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Comment Archives: Last 7 Days

Re: “Community Potluck

ArtVale's Community Potluck has shifted to the FIRST FRIDAY of each month.

Posted by Shoshana Zambryski-Stachel 1 on 10/13/2017 at 7:15 PM

Re: “Oakland Develops New Approach to Fixing Dangerous Intersections Faster

Schaaf employee: "OakDOT has road safety projects in the works across the city, including the area of 8th and Fallon streets in West Oakland, Fruitvale Avenue in the Fruitvale district, the BRT project connecting East Oakland to the Lake Merritt area, and both 69th Avenue and 98th Avenue in East Oakland."

These are small, token projects at best. No more than PR to foster a developer-backed reelection campaign for a Mayor who needs abundant uninformed "progressive" support.

Oakland is, and will remain, outside the token PR-oriented low-cost "road safety" gestures in a few areas, an urban environment which could not be more hostile to people not in cars. On foot, on a bicycle or in a wheelchair.

The largest population of adults riding bicycles on an everyday basis because they cannot afford or do not have access to cars, is along E. 14th Street where there are absolutely no street-design protections for those not in cars. Many neighborhoods want traffic calming measures but OakDOT's ears and doors are closed and locked against them.

Oakland remains, as always, 50 years behind much of the rest of the country in supporting livable urban environments. In the 1970s the Berkeley instituted a low-cost, but effective, program for traffic calming in many neighborhoods. The political uproar was, expectedly, immense. City council members' seats were challenged by hordes of car potatoes.

In European and U.S. cities where more livable urban environments have been established, the political and economic cost has been significant. No low-cost, politically-driven gesture can make a city more livable or environmentally-sustainable.

Mayor Schaaf employee Maher should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 10/13/2017 at 6:58 PM

Re: “Chilli Padi, the East Bay's Only Malaysian Restaurant, Closes

I hate the new economy. Of course, it's just a more ruthless version of the old economy, with the added bonus of destroying everything that is real.

Posted by Jono Schneider on 10/13/2017 at 5:53 PM

Re: “Oakland City Council to Hold Hearing on Controversial ICE Raid and Oakland Police Misinformation

Jonny, Yes to your first question. Regarding status, here's a bit more:

an illegal immigrant, illegal alien or undocumented alien is person who is residing on a non-temporary basis in a country where s/he has no legal right to reside. It is a non-citizen who has entered a country through irregular migration,[2] for example entered illegally, or an alien who entered a country legally but who has fallen "out of status",[3] or a descendant of one.
a legal alien is a non-citizen who is legally permitted to remain in a country. This is a very broad category which includes tourists, guest workers, legal permanent residents and student visa resident aliens.
a nonresident alien is a non-citizen who is visiting a country, for example as a tourist, on business, entertainers, sportspeople or in the country to receive medical treatment.
a resident alien is a non-citizen who has permanent resident status in a country.

Posted by Mike Mitchell on 10/13/2017 at 2:14 PM

Re: “Oakland City Council to Hold Hearing on Controversial ICE Raid and Oakland Police Misinformation

Your logic of rounding up "illegal aliens" I am assuming is due to the fact that they have done something illegal i.e. broken the law by entering the country. Will you apply that logic police not following a law that the city created in terms of protocol surrounding raids. The city created a law, the police broke it. Simple as that, right?
And btw, 'immigrant' is literally a synonym for 'alien.'

Posted by Jonny Vidal on 10/13/2017 at 10:07 AM

Re: “Oakland City Council to Hold Hearing on Controversial ICE Raid and Oakland Police Misinformation

Just sick that some residents think it awful about rounding up illegal aliens. When there is a will (which there is) there is a way. And please quit calling illegal aliens as immigrants. They are not. Let's all pay more taxes and reduce this population in CA from close to 8% of the population by at least half....and defund all the activist orgs in Oakland and Berkeley for starters!!

Posted by Mike Mitchell on 10/13/2017 at 9:34 AM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

Apart from the failings of our current City Auditor, it helps to consider that of the last 4 City Auditors, only one of the them, Courtney Ruby, even came close to scrutinizing the politically powerful. I see her report on pension funding problems the high point of her term in office. The report was issued, Ruby publicized it well, spoke before Council, and that was the end of it. She gave it a good try and then gave up in the face of an unreceptive City Council and an electorate that was more concerned with how to save for their own retirements than worry about how the city would pay for its retirement obligations.

Roland Smith's most controversial audit was questioning the car allowances given to city officials.

Before Smith we had Norma Lau. Ms. Lau was elected to 5 terms in office. People often talk of the "beloved" Norma Lau. A former staff member of hers explained that Norma Lau often told him that to survive as Auditor you have "to go along, to get along." I asked him about the OPD overtime audit I had heard her office performed. He said it was effectively a whitewash.

Interesting thing is that Ms Roberts did hire some very "heavy" internal auditors, such as the former head of Kaiser's internal audit dept. The mystery is why Ms. Roberts would hire someone like that but not give them free rein to do their job.

I'm not sure what the long-term solution is to give our City Auditors the backbone to audit the heck out of city operations and contracts. Making it an appointed position under the City Administrator or Mayor would make any Auditor, even more, risk averse. Making Auditor a civil service position is worth considering but also guarantees the Auditor won't be answerable to the voters. It doesn't guarantee that they'll aggressively audit and earn the trust of potential whistleblowers that their tips won't get sent to the round file. Raising the compensation of the Auditor to that of the City Attorney is part of the solution to attracting qualified candidates. It's a lot to expect a successful CPA or Internal Auditor upper manager from private industry to take a job that pays less than private industry and rewards aggressive auditing with 0 job security.

(MJ, if I got the facts wrong about the procedures of the County Democrat endorsement process, blame my ignorance of the opaque process. I naively thought both of us would go to the full group, and get grilled about issues and platforms. That didn't happen. When Ms. Roberts turn came first, out came something like "I'm proud and gratified to be endorsed by...." and she rattled off virtually every well known elected local Democratic official. Ms. Roberts ignored the questions and repeated something irrelevant about how she supported Women's Rights and Equal Opportunity. I watched the delegates nod their approval automatically. I was disappointed and knew I was a dead man walking, but I kept on campaigning and educating voters about the issues. Plus I enjoyed talking with voters and learning a lot about Oakland issues from them. A couple of years after my route, I went back and ran for a seat on the Dem Central Comm. as a Berniecrat with a platform of requiring endorsed candidates to support repeal of the police officers bill of rights. I had thought people were uninformed about the job of Auditor. I found they were even less informed about the role of the Dem Central Comm. )

Len Raphael, CPA
Temescal

Posted by Len Raphael on 10/13/2017 at 2:32 AM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

Len -

I need to call you out on your statement that the full committee and Democratic Party endorsed Ms. Roberts. This is factually incorrect and you knew this. I pulled her from the consent calendar and this made sense to give you and her an opportunity to make your case. On that meeting I and other members made the case against Ms. Roberts. It just a fact. We are all entitled to our own opinion and you certainly are but not entitled to your own facts.

MJ

Posted by oaklandnow on 10/13/2017 at 12:44 AM

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