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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Feature

Re: “Trapped Part One: Cruel and Indefinite Punishment

My husband and I are friends with Demian and his wife, Hilda. They are both beautiful people. If you don't think serving 30+ years in prison for his crime of accessory, then you aren't paying attention. He's a mature man who's doing wonderful things with his life. I encourage each of you who have no idea who he is to write him, introduce yourself, and be open to the possibility that he deserves a second chance.

Posted by Nandi on 07/23/2017 at 9:26 PM

Re: “Who Will Be There When You Call 911? Our Writer Plunges Into the World of For-Profit Ambulances.

It is such a broken system- where are the policy makers? Where are the voters demanding a working system? This is one of so many broken systems in Alameda County- take your pick- but I do wonder what the policy makers @$100K + a year actually do.

Posted by Jeff Diver on 07/13/2017 at 2:30 PM

Re: “The Recline of Movie Civilization: How Bay Area Theaters are Reinventing Themselves in a World of Netflix and Chill

$16 for a matinee of the new Spiderman movie in Vegas is enough to keep anyone out of the theater.

Posted by Igor Davis on 07/13/2017 at 12:36 PM

Re: “The Recline of Movie Civilization: How Bay Area Theaters are Reinventing Themselves in a World of Netflix and Chill

Sounds like this is a "fox watching the henhouse" situation to me.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 07/13/2017 at 9:13 AM

Re: “Who Will Be There When You Call 911? Our Writer Plunges Into the World of For-Profit Ambulances.

Reading this article made me feel physically ill - happily, the feeling dissipated and I didn't need to call an ambulance.

It is remarkable that a 'public/private' partnership would be considered an acceptable or preferable solution for the problem: people who become ill and need transportation to a hospital. Quite simply, this should be a service provided either on a city or county level, by well paid city or county employees responsible to the taxpayers and not to their employer's bottom line. Any other solution is flushing money down the drain and selling the public - and public health - down the river.

Posted by John Seal on 07/12/2017 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Who Will Be There When You Call 911? Our Writer Plunges Into the World of For-Profit Ambulances.

It's about time the media shined a light on this serious public health issue. You would think in a progressive county like ours this could not happen.
I've always had a problem with "For Profit" companies providing emergency services. It doesn't work to the benefit of the taxpayers.
Vince Davis

Posted by sonnysteel on 07/11/2017 at 2:53 PM

Re: “Who Will Be There When You Call 911? Our Writer Plunges Into the World of For-Profit Ambulances.

OPD doesn't come unless there's a firearm or death involved. So now EMTs get there after you die, too.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 07/07/2017 at 11:58 AM

Re: “Who Will Be There When You Call 911? Our Writer Plunges Into the World of For-Profit Ambulances.

How the hell is PM+ LOSING money in Alameda County?
One trip to the mental health ward (john George)
My SO was billed over $2500.
And it was just a ride, no medical attention was needed

Posted by Ken Kellogg on 07/06/2017 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Who Will Be There When You Call 911? Our Writer Plunges Into the World of For-Profit Ambulances.

This is the first coverage of ems I've ever seen in local press. Long overdue.

While you describe the business motivations of the various segments of the ems industry, you skip over the motivations of firefighter unions in this. As fire codes improved and older building replaced over the last few decades, staffing needs for firefighting have dropped. As population ages and Obamacare implemented/preserved, 911 medical calls increase.

But It is nutso expensive to dispatch an entire fire crew to every 911 medical emergency. Replacing firefighters with emt's paid at fast food wage rates is not the answer either, but surely there's something in between where the emt's would get paid decently and the public wouldn't get gouged by fire departments.

Posted by Len Raphael on 07/06/2017 at 8:44 PM

Re: “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

Yelp is an evil company, they were so stupid on the way they manage their company, money first, careless about anything else. If you don't listen to what they are asking for or don't do a highly cost ad with them, they will do everything that they can in order to destroy your business, by showing all the bad reviews and filter all the good reviews, just like what they did with Massinos pizza. They even go on Google and spend a lot of money in order to try to take business from you and send it to your competition using EAT24.com which they bought couple years ago (evil doing and unfair to any human beings).

It is just a matter of time for Yelp to be sued and that is the only way for the CEO to stop this evil work.

Yelp came alive by paying people to go eat at all restaurants if that person puts a review on Yelp, and after few years and after they fed a lot of people, and managed every review on Yelp (filter what ever review they want and show what ever they want for any particular business), then they start calling all business and ask them to put ads on Yelp in order to get more business (which a lot of business did go for but others were disadvantaged if they couldn't afford to pay for a costly ad on Yelp).

Yelp advertising team call us multiple time (at least once a week for the last 3 years) asking us to put ad on Yelp in order to get more business and they will improve Masinos rating on Yelp, but we couldn't afford it (asking for at least $300/month contract), but I told them that I gave you my business website through EAT24.com where they were generating an average of $760 (online ordering processing fees through our website, just in 2016, we processed over $70000, and Yeld received 10 % of that ($7000), but still not happy. Then, they stopped calling, and they started the evil work online, by filtering all good reviews and showing mostly nasty reviews.

Then in 2017, I noticed the online ordering through our website was declining because EAT24 is redirecting our customers to their APP where they show the Yelp rating (only 2.5 stars but on Google we have 3.5 stars, tripadviser 4 stars, etc), I started calling them in order to ask why sales are declining, and explained that one of the reason is the Yelp low rating, and when they redirect to their website and showing other business with higher rating than Massinos, of course the sales will decline. EAT24 couldn't do anything of course, just because Yelp is in charge, and yelp wanted more money from us.

So I had to close EAT24 account, and switched our website to Menufy, which in just 2 months, sales were tripled.

Then EAT24 were so upset, they started that evil work just like Yelp, by trying everything in order to take business from Massinos and give it to our competition which are signed up with EAT24/Yelp.

Is this how a bad company (EAT24/YELP) operates, when they lose some business, they need to work harder in order to make that customer very upset, or they will work very hard and understand the issues that led to the lost of business and try harder to get it that business back. Stupid thinking and reactionsfrom EAT24/Yelp.

YELP/EAT24 = EVIL COMPANY = EVIL DOING

Posted by Joe Massi on 06/27/2017 at 3:40 PM

Re: “Plans for a 'New' Oakland Are Taking Shape, but Existing Residents Are Demanding More Equitable Development

The state legislature has a major role to play in development. Most recently, it mandated that cities ease the creation of mini-lots and backyard housing, which have a mixed bag of good and bad effects. Where do our state legislators stand on affordable housing and neighborhood preservation?

Posted by Mike Bradley on 06/23/2017 at 12:45 PM

Re: “Plans for a 'New' Oakland Are Taking Shape, but Existing Residents Are Demanding More Equitable Development

There is no history in Oakland, or in America for that matter, that views existing diverse urban neighborhoods as having intrinsic value. Instead, they have always been seen as economic opportunities for the development community whose baseline approach was to destroy those neighborhoods and totally displace existing residents who, because of race and lower economic status, don't deserve a place at the table in the planning process. In the late 50's, Black residents of the Filmore District of SF had to sue the City in order to be included in the committee required to formulate the new plan under the Model Cities program. In Oakland, since the 60's, for the most part, the top levels of the Planning Department have been occupied by UC Berkeley planning school graduates whose inflated views of their own intelligence defined the City by floor area ratios and height requirements. Moreover, having no exposure, interest or connection to the broader Oakland flatland communities, concentrated the planning focus on downtown, Montclair, Rockridge and Jack London neighborhoods. Not surprisingly, almost all of the Planning Commissioners during those years also resided in those areas and many, if not most, were professionals at some level in land development. The blatant disregard at the top levels for the value of diverse neighborhoods and their populations has never been better illustrated than former Planning Director Rachael Flynn's statement that there was no housing crisis in Oakland. More concerning is that there was no response at all from the Mayor or City Council for that obvious disconnection with reality. In the recent E12 st housing debacle, it was only when the Eastlake neighborhood became involved that the community benefits conversations with the developer began to develop. There has to be sensitivity to these cultural diversity issues by City leadership in order for any plan to reflect those values in the process and the ultimate result. Currently, I see the Mayor and City Council members continuing to make backroom deals with developers and doing their best to bypass the neighbors.That is not a good sign for the immediate future.

Posted by Gary Patton on 06/23/2017 at 6:34 AM

Re: “Plans for a 'New' Oakland Are Taking Shape, but Existing Residents Are Demanding More Equitable Development

"adhocracy has had another important result: It showed a different kind of development is possible.... Except while it made those already in housed in Oakland feel they had control of their neighborhood(s) resulting in...:

The strategy was similar: delay and negotiate... While the homeless crises worsens as population pressures in the bay area rise.

The gaping holes existed well past the early 80's and on into the 90's.

While anti-displacement policies are wonderful, in no way does they address the needs and history of the community.

In East Oakland, not far from where I live there was a thriving merchant community in the 70's. Now, liquor stores, smoke shops or just boarded up store fronts are what those streets offer.... That didn't happen because of "urban redevelopment". It didn't happen because of "gentrification" or "developer domination" or "unjust planning decisions".

It happened because a desperate community allowed self serving pocket Boss Tweeds to offer tidbits of bread and circuses and illusions of "community control and pride" instead of jobs and education... And did it for decades!

We can't build a wall and keep "those people" out. We can't simply declare solutions by zoning them away. Nor can we simply demonize those who have in the past or or now want to invest in Oakland. People put money and effort in because they see a possible benefit. No one works for free, but somehow the activists expect others to do what they will not.

While we're at it, can get someone to plant a money tree in my back yard? I'd rather not go to work in the morning.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/22/2017 at 10:50 PM

Re: “Plans for a 'New' Oakland Are Taking Shape, but Existing Residents Are Demanding More Equitable Development

Specific plans generally allow development that Comports with the plan to bypAss costly, risky and time consuming CEQA studies. Community (and the City, if they care to) are wise to insist that this boon to developers not be granted without significant give-back.

Posted by Andy Nelsen 1 on 06/22/2017 at 7:49 PM

Re: “Inside Immigration Court: Are Deportation Hearings In The Bay Area Unconstitutional?

Alan,

I guess your response is the most telling of the current climate in our country. Not all who come here commit crimes. Most are here to support their families with any job they can find. Can you honestly say that if the tables were turned that you would not be doing exactly the same thing? They work ungodly hours doing the meanial jobs that most US citizens are not willing to do. They buy goods and services from the local communities and in many cases work multiple jobs. I can be honest and state that I would do exactly the same thing if it was a way to provide for my family. We have grown into such an intolerant society and the new administration has made our country into a nation where public hate and racism seem to be the new norm. We have gone back in time and all those who came here from somewhere else with a chance for a new life would be ashamed of the society we have become.

Posted by John Q. Public on 06/09/2017 at 10:40 AM

Re: “A New Oakland A's Ballpark: Our Writer Looks At The Good, The Bad, And The Unknown Of Three Rumored Sites

Howard Terminal! It will be a jewel for Oakland and the entire Bay Area!

Posted by smiley lopez on 06/08/2017 at 10:35 PM

Re: “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

Not to mention they advertise illegal work. After contacting them, they blatantly said it is not their problem they are helping people illegally advertise.

Posted by Brian Heuer on 06/08/2017 at 12:15 AM

Re: “Top Ramen For Life: The Student Loan Crisis

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Posted by Braun Gerhard on 06/07/2017 at 3:57 PM

Re: “A New Oakland A's Ballpark: Our Writer Looks At The Good, The Bad, And The Unknown Of Three Rumored Sites

@Damon, not short sighted at all.

Look at the numbers for other such activities. The city takes in seven million a year from the Raiders... And spends eight million for a net LOSS of a million dollars a year! This city simply cannot afford to bleed tax dollars like this.

I've never seen figure for the A's or the Warriors, but I can't image them to be much better if at all.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/07/2017 at 2:09 PM

Re: “A New Oakland A's Ballpark: Our Writer Looks At The Good, The Bad, And The Unknown Of Three Rumored Sites

Reality check. I know it's a hateful concept and nothing could be more inconvenient.

How is $200 million in infrastructure provision not a public subsidy to a private sports stadium?

I would like a reference to a competent, independent study which shows how much sports stadiums contribute to local economies. Or not. What I've read says not.

Opportunity costs. What else might be developed at each site with an economic comparision? The Port of Oakland is the main cargo port for
San Francisco Bay. How would expansion/improvement of the existing
port compare with a stadium? Ports are used 24/7; stadiums are used a few hours a week at most.

A 100 year stadium? I think in 100 years something called climate change might have much of that part of Oakland (all three sites) under water. Maybe a stadium/aquarium complex.

880 and BART are currently running at well over capacity, not to mention that they are physically in very poor condition. What is
game-day traffic going to do to an already difficult commute?

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 06/07/2017 at 12:30 PM

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