Len Raphael 
Member since Oct 22, 2011

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Recent Comments

Re: “Stephen Buel Resigns as Publisher

Hobart, I never said the EBX was perfect ( EXB endorsed our current City Auditor :) but compared to the EB Times or the SF Chron coverage of Oakland, the EBX is a cross between the NYT and Mother Jones.

No idea what or who Buel's team has been that has kept EBX afloat, and no idea whether the operation is profitable . But when subscription based newspapers are dying like the plague, even ones backed by old family money, odds are against any new owner successfully continuing the EBX without cutting staff and news coverage. Then we'll find out what it's like being the lab rats for the first major city without a locally owned newspaper.

Posted by Len Raphael on 07/16/2018 at 7:21 PM

Re: “Stephen Buel Resigns as Publisher

Your Plan A is wishing for Tom Hanks to buy the paper.

What's plan B if Buel decides to sell and all of the East Bay faces prospect of a throwaway consisting entirely of entertainment, restaurant reviews, and ads?

Posted by Len Raphael on 07/16/2018 at 2:22 PM

Re: “Oakland Council Ignores Warning from City Administrator and Votes for 'Strong' Police Commission Ordinance

Is there still time for Council to put a measure on the Nov ballot to clearly allow the new commission to get its own independent attorney?

Can't imagine Barbara Parker expediting that. The deadline probably set by the State.

Didn't City Attorney Parker review the ballot measure before the Council voted to place it on the ballot in 2016? Did she object then?

The intent of the 2016 measure was extremely clear from all the speakers and publicity: The Commission was to be truly independent from the same city offices that worked closely with OPD. The only compromise to that separation of power was the political compromise giving the mayor the power over the selection of board members.

If we now have to pass a revising charter amendment to re the Commission's attorney, on the same ballot measure we should remove the mayor's power over the selection of commission members.

Posted by Len Raphael on 07/15/2018 at 9:53 AM

Re: “An Apology and a Pledge

Proceed with extreme caution calling for boycotts or divestiture.

A newspaper is not like a restaurant. We could end up with the Express getting sold to an owner who turns the EBX's local news coverage into the pablum of the Patch.

Posted by Len Raphael on 07/14/2018 at 8:03 PM

Re: “OP-ED: The Alameda County Civil Grand Jury Is an Important Watchdog, but Its Members Are Almost Always Too Old, White, and Wealthy

Agree w JP Massar. It's a rare retired person of any color or income, let alone a working person, who would chose to spend that many hours doing something that always gets the kiss off by elected instead of volunteering at their church or temple, playing with grand kids, tutoring at local schools, speaking at city council meetings etc.

As for elected officials doing anything that might increase the credibility of any person or group of people who would second guess them, you only have to look at the efforts of the directly affected elected official to gut Oakland's Measure LL Police Accountability charter amendment via disabling legislation .

Posted by Len Raphael on 07/12/2018 at 9:02 PM

Re: “Higher Pay, Smaller Classes, Housing Perks in West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Plan to Attract Teachers

This would be wonderful if the WCC schoold board had a well thought out plan on what cuts they could reasonably make that wouldn't violate contracts or hurt services to students. But it sounds more like it's based on a wing and a prayer.

Posted by Len Raphael on 07/06/2018 at 10:42 PM

Re: “OUSD's Restorative Justice Program Threatened By Budget Cuts

Osman Vincent's mention of $71/day state funding for Oakland seemed very high (for California, not for NYS) until I looked it up. That looks like correct.

Starting a couple of year's ago when CA changed it's formula to shift funding away from suburbs with higher income/fewer issue students, Oakland's funding jumped 28% to 14k/year per average daily attendence from 2016. How much of then got eaten up by OUSD HQ or given to charter schools is a different question.


Len Raphael, CPA

Posted by Len Raphael on 06/30/2018 at 7:36 PM

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