MY SON, my son is not a career criminal he doesn't have it in him. I PROMISE FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART IAM NOT JUST SAYING THIS BEING THE MOTHER, I WOULD BE AN ADVOCATE FOR ANYONE THAT I FEEL HIS RIGHTS WERE TAKEN, I SUBMITTED CHARACTER LETTERS FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY THAT WILL PROVE MY VALIDATIONS ARE CORRECT, I AM SORRY TO SAY HAYWARD POLICE DEPARTMENT ARE LIKE ROBOCOPS THEY DON't give a damn about humanity, seems they only care for a weekly quota and go home to their families while our children are being victimised and thrown to the wolfs NOT ONLY BY THIER PEERS ALSO by our supposedly protect and serve HAYWARD police department. I PRAY FOR THEM EVERY NIGHT SO GOD WILL SOFTEN THIER HEARTS TO GIVE THEM COMPASSION, TO SLOW DOWN LEARN HOW TO READ AND CARE FOR CERTAIN PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS SO THEY WON'T BEHAVE UNETHICALly, JUST BECAUSE A PERSON IS IN A BAD SITUATION, WITH BAD PEOPLE DOESN't NESSARLY MEAN THEY ARE PART OF, THEY REALLY SHOULD BE ABLE TO READ A PERSON OFF BACK, I PRAY IT won't HAPPEN TO ANYONE ELSE's CHILD OR LOVED ONE. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE YOUNG GIRL AND HER FAMILY ASWELL AS MYSELF AND MY FAMILY...UNJUST!!! IAM DONE

Posted by Lucia G. Mejia on 04/21/2017 at 7:43 PM

Re: “Community and Labor Groups Say Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Has Stacked the Planning Commission with Real Estate Industry Reps

If you know your history, you would know that the makeup of the Oakland Planning Commission has been dominated by real estate developers, architects, land use attorneys, economic and urban design professionals at least since the 1970's, if not longer.This did not start with Libby Schaaf and that inference is really unfair. More importantly, the lack of commission membership historically and currently, from the flat lands of East Oakland or West Oakland is overwhelming. There is no question that having some kind of background in economics, architecture, land development or urban design is an advantage. Planning commissioners are tasked with reviewing complex technical reports from applicants and city staff in order to arrive at decisions on development projects and policy. This is not an easy job and many lay citizens would, at least initially, be overwhelmed with the volume and detail of the information expected to be absorbed. With that being said, when the work of the commission is compromised because of conflicts of interest, there is a problem. Without a doubt, members of the commission not working in the development industry will always bring a much needed community perspective and reality check to the public debate. A healthy representative balance of community members is the ideal mix. We should not forget that Planning Commissioners are unpaid volunteers who spend many, many hours reading reports, visiting sites and talking to the public about planning issues. This job requires the type of personal commitment of time and energy that many across the city are not ready to make. It should be no surprise that those who are educated and experienced in related areas of work tend to be the folks most interested. That is true in most cities. The Mayor and the City Council need to make a better effort in reaching out to all communities to identify those that would provide the balanced perspective that the commission needs. It is especially important now, when Oakland is going through an aggressive bubble of land use and demographic changes.

Posted by Gary Patton on 04/21/2017 at 6:55 PM

Re: “Community and Labor Groups Say Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Has Stacked the Planning Commission with Real Estate Industry Reps

I'm not too sure where else developers or architects (landscape included) tend to work BUT in the that industry.

Again, a half written, innuendo laden partisan smear; without even a pretense of solutions. Just "you did it wrong!!!!!"

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 04/21/2017 at 4:56 PM

Re: “Community and Labor Groups Say Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Has Stacked the Planning Commission with Real Estate Industry Reps

Why even bother to have the pretense of a Planning Commission?

Posted by Gabriel Haaland on 04/21/2017 at 3:46 PM

Re: “Corporate Beer Overlords AB InBev To Open Golden Road 'Craft' Beer Garden in North Oakland

Hey EBX, it's been almost a month since you posted any What the Fork updates, man. What the Fork?

Posted by Jono Schneider on 04/21/2017 at 12:13 AM

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