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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Feature

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

Very, very true the underground live music scene in Oakland has totally disappeared and artists are moving away. The cost of living is too high. Ironically Art Murmur made KONO a magnet for galleries, yet even those places are getting priced out and unaffordable condos are going up everywhere. Not everyone can or wants to be a techie, and any wage below $30/hr isn't enough to rent even an above-board apartment unless you've been able to take advantage of rent control in the last 6 years or want to spend 50% of your income on rent. Oakland's city govt doesn't support the arts or even artists; they are slow to move on everything and are too busy squirting "Schaaf's Special Sauce" into tech company and developer mouths that they can't can't keep up with the evictions, the homeless encampments (duh...caused in part by evictions and unaffordable housing), and the carpet-bagging millionaires set on turning Oakland into a mini-San Francisco at the massive detriment of current residents that aren't part of the 1% or the entitled nouveau riche.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 11/29/2017 at 12:27 PM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

"Hey left hand."

"Yeah right hand."

"I can't tell what you're doing."

"Hey, I can't tell what you're doing either. Why is that?"

"It's Oakland, pal. Mayor Libby. See you around someday I hope."

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 11/28/2017 at 8:47 PM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

The basic problem is that once again, in trying to appease the arts community, Mayor Schaaf wrote a check that she was never going to be able to cash. She has no technical expertise whatsoever to even make a statement like that.To focus on life safety upgrades to illegal residential uses of industrial buildings without displacing tenants, either by eviction or by rent increases by owners to pay for upgrades was never a realistic goal. First of all, at work here is a series of regulations that are not always consistent with each other. The zoning regulations are local and regulate use of the building.The Building and Fire codes are both State and local and many issues, especially in the area of life safety (corridors, sprinklers, exits), are not negotiable and cannot be waived by the local jurisdiction. To suggest that 50-100 year old warehouse buildings are "green" and therefore should be exempt from regulations is ridiculous. Many of those buildings can't even meet the minimum residential requirements like heat, fire safety and plumbing. The live work regulations adopted in the early 2000's were an attempt to meet artists half way by setting up some basic standards.However, the housing bubble that came later created an opportunity for an underground windfall by owners of these old buildings. The City's combined negligence and incompetence later translated into a defacto don't ask don't tell policy that led to the deaths in the Ghost Ship fire. The City will learn the cost of that incompetence and lack of leadership when the law suits and criminal claims are settled. At the end of the day, no matter how unpopular it is, the fact that there is a a housing shortage should not translate to any public policy that allows artists to live in spaces not intended for residential uses and dangerous to themselves and the community at large. The Mayors confusing and unrealistic goal is why the staff is all over the place both in their understanding of the rules and how to apply them. Of course, in Oakland, when you don't have an answer or the answer does not meet the political agenda you hire an expensive consultant to tell you what you already know so that you don't have to take the blame for telling the people what the truth is.

Posted by Gary Patton on 11/28/2017 at 7:26 PM

Re: “The Wrong Path?

I for one do not thinkk this is a nuanced update but a hit piece on a school that has made major strides in developing a sound, wonderful school culture. I think both the writer and editor missed the mark and failed to look into what has happened at Tech these past twenty years and how it became a go to school. Then again our Broad trained superintendents as well had done this.
To write about black kids who went to the school over twenty years ago in Mr. Hutcninson's case, and Ms. Apara who graduated in 2000, while down playing the young man Antonio Calbo Jackson who was the most real up to date quote you made. He kept it real. In 2000 when I became Assistant Principal we already had a problem where Mr. Wolfe was turning away kids, and Ms. Joe was taking the overflow teaching classes with over 40 kids. We had to establish an honors program under Elisabeth Haugen, and she stood tall. There was a problem in my five years there in the ethnic makeup of the classes, and their location. The classes were nearly all white, Asian a few black and Latin kids, but moreover they were in one part of the campus away from th emajority of the black and brown kids who were in the other wings. Abut ten years ago when Shelagh Andujar was principal some white kids , along with Latin and black kids demanded more AP options so they could be more a part of the school http://culture.So two more teachers learned and adopted the AP curriculum, and they too taught like MS. Wolfe in a Socratic style. Then too the Health Academy (with partnerships with three local hospitals) , the Computer, and other academies were growing and they needed AP options for their kid separate from Paidea. Mary Ann was given the opportunity on more then three occasions to make Paidea an academy, but she was not willing to do that as academies have take kids identified as academically needy in order to qualify for the extra money the state provides academies. She was not willing to do that, as it would have changed th demographic they have now..white, asian students with no academic issues , saying they would have to water down the curriculum. This is in a word bullshit. Mary Hamada proved at Bret Harte in the 90's that by splittng the GATE kids between two teachers and then giving the same two teachers the most at risk kids, that the latters learning increases dramtically as those kids know they are learning"what the smart kids learn". I was one of the two teachers. Yes it is not a call and response Socratic thing you do with the more advanced kids, but there is that and you have to roll up your sleeves and get in there and teach. The article did mention that everything done there is a collaboration between administration and staff, all staff. So Mary Ann's hurt feelings were not based on adminstrative problems but a faculty thing as the faculty voted on new models to push the whole school forward. The thing that changed TEch from "Killa High" and integrated the school was a program developed by Darrick Smith called T.R.Y. umf or (triumph) This stood for "trying to uplift my folks. Originally desinged for young black men soon it was enrolling young black women. In 2000 we were fortuitous that we had an influx of white kids from generational progressive families and these kids enrolled as well. Under Principal Ron Rosenbaum it became a Cal accredited class,as I was the credentialed sponsor. Darrick's curriculum was an adaption of Freire's thoughts on the "Pedagogy of The Oppressed. I mean kids in college have a hard time with Friere's book and here was Darrick not only teaching it but demonstrating how it worked in our society! These kids not only learned but served the school as well with servvice projects. They stood in the foyer every morning and did a salute and pledge about conduct and standards of behavior. Darrick taught as well about hompphobia, and misogny, and racism. It became a moral imperative and every public high school needs a version of it. I think Buld On kind of does this now.
At the same time we fromed a Parent Patrol. Parent volunteers who stood in our hallways at the staircases and observed, while wearing purple and gold do not want to mess up with other kids parents looking on.
Finally I have always admired Mary Ann as an instructor, but was dismayed by the way she quit. She did not resign she quit and deliberately left the program in the lurch, two weeks before school started. Totally unprofessional and was in my mind to cast aspersions toward the administration led by two gifted Co-Principals, Staci Ross-Morrison with a warm calming , vision of what the school should be. The other Co-Principall Josue Diaz is a visionary and public education needs way more like him then these TSA folks who wrok at teaching for two, three years and becme adminstrators and look to cash out. In Josue you have a young Chicano who can get down with the Cholos and who heart is in the sciences so he can talk that talk with the nerds. So this old Bulldog who first entered that front door in September of 1959, is proud of the school, proud of Paidea, Maureen Nixon-Holtan and David DeLeeuw, who built the Health Academy, Emmanuel Onyeador, the Computer Academy honored by th Obama Whitehouse for being one of the oldest, thinks Tech will be fine. Ms. Wolfe should enjoy her retirement, as she put i great work

Posted by Earl Marty Price on 11/27/2017 at 11:46 AM
Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 11/25/2017 at 9:42 AM

Re: “Lieutenant Governor Hopeful Gayle McLaughlin Wants to Take the East Bay’s Progressive Revolution to Sacramento

Gayle will never win and the state is fortunate if she does not. Richmond has a terrible reputation some of it justified and why do we want that in the state?

Posted by Sandy Tarbet on 11/24/2017 at 11:32 PM

Re: “New Ballpark Could Devastate Lake Merritt's Birds

The ball park should stay exactly where it is now! at the Oakland Coliseum site. It should be developed similar to LA live. This should've been done years and years and years ago! this is the same problem we have with career politicians not looking out for the best interest of the city! change must come

2018 Ken Houston for Oakland Mayor

Posted by Ken Houston on 11/24/2017 at 8:00 AM

Re: “The Wrong Path?

Let me better understand the problem. A low performing high school, where my grandfather graduated from in 1929, crafts a program to help all students become better prepared for college is now a threat because the demographics changed? Having a diverse group of students in your classroom does not mean improved academic performance. If diversity is the goal, tearing down a program that improves student outcomes is the wrong solution.

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 11/23/2017 at 7:06 AM

Re: “The Wrong Path?

Oh Oakland! "Equality" run amok! If the kids deserve to be there based on grades and their interests, and that causes them (regardless of race) to be seen as "elite", then the underperforming ones shouldn't cry. But cry they do and will continue to do so, all the while missing the lesson that life ain't fair to begin with, and only hard work and effort will help get one ahead.

Do well, or don't, but do not drag others down. Some people need to realize their kids should become acquainted to digging ditches..

In any case, thank God for Oakland, because it contains the crazy in a small part of the bay area.

Posted by Barry Wanderlust 1 on 11/23/2017 at 6:47 AM

Re: “The Wrong Path?

Thanks for presenting a nuanced update about this program.

Posted by Hugh Morrison 1 on 11/22/2017 at 5:42 PM

Re: “Who's Profiting from Oakland's Gun Violence?

Thomas Collins "...the people of this country, save the women..."

Good lord man. You do realize you just said "the people of this country, save 51% of the people in this country..." You have exposed yourself to be a fool and someone interested neither in truth, reality, or dissenting opinions. Go back to the 19th century.

Posted by Steve Zeugner on 11/22/2017 at 8:18 AM

Re: “Weathering the Heat

Wow...where are all the climate change naysayers?

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 11/21/2017 at 11:30 AM

Re: “New Ballpark Could Devastate Lake Merritt's Birds

Sacrificing the Lake, it's wildlife and the neighborhoods around it for the gain of a privately held business is horribly wrong. The whole idea is built on the assumption that folks will be coming to games from downtown when the majority of fans come from elsewhere in the Bay Area. This location is wrong for the environment, the neighborhood, the college, and Oakland.

Posted by Rita Hurault on 11/17/2017 at 7:32 PM

Re: “The Laney College Opposition

Thinking that the ballpark won't kill Laney off and that all the fans will suddenly take public transport to get there and we Oaklanders won't be paying for any of the improvements demanded of the infrastructure is blindness caused by dollar signs. Build out the Coliseum site with a great, human scale, attractive ballpark, help create a support community around that. Ballparks do not need to be superimposed on an existing neighborhood.

Posted by Rita Hurault on 11/17/2017 at 7:20 PM

Re: “New Ballpark Could Devastate Lake Merritt's Birds

Don't expect much push back from the City of Oakland in terms of protecting sensitive environmental habitats. If Cappio is involved, the impact will be down played and developers will always be able to find a way to move forward. Several decades ago, under her watch in the City of Emeryville, a paved parking lot was constructed over Native American burial grounds. If that is her concept of appropriate mitigation of a significant unavoidable impact, the birds at Lake Merritt are doomed. They should start packing their bags immediately.

Posted by Gary Patton on 11/14/2017 at 3:25 PM

Re: “New Ballpark Could Devastate Lake Merritt's Birds

"team that does not black mail a small city"

The Raiders broke ground in Vegas this week.

You must be thinking of them, because the A's are *paying for their own ballpark*.

Next uninformed kneejerk reaction?

Posted by jq7925 on 11/14/2017 at 1:58 PM

Re: “The Laney College Opposition

"Selling Laney College and its surrounding property off to build a stadium"

Okay, seriously now, where the F*CK do you people keep getting "Sell Laney to build a ballpark"?


They want to move the Peralta Admin Center (and they will buy PCCD the new location), they'll cleanup the toxic plumes underneath that Peralta is so far behind on dealing with or even *monitoring* that penalties in the millions will rack up soon, and build a ballpark *not even on the same side of the estuary* as Laney.

"He is also interested in developing the area in order to increase rents and drive out low income communities of color."



Where is your backup for this allegation?

Don't bother answering, YOU DON"T HAVE ONE.

Posted by jq7925 on 11/13/2017 at 5:57 PM

Re: “The Oakland Coliseum’s Uncertain Future

Here's a great idea: keep the A's at the Coliseum. Soooo many problems solved.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 11/13/2017 at 9:55 AM

Re: “The Laney College Opposition

The article doesn't get into A's owner John Fisher of Gap, Inc, who has ties to the charter school movement like Betsy DeVos and the Walton Family (Walmart), and his interest to privatize colleges. He is also interested in developing the area in order to increase rents and drive out low income communities of color. He is also anti-union and anti-environmental so he really could care less about the stadium creating so much pollution (light, sound, smog, trash) that will most likely drive protected birds and wildlife away or kill them. Selling Laney College and its surrounding property off to build a stadium would be the death knell of Oakland's Laney College as a public school, Lake Merritt, and neighbors who include Chinatown and other ethnic communities. If you follow the money behind the A's scam you will realize that stadium will be Oakland's biggest black eye if it comes to fruition.

Posted by Kit Vaq on 11/12/2017 at 5:32 PM

Re: “Can Oakland Protect Chinatown and Eastlake?

Gary Patton does an exceptional job of precisely describing the fate of Chinatown and Eastlake neighborhoods in the event a baseball stadium is installed at Laney College as proposed by the Oakland A's. If the Peralta Trustees give a green light to the proposal, the existing peaceful and affordable neighborhoods will disappear almost overnight. QUESTION: Where does a current Oakland resident who is forceably displaced get a replacement apartment ? You're right ... far away from Oakland ! One look at a stadium superimposed on the Peralta site exposes the real motive of the A's and their deep-pocketed investors. The present site is too small. The true objective of the A's and their investors is the land occupied by Chinatown & Eastlake, Laney College, Dewey Continuation School, La Escuelita Elementary, and the OUSD administration. The A's and their investors envision a mega-development of shopping malls, multi-level parking structures, office towers, high rises of luxury condominium, boutique shops, fancy restaurants, and night life entertainment. The bottom line here is not the A's -- they will sell out to new owners and be gone within 5 years -- Neither the A's or their investors will shed one tear of concern for the city of Oakland or its people -- THEIR OBJECTIVE IS MONEY, LOTS OF IT !! And they will "play" Peralta and the City like chumps to get to their ultimate goal.

Posted by James Vann on 11/12/2017 at 4:02 PM

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