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Re: “Oakland Expends Considerable Money and Person-Power Displacing Homeless Residents, According to City Records

What sort of "treatment" are you talking about, Mr. Ferrell? Institutionalization? The endless merry-go-round of 12-step meetings touted by the "recovery" industry? As I already wrote, "Problems that involve drug use or mental illness are complex, and any solutions are sure to be controversial -- if the implicit issues can ever be settled, and if truly effective and universally accepted 'treatment' even exists."

Meanwhile, we face two immediate crises: the metastasizing spread of tent encampments throughout Oakland (especially in the flats), and the depletion of low-income housing. While these issues reflect urgent physical needs, we're misdirecting attention and diverting scarce resources to dubious (and potentially coercive) interventions in "homeless lives."

We need to approach these two crises with respect for those affected, rather than viewing them as helpless victims in need of dubious (and expensive) "services," or as pawns in a political game. A dedicated campground isn't a ghetto; it's a campground: a place for someone who's acquired a tent to pitch camp until he or she either commits to a nomadic existence (in whatever locale seems most suitable and hospitable), or sets his/her sights on another way of life. At least it's an alternative to "criminalization."

As for "teaching them to fish"? These days, those who'd "teach them to fish" would typically charge a licensing fee for the gear, and demand a royalty on every fish they caught (which would, in turn, fund the training and salaries of new "teachers"). Instead, how's about giving them a rod and reel; ingenuity (and talking to others on the pier [i.e., seeking out wisdom and making connections]) should take care of the rest.

This ain't rocket science! Fire the bureaucrats and social workers, and provide for real, physical needs.

We need to develop housing for THOUSANDS of people (and set aside a place where they can camp out in the meantime, especially those who've burned all their bridges to friends who might otherwise help). Instead, we inflict encampments on neighborhoods of the housed while we build a "navigation center" designed to "connect them with services" -- but that can actually house only 150!

150? That would be a joke, if it weren't such a scandal. That's where we end up when, instead of focusing on immediate, practical problems -- the actual crisis that we face -- we become mired in trying to reshape other people's lives.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 06/01/2017 at 11:57 PM

Re: “City of Oakland ‘Bulldozer’ Hit A Homeless Man While He Was Sleeping In A Tent

Thank you for writing this, Nick. It's clear to me that the City of Oakland is not doing it's due diligence to take care of its citizens, and in this case was egregious in their misconduct. It's clear that a tent with a person and their belongings inside isn't garbage.

What I have seen is that most encampment residents work hard to out all the garbage in one place, and that the city has not been collecting garbage from the camps. Imagine if the city didn't pick up your household waste for's an unimaginable nightmare that the city has seen before during strikes.

Get it together, Oakland. Treat residents kindly and fairly and utilize the city services to help rather than harm.

Posted by Nanci Armstrong-Temple on 06/01/2017 at 10:47 PM

Re: “City of Oakland ‘Bulldozer’ Hit A Homeless Man While He Was Sleeping In A Tent

Well, Valerie, I guess this IS trash collection. How is it that the trash became so intermixed into the personal effects of the inhabitants that it became easy to mistake one from another? I know if someone came by and dumped garbage on MY living area, I'd either shift my living area so that it's clear illegally dumped stuff isn't mine or move the illegally dumped stuff doesn't mingle with what's mine. Naaaa... Let's just blame some hypothetical person. It's SO much easier.

Have you ever watched a fully loaded cart being used to haul stuff down the street? A truly amazing tribute to human endeavor. Humans have been using muscle power and minimal "machines" to move fairly large loads for thousands of years.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/01/2017 at 10:03 PM

Re: “City of Oakland ‘Bulldozer’ Hit A Homeless Man While He Was Sleeping In A Tent

Where are the inhabitants supposed to put the trash from the encampment if there is no regular trash collection? And it's not clear that some of it isn't illegal dumping by people taking advantage of the unsupervised nature of the areas where the encampments are. If you look at the stuff, lots of the bulky items are things the people in the encampments could not have carried there.

Posted by Valerie Winemiller on 06/01/2017 at 9:04 PM

Re: “Oakland Officials Question Police Partnerships with Federal Immigration Agents and FBI

Libby and the Oakland City Council need to take immediate action to keep ICE out of Oakland. They would not allow a federal agency to come terrorize Mountclarions, so they should leave the backdoor open for these bullies to come in and harass and arrest immigrants and POC. LIbby and and Annie say, they are all about justice and fairness, time to put your policies where you say your values are.

Posted by Ann Nomura on 06/01/2017 at 7:40 PM

Re: “So You Want to Start a Food Business

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Posted by KimberlyLisa11111 on 06/01/2017 at 7:07 PM

Re: “Amid Calls to 'Defund' Oakland Police, City Settles $989,000 Claim of Sexually Exploited Teen 'Celeste Guap'

> Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf characterized the settlement as a
> quick and fair resolution...

God I can't wait to vote her out of office.

Posted by John Michaels Grabowski on 06/01/2017 at 6:09 PM

Re: “City of Oakland ‘Bulldozer’ Hit A Homeless Man While He Was Sleeping In A Tent

Lets see... 160 cubic yards (to use the smallest figure quoted). What can that mean? It could mean a debris field about 3 feet deep, 3 feet wide and 18 feet long. That's a hell of a lot of trash accumulated in one location! I doubt it was really that compact, but we can set that aside for now.

What are the implications of this? Hmmm... Home for vermin? (rats, mice, roaches and any other disease ridden creepy crawlies we can think of in an urban environment). Sound like anything you want anyone living around? Not me.

How about just simple paper and other burnable junk... Had some fires that wiped out a tent city recently, didn't we? People hurt? Wonder how that happened, huh?

As to the use of industrial equipment to clear it... How many back breaking human (expensive) man hours would it take to clean it otherwise? Yeah, the equipment operators need to be a LOT more careful but it's disingenuous to paint this as anything but what needs to be done.

Since all the "stuff" didn't accumulate itself, it's equally clear the inhabitants aren't doing much to clear it themselves.

I don't have a good solution, but more care needs to be taken on the part of all parties.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/01/2017 at 5:47 PM

Re: “Cherry Festival In San Leandro

Plant some cherry trees on City Hall property!

Posted by Phil Allen on 06/01/2017 at 4:13 PM

Re: “Amid Calls to 'Defund' Oakland Police, City Settles $989,000 Claim of Sexually Exploited Teen 'Celeste Guap'

Is the 43% solving the existing crime problem, Vincent? Hell no. That's obvious. Cutting funding for law enforcement guarantees more crime and more dead bodies in the streets. That's no solution either. Nor does it directly solve widening income disparity or fix the six inch deep holes in the roads (that result in expensive repairs for businesses and residents)

The resulting crime and violence DOES make Oakland unattractive for things that would bring in needed dollars for schools, libraries, fire department and all of the other services.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/01/2017 at 3:24 PM

Re: “A New Oakland A's Ballpark: Our Writer Looks At The Good, The Bad, And The Unknown Of Three Rumored Sites

@Bruce Ferrell

Your comment is short sighted at best. The A's have committed to a privately financed stadium now for a while. Yes, they will get some support re land and infrastructure that will benefit the ENTIRE CITY.

The stadium has the chance to reinvigorate the city and CREATE jobs and tax revenue and be a source of civic pride. The city needs to expand it's tax base, and a new A's stadium in a location that can draw in the casual sports fan creates a ripple effect in the source of tax collars that help all of the issues that you listed above. While I've yet to see an official report, my guess is a ballpark in HT would generate far more jobs (restaurants, stadium employees, construction to improve transport from BART to the park) than would be lost at the port. It's not like new port companies are lining up to use HT...

Posted by Damon M on 06/01/2017 at 10:51 AM

Re: “Berkeley To Consider Banning Plastic Straws

Hey Carl, crawl back in your Trump Hole

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 06/01/2017 at 10:39 AM

Re: “Amid Calls to 'Defund' Oakland Police, City Settles $989,000 Claim of Sexually Exploited Teen 'Celeste Guap'

Hey Bruce, Oakland spends 43% of its budget on OPD. 43%. Not helping, is it? Why not 100%? That will, of course, take care of all the crime, right? Close up that widening income gap, bring jobs in, etc. We don't need libraries, the fire dept, schools, good roads... More police= no crime, right? Riiigghhhttt....

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 06/01/2017 at 10:35 AM

Re: “A New Oakland A's Ballpark: Our Writer Looks At The Good, The Bad, And The Unknown Of Three Rumored Sites

I'd go for the Laney College site. Real inner City location. Great pedestrian and transit access. Great views of Lake Merritt. Shared use by Laney College students.

Posted by bayarched98 on 06/01/2017 at 10:06 AM

Re: “For Colored Girls … at Odell Johnson Performing Arts Center

Thank you for your this!!! <3

Posted by Nann Rae Tsehay on 06/01/2017 at 9:38 AM

Re: “A New Oakland A's Ballpark: Our Writer Looks At The Good, The Bad, And The Unknown Of Three Rumored Sites

Go A's! You can have some of my tax money if you need it.

Posted by John Seal on 06/01/2017 at 9:06 AM

Re: “A New Oakland A's Ballpark: Our Writer Looks At The Good, The Bad, And The Unknown Of Three Rumored Sites

I'm happy if the A's build a stadium with private money. Not one penny of public money, property, or tax rebates is to be involved.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 06/01/2017 at 8:22 AM

Re: “Oakland Expends Considerable Money and Person-Power Displacing Homeless Residents, According to City Records

Hey Mitchell Halberstadt... "...a neighborhood of their own". Isn't that called a ghetto by classic definition?

And Mr Cervantes, I came up and out those streets and populations. That's why I mentioned trying it for yourself. I did.

We're dealing with people suffering from mental and emotional difficulties... Yeah, I like difficulties better than problems. Many have been there for decades. Yes, some lost jobs and were evicted and/or were priced out. A lot more are there because of their "difficulties", and yet again, there is NO MONEY in Oakland for services for them, Anything that would bring in money is decried as gentrification.

Evictions are really the least of the problem, but it IS smugly satisfying to point that finger. Zero tolerance isn't an answer either. That just means criminalizing not being able to maintain.

Treatment is paramount... Not the half-baked type of thing that recently burned down on San Pablo Avenue. Had that been correctly run and supervised, the cause of the fire would not have been needed (candles). The fire control system would have been insisted upon by the "operator" from the property owner; mandated by city inspection of a treatment facility.

No, that was a scam shepherded by city council members to fleece needy people of what little they had while providing little more than a dangerous roof and an opportunity for "Tammany Hall" council members to make political points and reward neighborhood cronies.

Once treatment happens, then training/education needs to happen. Teach them to fish...

Until then, all that is being done is to "distribute fish"... Until the fish run out.

It takes money to do those things. Money that Oakland has been wasting for decades while slowing bleeding to death and self serving crypto-anarchists/activists trash the streets, driving businesses out.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/01/2017 at 7:53 AM

Re: “A New Oakland A's Ballpark: Our Writer Looks At The Good, The Bad, And The Unknown Of Three Rumored Sites

This is ridiculous. NO public money for professional sports in Oakland/Alameda county!

Not until crime, unemployment and infrastructure is dealt with should things like even be entertained.

Locations that impact neighborhoods (Laney), Jobs (the port) have no business being talked about.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/01/2017 at 7:19 AM

Re: “Amid Calls to 'Defund' Oakland Police, City Settles $989,000 Claim of Sexually Exploited Teen 'Celeste Guap'

Oakland crime problems are long standing. The council uses them to make grandstand plays while doing nothing about them except grandstanding.

Lets see... R. Kaplan how many terms of office? (not just her current AT LARGE position). How many for Brooks? McElhaney?... And it's the mayor who's corrupt?! Who has been in office longer?

The "community" keeps electing them to get their neighborhood "payoffs".

As long as that continues, street cops will get burned out and just not care anymore and just see the job as a means to "get theirs"... By any means necessary.

OPD officers should have been enforcing the law. They should NOT have been facilitating and taking advantage. No argument.

Doesn't it strike ANYONE else as odd that a family member of an OPD employee is at the center of this whole mess?

The fact that she was under age grants her an impenetrable shield of a immunity.

Isn't that in and of itself odd? And this perfect storm "just happened" and it all the cops fault?

I'm not fan of cops, but this whole thing has reeked from day one and the stink just keeps getting worse.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/01/2017 at 7:12 AM

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