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Comment Archives: stories: Best of the East Bay: People & Places

Re: “Most Active Activist

I invite Richard Lee to come to southwest Florida (bring friends) and help the movement explode here when amendment 2 passes in Nov. I would love to help you make a difference Mr. Lee down here in this wonderful sunny state. We need help, seriously. The little guys.... We need y'all to come show is the California way.

Posted by Mary Goyak on 09/06/2016 at 2:57 PM

Re: “Best Tenants Rights Organizers

I have been more impressed with this local campaign than anything that has happened in years in Oakland. Shutting down the City Council meeting seems to have been an effective strategy in gaining time and media attention. It's hard to come from behind and organize neighbors effectively. A million thanks to the City staffer (?) who leaked the memo from City Attorney Barbara Parker that might have killed the sweetheart deal with UrbanCore. So many of the most important City decisions happen in "closed session" and that's a shame for those of us community activists who should at least have a chance to weigh in. Same thing happened with the 5 new Bay Bridge billboards (although we at Scenic East Bay were able to help pull the plug on 2 of them.) Kudos EUJ!

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Karen Hester on 07/22/2015 at 5:51 PM

Re: “Best Police Watchdog

I agree with this perspective. Mr. Finnell has brought professionalism, experience and commitment to police accountability in Oakland. We expect that he will continue to strive to strengthen police oversight and confront the racial disparities that continue to exist in police encounters.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rashida Grinage on 07/22/2015 at 2:46 PM

Re: “Best Twitter Hashtag for Oakland Politics

Actually I have the honor of tweeting #oakmtg first, in July 2009, when I entered it into a hashtag dictionary. It was Echa Schneider's idea and she ran the blog which was a forum for civic discussion before Twitter came along. A few days later the two of us and Sean livetweeted the Council meeting of July 28, 2009.…

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by dto510 aka Jonathan Bair on 07/21/2015 at 10:36 PM

Re: “Best Political Race Heading into 2016

Maybe the top-two primary won't exist in 2016. The lawsuit against it filed by the Green, Peace & Freedom, and Libertarian Parties is still not over.

Posted by Richardwinger on 07/21/2015 at 9:38 PM

Re: “Smartest Environmentalist

CBE is always fighting the good fight without the Free Press and environmental activists we wouldn't have any air at all.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Roy Gesley on 11/16/2014 at 12:59 PM

Re: “Smartest Environmentalist

Greg Karras is totally deserving of this. Yay East Bay Express.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by SANDRA MURRAY on 07/28/2014 at 3:04 PM

Re: “Best Local Radio Host

Well done!

Posted by Ron Mader on 07/25/2014 at 5:02 PM

Re: “Most Fearless Mayor

Fearless indeed! Thank you Mayor McLaughlin!

Posted by Kit Eakle on 07/25/2014 at 4:39 PM

Re: “Best Good-Government Politician

Thanks so very much for the honor. I'm thrilled that the Public Ethics Charter reform measure is on the ballot.
Our redistricting commission measure is also important, and Councilmember Schaaf deserves a big share of the credit for that one.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by DanKalb on 07/25/2014 at 12:16 AM

Re: “Best Place to Meditate: The perfect way to start a calm quiet day

Brahma Kumaris centres offer courses in meditation and spiritual knowledge...There is practise of meditation that relaxes the mind and nurtures a healthy balance between our inner and outer worlds.

Posted by Gita Gita on 12/08/2013 at 3:37 AM

Re: “Best Politician Against All Odds

In response to Ms Koortz’s response to my earlier comments:

**According to City resources, there were in the neighborhood of 2,000 businesses that left Richmond since the Mayor became Mayor. These same sources tell us that in the neighborhood of a thousand businesses started in Richmond but these had significantly fewer employees.

**Empty promises? How were they empty? Weren’t there signed contracts that would have guaranteed that 40% of the 6800 permanent jobs would go to Richmond residents--even the ones who couldn’t speak English or prove their legal right to work in the US? You may believe that a casino was the wrong choice for the development of Point Molate but this was the direction Upstream was given by the City Council when they were awarded the Exclusive Right to Negotiate for the development of Point Molate. And the Council didn’t seem to have a problem accepting the tens of millions of dollars from Upstream while Upstream worked on the details. [Of course, now the City is fighting an $800 million lawsuit because of their failure to bargain on good faith.]

**Although she never took money from the card clubs, she also did nothing to stop them from campaigning--and spending gazillions of dollars--on her behalf.

**This article is about no one but Gayle Mclaughlin so comparing her to anyone else is not really relevant, is it?

**I know something about worker owned businesses since I’ve owned my own business since 1976.

**Please don’t suppose to suggest who and what I support. You’ve never made any effort to get to know me or to discuss who or what I support. Speaking from ignorance is never a good idea. If you think you’ve ever heard me speak in favor of Chevron--the company--then you weren’t listening. I speak on issues and I cite facts and, instead of speaking from ignorance, I speak from decades of experience in that business.

**Granted, I only came to Richmond in 1954 so I can’t speak about it before then but I can remember a GREAT many years where Richmond was a better place. Why is it that the FBI had us as the #11 and then the #9 most violent cities in the US (we dropped off their top 25 about 7 months ago) but we’re still ranked the #1 in car thefts in the country? Why is our official unemployment rate nearing 20%? [The unofficial rate--because people have been unemployed so long they’re no longer counted--is closer to 30%.] Why are there so many home foreclosures in Richmond? Why are we so ethnically separated? Why do our city streets resemble something out of rural Afghanistan? This is not the Richmond I grew up in so why suggest that it’s never been better?

**And having worked with so many business leaders who have taken their businesses elsewhere, few of them cite their proximity to Chevron as the reason but they do speak frequently about the anti-business attitude coming from many vocal neighborhoods and from City Hall (at the direction of the Council).

**Having been a leader in so many different fields I have experience in knowing how to lead diverse groups of people so at the very least we’re able to conduct the affairs before us. I’ve yet to see that leadership in our current Mayor. What I see is someone who doesn’t know how to lead--only to command. It’s not the same.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by DonGosney on 07/23/2013 at 4:50 PM

Re: “Best Politician Against All Odds

Whoa! Mr. Gosney, two thousand jobs left Richmond? What are you referring to? The empty promises by Jim Levine for jobs at a rotten casino? One third of the electorate voted for her, really? I guess you could say that about most council members elected to the city council couldn't you, even Nat Bates.

Mayor McLaughlin never took money from the card clubs. She did not solicit money from them. But what about Corky Booze? He got support from the card clubs for his campaign in the form of campaign dollars.

Mayor McLaughlin is the best thing that has ever happened to Richmond. You don't understand worker-owned businesses (I happen to work in one), only huge mega corporations that take local money, but farm it out of the locality. I know you support Chevron. How many jobs does Chevron provide to Richmond residents? I believe out of 1200 jobs at the Richmond refinery, only six to ten percent of those employees live in Richmond.

Richmond is doing the best it's ever done. If anyone has driven jobs out of Richmond, it's Chevron because people are afraid the refinery may blow, and with good reason. The fire last year sent up more than smoke signals, and it reduced our property values.

And, the meetings are not efficient because of one particular city council member, that being Corky Booze, not Mayor McLaughlin, and it's done on purpose to make her look bad.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jeannette Kortz 1 on 07/23/2013 at 2:50 PM

Re: “Best Politician Against All Odds

Broad support? She only garnered the support of about 1/3 of those people who voted.

Smear campaigns? Is it a smear to tell the people what she herself filed in state documents about her mental issues that prevented her from holding a job; about her Chief of Staff who--with her signatures attached--embezzled in the neighborhood of $100,000 from the City of Richmond; that she wanted to control the City’s finances even though she couldn’t handle her own personal finances ($126,000 remaining in her bankruptcy)?

Refused to accept corporate campaign dollars? Did she say anything at all when the card clubs spent gazillions of dollars in independent expenditures to get her elected?

Not one to seek publicity? You have to be kidding. We’re talking about the same person aren’t we? I’m talking about the one that shows up uninvited at events and insists on a seat on the podium and insists on microphone time. I’m talking about the one who shows up for an Occupy walk from Richmond to Oakland and then gets back in her car after the TV cameras leave.

Advocates for new jobs? How many businesses have left Richmond since she and her people took control of Richmond? Nearly 2,000? And the jobs she’s brought in--how many of them have been small workers cooperatives with only a couple of employees?

Had you awarded her with something having to do with her being a mayor, that would be one thing but you’re praising her for being the consummate politician--not much of an honor these days where being labeled a politician is not much better than being labeled a one percenter.

Even as Mayor, she leaves so much to be desired. In five years as Mayor she still hasn’t learned how to run an efficient meeting. Meetings routinely run over leaving a third of the agenda held over to future meetings yet she spends an inordinate amount of time in ‘Presentations' awarding someone for the strangest of things. [We had a special presentation praising people for drinking water.]

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by DonGosney on 07/23/2013 at 10:46 AM

Re: “Most Unexpected Patch of Greenery

The path between 7701 and 7705 Potrero Ave. in El Cerrito does indeed lead to "one of the most unexpected and glorious unobstructed views of the San Francisco Bay." But wait, there is still more. Over the past year, the El Cerrito Trail Trekkers have been building Motorcycle Hill Trail which connects this vista to the streets below. A sign on a stately eucalyptus tree marks the trail which derives its name from a time in the 1920s when daredevils raced up the hill on their motorbikes. Now hikers can enjoy the walk up or down sometimes even accompanied by the resident red-tailed hawk soaring overhead.

Visit us at

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Elcy Trailtrekker on 07/22/2013 at 10:03 PM

Re: “Best Beard

Here's a cut out image of my beard:, useful for doing things like photoshopping it onto cats:

19 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Max Ogden on 07/17/2013 at 9:49 AM

Re: “Best Retirement Community

Why does the word "retirement" always make me think of eavestrough in Calgary???

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Jefferies on 05/22/2013 at 3:29 PM

Re: “Best Place to Practice Your Spanish: Mejor ... uh ... ¿cómo se dice?

? Como pronunciar la palabra Pelicano? Mi nombre es Thomas Bircham, I am a 74 year young student. My real question is, is there an accent over the i that I can't see? Thanks Tom.

Posted by Thomas Patrick Bircham on 03/08/2013 at 8:19 PM

Re: “Most Courageous School Official

More like most brazen school official. Displacing elementary school students and families, displacing high school teachers, destabilizing three high school communities in east and west Oakland is hardly courageous. Controversial? Yes. It is as experimental as it is detrimental.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Rodney Brown on 07/21/2012 at 10:40 AM

Re: “Most Revolutionary Brewmaster

Oh yea! That's a true talent! Kevin keep on brewing, we need more of your beer. ;-)

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gretchen Christensen Rockhill on 07/20/2012 at 2:46 AM

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