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Re: “Can Legal Weed Save the Music Industry?

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Posted by Micheal Akawu on 02/01/2017 at 1:32 AM

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

Olis Simmons sucks millions of dollars from the City of Oakland for her Youth Uprising agency - where she brought in the filthy misogynist rapper Too Short as a "career counselor," hired a "dance instructor" who was caught molesting a subteen girl, and farmed out teens for E-40's rap video in praise of reckless driving. Oh, by the way, she is an incompetent, overpaid manager. No wonder Jean Quan launched her 2010 mayoral campaign from Simmons's Youth Uprising facilities. ... The Express gave Simmons a pass for years, even defending the same anti-social rappers that she foisted on the children. Now that Simmons' opportunism led her to tie up with a vulture capitalist of education, we finally get light on a bit of her plunder.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 01/30/2017 at 3:58 PM

Re: “Gray Area, Leading Ghost Ship Fire-Relief Fundraiser, Hasn't Distributed a Dime

Josette Melchor - grayarea.org
For years She has given all of Her energy, passion, and creativity to assist artists and/or create safe spaces for them to realize their visions. She always has rented spaces that were dilapidated and forgotten and brings them back to a beaming glory. San Francisco is blessed to have Her, and the many that She befriends, employs, and respects! She will do what She says She will do. She is not only looking to the past of the ones lost, but to the future so this tragedy never happens again. You have handled this fund with business savvy, grace and class all the while going through loss yourself. The critics should be silent and gracious. There is documented contact with the person that was interviewed in this article- so again a little fact checking needs to be the norm not the exception!

Posted by Tamara Melchor on 01/28/2017 at 3:46 PM

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

So the OUSB President is on two boards of the non profit charters...or are/were they for profit schools?

I am going to guess he was getting paid for these board positions, highly irregular and perhaps illegal.

Yes nepotism is and has been rampant in Oakland, in both the schools and City jobs.

This looks an ugly corrupt and expensive failure

Posted by John Maguire on 01/27/2017 at 7:58 PM

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

Such an interesting story and very interesting comments, indeed. So many things are wrong with the facts as they were laid out in this education-focused report. Smells like corruption, theft of public funds, mis-use of grant money, contract violations... a lot. I, too, hope for more reporting of these issues, as the more you report, the more people will know, and the more people know, there more they will able to impact and change. I am very disappointed in what I have read here. There is a lot of stealing and mis-appropriation of money and trust. How this city's schools can continue perplexes me. But, unfortunately, the comments by Janan Apaydin is the best. "Want to improve educational outcomes? Give families free preschool, decent housing, jobs, healthcare, etc. After all, socioeconomic status is the best predictor of educational outcomes. Not that poor students can't learn - they just need the same basics as anyone else to allow learning to happen. So, with our limited resources as a community, what is the best, most effective use of our resources to equitably educate all our precious children?" She is right. If this were to happen, half of the thieves and con artists listed in the article would have to hustle someone else.

Posted by Robert Thompson on 01/27/2017 at 11:43 AM

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

Nice to learn about the charter school hedge fund-like operation. I think charter or public, schools cannot be expected to fix all of societies ills. Want to improve educational outcomes? Give families free preschool, decent housing, jobs, healthcare, etc. After all, socioeconomic status is the best predictor of educational outcomes. Not that poor students can't learn - they just need the same basics as anyone else to allow learning to happen. So, with our limited resources as a community, what is the best, most effective use of our resources to equitably educate all our precious children? Public education is not perfect, but it gets my vote for the choice that at least has democratically elected leadership that the public can hold accountable.

Posted by Janan Apaydin on 01/26/2017 at 7:48 PM

Re: “Were Oakland Police's Tactics Against Anti-Trump Protesters 'Excessive'?

No one got hurt and only a few fools vandalized the city and nobody had their business or car smashed to bits. For a change, Oakland had a powerful and peaceful assembly. Everyone I know who participated thought it was great and felt safe. I'm one of many Oaklanders who went to DC to march. There was a general unease among many of us from the Bay Area that Oakland would get out of hand and provide Trump with ugly, unruly evidence against those who oppose his agenda. Thank you to everyone who came out and made our city proud and to the cops who safeguarded her citizens and streets.

Posted by TBGunther on 01/26/2017 at 8:01 AM

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

The charter extremists spent big money to defeat me and the 3 other challengers to the GO Advocates dominated board and management.

Here we are in the same school year and we have the budget in a mess, the superintendent job hopping and poor charter oversight reaping it's rewards.

All of this was said before and during the election, but reporting has been scarce.

Where have Cat Brooks and KPFA been? The other media? Local news needs to report on local government and except for Darwin, it hardly does.

Posted by Don Macleay on 01/26/2017 at 1:00 AM

Re: “Ambushed: Contra Costa County Law Enforcement Sets Up Surprise Stings To Help Federal Immigration Agents Arrest and Deport Immigrants

I guess the threshold for deportation cooperation should be raised really really high. What should we raise it to? Armed bank robbery, rape, arson of a residence? Apparently some people think multiple "minor" crimes are not enough to allow cooperation with ICE.
If I was undocumented I'd be unusually careful about obeying the law.
How hard is that to do.... I don't know, but I've gone 60+ years without an arrest. I guess its not that difficult.
BTW, according to the data in the most recent ICE annual report, if you are one of the 11 million undocumented, and you have not been convicted of a serious crime, your chances of being deported from the "interior" (25 or more miles from the border) of the USA, are in any given year, one in 700.
Yes, the data shows only one person in 700 gets deported as long as they have not been convicted of a serious crime.
Meaning for most who don't commit crimes, their chances of being deported during a entire 35 year working career, are about 1 in 20.
Essentially next to zero deportations unless you are involved in criminal activity.
Say what you want, that is what the data shows.
No need for most undocumented to be "living in the shadows" like we hear about in the news. Those living a crime free life, are all but free from deportation.
I seriously doubt even Trump is going to be deporting them.

Posted by Dan de'Data on 01/25/2017 at 7:43 PM

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

Thanks for this article, East Bay Express. Oakland education has been an under-reported beat recently, but there are plenty of important stories to tell, and there are plenty of people very interested in reading and sharing them. Keep it up!

Posted by Macy Parker on 01/25/2017 at 7:30 PM

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

Oakland schools have been suffering years at the expense of students. So interesting during this boom in housing prices that expectations rise along with home amd rent increases. Some charter schools fail, some are great and are successful, ultimately providing alternative and innovative options to an antiquated, broken and underfunded system. What about public schools who underperformed for whatever justifying reasons, who is angry about the kids that are under served or schools that dont make the district money, is making a profit what this is about? What a coincidence that performing public schools are in affluent areas with privileged PAC'S. The system is now making people ignore the real issues and fight over non relevant issues (like a recent big election), public vs charter. EVERY parent has the right to try and do best by their child without paying over 20k a year for an elementary or middle school education. It is counterintuitive to point fingers at public vs charter and not recognize who suffers, what real issues get ignored. Someone who supports charter schools im sure supports public schools but for one reason or another makes a decision. Having no options is like having one cell phone provider, one grocery store, one banl, one car maker, etc. Stop blaming the wrong people because I guarantee closing charter schools would fix nothing!

Posted by aki on 01/25/2017 at 6:54 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of January 25, 2016

I wonder why there are so many 70 year and older representatives in office and keep getting reelected. How could they possibly have the energy to do their jobs. I'm now in my 60's with no health problems and I know personally how stamina and passion for work can fall off.

Posted by bill h on 01/25/2017 at 6:35 PM

Re: “Gray Area, Leading Ghost Ship Fire-Relief Fundraiser, Hasn't Distributed a Dime

Who's responsible for the money and where is it being stashed? That is a tremendous amount of cash to have just sitting somewhere...

Posted by Kimberly Lynn Davis on 01/25/2017 at 5:41 PM

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

The implication is that Charter Schools can burn through public tax and grant money without accountability. How much does each pupil cost to educate in public school? How much for a charter? What is the salary levels of staff and teachers between the two? Too much administrative overhead? What accountability is there to any of this? In the end, these charter mavens do not seem to care about documenting real outcomes. They cannot claim real benefit for this program when the enrolled students were in it for so short a period and not compared with public school outcomes.

Posted by Franklin Graham on 01/25/2017 at 3:34 PM

Re: “Fump Truck: The Women's March in Oakland Felt Like A New Beginning

I'm not sure that feeling good about a "new beginning" is going to cut it. While Obama seemed to be a "new beginning" it was actually just the Democratic party treading water while the Republicans continued their take-over of local and state politics so that redistricting and voter disenfranchisement could give the election to Trump while he lost by 3 million. We can continue to gather in feel-good events or we can start organizing -- hard work, not necessarily feel-good -- to try to take back the election process.

Play is play and work is work and I'm not sure they should be conflated: play is defined in one dictionary as: "to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose." When 'play' ends everyone goes home. Work is what's needed now.

Posted by chris gilbert on 01/25/2017 at 12:17 PM

Re: “Were Oakland Police's Tactics Against Anti-Trump Protesters 'Excessive'?

It sounds to me that OPD did a good job. No violent force was used on either side and no vandalism occurred. Given Oakland's history of night-time marches and what happened on inauguration day in other cities, this sounds like a positive result.

I don't believe that "clamping down on the movement of the march" equates to preventing freedom of assembly or speech. A couple hundred people gathered in front of city hall and then marched through Chinatown and Downtown. It might not have lasted as long as the protestors wanted, or covered the distance that they wanted, but they were still allowed to express themselves.

Posted by Tommy Katz on 01/25/2017 at 9:51 AM

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

And to think that James Harris ran his re-election campaign primarily by slinging mud at his challenger for his alleged fiscal mismanagement, all the while knowing that he himself was at the helm of a sinking ship. 2 sinking ships if you count that multi-million deficit he was helping Antwan create in OUSD.

Posted by Tony D 1 on 01/25/2017 at 8:48 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of January 25, 2016

Regarding the "My Voice Matters" article, these women are directimg their frustrations at the wrong person. They should be addressing their letters to our own US Senator, Dianne Feinstein. I use the term "senator" loosely, because for this past critical year, Feinstein has been missing in action.

I actually wrote her to inquire if she was still alive, because she was nowhere to be found on the camapaign trail to stump for our first female candidate running for the highest office of the land. She is the senior senator representing the most populated state in the nation, and she decides to take a powder for the entire 2017 election.

California is supposed to be leading the nation for progressive causes, and we have an 83 year old senator who has absolutely ZERO interest in representing our interests. She is just riding out the gravytrain until her retirement in 2018, but these next two years are critical to the survival of our nation. Can we really afford a do-nothing Trump lackey who intends to rubber-stamp every pick he submits for both his cabinet and the US Supreme Court? That is EXACTLY what she intends to do. Go along to get along seems to be her guiding philosophy.

Feinstein has been milking the assassination of Harvey Milk for way too long. That unfortunate event was a gift to her and she's made a lucrative career out of it. It's time for her to step aside and let Gavin Newsom assume her duties as our voice in Washington. She obviously is no longer up for the challenge. It's the right thing to do for both California and our nation. Dianne, please step aside and let someone who is physically up for the challenge speak for California.

Sincerely,

Mark Romankiw
Oakland CA

Posted by MarkRomankiw on 01/25/2017 at 2:23 AM

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

More of Oakland nepotism at work. not only do we have to follow the money.... in Oakland, you have to know who is related to whom. Because... there are generations of extended families who all make their livelihood off the school district. So... the Executive Director of CCTS is the wife of an OUSD Executive Director in charge of equity who has a history of working on many community special interest projects with a guy who happens to be the President of the school board. THIS is why protocols are not followed. And you think the "south" has a " good 'ol boy" network???

Posted by Renae McGlamery Briggs on 01/24/2017 at 9:51 PM

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

Its been a long time but change is coming. Change needed is to make sure charters have language that requires a charter to notify the District when they go out of business. I say business because a charter is like a free business license.

Another thing that bothers me about this article is that Board members take positions on charter school Boards and don't see a conflict of interest between public and private. "...OUSD board President James Harris joined the CCTS board. The Board is entitled to place their representatives on non-profit school boards but the Board needs a rule barring Board members from joining privately managed charter school governing boards.

And, that those charters the District votes on from now on should contain a provision stopping a charter from borrowing against future revenue without the Board as the authorizing authority authorizing such a loan.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 01/24/2017 at 9:21 PM

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