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Re: “West Oakland Councilmember Involved in House-Flipping Scheme

What!? The East Bay express did what? I'm sure they are doing this just because she is black.

8 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by Alex Miller-Cole on 12/16/2014 at 10:40 PM

Re: “The McClymonds Football Nightmare

In southern Cali the kids transfer all of the time and coach and sections don't hold up the kids back!!!

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by De'Carlos Anderson on 12/16/2014 at 10:24 PM

Re: “The McClymonds Football Nightmare

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by De'Carlos Anderson on 12/16/2014 at 10:21 PM

Re: “West Oakland Councilmember Involved in House-Flipping Scheme

As a D3 resident, I have to say this story is one big 'meh'. It focuses too much on what Richard Reese is doing and NO amount of reporting on what LGM's non-profit is doing. From her non-profits website, they have 28 properties they manage (again, not mentioned in the article).

Her non-profit made a loan to a private investor, and that loan was paid back with additional fees and interest. Did any of this money go to purchasing rentals for lower income tenants? What was done with the money made from the 2 flipped properties went to the non-profit? The author was only able to confirm salaries up to 2012 (homes were sold in 2013).

Lastly, how is the non-profit supposed to get funding to continue to rent to low-income residents? If money invested into by the non-profit into these properties generates funding to provide affordable housing to lower income residents, then this is not much different from levying a tax on all new wealthy Oakland homeowners and using that money to pay for affordable housing.

18 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 12/16/2014 at 9:12 PM

Re: “Knowland Park Advocates Launch Referendum to Block Oakland Zoo Expansion

Isn't this exactly what we heard over the Zoo's Measure A1, roundly defeated by Alameda County voters? That the Zoo needs taxpayer money to spend on its existing animals? If you can't take care of the animals that you already have, and the existing physical plant at the Zoo obviously needs plenty of work, then why, for heavens's sake, are you even attempting this expansion?

And do you only care about animals in your own cages, or perhaps those in far away countries? What about the ones that are already living next door in Knowland Park, and will be displaced, fenced out or crushed into paste? And of course, all animals need viable habitat. We already have prime examples of maritime chaparral and rare grasslands and ancient fairy rings of fungi living in Knowland Park, mature oak trees and red-barked manzanitas. The park is already full of life in its many manifestations. How will the bulldozers help that, exactly?

Bulldozers are not a known habitat enhancer, unless you are a developer. That certainly seems to be the advocacy position of the Oakland Zoo. Develop more land, the very best most valuable land remaining in Knowland Park, that already belongs to the people of Oakland, and then charge them big big bucks to get back in.

The Zoo sez it will cut prices for disadvantaged youth. But c'mon, folks, this ain't a charity project. Even the middle class is hurting these days. Somebody is gonna have to pay big for your expansion.

Wanna see those great views? That'll be xxx bucks for Zoo admission, and oh by the way, to see our brand new CA Endangered Animal exhibit and those great views, the gondola ride to the ridge is extra! But it's OK; we're ADA approved!
And you'll be able to see that beautiful land that you used to be able to walk on as you fly by in the air! Nature, at once remove!

What a cynical, cynical bunch. Do they really think that we are stupid?

We support the good work that the Zoo has done. I know that there are many great folks involved in animal care at the Zoo. But the administration is not shoveling that zoo doo and loving those captives on a daily basis with their blood sweat and tears ... nope, they want to fence off more wild land and bring in some pushed to extinction captives and pretend that's conservation.

I'm sorry, that's not conservation, that's a business plan.

And then, if those dedicated employees want to keep their low paying jobs, they'd better well get on that big chartered Zoo bus after work, and go to those City Council meetings and read their same old prepared speeches, about how wonderful the Zoo is and how much it cares about the people and animals of Oakland. Unless of course, you get in the way of their expansion plans.

REAL conservation is preserving what we already have, a rare and precious place that needs no human interference to be viable. It is already viable, and already full of life, no cages or keepers necessary.

Yup, we are gonna fight this. We, a caring coalition of ALL of the conservation organizations in the Bay Area, are doing it because it is the right thing to do, for everyone, except maybe your Zoo investors. But I am not handing over this land and those wild lives so that politicians and Zoo administrators can stick a feather in their caps, even if that feather falls from one of those aren't-we-so-wonderful-to-do-this Oakland Zoo chelated condors.

Let's see what the people of Alameda County think when presented with ALL of the facts, not just this ridiculous Zoo spin. And BTW, all praise to the East Bay Express, for doing cutting edge journalism. That seems to be a real rarity too, in this day and age.

We will get those signatures, and we will take it to the people to decide. No more back-room deals with OUR land and the callous disregard of the lives of rare creatures and plants and places that we care about, and that a conservation espousing organization like the Oakland Zoo certainly should care about.

If you find all of this "disappointing" Nik, well, all I gotta say is prepare to be disappointed, over and over and over again, until the PEOPLE of Alameda County have taken back their Park. Then maybe y'all can get back to some real conservation, not this sham that you are attempting to shove down our throats.

Debbie Viess

14 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Amanitarita on 12/16/2014 at 8:48 PM

Re: “The Fight For Safer Surgeries at Highland Hospital

There is no excuse for chronically failing machines that were reported to the FDA in 2011 and broken as recently as Thanksgiving week? Chronic shortage of basic drugs and working equipment? Rampant understaffing, for years that went unchecked by Wright Lassiter III who is now under scrutiny for his woeful financial mismanagement of Highland and it's surrounding and affiliated clinics...Fire the doctors who said, "NO to sloppy patient care, who advocated for EVERYONE? Really? Who does that? Roger was one of less than a handful of African American male doctors at Highland, here we want role models for our youth in our community? So a sham peer review, of mostly white doctors fired the advocate for patient safety, what does that show our youth, fight for what is right and GET FIRED?

21 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Sydney Proctor on 12/16/2014 at 8:03 PM

Re: “Tuesday Must Reads: Judge Orders Oakland City Attorney to Hand Over Confidential Documents; Richmond Police Chief Says He Would Hold Black Lives Matter Sign Again

The residents are technically not the City Attorney's clients but we elect her and we pay her salary.

If the City Attorney’s primary concern is saving the City money on future settlements by claiming attorney client-privilege her office should have done something years ago about its repeated failures to successfully defend OPD discipline in police arbitration cases instead of waiting for the Feds to investigate.

How many people have been harmed by police who should have been kicked out years ago and by other police who learned the wrong lessons from those arbitration proceedings? What were the monetary and human costs resulting from community mistrust of police?

Now our primary goal should be to figure out why binding arbitration so often allows bad cops go back to OPD with full rank and back pay.

Then if we can’t correct the flaws of binding arbitration we will have to take the drastic step of repealing the binding arbitration charter clause for police and fire.

We should not tolerate any more delays from our City Attorney in handing documents and answering questions of Judge Henderson's agent.

Sometimes you have to tell your attorney what to do or tell her you’ll find another one come election time.

Len Raphael, CPA

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Leonard Raphael on 12/16/2014 at 7:06 PM

Re: “Knowland Park Advocates Launch Referendum to Block Oakland Zoo Expansion

"Dehejia said the zoo is on track to break ground next year...."

That is exactly correct. The Zoo will be destroying ecological ground of ancient standing in the East Bay. Shame on the Zoo !

"Nik Dehejia, chief financial officer of the Zoological Society, said "... we should be spending more time devoting our resources and our dollars to taking care of animals and furthering our educational capacity."

Again, CFO Dehejia is exactly correct. The Zoo 'should' be spending more time caring for its existing animals, and not spend its resources planning on how to destroy the Public's Park lands. The Zoo is educating the public on how to destroy locally-accessible rare native habitats. Shame on the Zoo !

"Disingenuous", and "poor stewardship", two terms used by other commentators to describe the Zoo's contemptuousness for Oakland citizens' native, rare natural resources, are not strong enough labels to describe the loss that is being foisted upon our regional citizenry. Shame on the Zoo !

17 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Peter Rauch on 12/16/2014 at 6:40 PM

Re: “Knowland Park Advocates Launch Referendum to Block Oakland Zoo Expansion

Just because regulators say it is okay doesn't mean it is okay. The Zoo never did a proper environmental impact report that would have examined other options in an objective way. The Zoo can say anything but it has no prrof that the project cannot be put in a different space, OFF THE RIDGE!

20 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Delia Taylor on 12/16/2014 at 4:33 PM

Re: “Knowland Park Advocates Launch Referendum to Block Oakland Zoo Expansion

Knowland Park is located on lands given in perpetuity to the City of Oakland for public use. The referendum is nothing more than an opportunity for the voters of Oakland to say if they want that land given to a private developer -- given, not even sold. The Zoological Society is just that -- a private party, seeking to develop what is now public open space. One can wholeheartedly support the Zoo's planned expansion and still believe that the voters of Oakland should decide whether it should occur on this unique, environmentally sensitive public land. That's all we ask.

21 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by E Elizabeth Summers on 12/16/2014 at 4:20 PM

Re: “Knowland Park Advocates Launch Referendum to Block Oakland Zoo Expansion

Because the Zoo is a widely appreciated and well-attended attraction, it is disappointing to learn - that behind the scenes - the zoo's Board members not conscientious about habitat protection where they want to build a big project with great views. The paid "experts" who work for the Oakland Zoo are biased – tainted by big money – no matter how convincing they sound. There are TENS of MILLIONS of DOLLARS on the table. Of course, they will say whatever they must to get what they want. The finance/PR guy (Nik Dehejia) from the zoo has a talent for distorting and misrepresenting the science and policy so that City Council members, who are not environmental scientists, could be persuaded that the negative effects of habitat destruction would be erased by removing dozens of acres of open space from public access and by increasing attendance at the zoo, which they see as a public good. Also, his statement in the above article that there has been "significant open and public dialog" is simply untrue.

Let the people of Oakland finally have a real voice in deciding whether to keep or give away our wild open space to development. Sign the petitions! Let's fix this mistake.

23 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by batya_lee on 12/16/2014 at 3:56 PM

Re: “Knowland Park Advocates Launch Referendum to Block Oakland Zoo Expansion

This taking of public land by a private operator, funded in part by public funds, could become a state-wide model to justify appropriating public lands for private development.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by ned bennett on 12/16/2014 at 3:18 PM

Re: “The Best Way to Curb Bike Thefts? Community

I sure wish I could find this Ashley Flea Market.

Posted by Rob Lemon on 12/16/2014 at 3:07 PM

Re: “Knowland Park Advocates Launch Referendum to Block Oakland Zoo Expansion

Shame on the East Bay Zoological Society for their unethical tactics in attempting to locate their extravagant theme-park development on the publicly owned Knowland Park ridge top. The failure of the Oakland City Council to defend the public's interest in this issue necessitates going over their heads to the ballot box. Oakland voters, PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION! Thank you!

29 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Robert S. Nelson on 12/16/2014 at 2:40 PM

Re: “Knowland Park Advocates Launch Referendum to Block Oakland Zoo Expansion

I understand the disappointment of the private operator's coordinator of this proposed expansion plan into the heart of Knowland Park; his job and career are at stake. How wasteful that the private operator has chosen to stubbornly pursue its quest for a "destination" restaurant on the valuable ridge line, with a fantastic view of the Bay. (And has spent several million dollars on that ego trip.) The city of Oakland owns Knowland Park, the zoo, its animals, and its buildings, and has always given to the zoo whatever they asked, spending millions of taxpayer dollars thus far.
In addition, any visitor to the current zoo will notice that the attention of the private operator has already been distracted from maintenance of the current facility. There are many empty cages, an observable pattern of walls needing patching and paint; old illegible signs on exhibits; an African village exhibit that is in an embarrassing state of neglect. Years ago, the private operator's Board decided to focus on providing financing for the expansion; consequently, staff salaries and the current facility have suffered since then.

That ridge location is also the chosen habitat of the endangered Alameda whipsnake, many wild rare and imperiled plants, and encompasses a favorite hiking trail for park lovers from around the Bay area. Knowland Park is also the city's largest, wildest public park and provides a good percentage of Oakland's limited Open Space, free for all to enjoy.

The Referendum seeks to overturn the council's vote to approve the so-called "conservation easement", and would let the voters decide if the private operator should be allowed to remove public access from 53 acres of prime ridge habitat. A professional poll of likely Oakland voters revealed that 75% of Oakland voters oppose the zoo's expansion in this proposed location, and favors the zoo's expansion within or near its current footprint. Off the ridge! Please sign our Referendum Petition when you see our volunteers at Farmers' Markets and other popular shopping areas. See and .

29 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by elisebernstein on 12/16/2014 at 2:20 PM

Re: “Defying Critics of Legalization, Teen Pot Use Falls in America

The Dutch explain their relatively low levels of teen cannabis use by saying that their policy of "soft legalization" has made cannabis seem boring to teens.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by David Joseph on 12/16/2014 at 2:07 PM

Re: “Knowland Park Advocates Launch Referendum to Block Oakland Zoo Expansion

It's very disingenuous for zoo executives to claim that the conservation easement is about environmental protection, when the only reason this additional public parkland is being required to be set aside is BECAUSE of the permanent destruction of native wildlife habitat the project will cause in its current location. But from the beginning we were told over and over there would be "no significant impact." The lies on which this project has been sold are a shaky foundation. Let's give the public a vote on whether they want their park fenced off and native habitat destroyed for this.

30 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Ruth Malone on 12/16/2014 at 1:46 PM

Re: “Knowland Park Advocates Launch Referendum to Block Oakland Zoo Expansion

This project embodies poor stewardship of public lands, closed government, and big-business cronyism. It is the opposite of conservation, lacking even the most rudimentary consideration of environmental consequences. No impact study was done, and not one environmental organization favors it.

31 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by thomas.m.deboni on 12/16/2014 at 1:40 PM

Re: “Congressman Eric Swalwell Puts Donor's Daughter on Payroll

I just want to say that Kelly Watkins has helped my husband with his Social Security case. Without her help, we would still be waiting YEARS to get a favorable decision. In fact, she has done more for us than our "paid" attorney has done! I know first hand that she is a great asset in her office!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Denna Smith on 12/16/2014 at 1:07 PM

Re: “Defying Critics of Legalization, Teen Pot Use Falls in America

Ugh, the naivete of those with severe confirmation bias is tiring.

Really, pot use among teens didn't increase IMMEDIATELY along with legalization in a couple of states? OH. MY. GOD! Color me shocked.

1. Pot, prior to legalization, was not that hard to score in any school in America. It's now equally not that hard to score.

2. Parents and Peers, not State Laws, dictate what most teens do or don't do.

3. Give it time, dummies. I suppose if we looked back at the repeal of the 21st Amendment, we would not see a spike in underage drinking.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Arnie L Schwartz on 12/16/2014 at 11:14 AM

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