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Re: “'Big Soda' Argues Oakland's Proposed Tax Will Cut Sales — But Proponents Say That's Exactly the Point

At Charlie Pine:

You say: "Prof. Auerbach might know law, but he clearly does not understand the first thing about comparative price elasticities, taught to students in micro-economics class."

Given that he is the former chair of UC Berkeley's economics department, was deputy chief of staff on the U.S. Joint Committee of Taxation, was the President of the National Tax Association, and has a Ph.D in economics from Harvard, I think he might know something about price elasticity.

Aside from his credentials, you didn't refute Prof. Auerbach's point: if store owners could raise the prices of other goods to make more profit, why didn't they do this regardless of the soda tax?

Posted by Tommy Katz on 08/25/2016 at 1:21 PM

Re: “Landlord Pledges to Repair Bathrooms at Oakland Chinatown SRO

What's happening to Oakland's Chinatown? I was there about 2 months ago and it looked shabby, rundown and on its way to oblivion....Why?

Posted by Juliet Mevi on 08/25/2016 at 12:24 PM

Re: “Cooking Other People's Food: How Chefs Appropriate Bay Area 'Ethnic' Cuisine

My issue with this article is that there are several great black chefs in Oakland that own restaurant's, popups, trucks or are caterers and no one EVER asks us what we think about all of these restaurants that also have a play on soul food too. Where do the African American Chefs come into play or EVEN get recognized!

Posted by Aaronette Leboothang King on 08/25/2016 at 11:51 AM

Re: “Reflections on the 15th Street Tragedy

Growing up in a setting of poverty and hopelessness can torture a person's psyche and make them feel like there's no way out but violence. But poverty didn't force these kids to pocket their pistols when heading out to the party. They made that decision. This was no accident.

This isn't a case of robbing a store to feed a starving family. This isn't a case of desperation or necessity. This is a case of hot-headed kids with guns they shouldn't have, whose value for human life has been crushed so low that being "disrespected" (or whatever other bullshit happened in that argument) is enough cause for them to murder without a second thought.

The gun-packing kids could probably be considered victims on a societal level and their social setting certainly helped to corrupt them this way—but there is also an inner evil here that must be considered if we ever hope to expunge it and end this random violence.

Posted by Max Chanowitz on 08/25/2016 at 11:42 AM

Re: “Oakland's Street-Repair Deficit is Deep. The Mayor Says a $600 Million Bond Needed to Address the Problem.

I couldn't help but notice that street repairs in my already-adequately-paved neighborhood near Lake Merritt are ongoing, while West Grand Ave. is like the surface of the freaking moon, nearly shaking apart the bus I take to work every day.

Could it be that there's a resource allocation problem? Are "nicer" neighborhoods with more lobbying power grabbing more of the money away from the torn-up neighborhoods that actually need it? It sure looks like it from here.

Posted by Max Chanowitz on 08/25/2016 at 11:13 AM

Re: “Oakland-Alameda Authority Confirms Unreleased Renderings of Possible Raiders Stadium at Coliseum Site

"Renderings" means pretty pictures designed to fool people into thinking there's a real plan.

Posted by Mike Bradley on 08/25/2016 at 10:15 AM

Re: “Cooking Other People's Food: How Chefs Appropriate Bay Area 'Ethnic' Cuisine

I appreciate comments by Alexis and Fremont here. The issue of usurping other people's cultural heritage and profiting - both egotistically and materially - by assimilating elements for the appreciation of higher class people makes me sad, even as a middle class white man from the Fruitvale. Yet, while I highly value origin and history, I also am burdened with a tongue schooled in locally-grown, grass-fed, sustainable, bla bla, the value of which I cherish supporting in my defiance of industrial corporate food production. The race issue in Tsai's article is symptomatic of our shared American problem rooted in wealth differences, wealth is glamorized, envied, disdained, yet tacitly accepted. While I feel conflicted about Ramen Shop/Tacubayu/Comal/etc, I also can appreciate the audience that has enabled this creative and disciplined expression of food. While I lament the influx of bearded gentry into our Bay oasis, I cherish the educated/artistic/activist culture that existed before and laid the groundwork for appreciation of values in food.

Posted by Bankito on 08/25/2016 at 9:27 AM

Re: “Cooking Other People's Food: How Chefs Appropriate Bay Area 'Ethnic' Cuisine

"Moore, on the other hand, said he only hopes that The Kebabery might act as a kind of gateway for the type of customer who will drive out of their way to dine at a Russell Moore restaurant, but might never set foot in any of the Bay Area's many excellent traditional kebab restaurants."

This is exactly the problem isn't it? That is exactly what's going to happen because he is making a "low/dirty" cuisine "safe" for white palettes. And the presence of his restaurant in this neighborhood is making a "low/dirty" neighborhood safe for people who would have never set foot there. He clearly has no interest in catering to the traditionally working class, primarily colored residents in this neighborhood. Rather, he is another person looking to capitalize on the comparatively lower rents in North/West Oakland because he knows that his upper class white clientele will follow. And when they do, they will have the same "epiphany" that West Oakland is actually not as bad as they thought it was and that it's "actually pretty cool and gritty". More hip restaurants by popular chefs and coffee shops will come (as if there aren't enough) and people with money will follow along with higher rents, continuing the rampent spread of gentrification in West Oakland.

In Moores case, The Kebabery itself isn't the problem. It's the location, and the lie that he is telling himself and the community that his intention is to contribute to the the existing neighborhood. Unless we're talking truly accessible price points and a truly welcoming and unpretentious vibe, I will continue to see this as exploitative.

Posted by Christina Young on 08/25/2016 at 9:19 AM

Re: “Cooking Other People's Food: How Chefs Appropriate Bay Area 'Ethnic' Cuisine

HELLO WOW another new restaurant, so many coming in to West Oakland,and no local people will get jobs, or afford to eat. Over the years I've tried to get to know people and try for a job--no luck. a few weeks ago, that guy from NY was right--'what's next ? more outsiders, so locals lose out

al brown-chef-creole

Posted by Alan Brown on 08/25/2016 at 9:11 AM

Re: “Oakland's Street-Repair Deficit is Deep. The Mayor Says a $600 Million Bond Needed to Address the Problem.

The City of Oakland has Wells Fargo in court for predatory lending...
Jerry Brown permitted the banks to engage in this criminal activity while he was Attorney General...
Brown cut city services while he was Mayor of Oakland and put Oakland in a deeper hole with the refinance of the predatory loan that the city had made with Goldman Sachs the year before he became Mayor...
At the same time that the bank was engaged in stealing homes in Oakland, they were engaged in a relationship with El Chapo Guzman's drug cartel...
The relationship generated $378 billion over an 18 month period...
Wells has been allowed to keep the profits from the predatory lending as well as from the relationship with Guzman.
All of the other banks have been given the same preferential treatment. this is why there is such a disparity in wealth and income in America...
Wells Fargo should be force to give Oakland $378 billion!!!
Read Facebook for the rest of this story,
"Real Estate Crisis or Government Sanctioned Racketeering?"
Regards, Allen Sanford

Posted by Allen Sanford on 08/25/2016 at 5:11 AM

Re: “Cooking Other People's Food: How Chefs Appropriate Bay Area 'Ethnic' Cuisine

What a great article that says it all. All you left out was the example of how Paula Dean appropriated recipes, and labor and a false identity to create her empire.

I've been saying it for years.....The U. S. has been held hostage, to the collective juvenile ego of American white people while they've been learning how to cook. Yes that's what we've been witness to....white people learning to cook. (Remember before this 'movement', white households ate, canned foods and frozen dinners.)

Yes, white people learning about food from growing it to preparing it; white people learning about spices and how they flavor and enhance meats and vegetables, white people discovering the foods of other cultures...oh I could go on, but the thing that gets me, is how the white mind, in it's inherent arrogance, now wishes to proclaim it's supremacy in the realm of food growing and cooking ~ When in fact, they are the last participant to the party. They are just now learning things, that Black, Latino, and Asian, and native indigenous people have KNOWN FOREVER...

Yet as always...they appropriate, and then create systems of hierarchy, awarding prizes, titles and fame upon themselves for things the learned from others ( IE: All the food and cooking networks and popular TV type cook-off programs TV).

The last element in their game is the commercializing of food and cooking. Exploiting it for profit. Food ...people !!! Earth's ultimate givingness. Nutrition, fuel, emotional fulfillment for the bodies of Earth's animals - 4 and 2 legged. Talking heads in the industry give us ridiculous creative labeling on menus and at Farmer's Markets about the source of a bean. And foodies spout off these descriptions and name-drop them like a designer label groupie.

These new to the kitchen, white chefs/cooks - professional and at home ~ never realize the fools that they look like to all the rest of humanity. Like the awkward child/man on the old Mad TV show, that demanded attention, as he spastically jumped up and down, crying out, "Look what I can do!!"

We, who bear the knowledge in our genes, souls and family legacies just shake our heads, and roll our eyes while we add a pinch and retreat to the memory of the way Grandma prepared it, ....as we just 'stir on'....

Posted by Liz Lee on 08/25/2016 at 12:39 AM

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