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Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Says: The Remedy is More Women in Power Now

I hate to have to put it this way, but, as a feminist myself, Schaaf simply makes me want to puke.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 12/07/2017 at 3:30 PM

Re: “Berkeley Progressives Have a Chance to Prove They're Not NIMBYs

Let's be real. WE NEED HOUSING. Caring about design is nice and all and should be considered when we have extra housing stock (like in the case of Detroit which can choose to be more picky because they have too many homes). In the bay area we do not have this luxury. When we have houses jam packed with more people than should be allowed and, even worse, people living in the streets because the prices or rents are too high, for reasons of human decency, we need to hang up our want to have nice and pretty city blocks and build more to help people out.

Posted by JOHN DESFOSSES on 12/07/2017 at 2:46 PM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Says: The Remedy is More Women in Power Now

Talk about tone deaf.

Wah wah wah wah

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 12/07/2017 at 12:36 PM

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

Great news. Why do cities need sportsball teams to validate them? Why do fans not care that billionaires and corporations would control public land just so they can watch some 'roid enraged guy throw a ball around?

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 12/07/2017 at 12:04 PM

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

Another "victory" for progressively keeping Oakalnd in the glorious 70s.

Posted by D Ross on 12/07/2017 at 10:46 AM

Re: “The Wrong Path?

I find it urgent to respond to the 11/27 post by Earl Marty Price, whose text is overwhelmingly filled with mistruths and ad feminem attacks that are designed to eviscerate a substantial corpus of excellent teaching and my efforts to promote the best for Oakland Tech and its students. The plan of Mr. Prices letter is to represent me as a teacher who turned away talented students because of race; he signaled falsely my unwillingness to go the extra mile in order to accept more than the 32 maximum per class (some years I had between 43-45); and he devalued the seriousness of Socratic classroom teaching as a scenario in which conversation among students and teacher is seen by Price as the easy route that takes the place of lesson preparation and clear instruction; finally Price put in circulation that I was unwilling to cooperate with school initiatives to make Paideia an academy as per OUSD plans. The host of slurs that insinuates my so-called racist approach to students at Tech, along with Mr. Prices provocative attempt to undermine the unity among women faculty (by which he tries to claim that I was the uncooperative teacher while the other women in Paideia were splendid examples of hard-working instructors) are quite frankly scandalous. In the age of Trump and Harvey Weinstein, now we have Price who can attempt publicly to sow divisiveness among women who have taught together for over twenty-five years.
Mr. Price's brief tenure at Tech prevents him from knowing the details. First, from 1986-2000 (before Price worked at Tech), most Tech and Paideia students were African American; in fact, Tech only recently became a school of 29% African American and from 22-25% of each of the following groups: Caucasian, Asian-American, and Latino. In the last few years, the racial makeup of each year's Paideia senior classes varied, so some years Paideias makeup was 10%, sometimes 20% and at other times 30% African American. In addition, and contrary to the profile of me that suggests practices of racial exclusion, I led efforts through summer bridge programs to increase the participation rates of African-American students (these efforts later proved unsustainable because district money was pulled). Last spring, efforts to have former Paideia minority graduates recruit students of color among 9th graders were forbidden by the administration. I have never turned down students who approached me with the request to enroll in my senior Paideia classes! Our goal was never to make Paideia a white program; if we wanted to do that, we wouldnt have committed ourselves to teaching in Oakland in the first place.
Second, Paideia was never given the opportunity to become an academy. By California and Oakland guidelines for academies or pathways, a "school to work" concept prevails; since Paideia doesn't fit this paradigm (with its program in history, English, government, and political theory), Paideia teachers were never given any real chances let alone "three opportunities," as Price suggests, to become an academy. Last school year, we were, however, invited by Co-principal Diaz to restructure our program; we decided to focus on public policy and law in order to meet the pathway model. We submitted a plan to this effect, which was subsequently rejected without any opportunity for discussion.
Third, in response to the idea that Socratic method was the sine qua non for keeping the teaching faculty to a limited group, let me remind Price of our teacher training efforts. In addition to preparing student teachers, I also gave my entire government curriculum to two Tech teachers so that they could teach AP Government. I coached one teacher (of color) on a daily basis, giving up my conference period every day for a semester and spending another year meeting weekly with that teacher to assist in pedagogy and curriculum development. Other Paideia teachers trained several current teachers now on staff and shared curriculum with U.S. and World history teachers, as well.
Fourth, let me return to a gender issue here. In Prices letter, there is not only an unsubtle attempt to insinuate divisiveness among the women colleagues, but also a way to diminish my observations of the failings of Tech by ascribing them to the sphere of a damaged ego or hurt feelings as he describes it. This is not about sentimentality of the weak and feeble, but about the urgency to identify the collapse of reason in a once better organized school and to name the ways in which the system has failed to meet its obligations to students across racial and ethnic lines.
Fifth, as for Prices phony attacks on former students who were interviewed by The Oakland Magazine, how dare he minimize their experiences? More recent grads have expressed immense gratitude for the Paideia Program and chimed in with Daniel Hutchinson and Kulwa Apara though The Oakland Magazine, which could not include more of their interviewees, so Price is way off base here.
Sixth, regarding my resignation, my announcement to the co-principals came in early July, not two weeks before school started as Price claims in his letter. And this, as captured in the Express article as well as The Oakland Magazine, was difficult to formulate (again, please cast aside questions of hurt feelings); this was about the realities of continuing in a program that was being dismantled on a regular basis. Price can continue with the name-calling in this venue and in social media, but the hundreds of minority students who went on to successful careers will and have supplied another narrative about my professionalism, my work in the classroom, and my unhesitant donation of time and labor to the good interests of the school.
Finally, Paideia teachers have always wanted to give students, no matter what race or sexual identification, a rigorous academic program in the social sciences and humanities because we wanted them to be critical thinkers, thoughtful writers, and civically engaged Americans. We wanted to graduate students who would be prepared to succeed in college and pursue whatever career interests they chose. We chose a path, but we insisted upon more than school-to-work. We also remained steadfast in demanding high standards; why should students of color be given lower standards, as Price suggested?
Maryann Wolfe

Posted by Maryann Wolfe on 12/07/2017 at 10:10 AM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Says: The Remedy is More Women in Power Now

If, and when, Libby Schaff takes her experiences of unwanted sexual attention (and the complexities of such), and can undertake an intersectional analysis, and see that what she is doing to the poor, the homeless, the people of color in the city of Oakland is much akin (but magnified greatly toward other oppressed groups) to what's been done to her, there is not much hope in hearing her say, "me too," and her ability to really understand others (who have not only lost their jobs, or been raped, are homeless, or who are killed/incarcerated/abused by racist police practices, etc) her statement is becomes a hollow joining in to "me too."

Interesectionality is the gift of 3rd wave feminism. Intersectionality is the common thread that links all of disability/ies.

AND, having said the above makes true my statement (in regards to HRC's run for president) that, yes, we need more women in power, but it must be the right woman/women, just as it must be the right men. This is not the right woman. Not the right woman to chose other women, either.

Libby Schaff has not listened to the multiple Oakland communities who packed City Hall over and over re the development of the City. Instead, she's held "back door" meetings, rescheduled meeting times or dates, and did everything in her power to eliminate public comment. Schaff has closed the downtown recycling lot where many homeless or other poor took carts filled with Oakland's discards (cleaner city complaints? Duh!), and helped developers in obtaining said lot, who is building even more expensive housing, etc.

When Libby Schaff plans to hold a meeting about the future of Oakland next week, with developers, and there are no other communities present who are homeless, seniors, artists, the disabled, etc. and are fearful of the rising costs of living in this city, and who has been given in the past (ie, the 12th street parcel), a "people's" design that would accommodate the needs of all, including the developers ... well, there is little that comes from this office, from her mouth, that I can any longer believe in. Like Trump, who won because he made promises to desperate people, and told them that he "understand(s)," we've been had because she has claimed progressive politics, and now because of her gender. We cannot universalize gender any more than we should universalize race. We must seek to improve representation of each oppressed class, but not assume all of any one class is appropriate.

Posted by deGrace on 12/07/2017 at 9:57 AM

Re: “Watch Oakland Chefs Tanya Holland and Tu David Phu Compete on Top Chef

Unfortunately, Tanya Holland has a terrible reputation as a tyrannical business owner, which was reported directly to me by a former assistant chef that worked in Brown Sugar Kitchen. While dining there I saw her interactions with staff, which were appalling, and she really seemed like she didn't want to be working in a kitchen at all. Given her rude behavior, I will never support her businesses in any way, and recommend EVERYONE do the same. I don't care how damn good your food is. When you lack basic respect for other human beings - whether they are your employees, or your paying customers (seen her disrepect them too) - then I'm sorry, but you do not deserve the accolades you receive. Good luck in your new space (the old Pican). I hope it goes the way of your BBQ restaurant (closed after a poor reception).

Posted by EB Pride on 12/07/2017 at 9:26 AM

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

"Still, it's not exactly clear why the Peralta district board chose to end talks this week with the A's over the ballpark."

Evidently, two weeks ago, PCCD Board told the A's they wanted $6M to "study impact". The A's said "Whooof, okay, but we want audits and reports on how this money will be used."

Brakes suddenly slam to the floor, negotiations broken off?

PCCD Board tried to shakedown the A's for money under the table.

Posted by jq7925 on 12/07/2017 at 9:09 AM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Says: The Remedy is More Women in Power Now

It's a little disingenuous for Schaff to talk about "radical inclusion," when she was hand-picked by the Brown/Perata machine to further the gentrification agenda, which is anything but inclusive. I would challenge Schaffr to concentrate not on being powerful, but being equitable, i.e., upholding equity as a guiding principle.

Posted by Eric Arnold on 12/06/2017 at 8:22 PM

Re: “Oakland Has Yet to Spend Soda Tax Funds

Some of my low information customers blamed this tax on Trump instead of blaming their fellow citizens for voting it in.
As for Oakland screwing up its implementation, who is surprised by that?

Posted by Kevin Seay on 12/06/2017 at 7:39 PM

Re: “Uptown Oakland High-Rise Project Moves Forward With Huge Excess of Parking

Let's be honest_ A person who can afford to purchase a unit wants and needs a parking space. What do you want them to do when not commuting to work? Rent a car or take uber when on a date? Or park their car around the corner? Get over yourself!

Posted by Craig mack on 12/06/2017 at 7:19 PM

Re: “Berkeley Progressives Have a Chance to Prove They're Not NIMBYs

This is not going to make the neighborhoods happy.

Wander through most any residential neighborhood in the flats, from El Cerrito to East Oakland, and you'll find block after block of pleasant, mostly well-cared-for older homes rich in character and variety while showing only one or two common architectural styles.

Then you run into an eyesore apartment building, probably from the post-WWII era. Usually cheaply built, out of character with the rest of the neighborhood, a profit-driven investment for non-resident owners. "What a shame," you say. "It doesn't fit in at all, does it. The rest of the block is so pretty."

City staff can't force a builder to respect a neighborhood; only an open political process can. Berkeley's City Council and affordable housing advocates just gave up on open processes. "But it's for a good cause!" It always is ...

Posted by MikeE on 12/06/2017 at 5:28 PM

Re: “Oakland Has Yet to Spend Soda Tax Funds

Read the study. It included a telephone survey that asked people about their beverage habits. The result was, "Changes in self-reported sugar-sweetened beverage intake were not statistically significant." That is, no change in behavior could be detected.
How does the survey of users square with the reported decline in store sales of taxed beverages? The decline was in Berkeley, but sales rose in stores just outside Berkeley.
Also, the survey found that corner grocery stores did not raise prices on SSBs, but there was too little data to say whether their sales went up or down or stayed the same. All the study really found was that the large chain markets in Berkeley passed on the tax and lost sales.
Some of the authors of the study campaigned for sugar taxes and donated to the campaign. It is no surprise that they do their best to spin their own results.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 12/06/2017 at 5:11 PM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Says: The Remedy is More Women in Power Now

Finally, Mayor Schaaf has made an honest statement to the public. She has never admitted it publicly, but it has been painfully obvious that her personal women empowerment agenda has been the driver of many management decisions she has made since coming into office. Her City Administrator, Assistant City Administrator, Police Chief and Fire Chief have ALL been women. Let's see how that has worked out. The City Administrator had no significant experience that demonstrated any ability to navigate a complex and challenged municipality like Oakland. Two years in Emeryville is just not enough. Ms. Landreth has been largely silent in her job and when she has made public appearances, it has been clear that she is over her head. The same can be said for the former Fire Chief, who was hired based on her relationship with the former City Administrator. She "retired" after getting into an argument with a member of the public about her departments failure to inspect the north hills fire zone adequately. It should have never come to that. She should have been fired immediately after the disappearing act she pulled off after the Ghost Ship fire. The Assistant City Administrator (Cappio) was hired by Schaaf to be the "development czar" who was going to make the the Raider deal happen. Moreover, how valuable was she when you Mayor Schaaf, ignored the City Attorney's advice and broke the law by initially pushing the city into a backroom deal with an unqualified developer of the E12th st housing project. What a waste of money. Your outrage at male behavior was particularly obvious in your selection of the Police Chief. Your whole public presentation was clear that the priority was to break up the boys club, not necessarily to hire the best candidate. I disagree totally with your premise that the only way forward is more women in power. While having more women in top positions is a good thing, the goal should be to have more qualified good people in leadership positions. That includes more well adjusted men, without the personal defects that have damaged the work environment in America for decades. If you say that only women are the answer for the future, you are no better than those who have oppressed women in favor of men for years. The right way forward is when gender is not a job qualification, EVER.

Posted by Gary Patton on 12/06/2017 at 5:01 PM

Re: “Wednesday’s Briefing: Peralta Kills A’s Laney Ballpark Plans; Berkeley Council Votes to Make Affordable Housing a Right

"The boards decision indicates that it has no plans to move forward with the As ballpark proposal. "

Excellent news. The community has stood up to the billionaire land grab.
What city needs sports teams to validate it anyway?

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 12/06/2017 at 11:20 AM

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

That's a very well written review. I love the place and would eat there every night if I could. As for the inevitable "cultural appropriation" meme, I think that's a non-issue for a couple of reasons: First, Temple Club does the culture justice by being so loyal to the recipes. He hasn't watered the food down for American tastes, or used it for inspiration for a bunch of fusion dishes. Secondly, Geoff went all-in on the culture. His wife is Vietnamese, he spent 16 years there and he has adorable bi-racial children. What you're seeing at the restaurant is the result of a love affair, not a commercial grab.

Posted by Berkeley Choate on 12/06/2017 at 10:09 AM

Re: “Systems That Oppress Women Create Dangerous Circumstances for Girls of Color

Holly this is an excellent article. It defines and exposes the practices in OPD that, through the years, were normalized. I worked for OPD and saw, first hand, the mistreatment of females, both sworn and civilian. I heard about how female employees were sexually exploited. The culture at OPD was horrific for any woman that did not acquiesce to the patrichial environment which existed. Than you for exposing this culture, which hopefully, will create a new norm.

Posted by Sylvia DeWitt on 12/06/2017 at 5:25 AM

Re: “Town Business: City Workers Plan to Strike, and Oakland's Affordable Housing Fees Slow to Raise Money

Oakland resident and new employee here. As someone coming from the private sector with a heart for public service, I hear you -- "Your salary should be commensurate with your performance and City of Oakland employees generally are far from the top in comparison with other cities." Yet, how can we attract high performers and retain the best "top" employees for Oakland if we're not even close to keeping up salary-wise with our neighboring cities? And how can we deliver quality services that our constituents want or need if we're consistently understaffed and working 2 jobs on top of what we've been hired to do? It's true there's inefficiencies, red tape, dead weight. But there's so many great employees of Oakland, who are dedicated to making their city work, who work more than 37.5 hours per week without overtime pay, and who deal with a lot of the BS because they care. A salary equity study showed that city staff is making 10-25% less than their neighboring city counterparts. A majority of Oakland's workers are Oakland residents, or once were residents who have since been displaced. Despite the immeasurable benefits of contributing to your city, there's only so much the best, most caring employee, can take...

Posted by Love for Oaktown on 12/05/2017 at 11:21 PM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

I understand the writer's perspective in this article. Almena just did video interviews where he basically states he's the victim and everyone else but him is to blame. That's not the truth. This is from a certified electrician who saw the building. "Robert Jake Jacobitz: On my contract with him and verbally I warned him of a fire argue with him about a fire more fingers than I have on my hand the last argument we had he finally finally had me cut a fire door in that he owes me for still and I understand he barricaded up that night. I've done my interviews with the FBI ATF DA's office got my subpoena I'm the one is going to be telling Derek he's going to s*** when he sees me in court do you don't know I'm coming. so you won't be able to play uninformed surprised victim he was well-informed multi times about the very real possibility of Fire as my second hand information from the horse's mouth not hearsay."

Posted by Mary Cummins on 12/05/2017 at 7:13 PM

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