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Comment Archives: stories: Blogs

Re: “New Documentary Focuses on West Oakland’s Blues Legacy

I would very much like to see this film. I was a kid when all of this was going on. But my brother played/plays guitar and is friends with many of these people and one of his friends bought the Continental Club and tried to revive it the 70's. If you are looking for distribution I would very much like to consider working with you just because of the subject matter.
Atron Gregory email: TNTREC@AOL.COM

Posted by Atron Gregory on 09/27/2017 at 8:28 AM

Re: “Oakland Has a New Two-Year Budget, but Only After a Night of Divisive Infighting

The defunding of illegal dumping cleanups is starting to bite. Responses that were slow - the weeks elapsing between reporting each individual pile of trash on seeclickfix.com and seeing any corrective action - have become even slower. Profuse and stinking heaps of garbage are starting to make some neighborhoods in Oakland resemble Kolkatta during a garbage strike.

Posted by Andrew Werby on 09/26/2017 at 11:59 PM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

I am certain this is only a fraction of the kind of dehumanization, bigotry and racism that goes on with the involved parties, especially w/in Urban Shield. Militarization of our communities does not and will not address violence. Violence prevention programs need to be funded and implemented in the Alameda County, not Urban Shield. Go to PreventionInstitute.org for more information.

Posted by Հասմիկ Գեղամյան on 09/26/2017 at 10:00 PM

Re: “Attorneys Tell Federal Judge OPD Commanders Should Still be Disciplined for Mishandling Sex Crimes Case

Chief Kirkpatrick has repeatedly stated that bad culture trumps good policy,every time every time. Lois and Holmgren are not just part of the bad culture, but the leaders of it. Holmgren, I believe, is one of the third rail untouchables in OPD who makes sure that fellow officers (and himself, of course) will never be disciplined. The agrument that Whent was protecting former Chief Whent (very much not part of the OPD bad culture inner circle) is fantasy. Swanson report is done, but hope investigative journalists will keep digging to determine whether or not threats to Whent by other OPD employees caused Whent to act as he did, i.e., Whent tried to push scandal under the rug because the real powers told him 'make it go away or else'. --Rather than Whent wanting to conceal the scandal to hasten day that OPD would be found in compliance with the NSA. The passage in the City's filing stating that OPD has addressed the poor investigations with holding 'reflection sessions' is, well, a joke, revealing and disturbing.

Posted by Mary Vail on 09/26/2017 at 9:05 PM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

I attended the task force meeting that Grant references in his email and cannot understand how he came up with these biased conclusions about what transpired there. People from the Stop Urban Shield Coalition and others present engaged respectfully and with complete clarity. As offensive as I find Grant's comments to be, I am also grateful that he has shown his hand . This hateful, bigoted email exchange is proof positive that the Grant and others are not qualified to serve on a task force convened for the purpose of exploring the effects of Urban Shield on impacted communities. Additionally, the fact that he did not express his opinions while in the meeting so that they could be open to dialog, but rather sent them via email after the fact is further indication that he is unwilling to engage with others who may not share his biased opinions. The task force came to the correct conclusion-- they are not qualified to make decisions about how Urban Shield affects vulnerable communities.

Posted by Carol Robison on 09/26/2017 at 6:51 PM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

If the purpose of Urban Shield really is to provide a "whole community" solution to keep communities safe in the face of threats, Grant's comments just show how out of touch and out of line Urban Shield has become. I stood in solidarity with my friends, colleagues and neighbors at the last Stop Urban Shield Rally and far from terroristic behavior, the people gathered there showed Alameda County what it looks like when a community comes together to support, educate and help one another. It was the people Grant identified at "terrorists" who walked to Lake Merritt for a community resource fair to teach skills that community members will need in the event of a threat. Given it is your neighbor who is most likely going to be right there to help you when you most need it, these skills are crucial. Stop Urban Shield participants taught me more about support and care for our neighbors then a weapons expo showing off the latest assault weapons will ever offer. Maybe instead of calling all of us terrorists, Grant and Alameda County leaders could listen to Stop Urban Shield leaders to know what it looks like to be community to one another. That is what we need more of. Forget the assault weapons, name calling, racist responses and insults. Stop Urban Shield is showing us a different way. Far from terrorism, Stop Urban Shield is not just protesting but offering real solutions. Instead of insults maybe Grant and others will listen instead.

Posted by Diane Weible on 09/26/2017 at 2:57 PM

Re: “Attorneys Tell Federal Judge OPD Commanders Should Still be Disciplined for Mishandling Sex Crimes Case

Besides the obvious conflict of interest, Buriss: i agree with Buriss and Chanin on this one. How is it that Lois and Holmgren get a pass on this bungled investigation. They initially attempted to protect Whent, until the playboy bunny, Holly Hart went rogue. Lois, who for years was Whent's henchman and also kissed his ass, changed sides and became Warshaw's new toy. Holmgren is just plan incompetent. He has been involved in several high profile cases where he seems to slither away. Kirkpatrick we demand you hold these bozo's accountable.

Posted by Daffy_Duck on 09/26/2017 at 2:27 PM

Re: “Attorneys Tell Federal Judge OPD Commanders Should Still be Disciplined for Mishandling Sex Crimes Case

Besides the conflict of interest in the case: Burris representing Guap. I agree with Chanin and Buriss on this one. How is it that Lois and Holmgren get a pass on this bungled investigation. The Three Stooges would have done a better job. Instead, these heroes decided to protect Whent, until news broke after the playboy bunny went rogue, Holly Hart. Lois climbed his way to the top by kissing Whent's ass and being his "go to guy." Holmgren is just plain incompetent and has been involved in several high profile cases but always seems to get by. Kirkpatrick you can do better then these bozo's, we demand you hold them accountable!

Posted by Daffy_Duck on 09/26/2017 at 2:14 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Kirkpatrick Points Blame at Ex-Chief Whent for Mishandling of Celeste Guap Sex Crimes Case

Naaaaa... DBG/EBX has replaced Bruce Brugmann/Bay Guardian in the bay area with a different hobby horse but the same one note tune

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 09/26/2017 at 2:07 PM

Re: “Attorneys Tell Federal Judge OPD Commanders Should Still be Disciplined for Mishandling Sex Crimes Case

John Burris is "Guap's" attorney, shaking down every government agency he can. Here Burris in another capacity asks a federal judge to make a negative finding about OPD. Commentator BondGraham fails to note the conflict of interest.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 09/26/2017 at 12:26 PM

Re: “Attorneys Tell Federal Judge OPD Commanders Should Still be Disciplined for Mishandling Sex Crimes Case

Is it any wonder that we are now in our 14th year of Federal oversight? Almost $40 million in associated costs borne by the tax payers. Let's hope the Police Commission will be able to motivate the City to do what it should have done long ago: get it together!!!

Posted by Rashida Grinage on 09/26/2017 at 12:20 PM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

I can now apparently add "terrorist" to senior citizen, retired school librarian and grandmother to my list of descriptors. I joined our melodic public comment as a member of the Interfaith Committee in Solidarity with Black Lives. Mr. Grant has just proven our point about Urban Shield being a racist, Islamophobic expo to militarize the police and make the people they are sworn to serve and protect into enemy combatants. Besides exemplifying the fascist atmosphere being created by 45 towards dissent, he has proven (along with endorsing Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, retweeting Richard Spencer and inviting the Oath Keepers) why we must replace Sheriff Ahern in the next election.

Posted by Marcia Lovelace on 09/26/2017 at 11:52 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

Apparently I can now add "terrorist" to senior citizen, grandmother and retired school librarian to my list of descriptors. I joined the melodic testimony as a member of the Interfaith Committee in Solidarity with Black Lives. Mr. Grant has just proved our point about Urban Shield being a racist, Islamophobic expo that militarizes police so that those they are sworn to serve and protect become enemy combatants. It has nearly nothing to do with genuine emergency preparedness. He has also just proved (along with an endorsement of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, a retweet of Richard Spencer & a booth for the Oath Keepers under an Alameda County awning) why we must replace Sheriff Ahern in the next election!

Posted by Marcia Lovelace on 09/26/2017 at 11:44 AM

Re: “Attorneys Tell Federal Judge OPD Commanders Should Still be Disciplined for Mishandling Sex Crimes Case

Now, let's see. Will new Police Chief Kirkpatrick resign soon or will she wait a couple of years until the pile of unresolved management problems spills out of her office door forcing her to accept a job offer from Newark or Baltimore where Police Chief desktops are swept clean every year?

Will Mayor Schaaf run again for office using her developer-sourced reelection funds (begun shortly after her election as mayor) to remind us how much safer Oakland has become (and OPD become much more community-oriented and ethical) under her watch?

Always something new and exciting in Oakland.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 09/26/2017 at 11:01 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

Mr Grant's comments reflect his prejudices. Those people I know who protest Urban Shield are engaged in civics and government, they vote, they work, some are clergy, they are young, old, of many races and religions and no religion at all. What binds us is the belief that a poluice force does not need military rade weapons to protect the public. What we share is perception that yes, people of color and poor people are targeted by police. We share a desire for democracy. We do not want a de facto military government imposed by force under the pretense of civil protection. We do not believe that the of the freedom to bear arms means a police force bearing arms against the public.

Posted by Suzanne Gamble on 09/26/2017 at 11:01 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

It's important that this article has brought Mr. Grant's inappropriate behavior to light. His behavior reflects one of many reasons that the task force evaluating Urban Shield is not in the position to be able to evaluate Urban Shield effectively. It is made up mostly of people who have a financial investment in Urban Shield going forward. As the members of the task force agreed at the meeting being discussed, this task force is not capable of assessing the impact Urban Shield has on communities. We need data about the rising militarization after Urban Shield and we need to hear from impacted communities including communities of color and Muslims about their experiences of interactions with the police. We especially need data about how many incidents occur involving violence from police towards community members.

I, too, attended the meeting being described in the article as a part of the interfaith for black lives committee. During the meeting, I was shocked by a comment from a woman on the task force who works with Bart calling us "militant." This comment was in response to us calmly quietly sitting in the room with small signs and one by one to lightly getting up and giving testimony including an original 9 verse song. I was somewhat heartened that task force members seem to listen to each other during the meeting and even changed their votes after hearing testimonies and the song from those of us challenging Urban Shield. The racist, xenophobic, islamophobic, and hateful messages mr. Grant put forth are shocking and completely out of proportion to the discourse that happened in the room that day. However they do reflect the ongoing discourse by those involved in Urban Shield outside of the task force. This is an example and one reason of many that I feel that this task force is not enough to change the culture of Urban Shield. Urban Shield must be stopped!!

I was deeply disturbed to hear there was talk at this year's Urban Shield Expo that "black rifles matter." At a time when people of color are continually losing their lives to armed police officers and have come up with a black lives matter slogan to remind society of their humanity, it is disgraceful for police, who are supposed to be protecting people and pillars of our community, to engage in the kind of rhetoric and behavior that they are! They need to be reprimanded and educated!

As American citizens, the freedom of speech is a guaranteed right that insures our democracy. Those involved with stop Urban Shield for years have exercised this right and should be applauded for the creative heartfelt tactics used that do not involve violence of any kind. If only police and other emergency responders would use heartfelt creative responses, our community would be a very different place and we would not need to be having this dialogue. Urban Shield is a gun expo that promotes militarization, racism, and xenophobia. It must be discontinued!

Posted by Susala Kay on 09/26/2017 at 10:33 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

I teach a class on self-care and community care for faith leaders. The day after Stop Urban Shield presented during public comment, our guest speaker from Buddhist Peace Fellowship led us in the song that they sang during public comment. It was playful, inspiring, and had a positive message. It makes me ill that singing in public, and speaking up about ending violence against innocent people of color and religious minorities would be counted as terrorism. We need more creative and positive community building and less toxic, uninformed lies by appointed decision makers. Using terminology like "terrorist," "slime" and "bad people" from "overseas" behind people's backs and at the end of the process is, as Supervisor Haggerty noted, cowardly. As someone who chose to become a US citizen out of my deeply held commitment to its best values, I believe his actions are also un-American, in contrast with those of Stop Urban Shield. Thank you for bringing this to light.

Posted by Sandhya Jha on 09/26/2017 at 10:22 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

I am grateful for this article that brings into public awareness this inflammatory and dangerous email exchange. We have seen in this first nine months of the Trump administration how the propagation of these kinds of xenophobia and racist ideas can lead to hate crimes and the creation of policies that endanger lives.

This country is in need of deep healing and re-education around how to live in peace with our neighbors across lines of religious, ethnic, racial, and every other kind of difference. As a Christian and active member of the Bay area interfaith committee, I hope that people of faith can join with all people of goodwill to cultivate ways of leading with love. I am grateful to the Stop Urban Shield coalition for modeling that in so many ways, including the provision of a beautiful, community-oriented, participatory public emergency preparedness fair on September 8 at Lake Merritt. I learned how to tie a tourniquet, how to do basic self-defense, what needs to go in my earthquake kit, and how to create herbal tinctures to deal with stress and other conditions. Is this the dangerous terrorist/thuglike behavior that Mr. Grant finds so threatening?

I am a part of both the Interfaith Committee for Black Lives and Second Acts, a Christian nonviolent direct action group, and I've been supportive of the coalition to Stop Urban Shield precisely because of the ways in which Urban Shield feeds into the kind of Islamaphobia, racism, and knee-jerk jingoism expressed in this email and shared by Sheriff Ahern, who recommended Grant for the task force.

Posted by Nichola Torbett on 09/26/2017 at 9:54 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

As an attendee and representative of Interfaith for Black Lives, and member of the clergy, I am deeply troubled by the inflammatory, ignorant invective coming from a representative of the Alameda Board of Supervisors. It was bad enough that the (BART) woman referred to us during the meeting as "militant" because a group of people peaceably stood, held up small signs, and asked permission to sing a song instead of speaking individually. Have these people not heard of the constitution? Can they not differentiate a threat to democracy when they hear it? Has all capacity to think rationally escaped such people? "thugs"? What is the definition of a thug?

These acts are an example of the polarization in this country. It is an example of the take over of the minds of the people and any sound reasoning by cognitive dissonance. Moreover, it is an example of why an increasingly number of people use the word "fascism" to describe the current trend in government. And that, for me, as a Christian, as a leader in that community, works toward keeping true to the work and words of the Leader of the Church, and to not assist in ignoring or denying the reasons for His crucifixion.

The reality of the day, with molesting children of color, causing mental and bodily harm to people of color, to killing at random by law enforcement, the reality is that law enforcement is being used as an instrument of terror, and it must be stopped.

Posted by deGrace on 09/26/2017 at 9:20 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

As one of the Stop Urban Shield coalition members in the room that day (among the Buddhist Peace Fellowship representatives), I'm disturbed and saddened by the racist vitriol in this email, but unfortunately not in the least surprised. In fact, I'm glad it has come to light, because it will help us reveal and discuss the racist, xenophobic, militaristic fear-mongering at the heart of Urban Shield -- its raison d'tre.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described racism, militarism, and extreme materialism as the giant triplets fueling oppression in U.S. society. We might add gender oppression, ableism, and ecocidal arrogance in there, too. Urban Shield, as a program, entrenches and exacerbates every single one of these fundamental antagonisms. And the fact that one of the few individuals entrusted to evaluate the program's efficacy not only espouses raging Islamophobic views, but *owns a gun shop,* is extremely telling.

Grateful to the East Bay Express for reporting on this. Such a revelation should, I hope, invalidate all of Mr. Grant's votes on the Task Force, and call into question the fundamental nature of the Task Force's procedure and findings. Its purpose, after all, as mentioned in the article, was to "address concerns that Urban Shield has militarized local police agencies and that some of its content has been racially insensitive." How can such concerns be addressed, let alone allayed, with sitting members holding aggressively bigoted views, and using those views to influence Task Force voting?

I hope Mr. Grant sees fit to apologize and make amends. If he won't, I hope the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will -- by ending Urban Shield.

Posted by Katie Loncke on 09/26/2017 at 6:23 AM

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