Letters for the week of October 19-25, 2005 

Goddess women and their buried treasure; if gunboat article is liberal media at work, we're now only safe in the blogosphere; plus, defending the Private Industry Council.

"Ass vs. Sass," Music, 9/14

Worship the pearl tongue
I applaud the frankness of your article but frankly it's not about flat-bottom girls vs. bootylicious ones. In my humble opinion it should be about the clitoris because if a man doesn't worship the clit or pearl tongue (African Americans call it that) then women shouldn't give up the booty or their buried treasure just for his pleasure. Women are goddesses to be appreciated for who they are. Spread the word!
Rodger McBride, Oakland

"Fishin' for Evildoers," Feature, 9/21

Gunboat diplomacy
Fuckin' Cops! I can't believe the East Bay Express is writing a puff piece about the cops! After the Riders slipped off into the night, you'd think the investigation of police abuse of authority would be the sole focus of our once-independent weekly; but if this unquestioning reportage of what would and should (in any normal assessment) be considered paranoid psychotic behavior is the "liberal media at work," we are now only safe to think in the blogosphere.

The pulp-thriller adventure of these itchy-trigger-fingered lawmen, seeking danger in every "bucket and pipe wrench," or "halibut fisherman" reads like the USA Today. Do we have to wait for them to "make a ketchup stain" of a pranking teenager (one of their own, of course), to recognize that their upward mobility in "Homeland Security" is an assault upon our freedom? Through what deep psychological investigation do these protectors of our piers get the skinny on what terrorists think? The idea that an old navy rust bucket is a target for terrorism makes me laugh -- it's a target for the Village People. To think otherwise is a manifestation of delusional disorder, but to strap on a machine gun and get paid for wasting gas while you're at it is the American dream -- armed to the teeth for fantasy fighting and no one shoots back! Have the Auggie V-Dogs noticed in their 5,000 or so encounters with fishermen oppressed by their gunboat diplomacy, that no matter what the Tom Ridge terror color of the day, no one is a terrorist, and no one really wants to answer their questions either? In a region like the East Bay, where a good many folks are aware that the 9/11 event was a part of the Project for a New American Century, and that our secret-bunker-loving government officials (whom Katrina has now stripped of all pretense of clothing) benefit from a police state, one would hope that our self-anointed "protectors" would recognize that they themselves are the "terrorists" they seek, and empty the clip. THAT would be something worth reporting.
Name and address withheld to prevent antiterrorist action against my person

"When Silence Equals Death," Cityside, 9/21

Unintended consequences
One of BART's objectives in designing their new fare gates was to make them quieter. A laudable objective, right? You might think so, but ... after the new fare gates were installed, blind people expressed unhappiness at the disappearance of the whirr of the old fare gates' fans, which had served as sonic "beacons," indicating where the fare gates are. As one might imagine, the BART engineer who had worked to make the new fare gates quiet was dismayed to learn of this unforeseen negative consequence of her well-intentioned efforts.
Hale Zukas, Berkeley

"Condé Nasty," Bottom Feeder, 9/21

An alternate calculation
I am in charge of the data related to programs under the jurisdiction of the Workforce Investment Act in Oakland. You state that "during the 2003-04 program year [the Oakland Private Industry Council] expended $11,085 for each person placed in a job." The implication being that Mr. De La Fuente's attempt to circumvent all processes for allocation of federal Workforce Investment Act funds for employment services in Oakland is legitimate. That is a ton of mierda (to use perhaps one of Mr. De La Fuente's "salty words not recognized by spell-check software"). Outside of the issue of who has the legislative authority to allocate those funds, the over-inflated calculation depends on how data is manipulated for greatest effect.

For beginners, those federal funds come with a mandate to provide services to unemployed Oakland residents through a One-Stop system where any unemployed person can access services from various agencies dedicated to assist in self-help job search. The Oakland Private Industry Council runs one of those One-Stops downtown and provides staff and equipment at the Employment Development Department's center on Hegenberger Road. At the same time, clients who do not obtain employment through self services can "enroll" in more intensive services that include one-on-one career counseling and other support services and training. Unlike the self-help job seekers, this pool of "intensive services clients" is tracked very carefully because the results (obtaining and maintaining employment) are used by the state to calculate performance and continuous funding to Oakland. Only about seven percent of the individuals served in the downtown center were part of the "intensive services" pool. That seven percent was the denominator used in the equation to come up with the $11,085 cost per placement to consciously over-inflate that number with the intention of portraying the Oakland Private Industry Council as "top-heavy" and "inefficient." Speaking of top-heavy, the city's take from these federal grants is $868,214 for administration purposes. Is it legitimate to ask how many job placements they have?

The Workforce Investment Act's intention is for a public-private sector partnership. In the beautiful city of Oakland two public-sector entities have allegedly allied to overrule the private-sector majority in the Workforce Investment Board's decision regarding the competitive process of allocating these federal funds. Doesn't that bother anyone?
Pedro L. Toledo, director of Program and Performance Oversight, Oakland Private Industry Council

In "Thus Spake the Point Guard" (East Side Story, 10/12), we reported that San Francisco Chronicle reporter Brad Weinstein attended Warriors Media Day. He no longer works for the Chronicle, and did not attend the event.

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