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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 ahb1027@yahoo.com 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: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BERK…
http://transparentcalifornia.com/pensions/…
http://transparentcalifornia.com/pensions/…
http://transparentcalifornia.com/pensions/…

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

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