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Comment Archives: stories: Last 7 Days

Re: “Oakland's Ability to Clamp Down on Blight Threatened

Why is it so onerous for Oakland to allow appeals to its "blight" decrees? Not everyone who is cited is an evil landlord; they hand these things out to individual property owners like candy. Citations for graffiti, for instance, are given not to the perpetrators but to the victims, who are forced to paint out tags that reappear overnight. Citations for "overgrown vegetation" are enforced selectively - it's strictly forbidden in the flatlands, although in the hills it's considered part of the natural landscape. "Garbage cans stored in public view" is a citable "blight" offense, for some reason - it's hard to believe Oakland officials have nothing better to do than cite people for things like this.

The ability to appeal arbitrary punishments meted out by the authorities is a basic right all citizens need to preserve, and that our news media should stand behind. If the Express news racks are deemed "blight" by some tidy-minded official (as has happened in many cities), shouldn't the newspaper be able to appeal that decision?

Posted by awerby on 01/16/2018 at 3:20 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Lacked Authority to Make Arrests and Enforce Laws for First Ten Months on the Job

No one wants to see Oakland burn. That's why there are articles such as these to point out the bumbling moves the Mayor's office continuously makes.
First Oakland had no police chief for several months and then when we do she can't even enforce any laws! What a joke.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 01/16/2018 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Ken Estes' GDP Collective Reopens Amid the Richmond Dispensary Renaissance

Posted by Moffaka on 01/16/2018 at 2:49 AM

Re: “Oakland School Board Denies Charter School Petition Renewal

OUSD board: where three to two is a tie vote and children take a backseat to adult politics.

Posted by Addison Sims on 01/15/2018 at 1:38 PM

Re: “'The Village' Is Helping Build a Self-Organized Homeless Camp in East Oakland

Help the poor get clean decent and affordable tiny homes in permanent places

Posted by Rabia Yamazawa on 01/14/2018 at 5:39 PM

Re: “Broken Pipes, Broken System

The Public Works department, like many, has seriously lacked competent people, systems and leadership for years. It is no surprise that they fail or under report sewer mitigation monitoring, this kind of willful manipulation of requirements or failure to disclose information to the public is business as usual to these people. In the mid 2000's, when confronted with the fact that they had mismanaged a parking contract by failing to collect millions of dollars for years at a city garage on Pill Hill (30th st), a Deputy Public Works Director responded by complaining that the information may become public. Really? Public Works staff in all areas reeks of incompetence and lack of leadership. It seems that the main priority for years has been to make as little noise as possible, keep getting paid and retire with full benefits as soon as possible. The former Public Works Director was not even a civil engineer and only had experience managing a creek program. Only in the City of Oakland is that even possible!

Posted by Gary Patton on 01/14/2018 at 10:59 AM

Re: “Friday’s Briefing: Bill to Reinstate Rent Control Defeated; Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant to Shut Down

Alas, the tenant orgs don't want any compromise because they believe the rental housing business should be regulated like utilities. The just cause eviction language they use is takes away most property owner rights without costly litigation, the cpi numbers they use for increases is completely out of step with actual labor/material costs along with all the increases that come with ownership, and they mistakenly equate the risk of ownership with that of tenancy. Simply stated that's just 3 of several areas tenant orgs are so out of step.

Posted by Mike Mitchell on 01/14/2018 at 7:49 AM

Re: “Five Great Dining Deals During Oakland Restaurant Week

Thank you so much for the mention!!
Im the PR & Digital Social Media manager for Dragon Gate and saw the mention about the latter menu, our $50 menu.

The courses is 5 dishes. Appetizers you will get is Celery Dumpling Soup, Chicken Katsu, AND Ocean Salad! Entrees you can choose Basil Clam or Oyster Tofu and then Beef/Lamb Stew over Rice or Sha-Cha Lamb Fried Noodle or Rice. Complimentary two cocktails of our signature drinks Dragon Lord or Dragon Warrior.

Celebrate Chinese New Year with a Laisee Raffle Drawing on February 15-16. Receive a raffle ticket for every $25 spent from now until CNY. Winnings of up to $100 are possible.

In celebration and wrap up of Oakland Restaurant Week #orw18 & to celebrate Oakland #oaklandloveit, we will have an encore episode watch party of Cooking Channel's & Jordan Andino's show, Late Nite Eats on January 20th at 7:30pm, with Tsingtao Beer Tasting, shwag giveaways and promos, Visit Oakland will also setup their mobile visitors center, and more details to come!!

Come in and dine at Dragon Gate Bar & Grille during Oakland Restaurant Week (Jan 11-21) #ORW18 #oaklandloveit and post on FB, Instagram @dragongateoak #dragongatebar, and/or a 4-5 star Yelp review, show your server at the end of your meal for a complimentary well shot or a skewer from our Signature Taiwanese Skewer Menu!

A plethora of food to feed your soul!

Posted by Darlene Wong on 01/13/2018 at 7:57 PM

Re: “Broken Pipes, Broken System

Thank you so much Gabrielle Canon for writing this and other articles. Our NextDoor forum is discussing this. I made the following suggested reforms:
1. Restore Loren Little to his job as senior supervisor in the sewage department or make him the head. He was removed after becoming a whistleblower.
2. Get rid of Littles boss, the current sewage director Jason Mitchell, who transferred Little to the drainage department after he complained about sewage department practices
3. Recall or vote out City Auditor Brenda Roberts who didnt protect him, but instead notified his department, and he was suddenly transferred from sewage to drainage after 30 years.
4. Replace Oakland City Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington with someone more competent.
5. Andes Construction is spectacularly incompetent and should no longer receive the multi-million dollar contracts theyve received since 1986 whose work is so bad the sewage department often has to come back to actually fix the problem.
6. Make the sewer department fix the sewage running into Lake Temescal, and make them report the leaks to the public as they were mandated to do by the EPA
7. Get rid of the sewage department employees and supervisors who alter reports to underreport how much damage was done. When the city submits reports, department officials have to sign a certification statement under penalty of perjury. But Oakland has a history of failing to comply with regulatory standards and of underreporting sewage spills.

Gabrielle, or anyone else, have I missed anything? I've never received a reply, or acknowledgment of my letters from Dan Kalb the past few years, but he pays attention to NextDoor, and said "I have scheduled a staff report/response about these sewer-related problems to come to the City Councils Public Works Committee. Council members Campbell Washington and Guillen are co-sponsoring this with me." I asked him to do the above and keep us posted on nextdoor and his email list. Anything else I should add?

Posted by energyskeptic on 01/13/2018 at 7:23 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Lacked Authority to Make Arrests and Enforce Laws for First Ten Months on the Job

Another hit piece masquerading as reporting on the part of Darwin Bond-Graham. As Bruce Ferrell notes, this article has basically no point besides casting aspersions against the OPD; slandering the OPD being Bond-Grahams and the EBXs raison detre.

Bringing in anyone as chief who had not previously been a CA peace officer, especially with tenure like Chief Kirkpatricks whose formal training was far in the past, would have brought on the same issues. But this matters not to Bond-Graham; like most at his newspaper, he cares not for what is true, he just wants to watch Oakland burn and spout banalities about how those he does not like are solely responsible.

Posted by John Tremain on 01/13/2018 at 2:55 PM

Re: “Oakland School Board Denies Charter School Petition Renewal

Rosie torres absent? I don't believe it....

Posted by Francisco Nieto Salazar on 01/13/2018 at 5:42 AM

Re: “Friday’s Briefing: Bill to Reinstate Rent Control Defeated; Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant to Shut Down

Story #1 as an incorrect statement. Buildings built in Oakland AFTER 1983 are exempt from rent control (not before 1983, as you state). And that's not due to Costa Hawkins, that's due to regulations decided by the city of Oakland. Costa Hawkins states that any building built AFTER 1995 must be exempt from rent control, but if a city decides they want to go back even further, they can.

Also, your statement that "[the issue] could be headed to the November ballot unless the legislatures can reach a compromise" isn't very likely. Legislators only have until Feb. 16 to introduce new bills.

Maybe it's time for the tenant's organizations to stop with the "all or nothing" approach and start to talk compromise with the landlords.

Posted by BerkWatch on 01/12/2018 at 7:03 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Lacked Authority to Make Arrests and Enforce Laws for First Ten Months on the Job

...And the significance of this is? What's your point DBG?

Speak plainly instead of poorly attempting innuendo.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 01/12/2018 at 6:39 PM

Re: “Five Great Dining Deals During Oakland Restaurant Week

Add Bird & Buffalo to the great deal list. Their $20 lunch is delicious and huge. 6 meaty grilled ribs plus larb gal and two spicy salads. Yummy leftovers await. Big props to the owners who had only been open 4 days when RW started Everything was on point!

Posted by Dina Eisenberg on 01/12/2018 at 9:26 AM

Re: “UC Berkeley Police Lieutenant Allegedly Sent Racist Email to Chief

Promotion at the UC Berkeley Police department is based on how well you bungle your job, it appears.

Posted by Deau Hickey on 01/11/2018 at 11:05 PM

Re: “Group Calls for Oakland Animal Services to Lower Euthanasia Rate, But Administrators and Allies Say Shelter is Best it’s Been in Years

I surrendered one of my Pitts who had been involved in two incidents. He was 15 months old and had never displayed any aggressive tendencies until he observed his mother (not one of my dogs) fighting with a Chihuahua. Unfortunately that dog was killed.
I am not excusing his behavior but as any qualified Animal behaviorist will tell you it is natural for a puppy to emulate their mother. It doesnt make them a bad dog.
I surrendered him with the hope that he would be evaluated by an expert and then he would go to a rescue organization which I made clear to OAS.
They never evaluated him They never gave him a chance. They waited the mandatory 2 weeks and then euthanized him. They killed a wonderful dog whose only mistake was to emulate his first Alfas, (his mother)behavior.
What a waste.
Christine Brunner

Posted by Christine Brunneri on 01/11/2018 at 11:03 PM

Re: “Broken Pipes, Broken System

I find this utterly and outright baffling that in 2017/18, in supposedly one of the most environmentally conscious states (CA) in the Union, this disaster can not be mitigated and resolved appropriately!

Did I miss if calls have been made to appropriate representatives or senators?

Follow the money indeed, or lack thereof.

Posted by aknature on 01/11/2018 at 7:55 PM

Re: “Hoover-Foster Library Effort Gathers Steam

This article is very well written!

Posted by K. Zorn on 01/11/2018 at 10:11 AM

Re: “Broken Pipes, Broken System

Amazing investigative work Gabrielle Canon!

Posted by Kristina Molina on 01/11/2018 at 9:43 AM

Re: “Tuesday’s Briefing: Oakland Councilor Brooks Ordered to Pay $550K for Assault; Three Dead in Massive Mudslides

Good, Brooks is a sad excuse for a councilmember.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 01/11/2018 at 9:05 AM

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