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Recent Comments

Re: “Recycling and Anxiety in Berkeley

"Riley said she understands that catching poachers is a low priority compared to fighting violent crime."

I am also in West Berkeley and I see this happen every Wednesday and am sick of it. The problem we have in Berkeley is an over abundance of permissiveness and that has led people to believe that anything goes, particularly in this part of town. I would love to see scavengers ticketed repeatedly until they get the point that stealing isn't permitted.

West Berkeley has too much crime and the city needs to start enforcing the laws they have on the books. Every crime the city chooses to over look contributes to a building wave of lawlessness in this part of town.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jarad on 06/09/2010 at 1:19 PM

Re: “East Bay Express Endorsements on June 8

NO on Measure C

Students & renters come and go, but the homeowner owners carry the burden of special tax assessments for decades after they move away & buy a home in another city with lower taxes.

I wonder how would students and renters vote if landlords were permitted to pass on the direct cost for the tax measures this group of people votes for? Would they vote for every special tax assessment or would they show fiscal restraint and careful judgment that they do for their personal finances?

The city is millions of dollars in debt and believes home owners are an endless fountain of cash, despite being in the midst of the biggest recession since the Great Depression. Berkeley City government is bloated and fiscal mismanagement is rife – one example is the multimillion bond measure passed to build a new city animal shelter. Construction has been delayed so many times that costs have risen by millions & there aren’t funds to pay for it – but we still get to pay interest on those bonds!

Furthermore, city salaries & benefits are out of alignment with reality. You can make more working for Berkeley than you can as a seasoned international marketing consultant in the IT sector that helps Fortune 500 companies with global business strategy! I have a BA in Psychology, an International MBA, I'm bilingual & work in a FOR PROFIT company, but many city employees salary & benefits far exceed what I make.

The point I’m making is that fiscal responsibility isn’t the core competency of the city and letting them take out additional loans is not a responsible decision.

I learned to swim in a public pool, so I do appreciate what they offer the community, but voting yes on a property tax assessment if you are not a property owner yourself is tantamount to participating in a system of taxation without representation. If we are to increase taxes to support public pools everyone should pay a special assessment -- renters in houses and apartments, students in dorms, and home owners and commercial property owners.

This is a difficult concept for many students and renters to wrap their minds around because you are not yet home owners. I was in your position for 18 years myself, but just because a person owns property does not make them a millionaire with an endless fountain of cash to pay for every tax assessment supporting every cause that seems worthy. These tax assessments are a burden, not because this one is 50-70 dollars a year, but because there are so many of them that are piled on top of each other that were voted in over the past several years! We are being taxed out of our homes.

Think long and hard before you vote yes on this measure. There are other ways for the city to support the pools and make paying for them much more fair for everyone.

Posted by Jarad on 05/28/2010 at 1:28 PM

Re: “The Berkeley Pools Battle

Property owners in this city are getting tired of bearing the brunt of special tax assessments that many residents vote for, but never have to contribute a dime of their own money to support. Students are a transient population here that burden homeowners with their poor voting decisions before moving out of town and eventually buying a home somewhere else in a city with lower property taxes, renters vote for these special assessments, but since they are protected by rent control, landlords can't push the cost of all of these assessments they vote for over to them, so what these special property tax assessments end up being for property owners (homeowners like myself) is similar to taxation without representation. If this city needs 2 new pools, make EVERYONE pay for them and put in a measure to increase the sales tax. I could barely afford in my late 30's to buy a 2 bedroom cottage in this city and these special tax assessments (among other issues) may eventually drive me out of town. Enough is enough with all of the additional taxes, fiscal mismanagement, and belief that just because someone owns property, you can fleece them for every cent they earn. Can't the council see that we are in the midst of the biggest recession since the Great Depression? If they want to pay for the pools, find another way. I'm not made out of money and neither are my neighbors! Heck, I've even had to suffer through austerity measures at my company, but I've yet to see the City of Berkeley step up to the plate of fiscal responsibility. Stop acting like property owners are an endless fountain of cash for the city!

Posted by Jarad on 05/26/2010 at 5:17 PM

Re: “The Berkeley Daily Planet: A Personal Obituary

I still lament the shut down of the East Bay Daily News, but the demise of the Berkeley Daily Planet will not be missed in my household. For the past 5 years I've cast a suspicious eye on that paper as a bleeding edge left wing rag that had no interest in balanced reporting. Perhaps EBX and the Daily Cal will take up the slack and give the community what it needs, balanced reporting on local issues without the drama. A newspaper is not supposed to BE the news and for too long the BDP & Becky O'Malley have been at the center of news instead of reporting on the news. I'm glad to see them go

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Jarad on 03/05/2010 at 1:22 PM

Re: “Activists Try to Block Green Tech in Berkeley

As a West Berkeley resident and home owner I am ADAMANTLY opposed to Rick Auerbach's lack of vision for West Berkeley & as a result am also against the organization he represents (West Berkeley Artisans and Industrial Companies).

I like the fact that we have artisans in West Berkeley, but let's face it. West Berkeley is an area of the city that is suffering tremendously from Byzantine zoning laws which keeps this area of the city in a stagnant cesspool of a time bubble that prevents business from moving to this area and bringing with them jobs as well as a cleaned up, more prosperous, and safer West Berkeley (as opposed to the lawless decayed cesspool of today).

Rick's organization does nothing to help West Berkeley that many others in this part of the city ALSO have a vested interest in. Rick just happens to be more vocal than many of us professionals that work long hours in professional capacities (Consultants, Doctors, Paramedics, Architects, Software Engineers, Educators) for a living & don't have time for a 3-ring circus that is also known as a Berkeley City Council Meeting.

The views of Rick Auerbach and his organization do not fall in line with the changing demographics of Berkeley and instead of looking forward to the future, they look backwards at what USED TO BE & that is one of the biggest obstacles to progress in this dysfunctional Alice in Wonderland "rabbit hole" that is the Berkeley of today.

The 60's and 70's is a by-gone era that professionals in their 30's and 40's don't relate to. I shake my head every time I think about the potential of this area being stunted by a lack of vision that also forces me to work for a Silicon Valley company instead of working for a company closer to home!

It's time for the aging hippie generation of my parents to realize that "The Times They Are a Changin" & start working in good faith to make West Berkeley a center of jobs and prosperity, rather than doing everything they possibly can to dig in their heels and stop progress no matter what. The echoing sounds of the 60's and 70's are annoying, frustrating, and frankly have no place in the Berkeley of the 21st Century.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jarad on 11/12/2009 at 12:37 PM

Re: “What's Up with Berkeley?

BerkeleyCitizen makes a good point

Posted by Jarad on 06/03/2009 at 11:40 AM

Re: “Another Police Chase Kills Innocent People

Since I live in the neighborhood where these people used assault weapons on the street where I regularly walk with my wife, I've got to say Robert that your comments are absurd and inflamatory. BPD did nothing wrong in chasing these murderers and thank goodness they did. It's a tragedy that 2 others were killed, but it was not the police that caused the crash, it was the people that MURDERED someone in MY neighborhood with military assault weapons. What is it about the need to catch murderers with assault weapons that you don't understand? Are you really that obtuse or are you trying to be controversial so that you can drive more readers to the site so EBX can sell more advertising? My god man, I can't believe you are seriously taking the position that if someone murders another person and then flees the scene at high speed, that they should go free because chasing them could endanger others. If they get away, others will be endangered anyway because they'll understand that the key to getting away with murder is to drive away at a high speed. I expected more from EBX as an alternative news source than this. I guess being controversial regardless of the issue in order to sell ads is a sign of the times for media these days. If this is the state of print media today, perhaps more papers need to go out of business.

Posted by Jarad on 05/20/2009 at 11:07 AM

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