Melissa Kittell 
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Re: “Gentrification Station: Why Oakland Still Says NO to Uber

Regardless of whether it's Uber occupying the Sears building or not, Oakland needs a steady influx of revenue. Those millions of dollars Oakland NEEDS to fight homelessness and improve it's infrastructure (just two things the City needs to work on), won't come if they keep buckling to the demands to STOP GENTRIFICATION. I'm tired of hearing, "I was born and raised in Oakland, and I rent here, and they owe me an opportunity to afford to live here..." Well guess what, I was born and raised here, own a home here, and Oakland owes me the opportunity to actually benefit from things my PROPERTY TAXES say I'm entitled to. Well maintained streets, decent schools, low crime, businesses to spend my money, etc. I haven't gotten jack from this Oakland EXCEPT a higher tax bill EVERY YEAR. So until I start getting something in return, I don't care about what the anti-gentrification community has to say.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 07/02/2017 at 2:04 PM

Re: “Oakland Officials Want to Ban Flavored Blunt Wrappers, Two-Pack Cigars, And Vape Juice

Oakland council members need to focus their efforts on a lot of others things besides tobacco and vaping. And how about enforcing the laws and consequences already on the books. Fining. Revoking business licenses. Etc.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 04/15/2017 at 3:38 PM

Re: “New Documents Reveal Oakland Officials Were Aware of Ghost Ship’s Numerous Problems: Raves, Kidnapping, Battery, Assault, And More

And this disaster/tragedy is EXACTLY why I'm not here for Oakland OVERLOOKING or ACCEPTING anything that is illegal. Had all facets of the City of Oakland done their part, 36 people wouldn't have died. I don't care who or what it is, the City of Oakland has got to stop tolerating this crap.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 02/17/2017 at 11:39 AM

Re: “Police, City Clear Out 'The Village' Homeless Encampment in North Oakland

Well Solomon, I can't speak for all of the "crazy" homeowners here, but let me attempt to respond to your comments myself. I do not have a "poisonous" attitude towards the homeless. I do however have a strong dislike for our ineffective and inept City of Oakland Administration. Time and time again, their inability and unwillingness to say "no," make hard decisions, or desire not to offend anyone, has cost the TAX PAYER (i.e. HOMEOWNER, businessOWNER) money. Whether it's the sure lawsuits from the Ghostship fire, the original Raider coliseum lease, an OPD sex scandal, whatever, I'm tired of being on the hook for the financial liability. Specific to this article, the dwellings were unsanctioned, and definitely not built to code. With Oakland's track record, it was a disasterfu%& waiting to happen. Based on all the other encampments popping up around the City, the encampment probably would of gone overlooked had people not started building structures. Like COME TF ON!!! Building a dwelling on government property?!!! So yes, I'm ecstatic this crap got torn down before something happened. And no, I don't hate the homeless, but I refuse to condone anything that's going to put me on the hook for the payout when the AVOIDABLE disaster strikes.

Now as a TAXPAYER, perhaps I wouldn't have so much of a problem if I was getting the services MY TAXES entitled me to. Perhaps I wouldn't have so much of a problem if the City's tolerance to these encampments and "eye-sores" was spread evenly throughout the Districts. Let this crap happen in Temescal, or Montclair...oh but wait, it wouldn't!!! Can't get OPD to respond to jack (because they're too "busy"), public works can't clean up the blight and illegal dumping (because they're too "busy"), parking enforcement keeps driving by obviously abandoned and uninhabited cars (because they're too "busy" - and won't call a tow truck)...the list goes on and on. But because I'm a HOMEOWNER, I'm expected to suck it all up? I hate making assumptions, but Solomon, I'm going to make one about you (and please correct me if I'm wrong)...I'd venture to say you don't live in the vicinity of an Oakland homeless encampment. The trash, the noise, the human waste, the smells, the car break-ins, the blight, it's unacceptable.

Any who, that's all I have to say about that.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 02/04/2017 at 8:35 PM

Re: “Police, City Clear Out 'The Village' Homeless Encampment in North Oakland

To the bleeding hearts that wanted the park to stay open, screw off. I live in the neighborhood. I own in the neighborhood. Born and raised in Oakland. But for some reason that means I was supposed to be born and bred empathetic, sympathetic, and tolerant to this bullcrap. I pay my taxes (and I'm talking HIGH ASS PROPERTY TAXES), but can't get an ounce of service around this joint. I'm sick of the "hold people accountable, but just not us/them" mentality. That POS housing was not up to code. Bout time the City of Oakland did something with a sense of urgency. Doesn't matter if it was an under used park, it's a city park. I saw people shooting hoops or playing with their dogs enough to say "somebody used that park." All you guys this the park is a great idea until the city and the tax payers have to assume liability for some avoidable disaster. I'm tired of this rhetoric. You love the homeless and the filth that comes along with it, move them into your house. Onto your property. Good job police, thanks for tearing that crap down.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 02/04/2017 at 11:09 AM

Re: “Low-Level Cops Facing Punishment in East Bay Sex Crimes Scandal

Let me start off by saying I am pro-law enforcement. That being said, I was troubled by this story. I'd say most cops, no matter the department, are good people. There's no way you can convince me of anything else. Repeated stories of misconduct understandably make people question their faith, but I'll stand firm in mine. Anything that is presented as systematic, definitely starts at the top. The low-level boots on the ground, unfortunately suffer the brunt of the consequences. Case and point, but totally unrelated, WELLS FARGO!! To whom much is given, much is required. Law enforcement will have to find a way, QUICKLY, to meet the requirements of those who are starting to hold them accountable. "Because I said so," is no longer going to cut it. Cops across the board will have to deal with the ill-consequences and misperceptions.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 09/25/2016 at 11:52 AM

Re: “East Bay Homeless Campers Accuse Caltrans of Illegally Confiscating and Destroying Valuable Property — and Even Family Heirlooms

I posted this comment on another article, but I'm reposting it here. Lies, lies, lies. I've been in these encampments, several times. I've interacted with the people in these photographs. They see an opportunity to gouge the State for money, and they're taking it. Attorney's are loving this. Anyway, here's my reposted comment:

No, no, no, no, no!!! Now this is where I draw the line. I hate articles like this because they're completely one sided. "Harassment from government agencies...," GTFOH!!!!!! I have a pretty in-depth knowledge of how these CalTrans clean-up days work. Yes, homelessness is a problem. I'm not debating that fact, but to expect or imply CalTrans, the State of California, or any police agency should turn a blind eye to these encampments, is ridiculous. Due to the B.S. bureaucracy, CalTrans is required to "post" their clean-up intentions DAYS in advance. Their posting schedule gives people several days notice to move their belongings. Sure as hell, when they come back, the people are STILL there (acting like it's the first time they've heard CalTrans was coming). COME ON!!! CalTrans not only has a pretty regular schedule, but they take photos when they post notices. Not CalTrans' fault the people in the encampments remove the notices. Additionally, when CalTrans arrives, due to the fact they've already posted a notice, they're not REQUIRED to afford the encampment residents with additional time to clean their crap up. They do, but they're not required to. No one wants to be heartless meanie. Due to the ridiculous missing property claims, and lawsuits, CalTrans is now required to videotape (as opposed to simply photographing), the property they discard. They receive claims of jeans worth hundreds of dollars getting thrown away, valuable jewelry going missing...YEAH RIGHT!!! These places are filthy and full of rummaged and/or stolen property!! Don't insult my intelligence.

The people who work for CalTrans and go out and clean these encampments DO NOT have the power to disregard the order of their bosses. They have a job to do. And as a tax paying, home in West Oakland owning (an epicenter for this filth), and resident of California, I expect CalTrans to do their job!! I've been in these encampments (and stepped in "dookie bombs" the homeless left behind), and I've interacted with the hopeless HOMEOWNER who also feels like they're being punished/victimized. I belong to the latter group. So I have to suffer because people feel sorry for the homeless? I have to deal with the filth, trash, noise, and vermin, because people feel sorry for the homeless? What about me, the HOME OWNER, THE TAX PAYER, THE PERSON THAT GOES TO WORK EVERY DAY? What about the tax paying, home owning (or renting) residents who call in or go to the police begging for help with the encampment problem in their neighborhood, and they get brushed off, or their complaints get discarded, because the City and the State's hands are tied? How do you tell a person who does EVERYTHING RIGHT, and "PAYS THEIR DUES", that their complaints are invalid. "Sorry my friend, you're successful and own your home and pay your taxes, but because you're not homeless, we don't care you feel victimized too."

I spoke to one defeated home owner who lived next to an encampment. He said, "I don't understand how these people are not being arrested for the least! If i cut the lock and drove onto State property and started vandalizing stuff, or doing donuts, i would get arrested!!! Why are they not getting arrested ?!!!!" My response was, "Because they're homeless and you're not." But he's absolutely right. This is asinine!!!

And to go back to that line about "harassment." When CalTrans goes into these encampments to DO THEIR JOB, they're threatened, assaulted, and harassed themselves. Sometimes, they're not even CalTrans employees...they're contracted out to some work program. Men and women just trying to earn a living and/or fulfill the terms and conditions of their probation. If some of these homeless people weren't so hostile, perhaps CalTrans wouldn't need the police's assistance. I tell you what, this liberal Oakland City Council and spineless OPD (and their moratorium on the homeless) have made it difficult for other agencies to do their job. Because the City of Oakland and OPD refuse to address the problem, let people live in their cars (illegally parked or not), and let people pitch tents and block the sidewalks (out of compliance with ADA laws and regulations), then the homeless and activist think all other agencies are supposed to do the same. The City of Oakland's and OPD's LACK OF ACTION, is counter productive to the problem. They don't want to victimize the homeless, but they're victimizing the homeowner. oh but wait, NOT IN THE "NICE" NEIGHBORHOODS THOUGH!! Let a homeless person pitch a tent or live in their car on College Avenue, Piedmont Avenue, or Lasalle Avenue. OPD would be on their butt REAL QUICK!!! Hypocrites.

This whole problem gets me worked up, as you can see. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Posted by Melissa Kittell on 08/13/2016 at 6:14 PM

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