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Comment Archives: Last 30 Days

Re: “'Homeless Lives Matter Too??': People Sleeping On Oakland's Streets Still Waiting For Government Response To Growing East Bay Crisis

Oakland has a problem with the massive growth of street encampments. This is a land-use issue, and we need to stop conflating it with homelessness. Each of these phenomena needs to be addressed on its own terms.

Solving our housing problems will take time. Shame on those who, meanwhile, exploit unhoused people as a political scourge, sustaining encampments in our neighborhoods (even distributing tents!) as a means of publicizing Oaklands shortage of low-income housing. (Indeed, tighter enforcement of rent control is a no-brainer, as is the dedicating the resources and political will to fight evictions. Problems that involve drug use or mental illness are far more 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)

Acquiring a tent is an act of volition; its not a magical by-product of homelessness. Ive been homeless (twice, each time for about a year), but I never imagined that the streets and sidewalks of my city (or any city) were available to me for storage of household belongings or for pitching a hulking tent. I never considered that an option so I found and developed all sorts of other ways to cope. In at least one case, this even involved going to another city where I had friends whod put me up until I got my life back off the ground.

Criminalizing homelessness? Nowhere else to go? In a city with all sorts of intricate zoning, health and building codes (and where we constantly hear talk about peoples deep roots and pride in their neighborhoods), people may be free to come and go as they please -- but no one has a right simply to perform certain vital functions on the neighborhood street of their choice. Our streets are not available for camping, any more than theyre available for taking a crap.

For now, the City should immediately set aside campgrounds for its current nomadic population, appropriately situated in its own (or an industrial) neighborhood, on open land -- with toilet facilities and trash receptacles, possibly including secure storage as well. So-called activists -- if they're welcomed -- might best assist in maintaining peace and well-being among the residents, rather than inflicting themselves upon neighborhoods of the housed. (Let them save their ideological ire for the 1%!) More power to them if they can help create a community of "mutual aid" that resembles a Rainbow Gathering, or Yasgurs farm. ;-)

"Safe ground" is a wonderful concept; it should also insure that every existing neighborhood is safe ground" for its housed residents. Therefore, such a policy must correspond to Zero Tolerance for street encampments. Enforcement? Anyone who erects a tent where camping is not explicitly permitted should be warned that he or she has thereby waived any property rights to that tent, or to household belongings deposited on the street and that such items are considered to be trash. If need be, signs should be posted around town to that effect: You abuse it, you lose it.

So much for "whack-a-mole"!

Homeless residents? Wheres THEIR outreach to their neighbors? Homelessness is not a license to pitch camp at whatever spot one decides is convenient, dumping ones belongings on the street of ones choice. Existing residents (those with a residence) are also entitled to a modicum of consideration and respect.

Otherwise, are we ready to demonstrate, for all the world to see, that spreading squalor is Oaklands real "secret sauce"?

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 05/30/2017 at 1:19 PM

Re: “Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Returns To The Bay On June 3

Learn how to make an overly-hoppy ale that tastes just like every other overly-hoppy ale that every other brewery now makes!

Posted by Robert Paege on 05/30/2017 at 10:30 AM

Re: “Best Of The East Bay Finalists Are Here! Find Out Who Got Nominated!

Best Wine Bar:
Residual Sugar in Walnut Creek

Best Craft beer brewery experience;
Craft Cali Brewery in Walnut Creek

Submitted by Karen Dam

Posted by karen dam on 05/30/2017 at 10:08 AM

Re: “How Nature Heals: Why East Bay Doctors Are Prescribing The Outdoors To People Of Color

Thank you for this article, bringing attention to a new way of addressing this issue through the healthcare community. Dr. Zarr recently did a webinar through the American Society of Landscape Architects to share about the program he has helped to develop in Washington DC. It was a collaboration of the Children's Outdoor Environments and the Healthcare and Therapeutic Garden ASLA networks. The more we all talk about it, the more heads will come together to pave the way for solutions!

Posted by Lisa Bailey on 05/29/2017 at 5:30 PM

Re: “Letter of The Week: Our Readers Chime In On Driving While High

If anything, there should be little or *NO* parking for this brew pub. Instead, take the existing parking and fill it with bike racks - as a bicyclist and pedestrian, I'd rather have people getting home after a night of drinking in some way other than DRIVING! I guess the neighborhood NIMBYs thought their housing ownership extended to the street in front of their property but - and this is so sad to reveal to them - it does not.

Posted by Opressed Automobile Driver on 05/29/2017 at 4:46 PM

Re: “Ship Show Served Up Hip-Hop On A Former Navy Aircraft Carrier, Complete With First-Time Festival Hiccups

You said above "and the fact that they were told Keak da Sneak, a Bay Area Legend, would not be performing, only to take the stage." Not clear, did he show up and play after all?

Posted by Allison Martin on 05/29/2017 at 2:33 PM

Re: “'Homeless Lives Matter Too??': People Sleeping On Oakland's Streets Still Waiting For Government Response To Growing East Bay Crisis

Oh, you mean actually ask all the people (renters, artists,event promoters) and corporations to pay TAXES? Is that what you mean, Edward Cervantes? Not JUST the home owners?

And yes, too many of the homeless have been there long term. I know there are more than a few who have been there since I moved to Oakland over 20 years ago. They were there due to mental/emotional issues and are still there for those reasons. Treatment has to be paid for by someone.

Oakland was financially gutted decades ago and is kept that way by a bread and circuses mindset today.

Only by bringing in money can the needed services be paid for. That means being friendly to new development and new businesses; not just supporting what's already here. That is nowhere near enough to reverse the damage and neglect of decades.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 05/29/2017 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Hayward Police Chief: There Is No Video of Fatal Police Shooting of 16-Year-Old Elena Mondragon

The shooting of pregnant 16 year old Elena Mondragon occurred in City View apartment complex owened by Essex Property Trust, a multimillion dollar cooperation. City View is an area where criminal activities are continuously growing out of the management's control, as they downplays crime to its residents in order to continue increasing the rent. I don't condone the shooting of Mondragon for being in that area with the wrong friends. Yet, the shooting took place in the City View community comprises of over 500 units where criminal background checks in the past was not done in order to move in. If I was a police officer, I'd be quick to think of protecting myself first in that area.

Posted by doda on 05/29/2017 at 7:22 AM

Re: “Ship Show Served Up Hip-Hop On A Former Navy Aircraft Carrier, Complete With First-Time Festival Hiccups

No Keak De Sneak Sat No DMX Sun Sat they took for ever i was first in line and they made a second line and took 2 from that line and me and 2 from the other line doors open at almost 4pm on sat and said 3pm VIP didn't open until he'll a late a waste and then the music started super late and yes YG was pissed and Wiz khalifa played manner 35 min what headliner does that and Sun doors opened about 330 and to check points but none cop couldn't go to VIP and no DMX and wa tang came on late and played 45min and not the times on list

Posted by James Jimmy Gomez on 05/29/2017 at 1:09 AM

Re: “Casey Affleck A Misfit Again in Manchester By The Sea

I agree with the review. There was no character arc (he shows one emotion throughout - whoa is me), nor can I sympathize with a protagonist who is unlikeable ("My life sucks so I'm going to pick a fight and beat the crap out of you for no reason.") And the ending is as exciting and rewarding as a two-by-four (The kid doesn't want to move away from his friends and his legal guardian the fight picker doesn't want to move back to his hometown, so what to do? They both stay in their respective towns and the boy lives with friends of the family. Wow, that was tough to resolve and oh such an exciting conclusion.)

Posted by Mike Marlow on 05/28/2017 at 2:36 PM

Re: “A Cafe Oasis in Deep East Oakland

Just had the green smoothie, tasty! You actually feel healthy just looking at it :)

Posted by Scott S. 1 on 05/28/2017 at 1:30 PM

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

Yikes, judgement much?! I'm a proud Oakland resident but the comment about Dolores Park is an example of exactly what Oakland has to put up with constantly form outsiders. Stupid generalizations and bias. Just. Stop.

Posted by pabloo on 05/28/2017 at 11:13 AM

Re: “How City Hall Crushed Occupy Oakland

Saying Occupy Oakland or the Occupy Movement failed is a bit much since Occupy meant revolution; i.e. a displacement of existing faculties of authority in finance and law enforcement. Every entity with power in those two organs of society focused their attention on ending Occupy. To suggest that it failed is to compare the struggle to a contest with a time limit, at the end of which a winner and a loser is declared. The legacy of Occupy is that hundreds of massive demonstrations have occurred without permits since 2011. Now, the occupation of public space continues as a tactic of resistance to neoliberal strategies of privatization and the cutting of government services. Student debt strikes are a direct offshoot of Occupy. Murders by police officers are recorded and tabulated since the movement began. And there are certainly grounds for an argument that the surge of neo-fascism and the humiliation it brings down on the Right is a reaction to Occupy and its offshoots. We should continue to evaluate the events of Sept. 2011 to Jan. 2012 from any and all perspectives, but its not yet time to put Occupy on the shelf. As Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his faction contributed to the achievements of Mohandas Gandhi, and as Stokley Carmichael and Malcolm X did the same for Martin Luther King, Jr., so may the radicals of Oakland do for crypto-revolutionaries who wish Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would stop playin.

Posted by Mike Wilson 1 on 05/28/2017 at 8:16 AM

Re: “City Emails: Many Dublin Residents Think Undocumented Immigrants Are 'Felons' Who Will Turn Their Town Into a 'Cesspool'

By the way Gary Patton, I was just looking through the old Milo Berkeley post and was surprised to see you comment there too (what can I say, I'm always late when it comes to the news or looking through articles), and I know you're probably not going to read this post, but if you do, I just want to tell you and everyone that anarchism itself is not as scary as it sounds and not just for white males; it's not just about breaking windows either. People of all races adhere to this centuries old political ideology, including Asians, African-Americans, Native Americans and Hispanics. I recommend you do some research on it; wikipedia's a good start. You can also visit an anarchist bookfair in SF. Trust me, anarchism is not that scary. As a Chinese-American, philosophically, I personally base my anarchism in Taoism and the Buddhist tradition of non-violence.

Some people end up Marxist or liberal or conservative or alt-right , but I ended up as an anarchist feminist (anarcha-feminist) because I grew up in a very diverse area, stayed in Dublin long enough, faced and witnessed sexism, racism and bullying everywhere in the Bay Area (including San Francisco), ask why some people are homeless and some are not, paid attention to the news, and took critical thinking and history courses in high school and college. Anarchism just came naturally to me as it is anti-authoritarian, based on direct democracy, and social and economic equality.

So to bring all of this back to this topic, I hate the fact that what was once a growingly diverse sleepy little quint Irish town (with awesome St. Patrick's Day parades) waiting to become the famous little sister to Hayward, San Leandro, Oakland and Berkeley has now become famous as a town full of bigotry, which is far from the truth and much more nuanced, because not every single resident in Dublin or Livermore or San Ramon thinks the same way or eats the same food (part-whole fallacy). I judge a place by whether I feel comfortable expressing my far-left feminist anarchist views as a person of color in public. Dublin has always been a place where I feel comfortable doing so everywhere I go without people screaming at me or giving me weird or dirty looks. Maybe they hide their feelings well and secretly want me gone, but I really doubt that. I know some people in Dublin espouse racist or prejudiced sentiments, but just as many are against it, as the article states.

Posted by He Zhen on 05/27/2017 at 11:36 AM

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

Agreed inappropriate comment.

Posted by Nutella PR on 05/27/2017 at 10:36 AM

Re: “'Homeless Lives Matter Too??': People Sleeping On Oakland's Streets Still Waiting For Government Response To Growing East Bay Crisis

Any plan that does not include treatment for mental illness and drug abuse will fail. We have seen plenty of articles by EBX blaming these tent cities on lack of affordable housing, while completly ignoring the elphant in the room.

Posted by Robert Murphy on 05/27/2017 at 9:06 AM

Re: “Win Tickets to The Yardbirds at Yoshi's

how do stacy and i enter

Posted by John Tango Iversen on 05/27/2017 at 5:32 AM

Re: “Win Tickets to The Yardbirds at Yoshi's

glad i'm not the only one Stacy!

Posted by John Tango Iversen on 05/27/2017 at 5:32 AM

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

In response to Mr. Ferrell's comment: I'd add that people go where they know. Most of the homeless people i know out here in West Oakland were displaced from longtime homes here in West Oakland.

Posted by Edward Cervantes on 05/27/2017 at 5:24 AM

Re: “'Homeless Lives Matter Too??': People Sleeping On Oakland's Streets Still Waiting For Government Response To Growing East Bay Crisis

If its a finance matter, why not ask citizens for money? There are many issues that require more funding, but citizens of any community should feel obligated to ensure all of its members have some basics. If concerned with encampments, and dumping, and blight, and/or the safety and well-being of fellow citizens and would like to contribute toward ending homelessness in our home city, send what you can to Oakland's "Housing 4 All" Fund c/o Libby at City Hall.

Posted by Edward Cervantes on 05/27/2017 at 5:12 AM

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