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Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

I am an Arthropod Liberationist.

The torture and eating of shrimp, not to mention the abuse of cockroaches and termites, is a disgrace to human "civilization."

We are in consultation with the Oakland City Council and Mayor towards developing legislation to protect our disrespected and exploited Arthropod Friends.

This is the one policy area where Oakland can effectively demonstrate our true progressive spirit.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/19/2016 at 11:06 AM

Re: “Why Does the Berkeley City Council Care About a Dog Meat Festival in China?

I can't wait for an Indian city to begins protests of the horrifying american practice of mass murder of cattle and eating them!

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 07/19/2016 at 10:25 AM

Re: “Town Business: A Strong or Weak Police Commission?

Would any of these schemes make Oakland safer for residents and merchants? No. So when anti-police activist Rashidah Grinage praises an editorial piece, you know it is not journalism and the author is not functioning as a journalist.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 07/19/2016 at 8:45 AM

Re: “Marijuana Laws On The Ballot in Seven States And Climbing This November Election

We are seeing a hail mary by moguls, billionaires, greedy people that want to continue a failed model of prosecution of a natural plant. Why are they trying to stop Cannabis? Simple - the model is successful for the 1%'ers. It feeds prisons, it provides government funding to police and court mandated therapy. It keeps the people popping pills instead of growing a natural medicine in your garden. It gives you true freedom - and empowers you to free yourself from capitalistic profiteering interests. This war on a plant is also a war against your freedom. Stand up to any immoral policies that tell you what you can't do with YOUR body & FREEDOM!

Posted by Shaun Hauser on 07/19/2016 at 7:48 AM

Re: “Why Does He Watch Porn?

I was with my ex for 3 years n 6mthns n he cheated on me so we split, before he left me, we were planing to get married in the future, I loved him so much but I became tired of him lying to me every time he opens his mouth, I went into search for help in the internet, I tried many different spells from almost every place locally as well as online and none of them worked, I almost gave up hope because I thought i will never see my lover again forever, one day i saw some testimony about this powerful spell caster Dr Manifest i emailed him and i asked him to help me bring back my lover and he did A Lover Spell for me And after some days, my lover returned back to me I'd like to say that i got a positive result from ( ever since i used his love spell, my lover have learned to appreciate me more and more day by day, and he doesn't take me for granted.

Posted by Judy Colson on 07/19/2016 at 5:28 AM

Re: “Town Business: A Strong or Weak Police Commission?

The politics of a police commission charter amendment are messy, affecting the interests and power of the OPOA, all the other city unions, Mayor, City Council, and lastly the residents.

The detailed wording of the charter amendment will mean the difference between a pumped up version of the current Civilian Police Review Board and a community responsive Police Commission able and willing to step on any toes needed to improve constitutional policing in Oakland.

You touched on most of the remaining points of possible contention: mayoral direct selection of several commissioners, subpoena power, and selection/supervision of the commission's attorney.

Your omitted disagreement on whether the scope of the Commission to investigate and to review/recommend is to be limited to a very short list of current police misconduct.

The Coalition's original amendment and it's subsequent recommended change to the June 14th Kalb/Gallo version "allows the Police Commission to review all OPD policies, procedures, customs, and General Orders."

We also strongly recommend that the Commission be empowered " to investigate every public complaint it receives" instead of just "to investigate all complaints involving use of force, in custody deaths, profiling, and First Amendment assemblies" because as policing methods change, so will the subject of complaints. The current wording would not even allow the Commission to investigate OPD cover-up of the statutory rapes.

After several years of studying police commissions and review boards in cities across the US and talking to people who have served on those commissions and boards, to activists, academics, and a cross section of Oakland residents, we reached consensus on a model police commission for Oakland.

The Commission needs to be more than just an adequately funded version of the current Civilian Police Review Board.

Len Raphael, CPA

Posted by Len Raphael on 07/18/2016 at 11:08 PM

Re: “Town Business: A Strong or Weak Police Commission?

A masterful summary, Darwin. Thank you so very much for making a very complicated process understandable.

Posted by Rashida Grinage on 07/18/2016 at 10:51 PM

Re: “Marijuana Laws On The Ballot in Seven States And Climbing This November Election

700k arrested yearly--so many lives ruined. Police,prisons, Big Rehab and Big Pharmacy prosper. Everyone else suffers. Our government was structured to benefit the people. Our rulers are subject to us, not vice versa. They government only with our consent. They are our servants not our masters.

Posted by MJ Verite on 07/18/2016 at 7:00 PM

Re: “Marijuana Laws On The Ballot in Seven States And Climbing This November Election

North carolina needs to legalize.. meth is taking over here. Its bad when your small towns and cities have alot of anti-meth billboards.. its embarrassing too.

Posted by Destiny Maxine on 07/18/2016 at 2:50 PM

Re: “BAOBOB: The East Bay's New Black Business Directory

How can i join

Posted by on 07/18/2016 at 2:21 PM

Re: “Straight Up

I was married for 3years. things started getting ugly and we had fights and arguments almost every time... it got worse at a point that he wanted to file for divorce... I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me.he moved out of the house... I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful coven, great spell caster who eventually helped me out... I have never been a spiritual person of things like this but just decided to try cause I was hurt by my husband and left alone...i contacted the coven through their whatsapp which was giving tome by my friend +2349054913842, He did special prayers and used roots and herbs... Within 2 days my husband called me and was sorry for all the emotional trauma he had cost me, he moved back to the house and we continue to live happily. what a wonderful miracle. trust did for me and my family. I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems... I strongly believe someone out there need's his help.( so make extra effort to save your marriage/relationship if it's truly worth it.

Posted by Flora Collins on 07/18/2016 at 2:13 PM

Re: “Marijuana Laws On The Ballot in Seven States And Climbing This November Election

Tennessee really needs medical marijuana to get our sons and daughters off of the opiates

Posted by Gary Bellan on 07/18/2016 at 1:21 PM

Re: “An East Bay Pimp Trafficked Her Daughter. And the Man that She Turned to For Help Exploited Her For Sex.

After reading the article Betrayal of Trust I was left wondering who I should feel sorry for. Is it Ms. Pendergrass who was taken advantage of? She blames Mr. Mims the ex-con turned public servant. Certainly the young lady who was forced into prostitution is a victim…of poor parenting. Now that she’s pregnant it leaves me to wonder what sort of parenting skills she learned from her mother and what will she be able to pass along to her child. Mom’s a victim. She’s a victim. Clearly this new baby will be the next victim. Who is to blame for this lack of personal responsibility? The timing of this story is unfortunate and I am afraid it only serves to reinforce the racial divide by perpetuating the stereotype of black people as helpless victims who have children out of wedlock and then wind up on welfare. The fact that this whole thing began at a public agency doesn’t bode well for social programs either. Will more social programs alleviate problems like this? Is this story some sort of right wing propaganda? It sure fits the conservative agenda.

Posted by Sigh Coexboifrend on 07/18/2016 at 10:43 AM

Re: “Town Business: A Strong or Weak Police Commission?

Oakland's police reform and democratic management challenges are far from unique.

The article below describes very well the situation in San Francisco which has a weak police commission. This should be a warning for Oakland but unfortunately most of Oakland's pols don't get it and our electorate has been permanently discouraged and disenfranchised.…

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/18/2016 at 10:18 AM

Re: “Time for White Americans to be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

"This isn't racist...I'm disgusted by this lame and offensive attempt to make me guilty of a crime I didn't commit."

Remarkably naive or dishonest or both.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/18/2016 at 10:01 AM

Re: “Vote by Oakland Council President McElhaney Preceded Husband's Substantial Contract for UrbanCore Project. Was it a Conflict?

Clarence C. Johnson,

Wiley Pierce's $250 contribution to Gibson McElhaney in January 2014 is the only contribution from a member of the Pierce family, or an employee of KCP, to an Oakland politician, according to city records.

Posted by Darwin BondGraham on 07/17/2016 at 9:14 PM

Re: “Federal Police Officer Offered to Pimp East Bay Teenager at Center of Oakland Police Sex-Abuse Scandal

Just another way for a hood rat to get rich of the taxpayers. Lies!

Posted by hobo joe on 07/17/2016 at 9:34 AM

Re: “Thousands of Black Lives Matter Activists Shut Down Oakland Freeway, Vandalize Police Headquarters

Protest, OK.
Get change through legal means, OK.
Work with the community and police to make things better, OK.
Smash windows, which happened. Not OK, you should go to jail.
Block traffic, which happened. Not OK, you should go to jail.
Attack people that stand for their rights to express another opinion. Not OK, you should go to jail

Posted by SF Tech on 07/17/2016 at 1:53 AM

Re: “Time for White Americans to be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

This is absolute rubbish.
1. No one alive is a slave or knows a slave.
2. Black people sold black people into slavery as well, there is REAL slavery today in Africa and the Middle East.
3. Black people are told to be proud of their heritage. BUT whites are told we guilty of crimes we didn't commit, crimes before we were born.
4. The black community can protest shootings, but when thugs attack the police they are held up as victims when they are clearly a thug.
5. More white people are killed by the police.
6. 10 times more black people kill black people but this can't be discussed.
7. The black community is about 75% fatherless. Black men who won't take responsibility for their sex without a condom actions.
This isn't racist, this is factcist....if the black community wants to be part of society they need to look inward and gain respect instead of demanding it with blocked streets, looted stores, and daily killing of other black people.. I'm disgusted by this lame and offensive attempt to make me guilty of a crime I didn't commit.

Posted by SF Tech on 07/17/2016 at 1:43 AM

Re: “Why are Oakland's City-Worker Unions Making it Harder to Fire Bad Cops?

Some background on binding arbitration: All City of Oakland employees covered by union contracts have the right to choose to go to binding arbitration to contest discipline imposed by management for violation of work rules that were set by contract negotiations. Alternatively, the employee could choose to go to court and pay big legal fees and court costs.

Binding arbitration does a good job protecting employees from arbitrary, capricious discipline that could be imposed on police officers as much as on City Parks maintenance employees, etc. But typically, arbitrators "split the baby in half" in their decisions. Since it is impossible to half fire someone, terminated police officers invariably get re-instated.

Regardless of a charter amendment, any change to arbitration would not take effect until expiration of current police contract, two years from now.

In addition, Police and Fire sworn personnel also get binding arbitration to resolve contract deadlocked negotiations. No other City unions get that.
Two years ago Palo Alto repealed that type of binding arbitration for police and fire. They promptly reduced fire and police pay by 5%. Police and fire fighters are prohibited by state law from striking.

Binding arbitration for all city employees including police for discipline matters is common in big cities. SF is one of the few big cities that does not allow binding arbitration for serious discipline matters of police and fire.
For discipline matters, the arbitrator is selected by a process of elimination by City Attorney's office staff and the union's attorney (or equivalent) from a pool of arbitrators certified by a state body. Arbitrators who are partial to either management or employee end up without work if both sides are on the ball and exercising their veto power in the selection process.

Everyone except the police union agrees that the discipline binding arbitration process make it very difficult to fire bad cops. There is no consensus on how to fix that without going to the other extreme and eliminating it entirely for at least serious discipline charges. Not simple to fix in an equitable way. For example, if there's a police officer disliked by brass because she/he went to the press to disclose problem within OPD and brass brought bogus charges against them, it wouldn't be good to force the accused cop to file a lawsuit if an arbitrator would do the right thing.

As the article described, the nonpublic safety unions see any reform of police discipline binding arbitration as an attack on binding arbitration for all city workers.

Will T. asked which Council Members refused to approve the amendment with even a mild reform to the method of selecting the arbitrators (which probably would have no effect on the outcome of their decisions). I'd say all of the council members other than Kalb and Gallo.

Personally, I favor a variation of the SF approach combined with an independent Police Commission (SF's is not very independent) where binding arbitration is repealed only for police and only for serious offenses.

But it's more important to establish a strong, politically independent Police Commission none of whose members are chosen directly by any Mayor, with broad oversight and subpoena powers and scope, with its own staff attorney, then to fail approval because of insistence on reforming binding arbitration.

If this charter amendment is approved by voters in November we will have two years until the police contract expires to evaluate whether the Commission is able to fire bad cops and effectively discipline other officers and their supervisors. If we see most of the officers and their supervisors who were complicit in the cover-up of the statutory rape, get off with the usually binding arbitration letter of reprimand plus full back pay and restoral of rank, then we have to come back to Council to repeal binding arbitration for police serious discipline matters.

Regardless of future binding arbitration reform, we have to insist on transparency of all future contract negotiations with the OPOA (police union) so that whether we change arbitration or not, that we make sure the City has negotiated hard for clear enforceable standards of behavior for all police officers, including the brass. Without such rules, it is always going to be difficult for either an arbitrator or a court to uphold a disciplinary action.

Len Raphael, CPA
(opinions expressed are my own)

Posted by Len Raphael on 07/16/2016 at 11:59 PM

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