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Re: “Mapping Oakland's Fires

OK, the fires cluster where code violations are rampant. what does that suggest?

Solutions anyone?

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 08/21/2017 at 5:17 PM

Re: “Loopholes in ADA Law Make "No Pets" Clauses Nearly Impossible to Enforce

It seems 99% of people are animal lovers. Animals in cars, in stores, in restaurants, etc. Not fair to people that have allergies to animals. Try finding an apt animal free now. Almost impossible! People always think just because they love animals that you do and let them jump on you. I am fed up with the barking, dog doo, smell, etc from the animals and I am living in an expensive apartment building. I have been looking for a smoke free, animal free nice apt but can't find one anywhere. People with animals have all the rights.

Posted by sandyleec on 08/20/2017 at 9:10 AM

Re: “How a Billionaire-Funded, Anti-Union Think Tank in Nevada Shapes Bay Area News Media Coverage of Public Employee Pay

Why only comments from union types and supporters? Why no comments from Robert Fellner himself? He is easily found and user friendly. What happened to objective journalism? Annika, you should do a follow up?

Posted by on 08/16/2017 at 10:16 PM

Re: “Group Calls for Oakland Animal Services to Lower Euthanasia Rate, But Administrators and Allies Say Shelter is Best it’s Been in Years

Ive been volunteering at Oakland Animal Services for the past five months and have experienced such a different portrayal of the shelter than what's depicted in your article. Dogs are cared for with compassion, by not only the staff, but by the many volunteers. In fact, I believe in this organization so much that I drive across the bridge from Marin just to help out. I am surprised by the comment that stated OAS doesn't give pit bulls a fair chance. If you look on the OAS Facebook page or Instagram, you'll see many pit bulls being promoted, and if you come to the shelter in person, you'll see quite a few up for adoption. Their lower adoption rate isn't due to the shelter, but the stigma attached to the breed. Our new foster coordinator has been very responsive to the needs of the dogs, especially those who take longer to find their forever homes. Additionally, OAS is an open admissions shelter which means that they take in all animals, unlike other organizations that can be selective. I would encourage people to come to the shelter, or to one of OAS's off-site adoption events to see for themselves. Maybe they'll be compelled to volunteer, or perhaps even fall in love with a pit bull!

Posted by marjorie bukowski on 08/16/2017 at 2:07 PM

Re: “How a Billionaire-Funded, Anti-Union Think Tank in Nevada Shapes Bay Area News Media Coverage of Public Employee Pay

The writer is upset that the taxpayers have found out that they are being blatantly ripped off by their hired help, so she's demanding that the facts be hidden? Oh really!

It is an undeniable fact that most of our public servants would earn significantly less in the private sector than they're taking from the taxpayers and it is also an undeniable fact that we could get exponentially more and better service for a fraction of the cost by privatizing most of our public services. Those are facts. Our public servants are quite blatantly stealing from us.

We've got freaking meter maids in Berkeley earning a total of $125k+ in compensation (look it up). We've got a former police officer (Cary Kent) - collecting $70k/year in pension benefits from the taxpayers after being CONVICTED of a FELONY for stealing drugs from the evidence locker. The list of fraud and abuse of the taxpayer by the public service unions is a long one and it goes on and on.

So yes, obviously the proper response is to blame the folks who are bringing transparency and shining the light onto these cockroaches! No. The answer is more light, more transparency, and yes - complete privatization of our public services because we can absolutely get a LOT more for a lot LESS money.

The numbers are undeniably clear that we can both significantly cut taxes in the Bay Area while getting a LOT more public service and actually taking care of our people.

As for the claim above - regarding the former officer Cary Kent, here are the details:…………

Posted by Vladislav Davidzon on 08/15/2017 at 2:23 PM

Re: “Group Calls for Oakland Animal Services to Lower Euthanasia Rate, But Administrators and Allies Say Shelter is Best it’s Been in Years

Im concerned that this article leaves the reader with a false impression about the increase in euthanasia of dogs at OAS. By comparing the overall euthanasia rate of 15% from your Oct 2015 reporting to the 23.8% rate for only dogs in the first half 2017, the reader is left with the impression that euthanasia of dogs has increased dramatically, but this is not completely accurate. It should be clear that it is not proper to compare the overall rate from one period, which includes cats and all other animals, to the dog-only rate for another period.

I also looked at the data, and found that the transfer and adoption rates (43% and 15%) for dogs were essentially unchanged between the first half of 2017 and the same period in 2016. The euthanasia rate for dogs increased less than 2%, from 22.4% to 23.8% between the two periods. Like anyone, I too would prefer to see more animals being saved, but the facts do not support the narrative that there was some dramatic shift to killing more dogs at OAS. Those who wish to see positive changes at the shelter - and this includes myself - must start from an honest understanding of the data.

With transfer, adoption, and euthanasia rates nearly unchanged, the noticeable increase in empty dog kennels at the shelter turns out be due to reduced length of stay and reduced intake, just like director Katz stated. Intake of dogs is down slightly, and as the article reported length of stay has been dramatically reduced due to operational improvements at the shelter. If fewer dogs are coming in, and they are staying for a shorter period of time, it follows that there will be fewer dogs in the shelter population.

Posted by Andrew Dorman on 08/14/2017 at 7:30 PM

Re: “Sheriff Debates Faith Leaders on Immigration, Urban Shield

Sounds to me as if the sheriff went there to TELL what the office if going to do under his leadership not listen to the community concerns.

Not too surprising as the Alameda County Sheriffs Department was the only law enforcement agency, then Governor, Ronald Reagan was able to mobilize during the campus "unrest" in the late 60's.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 08/12/2017 at 12:03 PM

Re: “How a Billionaire-Funded, Anti-Union Think Tank in Nevada Shapes Bay Area News Media Coverage of Public Employee Pay

Par for the course, these privatization privateers (aka legal pirates) are relentless. All day every day they funell millions of dollars into attacks and hiring trolls to parrot faux outrage against "the evil government."
Don't be fooled. All they want is your money, they're using your resentment, prejudice, and abger to get it.

Posted by Patrick Mastrobuono on 08/11/2017 at 6:43 PM

Re: “How a Billionaire-Funded, Anti-Union Think Tank in Nevada Shapes Bay Area News Media Coverage of Public Employee Pay

Seems like Transparent California is also paying commentators to gripe on any articles where they are being uncovered ;)

Posted by Patrick Mastrobuono on 08/11/2017 at 6:40 PM

Re: “How a Billionaire-Funded, Anti-Union Think Tank in Nevada Shapes Bay Area News Media Coverage of Public Employee Pay

Simply a amazing article where the "reporter"... essentially suggests that the public is better off NOT KNOWING the facts about how much they are paying public employees or how high the pensions are for such employees.
Incredible that she would imply that newspapers, and other media outlets not have access to such information that can be passed onto the public.
I suppose this same reporter would banish the Brown Act that guarantees the public's right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies.
Yes lets hide the actions, budgets, and salaries of all government workers from the taxpayers who pay the way.
Secrecy in government is best... Public can't be trusted in understanding the facts. Just leave it all up to the politicians and public employees like in Bell California...
Sheesh... this article deserves some kind of prize for for the "Most anti-free press" article of the year.

Posted by Dan de'Data on 08/11/2017 at 1:03 AM

Re: “How a Billionaire-Funded, Anti-Union Think Tank in Nevada Shapes Bay Area News Media Coverage of Public Employee Pay

This is a hack argument that attacks the messenger rather than the veracity of the data. I mean, the Koch brothers funded Wonder Woman too. Treasury Secretary and key Trump advisor Steven Mnuchin was an executive producer. Does that mean that we should stop taking our daughters to see it?

More information is good, and I'm happy that the Koch brothers are doing it rather than our time-crunched, cost-cutting newspapers (the Bay Area News Group used to perform the public records requests before Transparent California took over) or on an ad hoc basis by random citizens. The reason this information is public, which the writer failed to note, is because of the Bell scandal, where city manager Robert Rizzo and his crony Angela Spaccia collectively cost taxpayers of the poor city over a million a year, and lied to residents by giving them a forged document with his contract at $1 a page. Some city managers actually found that Transparent California raised employee compensation since unions could easily look up what their peers were making and ask for more. So I don't see how the data affects anything. you can choose to draw your own conclusions, but the NPRI's data is neutral.

Posted by Henry Fung on 08/10/2017 at 7:11 PM

Re: “How a Billionaire-Funded, Anti-Union Think Tank in Nevada Shapes Bay Area News Media Coverage of Public Employee Pay

What unmitigated garbage in this 'article' - more like an SEIU opinion piece. The arrival of entities such as Transparent California - and there are many, many more - are due to a growing pension debt approaching $1 TRILLION in California alone. Most of the public was unaware of how this could happen, until the salaries, pensions and benefits became available for all to see.

Unions are furious, of course. What was previously a secret is now common knowledge, and that knowledge has led to some major research into public pension systems and their drain on taxpayers. End of story. To have printed this article is an insult to people's intelligence. Who is funding YOU?

Posted by Jody Morales on 08/10/2017 at 10:59 AM

Re: “How a Billionaire-Funded, Anti-Union Think Tank in Nevada Shapes Bay Area News Media Coverage of Public Employee Pay

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Posted by tiana katherine on 08/09/2017 at 7:19 PM

Re: “Group Calls for Oakland Animal Services to Lower Euthanasia Rate, But Administrators and Allies Say Shelter is Best it’s Been in Years

As a former volunteer whose plans to return have been dashed due to current mismanagement, I am heartbroken. Director Katz showed great promise upon her arrival at OAS which makes its present irresponsible conduct that much harder to swallow. I don't doubt that cats and smaller dogs are being rescued at a quick pace, but big dogs, esp. pit bulls, do not seem to be given a fair shot. Expert behaviorists and evaluators should be a core element in a shelter--they literally make life or death decisions. A robust foster program and support for foster parents is also a key element that is missing. I am disappointed, disgusted and heartbroken and hope Katz will quickly shake off her shocking negligence of Oakland's homeless dogs and engage in constructive dialogue with her critics.

Posted by Stephanie Rubin on 08/08/2017 at 11:40 PM

Re: “Group Calls for Oakland Animal Services to Lower Euthanasia Rate, But Administrators and Allies Say Shelter is Best it’s Been in Years

I pull dogs from OAS for rescue's and have seen a huge improvement in the dogs from OAS coming out of the shelter in much better condition during Rebecca Katz' tenure at OAS. 3-5 years ago, almost every dog I pulled from OAS was very sick with kennel cough, Giardia, pneumonia and worse - it was awful. The last year has gotten so much better, almost every dog I pull has been healthy. Last weekend I helped pull 24 dogs to go on transport up to Embrace a Discarded Animal Society - in Washington and none of the dogs were sick. That would have never been the case 3-4 years ago.

I also foster for the shelter and the last two dogs I fostered were spayed /neutered, fully vaccinated and microchipped by the shelter vet, prior to coming to my home. This also never used to be the case.

In my opinion, while the shelter is still not perfect, it's much better than it has ever been in the past 7 years that I have been involved with them. The entire management team and all of the current volunteers seem very committed to doing right by the animals and improving the conditions for the animals while they are in their care. This is just my humble opinion, but I've seen vast improvements in the last 2-3 years.
Cindy Douglas
Paws Crossed Small Dog Rescue

Posted by Cindy Douglas on 08/07/2017 at 10:18 PM

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

So... It seems EBX is ONLY concerned by wrong doing by the OPD, not wrongs done IO the community BY the community. Nor, it would seem, is the city council the EBX sockpuppets for.

In this same "issue" I see one member of the council is up for corruption and EBX is ONLY concerned about the amount needed for the defense.

Not a word from EBX on the swarm attacks or general lawlessness in the streets of Oakland.

VERY community oriented EBX.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 08/07/2017 at 9:33 PM

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

The Progressives have ruined California with their liberal anything goes platform. Paganism at its finest, yea right!

Posted by Mike Mitchell on 08/05/2017 at 4:23 PM

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

I worked at the Alta Bates campus in berkeley about 7-10 years ago. This was the same at that time. Obviously there needs to be changes made, but nothing is going to happen anytime soon. Until the owners are ready to make the changes, unfortunately these problems will not get addressed. SMH I feel so sorry for the people who have to depend on these agencies to get where they need to go. Maybe an agency needs to supply thr people who need transport, vouchers for Lyft..I bet they would get better service!

Posted by Ingrid Sweet on 08/05/2017 at 11:27 AM

Re: “Letters of The Week: People are Rallying Support for Zion I

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Posted by Nicole Marie on 08/04/2017 at 6:44 PM

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