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Re: “Condominium Conversions in Oakland Displace Renters and Undermine Affordability, According to Tenants and Housing Experts

Well the responses listed here explain why we are in this crisis. I lost my rental home in Oakland in 2015 after having lived there problem-free for 17 years. The landlord had promised me he would never sell in 2013 when my husband passed. In March 2015 he sent me an email saying he was coming over with a real estate agent in two days. When I expressed obvious shock and confusion, he first tried to say he had told me about this already and then when I said that was not the case, tried the "oh, I must have told your husband about it, but not you"- possibly the worst and stupidest lie I've ever been told. The house was immediately shown and sold to a young wealthy tech couple in their early 20's who worked in SF and just wanted to be near the BART. I had to move by late May. I got conflicting advice from City of Oakland Rent Adjustment Board and others - some said I had rights being over 60 and having lived there over 10 years would require a year's advance notice of the landlord selling, other attorneys I spoke to said I had no rights at all in a single family home. For two months I frantically searched all corners of the east bay - running into massive competition with other renters offering higher rents to landlords, flirting with landlords, you name it. I finally found a 2 bedroom cottage in Lafayette, successfully advocated for my two senior indoor only cats to be admitted, and signed a year's lease June 1. On July 3, I received a letter saying the Lafayette property had sold and all the buildings and many of the trees, were going to be torn down and rebuilt.
So without being fully unpacked, and already having had to give up my washer/dryer, piano, dining room table and chairs, and many, many other things, I moved again in October 2015. This time I bought an affordable condo further out in Walnut Creek. I have a 45 minute commute in the am (BART parking fills up way before I start work in Berkeley) and usually wait until 7pm before attempting the return home. I am most definitely a displaced Oaklander but I have come to appreciate that at least no one can sell me or price me out, and the City of Oakland is truly not invested in protecting ANY renter. Even the idea that a landlord give advance notice (vs 2 days) to a long-term renter is outside the scope of the greed mentality.

Posted by JeanetteSarmiento1 on 04/30/2017 at 12:10 PM

Re: “The Secret Sidewalk May Not Be Secret Much Longer

I used to go to the secret sidewalk as a teenager, in the mid-eighties. I went once during the day, but it was a nighttime party hangout spot that couldn't be beaten. It was rare that my friends and I would meet anyone else on the sidewalk, although one night, the word had gotten out, and a full blown party was happening. For the most part, we crossed the tracks, climbed up to the bridge,and headed east.We followed the rules of the sidewalk: Never straight, always foreward, never sideways, and sometimes in reverse. We would smoke a bowl with Buddha (a white figure, spraypainted on a large rock), and once we passed the jail (a metal barrier, to keep cows off the sidewalk, I think), we would enter the valley, near the end of the sidewalk, and sit down hanging our feet off the side, and party. We sometimes went to the end of the sidewalk, but mostly stopped where the Troll (the only homeless person we knew of, living in a tiny, low space under the sidewalk) was. He rarely talked to us, and never took the drugs and alcohol offered to him. If we were really lucky, a train would come, lighting up the whole valley, and rumbling loudly until disappearing into the tunnel underneath and near where we were sitting. Good times.

Posted by Phoenix Mueller on 04/30/2017 at 7:20 AM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

There has not been a sudden, unexpected worsening in city finances from the start of the soda tax election campaign in 2016 to now to justify any emergency need to divert expected soda tax revenue to any other purpose. The City's budget office has consistently projected large deficits in each of the 5 year projections they have published ever since they were required to do so by Council several years ago.

Posted by Len Raphael on 04/30/2017 at 12:59 AM

Re: “Blacklisted: How The Oakland Police Department Discriminates Against Rappers and Music Venues

This article be like: OPD say hip-hop shows require more security (which costs money), also: whine.

Why doesn't this article address whether there is higher prevalence of violence/crimes at hip-hop shows? Is the data tainted because police unfairly target these shows or is the data unfavorable to the artcile's conceit?

It seems the police are claiming their research shows these events require more security so why isn't this central claim investigated? Isn't there someone who can speak to why the officers/department don't want to comment?

Only the comments provided some context as to why the police might do this besides discrimination (to what end?).

Posted by Hiram Delco on 04/29/2017 at 9:15 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

Campbell Washington wrote the measure as a tax with the proceeds going into the general fund. She knows the general fund is general, not fenced for specific uses. She and Kaplan and other councilmembers now try to shift the blame onto Schaaf. This is a puppet show for those voters who drank the Kool-Aid promises of the tax.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 04/29/2017 at 1:19 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

How about we find out the details of the budget rather than jump to conclusions like we do so often with false news. I am so surprised that ACW is jumping on this bandwagon. Please let us know what has been done to set up the committee AND details before throwing someone under the bus so we tax payers can have the correct information with which to respond.

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Posted by MVelasco on 04/29/2017 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Top Ramen For Life: The Student Loan Crisis

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Posted by Alfred Morgan on 04/29/2017 at 12:28 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

Can't wait to vote her out of office.

Posted by John Michaels Grabowski on 04/29/2017 at 1:12 AM

Re: “Tenants Sue Landlord and Housing Nonprofits Over Deadly West Oakland Fire

The writer speculates if no definitive statements are being made to confirm the articles claims.

Posted by Napola on 04/28/2017 at 11:04 PM

Re: “Condominium Conversions in Oakland Displace Renters and Undermine Affordability, According to Tenants and Housing Experts

Yeah, Iam Rhiannon, Berkeley has a loophole. It sounds as if it's a bait and switch scam and it SHOULD be closed... But I'm not a resident of Berkeley. I AM a resident of Oakland. Do keep in mind, HUGE swaths of Berkeley's rental units are occupied by students. Yeah, they are residents, but are also... Transient. Here for a few years and then gone.

Oakland on the other hand, has a bread and circuses and temper tantrum mentality... If the populace can't demand other pay for what they want, they tie it up so thoroughly the developers go away and no one get's housing.

Witness the proposed construction for the MacArthur transit village... Potentially about 400 new housing unit are now completely stalled. Not because there isn't low income housing reserved, but what is reserved is all on the lower levels.

Do you think that encourages needed new development?

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 04/28/2017 at 8:56 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

This will not go unanswered. Our neighborhood campaigned for this tax on behalf of the children of Oakland. How dare Schaaf try to divert the funds. She'll pay at the ballot box!

Posted by C. Leonard on 04/28/2017 at 8:45 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

While these members of the city council are decrying the alleged use of the funds, I would ask what EXACTLY the city council (in general, these member in particular) has done in regards to setting up the advisory board?

It's really easy to sit back and take pot shots while take NO responsibility using vague language.

As I recall the bill called for the city to form the advisory council. That would seem to me to mean the city council as well as the Mayors office.

It seems to me both Ms Washington and Ms Brooks have been EXTREMELY visible on a number of high profile issues, and now it seems only on those high profile issues... While seemingly ignoring the absolutely essential, day to day issues for the city of Oakland.

I will hold my outrage until the actual proposed budget is released so I can see exactly what the proposed expenditures are.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 04/28/2017 at 8:44 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

Please folks, is anyone really surprised by this "Shaft" us again tactic? Distasteful, disingenuous, disgusting and so, so dirty!

Posted by Ellen Gierson on 04/28/2017 at 5:09 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

This is such a Jerry Brown, mod-Dem tactic and Mayor Schaaf was trained by Jerry too. When mod-Dems pull these kinds of stunts, people don't trust Democrats. This distrust is one reason why the country wound up with #45 in the White House.

That sugar tax advisory board needs to be set up ASAP, and not with Ms.Schaaf's hand picks, which tend to undermine what the purpose of what these boards are supposed to do.

Posted by Kit Vaq on 04/28/2017 at 12:37 PM

Re: “Condominium Conversions in Oakland Displace Renters and Undermine Affordability, According to Tenants and Housing Experts

Berkeley has a loophole in its condominium conversion ordinance that allows new high density rental housing to convert to condos as long as they do it before any units are rented. At least 90% of the projects approved as rentals in the past several years were never intended as rentals, and have been converted to condominiums. Most of these projects were granted a 35% density bonus in return for 5-10% below market rate rentals, but were not required to 1) put all units, low-income and market rate, on sale to the public; and 2) increase the percentage of moderate income units available. Instead they are being allowed to "condo" some while renting out the required below market rate units.

At least Oakland isn't that sneaky.

Posted by Iam Rhiannon on 04/28/2017 at 12:10 PM

Re: “Blacklisted: How The Oakland Police Department Discriminates Against Rappers and Music Venues

As someone who works at live music venue, I can say that the increased security at hip-hop shows is necessary. Unfortunately, they are significantly more violent than the other shows we have and our security needs the police presence to ensure safety of people at work as well as other attendees. I also live blocks away from Karribean City and avoid that block when walking home after work because it has been a lightning rod for violence downtown. I want there to be hip hop shows, but something has to be done about the well documented violence that does occur at them.

Posted by John-Paul de Veer on 04/28/2017 at 11:58 AM

Re: “Blacklisted: How The Oakland Police Department Discriminates Against Rappers and Music Venues

The raves are "underground" and un-permitted (interesting phrase, that. It means NOT allowed). Certain elements scream "it's too hard to get permits". Might it be your observations of the problems associated with raves are why?

The violence at sporting events (Raider Nation anyone?) *tends* to be so successfully prosecuted as to deter outbreaks. When they do happen, it isn't large in scale, compared to the size of the crowd. No/little culture of "we don't snitch" in effect there.

Hip-hop/rap events in clubs on the other hand, live at the opposite end... A couple hundred or so in attendance with and almost guarantee of people shot and robbed with depressing regularity and "We don't snitch" is the chorus line.

As I said before, if the promoters/performers could/would self control the events... But they don't. The gangsta mystique IS the spice of the show.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 04/28/2017 at 11:18 AM

Re: “The Oakland Haiku and Jazz Festival Makes its Debut

Question: What is a "haigagraph?"

Posted by Kathleen Giustino on 04/28/2017 at 9:50 AM

Re: “Mexico's Top Investigative Journalist Talks Trump, U.S.-Mexico Relations, and the Dangers of Reporting at UC Berkeley

Mexico has a stricter immigration policy than the United States. On top of that, they actually have a wall on their southern border. Who is she to lecture? Just more nonsense from the left.

Hobart, is the Constitution written in English or Spanish? And why should citizens of a great country care about some shithole everyone is trying to leave?

Posted by George Rockwell on 04/27/2017 at 10:35 PM

Re: “Blacklisted: How The Oakland Police Department Discriminates Against Rappers and Music Venues

A friend of mine was killed in a shooting outside of vinyl by a stray bullet. He had nothing to do with it and was playing a show next door at a different venue. That doesn't fit your narrative I guess but I'll never get my friend back. RIP Emilio.

Posted by vaxination on 04/27/2017 at 9:13 PM

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