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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

Re: “UC Berkeley Professor Calls for Speeding Up the Drone Arms Race

What he proposes, autonomous devices to hunt and kill our "enemies" is in fact the premise of the first "Terminator" movie. Truth is stranger than fiction. The total and staggering immorality of this leaves question as to whether Yoo is in fact a human, or a cyborg.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 11:14 AM

Re: “UC Berkeley Professor Calls for Speeding Up the Drone Arms Race

Yoo is a truly disgusting human being.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 10:21 AM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

The simple truth is that Oakland officials will spend every penny of budget they get, and then borrow for more. It doesn't matter what the numbers are. They City is horribly in debt and getting worse, and this is just ignored, and instead we get pleas for more taxes. Cut spending, folks. Reduce those sweet union deals, take away the free tickets the council members get from sports teams and sell them, stop paying overtime and double time to the police and raise the department size. Learn to not spend. I know it's hard.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 8:32 AM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

Time for a crackdown on the EB-5 visa program that Jerry Brown turned into a criminal enterprise.
Make the people who have been "land-banking" put the properties on the market and stop catering to developers and labor unions who are against modular homes and other innovations.....
Regards, Allen Sanford…

Posted by Allen Sanford on 10/05/2017 at 7:25 AM

Re: “When Private Patrols Pull The Trigger

They don't allow Californians to arm themselves and now you want to punish the paid guards that were brought to protect the people of this neighborhood. What is this criminal entered a home with an infant and mother? who knows what would happen. I for one applaud this guard. We need to wake up and stop portraying criminals as the victims!

Posted by N F on 10/04/2017 at 12:18 PM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

The split isn't invariant... It's part of the contract. There shouldn't be an issue if two (or more entities) chose to split how a fee is paid as the author states.

That said, this is part an parcel of the mess made of state and local finances by prop 13.

While the proposal seems as at least a partial solution, I'm especially troubled by

"Although Kalb hasn't proposed a specific plan yet..."

The devil is ALWAYS in the details and suddenly this looks more like a grandstand statement from a politician, prematurely reported, than a real solution.

I'm of the opinion that far more could be done by devising better transfer rules for commercial property. I'd like to note that while San Francisco is being held up as a leader in this area, even they haven't solved the "creative" deal structuring that causes commercial property transfers to result in flat tax revenues and billions lost to the public coffers... while lawyers and corporations enrich themselves at the expense of the public.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/03/2017 at 10:57 PM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

Much depends on the details. For example how would this be applied to the sale of multi-unit rental, residential and commercial? There are different economic, equity, social policy effects from imposing a higher rate on a $100 Million sale of a residential building with 100 units that are valued at 1Mill each vs the sale of a mansion for $100 Million.

Not clear to me that raising the transfer tax won't raise rents and housing prices.

There is also the same equity that exists with any tax based on gross sales, whether it be our regular business tax or the transfer tax on real estate gross sales price: the selling price (gross business receipts) bears 0 correlation with the profit made by the seller. California cities are forbidden by state law to impose any kind of income tax, so they're stuck raising revenue with various kinds of sales taxes, fees, and parcel taxes.

Another problem is the extremely cyclical pattern of transfer taxes and the historically proven inability of Oakland elected officials to budget for more than a couple of years at a time. They basically do "checkbook balance" budgeting: if they have the money in the short term, they'll commit to long-term costs that could seriously harm paying for critical services when the real estate cycle turns down. A graduated transfer tax should be part of a charter measure mandating long-term budgeting and much higher rainy day reserves, backed up by an independent budget analyst such as SF has. and Councilmember Guillen proposed.

Posted by Len Raphael on 10/03/2017 at 9:06 PM

Re: “Getting Rich Off Low-Income Housing

Ah yes, its always people of affluence that are at fault. Never mind the folks who have frittered their lives away living on the dole and just wanting more and more free stuff because its the rich that cause all their problems. What a bunch of nonsense! And Lynita is just the type of person we would all enjoy having living next to us....can I borrow a cup of sugar and will you pay for my rent?!

Posted by Mike Mitchell on 09/30/2017 at 8:55 AM

Re: “UC Berkeley Professor Calls for Speeding Up the Drone Arms Race

John Yoo should be in a prison for the mentally deranged. What a sick mind.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 09/27/2017 at 10:49 AM

Re: “Living Downstairs, or Lying?: Advocates Say Oakland Landlords Pretending to Reside in Apartments so as to Evict Tenants

The article states- he and his wife clean houses for a living. Then the article states he is on disability. He appears to switch stories around. Of course the property owner wants to patch instead of replace the gutters when he is getting below market rent. Everyone wants affordable housing and who is going to pay for it?

Posted by Really! on 09/24/2017 at 9:40 AM

Re: “Getting Rich Off Low-Income Housing

The City of Oakland has hundreds of units such as this in the city, but refuses to press the court to enact the "El Chapo Bill", which was proposed by Ted Cruz, to force Wells Fargo to repair, subsidize or construct, affordable housing in the city and county.
Oakland has had Wells in court for over two years and has yet to set a dollar amount to settle the predatory lending case that is pending. Why?
The reason why, is because putting pressure on the court to make Wells give up the $378 billion that the bank generated during it's relationship with El Chapo, would reveal that as Attorney General, Jerry Brown facilitated the criminal activities of the banks, the lawyers who stole homes from people in California as well as, the drug gangs, that made El Chapo rich.
My name is Allen Sanford

Posted by Allen Sanford on 09/21/2017 at 10:32 AM

Re: “Getting Rich Off Low-Income Housing

Sometimes, and sadly, even in 2017(!) we have to just pull these "offenders" (I'm trying to be nice) OUT! That means tail (follow) them, embarrass them in public, picket the properties-even their own homes,
I don't say this lightly, I have done so myself. It is a sorrowful thing to have to realize in life (but you MUST in order to survive in the long run) that there are people who are just -as my grandpa-and maybe yours too, said-"not even worth killin'". Sounds like this man, Brumbaugh.
All I know is, if I lived there-or my daddy or mama lived there-it'd be Hell to pay, Mr. Brumbaugh. Sometimes we just can't leave retribution to the Lord.

Posted by Lynita Otero on 09/20/2017 at 3:41 PM

Re: “Getting Rich Off Low-Income Housing

OK, questions not answered and seemingly not asked (what else is new with this writer?): How long has this been going on? What steps has the city taken in that time? This development didn't fall into this state is a few days or weeks. What city agency fell down on the job? Has the city contacted the state? Non-profits (and not for profits) ARE regulated at the state level. I noticed a local church is affiliated with this non-profit; Is this the reason the city hasn't taken action?

The fact that owner of the construction companies(s) lives a luxurious life is NOT really relevant to the on-going operation and management of the facility... Especially given that, per the article, he has no apparently active role with the organization.

More fire fanning, half written tripe from an "award winning" writer.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 09/20/2017 at 5:38 AM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

Our property management company, Mann Edge (they also own Friendly Cab taxi co), tried to pull this shit on our ghetto apartment building last year. They are like a bargain basement version of JDW, it sounds like. This whole building is falling apart in so many ways. Any repairs or renewals have been done in the cheapest and shoddiest manner possible. We went to a free legal tenant workshop for info and they explained this ridiculous loophole to us. They told us that the work done to the apartments would have to be pretty major to allow them to do this. I was very nervous. Thank goodness our slumlords were not prepared to spend any actual money on their attempt to exempt the building. We got another notice saying they had cancelled their exemption request. This place has bed bugs, for crying out loud (not my apartment, thankfully!)

Posted by Michelle Castro on 09/18/2017 at 2:29 AM

Re: “Turmoil Returns for Charter Schools

American Indian Public High is able to manipulate their test scores by essentially shedding the students it doesn't want. Other charters do this to game the system, but American Indian is one of the worst offenders. Between grades 9 and 12, more than half of the students leave the school. The school then uses the remaining 12th grade cohort to derive all of their manipulated statistics, such as test scores and graduation rates. The reality is that the school chooses the students, not the other way around.

Posted by Oakland_mom on 09/15/2017 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Report: Berkeley Police Six-Times More Likely to Use Force Against Black People

Has anyone studied how much more likely black people are to use force against the police ? I see bias here. Lovelle Mixon left a nasty legacy and he sure as hell was not the only one.

Posted by Kevin Smith on 09/15/2017 at 8:57 AM

Re: “Turmoil Returns for Charter Schools

American Indian teaches to the tests, that is how they get high test scores. Students do not have a life like rich kids in better neighbor hoods, its home work on weekends , holidays and summer. No LIFE. how do i know, they advised COVA charter school how to raise their test scores and my daughter suffered for a year of that!!!

Posted by marlese carroll on 09/14/2017 at 4:43 PM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

Long-term, low and especially fixed income renters need some form of protection, absolutely. But flat or 1% increased rent is unreasonable.

Inflation is more than that. On top of inflation, landlords' expenses often increase more than 1% a year, particularly as old buildings age and require expensive maintenance and renovation. And property taxes in Oakland are out of control (with nearly no exemption for owner occupied, but that's another story...!). Renters who pay less in real dollars each year for an apartment...that's a reason there's so much housing deterioration in Oakland.

Should a building be permanently exempted due to substantial renovation? No--"permanent" is surprising. But I urge us to be careful thinking that all rent control is good.

What happens under draconian rent control laws is that Landlords turn to AirBnb and developers don't want to invest in new housing. Overreaching rent control laws directly contribute to a housing shortage, particularly new affordable housing. We should strive for a balance, and it's not one that assumes "landlords are all evil and have really low expenses". We should try create incentives for landlords to invest in housing while not pricing existing renters out of their homes.

Posted by Jsborn on 09/14/2017 at 8:49 AM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

Landlords can get away with pretty much anything in Oakland because there are no building inspections.
The Auditor for the City of Oakland didn't even know that the Ghost Ship warehouse existed.
The EB-5 visa program has been turned into a criminal enterprise. foreign investors have been allowed to "land-bank" properties keeping them off of the market for decades and then raising the rents to astronomical levels when they do put them on the market.
However, these landlords are in for a rude awakening when these tech companies begin to lay people off, which is starting now.
These investors are going to find themselves stuck to a "tar baby", the rents and home prices are not sustainable!
I'm Allen Sanford, read my Facebook pages...…

Posted by Allen Sanford on 09/14/2017 at 7:47 AM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

Also any of the insane amount of JDW tenets dealing with this: get a lawyer. JDW most likely doesn't have their shit together and is counting on you fighting it. Fight that shit. Fuck them. There are a lot of amazing free/lost cost services and housing rights groups that are filled with angels.

Posted by FuckJDWFuckLinMyer on 09/14/2017 at 1:51 AM

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