joe chojnacki 
Member since Nov 14, 2014


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Re: “Town Business: Developer Wants to Stick MacArthur BART Tower's Affordable Units Entirely in Bottom Quarter of Building

Why is none of the money dedicated to transit improvements?? The very existence of this building derives from our recognition that we need to get more people using transit. So why not dedicate the impact fees to improving car-free access to Macarthur BART?

Neighborhood shuttles, enhanced bike facilities, expanded bike/ped access: any of these would help.

Posted by joe chojnacki on 03/07/2017 at 11:37 AM

Re: “Oakland’s Only Nigerian Restaurant Makes Way for a New Beer Garden

I'm sympathetic to the Okunades, and the community that has built up around it. But the moral outrage in the comments is nuts. Schneider bought a building, and a building's owner gets to decide how to generate income from their building.

If the community feels so strongly about this (and other businesses, presumably), they should be organizing fundraisers to buy the buildings themselves, so they *actually* have a say. Or working with Schneider to discuss an alternative outcome. Here's hoping the energy sparked by this turn of events can be mobilized to help find the Okunades and Miliki a new, permanent home.

Posted by joe chojnacki on 05/18/2016 at 9:45 AM

Re: “Banking on Coal in Oakland

CORRECTION: Minority shares, not controlling shares.

Posted by joe chojnacki on 08/20/2015 at 2:31 PM

Re: “Banking on Coal in Oakland

"Arch Coal", I thought to myself, "Where have I heard of that?" Turns out in a fascinating national news story that's grabbed my attention. George Soros, left-leaning billionaire who has funded Democratic and liberal candidates, as well as robust anti-coal campaigns, recently bought controlling shares in both Arch Coal and Peabody Coal (…).
I find this turn of events fascinating in itself: is he pouncing on an opportunity to profit from a sector he helped to depress because he believes it's undervalued, hypocritically profiting from an industry he has castigated? Or is he using the low valuation as an opportunity to acquire and destroy the two largest publically-owned coal companies in the country, and considering the purchase price philanthropic spending required to achieve his personal goal of getting the US off of coal?
A gripping national question with huge implications for the health of the environment, the transition of the US energy sector, and the state of Soros' soul - now with a strong Oakland connection.

Posted by joe chojnacki on 08/20/2015 at 2:21 PM

Re: “BREAKING NEWS: City of Oakland Finally Obeys Law; Offers Publicly Owned East 12th St. Land to Affordable Housing Developers

I thought I would be happy with this decision, but it turns out I have very mixed feelings. While Oakland went about it all wrong, I believe the resulting plan from Urban Core was the best deal we'll get, and a very fair one. Now Oakland is backing up to do things properly, which I think is a healthy thing; but it worries me that the city may lose a lot of revenue if the bids are much lower. Even if UrbanCore turns out to be the best bid at $5m, they're under no obligation to include the $8m they had previously committed to.

The $8m contribution to affordable housing seems like a fantastic proposition for Oakland. And it makes sense that this plot *would* be luxury housing - look at those views! Rather than putting affordable housing on a plot of land with luxury views, get top dollar for the land and build affordable housing a few blocks away. My wife and I make a decent living, but we don't expect to afford a condo with breathtaking views of the lake; it's an absurd place for affordable housing.

So part of me cheers backing up to follow the proper channels, but I dearly hope we wind up with the same outcome.

10 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by joe chojnacki on 07/17/2015 at 11:19 AM

Re: “Warriors Parade Draws Massive Crowd

Can we get an article about the impacts of the parade? I heard about BART's big day, and I'm curious if Friday was the all-time best business day for lots of downtown shops. After the region-wide exposure Oakland got, with news channels covering the parade for hours and beautiful shots of downtown and the lake, has there been any measurable uptick in business, or at least inquiries for events, etc?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by joe chojnacki on 06/22/2015 at 4:39 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Threaten to Cite Residents for Barbecues by Lake Merritt

It's not just putting out trash cans - they city has to actually collect the trash also! You'd think it would be a no-brainer that the city properly schedule trash pickups, but I've often seen trash cans completely overflowing, and light trash such as plastic bags and wrappers then blow away in the breeze, often into the lake. This makes it much, much harder for good citizens to take care of the lake, and also discourages people from doing so in the first place, seeing that their efforts will be wasted.

12 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by joe chojnacki on 05/20/2015 at 11:09 AM

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