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Re: “When Private Patrols Pull The Trigger

They don't allow Californians to arm themselves and now you want to punish the paid guards that were brought to protect the people of this neighborhood. What is this criminal entered a home with an infant and mother? who knows what would happen. I for one applaud this guard. We need to wake up and stop portraying criminals as the victims!

Posted by N F on 10/04/2017 at 12:18 PM

Re: “OPD's Double Standard Lives On

The message sent is that low and high-ranking officials are above the law, while the rest of us are beholden to it, often with our lives. the new OPD chief needs to be fired. What a travesty.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 10/04/2017 at 11:46 AM

Re: “OPD's Double Standard Lives On

As is often the case with ethical, but also essentially political, public matters in Oakland, a little context can help to clarify.

OPD is mostly treated, by media and by our political establishment, as a somehow separate entity from city government as a whole. Not so: OPD is legally and ethically an integral part of the administrative structure of Oakland. Mayor, administrators, Council are responsible for OPD policy, behavior and performance regarding public safety.

OPD is certainly not hands-off territory for the rest of civic government.

Mayor and Council have the essential responsibility for establishing public safety policy and ethical and other aspects of performance. This means, one would think, the creation of a comprehensive public safety plan with specific policies to put the plan into action. Policies should also incorporate, as a minimum, regular data collection regarding public safety performance for both crime reduction and ethical standards.

Oakland has had policies since at least the early 2000s that mandate community policing including its regular review and improvement. Needless to point out that these mandates have never been implemented fully. There has been only tokenism. The result has been that OPD does not know how to intervene to reduce violent crime because Oakland's community as a whole is not a functioning part of OPDs street knowledge.

Before getting further into whats wrong (or right as the case may be) about OPD, we need to remember that its not just OPD alone; its OPD, Mayor, City Administration, City Council. All one government.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 10/04/2017 at 11:05 AM

Re: “Project Censored

I started reporting on the threat of antibiotic resistance and the political climate around it as early as 2008.

Posted by citizenkrans on 10/04/2017 at 9:40 AM

Re: “OPD's Double Standard Lives On

Ya know... I just LOVE the baseless and inflammatory speculation this publication seems to delight in publishing:

"It's not entirely clear why Orrick decided to end the Guap matter. It's possible that at his first hearing, he didn't want to embarrass both Kirkpatrick and Warshaw for approving the promotions."

If you don't know and can't point to something... ANYTHING... concrete, don't say it.

I'll be the first to say the whole thing reeks and has from the beginning... City Council, Police, attorneys and EBX.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/03/2017 at 11:06 PM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

The split isn't invariant... It's part of the contract. There shouldn't be an issue if two (or more entities) chose to split how a fee is paid as the author states.

That said, this is part an parcel of the mess made of state and local finances by prop 13.

While the proposal seems as at least a partial solution, I'm especially troubled by

"Although Kalb hasn't proposed a specific plan yet..."

The devil is ALWAYS in the details and suddenly this looks more like a grandstand statement from a politician, prematurely reported, than a real solution.

I'm of the opinion that far more could be done by devising better transfer rules for commercial property. I'd like to note that while San Francisco is being held up as a leader in this area, even they haven't solved the "creative" deal structuring that causes commercial property transfers to result in flat tax revenues and billions lost to the public coffers... while lawyers and corporations enrich themselves at the expense of the public.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/03/2017 at 10:57 PM

Re: “Project Censored

Apparently Random Length News is unaware of lengthy and in-depth articles and series on these very coverage of most of these topics by:

The New Republic

Mother Jones News

The Atlantic

and last but far from least,

The Prospect.

EBX is now going outside it's own ranks for poor journalism and research.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/03/2017 at 10:41 PM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

Much depends on the details. For example how would this be applied to the sale of multi-unit rental, residential and commercial? There are different economic, equity, social policy effects from imposing a higher rate on a $100 Million sale of a residential building with 100 units that are valued at 1Mill each vs the sale of a mansion for $100 Million.

Not clear to me that raising the transfer tax won't raise rents and housing prices.

There is also the same equity that exists with any tax based on gross sales, whether it be our regular business tax or the transfer tax on real estate gross sales price: the selling price (gross business receipts) bears 0 correlation with the profit made by the seller. California cities are forbidden by state law to impose any kind of income tax, so they're stuck raising revenue with various kinds of sales taxes, fees, and parcel taxes.

Another problem is the extremely cyclical pattern of transfer taxes and the historically proven inability of Oakland elected officials to budget for more than a couple of years at a time. They basically do "checkbook balance" budgeting: if they have the money in the short term, they'll commit to long-term costs that could seriously harm paying for critical services when the real estate cycle turns down. A graduated transfer tax should be part of a charter measure mandating long-term budgeting and much higher rainy day reserves, backed up by an independent budget analyst such as SF has. and Councilmember Guillen proposed.

Posted by Len Raphael on 10/03/2017 at 9:06 PM

Re: “Getting Rich Off Low-Income Housing

Ah yes, its always people of affluence that are at fault. Never mind the folks who have frittered their lives away living on the dole and just wanting more and more free stuff because its the rich that cause all their problems. What a bunch of nonsense! And Lynita is just the type of person we would all enjoy having living next to us....can I borrow a cup of sugar and will you pay for my rent?!

Posted by Mike Mitchell on 09/30/2017 at 8:55 AM

Re: “Another Unnecessary Sports Expense

Yep, we need to completely reconsitute the coliseum board, and then they need to work with the As to build an appropriate facility there.

Posted by Naomi_Schiff on 09/28/2017 at 11:32 AM

Re: “UC Berkeley Professor Calls for Speeding Up the Drone Arms Race

John Yoo should be in a prison for the mentally deranged. What a sick mind.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 09/27/2017 at 10:49 AM

Re: “The East Bay Still Has Some Very Visible Reminders of Our History of Racism

Your articles are going to need footnotes and dated, identified photos. I looked forward to the scholarship.

Posted by Joan Soo on 09/24/2017 at 4:43 PM

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

The article states- he and his wife clean houses for a living. Then the article states he is on disability. He appears to switch stories around. Of course the property owner wants to patch instead of replace the gutters when he is getting below market rent. Everyone wants affordable housing and who is going to pay for it?

Posted by Really! on 09/24/2017 at 9:40 AM

Re: “Hidden Monuments to Racism

Unsurprisingly, many white Berkeleyites don't enjoy the open acknowledgement that the most recent zoning and building restriction are meant to keep the foothill neighborhoods white. And have succeeded in doing so adroitly.

These same people will view themselves as enlightened when the zoning and building restrictions are reduced now that primarily white genteifiers are the only ones who can afford new rentals or condos in the bay.

Same as it ever was.

Posted by Mercy Garetz on 09/23/2017 at 6:23 PM

Re: “Hidden Monuments to Racism

I think there is a typo in paragraph 6.

"the U.S. Supreme outlawed"

Did you mean the California State Supreme Court?

Posted by jbott on 09/23/2017 at 5:50 PM

Re: “The Albany Cross Resurrects Memories of the KKK

People need to get a life. Eradicating things which make you uncomfortable is a weakness. Instead of attacking religion, try contributing to science.

Posted by Hoecheck on 09/23/2017 at 1:05 PM

Re: “Hidden Monuments to Racism

Gammon mixes a few facts with a bunch of unsupported assertions to weave a myth about a racist recent history of Berkeley and North Oakland. Yes, it's true that developers of middle-class areas in the teens and twenties routinely inserted racially restrictive covenants. It was a time period when the U.S. has a lot to be ashamed of, not the least the tremendously racist Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924. There's also lots of evidence that redevelopment in the 1950s and 1960s was covertly, if not overtly, racist in destroying lower class and minority neighborhoods across the U.S. None of this bears on the current or recent past zoning of Lower Rockridge (below Broadway), which was a reaction to an attempt in the early 1970s by Oakland real estate interests to replace its homes and small apartment buildings with mid-rise office and apartment buildings. That had nothing to do with race, and everything to do with resisting big money and protecting a human-scale neighborhood.

Posted by stu in Oakland on 09/23/2017 at 12:22 PM

Re: “Hidden Monuments to Racism

Thanks, Kat! I found this brief history fascinating. Even though I lived in Berkeley for many years, I never knew about the deed restrictions. But I think it does the story, the history, and the pillars a disservice to call them "Monuments to racism." They are relics of racist events in the past, but were not built to praise or honor racism. If they are monuments to something, they are monuments to eliminating racism.

Posted by Geoff Alexander on 09/22/2017 at 4:32 PM

Re: “The Albany Cross Resurrects Memories of the KKK

Different writers focus on different things, and I thought this article was very much on point regarding the issue of the varying meanings of the cross in the public park to various people. The suggested corrections on other matters (e.g. easements and eucalyptus) generally look right to me as well.

One point I would emphasize: Albany is actually a racially and religiously diverse place today, which is one of the things the city has pointed out to the Albany Lions Club in asking them to rethink their position. It is no longer a white enclave, although it is certainly true that Albany has an unusually small African American population for an East Bay 'flatlands' city. We know the size of that population is no accident - the century-ago Klan activity is just one element of a lengthy history of racial exclusion that included deed restriction, redlining, racist real estate sales practices, and communal rejection of potential neighbors.

On the other hand, many formerly excluded groups, in particular people of Asian origin, have gained a very substantial footing here in more recent years. Those of us who value diversity have reason to hope that we can look forward to having more African American neighbors too. To make that happen, our society will have to make progress against economic injustice, and our community will have to make progress against the negative history of race here as well as the social attitudes that sadly still recur - as each generation of young people needs to learn for itself the necessity of mutual respect and understanding.

Posted by Rochelle Nason on 09/22/2017 at 2:30 PM

Re: “One of Oakland's Most Historic Figures Was Also Horribly Racist

The comments here which are thoughtful and researched contrast greatly with the subject article which is shallow and obviously written to stir emotion and gain attention. There is no hard evidence that JK was a "diehard" racist. He was not a member of any racist organizations nor did he espouse any racist views during his run for mayor of Oakland. London commented "to Hell with the Constitution " quoting the abolitionist leader, William Lloyd Garrison, saying "To Hell with the Constitution " when that document was used to defend slavery. Neither should London be condemned because of his fictional writings just because some people figure authors only express their own views when writing fiction. By their standards we should condemn Alfred Hitchcock as a murderer. Finally and most importantly, we honor Jack London not as a sociologist or a politician, but as writer of adventure stories.

Posted by Andrew Stevenson on 09/22/2017 at 1:54 PM

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