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I was there too (and spoke in favor of the tower, as I've done in the past.) Brandie Albright raised a few other points as well; why just report on this one? If Tom Limon's immediate and direct response to this request for recusal was accurate, then no: he has no conflict of interest. Albright, by the way, is a huge asset to the community and my neighbor; we may disagree on this project but her input isn't served well by this post, which appears to have cherrypicked the most potentially inflammatory statement (and the most readily refuted, at least in legal terms.) That was spotty and incomplete reporting. Over here in your utterly failed reporting column: ANY of the comments by ANY of the 46 people who spoke in favor of the project, including representatives of multiple unions, East Bay Forward, and the Greenbelt Alliance. You also forgot to note some (oh wait: I mean any) of the community benefits coming from the developers; was it half a million bucks for Mosswood Park improvements? Check your notes and get back to us on that OK? Then go find a current rendering of the building; the one you're using has been revised and (to my eye) significantly improved in the places it counts. I will look at this building every morning when I leave my house, and I can hardly wait.
Way more of the public comments were in favor of the project. As they should be really. 400 units of housing without displacing a single resident.
Deau Hickey: if that was the case then why was he elected POTUS?
Matthew Lee: It is obvious to all with an open mind that Barbara Lee can speak for herself! Just because a minority of people used violence and destroyed property does not mean that the protest was not legimate. By any such analysis, your Trump could claim the support of all Americans - since only a minority voted for him; but the truth is, most people abhor him as well as people like you who close your eyes as he makes a fool himself, the idiots who voted for and support him, and most of all our country.
There is a difference between free speech and hate speech. I applaud and support peaceful protest to the speaking engagement by this extreme right wing hater. However, what we saw again last night was the work of the professional anarchists who unfortunately reside in our midst. These are the same folks who are determined to tear up downtown Oakland every time there is a political issue at the top of the news cycle. I would surmise that these are mostly well off young white kids determined to destroy the same system that has provided them with an easy life with many options. At some point after their youthful exuberance passes, they will take off the hoodies, get haircuts, enroll in law school or take over the family business. What concerned me as I observed the news coverage, was the behavior of the UC Berkeley campus or City of Berkeley Police. I saw the anarchists boldly bashing in the windows of the building and setting fires. The reaction of the Police was to cower in the corner and allow this behavior to continue unchallenged. The news reporters stated they were allowing this out of control activity because they wanted to avoid personal injuries that would result from confrontation. Really? I could never imagine a scenario anywhere in this country when a group of black or brown kids in hoodies would be allowed to willfully vandalize and destroy public property and set fires because the police decided to not engage them in the name of public safety. There would be a battalion of cops with smoke bombs, batons, tanks and assault weapons taking on this "mob" in hand to hand combat. I guess white privelege also extends to professional anarchists.
This is profoundly irresponsible and transparently vindictive journalism. The author cites criticisms about an unpaid board membership at OBA representing a "conflict of interest" without following up. If there is some institutional definition of such a conflict over and above a financial stake in the project, where does this logically end? Would I be barred from ever serving on the Planning Commission if I had a discount membership with SPUR?
Please clarify what constitutes a conflict of interest, and if the allegations against Commissioner Limon are even remotely valid.
There is actually a definition of a conflict; it is not a she said/he said affair. Here it is (http://www.fppc.ca.gov/learn/conflicts-of-…).
It focuses on personal financial interest; not whether a person has previously exercised their rights of free speech and association.
At the end of the day, all cities in the entire bay area should be approving high density housing at BART stations. After all of these years, it is time to stop allowing residents in surrounding single family neighborhoods to control the political discussion based on density, height and affordability. With that being said, the urban design challenge for the developer is to smoothly integrate the height and scale of the proposal as much as possible so that those adjacent neighborhoods are not overwhelmed. Additionally, it is not unreasonable to require these projects to dig deeper in terms of affordability as a trade off to additional heights and densities. To provide only 10% of these units at 80% of median income, in my opinion is not enough. 80% of median in this case is nearly $100,000 a year for a family 3 or 4. Providing some percentage of the units to residents earning as low as 50% of median income seems more appropriate to me. Building height next to the freeway is not a problem, but the project could do a better job stepping down the mass of the buildings to the scale of the neighborhood.
Dense housing doesn't need to be so, well in a word, ugly
A protest isn't a license to destroy stuff. It's actually an attempt to create something. In this case, the stuff that happened is now overshadowing the actual protest and the thing being protested. Jesus - we really need to get this shit right or hate speech and hate crimes will be able to claim oppression, which is the very thing that gave birth to Trump in the first place.
I was present for this hearing and counted 42 public comments in support of the project, and only 15 in opposition. The overwhelming majority of the public speakers present at the hearing approve of this project, but someone reading this article would assume that virtually all the speakers were opposed. It's regrettable that East Bay Express took this lazy "planning commission vs. the public" approach to covering this project.
The violence that broke out was despicable. There is no excuse for people to do that, no matter how disgusting the speaker and no matter how disgusting the words out of his mouth were.
So, ironic that this is the home of the free speech movement. Free speech is OK as long as it is in agreement with you. How hypocritical can you get?
No doubt about it:
- this Milo person is disgusting
- the violence that broke out was more disgusting
- the police needed to do something to control and disperse the violent mob and stop them from creating more harm. That is not palatable but it is also the way it has to be- they were doing their jobs.
It is really pathetic when the liberals get violent to suppress free speech. It is not about taking sides - that behavior is unacceptable.
Oh, and Trump continues to be an a**hole, as usual.....Sad.
This is a pretty lopsided article. The vast majority of community voices were in favor of the proposal last night. I applaud the commission for approving it and hope the Council does the same.
Unanimous approval by the planning commission is far from the reality that Darwin wishes to present: one in which a large number of homes were met with staunch opposition from The Locals.
The number of people who spoke last night tallied up to 46 in favor, 14 against. Get a grip.
Emily Wheeler 1: Violence and damaging properties is not free, your presence is a big threat.
Hate speech is not free. Milo Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter for harassment. His presence is a threat.
So Barbara Lee condones the beating and pepper spraying of people?
CA will soon be left out.
How many illegals have actually assisted with Law Enforcement to solve any crimes? Inquiring minds want to know...
Surely it is time for Phil to move forward and work on his project without wasting time and money on this stupid litigation. It is obvious that coal is on the way out as an energy source. China has realized that particulates in the air are making their cities toxic. Considering that he is a dedicated scuba diver who loves clear waters, Phil is paradoxically unwise on this issue. The almighty dollar is not a good reason to poison us nor our planet.
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