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Re: “Oakland's Sacred Wheel Cheese Shop to Permanently Close

Don't miss Genova. Will miss Sacred Wheel.

Posted by Len Raphael on 12/13/2017 at 8:24 PM

Re: “Oakland's Sacred Wheel Cheese Shop to Permanently Close

It was a great little place. So sorry to see it go

Posted by Hansi Armentrout on 12/13/2017 at 4:54 PM

Re: “Opinion: Keep Cuts Away From Oakland Classrooms

Ms. Impellizerri, there is NO money and the cuts are going to happen. What part of that don't you understand? If you want books with no missing pages, then buy some $100 textbooks and donate them. If you think a life skills class is a vital investment, then organize a fund raiser and ask parents for at least $500. That's how the richer districts keep their arts and music classes. If you think there needs to be fewer administrators, that's fine but that's not enough. That's like saying Puerto Rico would not have declared bankruptcy if they had fired a few lawmakers. If pensions are underfunded, it's because CalSTRS and CalPERS use dishonest accounting to hide the real costs of pensions, and teachers' unions want it that way. It's a little late to focus on the kids, and the time for you to complain about busted budgets was three or four years ago and not now while the bridge is collapsing. So I suggest you and your fellow parents submit your thoughtful suggestions what to cut (in addition to administrators) unless you want those decisions to be made for you with a dartboard or a magic 8-ball toy.

Posted by waverly2468 on 12/13/2017 at 2:14 PM

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

I support their right to strike and use the full extent of their power to get a better working contract. But at the same time, when I see that many of the city workers complaining about their "unfair wages" are making literally twice my income, this whole affair starts to seem a little less noble and a little more selfish.

Posted by Max Chanowitz on 12/13/2017 at 11:46 AM

Re: “Opinion: Keep Cuts Away From Oakland Classrooms

Where is the BLM protest?

Posted by StashK on 12/13/2017 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Oakland's Sacred Wheel Cheese Shop to Permanently Close

Bestest wishes to you and your family, Jena! This was hard to read but not nearly as hard as for you to act. Always a friendly spot, except when those jerks cut in line that one day. :]

Posted by ContessaSF on 12/12/2017 at 7:53 PM

Re: “Oakland's Sacred Wheel Cheese Shop to Permanently Close

This makes me so sad! My go to spot when I worked at the Temescal Library. Loved their mac and cheese and grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Posted by Ana Rosa Lara on 12/12/2017 at 5:29 PM

Re: “Oakland's Sacred Wheel Cheese Shop to Permanently Close

Wonderful place and wonderful people. Best Regards for your next phase of life.

Posted by Kathleen Gesley on 12/12/2017 at 4:58 PM

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

The original court case that forced CA state and local govts to open up their payroll info to the public was brought by the Contra Costa Times some years ago. Up until a couple of years ago their database maintenance was overseen by Pulitzer winning journalist Thomas Peele. It never was a perfect way to compare compensation because of differences in retirement plans and medical benefits but it was better than just listening to local govt and muni union posturing. But it looks like Transparent is the only game in town now. If anyone has proof that Transparent is manipulating the data, we need to know that.

Posted by Len Raphael on 12/11/2017 at 7:34 PM

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

@ atonisson@yahoo.com

Based on family members that work for the state the salary information in Transparent California is correct.

Posted by GK on 12/11/2017 at 5:07 PM

Re: “Town Business: City of Oakland and Its Employees Enter Mediation in Effort to Resolve Impasse

Riiiiight... We don' needs no po-licemen in Jokeland... We can just keep cleaning up gunshot people on the sidewalks. That's not a problem. No sir-ee bob!

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 12/11/2017 at 3:14 PM

Re: “Town Business: City of Oakland and Its Employees Enter Mediation in Effort to Resolve Impasse

This can be fixed with a commitment to slash the OPD budget in May, so that we can pay the rest of our workers fair wages!

Posted by Jonah Strauss 1 on 12/11/2017 at 1:04 PM

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

James McKenzie is dumb enough to believe "Transparent California" an out of state anti-union trump supporting organization. Their website even states: "Transparent California is provided by the Nevada Policy Research Institute(NPRI)"

NPRI's website states: "NPRI created National Employee Freedom Week to let union workers throughout the country know about their right to leave their unions."

So in terms of credibility on the strike in Oakland a bunch of anti-union people in Nevada really have none.

Posted by atonisson@yahoo.com on 12/11/2017 at 11:32 AM

Re: “Oakland Schools Supe Proposes Reducing Cuts from $15 Million to $9 Million

Deborah, The impression the Supt gave previously was that most of the HQ personnel cuts were layoffs of lower paid HQ staff. We were warned that union seniority rules would force many local school gardeners, janitors, clerks out of their jobs. So until I hear differently, I'm assuming the new plan is not laying off as many non-certificated staff from HQ. That's putting us opponents of school cuts between a rock and a hard place if we say we have to protect school budgets first then we have to replace our local support staff.

The only thing that's clear from the OUSD Board and Supt is that we don't know much about what and who they cut at HQ and what and why they didn't. We don't know if they went thru every contract looking for cancellation clauses.

As to your point about the disconnect between OUSD contracts and performance: charter schools would not have skyrocketed here if OUSD had done a better job of educating. it wasn't just that parents were fooled or charters cherry-picked, though that played a part.

Now we're in a vicious cycle with such a high proportion of kids going to charters.

Posted by Len Raphael on 12/10/2017 at 10:04 PM

Re: “Oakland Schools Supe Proposes Reducing Cuts from $15 Million to $9 Million

There are contracts that were put in place by Antwon Wilson that were three, or more years. These contracts cannot be broken UNLESS the state declares the district insolvent. Then a representative from the state has the legal right to dissolve the contracts. In my opinion about about half of the highest paid people in the district need to have the contracts cancelled. We simply do not have the money for these extra departments.

It has been years since we have have really had 50% of our funds going directly to student learning. At the School Board Meeting I attended in November there was a question about the efficacy of the programs in place at the schools. It seems as though the Board does not measure efficacy of programs but continues to grant them because, "Come on, these are people we have been doing business with for a long time. We know them." And to that program we pay the same or more than the previous year and add others.

We need lunch and after school tutors for students who cannot read or do math at grade level. Students should have science and social studies every week in every classroom.

We need to SHOW the effect the money is having on students. If we cannot see students learning more, perhaps they are not. And perhaps the money needs to go into the classrooms rather than in our bloated administration. We need to scale back administration to the 2007 levels.

We say that about 50% or so is going into the schools, but that is after we apply a portion of the administrative and special costs of social-emotional learning, special group achievement, and so on.

You can be the most socially well-adjusted person in the world, but if you cannot conduct simple math you are not able to work with money, accounting, financing, owning your own business to make a profit. If you can't read you don't know a contract you are signing, cannot write a resume, and cannot speak in complete sentences that matter in a professional setting. We have students who cannot write a paragraph in middle or high school. More than half the students in our district struggle with basic math skills.

If schools cannot do all things, and we DO NOT have the money for all things - then let the money be spent on the absolute highest quality education for every single child whose parents enroll them in OUSD schools. Education of students matters most, everything else can stand in line after that.

Posted by Debora Rinehart on 12/10/2017 at 8:26 PM

Re: “A's Ballpark Proposal at Laney College Abruptly Scrapped

Not every city has a location that is right for a downtown ballpark. This was wrong for Laney, the immediate and surrounding communities, and for the environment. Would have been nice for the team owners and investors at the expense of the rest. Grateful to the trustees who were able to see that the future reality lurking behind the magic curtain of money would have been a disservice to the college and its neighborhood.

Posted by Rita Hurault on 12/10/2017 at 12:36 PM

Re: “Watch Oakland Chefs Tanya Holland and Tu David Phu Compete on Top Chef

EB Pride Most chefs are this way as I have had the displeasure of working alongside the ever charming and talented Tu David Phu and find him to be very similiar as your comments. I think most chefs are horrible and mean behind closed doors. It is simply the nature of the game and their egos so suck it up and move on. They are on the show because of their cooking talents and if you think they are the first chefs competing on the show because someone does not like them you should watch The Kardashians

Posted by toomanycooksinthekitchen on 12/10/2017 at 6:24 AM

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

Wow, really? According to public records, the author makes over 120k a year before benefits.

From transparentcalifornia:
Alison Schwarz
Oakland
Capital Improvement Project Coor
Regular pay: $120,198.01
Overtime pay: $0.00
Other pay: $6,377.60
Total pay: $126,575.61
Total benefits: $59,885.42
Total pay & benefits: $186,461.03

Posted by McKenzie James on 12/10/2017 at 5:18 AM

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

With signs that the current real estate boom might be cooling combined with the certainty that Trump/Ryan/McConnell are going to slash grants to cities, cut the tax deduction for state/local taxes is it greedy of the city to get cautious on extrapolating the growth of revenue of the last three years into the next 20 years?

Besides looking at projected revenue, someone has to look at CALPERS own projected increases in the cost of paying for city baby boomer underfunded pensions and the city's completely unfunded medical retirement costs.

Unions should insist that at least the retirement medical benefits for new employees be funded each year instead of as people collect their pensions. Private sector union contracts require employers to fund future retirement benefits fully.

Of course, the city budget department is lowballing future revenue because they know there's a lot of guestimating in the projections. If they're too optimistic there will be very painful future cuts. Attacking the projections made by city budget dept employees sounds like the Republicans in Congress attacking the Congressional budget analysts for debunking trickle down voodoo economic tax cuts.

But if the union economists can show the residents how and why the city's projections are too pessimistic, they should do so with specifics.

If the unions expect the city to raise taxes, they should be upfront about that and stop acting like the city is a private sector employer which can raise prices or cut dividends to shareholders. Otherwise, the unions are blowing smoke at us just the way Mayor Schaaf did to get elected.

Posted by Len Raphael on 12/10/2017 at 12:57 AM

Re: “Oakland Schools Supe Proposes Reducing Cuts from $15 Million to $9 Million

Big surprise. When you rely on management and the consultants they've worked with or hired in the past to cut admin costs, they sure as heck aren't going to cut themselves first.

Cutting, cutting, cutting funds to local public schools instead of HQ admin creates a downwards spiral of driving parents to charter schools and private schools or just moving out of Oakland. Then later more cuts on top of cuts.

Len Raphael, CPA

Posted by Len Raphael on 12/09/2017 at 9:47 PM

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