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Re: “Plans for a 'New' Oakland Are Taking Shape, but Existing Residents Are Demanding More Equitable Development

There is no history in Oakland, or in America for that matter, that views existing diverse urban neighborhoods as having intrinsic value. Instead, they have always been seen as economic opportunities for the development community whose baseline approach was to destroy those neighborhoods and totally displace existing residents who, because of race and lower economic status, don't deserve a place at the table in the planning process. In the late 50's, Black residents of the Filmore District of SF had to sue the City in order to be included in the committee required to formulate the new plan under the Model Cities program. In Oakland, since the 60's, for the most part, the top levels of the Planning Department have been occupied by UC Berkeley planning school graduates whose inflated views of their own intelligence defined the City by floor area ratios and height requirements. Moreover, having no exposure, interest or connection to the broader Oakland flatland communities, concentrated the planning focus on downtown, Montclair, Rockridge and Jack London neighborhoods. Not surprisingly, almost all of the Planning Commissioners during those years also resided in those areas and many, if not most, were professionals at some level in land development. The blatant disregard at the top levels for the value of diverse neighborhoods and their populations has never been better illustrated than former Planning Director Rachael Flynn's statement that there was no housing crisis in Oakland. More concerning is that there was no response at all from the Mayor or City Council for that obvious disconnection with reality. In the recent E12 st housing debacle, it was only when the Eastlake neighborhood became involved that the community benefits conversations with the developer began to develop. There has to be sensitivity to these cultural diversity issues by City leadership in order for any plan to reflect those values in the process and the ultimate result. Currently, I see the Mayor and City Council members continuing to make backroom deals with developers and doing their best to bypass the neighbors.That is not a good sign for the immediate future.

Posted by Gary Patton on 06/23/2017 at 6:34 AM

Re: “Plans for a 'New' Oakland Are Taking Shape, but Existing Residents Are Demanding More Equitable Development

"adhocracy has had another important result: It showed a different kind of development is possible.... Except while it made those already in housed in Oakland feel they had control of their neighborhood(s) resulting in...:

The strategy was similar: delay and negotiate... While the homeless crises worsens as population pressures in the bay area rise.

The gaping holes existed well past the early 80's and on into the 90's.

While anti-displacement policies are wonderful, in no way does they address the needs and history of the community.

In East Oakland, not far from where I live there was a thriving merchant community in the 70's. Now, liquor stores, smoke shops or just boarded up store fronts are what those streets offer.... That didn't happen because of "urban redevelopment". It didn't happen because of "gentrification" or "developer domination" or "unjust planning decisions".

It happened because a desperate community allowed self serving pocket Boss Tweeds to offer tidbits of bread and circuses and illusions of "community control and pride" instead of jobs and education... And did it for decades!

We can't build a wall and keep "those people" out. We can't simply declare solutions by zoning them away. Nor can we simply demonize those who have in the past or or now want to invest in Oakland. People put money and effort in because they see a possible benefit. No one works for free, but somehow the activists expect others to do what they will not.

While we're at it, can get someone to plant a money tree in my back yard? I'd rather not go to work in the morning.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/22/2017 at 10:50 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Commanders Who Buried Sex-Crime Scandal Investigation Were Later Promoted

Yes, the entire thing is a total cesspool of corruption that has clearly been going on for a VERY long time, but what truly amazes me is that no one seems to have noticed, or at least have chosen to not mention, is the under aged womans connection to an OPD employee... In and of itself a possible trigger for an unlawful cover up. ALL of the implications of that connection, and not just the more obvious salacious ones that have attracted the most attention need investigation as well.

While evidence may have been deleted from her phone, no one made an attempt top obtain a subpena to retrieve it from the cellular carrier? And the monitor was completely unaware of the well covered issues of case until March 2016?! Was this individual in a cave?

I can't imagine there is anyone (let alone a city politician) who would not be overwhelmed and distracted by not just this the mess, but the entire wild west environment of Oakland.


Again, while wagging fingers may be satisfying for the moralists, specific direction is more useful for correcting the situation... Which they seem to have gotten.

Suggestions that multiple investigations might not have presented a hazard to ongoing criminal investigations seem to be naive at best, and given the authors past reporting on the subject, disingenuous.

Better written, but still shallow and biased.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/22/2017 at 10:10 PM

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

So they live in this apartment for 7 years on $1100 a month and they think they've been mis-treated? I would like to meet the landlord who can afford expensive repairs for mold and down-spouts on so little income and still pay property taxes and all the other fees, oh and lets not forget the fee to the rent board which more than DOUBLED this year!
It is sad that people are getting priced out of their homes but rents are not the only thing going up and up. Housing is really expensive and no laws or "protections" change that fact. Sooner or later, someone has to pay up.

Posted by Ilona Nesmith Clark on 06/22/2017 at 9:11 PM

Re: “Plans for a 'New' Oakland Are Taking Shape, but Existing Residents Are Demanding More Equitable Development

Specific plans generally allow development that Comports with the plan to bypAss costly, risky and time consuming CEQA studies. Community (and the City, if they care to) are wise to insist that this boon to developers not be granted without significant give-back.

Posted by Andy Nelsen 1 on 06/22/2017 at 7:49 PM

Re: “Protests, Arrests After Berkeley Approves Contentious Urban Shield Program

The political forces that you would like to know more about are not involved with traditional politics. You won't see them on TV and their faces will never be shown in the media. Neither will you hear of them on a radio interview, or a talk show for that matter. You wont find them serving the community, nor will you find them on any ballet. And even though they have managed to collect the most root of all evil (Money) still you won't see them on the top 10 richest list. That said, why is it that with the latest worlds top 10 richest list coming out we see Bill Gates as #1 with 88 billion, yet the Rothschild's have accounted for some 350 billion, and the Rockefeller's amassed some 340 Billion? The system is such that people this rich actually have indirect control down to as low as the community level. And their system is so brilliant that it could not have been created by humans alone. Im afraid these people have what has been traditionally referred to as the Devil, on their side. That's not to say that they are unbeatable though. : )

Posted by caliwebman on 06/22/2017 at 6:45 PM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Gentrification and the closure of Picán

it is true that such things as greed and gentrification do a lot to contribute to the drive of rent control in areas like oakland and richmond. but, since the whole issue of housing contributes to the drive of rent control also, the land lords should be required to allow a certain number or amount of units for 'affordable units' within a building without regard to whether the potential tenant is senior citizen, afdc, handicapped, low income, disabled, etc. the labels should cease. there should be affordable units in the buildings or complexes and not just a few, but forty or fifty percent of the units affordable. this would be a good drive for the control of rent. make the units available, period. to do this, make them affordable without the labels.

Posted by Estella Davis on 06/22/2017 at 6:32 PM

Re: “Oakland Metro Operahouse Claims Harassment by a Neighbor, Who Says the Music Venue is Breaking the Law

DIVERSITY means people with different points of view, backgrounds, lives etc. Unfortunately, as evident in Nat's comment, in Oakland it seems to means be like me, act like me, do what I do or shut heck up hater. Sucks so many people look at this situation as good vs evil instead of that everyone is living in the grey area and needs to work this out. I love the Metro, but they're in the wrong, too.

Posted by Matt_Chambers on 06/22/2017 at 4:31 PM

Re: “Oakland Metro Operahouse Claims Harassment by a Neighbor, Who Says the Music Venue is Breaking the Law

Dear Mark Kraft: you obviously don't know very much about code compliance. A cabaret license is the exact license nightclubs are required to get.

Posted by Sarah Lockhart on 06/22/2017 at 1:12 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Commanders Who Buried Sex-Crime Scandal Investigation Were Later Promoted

I'm convinced that OPD's 'Deep State' is simply waiting out Judge Henderson, who is 83 years old. His death or retirement will mark the end of the Department's wheel-spinning efforts to 'look busy', after which they will return to their normal state of being corrupt as f**k and proud of it.

Posted by John Seal on 06/22/2017 at 12:51 PM

Re: “Oakland Metro Operahouse Claims Harassment by a Neighbor, Who Says the Music Venue is Breaking the Law

Shame on that Xavier guy as well, an absolute traitor and sell-out of the highest caliber. How can you be surprised that your scene friends have ostracized you when you've betrayed them in the most literal way possible? Shame that the charlatan Paley and his dirty money have corrupted another former member of Oakland's REAL creative community.

Posted by Max Chanowitz on 06/22/2017 at 11:57 AM

Re: “Oakland Metro Operahouse Claims Harassment by a Neighbor, Who Says the Music Venue is Breaking the Law

Brad Paley: yet another douchey money mogul with an over-inflated ego that thinks he can buy his way to "cool", and deserves to steamroll over any of the pesky Little People that get in the way of his Genius Vision. How many of these insufferable guys are there in the Bay Area, trying to ruin the fun for the rest of us? It never ends!

His vision for those knockoff TED talk "lecture parties" sound like a smug nightmare, I can only imagine how arrogant and self-congratulatory the crowd there might be! Paley, my boy, don't you know there's already a great venue for rich, pompous, self-described "Intellectuals" to jerk each other off over how Smart and Important they are? It's called San Francisco! Kindly fuck off to the other side of the Bay and leave our Metro alone.

Posted by Max Chanowitz on 06/22/2017 at 11:47 AM

Re: “Oakland Metro Operahouse Claims Harassment by a Neighbor, Who Says the Music Venue is Breaking the Law

Does anyone know why The Metro left their old 3rd street space? Was it rent? Seems like the isolation of the old space was a bit better to me. And just to put it out there, it really broke my heart when the metro blacked out the ricky henderson mural. That mural meant so much to so many people and was the only mural on 3rd street. Nevertheless, i hope the metro remains open, for the sake of oakland punk/metal community.

Posted by Adan Ortega on 06/22/2017 at 10:17 AM

Re: “Protests, Arrests After Berkeley Approves Contentious Urban Shield Program

What this Council meeting demonstrated beyond all doubt was that public comments at Berkeley City Council meetings are merely a form of false empowerment. Council members pretend to listen, or listen for comments supporting their positions, but comments against their predetermined positions are totally ignored. This meeting had 400+ people showing up and nearly all were against the militarization of police. In the 3-4 hours of public comment, only two people voiced support for police militarization. As with the previous Bates Council, the fix was in, the vote predetermined. Berkeley public meetings are a farce. It will take a major effort on the Council's part regain the public trust and demonstrate they are actually a representative body who listens.

I'd like to know more about the political forces that determine how the Council arrives at their predetermined votes. Who are the lobbyists who have the Council's ears? Are Council members so dependent on staff bureaucracy that staff can dictate how to vote? Or are there political groups whose influence the Council fears more than the voting public. In this most recent case it seems clear that Council members that voted for police militarization do not have the courage to stand up to the police prison industrial complex. One of the primary lobbying groups for this growth industry is the Police Officers Association (POA). One question to ask our Council members is how much are they influenced by fear of POA money and influence. What political calculation are they making?

Police lobbying groups have far too much influence on government. (https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/the-per…) They promote a culture of police secrecy and impunity, rallying to protect officers in scandal after scandal. A representative scandal is the recent sex crime scandal in Oakland. (https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/oak…) If we are ever to reform our police and create less repressive community policing that is answerable to the public, we must deal with this lobbying force. This lobbying is driven by investor interest in growing the police-prison industrial complex. That complex now imprisons citizens at more than 5 times the rate of the rest of the world. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/world/am…) Perhaps it is time to take a look at police lobbyists and who funds them.

Posted by James McFadden on 06/22/2017 at 9:56 AM

Re: “Oakland Police Commanders Who Buried Sex-Crime Scandal Investigation Were Later Promoted

Well, look on the bright side. Our new Department of Violence Prevention is going to hire a few new overpaid city employees who will propose a range of feel-good projects that will need still more funding. Then all of them will be ineffective against such a profoundly corrupt police and city leadership. Oh, did I say bright side? Oakland is deader and less hopeful than ever.

Posted by Mike Elwin on 06/22/2017 at 9:39 AM

Re: “Oakland City Council Passes Divisive Proposal to Establish Violence Prevention Department

It seems to me that the sharks in the city's political machines are frantic to grab the increased city budget made possible by our real estate boom. A project like this useless department will produce a number of high-paying jobs with ridiculous expenses for things like crime-fighting conferences in Tahiti. Oakland has become more shameful than ever.

Posted by Mike Elwin on 06/22/2017 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Oakland City Council Passes Divisive Proposal to Establish Violence Prevention Department

Mr. Montague is clearly unaware of the massive reduction in violence in Richmond achieved over a five year period from 2005 to 2010 that they accomplished by NOT utilizing any of his recommendations.

Posted by j! on 06/22/2017 at 8:37 AM

Re: “Oakland Police Commanders Who Buried Sex-Crime Scandal Investigation Were Later Promoted

No surprise here. Mayor Schaaf and the City Administrator are on many levels over their heads in leading this city. It was obvious that Schaaf was more focused on the photo op of feigned outrage at the cops boys club out of control than she was about actually finding out what happened. When the warehouse fire came along, it was easy to pivot her attention because that was the story on the front pages. Her inexperience was evident because she did not understand that when you are at the top of the food chain as Mayor, you have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. The City Administrator has yet to demonstrate anything other than her ability to walk in a straight line behind Schaaf to the podium at news conferences. Even after this case, the ghost ship fire, the other warehouse fire on San Pablo and chaos in leadership in the Fire dept, Landreth's silence is deafening. Now there is a new Police Chief and so far she has shown the public absolutely nothing to demonstrate her competence or leadership. It looks like leadership in City Hall is now a girls club, which would be fine if they were qualified and competent. That does not seem to be the case.

Posted by Gary Patton on 06/22/2017 at 8:34 AM

Re: “Oakland Metro Operahouse Claims Harassment by a Neighbor, Who Says the Music Venue is Breaking the Law

When will these bozos get it? This is a city of Diversity! This is Oakland. This is us. The kids that longed to see other people express themselves in a no holds barred kind of way. The sounds, the excitement of being around the music and people that are deemed as different or dark or whatever:) For years people have traveled here hoping to see it all! Growing up in any small town in the us or elsewhere Oakland has long been a haven for artists, musicians, poets, light teachers, freak lovers of life and so on. There will always be an opposition to this in mainstream society. Always. There will always be some shady little creep with an overinflated sense of ego and a little money in the bank that owns a building or two that's very jealous he's not getting all the attention. Who goes out of his way to try and take culture away from kids and there community like that? A very unsavory individual that's who. Seems he likes to throw parties too so he's a bit "social" himself. This Paley guy is pretty much making a very big mistake by being so indecent and ridiculous as to putting the community at risk of losing a very much needed music venue. There's been countless times where some prick comes along buys up a whole block and poof done deal. This poor excuse thinks by hiring old school punk dudes that will give him credibility as well. That's pretty standard I suppose. But as a former artist and patron himself, to go out of your way, for a paycheck, to get rid of what and who you once were is the absolute bottom. It's everything that's wrong with the Bay Area now. And it's enough. I hate to say it, but Khama is very real. You have to put out what you want that's all real and good and that will come back to you! It's not coincidence when someone loses everything because they fought so hard to wrongfully take from others. Adolf Hitler comes to mind. And a few others as well. These types don't have a place in society so they buy one. But that doesn't ensure yourself a place forever. I think our actions as people show who we are and what we are about as an individual. And I hope that like other venues that have had these kinds of run ins, the venue holds some benefit shows to help raise funds for there situation. It might be a good idea to look for a space that's a little more secluded as well to protect your rights. Because as a venue they do have the right to not be constantly under scrutiny and the watchful eye of this mental dude Paley. He's grown himself a very unhealthy obsession with destroying something he's obviously jealous of and has no qualms about digging in his cookie jar whenever he gets that neurotic curiosity pang to interrupt as he finds necessary. This venue needs immediate protection and I hope all the patrons realize they should be more thoughtful and not provoke the other neighbors so as they don't also follow suit. I think we can agree that a good place near the waterfront is great place to have a music venue. In all city's in California north and south we have grown up frequenting music venues, variety shows, comedy clubs, and other establishments as well. As a free society we work or maybe not:) We and our children go to these places to release energy and hit our reset button. And to just exist outside the norm. To socialize and flirt maybe giggle a bit and throw on some outrageous outfit! How on earth could we be slaves all week and not have a place to go and relax. And float around. And twirl in the moonlight afterwards hoping you meet the singer for Black Flag or meet a new friend to play music with perhaps. People don't try to come here because they give one rats shit about some prick with a bank accounts petty behavior, but to enjoy! You can't take enjoyment away from a very free thinking and strong minded group that's when the real problems begin. Cheers!

Posted by Nat J Caudillo on 06/22/2017 at 8:02 AM

Re: “Oakland Metro Operahouse Claims Harassment by a Neighbor, Who Says the Music Venue is Breaking the Law

Also, yeah... Ben Delaney is an assh*le.

"Frankly, hes a carpetbagger...", he says of Professor Paley, who went to Berkeley in the '70s, got his start around here as a digital artist before working on visualization, interface, and design, who lived in the East Bay most of his life, owns a house in the East Bay, and is a distinguished artist and professor, who has had his digital art featured in MOMA and at The Whitney...

No, seriously. F*CK BEN DELANEY. And screw Sam Lefebvre for this seriously unbalanced POS article, written to please one of the East Bay Express' major advertisers.

Posted by Mark Kraft on 06/22/2017 at 7:56 AM

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