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Re: “How Serious is the Wild Fire Threat in the Oakland Hills?

Why is no one talking about the epic failure of CalTrans to maintain vegetation along our freeways. We've already had a fire closing Hwy 13 and the excuse from CalTrans that they are "down one maintenance crew"...is not good enough to excuse them from responsibility. Signage is not even visible because everything's so overgrown. New landscaping is installed and promptly neglected by CalTrans. C'mon Sacramento...get down here and clean up!

Posted by S. Taylor on 06/23/2017 at 5:58 PM

Re: “How Serious is the Wild Fire Threat in the Oakland Hills?

What seems obvious is that we have two sides to a public safety issue. The problem is that both sides are wrong. The City has not had any competent leadership in the Fire department for a decade or more. As a result, the staff is poorly trained and there is no long term focus or establishment of priorities from the top in how the work is accomplished. Most firefighters see their jobs as fighting fires and EMT work. The ancillary duties that require additional technical training, like hazardous waste control, plan check, building and hillside fire inspections are viewed as nuisance duties, instead of a part of the core mission. The history and lack of performance in these areas have demonstrated that to be true. At the same time. for the people who live in high fire hazard areas like Ms Piper to think that they should be given the same level of protection as the people who live in the developed city is unreasonable. People who love the wild land ambiance and expensive views from the Oakland hills have to realize that there is a risk associated with their choice of neighborhoods. Most of the streets and lots in the north hills were mapped almost two centuries ago. The streets are not and never will be adequate to safely accommodate the level of growth that has occurred. The homeowners choose to take on that risk by the choices they make. It is like people who live in the hills of Lake Tahoe complaining that the bears are a nuisance. It is not the bears that are the problem. With that being said, somewhere in the middle is where both sides need to be. The City needs to do a better job in their mission and the neighbors need to take personal responsibility for creating defensible spaces around their homes whether the city inspects the neighborhood or not. If these folks want extra attention because of their own choices not to live where fire service is readily available, they need to pay for it.

Posted by Gary Patton on 06/23/2017 at 1:42 PM

Re: “Plans for a 'New' Oakland Are Taking Shape, but Existing Residents Are Demanding More Equitable Development

The state legislature has a major role to play in development. Most recently, it mandated that cities ease the creation of mini-lots and backyard housing, which have a mixed bag of good and bad effects. Where do our state legislators stand on affordable housing and neighborhood preservation?

Posted by Mike Bradley on 06/23/2017 at 12:45 PM

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

Ilona Nesmith Clark... dial back your snark: no one should have to live with mold at ANY cost - and that is health code ... that is a health hazard and they have every right to raise that issue and get action on it. 2ndly, the property taxes are kept in check by Prop 13 controls, so that bit of snark is inaccurate. 3rdly, he is complaining that the landlord is jacking up rent on a rent-controlled unit by nearly 300% by faking residency in order to circumvent the law.... this is yet another sleazy cheapass slumlord driven by greed.

Actually, when adhered to, Oakland has excellent rent control and just-cause eviction laws.

Greed is a powerful form of evil and once people are infected with it they just want all they can get, at whatever human cost. This is an example of another sick, greedy landlord exploiting a vulnerable family. I am sick of these **********ers. It was a landlord like this who owned the Ghostship warehouse and was just as glad to look the other way; or another who owned that disgusting sro on San Pablo that recently caught fire. Shallow greedy people.

Where are people who do labor like this supposed to live, in your fantasy of what is just and right?

Posted by Lynn Rogers on 06/23/2017 at 11:45 AM

Re: “Historic Federal Summit on Medicine Marijuana Is Slanted By Drug War Agenda

My son Michael Mirai has a rare type of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome, also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI). This is a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy. Individuals with SMEI suffer from intellectual disabilities as well as severe behavioral and development delays. All effort made to be sure he did not live his life miserably with deadly disease proof abortive. I have carried him to different Doctors, use different prescription drug all to no avail. Dr. Lawson!!! (with tears of joy) I will forever be indenter to you. Your medicine worked perfectly well and now my son is cured of Epilepsy completely. contact him at this is wbite www.herbalifecure.jimdo.com.

Posted by Mark Weller on 06/23/2017 at 10:50 AM

Re: “Plans for a 'New' Oakland Are Taking Shape, but Existing Residents Are Demanding More Equitable Development

There is no history in Oakland, or in America for that matter, that views existing diverse urban neighborhoods as having intrinsic value. Instead, they have always been seen as economic opportunities for the development community whose baseline approach was to destroy those neighborhoods and totally displace existing residents who, because of race and lower economic status, don't deserve a place at the table in the planning process. In the late 50's, Black residents of the Filmore District of SF had to sue the City in order to be included in the committee required to formulate the new plan under the Model Cities program. In Oakland, since the 60's, for the most part, the top levels of the Planning Department have been occupied by UC Berkeley planning school graduates whose inflated views of their own intelligence defined the City by floor area ratios and height requirements. Moreover, having no exposure, interest or connection to the broader Oakland flatland communities, concentrated the planning focus on downtown, Montclair, Rockridge and Jack London neighborhoods. Not surprisingly, almost all of the Planning Commissioners during those years also resided in those areas and many, if not most, were professionals at some level in land development. The blatant disregard at the top levels for the value of diverse neighborhoods and their populations has never been better illustrated than former Planning Director Rachael Flynn's statement that there was no housing crisis in Oakland. More concerning is that there was no response at all from the Mayor or City Council for that obvious disconnection with reality. In the recent E12 st housing debacle, it was only when the Eastlake neighborhood became involved that the community benefits conversations with the developer began to develop. There has to be sensitivity to these cultural diversity issues by City leadership in order for any plan to reflect those values in the process and the ultimate result. Currently, I see the Mayor and City Council members continuing to make backroom deals with developers and doing their best to bypass the neighbors.That is not a good sign for the immediate future.

Posted by Gary Patton on 06/23/2017 at 6:34 AM

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