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Re: “Waste Management Launches Referendum Drive to Win Back Oakland Garbage Contract

A-holes who refuse to allow Oakland to choose its own future.

10 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Jared Mitchell on 09/04/2014 at 2:09 PM

Re: “Waste Management Launches Referendum Drive to Win Back Oakland Garbage Contract

As if there were not already many reasons to oppose this sleazy move, the name "Larry Tramutola" says it all.

14 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 09/04/2014 at 2:02 PM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

A wonderful article that clearly describes how decisions about the future of "our park" have been kept from us behind closed doors.

I find it very strange that the public officials and Zoo management feel that they are providing access to the beauty of Knowland Park by having all us pay for a Gondola Ride to get above an area that we presently have free access to.

42 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Lewis Lubin on 09/04/2014 at 1:51 PM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

Have worked on trying to save the Park for many years. This is the first time a journalist has been willing/able to do the homework to actually check what we citizens have found only through dozens of painstaking public records requests. Thank you--this proposed development is built on a total web of lies and our government representatives have abdicated their responsibility to hold zoo management accountable and protect our remaining parkland resources.

46 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Ruth Malone on 09/04/2014 at 1:28 PM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

A well researched article, hopefully this will inform the public to strongly protest this "over the top" poorly conceived, financially irresponsible concept. Don't expect any due diligence from the city politicians-they have been asleep at the wheel for so long it is why Oakland has been in such a sorry, rudderless state for so long. Even zoo employees would prefer to improve the existing facilities.Gondolas!

34 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Lee Rudin on 09/04/2014 at 1:25 PM

Re: “Joseph Knowland State Arboretum and Park

This all sounds like someone or a small group's pet project to get a restaurant built with a view. I suspect hidden motivations and not for the overall good for the public.

This is the same mentality shown be the City when they tried to re do the Chabot Golf course and re route and rebuild a club house restaurant with a view

Posted by rick hanson on 09/04/2014 at 12:35 PM

Re: “Offerings: A Feminist Festival of Transformative Arts

This festival is now an one day event on September 14th Only. Passes are $0 - $75.

The festival will take place at Oakland Peace Center Fellowship Hall, 259 29th Street, Oakland


All details are at

★ Please spread the word in solidarity with the healing power of Feminist Creativity ★

Dear East Bay Community,

I am writing to you in behalf of appx. 50 Women I have been working with over the last 3 months who are bringing their arts & healing offerings to celebrate Feminist Creativity in Community for Healing & Empowerment at Offerings - A Feminist Festival of Transformative Arts on Sunday, September 14th, at Oakland Peace Center Fellowship Hall, 259 29th Street, Oakland (opposite Grocery Outlet).

And we would love you to consider joining us.

The festivities start at 9 am and goes till 10 pm. Check out the full day schedule at

- The day starts with wellness practices (including labyrinth walk w/drumming and somatic healing through contact improv).

- After lunch we have a variety of learnings in small groups with 10 workshop facilitators.

- The afternoon sees us doing storytelling, dancing and singing in a big circle, all of us together followed by some performances of unique nature.

- We then sit down to share a meal as we engage in a community gift exchange.

- After dinner we enjoy the Siren Show (Pilgrimage) which includes International Women's Choir singing songs from around the globe, Women Acting Out Theater group staging "Of Mothers and Daughters", Dance Dialogue Troupe showcasing their exploration "What is Home" and Poetic Performers expressing their inner journeys. We also have guest artists Ash Fisher doing comedy and Kym Trippsmith singing empowering songs.

- We close with a candle light ceremony around fire dancing.

You are welcome to come for the full day ($75) or just for the Show ($25) or any section of of the day at an appropriate cost. If you would like to come, don't let money or your inability to attend the whole day stop you. Contact me (Roke) and we will figure something out. It's going to be a beautiful experience but only if you join us. We won't turn anyone away for lack of funds!

Buy Passes:
(Low Income Discount & Volunteer Shifts available!)
Questions? Contact Roke at 510.681.9740 or

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Roke Noir on 09/04/2014 at 12:32 PM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

Investigative journalism lives! Thank you for such a thoughtful, thorough exploration of significant issues that have never before been aired. I remain concerned about the current shabby state of the existing zoo and I fear that the proposed luxurious, expensive expansion would cause further neglect of the old facility. On your next visit, note the many empty displays, the many unpainted plaster patches, a dry tiger pool, the sad lion house and some safety hazards such as untrimmed dead tree branches hanging over pedestrian walkways. We have a very good zoo. Let's maintain what we have. Maybe we cannot afford the ambitious, and unrealistic, outdated expansion that destroys the heart of a magnificent park and valuable habitat.

38 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by eliserose on 09/04/2014 at 12:08 PM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

Heartfelt thanks to Sam Levin for an excellent article.

33 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Christina Hammond on 09/04/2014 at 11:54 AM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

What a great article! Kudos to the reporter and the Express for having the guts to tell it like it is.

Destroying native habitat and native organisms, from animals to plants to fungi, and restricting free public access to a park that was created for Oakland city residents IN PERPETUITY is not conservation, but commercialism.
The Zoological Society may be a non-profit in name, but it is behaving like any other unscrupulous business: increase the profit and damn the consequences!

I agree that the Oakland Zoo has vastly improved since Parrott became Zoo director, insofar as animal care and animal enclosures for their existing animals. But even the very best captive care just makes them benign jailors. Do we portray "nature" as soul-deadened, neurotic and angry creatures with no hope of release, or do we honor their lives by allowing them to live free? We know what the zoo proposes, and it is not conservation but acquisition.

I just returned from three weeks in Alaska, where I got to see the dramatic contrast between truly wild animals and those in a very well maintained conservation facility outside of Anchorage. Those semi-tame creatures, from brown bears to musk ox, were wholly thwarted in their lives, although they were being being taken care of most kindly and living in extensive enclosures. These once great and proud beings were a shadow of their wild brethren, bodies whole but spirits broken.

How would you like to live in unending public scrutiny, with no opportunity to get away from that maddening to the point of true insanity human crowd?

Leave OUR wild Knowland Park for those who already live there, and retain FREE public access to this truly wild and soulful place, for all of we Bay Areans who choose to walk it, not just for those with money for Zoo admission. Boots on the ground is the way to know a place, not sailing above it on a gondola ride.

Let our consciences and not our pocketbooks be our guides in protecting this irreplaceable space. Shame on the Zoo and the City Council for their actions up until now on this matter.

We beseech you, Oakland Zoo and City Council alike, to do the right thing and preserve these valuable lands. Build closer to the Zoo, improve what you already have. Make do, like so many of us are already doing in these trying financial times. Destroying existing nature to build a commercial vision of "nature past" is a most chillingly Orwellian vision.

This is the conservation conscious Bay Area, for heavens sake. We can do better. The plants, animals and people already living in and traveling freely throughout Knowland Park, as well as their many generations of descendants, will thank you.

Debbie Viess, Biologist, Naturalist, Mycologist and long-time Oakland Resident

29 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Amanitarita on 09/04/2014 at 11:34 AM

Re: “Thursday Must Reads: Court Says Yelp Can Extort Small Businesses; Black Oakland Firefighter Says He and His Kids Were Victims of Racial Profiling

Yelp is here to stay and businesses need to stop wasting money through lawsuits and begin using the site in a effective manner for their business benefit. I'm not a fan of yelp but I understand that this is where many of my customers are so I have to participate. Yelp just issued a new round of consumer alerts today ( I don't understand why businesses do stuff like that, it is common sense that Yelp will monitor their internal messaging for this behavior. Why don't businesses just ask their customers for reviews, give out post cards, display the stickers or use a solution like, or there are so many ways of generating reviews online these days, why go black hat and violate their TOS?

2 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by James Lewis on 09/04/2014 at 11:11 AM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

19 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Editor on 09/04/2014 at 10:30 AM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

Thank you Sam Levin for this well-researched and thorough article and thank you East Bay Express for publishing it. I'm glad to have a better grasp of the situation and it's many sides. I have supported the retainment of Knowland as it is from the beginning of this attempt to turn the land into a themed zoo and entertainment center at the expense of an endangered species and remaining native open space. The preservation and conservation of the open native land and its endemic species for its intended public use in this heavily urban area is in my heart and mind more important, more pertinent and timely than the Zoo's proposal. Increasingly, more and more of the public want open space preserved for public enjoyment. And, while I appreciate the Zoo's business efforts to perpetuate their existence by trying to create something somewhat interesting, I just don't think what they have in mind holds up to what the public thinks is really necessary for Oakland, the Bay Area and the State, and that is, the conservation and preservation of open space for public enjoyment and the preservation and conservation of endemic species. And, I hope that the Oakland City Council will agree when it comes time for their vote. I hope that future generations will be able look about and say, what is has been here from time immemorial and we thank them for saving it for us and for having the foresight and courage to stop further development of a poor idea.

40 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Deb Inman on 09/04/2014 at 10:16 AM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

Thank you East Bay Express for this well written and informative article. This issue doesn't get much press, if any. Very glad to see that we still have a news resource that is willing to tackle this difficult issue and shed some light. Knowland park is an amazing place!

37 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Alexa Gilweit on 09/04/2014 at 9:57 AM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

Thanks for the great reporting. I don't take my family to the Zoo any more because of this issue. There are so many great Nature documentaries that feature free animals in nature, that I how we learn about them now.

38 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Devin Prouty on 09/04/2014 at 9:26 AM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

Oakland residents and all East Bay residents! Write to the City Councilman about this article and your concern about public parklands being developed, this plan is an expansion of the city with water lines, sewers, fences, mitigation or rehabilitation will replace the biodiversity now contained in the soil, on the trees, within the maritime chaparral.

34 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Delia Taylor on 09/04/2014 at 9:13 AM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

Thank you for spreading the word! Save Knowland Park!!

34 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Bethany McClave on 09/04/2014 at 9:04 AM

Re: “Zoo Gone Wild

I'm appalled that the zoo would destroy genuine habitat for their expansion. I appreciate educational exhibits and their intent, but this one just makes me sad. It is tragic to destroy the very thing you're purporting to heighten awareness of. Please leave Knowland Park undeveloped!

40 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Jennifer de Graaf on 09/04/2014 at 8:54 AM

Re: “Switching Sides

Meanwhile, Kamala Harris remains a "do-nothing" enforcer of the public trust. So, what is new in Lawyer Land?

Posted by Franklin Graham on 09/04/2014 at 8:42 AM

Re: “In Oakland, Too, Fast Food Is Going Loco’l

My vote would be for a location in the Lower Bottom neighborhood of West Oakland, near the BART station. Definitely a food desert - something like Loco'l would fill
a gaping need and be much appreciated!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Link Boutte on 09/04/2014 at 8:32 AM

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