Patrick Emmert 
Member since Mar 4, 2012


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Recent Comments

Re: “Why BART's Wage Offer Doesn't Include a Raise

Very tricky to talk about "after tax" earnings rather than just what people are being paid. I've never seen that kind of sleight of hand in reporting on wages in any other context, ever. Hoping that most readers won't spot the difference perhaps? But you fail to answer the question as to why the already well paid BART employees should expect an across the board raise at all? My raises (beyond inflation, and most of the time not even that) have always been based upon performance and promotions. Why should BART be any different?

I'd be much more interested in working to support private sector unions, such as unionizing Wal Mart to bring those truly underpaid workers to a fraction of what BART workers make and receive in heath and pension benefits. BART workers will continue to make a "decent" wage no matter what the outcome of the talks are. Nothing I've seen riding BART has convinced me they somehow deserve any more.

14 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Patrick Emmert on 09/25/2013 at 9:38 PM

Re: “Tunnel Vision Part Two: Rivers in Peril

What are the suggested alternatives? - Use less.

This whole plan is just the Peripheral Canal redux and stinks just as much.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Patrick Emmert on 06/30/2013 at 10:11 PM

Re: “Streetcars Might Make a Comeback in Oakland

Well Craig, you're right about the difference between "streetcars' and "interurbans" but I'm afraid I have to disagree with you about both the cost and the benefits - and you seem to be outnumbered by the other commentors here who like the idea. A streetcar from MacArthur BART through downtown and then down International would undoubtedly have far higher ridership than San Jose's badly planned system, and other systems have been built for less than $25 Million a mile. When a freeway overpass costs $50 or $75 million that doesn't seem enormous.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Patrick Emmert on 05/30/2013 at 5:15 PM

Re: “Death of Oakland's Retail Plan

I second the comment of "good riddance!" For every good example of redevelopment money like the Fox Oakland theater, I could come up with 10 or 20 examples of exactly what not to do. I would take a bet that redevelopment money was used to tear down the Fox theater in San Francisco.

Oakland's plan for the Broadway-Valdez area was just another bloated waste of money on an unnecessary study. Ripping through an up and coming neighborhood with giant parking garages, and tearing down what remains of an integrated street scape with super blocks of giant retail. I am 100% behind encouraging retail in downtown and uptown Oakland - but has nobody read Jane Jacobs? Oakland would have the makings of a vibrant downtown shopping district if it hadn't been torn down as part of similar "redevelopment" scheme to create City Center. How's that working out after 5:00 when all of the office workers go home - and who really wants to shop in a pit in the ground anyhow?

Oakland could do more to encourage retail downtown AND in the Valdez area by simply doing what cities ought to do which is keep the streets paved to a reasonable level, have medians and street scapes that are inviting and maintained and providing a level of safety for people on the street. As Oakland is incabable of doing any of those things, I would suggest that they concentrate less on the expensive (but fun) studies, and spend more time on the mundane tasks of the day to day running of this city.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Patrick Emmert on 03/04/2012 at 10:03 PM

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