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Comment Archives: Last 7 Days

Re: “Plan to Ship Coal Through Oakland Was Years in the Making

A wealthy businessman wants to ship COAL?! to Oakland? WTF. Seriously, this is one of the most progressive areas in the U.S., has he no shame? Is the almighty dollar worth more to him than the health of our city, our kids, HIS kids? wow. What is wrong with the wealthy elite these days? oh right.

Posted by Yaelisa Caminos Flamencos on 12/15/2017 at 1:20 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

No, Grace, actually we don't. Because we all have instincts, and we know Steve is not healthy. Steve might not have intended to hurt people when he got off sexually, but that's what happened, with 6 women who are suing him... He made money, close to $1M / year, off of his behavior. My best friend repeatedly tried to get me to have scheduled hang outs with Steve, and because I was raised by mostly good parents and mostly good family, I knew something was wrong, and I chose not to engage with him. If you so dare use this comment thread as a way to gain more sympathy for Steve, you too will be found out.

Posted by Margaret1738 on 12/15/2017 at 1:04 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

I speak up now on behalf of Steve Bearman. This story does not reflect his side of things and paints him out to be an evildoer wanting to hurt innocent people. I am skeptical that is how it actually is. The Steve Bearman I know is a loving and caring human being and would have no need or desire to hurt anyone just to get off sexually. He has many people willing to have sex with him and it makes absolutely no sense that he would need to drug anybody. Also, he is a conscious person and he would not want someone to do anything against their will.

Since this is so contradicting to his nature that most of us know as gentle and kind, maybe it would be helpful to ask ourselves what other motives would these women have? Money and jealousy and rejection are often reasons why someone might make false claims or only remember something the way they want to in order to feel better.

False rape claims are not uncommon. Given the amount of money these women may have believed they could get by suing Bearman, we cannot ignore the possibility of Steve even being set up. It happens to the best people. Steve is clever about some things and naive about some others. He wants to see the best in people and has given his life to serving others and creating intentionally loving community.

He may be gulty of trusting too easily and taking drugs and throwing sex parties. But he is not the sinister narcissist and rapist this article paints him to be and it falls on these women to prove their allegations. And I question that they are allowed to remain anonymous while Steve must bear the weight of all this hatred and all we have are the words of these people. We need to hear the whole story and refrain from lynching this man and making him a scapegoat for all the pain and suffering in the world. He is a human being not a monster.

Posted by Grace Love on 12/15/2017 at 12:23 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

With all due respect, Florie Wild, Steve's care and compassion to you personally is not what we should be looking at right now. I learned some valuable lessons at Interchange also. So what? How does that in any way modulate the repugnant nature of Steve's actions in so many instances? Or are you doubting the testimony of six women who have risked re-traumatizing themselves to speak out? What kind of a psychologist are you, anyway?

What DOES need attention is Steve's abuse of power again and again, with a ruthlessness that is chilling at best. And these were women usually at least 15 years his junior, and often women of color from traumatic economic, psychological, and life-threatening illness backgrounds! It is actually appalling to me that you would take this opportunity to speak on his behalf instead of expressing compassion for these poor women, who have put themselves on the line so courageously. In this climate of abuse of sexual power on the part of men the world over, and with six women having the guts to file a lawsuit, one of them a cancer survivor as the article states, how could you say you are "confused"? About what? How much clarity do you need? Is it news to you that nice people can do monstrous things? That Steve displayed remarkable levels of hubris and authoritarian control of his organization? Perhaps time to read a feminist treatise or two. Or learn something about the oppression of women of color to fill out your psychological training. Also check your internalized oppression, and see how much kool-aid you drank. You stun me.

To all you beautiful and strong women who have had the courage to speak up against your exploitation, there are lots of us who care about YOU.

Posted by Aida del Valle, Esq. on 12/14/2017 at 9:40 PM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

Crazy to see this. Didnt know him personally but went to a party up at that house a couple years back, wasnt a sex party but a celebration of freedom for a brotha who just got out from wrongful imprisonment. Puts a weird taint on a memory of what I would say is the best party i ever been to in my life hands down. Weird shadow vibe right now reading this. Gives me a weird taint on such a good memory. In parallel, a close friend of mine just told me a co-worker, a top ranking executive in her company groped her in jest asking her, are these real? My question is: what can we do as conscious men to promote an unconditional culture of consent while still pursuing intimate connections? And can we define a universal method of establishing consent? Obviously consent wasnt his intention, though maybe for some reason he thought he had it because it was something he promoted, but at this point every single man (and woman i guess cuz it can go both ways though rare) needs to be trained on consent formally. Too many stories arise in this grey area of pushed boundaries and miscommunication resulting in trauma. Bottom line is, how the fuck are you gonna chose gratifying yourself over causing someone emotional distress, I really just dont understand. Get some lotion assholes.

Posted by _CaliGoldenBoy on 12/14/2017 at 8:55 PM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

I read this article a couple nights ago and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. I've never met Steve but I've known about him and Interchange for years. I saw him at a party a few years ago and a female friend of mine told me he would date his students. I was like, REALLY? It seemed so bizarre to me, but she was nonchalant about it. I'm now wondering, how is the sex/drug positive culture we're in here in the SF Bay Area contributing to this kind of a situation happening? Why weren't people in leadership roles calling him out on this earlier? Or his business partner Margo Brockman? I mean, everybody involved in counseling or psychology knows about the dangers of transference. The number of people complicit with all this is probably huge. The sex positive community obviously has some major blindspots.

I remember seeing the "Ending Jealousy" course being offered by Interchange a while back. Think about that for a second. Having that as part of your curriculum, and also being "sex positive" is a perfect set up for abuse to happen. Anytime someone rebuffs your advances, you can just say, "Oh, you're not open enough" or "You have more inner work to do, I can help you" etc, etc. Other sex positive people around Steve probably looked the other way because "Hey, look how awesomely open minded we are about sex. It's no big deal that the lead counselor dates his students. We're sex positive and more evolved than all the shame filled normal people out there, it's all good". Boom, THAT'S A BLIND SPOT PEOPLE. Being sex positive doesn't mean that transference won't happen, that abuse won't happen, and that people won't get hurt.

Steve's use of drugs in these assaults is particularly creepy and gross. It's like the Bill Cosby thing, but he got the women to take the drugs voluntarily. That's some high level manipulation there. Some of the victims' accounts are just plain horrendous, and definitely criminal, but a couple of them seemed a little more murky as far as whether an actual crime happened. I found myself getting a little frustrated, I mean, why do they keep going to his bedroom? And getting naked with him? And partying with him, at sex parties?? Ahhh, this is just a big mess. I'm guessing he settles with all the victims out of court. And hopefully never teaches or counsels again, EVER. I have no idea about prison time. Anyone with knowledge about the justice system have any thoughts about that?

Posted by Truth seeker on 12/14/2017 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

I know Steve Bearman to be a caring and compassionate human who helped me heal and grow a tremendous amount. He helped many people I know do the same. Interchange changed my life for the better. This news is confusing. I am still processing but want to say at this time that nobody deserves to rot in jail. I hope we can talk about this in a way that helps us all move forward and evolve.

Posted by Florie Wild on 12/14/2017 at 8:32 PM

Re: “Where to Buy Legal Weed in the East Bay on Jan. 1

I agree with Mr. Mondy--people serving jail time for selling pot should be released and given jobs in the new, corporate controlled industry that it will soon become

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 12/14/2017 at 2:30 PM

Re: “Oakland's Sacred Wheel Cheese Shop to Permanently Close

Sad, sad news. Best of luck to Jena and the crew!!!!!

Posted by Drew Padilla on 12/14/2017 at 11:02 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

Hate cannot describe the feelings I have towards Steve Bearman. It makes me sick that he could operate in this world for this long at this level. Even though I realize it is not their fault, I am angry at people I know who were complicit. I'm annoyed at the people who praised and bowed to him despite intuitively knowing these secrets. Get your heads on straight, get them out of the clouds. We need to talk openly about these issues and not laugh them off or pray them away. I am so glad this day has come. I hope you cut off my old best friend you coerced away from her friends, so she can have the decency to move the fuck on. I hope you go to jail for a very, very long time, pay back every penny you took, perform community service alone in a room somewhere where you cannot have contact with people, and have to get so much psychotherapy that you live in severe debt when you're out of jail. I never liked you, you never deserved my best friend.

Posted by Margaret1738 on 12/14/2017 at 9:47 AM

Re: “ISSUES

The best source I've found anywhere in the East Bay for specialty magazines including fashion, home decor, travel, music, etc. , including many European and foreign language publications.

Posted by Gus Walbolt on 12/14/2017 at 9:42 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

Please look closely at another group in San Francisco "The Welcomed Consensus" waiting for the day when their secrets are exposed as well... www.WelcomedConsensus.com

Posted by Rebecca 1 on 12/14/2017 at 9:38 AM

Re: “Pending Eviction of Former Black Panther Aunti Frances Highlights Just-Cause 'Loophole'

I used to be a student until it became too expensive, said Natalia Morphy, 25, who dropped out of SF State last spring and became a dog walker. The upper echelons of society are making it harder and harder for people to educate themselves and make it to the 1 per cent.

https://www.ft.com/content/1997ca6a-107c-1…

Natalia, your dream of almost joining the 1% will soon be realized AND you get to contribute to the homeless problem. Don't worry, neoliberal/Randians like Ernest Montague will wave his pom-poms in full support.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 12/14/2017 at 9:15 AM

Re: “Gary Oldman Surpasses Himself in Darkest Hour

Churchill was, beyond a doubt, the most important human being of the twentieth Century. He, and he alone provided the moral and emotional impetus that led England to hold off the Nazi menace long enough for America to get into the war and contribute to the effort.

Russia supplied the most lives and the war would have been lost without them. America supplied the money and equipment.

Churchill supplied the leadership that started the allied resistance.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 12/14/2017 at 8:46 AM

Re: “A's Ballpark Proposal at Laney College Abruptly Scrapped

This is great news for the people of Oakland, the poor, Laney, and Lake Merritt. It's bad news for the A's and their wealthy supporters. Suck it up boys. Oakland doesn't need your noise, traffic and drunken behavior in downtown Oakland.

Keep it at the Coliseum.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 12/14/2017 at 8:32 AM

Re: “Pending Eviction of Former Black Panther Aunti Frances Highlights Just-Cause 'Loophole'

So someone, please, instruct me on why a landlord has a deep moral obligation to rent their property at minimal rents for the lifespan of the tenant. I'd love to know.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 12/14/2017 at 8:23 AM

Re: “Plan to Ship Coal Through Oakland Was Years in the Making

Thank you for clarifying the City's main argument that it has the legal right to protect the health and safety of Oakland's residents. Asthma rates are high enough in West Oakland without adding coal dust.

Posted by Judy.Belcher on 12/14/2017 at 7:47 AM

Re: “For a Lesson in Vietnamese Eats, Head to The Temple Club

I guess every restaurant that employs Mexican cooks is practicing cultural appropriation. Come on!

Posted by Debra Sarver on 12/14/2017 at 6:41 AM

Re: “Opinion: Keep Cuts Away From Oakland Classrooms

Here's a list I came up with a few weeks ago:

Off the top of my head I can come with $20 million dollars of savings for the school district. Instead of taking $5.6 million from schools and firing over 150 workers to save $15 million, if I was on the school board this would be the plan I'd submit and push to improve our school district's finances. I'll call it plan B.

1. Cancel the lease at 1000 Broadway. $6 million/year.
Since the administration building was (intentionally) flooded in 2013, OUSD has leased office space downtown. It's a luxury we can't afford. All of the central staff can be housed at the schools that the district says are underutilized. This will have the added bonus of making school closures unnecessary. It will also leave less schools available to be turned into charters under prop 39 which will help our enrollment numbers and thus help us get more money from the state.

2. Have the state paid off the debt that they incurred but we are still paying on. $4 million/year.
During the 2003-2009 state takeover, OUSD borrowed money from the state and one condition of the loan was that the state appointed a state administrator who had sole control over our school district. When the state was in charge they ran up our debt (to the state), which are still paying off. That debt has now been sold to Goldman Sachs and other investors. The state no longer owns the debt so they can't just forgive it, but they could pay it off, especially since they're the ones who created it. We are still under partial state oversight so the district pays over $100,000/year to a state administrator has to approve every budget. The oversight also contains triggers to put us back under full state control, one trigger is not having at least a 2% reserve. We won't regain full control of our public school system until the debt is entirely paid off.

3. Stop bussing students from Glenview to Santa Fe. $1.2 million/year.
This school is the only school that gets buses. It's unfair that such an expensive service is only given to one school.

4. Stop paying for Oakland Promise. $2.5 million/year.
Oakland Promise pledges to support our kids yet they charge our school district millions of dollars a year. Oakland Promise should do the right thing and use the money they raise to provide all services to OUSD for free.

5. Stop paying the Oakland Public Education Fund for services. $4 million/year.
The school district pays the Ed Fund to provide a variety of services. The Ed Fund also runs Oakland Promise and they should do the right thing also and use the money they raise to provide all services to OUSD for free. The Ed Fund is also closely connected to GO, they were both started by the Rogers Foundation and the Ed Fund is funded by the same groups that funded most of our school board members' elections.

6. Cancel all contracts with companies connected to the same groups that funded school board members' elections. Start with 3 companies connected to New Schools Venture Fund, Amplify, Revolution Foods, and Education Resource Strategies. $1.5 million/year.
New schools venture fund and its offshoot educate78 are one of the biggest funders of GO and have been the lead investor in many of the companies that the school board now hire to provide services. Most of these services are unnecessary and were done through a no bid process. Companies and groups that funded the election of the school board should not be given millions of dollars worth of contracts. Is this even legal? The total cost of the questionable contracts is unknown.

7. Raise the oversight fee OUSD charges charter schools to the allowable maximum. $1 million/year.
We should be charging charter schools the maximum level that we're allowed, especially since they don't even help pay on our debt from the state. Currently we charge 1%, but we could charge 3%.

8. Put a moratorium on new charter schools. Unknown millions/year.
Charter schools are the main factor creating our budget problems. Oakland has the highest rate of charters in California. For every 100 students that go to a charter school our public schools lose over $1 millions in funding. Oakland needs a moratorium on new charters so we can have time to develop a plan to create a public education system that best serves our communities. Oakland needs to join a growing number of groups like Black Lives Matter, NAACP, Journey For Justice, #WeChoose, Florida Democratic Party, and now Richmond CA, in passing a charter school moratorium resolution.

These 8 actions could create well over $20 million of savings in OUSD's budget without taking any money from schools or firing staff. It's enough to cover the school board's proposed cuts plus put extra millions back into our schools. Many of these actions will produce multi year savings and could by themselves fix any structural deficit. Add an outside audit, a school board that takes their job seriously, strong internal controls, and an authentic and transparent 2017-18 budget process and we can fix a lot of the problems. The school board is choosing to cut the funding at all of our schools and fire 150-300 central office employees, even though there are other options. Please come to the school board meeting on November 27th to let the school board and superintendent know that their plan to take money from our schools is unacceptable.
#FailureByDesign
#WeChoose
#CharterSchoolsAreNotPublicSchools

Posted by Mike Hutchinson on 12/14/2017 at 3:34 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

You want to know what you can do to "make things right," Steven? ROT IN JAIL, where you absolutely belong.

Posted by Floodlight on 12/14/2017 at 12:36 AM

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