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Re: “East Bay Paratransit Bus System Leaves Drivers Broke and Riders Often Stranded

A neighbor in my building needs kidney dialysis 3X a week. She can barely walk to get to the front door of our building, much less hike to bus stops and walk from bus stops to her dialysis clinic. Increasingly, however, she ends up sitting in our lobby for an hour or more and then gets a call from AC Paratransit telling her no paratransit bus is going to show up. By this time, she is late for her appointment but still needs the dialysis so she suffers her way to a bus stop and from the bus stop to her clinic. She reports this is becoming almost the norm, that more and more she just gets told, after waiting a very long time, that the bus aint coming.

It does seem peculiar to me that a foreign company is not only managing this local, publicly funded service but that this company is doing such an inadequate job. The workers deserve a living wage and affordable health care, as drivers for other public transit systems receive, and the riders deserve an operating system that picks them up within reasonable wait times. Shame shame shame on the folks who outsourced this and did not negotiate meaningful public oversight of how the public money is spent.

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 08/04/2017 at 11:11 AM

Re: “Court-Appointed Monitor Who Oversees Oakland Police Department Could Have Blocked Controversial Promotions — but He Didn’t.

Ms. Guap (not her real name) was an UNDERAGE prostitute and every cop that had sex with her knew she was under age and had illegal sex with her anywat, using their positional power over a legal child. Some of the pigs used her to make money, pimping her out. Bruce Ferrell's comment questions that she was an underage, legal child as if to shift some of the resopnsible onto the legal child and as if Ferrell wants to defend the cops who used her. Ms. Guap received a million dollars from the City of Oakland for the way she was used and abused by Oakland cops. There no excuse for anyone to have sex with an underage person but esp. cops who are tasked with enforcing the law instead of flouting it.

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 08/04/2017 at 10:44 AM

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

Richmond's finances are in horrible shape, now she wants to take her ideas to Sacramento (The State is already in enough financial trouble due to tax & spend politicians).

Her campaign slogan should be "Progressively Bankrupt"

Posted by Bob Kray on 08/04/2017 at 8:38 AM

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

The real RPA, a history!
Mike Parker, along with the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), has unleashed a misguided, middle class, liberal agenda on Richmond, California's poor working class community of 106,000 residents.

Parker has been on the RPAs steering committee since he arrived in Richmond in 2008 during a campaign to pass by popular vote a tax on Chevron known as Measure T. He is the editor of the RPAs email newsletter with complete discretion to write articles expressing his political viewpoints. His strongest opinions have been expressed in support of a misguided tax settlement with Chevron and two regressive tax proposals but he has remained indifferent and mostly silent about City Hall corruption and ongoing bullying of City workers.

After the voters passed Measure T, a tax on Chevron, Chevron challenged it in court and in 2010 Parker and the RPA pushed through, without any public discussion, a settlement of this litigation which gave the City $114 million from Chevron paid on a graduated schedule over fifteen years. In exchange, Chevron demanded a fifteen-year moratorium on the City levying any new taxes on Chevron. The significance of the Measure T sellout cannot be measured in dollars and cents alone. The passage of Measure T was a grassroots effort against enormous moneyed opposition that resulted in the people standing up to Chevron for the first time in Richmond's history. Mike Parker and the RPA's so-called progressives squandered this major victory, setting back Richmonds nascent grassroots movement for years to come.

In 2011, the RPA proposed a regressive sales tax; Measure D. Parker supported this regressive sales tax proposal which was to be levied on a poor working class community which already had the highest sales tax in the area. The voters defeated Measure D.

In 2012, Parker pushed a regressive inventory tax, Measure N. This was a regressive tax on merchants based on the inventory of certain sugar products sold in their stores which could be passed off onto their customers. By an overwhelming margin, the voters also defeated measure N.

In 2013, Parker refused to hold the City Manager responsible for not terminating the Human Relations Director for blatant corruption which took place with his knowledge. Ultimately, she was allowed to retire, with full benefits and a glowing letter of appreciation, only because of City workers and citizens demands for her termination. As a result of the RPAs condoning such corrupt mismanagement, there remains in Richmond City Hall an ongoing culture of bullying and retaliation against whistle blowers.

In 2013 the RPA and Parker proposed and pushed for an untested eminent domain scheme purportedly designed to assist homeowners in danger of foreclosure because their mortgages were underwater. In fact, this scheme was not designed to help those most in need and, if implemented, would cost the City years of litigation. Because of this poorly thought out political grandstanding, the City was burdened with higher interest rates on its bonds. When the RPA was unable to garner a super-majority on the City Council to implement the use of eminent domain, they tried to get around this requirement by setting up a Joint Authority with other jurisdictions to do so. They were unable to find a single jurisdiction willing to take the risk.

All of these examples demonstrate that the RPA under Parker's leadership has consistently acted in the interest of the gentrifying element in Richmond while alienating the working-class residents. Parker and the RPA prefer headline-grabbing gestures rather than working seriously on multiple community problems such as, for example, the horrendous situation at Richmond's Public Housing Authority and the huge deficit in the City budget. Parker and the RPA talk about empowering the residents while refusing to fight for district elections, a political structure that truly empowers voters on a grassroots level. As they have pushed their political agendas they have consistently exhibited arrogance and intolerance for the people of Richmond. They have furthered class and ethnic divisions in our community and made a mockery of the term, progressive.

Posted by Charles T. Smith on 08/03/2017 at 4:54 PM

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

I may speak for many progressive Richmond residents when I express disappointment, dismay, and even disgust with the RPA's "ends justify means" political playbook. Sadly, the disconnect between their words and actions give progressivism a bad name. Start with their movement away from district elections now that they dominate the council, though they reside in only one or two districts; follow that up with well-documented public harassment and intimidation of an elderly landlady over the just cause eviction of a problematic tenant during their push for rent control laws ;check Richmond city council meeting minutes for accounts of Council member Beckles publicly humiliating a visually impaired fellow council member; and photos of her playing games on her phone during a budget hearing. Most egregiously, note that while RPA has sworn off corporate donations, they have no such qualms about taking donations from both local and national organized labor groups. This effectively rules out significant financial support for non-RPA candidates lest they be accused of being the puppets of corporations or wealthy individuals. . Yet the RPA dominated city council rules routinely on matters affecting union members - but somehow those contributions aren't seen as influential.

Posted by aj benham on 08/03/2017 at 1:23 PM

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

The Richmond Progressive Alliances first priority when they arrived in Richmond in 2004 was to fight for district elections.
Once they got into power they turned their backs on the working class community and fought against district elections.
Here is what they said about district elections.
Former Mayor and current Richmond Council Member Gayle McLaughlin
Districts could create truer democracy.
Current Richmond City Council member Eduardo Martinez
I have said that I support district elections and I stand by that.
KPFA radio show host Andres Soto
On at least two occasions Andres has endorsed the concept of district elections during his KPFA radio show. His son Alejandro ran in a district election in Berkeley in 2014
Founding member of the Richmond Progressive Alliance Roberto Reyes
He endorses district elections and still does but he has since moved out of State.
Former Richmond City Council Member Jeff Ritterman
"I felt I represented all of Richmond, not Point Richmond," he said. "But it's true that the concentration of elected officials (in Point Richmond) could raise the question of district elections and whether that should be debated in the city."
Richmond Progressive Alliances initial public statement as stated on their handout upon their arrival on 1-12-2004.
The more efficient city council we envision will also require that the city council members reside in their districts.

Posted by Charles T. Smith on 08/03/2017 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Oakland Rallies Around Owner of Henry's Gallery Café, Who Recently Lost His Business and Life's Savings

The GoFundMe campaign mentioned is here: https://www.gofundme.com/HenrysGalleryCafe

Posted by brent_noorda on 08/02/2017 at 10:38 AM

Re: “Oakland Rallies Around Owner of Henry's Gallery Café, Who Recently Lost His Business and Life's Savings

This article makes no sense. 2007+5=2012, 2012+5+2017. They did exercise their option to extend. It also states in April that they were told to look for a new space. While I sympathize, there is nothing illegal happening here on the landlord's part.

Posted by Simone Furey on 08/01/2017 at 12:04 PM

Re: “Oakland Rallies Around Owner of Henry's Gallery Café, Who Recently Lost His Business and Life's Savings

I've met Jung and Park many times. They are lovely - always happy and helpful. I hope they are able to find a new location.

Posted by Jim Willows on 08/01/2017 at 11:49 AM

Re: “Young Professionals Only? Housemates Accuse Landlord of Rejecting Subtenant Applications in Hopes of Vacating Rent-Controlled Unit.

It is unfortunate that the landlady did not select less contentious language to work through this common situation. She should hire a property manager to keep from making rookie mistakes. There are other ways to handle this occupancy shift without antagonizing her tenants. The right of continuance in the home is only extended to the original tenants. The replacement tenants cannot continue once the original tenants depart. This is placed as a signed addendum to the lease. The landlady does not accept money from the replacement tenants she approves their occupancy, but not their tenancy. the original tenants are made responsible for collecting their housemates rent and turn in a single , prompt rent payment. The tenants appoint one person to contact the landlady on non emergent maintenance issues and keep their tenancy on an even keel. The Landlady can refuse to assign occupancy and patiently wait for her tenants to leave, but good luck getting over the vacancy loss and turn costs. With all the new apartments coming online in the East Bay I don't envy her position. Glad to be only handling my own properties these days and not working for landlords like her.

Posted by Codacraft on 08/01/2017 at 1:40 AM

Re: “It's Time To Overturn the State Ban on Rent Control

Repealing Costa Hawkins would simply ease the burden on families like mine who struggle to keep up with UNLIMITED rent increases. I am a single mom and lord knows I am not the only one. We need to do it and I feel it painfully. Creating more housing and preventing speculators from keeping units vacant are also important. We don't need a competition about which route is best; we need to do all three.

Posted by Julie Pastore on 07/29/2017 at 8:12 PM

Re: “It's Time To Overturn the State Ban on Rent Control

@ Jeff Diver,
You say, "Rent control has not provided a single unit of housing. What it does do is put the burden of affordability on the backs of owners of older buildings- which typically need more maintenance and have more expenses." I thought that there are provisions within the rent control ordinance to allow for extra rent increases when extra repairs are necessary?

Posted by Julie Pastore on 07/29/2017 at 8:08 PM

Re: “The Oakland Fence Saga

This matter is a perfect example of why the City of Oakland is dysfunctional, inefficient and unable to generally provide services that reasonable duty would warrant to its taxpayers. This reveals an agentic culture which lives in silos filled with excuses ready to defer responsibility yet protect egregiously ballooned public salaries.

Josh: What is the latest of this gulag in a Catch22?

Why does the City feel it needs to discourage citizen proactivity and quash contributions like this?

When will this change?
A: just after Musk finishes tunneling Hyperloops to LA, NY and DC, when he launches his first flying pigs.

Posted by Bennett Hall on 07/28/2017 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Young Professionals Only? Housemates Accuse Landlord of Rejecting Subtenant Applications in Hopes of Vacating Rent-Controlled Unit.

I can see both sides of this story -- that of the tenants who just want to get a new roommate, and that of the landlord, who just wants to control her own property. Both points of view have merit, but I believe that a person who owns a building can and should have more rights to decide who they rent to, than other renters in the building. AFter all it's not the renters who are renting out the bedroom, it's the landlord doing so. And she should be perfectly free to accept or turn down as many renters as she wants, without having to give a reason why.

The way I view this, if a landlord rents to a group of people, then if one of those moves out, she shouldn't have to rent the vacant room to anyone at all. If she wants to just leave it vacant and ask the remaining renters to make up the difference, that is her perogative as building owner. Her business contract was with the original group, and she's not obligated to enter into a new contract with anyone. Once all the members of that group leave, she can consider renting to another group, but it doesn't seem fair to require her to rent to anyone new while any members of the current group are still in residence.

PEople can and will throw around the word "discrimination", but as I see it, all that is doing is allowing renters to say "we have more ownership rights to your building than you do as the owner of the building." No. I see a lot of such fights going on now -- regarding who really owns the building, the tenants or the landlord -- and I think we have to resolve this with common sense and say no, it's not the tenants.

Moral of the story -- if you want control over your housing, it's good to be an owner and not a renter. I support creating more opportunities for tenants-in-common arrangements so more people who are now renters, can become owners or partner-owners of a property.

by the way...anyone paying $400 or even $600 in monthly rent nowadays in the Bay Area, should count themselves lucky rather than contact the media to complain about their landlord.

Posted by Alice Marshall on 07/27/2017 at 11:39 PM

Re: “East Bay Paratransit Bus System Leaves Drivers Broke and Riders Often Stranded

Sounds like a pretty typical outsourced, unsupervised operation. As public operations the Transit agencies that outsourced this need to be called to account for this and perhaps a revue of the contracts they've let to see if they were even plausible given the services to be provided.... And of course, as always, follow the money.

Who wants to make bets on investors in the French company?

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 07/27/2017 at 6:52 PM

Re: “East Bay Paratransit Bus System Leaves Drivers Broke and Riders Often Stranded

Paratransit was mandated by the ADA, so it ought to be operated by a governmental agency. Clearly the private sector is not up to the job. And why is it being run by a foreign company anyway? How about investigating giving the contract to Lyft?

Posted by jvla2 on 07/27/2017 at 2:30 PM

Re: “Young Professionals Only? Housemates Accuse Landlord of Rejecting Subtenant Applications in Hopes of Vacating Rent-Controlled Unit.

That's why you have a lease agreement, not month to month.

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 07/27/2017 at 2:10 PM

Re: “Young Professionals Only? Housemates Accuse Landlord of Rejecting Subtenant Applications in Hopes of Vacating Rent-Controlled Unit.

Mr. Mitchell- I'm with you. You own it- you decide who you can trust to meet their rent payment. It's not complicated. It's business. As more folks recognize that renting puts you at the mercy and discretion of a building owner in a rising real estate market, at some point you either have to change your housing situation to a homeowner OR move.

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 07/27/2017 at 2:06 PM

Re: “Young Professionals Only? Housemates Accuse Landlord of Rejecting Subtenant Applications in Hopes of Vacating Rent-Controlled Unit.

Well Mr. Blafard, All the emotional rants I now see are just you with your panties in a knot. Of course if you want to be saved by socialism it just goes to show what little initiative you have. Now if you are a struggling writer or some such thing is it up to a property owner to subsidize your rent? Apparently that is where you are!

Posted by Mike Mitchell on 07/27/2017 at 11:47 AM

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