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Re: “Oakland City Council: Tenant Relocation Assistance Delayed, But Moratorium on Rent Control Loophole Passes

It is so terrible that the Councilmembers postponed this needed remedy of relocation assistance for tenants who are being evicted. Is it any wonder there is such a huge homeless problem? People can't afford to get a new place when they are evicted. The Council members need to go spend some time at a homeless encampment getting to know the displaced Oakland residents they are harming through their actions on behalf of greedy realtors. Maybe they should spend a night out in the cold before their next vote.

Posted by Gabriel Haaland on 11/29/2017 at 12:27 PM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn


Jury-rigged and jerry-rigged mean essentially the same thing.…

But the origin of "jerry" is problematic.…


Posted by Robert Gammon on 11/29/2017 at 12:20 PM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

Isn't that 'jerry-rigged'?
Jury rigging refers to judicial abuse, not building with inferior materials or workmanship.

Posted by Chris Roberts on 11/29/2017 at 12:10 PM

Re: “Cheeseboard Alumni Launch Dimond Slice Pizza

This is a really good deal for Dimond dwellers since a quick trip to Berkeley for a bite has become all but impossible due to:

1. Our excellent regional transportation planning and service,
2. An abundance of new techie commuters,
3. Anytime freeway gridlock and 24/7 car crashes.

A trip from Oakland to Berkeley at the "right" time of day will take you about 90 minutes. That's about enough time for me to make a pizza from scratch at home.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 11/29/2017 at 11:45 AM

Re: “Sideshows Spin Donuts Around Police Over Thanksgiving Weekend in Oakland

For the person who wrote that "the cops deserve it," they might wish to consider that few of the police officers live anywhere near the places in Oakland where sideshows take place. Those of us who do are mostly individuals and families of color. Sideshows block our access to our homes, make it impossible for us to get emergency services (fire and ambulance), and either keep us up late into the evening or wake us up in the middle of the night.

Do we deserve this? I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that part of the reason this is allowed to continue is because most of those residents who are impacted are people of color.

Posted by Ajuan Mance on 11/29/2017 at 11:33 AM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

To a certain extent, blaming the City for the fire, is akin to blaming the police for not arresting the drug dealer who sold heroin that caused people to OD. On a structural level, yes, the state apparatus is responsible for the suffering. But the thing is, most of these spaces and the people who run them, know that what they are doing isn't legal, and actively avoid getting caught. It's the game we've played for years.

And it isn't exactly true that city officials have turned a blind eye until now. It's an easier story to tell, but it's not accurate. Every few years, they'd make an example of some space, and OPD or the Fire Dept. would show up and kick people out. But this level of enforcement wasn't a priority for the City. I remember a cop once told me, when he was responding to a complaint about an illegal warehouse party, "Someone just got shot 5 blocks from here. I don't want to waste my time with your party. Just don't make me come back."

Posted by Sarah Lockhart on 11/29/2017 at 11:12 AM

Re: “Sideshows Spin Donuts Around Police Over Thanksgiving Weekend in Oakland

To the best of my knowledge, SRL events were never sanctioned and were probably illegal (though I also have vague memories of attending one of their shows at a middle school playground, so perhaps I am wrong on this point). They also exposed the audience to danger (sometimes extreme danger) - I recall massive explosions going off at another event as the audience cowered beneath an extremely echoey freeway overpass.

Sideshows scratch the same itch as custom car shows, demolition derbies, and drag racing. It might be possible to 'convert' a portion of participants to a sanctioned and regulated sporting event, but there will always be people for whom the danger and the illegality are the main attraction. Consequently, there's no law enforcement response that will 'kill' sideshows: they will eventually peter out when audiences and participants move on to the next big thrill, whatever that will be.

Posted by John Seal on 11/29/2017 at 9:31 AM

Re: “Abalone Collapse with Kelp Forests

Abalone have been overfished for decades, this just adds to the problem. They once were so abundant in Big Sur that you could harvest at low tide in sneakers. They have been gone for many years from there.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 11/29/2017 at 8:00 AM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

Finally the EBE publishes the truth instead of some nonsense about how the City is to blame ( and they do hold some culpability) for Almena's greed and ambition. The tenants were idiots, and Almena took advantage of them. Oakland should NEVER have turned a blind eye, and is still doing it.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 11/29/2017 at 7:58 AM

Re: “Oakland School Board Members Apologize for Mid-Year Budget Cuts at Packed Board Meeting

I don't see the problem. The Board and administrators get paid promptly don't they?

Posted by Ernest Montague on 11/29/2017 at 7:55 AM

Re: “Oakland Schools Grapple with Another Financial Crisis

Who reviews all these outside contracts and approves them for payment, surely there is a name on the contract and that name bears responsibility.

Posted by alphie noakes on 11/29/2017 at 6:36 AM

Re: “Alameda County Superior Court Reverses License Suspensions for Nearly 54,000 Drivers Who Couldn't Afford to Pay Traffic Fines

This was so overdue and I'm glad to see this basic unfairness ended. Like the bail bond system, the practice of suspending drivers' licenses for the inability to pay fines was so incredibly stupid. Now let's let people contest parking tickets without first paying them, and let people pay parking tickets in installments! Oakland parking enforcement is such a racket, it's like the Mafia.

Posted by Jan Van Dusen on 11/29/2017 at 12:09 AM

Re: “Oakland Schools Grapple with Another Financial Crisis

Vernon Hal the Chief Business Officer's job description makes him responsible for keeping the District fiscally solvent. He didn't. So why is his job as the Chief Financial Officer not vacant?

There is a consultant filling in for the Interim Chief Financial Officer that just left.

And, the District webpage lists Office of Accountability Officer as vacant.

Not a pretty picture.

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 11/28/2017 at 11:17 PM

Re: “East Bay Organizations on the Front Lines of Immigrant Rights

...I'd add to your list: Social Justice Collaborative.

Posted by kmdsolo on 11/28/2017 at 9:23 PM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

"Hey left hand."

"Yeah right hand."

"I can't tell what you're doing."

"Hey, I can't tell what you're doing either. Why is that?"

"It's Oakland, pal. Mayor Libby. See you around someday I hope."

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 11/28/2017 at 8:47 PM

Re: “Alameda County Superior Court Reverses License Suspensions for Nearly 54,000 Drivers Who Couldn't Afford to Pay Traffic Fines

On the other hand, how many of these 54,000 drivers with traffic tickets are super crazy drivers who shouldn't be out on the road causing more wrecks?

Judging from what I see when I can't avoid using the freeway, there's a lot of really bad driving out there and I almost never see a cop writing out a ticket.
To get a traffic ticket I think you have to be a really bonkers driver.

Oh yeah, a traffic ticket isn't a parking ticket.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 11/28/2017 at 8:42 PM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

The basic problem is that once again, in trying to appease the arts community, Mayor Schaaf wrote a check that she was never going to be able to cash. She has no technical expertise whatsoever to even make a statement like that.To focus on life safety upgrades to illegal residential uses of industrial buildings without displacing tenants, either by eviction or by rent increases by owners to pay for upgrades was never a realistic goal. First of all, at work here is a series of regulations that are not always consistent with each other. The zoning regulations are local and regulate use of the building.The Building and Fire codes are both State and local and many issues, especially in the area of life safety (corridors, sprinklers, exits), are not negotiable and cannot be waived by the local jurisdiction. To suggest that 50-100 year old warehouse buildings are "green" and therefore should be exempt from regulations is ridiculous. Many of those buildings can't even meet the minimum residential requirements like heat, fire safety and plumbing. The live work regulations adopted in the early 2000's were an attempt to meet artists half way by setting up some basic standards.However, the housing bubble that came later created an opportunity for an underground windfall by owners of these old buildings. The City's combined negligence and incompetence later translated into a defacto don't ask don't tell policy that led to the deaths in the Ghost Ship fire. The City will learn the cost of that incompetence and lack of leadership when the law suits and criminal claims are settled. At the end of the day, no matter how unpopular it is, the fact that there is a a housing shortage should not translate to any public policy that allows artists to live in spaces not intended for residential uses and dangerous to themselves and the community at large. The Mayors confusing and unrealistic goal is why the staff is all over the place both in their understanding of the rules and how to apply them. Of course, in Oakland, when you don't have an answer or the answer does not meet the political agenda you hire an expensive consultant to tell you what you already know so that you don't have to take the blame for telling the people what the truth is.

Posted by Gary Patton on 11/28/2017 at 7:26 PM

Re: “Oakland School Board Members Apologize for Mid-Year Budget Cuts at Packed Board Meeting

Good to hear at least one board member truly apologize for the board's collective negligence. The question now is why should we trust them and the OUSD administrators to make any cuts effectively and equitably?

This is not a very detail oriented board. They are relying on advice from current administrators and consultants on where and how much to cut. The current administrators are expected to ax themselves or their colleagues. The consultants are expected to objectively decide to cut some of the same administrators who hired them.

Hire a chief financial officer from outside OUSD even before they hire any more consultants. CFO's are cheaper and have to live with the results of their recommendations.

Delegate the cut decisions and the hiring of any budget consultants to an outside blue ribbon panel. Maybe use the existing Blue Print commission that was tasked with looking at school closures.

One of the consultants at a recent budget meeting touted "zero-based budgeting" where you start by assuming 0 expenditures and then increase it. That's exactly what needs to be used to evaluate all of the OUSD HQ costs in a totally transparent way. Only after that start looking at local school budgets and closings.

Len Raphael, CPA

Posted by Len Raphael on 11/28/2017 at 7:13 PM

Re: “Tuesday’s Briefing: San Leandro Cop Charged With Statutory Rape; 333-Unit Housing Project in Downtown Oakland Gets Financial Boost

OK, don't get me wrong here. 333 new housing units is a good thing in my book... But there is no cry of "gentrification"... No howling about damaging chinatown for this? No screams for "more affordable units"?

Why is this OK and others not? Inquiring minds want to know why DBG/EBX is NOT howling for blood?

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 11/28/2017 at 6:48 PM

Re: “Highland Hospital Surveillance Stirs Concerns

Got news for ya Tracy Rosenberg, Alta bates and Kaiser have 'em too... And a security officer too.

As I pointed out, these TEND to be standard "features" this type of facilities... But most especially in places owned/operated by bookies... Oops, "insurance companies".

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 11/28/2017 at 6:40 PM

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