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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Feature

Re: “Art Gallery Grifter: How White Walls Owner Justin Giarla Scammed Artists Out Of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, Then Disappeared

What a loser piece of shit! Using people is bad enough but fucking with their art is deplorable. His ass deserves prison time for sure. Karma will follow.

Posted by nanabriggs on 12/02/2016 at 9:50 PM

Re: “Just Vegas, Baby?: What Are the Odds that the Oakland Raiders Move to Sin City?

If you don't want the raiders moving to Las Vegas, sign the petition at nolvraiders.com

Posted by adrock702 on 11/25/2016 at 11:40 PM

Re: “Art Gallery Grifter: How White Walls Owner Justin Giarla Scammed Artists Out Of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, Then Disappeared

Really no one that's a competitor? How about FIFTY24SF, 111 Minna, Mirus, Heron Arts? Thanks for supporting all the local galleries that have never screwed anyone over Lauren Nopalitano!

Posted by Cleva on 11/25/2016 at 12:17 AM

Re: “Art Gallery Grifter: How White Walls Owner Justin Giarla Scammed Artists Out Of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, Then Disappeared

I was never paid for works sold (by Cerasoli LeBasse gallery, L.A.) at Aqua Art Fair Miami in 2008. I've given up but I'm still miffed...

Posted by jenniferdavis on 11/24/2016 at 11:46 AM

Re: “Top Ramen For Life: The Student Loan Crisis

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Posted by Daniel Silver 1 on 11/11/2016 at 10:49 PM

Re: “Access Denied

The leads are inciting anger and bullying people. I cannot understand why this should be allowed online. They are doing this in Walnut Creek and all the complaints are ignored

Posted by sheri garay on 11/11/2016 at 3:12 PM

Re: “Did An Oakland Cop Kill His Wife?

So EBX accepts the Alameda County DA's report on ex-OPD officer Gantt that there was no wrong doing, but is suspicious of Alameda County DA's report on the death of Lopez? Does not raise a single question about Gantt's trustworthiness, or that he may of mishandled evidence in an ongoing murder investigation where the suspect could face life in prison? Nope, DA says it was all fine so we'll leave it at that.

It seems like Bond-Graham only gives the benefit of the doubt to anyone in the OPD when they become a client of the authors friend Dan Siegel. If Siegel was not representing Gantt the only thing you would have heard about Gantt is how some innocent person may be going to jail because Gantt mishandled evidence.

Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 11/10/2016 at 12:36 PM

Re: “Did An Oakland Cop Kill His Wife?

Libby Liibby say what? Impeding a police investigation? Add that to your resume.

Posted by Steve Redmond on 11/09/2016 at 4:21 PM

Re: “Did An Oakland Cop Kill His Wife?

Well done BondGraham! Gantt's integrity speaks for itself, while OPD's history speaks for ITSELF. He put up with the politics and corruption for as long as he did because of his passion for his job and service to the people of Oakland

Posted by marv on 11/08/2016 at 10:46 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Tony I'm still waiting?

Posted by Mike Yarmouth on 11/04/2016 at 9:46 AM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Tony, I've spoken with you before and I'm surprised what a fraud you are coming off as...this the issue you're planting you pole on? Sad.

I live just off Buena Vista and Webster...please answer me a quick little litmus test question...what is the single biggest issue facing people living on the west end? There is one clear answer.

Posted by Mike Yarmouth on 11/03/2016 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

When the 470 Central evictions happened days after council issued a moratorium on no-fault evictions (the eviction notices using the loophole-ridden language that the city put into the moratorium), council was outraged and rushed to close the loopholes they had opened. Months later, they drafted their rent ordinance that now will allow mass evictions just as long as it's only 25% per year. There are no rent caps. It puts the burden on already burdened tenants to appeal to a mayor-appointed mediation body and air all of their financial hardships into the public record. That is what Tony Daysog is championing here. He happens to also be up for reelection next week.

Posted by Jason Buckley on 11/03/2016 at 10:42 AM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Ms Nader writes, "Tony Daysog would like to see the entire island gentrified. He stood by while 700 families were unjustly evicted from Harbor Island. " To see four hundred families evicted en masse on short notice in 2004 was, indeed, terribly tragic, the repercussions of which to this day affects the West End of town in the form of closed schools, some of which only recently re-opened as charter schools that attract youth from throughout the island. That mass eviction was indeed tragic . . . and contrary to what Ms. Nader says, I and the then-Council took the matter to court, all the way to Judge Alsop's court, where he ruled that the out of town property owner could displace 400 families en masse. As for gentrification, no, I don't want to see the entire island or parts of the island gentrified, and I see in Measure L1 a tool that council and the City finally has in slowing down the indicator of gentrification, ie excessive rent increases. While I believe the relocation benefit\penalty (a fee that the landlord must pay to tenants in instances of 'no cause' evictions) we, the Council, adopted in March 2016 is too high, there is, nonetheless, such a tool to stifle 'no cause' evictions, along with other tactics in the March ordinance (ie Measure L1). So I encourage residents to give L1 the chance to keep working, as it has in the form of the ordinance adopted in March. Thanks.

Posted by Tony Daysog on 11/02/2016 at 7:56 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Evictions are very serious and carry negative consequences for everyone involved. Renters lose their homes, communities are disrupted - the effects are obvious and terrifying. For property owners, evictions are time-consuming and very expensive. Vacancies generate no income while overhead stays the same or increases. Evicting your renters is like shooting yourself in the foot.
Normally, we don't need laws against shooting ourselves. Unfortunately maintaining rent below market value in the face of pending rent control legislation is more like shooting yourself in the head. Especially for new owners with a high mortgage and unknowable rising costs, like new Rent Board fees.
Simon-Weisberg is right, there have been waves of evictions in Richmond as well for similar reasons.
When the balance sheets don't balance and you have to sell at a loss because rent control depresses income (on which property values are based, in part); a foot starts looking pretty expendable - evictions are the only option - If the landlord goes out of business, are renters better off? This is the problem with trying to make public housing out of private investments.
The biggest losers in rent control are undoubtedly renters evicted by large property owners. The next biggest losers are small property owners who are just scraping by and can't spare a foot or even a toe.
I wish Richmond (my city) had an "L1" to vote for.
Measures M1 and L in Alameda and Richmond, respectively are toxic to all.

Posted by Ilona Nesmith Clark on 11/02/2016 at 5:20 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

What wasn't included in this article is the messaging used by L1 advocates targeted to Alameda homeowners like myself. Various large real estate investors, like Ballena Bay, are sending mailers with racist and classist messages, e.g., M1 will make Alameda less safe. Your property values will decrease.

M1 simply allows Alamedans to stay in their homes. I've lived here 22 years and there's a great community of involved islanders - many of whom are renters. Why should they be held to an incredibly unfair standard of high rents so real estate investors can make a profit. Tony Daysog would like to see the entire island gentrified. He stood by while 700 families were unjustly evicted from Harbor Island. We're on a precipice in Alameda - do we want a thriving intact community that includes both renters and homeowners or an exclusive enclave? I vote for the former! M1 is the most reasonable approach and L1 is nothing but a poison pill!

Posted by jnader4bc6 on 11/02/2016 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

The lack of protection against no cause evictions, as well as the proven inability to enforce the current law (L1) provides a solid foundational argument as to why M1 was proposed and is being championed by many. Those being faced with 60 day notices in advance of the election are the perfect representation of this - these people pay their rent on time, are active members of the community and are being displaced without merit - L1 doesn't prevent this. Under L1, the burden to challenge rent increases and unfair practices is with the tenant, who is most cases too fearful to pursue what's lawfully within their right because they, too, could easily come home to a 60 day notice. Proponents of L1 will argue that the 5%+ increase will trigger a review once the landlord files their intent but what if they do not? My complex alone provides an example of 4 families who received increases and no corresponding lease as per L1. Each one of these families personally requested a lease; each one was denied. Unless the tenant takes on the risk to follow up with the city and force the issue (again, a scary act for people with no protection), they'd be free to ignore the law with no repercussions.

Lastly, it is important to note that L1 was fiercely opposed by landlords and the powers behind them like the CAA when it was first proposed - and still is challenged or per the above ignored. Without tenant proponents on city council, there is no guarantee that the even the currently weak protections will stay in place post-election if L1 prevails.

Posted by Megan L on 11/02/2016 at 2:24 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

The average increase for the 3 months ended Sept was 10.5pct, not 5-7pct as Days of asserts.

Posted by MontyJ on 11/02/2016 at 2:08 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

"limiting an owner to get a fair return on their investment."

That's just it. It's not merely an investment. It's my home. It's where I raise my kids. You want an unregulated investment, get into a hedge fund. You want to make money on residential real estate, you should have to negotiate tough regulations because your investment is providing a basic need to actual people. Regulations too tough for you? Good. More housing stock for those of us who want to buy an actual roof over our head and not just some investment to cash in on when a boom hits.

Who exactly determines what "fair" is? Rents have skyrocketed in the bay area 20 to 50% in the last 5 years. That's fair? So any time my landlord feels they need more money, they can just hit me up for it? That's what you call a racket. Alameda landlords are a mafia. Straight up.

Posted by Ryan LeBlanc on 11/02/2016 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Councilmember Daysog and East Bay Express readers: UC Berkeley's The Daily Californian did a series examining local Census results and their impact on the East Bay: http://archive.dailycal.org/article.php?id=5157. They found that the combination of high costs of living and the infusion of Latinos and Asians into Berkeley were most likely responsible for the decrease in Berkeley's Black population. There was also a large population movement during the recession of the early 1990s which hit California harder than other states. Regarding why South Berkeley specifically experienced a significant decrease in the Black population, UC Berkeley's Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD) has attributed this to skyrocketing housing prices and a lack of flexibility in the housing market, not the passage of rent control. Councilmember Daysog, you may want to revisit your hypothesis with this data and research from your alma mater.
In Alameda for Black History Month 2016, local historian, urban planning researcher, Rasheed Shabazz -- who grew up in Alameda's West End and graduated from UC Berkeley -- delivered a lecture at the Alameda Free Library titled, "Alameda is Our Home: A History of Black Alameda, 1860-present." The presentation demonstrated a historic pattern of housing discrimination against Blacks via racial restrictive covenants and "redlining" in Alameda. It also touched on how Black tenants of the Buena Vista Apartments had to sue the City of Alameda because of its discriminatory housing policies in the late 80's. For more context, you may want to check out the documentary,"Civic Unity: Five Years in the West End of Alameda" available at https://vimeo.com/12085156.

Posted by María D. Domínguez on 11/02/2016 at 1:50 PM

Re: “Tenant Activists in Alameda Test Progressive Rent-Control Waters with Measure M1

Thank you for this well-balanced, fair narrative of the situation in Alameda.

To be clear: I favor the local initiative called "L1", and do not support "M1", for the reason you accurately mentioned in the article, ie the formula results in an allowable rent increase that renders uneconomic especially smaller mom and pop landlords' units, which harms tenants and mom and pops equally.

I favor "L1" because it addresses the issue that brought us here in the first place, ie dealing with excessive rent increases, and does so (again, as you correctly wrote) through a mediation that (as a result of landmark ordinance Council adopted in March 2016) includes the power of binding arbitration (ie the ability to set a fair and reasonable rent increases case by case, ie mediation-based rent control).

Background: In March 2016, Alameda City Council adopted what many locally see as a landmark ordinance in an effort to address the crisis in excessive rent increases. Prior to this decision, Alameda has had for forty years a rent review advisory board who could only suggest a reasonable rent increase, when a tenant brought a matter before this board. With the March decision, Council finally gave that rent review advisory process the power of binding arbitration, ie the ability to establish a reasonable rent increase (ie mediation-based rent control on a case by case basis). Council adopted other provisions in the March ordinance, but the binding arbitration proviso is the hallmark of the ordinance.

Trends: There's been over 170 cases that have come before the rent review advisory board since adoption of the 2016 ordinance that "L1" would affirm and, of these, roughly 165 were settled between the tenant and landlord even before the actual hearing itself. The 11 remaining cases, it is my understanding, were settled during during the rent review board meeting itself, in a fashion mutually (heavy emphasis on mutually) agreed to by tenant and landlord, such that average rent increases have ranged from 5 to 7 percent. No cases have gone to the final level of binding arbitration as of yet, which indicates that mere presence of this level is acting like a cudgel forcing landlords to be reasonable with regard to rent increases. Check with the Alameda Housing Authority or Alameda Community Development Department for more info.

Summary: we are over with those days of en masse 30%, 20%, 15% excessive rent increases that characterized the rent crisis in the City of Alameda. In short, the landmark March 2016 rent ordinance that gave the rent review advisory board process the power of binding arbitration (ie the ability to set reasonable rent increase, ie mediation-based rent control) is solving the heady matter that brought us to this point in the first place (ie excessive rent increases). "L1" affirms that ordinance.

Request: we ask Alamedans to vote for "L1" as this has demonstrated itself to be a reasonable, practical, and non-ideological solution crafted with input from tenants, landlords, subject matter experts in housing law and operations, and city staff. Above all, it is working. Thank you.

/s/ Tony Daysog, Alameda City Councilmember

Postscript: many years ago while in grad school at Cal's City and Regional Planning (DCRP), I worked on a project with a Berkeley rental property outfit called St. John's and Associates, in a project funded by the Pacific Legal Foundation. It was I believe 1992 and, by then, Census 1990 was available, allowing for a comparison of 1980 Census (since Berkeley's rent control started in June 1980) and 1990 Census. What struck us was how South Berkeley over the decade of the 1980s lost en masse its African American population. I think out assessment was that this occurred not because landlords suddenly became racists but rather that for small mom and pop African American landlords in South Berkeley operating under the Berkeley style rent regime proved too difficult with the passage of time after 1980 -- hence the loss of African Americans in South Berkeley. That was a hypothesis. As Alameda seeks to emulate the Berkeley-style rent control via "M1", this is something to think about.

Posted by Tony Daysog on 11/02/2016 at 9:29 AM

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