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Comment Archives: Last 30 Days

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

Is the Chief of Police, Anne Kirkpatrick, a direct report to Tim Birch, an "analyst"? I find information on him elsewhere that calls him "Police Services Manager". Accurate? If so, why was he answering questions about agreements signed by the former C.O.P. and making apologies vs the Chief? Why was he even present?

The reason I checked is because I saw other articles on EBX regarding Mr Birch as an IT specialist dealing with communications technology. In that role, he has NO role in police policy so it struck me odd he was responding to policy questions for this commission.

I was under the impression the C.O.P. reported to at a minimum to the city manager, if not the mayor.

Was this "theater" so the commission could say it held a hearing... Withoutthe public realizing it meaningless? Or is this commission so clueless they had no idea he had nothing to do with these policies, if which case the question rises, should these individuals even be at the table? Which Tammany Hall rats appointed them?

And why do I have to ask these questions vs the "award winning" EBX reporters who don't seem to fact check ANYTHING!

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/03/2017 at 8:13 AM

Re: “New Dating Site for Pot Users Has High Hopes

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Posted by Camille730 on 06/03/2017 at 8:06 AM

Re: “New Dating Site for Pot Users Has High Hopes

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Posted by Camille730 on 06/03/2017 at 8:06 AM

Re: “Nearly Every Scene In New Baywatch Appears Framed To Appease Corporate Sponsors

I get the feeling the reviewer almost feels they have to rip this movie or be castigated by fellow scribes. I never watched Bayeatch but like The Rock and Alexandra. This movie doesn't present itself for anything more than it is - a light-hearted spinoff of its former self. It was simple, funny and easy on the eyes. The Rock is very likable. The other characters, so-so. Believable? Meh. But I kind of knew that going in. Can't we just go to a movie and have a little fun? This reviewer has to stop taking himself so seriously. Not every film is life or death.

Posted by blc2000 on 06/03/2017 at 7:46 AM

Re: “Report: When It Comes to Mortgage Loan Servicing, Banks Are Still Failing to Comply With the Law

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Re: “Top Ramen For Life: The Student Loan Crisis

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Re: “Can Legal Weed Save the Music Industry?

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Posted by Marcin Grzebski on 06/03/2017 at 2:14 AM

Re: “Oakland Expends Considerable Money and Person-Power Displacing Homeless Residents, According to City Records

Mr. Ferrell, I have my own experience (with homelessness and substance use); I've left both behind, and I still have a life (one not mired in "recovery") -- no thanks to the practitioners (and often cult-like programs) you celebrate, however well-intentioned they may be. (For an alternate perspective, please read [or view] "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" or "A Scanner Darkly.")

In any event, as I've already noted, any purported solution (regarding mental illness and substance use) is sure to be controversial -- if the implicit issues can ever be settled, and if truly effective and universally accepted 'treatment' even exists.

That's all beside the point, however.

We face an immediate crisis -- specifically involving the street encampments that have recently been mushrooming in our neighborhoods, and the catastrophic depletion and displacement of low-income (and specifically SRO) housing. This is new -- and it's the situation we immediately need to address.

As you yourself acknowledge, at best "some have to work at recovery for years to achieve basic stability." What are we supposed to do in the meantime -- even assuming such an approach is destined ever to have widespread success? Given the urgency of the current situation, let's address the encampments as such, and ameliorate the shortage (and loss) of low-income housing as fully and quickly as is competently possible.

Ironically, we agree on much regarding the political situation that's exacerbated the current problem, and that's kept us from addressing the crisis we face. Unfortunately, the perspective you promote is yet another part of the problem -- contributing to the current self-seeking and paralysis -- rather than a solution.

In that context, everything I've written and proposed here falls clearly and straightforwardly under the rubric of harm reduction -- of addressing the crisis at hand. That's where we need to start.

We may need to focus on the hardest cases later -- if, indeed, they're truly amenable to "professional" interventions, or prove to have any viable solution at all.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 06/02/2017 at 11:22 PM

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

It's a good thing our Federal Government isn't this inept. Oh. Wait.

Posted by JP Massar on 06/02/2017 at 7:52 PM

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

Having visited all but five major league baseball cities I cannot see why a downtown site for the new A's stadium cannot be decided upon. Actually the Fox Oakland Theatre area would be best---new hotels, restaurants, cafes and sports bars would follow as shown in Denver, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and even San Francisco have demonstrated. However, if the Laney College location is picked that would suffice---it has worked before as that exact location housed Frank Youell Field for the Oakland Raiders (1962-65) with 21,000 fans per game attending. And that was before BART was even in the picture. Let us get the decision confirmed and underway sooner rather than later.
Regards
LEE KESSLER
Alameda

Posted by Lee Kessler on 06/02/2017 at 6:24 PM

Re: “Video: Oakland's Homeless Residents Are Targets of Arson Attacks

charlie pine thinks this article is about his suspicion and undocumented claim that 'homeless residents engage in arson attacks, too'

in fact, charlie, this article is about the known fact (not your speculation) that homeless residents HAVE BEEN TARGETED BY ARSON

if you have proof that someone has started a fire, maybe you should provide that . otherwise, keep your speculation to yourself

Posted by demotro polis on 06/02/2017 at 3:45 PM

Re: “Amid Calls to 'Defund' Oakland Police, City Settles $989,000 Claim of Sexually Exploited Teen 'Celeste Guap'

i wonder if schaaf would think this was a 'fair resolution' if it was her daughter . she knew, and let it go on . she's part and parcel of the abuses by opd . instead of allowing the new citizen's police watchdog to hire an appropriate new chief for a reasonable price, she hand picked her new opd chief and offered even more money than the last several corrupt chiefs were taking out of town

time to go, schaaf . thanks to desley for stating what should be obvious to every thinking person

Posted by demotro polis on 06/02/2017 at 3:37 PM

Re: “City of Oakland ‘Bulldozer’ Hit A Homeless Man While He Was Sleeping In A Tent

robert hope is clearly clueless about poverty . of course houseless people are houseless because they don't have money for rent, and because oakland allows greedy landlords to push people out so they can increase rents for outsiders to replace local residents . pay attention : many people are houseless as a direct result of illegal foreclosures or what should be illegal rent spikes

meanwhile, someone step up to represent this man . he should be able to afford to buy a house with a fraction of the cash he should collect from this incident . if we, the people, can't control our city government and workers, we, the people will have our taxes used for payouts in lawsuits and 'settlements' for situations like this along with rapist and otherwise abusive and murderous police

Posted by demotro polis on 06/02/2017 at 3:28 PM

Re: “City of Oakland ‘Bulldozer’ Hit A Homeless Man While He Was Sleeping In A Tent

Nanci, I pay for my garbage to be removed so there's an expectation that it will be done.

Are these people paying to have their garbage removed? Shake your head no. You, I, and the rest of the city are paying for their garbage to be removed.

Posted by Robert Hope on 06/02/2017 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Oakland Expends Considerable Money and Person-Power Displacing Homeless Residents, According to City Records

Obviously Mr Halberstadt, you have no clue about what is needed for substance dependency problems. I'd respectfully like to suggest that you leave your do-gooding in that realm to those with experience. Else what happens become at best ineffective or as I mentioned previously (and you eluded to) a scam sucking desperately needed help away, often facilitated by self serving politicians operating their own version of Tammany Hall.

While the paid recovery industry sometimes suggests 12-step self-help (free meetings), many use those free meetings, and other forms of free resource all by themselves without ever touching the paid side of that world. Yes, some have to work at recovery for years to achieve basic stability... It's the nature of the beast.

I don't think anyone would even begin to suggest the problems of substance use and abuse aren't complex and highly individual and as such not really amenable to a simplistic solutions.

The cries about "coercive intervention!" were first heard in California long ago under Reagan (then governor) resulting in people being tossed into unfunded, non-existent community facilities... In effect, homeless into the streets. The genesis of the visible homeless crisis.

What we see now in the existing camps, isn't organized community and it's fairly obvious never will be. Nor will a semi-permanent campgrounds be.

The problems of "affordable housing" are almost equally difficult. It takes money to buy land and materials and pay laborers to build housing at any level of value. Oakland, as a community, has not enough... As a community, does almost nothing to encourage that money be invested here... When existing businesses here can almost guarantee they WILL be the target of expensive reconstruction and repairs when crypto-anarchists take to the streets smashing and defacing them... When new construction is destroyed by arson, not once but twice in less than a year. When community "activists"
obstruct new construction, not because no set aside for affordable housing isn't made, but because what is set aside isn't "premium".

Which brings us right back to a community that tolerates these behaviors, that re-elects pocket dictators over and over, that "doesn't snitch" and want's instant solutions for long festering problems, throwing out anyone who doesn't kowtow their demands.

While it may feel good to immediately provide for physical needs, without a long term recovery plans, all that happens it to open a deep hole in which to endlessly pour resources making it more difficult to provide any the of services needed.

When we say "Fire the bureaucrats and social workers" we eliminate the on-the-firing-line people needed to do the hard work. Change doesn't "just happen" people paying their bills, working and living their lives do that hard work.

If people can't do those things, the work doesn't happen and change never happens. For people to do those things, they need to be paid.

We can demand unicorns, elves, fairies and money trees, but those aren't real. Quasi-libertarian suggestions are just another form bullying too.

Now, instead of bitching about how little we allocate for these problems, can someone show me where what money we have comes from and, maybe, suggest new sources?

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/02/2017 at 8:51 AM

Re: “Oakland’s Eastlake Music Festival at Lake Merritt

Loved that last paragraph, and thank you for all of your articles about events in The Town.

Posted by jesse james on 06/02/2017 at 12:58 AM

Re: “Oakland Expends Considerable Money and Person-Power Displacing Homeless Residents, According to City Records

What sort of "treatment" are you talking about, Mr. Ferrell? Institutionalization? The endless merry-go-round of 12-step meetings touted by the "recovery" industry? As I already wrote, "Problems that involve drug use or mental illness are complex, and any solutions are sure to be controversial -- if the implicit issues can ever be settled, and if truly effective and universally accepted 'treatment' even exists."

Meanwhile, we face two immediate crises: the metastasizing spread of tent encampments throughout Oakland (especially in the flats), and the depletion of low-income housing. While these issues reflect urgent physical needs, we're misdirecting attention and diverting scarce resources to dubious (and potentially coercive) interventions in "homeless lives."

We need to approach these two crises with respect for those affected, rather than viewing them as helpless victims in need of dubious (and expensive) "services," or as pawns in a political game. A dedicated campground isn't a ghetto; it's a campground: a place for someone who's acquired a tent to pitch camp until he or she either commits to a nomadic existence (in whatever locale seems most suitable and hospitable), or sets his/her sights on another way of life. At least it's an alternative to "criminalization."

As for "teaching them to fish"? These days, those who'd "teach them to fish" would typically charge a licensing fee for the gear, and demand a royalty on every fish they caught (which would, in turn, fund the training and salaries of new "teachers"). Instead, how's about giving them a rod and reel; ingenuity (and talking to others on the pier [i.e., seeking out wisdom and making connections]) should take care of the rest.

This ain't rocket science! Fire the bureaucrats and social workers, and provide for real, physical needs.

We need to develop housing for THOUSANDS of people (and set aside a place where they can camp out in the meantime, especially those who've burned all their bridges to friends who might otherwise help). Instead, we inflict encampments on neighborhoods of the housed while we build a "navigation center" designed to "connect them with services" -- but that can actually house only 150!

150? That would be a joke, if it weren't such a scandal. That's where we end up when, instead of focusing on immediate, practical problems -- the actual crisis that we face -- we become mired in trying to reshape other people's lives.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 06/01/2017 at 11:57 PM

Re: “City of Oakland ‘Bulldozer’ Hit A Homeless Man While He Was Sleeping In A Tent

Thank you for writing this, Nick. It's clear to me that the City of Oakland is not doing it's due diligence to take care of its citizens, and in this case was egregious in their misconduct. It's clear that a tent with a person and their belongings inside isn't garbage.

What I have seen is that most encampment residents work hard to out all the garbage in one place, and that the city has not been collecting garbage from the camps. Imagine if the city didn't pick up your household waste for weeks...it's an unimaginable nightmare that the city has seen before during strikes.

Get it together, Oakland. Treat residents kindly and fairly and utilize the city services to help rather than harm.

Posted by Nanci Armstrong-Temple on 06/01/2017 at 10:47 PM

Re: “City of Oakland ‘Bulldozer’ Hit A Homeless Man While He Was Sleeping In A Tent

Well, Valerie, I guess this IS trash collection. How is it that the trash became so intermixed into the personal effects of the inhabitants that it became easy to mistake one from another? I know if someone came by and dumped garbage on MY living area, I'd either shift my living area so that it's clear illegally dumped stuff isn't mine or move the illegally dumped stuff doesn't mingle with what's mine. Naaaa... Let's just blame some hypothetical person. It's SO much easier.

Have you ever watched a fully loaded cart being used to haul stuff down the street? A truly amazing tribute to human endeavor. Humans have been using muscle power and minimal "machines" to move fairly large loads for thousands of years.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 06/01/2017 at 10:03 PM

Re: “City of Oakland ‘Bulldozer’ Hit A Homeless Man While He Was Sleeping In A Tent

Where are the inhabitants supposed to put the trash from the encampment if there is no regular trash collection? And it's not clear that some of it isn't illegal dumping by people taking advantage of the unsupervised nature of the areas where the encampments are. If you look at the stuff, lots of the bulky items are things the people in the encampments could not have carried there.

Posted by Valerie Winemiller on 06/01/2017 at 9:04 PM

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