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Re: “Buck Stops Nowhere: Oakland Unified School District Suffering From Multiple Vacancies in Key Finance Positions

Several months ago a top OUSD fiscal administrators was asked by a member of one of the oversight committees why a public agency of that size doesn't have even one internal auditor. His response was that OUSD doesn't need to waste money hiring even one internal auditor because it has an outside cpa firm audit their books.

At best, that demonstrates a scary ignorance of the function of external cpa audits, which can only be relied upon to detect massive fraud and never relied upon to detect waste and expense account fiddling which can be quite large in an environment without oversight.

Most of the elected board is still MIA about the absence of competent accounting management at OUSD. Not a peep from even the head of the OUSD volunteer audit committee, former City of Oakland City Administrator.

The organizations such as GO Oakland Public Schools surely knew the situation also.

OUSD HQ is a banana republic. People who knew that kept their mouths shut just tried to work with it as best they could.

Len Raphael, CPA
Temescal

Posted by Len Raphael on 06/09/2017 at 10:24 PM

Re: “Gentrification Station: Why Oakland Still Says NO to Uber

Bravo, John Seal.

I read this opinion piece along with the mostly withering comments the other day and was energized, saddened and disgusted, in quick succession. It closely reflects my torn feelings about gentrification in general, and in Oakland specifically. After having been both a renter and recent homeowner here close to downtown Oakland for more than 22 years, Ive seen how dramatically the city has changed. From Friday and Saturday nights where downtown was literally a ghost town to the 100 fold increase in traffic and building activity, Ive witnessed the transformation firsthand. To say that the influx of money and revitalization to the area in general has been positive would be an understatement. I welcome the city finally picking up steam from then Mayor Browns initiative during his time in office to bring 10,000 new dwellings downtown. There are strangely and sadly a lot of residents who seem to have wanted to keep Oakland the way it was. No thanks. Stagnation is always death.

The thing is, I believe that a good many opponents and activists were not against change per se, but rather against the seemingly wholesale selling out to what seems to be happening at the expense of people who have lived here their whole lives. The tech gold rush that started in the late 90s across the bay has now come to roost here in Oakland, for better or worse. Ill not get into the obvious reasons nor make a judgement about its coming about.

There is, however, something much more troubling happening here that is in lock step with what has happened state-wide and collectively as Americans: the complete and total sell out of virtuous values like integrity and character. Uber and its CEO, Travis Kalanick, have never, ever displayed anything other than what could easily be portrayed by the worst, most evil villain in a super hero movie, sans the trappings. Just this week, weve once more been exposed to a former Uber executives illegal handling of personal medical records, not to mention CEO Kalanicks cautionary *wink-wink* email detailing in the most fratish-way what to avoid at the then 2013 Miami celebration. And folks are bemused by the trail of idiocy the 45th has committed? Really?

This company embodies and emanates every disgusting human quality an American company can represent. The lot of them are scumbags. Full stop. They do not represent anything I believe in, they do not represent any qualities a responsible, good-citizen model of corporate America would condone, and they certainly do not reflect anything the best of Oaklands hard-working, creative, historically blue-collar citizens represent in any way shape or form.

You may say, well, a $70 billion-valued company that owns a cheaply-sold plot of land in Oaklands burgeoning downtown can do whatever it likes. No. They cannot.

Ever since the citizens of this nation have become so utterly hypnotized by the almighty bottom-line at the expense of common sense, human virtues to celebrated and maintained (honesty, integrity, concern for your fellow human being, hard work, etc.), as a society weve experienced a dearth of heartless, immoral choices. Human beings matter. Community matters. History matters. Sometimes even tradition matters. Making money at any expense NEVER matters, ever.

For that reason, I say, No. No, I cannot and will not support a leviathan of the tech church of Libertarianism and money-at-all-costs. These scumbags will never be welcome in my home and our shared community of Oakland. Because, in the end, this is about values, integrity and a reflection of the community.

Posted by FigAlert on 06/09/2017 at 11:27 AM

Re: “Inside Immigration Court: Are Deportation Hearings In The Bay Area Unconstitutional?

Alan,

I guess your response is the most telling of the current climate in our country. Not all who come here commit crimes. Most are here to support their families with any job they can find. Can you honestly say that if the tables were turned that you would not be doing exactly the same thing? They work ungodly hours doing the meanial jobs that most US citizens are not willing to do. They buy goods and services from the local communities and in many cases work multiple jobs. I can be honest and state that I would do exactly the same thing if it was a way to provide for my family. We have grown into such an intolerant society and the new administration has made our country into a nation where public hate and racism seem to be the new norm. We have gone back in time and all those who came here from somewhere else with a chance for a new life would be ashamed of the society we have become.

Posted by John Q. Public on 06/09/2017 at 10:40 AM

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

Howard Terminal! It will be a jewel for Oakland and the entire Bay Area!

Posted by smiley lopez on 06/08/2017 at 10:35 PM

Re: “City of Alameda Votes For Protections Against 'Just Cause' Evictions — But Landlords Threaten Litigation

If you are a renter and don't like your neighbor upstairs or down the hall, don't go crying to your landlord - just sayin'

Posted by Ilona Nesmith Clark on 06/08/2017 at 10:31 PM

Re: “Oakland's Only Nigerian Restaurant Was Set to Close, Until Community Rallied Behind Miliki

GREAT!!!!!!I was hoping the restaurant would get extended lease. I do not think our hood needs yet another tech-driven tap room. Sequoia keeps it real, and it is family owned as well. Which reminds me that I am feeling a bit peckish...Got go get me some GOAT!

Posted by Max Dee on 06/08/2017 at 8:30 PM

Re: “Oakland's Only Nigerian Restaurant Was Set to Close, Until Community Rallied Behind Miliki

GREAT! I love this place and was hoping the potential buyer would have a change of heart. I do not think our hood needed another tech driven brew/taproom. Whew!!!! Gotta go get me some goat!!!!!

Posted by Max Dee on 06/08/2017 at 8:27 PM

Re: “Buck Stops Nowhere: Oakland Unified School District Suffering From Multiple Vacancies in Key Finance Positions

Why have so many talented and highly skilled people left?

Because of OUSD's insistence of trying to be Alameda County's social services agency. Progressive spending. It's for the kids. Eye roll. They deserve all the bad things that happen to them. Only the kids are innocent. A bunch of asshat, the whole lot of them.

Posted by Barry wanderlust on 06/08/2017 at 6:29 PM

Re: “Oakland Privacy Committee Urges Police Cut Ties with Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Oakland has a privacy committee? Does this committee care about the privacy of crime victims being intentionally endangered by the DA and police releasing their personal information, address, phone, names of their family and friends, along with pages and pages of falsified homicide reports containing crimes not even committed by these innocent people, but crime committed by third parties now attached to criminal records searches of innocent victims of crime into google searches for their small businesses and professional lives?www.karmawon.wordpress.com Stop the aggression and cyber terrorism against Innocent women if you want your city reputation to improve https://karmawon.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/…

Posted by karma wonitall on 06/08/2017 at 3:29 PM

Re: “Oakland's Only Nigerian Restaurant Was Set to Close, Until Community Rallied Behind Miliki

I'd like to try this place, but the reviews online are terrible.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 06/08/2017 at 10:05 AM

Re: “Gentrification Station: Why Oakland Still Says NO to Uber

Pursuant to previous comment, this from a news story published TODAY: "Uber has reached the stage where there is seemingly no low it can reach that will surprise people"

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/201…

Posted by John Seal on 06/08/2017 at 9:44 AM

Re: “Gentrification Station: Why Oakland Still Says NO to Uber

I've joined No Uber Oakland and look forward to Oakland residents giving this disgusting company a very cold welcome. With any luck they'll realize they're not wanted here and will sell the building.

Posted by John Seal on 06/08/2017 at 9:07 AM

Re: “Buck Stops Nowhere: Oakland Unified School District Suffering From Multiple Vacancies in Key Finance Positions

Rats leaving the sinking ship. Oakland can solve its problems by closing half the under attended schools, but won't, due to "community" pressure.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 06/08/2017 at 7:53 AM

Re: “DA Files Charges In Ghost Ship Fire, Master Tenant Derick Almena And His No. 2 Max Harris Each Face 39 Years

Good. Almena worked to create a hazardous situation and took advantage of others to line his pocket from it. The other guy was less malicious and more stoned.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 06/08/2017 at 7:39 AM

Re: “Gentrification Station: Why Oakland Still Says NO to Uber

OK, let's be, to use the new buzz phrase, transparent.

Temescal DISTRICT OF OAKLAND, Rockridge DISTRICT OF OAKLAND. Montclair DISTRICT OF OAKLAND. As much as EBX (and many others try to pretend otherwise) These ARE part of Oakland. Only Piedmont can claim to be a separate entity.

Yes, Rockridge IS largely single story ACTIVE real estate and has no place to put new building. Temescal has some space. What there is, is being rehabilitated quickly. West Oakland has a number of empty lots (from recently demolished industrial buildings). East Oakland has some buildings that should be demolished and haven't been (drive down Fruitvale; look south on East 10th, to point at one). I'm sure we can identify others.

Keep in mind, active or not, someone -- NOT Oakland/Alameda county, owns all of these properties. We can't just take what we want. We should have learned this before first grade. It will take large infusions of money that vanished when urban redevelopment funds were sued out of existence. That was a hit nearly as bad as prop 13.

Now, to quote/paraphrase a developer who has recently suffered losses in Oakland, "a building being burned down twice in 12 months, can't be a coincidence". That's a 35 million dollar development. Yes insurance may pay part of it, but it drives up costs for other developers and sure makes 'em gun shy for building in Oakland... Which I'm certain was the intent.

Ms MacElheny, if this isn't YOUR district, your community, it borders it. And as a whole, does anyone really think the community has NO IDEA who did this and why? Or was it to use the words of a long disgraced former POTUS "outside agitators"? You want community engagement? REALLY? Get off your butt and engage the community!

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/08/2017 at 5:32 AM

Re: “Gentrification Station: Why Oakland Still Says NO to Uber

Rockridge has nowhere to build new housing, and that new building on Broadway just north of 51st is Temescal (next to the Wendy's).

Posted by adrian reynolds on 06/08/2017 at 12:46 AM

Re: “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

Not to mention they advertise illegal work. After contacting them, they blatantly said it is not their problem they are helping people illegally advertise.

Posted by Brian Heuer on 06/08/2017 at 12:15 AM

Re: “City of Alameda Votes For Protections Against 'Just Cause' Evictions — But Landlords Threaten Litigation

Yes Thom, I know. It can happen. That is part and parcel of running a business. It means the business operator is required to do due diligence, both before renting and during proceedings that may rise... Not just sit on the gluteal muscles and collect checks as fast as is possible like a robber baron... And if your business is built, financially,such that behavior is a need, you did it wrong and the public isn't responsible for that.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/07/2017 at 7:33 PM

Re: “City of Alameda Votes For Protections Against 'Just Cause' Evictions — But Landlords Threaten Litigation

Sure legal channels exist. But in California, those legal channels take six months. During which the squatter pays no rent and trashes the place.

Posted by Thom Bray on 06/07/2017 at 6:04 PM

Re: “Buck Stops Nowhere: Oakland Unified School District Suffering From Multiple Vacancies in Key Finance Positions

"institutional memory"?! That's fine for some dipshit volunteer group. For a public agency it's entirely unacceptable. Are they saying there are NO minutes of meetings they include not just the actions taken, but the debate and discussion? Again, completely unacceptable.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/07/2017 at 6:00 PM

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