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Re: “Hidden Monuments to Racism

Gammon mixes a few facts with a bunch of unsupported assertions to weave a myth about a racist recent history of Berkeley and North Oakland. Yes, it's true that developers of middle-class areas in the teens and twenties routinely inserted racially restrictive covenants. It was a time period when the U.S. has a lot to be ashamed of, not the least the tremendously racist Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924. There's also lots of evidence that redevelopment in the 1950s and 1960s was covertly, if not overtly, racist in destroying lower class and minority neighborhoods across the U.S. None of this bears on the current or recent past zoning of Lower Rockridge (below Broadway), which was a reaction to an attempt in the early 1970s by Oakland real estate interests to replace its homes and small apartment buildings with mid-rise office and apartment buildings. That had nothing to do with race, and everything to do with resisting big money and protecting a human-scale neighborhood.

Posted by stu in Oakland on 09/23/2017 at 12:22 PM

Re: “Sister Act

Great voices, innovative stage design. A vital, energetic, uplifting show. On opening night, everything was perfect.

Posted by Jks on 09/23/2017 at 10:27 AM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

"If every city had its own bank creating infinite money we would drive up prices for resources in limited supply"

This is exactly what private banks do today is it not? What a shame we have allowed a private cartel to control the US money supply and the subsequent costs we pay for granting them that privilege.

Posted by Chance DG on 09/22/2017 at 10:37 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Kirkpatrick Points Blame at Ex-Chief Whent for Mishandling of Celeste Guap Sex Crimes Case

I suggest that Darwin get his facts correct and perhaps actually reading the report might help. Also, Darwin as a "reporter" you may also want to ensure that either you or your editor proof your spewing for grammatical errors. Is there not something better that you can spend your time and energy on?

Posted by Bettygene Egan on 09/22/2017 at 6:49 PM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

Once you have a plan for construction, you should figure out what core banking software you should use to run transaction accounts, loans, payments, etc. for the computers to hook themselves up to the financial infrastructure.
I would ask the BND what core banking service system they use and purchase from the same company.

Make sure you have the necessary banking equipment like this stuff:

Posted by JJ174 on 09/22/2017 at 4:36 PM

Re: “Hidden Monuments to Racism

Thanks, Kat! I found this brief history fascinating. Even though I lived in Berkeley for many years, I never knew about the deed restrictions. But I think it does the story, the history, and the pillars a disservice to call them "Monuments to racism." They are relics of racist events in the past, but were not built to praise or honor racism. If they are monuments to something, they are monuments to eliminating racism.

Posted by Geoff Alexander on 09/22/2017 at 4:32 PM

Re: “Oakland Port Board Expected to Approve Ban-The-Box and Living Wage Agreements for Massive New Warehouse Project

So basically, they're going to be given the chance to make minimum wage.

Posted by Jay78 on 09/22/2017 at 2:40 PM

Re: “The Albany Cross Resurrects Memories of the KKK

Different writers focus on different things, and I thought this article was very much on point regarding the issue of the varying meanings of the cross in the public park to various people. The suggested corrections on other matters (e.g. easements and eucalyptus) generally look right to me as well.

One point I would emphasize: Albany is actually a racially and religiously diverse place today, which is one of the things the city has pointed out to the Albany Lions Club in asking them to rethink their position. It is no longer a white enclave, although it is certainly true that Albany has an unusually small African American population for an East Bay 'flatlands' city. We know the size of that population is no accident - the century-ago Klan activity is just one element of a lengthy history of racial exclusion that included deed restriction, redlining, racist real estate sales practices, and communal rejection of potential neighbors.

On the other hand, many formerly excluded groups, in particular people of Asian origin, have gained a very substantial footing here in more recent years. Those of us who value diversity have reason to hope that we can look forward to having more African American neighbors too. To make that happen, our society will have to make progress against economic injustice, and our community will have to make progress against the negative history of race here as well as the social attitudes that sadly still recur - as each generation of young people needs to learn for itself the necessity of mutual respect and understanding.

Posted by Rochelle Nason on 09/22/2017 at 2:30 PM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

Theoretically, a bank doesn't need depositors or deposits to create credit. The BND doesn't have depositors but it takes deposits from taxes to create credit.
A city bank could work like the BND and have few if any depositors or even deposits from taxes and work by creating credit to fund city development.
If the city bank will create credit but have no restriction on credit creation based on deposits, it must work with both the county and the state to determine a loan growth quota, meaning a yearly allotted amount that can be legally created to fund city development that year.
If there are no restrictions on credit creation, the bank could theoretically create a limitless amount of money when resources are limited and needed elsewhere. If every city had its own bank creating infinite money we would drive up prices for resources in limited supply, so those resources need to be allocated properly through a loan growth quota.

Posted by JJ174 on 09/22/2017 at 2:05 PM

Re: “One of Oakland's Most Historic Figures Was Also Horribly Racist

The comments here which are thoughtful and researched contrast greatly with the subject article which is shallow and obviously written to stir emotion and gain attention. There is no hard evidence that JK was a "diehard" racist. He was not a member of any racist organizations nor did he espouse any racist views during his run for mayor of Oakland. London commented "to Hell with the Constitution " quoting the abolitionist leader, William Lloyd Garrison, saying "To Hell with the Constitution " when that document was used to defend slavery. Neither should London be condemned because of his fictional writings just because some people figure authors only express their own views when writing fiction. By their standards we should condemn Alfred Hitchcock as a murderer. Finally and most importantly, we honor Jack London not as a sociologist or a politician, but as writer of adventure stories.

Posted by Andrew Stevenson on 09/22/2017 at 1:54 PM

Re: “Lieutenant Governor Hopeful Gayle McLaughlin Wants to Take the East Bay’s Progressive Revolution to Sacramento

The McLaughlin and the RPA represents what can be accomplished when politicians make policy based on values and sound judgment rather than just doing whatever will get them re-elected (e.g. Chevron money).

The quotes from Tom Butt are hilarious. This is a guy who openly opposed rent control because he represents landlords and developers. I'm sure he would've preferred "compromise," that way he and his landlord buddies can continue to enrich themselves on the backs of Richmond's renters, who make up a majority of residents and are seeing 20% increases in one month.

Myrick is just a spineless politician who blows with the wind. Other than making a backroom deal with Chevron (the only other person present was Butt), he's accomplished absolutely nothing. What he calls "compromise" is really just sacrificing the interests of constituents in order to cater to a powerful interest (Chevron). Richmond residents deserved and would have gotten much more from Chevron if he hadn't secretly made a deal with them.

Butt and Myrick can credibly say that they don't share RPA's viewpoints. But they cannot credibly say that RPA has not gotten results. In fact, if nothing else, RPA has shown that huge changes are possible if we disregard politics as usual.

Posted by Charles Jury on 09/22/2017 at 1:14 PM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

One more thing that needs to be mentioned is governance of the bank. If it is a city public bank how much influence or control do the elected representatives of the city have over the management of the bank? If you are the CEO of the city public bank what is your relationship with the mayor of the city and its council? Can the mayor fire you and appoint someone else to run the bank if he/she feels that your decisions do not represent the will of the elected majority? Should their be more collective decision making between the mayor, the city council, and the person appointed as CEO of the bank?

Posted by JJ174 on 09/22/2017 at 12:32 PM

Re: “Third Party

Msg for Lark Buckingham: Are you related to the Jack Buckingham who taught art and flaminco guitar at Laney College? We have two,paintings of his and have been looking for family members who might be interested in having them (free, of course.)

Mary Panton

Posted by Rivet on 09/22/2017 at 12:31 PM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

I think a public bank for the city needs to have city development goals like financing adequate housing needs, small businesses, and clean energy needs.

Then it needs key borrowers who are willing and can be trusted to use funds to hire the necessary people to construct the city. Those borrowers can either be representing individual private for profit interests or the public sector. Like someone can borrow money to buy private property for solar panels to make a profit on it or someone representing the public can buy land under the public sector and build panels that generate profit to fund public services of the city.

Posted by JJ174 on 09/22/2017 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

An Oakland Public Bank has considerable merit, and it extends far beyond servicing the local legal cannabis industry (both medical and soon recreational). Yes there is an effort to create a state-wide public bank, but the success of that effort is far from a forgone conclusion, and in any event, the two are not mutually exclusive.

An immediate win would be the use of the bank as a depository for city fund, where the money can be used to support community needs and return interest to the City Treasury, rather than the current scheme of depositing that money in Wall St. banks that gouge the city while placing our deposits at risk via their use to fund shaky financial instruments. We know how that story ends.

Posted by Chance DG on 09/22/2017 at 11:37 AM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

What needs to be done is not a study but a plan.
1) Create or find a construction plan to build the bank and determine the estimated costs of construction including the cost of purchasing financial equipment infrastructure.
2) Next, determine the estimated costs of maintaining the operation of the bank (salaries, utilities, etc.)
3) Next, determine where the bank will be constructed and how much purchasing the land will cost.
4) Next, determine how the bank will stay in business to not only make up for the costs and stay operational but generate a profit for the community. Is there a need for the services? Is their some benefit to switching their deposits to the local public bank rather than to continue what they were doing before at their private bank (Wall st or credit union)? If there is no need for lending services or if its too new and risky it's going to be a hard sell to attract depositors. The public bank needs some clear goal for what it intends to finance and how it intends to improve the community and it needs to market that to potential depositors. Are the profits that are generated going to fund the public services of the city in place of state taxes?
5) Next, determine what the current regulations are that would apply to the operation of the bank.
6) Next, the bank needs to have a plan for how it intends to avoid a high percentage of non-performing loans on its books because if it does not filter out credit worthy from non-credit worthy borrowers and does not compel performance (require collateral for capitalization) on loans by borrowers it will have a high percentage of defaults.

Will the bank be run like a state bank and have most of its deposits be from tax dollars or will it be based on depositors money? I am not aware that the city levies its own tax to place those dollars in its own bank. I believe tax dollars are levied by the federal and state governments.

Posted by JJ174 on 09/22/2017 at 11:06 AM

Re: “Hidden Monuments to Racism

I wish this story included the fact that organizations that preserve local history and protect architecture- have fully owned this fact- and have shared the information as the controversial information it is, in their tours for the public. Therefore efforts to remedy the past -by recognizing it and educating the tour attendees, have been made (without pressure) and it is completely misrepresentative of the author of this to not see it and acknowledge it.

Posted by kat eiswald on 09/22/2017 at 9:50 AM

Re: “Glossing Over a Genocide

Fremont was one of the first to explore the area. I don't think there were that many settlers at the time.

Posted by Dipstick on 09/22/2017 at 8:34 AM

Re: “The Albany Cross Resurrects Memories of the KKK

Although the Supreme Court has historically been divided on public displays of a cross, establishing a clear separation of church and state can only help our country move towards our democratic ideals of promoting the general welfare, liberty and equal rights for all. I believe a Christian symbol overlooking a diverse community is inappropriate, insensitive and, for some community members, offensive. The Lion's Club International has clear ethics and purposes which prohibit members from public debate of "partisan politics and sectarian religion." Let the Albany Lion's Club live up to their stated ethics and purposes and the City of Albany live up to our democratic ideals. Let us move the cross to a religious setting or private land and warmly welcome everyone to our public land.

Posted by Anne Zolfaghari on 09/22/2017 at 8:11 AM

Re: “A New Model for Paying Musicians a Living Wage?

I'm guessing this is the report Ms. Eby mentioned:

I'd love to hear more about programs like this. I'm currently dissertating on this issue, but with a focus on Memphis. If anyone has other articles, resources, and info, feel free to email me at Thanks!

Posted by Lydia Warren on 09/22/2017 at 7:26 AM

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