Tracy Rosenberg 
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Recent Comments

Re: “Oakland Police Chief: OPD Has Never Asked Recruits if They Have Been Sexually Assaulted

I think it is fair to say that what people were reacting to was two things. The first was the specific mention of "including being a victim of sexual assault" on the waiver form. Which did not similarly specify other crimes in such a precise manner. The other is that "being a victim of sexual assault" is something that has happened to many people, not all but predominantly women, and much of the time is not reported to authorities, so there is a psychological invasiveness to the wording on the form that is less than appropriate for a job application. Fixing the wording sounds like a good idea.

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on 10/26/2018 at 4:42 PM

Re: “Proposal to Build a Vast BART Surveillance System to Be Decided at Suburban 'East of the Hills' Board Meeting Next Month

It appears to be the position of some BART directors that people who live in the biggest cities of the Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley) don't have jobs and bills and do not have to be extended the same courtesy of an evening meeting and advance notice as the Board intends to issue to suburbanites who live "east of the Hills."

Is the board not aware that their primary ridership is people who live in the Bay Area urban core and rely on public transit?

I am also concerned at the notion that the horrible murder of a young black woman by a mentally disturbed white man frightened "surburbanites" and not "urban people". That is racially coded language implying that people who live in certain areas are indifferent to violence and should expect it and aren't as frightened by it as people who live "east of the Hills."

Decisions about mass surveillance are serious and there are profound questions about disparate impact and civil rights that need to be answered
It is disappointing to see some BART directors pandering to racial divides and being condescending to a packed room of people who took sick days from their jobs on short notice to tell the board not to weaponize Nia Wilson's death against the black and brown communities of the Bay Area - who were the victims of this crime, not the perpetrators.

There are plenty of security improvements BART can make without making a mini-fusion center out of themselves and doing the dirty work for Trump's Department of Homeland Security by creating a vast database of every public transit rider in the Bay Area.

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on 08/09/2018 at 7:41 PM

Re: “San Pablo Plans Major Expansion of Existing City-Wide Surveillance System

There doesn't appear to be much evidence that license plate readers reduce crime at all. Have you ever found any? Because I really haven't. Usually the crime rate declines occur at an equal level with or without the license plate readers, as the control sites experience similar decreases or increases in crime compared to those all cameraed-up. I'd be happy to look at statistics if you have any. Europe's lower rate of violent crime is usually attributed to gun control. Non gun-related crime levels are about the same in the US and Europe.…

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on 03/19/2018 at 10:16 PM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

There are actually several options and alarmist is not always the way to go. There's a loan that looks to be available that would pay off the summary judgment to Empire State right away, prevent any collection threat and be interest only for three years, allowing plenty of time to look at signal swap or sale. Pacifica Foundation is far from actually "bankrupt". It owns $10 million in real estate in three different cities and has interests in broadcasting license worth $80-$100 million dollars. The actual debts are in the $5-$6 million range and only about $3.5 of that is urgent or pressing.

Bankruptcy has problems. The legal fees are estimated at close to a million dollars. That's a lot of listener money down the drain. Yes Pacifica can propose a plan, but so can the creditors committee (led by Empire State) and the judge can choose either and when one delivers payments to creditors a lot faster and is much simpler, it has an advantage.

Pacifica has already received signal swap offers, 5 of them, in the last two months, for all frequencies except the one in Texas, ranging from $5 to $15 million dollars. The smallest and least destructive is actually for KPFA and the biggest and most destructive is for WPFW in Washington DC. Any of them would clear the debts in total, but they need 1-2 years to get through the FCC.

The clearest path through is a loan and then a signal swap. Doesn't require bankruptcy and there's a lot to be said for not getting into court with a capitalist billipnaire with a pricey and vast lawyer's corp and hoping a federal judge will be nice to you.

Independence is pretty precious, besides being part of the term "independent media". Don't give it up easily.

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on 12/30/2017 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Breaking: Berkeley's KPFA Radio Facing Ruin as New York Real Estate Corporation Considers Seizing Station's Assets to Settle Lawsuit

Thanks for posting my blog, Paul. Been chronicling this for longer than I can remember. The Empire State lease is more like something that happened to WBAI than something it is culpable for. Signed by national management, not the NY folks, in 2005. National knew that it went up 9% a year for 15 years straight. KPFA could not have afforded to pay $600K a year extra to broadcast either, and would also have defaulted on that lease had they been saddled with it.

The stats on Chapter 11 bankruptcy are not good. 85% of organizations that go in do not get out. They collapse. The administrative and attorney fees will be a million dollars or more. There are lots of bankruptcy attorneys around and they'll be lots of attorneys fees if there's a bankruptcy.

There's a good possibility a bankruptcy filing can be avoided (and if it can be than it should be) with a 2-3 year loan secured by LA real estate that would be interest only to give a few years to reorganize while removing the threat of collections activity by paying off the judgment. That's the better way. Hopefully, it will work out.

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on 12/28/2017 at 4:41 PM

Re: “Despite Canceled Hearing, Oakland Councilmembers Still Plan to Talk About Controversial ICE Raid

The hearing had been scheduled on October 12. A month before the Internal Affairs complaint was even filed. The hearing was not about the IA complaint. It was about OPD's actions during the West Oakland ICE raid. Schaaf announced on November 21 that she would support a policy to prevent all future OPD cooperation with HSI or ICE.

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on 11/22/2017 at 7:27 AM

Re: “Highland Hospital Surveillance Stirs Concerns

Why just Highland? We don't have a license plate reader scanning every plate and sending them to the Department of Homeland Security in the parking lot at the Alta Bates or Eden Medical Center emergency rooms. Why is that? The rabble has a right to be roused.

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on 11/22/2017 at 7:06 AM

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