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Recent Comments

Re: “Fixing Oakland’s Death Traps

The Ghost Ship warehouse tragedy was just a peek into the internal lack of leadership and working systems that plague the City of Oakland. As a result, the staff is poorly trained, unfocused and lacking in work priorities. Some of these tasks are life and death issues. Every big city in the bay area has in some way addressed the unreinforced masonry (URM) and soft story building problem since the Loma Prieto earthquake in 1989. It took Oakland until 2019 to make this a priority. Ironically, the ordinance came from a City Council member (Kalb), not the Building Official. This speaks volumes about the invisible City Administrator (Landreth) and Chief of Planning and Building (Gilchrist). Gilchrist has been in his position over two years and has largely been silent and unseen. This is a leaderless organization with well paid senior managers, many who arrived in their positions because of relationships not professionalism. They were appointed and promoted not hired as a result of a normal recruitment process. When an organization fails to value experience and competence in favor of relationships, this is the result. There are many issues all over the organization that are not being addressed and the public will remain unaware and at risk until there is a tragedy.

Posted by GPatton on 01/31/2019 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Raiders ‘Global’ Brand Is a Myth

Like his big brother in the White House (Trump), Mark Davis is wrong on every single issue. It must be the tan and the hair. Davis forgets that the main thing that built and cultivated the Raider mystique was WINNING. When Al moved the Raiders to LA in 1985, they were arguably the most successful franchise in all of sports over the previous 20 years. In the last 20 years, they are among the least successful franchises in sports. The Raiders arrived in LA about the same time as gangster rap hit the music scene and their colors became part of that genre. However, fan attendance in LA is always dependent upon what else is going on that day. LA folks support three sports franchises, the Dodgers, the Lakers and USC football. Beyond that, they will turn out if it is the place to be at the hot game of the week, but if not, there are plenty other things to do. Las Vegas is a pipe dream and one of the shakiest set of financial assumptions ever compiled to justify moving a professional sports team and building a stadium. Approval of this charade by NFL owners reflects their greedy desire to collectively be involved in on line gaming. It was Jerry Jones, not Mark Davis who sold this Raider move to Las Vegas to the other NFL owners. Jones and Robert Kraft (New England) already have millions invested in this growing industry and the other owners want a piece of the action. At the end of the day, if you live foul, the universe will not reward you. Mark Davis is very foul and delusional. His arrogance and stupidity dooms him to many more years of losing seasons in Vegas. Nobody deserves it more than him. He and his sorry franchise cannot leave town fast enough. Asta la vista baby!

Posted by GPatton on 01/28/2019 at 5:59 PM

Re: “Get Your Money, Murray

I too applaud Kyler Murray for playing the leverage game to his maximum advantage. Far too often it is the MLB and NFL owners who have the players over a barrel in contract negotiations. I have no personal preference for which sport he should pursue. The kid should do what will make him happy. There is no doubt that baseball offers a longer and healthier career. However, there is no guarantee he will make it to the majors to make the big money. See Michael Jordan and Tim Tebow. A quarterback signed in the first round normally receives a big pay check right away and some guaranteed money. With all that being said, A's fans should not fooled by all the media attention around Kyler Murray. From a baseball tool perspective, he is not Bo Jackson or even Deon Sanders. Murray at maybe 5-10, will at best be a .300 hitting 2nd baseman who can steal bases and score runs. He will not be hitting the ball 500 feet and driving in 125 runs a year. For that reason, I don't think the A's should spend any more money on Murray. Players like him are not one of a kind. What they should be doing is addressing the starting pitching problem. After signing Kris Davis to a one year contract reflective of his talent and production, starting pitching is their biggest weakness. I agree that losing Lucroy at the catching position will be a down grade this year. He provided a solid every day presence behind the plate. Given the transient nature of the starting pitching staff, a solid veteran catcher is a must for a team like the A's. At the end of the day, in my opinion, Billy Beane should be replaced. He is not the guy with the vision and influence with other teams to get the A's to the next level. If the goal is to be competitive every year and go home early in September, he has clearly shown that he can do that. If the A's want to beat teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Astro's in the playoffs, they need to spend more money to build up the talent on the roster. In addition, hire a bright young gun in that general manager position who can wheel and deal with teams with undiscovered talent. The Billy Ball days brought no championships and are way over.

Posted by GPatton on 01/16/2019 at 4:07 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief's Troubles Resemble Those of Her Past

Politicians always get it wrong. Look at Chicago, New York, Baltimore and yes, Oakland. When the Mayor get's political heat from actions of the police department, the first and easiest solution is to hire a new Police Chief. In Oakland's case Libby Schaaf was so laser focused on breaking up the OPD boys club, that being a woman was obviously more important than any other qualification. Kirkpatrick was in no way sufficiently qualified or competent to lead a department with as much history of turmoil and dysfunction as Oakland's. Moreover, the cultural diversity of the force and the Oakland community demands a Police Chief with experience in an urban setting. Spokane is not that. In order to fix the issues of OPD, you have to realize that the problems are not at the Chief level of the department. Law enforcement is a culture and the "Blue Line" is real. It is a mentality and culture that has evolved over 100 years in America that benefits those with money and power (usually white) and targets those without. The people who maintain and control the police culture are the command staff. They are the ones who train new officers in the ways of the department. They control the behavior of those below them and information given to those above them in the command structure. They are also strategically out of reach of politicians and protected by union contracts and longevity. Their goal is self preservation of power and as little transparency as possible. They are not interested or invested in change. It is that level where the massive changes have to be made if the culture is to ever be affected. This is the group who waits out the new Chief, no matter what he or she promises to get the job and returns to business as usual when the next crisis ultimately dooms the Chief. The politicians need to get smarter if they really want change at OPD as knee jerk reactions for political expediency will never work. Kirkpatrick is just the latest example.

Posted by GPatton on 01/02/2019 at 2:25 PM

Re: “Where's the Affordable Housing?

We are seeing perhaps the biggest housing bubble the City of Oakland has ever seen. Land values have exploded in the Town because of the regional tech boom that started about 2010. New construction of housing can be seen in Jack London Square, downtown and all along the Broadway corridor. This article failed to mention that one reason why more affordable units have not been built is because many of these projects were originally approved in the early 2000's, before the economic recession and when there was no affordable housing ordinance in place. The entitlements granted at that time have been extended over time and projects sold and resold to new developers. With that being said, the policy makers in Oakland have known since about 2008 that the economics of affordable housing would limit the number of units that were economically feasible except in parts of the city (Temescal, Rockridge) where there was no political will, otherwise known as courage, to require construction of affordable units. I applaud and support Scott Weiner and the legislature for trying to provide political cover for local politicians statewide. Unfortunately, we live in a time where politicians at all levels of government fail to do what they know is the right thing in favor of their own political preservation. Affordable housing is clearly a regional problem and as long as housing is not built where the jobs are, everyone in the bay area will suffer. Cities need to stop giving tax breaks and financial incentives to the job creators like Google, Amazon and Facebook and make these people finance or build affordable housing as a part of these mega employment campuses.

Posted by GPatton on 12/19/2018 at 11:00 AM

Re: “The Town Strikes Back

Hey 7552, nobody ever mentioned bigotry, hate, race or the fact that they are both white. I merely pointed out an obvious visual similarity that is in fact reflective of both of them living in a time warp.You are the one who brought up race and politics. It is your comment that has no place in this discussion. Perhaps it is your inability to focus on the issue and to understand nuance that is the basis for your sensitivity and choice to hide behind a number. If you are going to make bizarre accusations, at least have the courage to own it.

Posted by GPatton on 12/12/2018 at 7:05 AM

Re: “The Town Strikes Back

I hope the City of Oakland can recoup financially the losses incurred from the Raiders ill conceived exit from Oakland. Only Donald Trumps shear stupidity exceeds the outright arrogance and ignorance of Mark Davis. Or, maybe not. In fact, they are 2 of a kind, same color with nearly the same haircut (lol). Does Davis really think that his threat to not play in Oakland in 1919 as a response to a lawsuit has any value at all? Hey moron, you are a 3-9 team and the number of vacant seats increases every week. We watch our stars that we drafted on TV (Mack,Cooper) playing for other teams and dominating play. Thousands of life long Raider fans like me, do not care anymore. We have found better things to do on Sundays. The people who go to Raider games this year go for the tail gate party and family fun, not the football. This fool can't leave town fast enough. Raider fans should not be duped, the only reason the NFL owners agreed to this move to Vegas was outright greed. Both Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones are already invested in on line gambling and other owners want a piece of the action. The see a team in Vegas as an entree into the gaming industry. There is no doubt that their greed forced them to break their own relocation rules by the entire disjointed process that put the Rams back in LA and the Chargers in a soccer stadium in Carson. The owners should be financially liable for the damage and financial destruction that they caused. By the way Raider nation, the trade of Amari Cooper to Dallas was Mark Davis repaying Jerry Jones for pushing the Vegas deal through the owners committee and getting final approval. We all know that Davis does not have sufficient intelligence, business sense, respect or relationships with the other owners to have made this happen. They correctly see him as the clown that he is. Hey Mark, there is only one phrase that fully explains the Raider fan response to you at this point and that is"bye Felicia"!

Posted by GPatton on 12/11/2018 at 5:39 PM

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