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Comment Archives: Last 7 Days

Re: “Oakland Zoo's Proposed Expansion Into Knowland Park Heads to Final Council Vote

Thank you for following up your original thorough coverage of this controversial development project with this timely post. In both pieces, you've provided a lot of solid information to a public that has been largely kept out of the loop about the project up to now.
I think one correction should be made though: the zoo isn't required to use parkland for its 53-acre mitigation obligation resulting from siting the project on sensitive ridge habitat--this is just what it wants to do (for one thing, it won't cost the zoo anything to use public property to meet this obligation). The decision to allow or not allow this public park land to be used for this purpose ism as you said, up to the City Council. As representatives of Oakland residents, I hope City Council members stand up for their constituents (who a poll shows favor protecting this land from a zoo development by 75%) and refuse to allow the best 77 acres of Knowland Park to be ruined forever--for the public and for the wildlife that depend on it now.

25 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Karen Smith on 11/14/2014 at 3:58 PM

Re: “Oakland Zoo's Proposed Expansion Into Knowland Park Heads to Final Council Vote

Hopefully the Oakland City Council will be willing to push back on the East Bay Zoological Society's remarkable insistence on the unnecessary destruction of a rare surviving native eco-system. The EBZS is a private corporation that appears to have secret motives (profits for developers who want to build on the ridge top?) for not locating their expansion project on a more logical eco-friendly site. Since the EBZS receives City of Oakland funding, it seems that the City Council should be willing to play hardball and force the zoo to complete a full Environmental Impact Report and locate their expansion where harm would be minimized. As to profits for any secret developer partners of the EBZS, it's hard to understand why most City Council members should consider the well being of these greedy vultures at all.

23 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Robert S. Nelson on 11/14/2014 at 3:54 PM

Re: “Oakland Zoo's Proposed Expansion Into Knowland Park Heads to Final Council Vote

I'm an Oakland resident who doesn't live very close to the park, but I strongly support protecting it. This is a rare and precious place, not just for people but for animals, grasslands, woodlands, and soil, and to do what Joni Mitchell sings about in "Big Yellow Taxi" (taking the trees and putting them in a tree museum, and charging people to see them) is just a shame. I plan to be at the city council vote on Tuesday to stand up and say "no" to the conservation easement, which would not only allow this destructive plan to go forward, but would take away even more of the park from the public. Mitigation is needed because this is a damaging project. The city council can definitely vote no on this bad plan -- and should.

24 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mara Schechter on 11/14/2014 at 3:32 PM

Re: “Ask Legalization Nation: Weeding Out Hemp Oil Hustlers.

This comment was deleted because it violates our website's Terms Of Use. People who repeatedly violate our policies will lose their right to post comments. You can read our entire Terms Of Use here.

Posted by Editor on 11/14/2014 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

Per Chip's chirpy column in the Chron yesterday, final vote on this is Tuesday.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 11/14/2014 at 10:51 AM

Re: “The Age of Fear and Disillusionment

Excellent article - fear is an American value that is manipulated by those in power to do as they please.

Posted by Art Zamora on 11/14/2014 at 9:47 AM

Re: “Babewatch


I just updated the location, sorry for the mix up!

Posted by Bert Johnson on 11/14/2014 at 9:11 AM

Re: “East Bay Progressives Dominated the Election

What Christina is referring to, which your guy Bert seems not to have found, is this sentence in a story which appeared in the 10/8 issue with no byline that I could see: "But we strongly oppose candidate Jacquelyn McCormick, because she backs Measure R and is the most conservative candidate running for Berkeley City Council this year. " That's just a flat lie. Michael Cohen and Linda Maio are both more conservative, as is Sean Barry, the Blue Shield spokesmodel who ran again Kriss Worthington. Maio supported the anti-homeless Sit-Lie ordinance, which voters defeated. I know that the editor of the Express is goo-goo for any and all developers, but those who disagree with him about Measure R are not conservatives, they're liberals who don't agree with him.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Becky O'Malley on 11/13/2014 at 8:00 PM

Re: “Berkeley Record Swap

The price is actually $5 only from 10-11am
It's $2 from 11am-4pm.
Food will be sold by Berkeley's El Burro Picante Taqueria and beer, wine and soft drinks will be for sale.

Posted by Brian Berry on 11/13/2014 at 6:03 PM

Re: “Crime and Wealth and FBI Stats

If you crack the data things are not so clear...

Of all US reporting jurisdictions in 2013 Oakland is 41st in violent crime RATE, and 451st in property crime RATE and in cities over 50k residence we're 2nd, and 22nd respectively. Once again SF has the highest rate of theft in the state of California while still managing to earn a slightly lower property crime rate than Oakland -63/1000 (Oak) vs 57/1000 (SF).

Last the FBI explicitly states comparing jurisdiction to jurisdiction is impossible because unlike the name of the report "Uniform Crime Report" it just isn't. New Orleans, SF, Oakland, and Chicago all report crime differently.

In the case of SF they do it so "differently" than Daly City that the DC side of the DC/SF boarder shows magnitudes greater crime in DC than SF. How can that be if there's no physical border? For whatever reason SFPD is clearly suppressing crime reporting.

Basically using these reports to rank cities is a complete fail, but using them to compare one city's year to year criminal activity is useful.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Matt_Chambers on 11/13/2014 at 5:03 PM

Re: “Lori Droste Edges to a 16-Vote Win in Berkeley Council Race

Congrats to Ms. Droste on her election.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by DanKalb on 11/13/2014 at 2:49 PM

Re: “An Eco-Christmas Tree Guide

And don't forget local Oakland native and long time tree farmer Brent's Christmas Trees. Lots in Berkeley and Oakland.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Frank Hennefer on 11/13/2014 at 1:52 PM

Re: “East Bay Progressives Dominated the Election

Hi Christina,

Bert Johnson, photo and web editor here. I wanted to respond, because as the staff member who handles our letters to the editor, I didn't recall seeing your message. I looked for it in our letters inbox and it doesn't show up. Moreover, we wouldn't normally forward a letter addressed to us to anyone else, so I suspect you may be confusing us with another publication.

In regards to your comment, please take a look at our election coverage for the analysis of each candidate. For Jacquelyn McCormick, see our original piece on Berkeley's municipal elections:…

Thanks for reading,

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bert Johnson on 11/13/2014 at 1:23 PM

Re: “East Bay Progressives Dominated the Election

Robert, you might be right if you don't include respect for human rights and civil liberties to be part of your definition of "progressive". I do, and in such sense both Schaaf and Maio fail. Maio was a big supported of Berkeley's Sit-Lie ordinance, which attempted to further criminalize homelessness.

You are right that Schaaf is not more progressive than Quan or Kaplan, but I didn't compare her to them - but to Dan Siegel. Schaaf voted in favor of the DAC at least twice, and showed very little concern about the privacy = and really liberty - implications of having an all-ecompassing surveillance center in Oakland. You know this, the Express did a great job of covering this issue. At the end of the day Schaaf, like Kaplan (but not like Quan), figured out that this would not be a great issue to drag into their Mayoral campaigns, but the basic point is that they were concerned about the political implications, rather than the human rights implications of approving the DAC.

As a human rights activist, of course I'm biased on these issues, but the reason why I focus on human rights is because without freedom of speech, privacy, assembly, etc. you cannot fight for any other rights.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Margarita Lacabe on 11/13/2014 at 1:01 PM

Re: “East Bay Progressives Dominated the Election

There was a phrase back in the 1970s coined by Tom Wolfe, "radical chic." Which I take as a corrective to the use of the term "progressive" by this journal's editors.

By any useful measure Oakland's leadership has not been, nor will it be, anything other than radical chic. This means wanting to appeal to those who wish for change but essentially driven by affiliations with current power centers and a fundamental tie to money.

It's no happenstance that Mayor-elect Schaaf's campaign had the highest funding as well as the highest level of contributions from outside Oakland.

Other political terms useful in the past are "trickle down" and "neoliberal."

Bottom line for me, personally, is that Schaaf will be largely indistinguishable from Quan in terms of policy and serving the needs of the most deprived in Oakland. Where Schaaf will excel is where Quan so often fell down. Quan was a lousy liar; Schaaf is much better.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Hobart Johnson on 11/13/2014 at 12:13 PM

Re: “East Bay Progressives Dominated the Election


I have to disagree with you about Libby Schaaf. She is no moderate. In fact, if you followed the campaign, it was clear that her positions on the major issues were not that different from Rebecca Kaplan and Jean Quan, as I noted in this story:…

And the Express noted in its endorsement of Schaaf:…

Posted by Robert Gammon on 11/13/2014 at 11:12 AM

Re: “East Bay Progressives Dominated the Election


I have to disagree with you on the Linda Maio race. Her opponent Alejandro Soto-Vigil strongly backed the most regressive measure on the Berkeley ballot -- Measure R -- this year.

Moreover, Maio, by any reasonable definition, is a progressive.

Posted by Robert Gammon on 11/13/2014 at 11:07 AM

Re: “East Bay Progressives Dominated the Election

The previous comment about the folly of calling Jacquelyn McCormick the most conservative candidate in Berkeley's District 8 is right on the money, as proved by McCormick coming in last in what is the most conservative council district. And there's little difference on a progressive/liberal/moderate/conservative spectrum between George Beier and Lori Droste, proven by the virtual tie between the two. Her personality is a bit warmer perhaps, but that's not a political difference, and George was moved into District 8 against his will by Mayor Tom Bates' unsuccessful attempt to gerrymander his progressive critic Kriss Worthington out of office in District 7. Bates' candidate in District 8 was actually the most conservative, Michael Cohen, and he lost. I'm awfully bored by the tone-deaf Robert Gammon pontificating about things in Berkeley he knows very little about.

Posted by Becky O'Malley on 11/13/2014 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Babewatch

This event is happening at Stork Club in Oakland on this night. It i NOT happening at the Knockout

Posted by The Marquist on 11/13/2014 at 11:03 AM

Re: “East Bay Progressives Dominated the Election

I think this is pure wishful thinking. In race after race after race in Alameda County (I won't speak about Richmond, as I didn't follow that race) the more conservative candidates won. Incumbents were - sometimes - an exception. Only in two races did a more liberal non-incumbent candidate outright won over more conservative ones and both were open seats: Annie Campbell Washington's and Mike Bucci in Union City - but that an at-large election for two seats, and Bucci came second to a Republican candidate.

I agree with mjw that the only way you get to say that progressives won in Berkeley and Oakland is redefining the word and ignoring the competition. Alejandro Soto-Vigil is much more progressive than Linda Maio and Libby Schaaf is very much a moderate. Meanwhile, I disagree that Dana King is more moderate than Guillen - each one is more liberal than the other on different issues.

I've written a city-by-city brief analysis of the mayor/council races in Alameda County:…

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Margarita Lacabe on 11/13/2014 at 10:46 AM

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