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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Seven Days

Re: “Big Oil Brown Strikes Again

Maybe this explains why California is the only oil producing state that doesn't have an oil depletion tax. Even in the lowest point when we had to cut funds from the neediest, he would not consider such a tax.

Posted by Joyce Roy on 11/17/2015 at 6:31 PM

Re: “Big Oil Brown Strikes Again

What he did Gary Patton,was to take the funds from all seven redevelopment districts to his downtown project . Forrest City is an international developer got the land literally free and then was given a subsidy to develop it .I was the chair of the Project Action Committe for North Oakland and resigned becuase of his actions. He is and has alway been a tool...His friends that redid the Fox had a 30 millio cost over run and that was to build and attach Jerry's private school to the Fox. Make no mistake Charters are privates and this small town now has 26% of its students in charters. What makes Jerry's two so egregious that when I was an administrator at Tech we made do with half the funding per pupil that Jerry pushed into his schools. The Arts school has a curriculum that should be in every damn public school. This is literally the case with all of them. What happened to the idea of Building the Common in this town, this country? Our schools were at the heart of it. We at Tech showed you could bring a school back by mentoring new teachers with skilled vetrans and building community among your studnets and staff. It worked well and continues too.

Posted by Earl Marty Price on 11/17/2015 at 6:05 PM

Re: “Big Oil Brown Strikes Again

When are these money grubbers going to learn that we can't buy more water if it isn't falling from the sky, we can't revive an extinct species once we kill it off, and we have no other environment we can "move" to once they have traded clean air and water for all the money?

I'm not much of one to favor a recall effort, except in this case. It's past time for the Governor to go. Between this and his twin tunnels, he's ruining California.

Posted by Pamela Greaves on 11/12/2015 at 10:22 AM

Re: “Big Oil Brown Strikes Again

Why is anyone surprised? Jerry Brown has been out for himself since he was Mayor of Oakland. He sacrificed a new A's downtown ballpark so that Forest City (developer who acquired the site) would deliver southern California votes for him in his anticipated run for the Attorney General office. The two local Oakland developers (Phil Tagami and John Protoppapas) who clearly had inside advantages when Jerry occupied the Mayors office, it now turns out, are also his business partners. As Mayor, Jerry used the Redevelopment process more than anybody to push his downtown Oakland 10K agenda. However, as soon as he got to Sacramento as Governor and needed to balance his budget, he abolished Redevelopment statewide and kept all of the money that would have gone back to cities in tax increment. Jerry, like Willie Brown is a master at walking up to and sometime stretching the line of conflict of interest, if there is a possibility of personal gain. Citizens should not be naive, he is who he has shown us he is.

Posted by Gary Patton on 11/11/2015 at 1:32 PM

Re: “Big Oil Brown Strikes Again

Brown is on the payroll of the oil corporations and is not working for Californians.

Posted by EarlRichards on 11/11/2015 at 12:04 AM

Re: “Oakland Takes Baby Steps on Housing

"The average Berkeley home costs nearly twice as much as one in Oakland."

That's quite a nice statement coming directly from Mars or Pluto.

For much of Oakland, excluding Deep East, median listing prices this year are mid $500K. For much of Berkeley, excluding the hills and parts of North Berkeley, median listing prices this year are mid $500K. This can be looked up easily on the 'net.

What the cities of Berkeley or Oakland have or haven't done has only minor effects overall on the cost of housing. It's all about regional supply and demand.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 10/26/2015 at 4:35 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash


I do not think I was guilty of confirmation bias, but if you think so, fine. I am not 100% objective, nor is anyone I have ever met.

I was pointing out the incredible lack of objectivity in one source (affordable housing organization trying to show how it can be good for a builder) and the irrelevancy of the Atlanta study to the concept of segregation and how it may or may not progress.

I do not know Ms. Flynn, nor do I know her "narrative." What I know is she said that Oakland does not have an affordable housing issue. I do not agree with that at all and I believe she misspoke, was mistaken, or was misunderstood.

I think you may be agreeing with me on the process of gentrification. Right now, there is significant segregation in the the areas being discussed. As it becomes gentrified, it will be more diverse. And, in a later stage, it could go the other way again.

My stake? Not as much as you may think. I do not work in anything remotely close to real estate, construction, development, politics &power, etc. I am a homeowner. I do not have a "dog in this fight." And, I intend to stay where I am until I am no longer living - so real estate prices are not important to me. I am not selling and will not be selling (addressing "clouded by greed").

I am simply tiring of all the vilification going on and watching people get twisted up in trying to "stop gentrification." I believe that economic forces (the nature of economics, not power brokers) are powerful and cannot be wished away.

Is there a city in America that has faced a tightening, escalating real estate market with the associated phenomenon of gentrification that has "solved the problem?" I see a lot of finger pointing in this thread but no answers.

In general, I believe that the leadership of this city is pathetic. It may be a point of agreement. There may be some I would vilify because the level of corruption and lack of focus is pretty ridiculous here. I do not know our Mayor but I do not have a sense of either with her. She may or may not agree with you (or me), but my sense is she is an honest, hard working, experienced person seeking to lead in a very complicated and difficult set of circumstances. And, we need leadership like that.

Posted by Michael Good on 10/22/2015 at 5:17 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

"Confirmation bias, also called myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, prefer, and recall information in a way that confirms one's beliefs or hypotheses while giving disproportionately less attention to information that contradicts it." -Wikipedia

Pot, meet kettle. "It seems to" you Michael....and what exactly pray tell might be your bias and agenda? Those articles I cite are articles on research with links to the original sources. And my intent was to share the information since it runs entirely contrary to the dominate narrative being peddled by folks like you and Ms Flynn. I'm sorry I don't trust your agenda or your judgement. I think its clouded by greed.

I guess some things are just self evident and don't require academic researchers to confirm it, like the fact that gentrification is a process, not a person. Or the observation that communities classified as being in the late stage of gentrification are significantly less socioeconomically diverse at present and still increasingly so.

As if the average Oaklander can't look outside their window and see it for themselves. Yes, self-evident, its a thing. Look it up. How stupid do you think we are? Gentrification is a process enabled and encouraged by very real public policies that have been made and continue to be made by the people you claim I'm vilifying, our political representatives. And if you think their hang wringing is merely due to the fact that there are not actual answers to the problem rather than intense lobbying from real estate interests such as the East Bay Rental Housing Association and the Urban Land Institute that are hoping to profiteer from real estate in Oakland, than I also have a magic wand to sale you. Its a great deal! With one gesture, it will make invisible all affordability issues. Just curious Michael, what is your actual stake in affordable housing? Landlord, renter, humble homeowner or employed in the real estate/ finance sector? Just curious since we are talking about confirmation bias to which you apparently believe that you are immune.

I do agree with you in that, as long as monied interests continue to get away with insisting on representation from our political representatives and city staff that ensures their profits ahead of policies that would benefit workaday Oaklanders, it really is all just a waste of time.

Posted by Chanty Nok on 10/22/2015 at 4:25 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Sorry, I did not check on the corrections made by the spell checker. I meant unvetted, not unveiled.....

Posted by Michael Good on 10/21/2015 at 3:04 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Chanty Nok may benefit from developing a deep understanding of "confirmation bias." If you "Google" long enough you can find a point of view or a piece of the fact base that agrees with what you are trying to prove. Then present it. "See, I was right"
The most recent post is a classic example.

The 2 citations are actually just articles that are citing/linking to something else. If you trace back far enough, you can find the original source.

The first can be traced back to a professor that has studied Atlanta. Fair enough. It looks like the laws of economics are at work. If you develop more housing that is higher end, it is more expensive. The smart money seeks more money and more expensive housing is built.

Yes. Therefore? The lead in to Chanty Nok's post is "Evidence that gentrification promote segregation...." There is nothing in that article that discusses the relationship between segregation and gentrification. A word such of the article does not produce the word segregation......not even once.

It seems to me that if you start with a neighborhood that is mostly poor and black and some wealthier whites move in (that is what is being discussed here, isn't it? Otherwise segregation would not be brought up) then the neighborhood is less segregated. if that continues then the mix becomes more of a mix, not less of a mix. Perhaps, years from now, there is a tipping point and it starts going the other way. Years away and the activity in the meantime is less segregation.

Oh, and I do not think the citations related to this study provide a compare and contrast with what happens if you do not build any new, more expensive housing. Is that better? Maintain the status quo? Let things go into further decline? No discussion of choices and the consequences of the choices.

The second link shows you that someone out there developed a computer spreadsheet model with assumptions. With the "right" assumptions, such as a 10% profit goal, it shows that affordable housing can work for a developer. Well, what do you know? The source of all this wisdom is an organization called "Cornerstone Partnership". Their URL is "affordable" - so they have a bias and an agenda they want to advance. This is not science or proof of anything in particular. Unveiled, untested assumptions, used in an untested, unveiled model.

(see above, confirmation bias)

Perhaps our city leaders can provide a better answer than letting economic forces play out with no intervention. Perhaps they can help move things to a better place.

Rather than spending time vilifying the realities of economics or "gentrifiers", it may provide benefit to better define problems (without words designed to create negative emotion) and offer solutions. I do not have any magic to offer, I am not a city planner either, but that seems to be a better use of time and energy.

Posted by Michael Good on 10/21/2015 at 2:56 PM

Re: “Oakland Takes Baby Steps on Housing

Let's compare the revenue per square mile of Oakland to Emeryville and to Berkeley... the graph will need one of those squiggly breaks in it because they've both left Oakland in the dust decades ago. Trying to squeeze more housing funds out of the municipal budget for more resource dependant affordable housing is like going to your broke sibling and saying, "I need money for your nephew's summer camp. Oh, and due to the law and all I can't guarantee the money you are going to give me will actually pay for your nephew's camp experience, it might pay for some other kid's camp dues. Sorry." BTW, with all that Berkeley has done, the average Berkeley home costs nearly twice as much as one in Oakland.

Posted by Matt_Chambers on 10/20/2015 at 10:12 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Evidence that gentrification promote segregation....

"Perhaps the increasing supply of luxury units in a gentrifying neighborhood will force incumbent residents to move elsewhere. We don't know. We do know that the increasing supply of luxury units in a gentrifying neighborhood will keep certain socioeconomic groups out."

"Yes in my backyard (YIMBYism) is the new segregation. NIMBYs keeping people out of certain neighborhoods is an old story. YIMBYs do the same while scapegoating NIMBYs—"I'll see your racism and raise you.""
-Jim Russell, a geographer studying the relationship between migration and economic development

And yet Oakland's real estate shills and City staff such as Rachel Flynn are still insisting luxury housing on the E. 12th parcel and high end hotel at Kaiser will increase affordable housing not exacerbate it despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

Read the article here,…

Looks like some pro-development folks are not being straight with the citizens of Oakland because...

in even more surprising research, it turns out that "developers can profit by building affordable housing almost anywhere,"…

Can we please dump the plutocrats' shills and bring in some accountable adults to make informed decisions for the workaday folks of Oakland?

Posted by Chanty Nok on 10/20/2015 at 3:57 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

This is America. Citizens of this country are allowed to move were every they choose. Why would any one need to explain or justify themselves?

Posted by Joe Sarapochillo on 10/19/2015 at 10:25 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

I've been leery of Mayor Scaaf since her strongest selling point in the election was that she's a native Oaklander...growing up in Oakland. On Skyline Blvd. Thats not so much IN Oakland as Hovering OVER Oakland. Oakland's biggest burdens are city planning and the Rene Davidson Courthouse. City planning that's turned West and East Oakland into baron abandoned deserts leaving residents with a glass of water to share. And Rene Davidson Courthouse ALL TOO HAPPY to streamline too many victims of Oakland's bad city planning straight into Santa Rita Jail. Example of Oakland City Planning mindset is when OAKLAND ECONOMIC RE-DEVELOPMENT Office helped FUND the REMODELING of a SAFEWAY ON THE NORTH OAKLAND BERKELEY BORDER WHERE CLAREMONT MEETS COLLEGE. ONE OF THE WEALTHIEST AREAS OF BERKELEY AND OAKLAND. WHAT DIRE NEED IS SATISFIED BY REMODELING A PERFECTLY FUNCTIONAL SAFEWAY? MODELED BTW AFTER BERKELEYS RICH NEIGHBOR ORINDA'S SAFEWAY. GOD FORBID WE LET BERKELEY BE OUTDONE BY ORINDA!!! Now, Economic redevelopment monies would be well spent remodeling a safeway in east or west Oakland. perhaps......OH WAIT THERE AREN'T ANY SAFEWAYS IN EAST OR WEST OAKLAND TO RE-DEVELOPE!!! VIABLE FOOD IS ALWAYS HARD TO FIND IN THE DESERT ISN'T IT? With no viable food stores or retail of any kind, Jobs are scarce and then housing is going up as it becomes more gentrified. AND while all that is going on, the low income residents are constantly being targeted by CHP and OPD for routine traffic stops in order to raise revenue to fund offices like economic redevelopment so they can continue to better serve the ALREADY HAVES? The LAST complaints that should be heard are from the new residents of Oakland who don't like the way Oaklander's live. As a person said in this thread, Go join in with the drumming and the music. Bring your own drum if you want to. Attend the church in your neighborhood, ALL are welcome and you might learn something about where you live. Help with the EFFORTS to make it a better place FOR EVERYONE, NOT JUST FOR THE FORTUNATE FEW!!!!

Posted by Sarah Beatty on 10/18/2015 at 9:10 AM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

@Lovica, I agree in part with some of what you wrote. A great deal has changed since 2006 when there was only cartoony MySpace, Friendster and Tribe for social media. These sites held no real power in the media unlike a decade later when Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook comprise major portions of even national and international news coverage. Blogging and You Tube are now major cultural players so a site like Next Door just adds to the constant self promotion and neediness. In 2006 it was the end of the first dot com let down and housing bubble. There was no real Oakland renaissance at that point. I know of two Black personal trainers who would use the residential stairs and parks in the nearly all White hills for training people and dealt with zero issues. This could not happen today without the police arriving. I'm trying to understand why now there is so much racial profiling now all over? Are people just in front of screens too much with nothing better to do? Sadly I think it is those who arrived post end of the 90s and especially the past decade who are just not able to mesh. At least you are though.

Posted by Kevin Whelan on 10/16/2015 at 11:12 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Steve Kopf: I think you may want to consider that buskers in the London tube, Punch and Judy theaters at the English seaside, many Paris street artist and performers and musicians all throughout Europe of many different colors operate without paperwork and without adhering to basic ordinances. White people in Europe don't seem to have your severe issues around artists gathering. Lake days and drum nights are keystone parts of East Bay Area culture. You sound like you'd be much happier in Piedmont, Broadway Terrace or the Berkeley Hills. Those are comparatively quiet areas. The issues in the flatlands are that traditions are being destroyed. Churches being profiled for "drug dealing activity" when actually parshioners are actually being fitted for choir robes. This is about keeping long tradtion of Oakland arts alive not "newcomer shaming." Artists -from gospel singers to drummers to dancers to rappers and stand up comedians don't function on 9 to 5, in bed by curfew and please be quiet.

Posted by Kevin Whelan on 10/16/2015 at 10:54 PM

Re: “The Women of Oakland Take Over

landreth is know for having a "backbone of steel," which, in addition to being on the same page as the Mayor, is what Oakland needs.

Posted by charlton holland on 10/16/2015 at 4:57 PM

Re: “The Women of Oakland Take Over

Landreth is known for being "tough as nails." That, in addition to being on the same page as the Mayor, is what Oakland needs.

Posted by charlton holland on 10/16/2015 at 4:56 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

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Posted by Editor on 10/16/2015 at 3:10 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

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