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Showing posts from July, 2006

East Bay Express Is So Pissed Dellums Won

Wow. The East Bay Express just can't stand that Ron Dellums ran for mayor and won. They're so angry that -- as a friend of mine put it -- the black man won, they have to dump as much drummed up negative press about him as possible and as fast as they can. Just a look back shows that Jerry Brown didn't receive this kind of treatment from The Express in 1998. Not even close. Everyone knew that Jerry had not taken office yet, so the focus was more on Mayor Elihu Harris and transition than Jerry. The Express misses all the real stories, like the ones about De La Fuente aides who were left scrambling for positions outside his office after the June election. Or the matter of rushing so many decisions through City Council before the season's done. All missed by The Express. Let's hope they eventually stop seeing red long enough to really cover what's going on.

Oakland Has $16.1 Million Budget Surplus

This is great news, but the question about appropriately funding the Landscape Lighting and Assessment District must be asked. I'm also curious to know what projects were removed from the City's vast list of reserves. Real estate boom gives city a surplus Oakland council uses windfall for repairs, police technicians and reserve By Heather MacDonald, STAFF WRITER - OAKLAND TRIBUNE OAKLAND — The city's $16.1 million budget surplus will be used to fund a variety of programs, including expanded tree trimming, roof repairs and three new technicians to analyze DNA in sexual assault cases. The windfall, due to the still sizzling real estate market in Oakland, also will be used to bridge the $1.8 million gap in the city's Landscape and Lighting District created when voters rejected a proposed tax increase for park and open space maintenance. However, several council members warned that the city's financial picture isn't as rosy as the surplus appears. Experts have w

At 286 Lenox in Adams Point - "Neighbor Robbed At Knife Point With Good Ending"

That was the title of this post you're about to see, which started life on the Adams Point Yahoo! Message Board. I'm just glad it wasn't a sharp ending! A good neighborhood at work today! This morning at 9:00AM I heard a woman shout out, "give me back my money"! When I looked outside I saw a woman running away. Turns out it was my neighbor chasing the suspect. She was robbed at knifepoint behind our building 286 Lenox I used the whistle ( but don't know if it helped or not) and called the police. It appears that several other neighbors called the police as well. The victim kept chasing the suspect and yelling give me back my money which worked to get many different people to come out and call the police.The police received several calls and they were able to catch the woman that robbed her within about 30 minutes I think. It appears that one person witnessed it all, another witnessed the suspect approaching before the actual robbery and others witnessed the c

Man Mugged In Lake Merritt Tunnel - I Never Walk In There

In all my years in Oakland, I've never walked through the tunnel connecting Lake Merritt to the Oakland Convention Center -- never. I rode my bike through it once about 20 years ago, but that's it. Now, there are reports that a man was recently mugged while walking through it. My late advice is this: don't. You're better off crossing the street than going down there. It's a dangerous place and Oakland Parks and Rec has never done anything about it.

Man Mugged In Lake Merritt Tunnel - I Never Walk In There

In all my years in Oakland, I've never walked through the tunnel connecting Lake Merritt to the Oakland Convention Center -- never. I rode my bike through it once about 20 years ago, but that's it. Now, there are reports that a man was recently mugged while walking through it. My late advice is this: don't. You're better off crossing the street than going down there. It's a dangerous place and Oakland Parks and Rec has never done anything about it.

Phil Tagmi Scores With Fox Theater! - Congradulations!

Phil Tagami, California Commercial Investments partner and developer (or redeveloper) of The Rotunda, scored a victory with a 57.2 million deal to renovate the long dormant Fox Theater. When I served as Economic Advisor to Mayor Elihu Harris, Phil came to me with a plan to restore The Rotunda. After almost ten years of meetings, drawings, and calls not returned by the City's Economic Development Agency, Phil won a $32 million loan to develop The Rotunda. It was his first development project. But even then Phil had a dream and plan for the entire area boardered by Telegraph, San Pablo, and Grand Avenue that we started calling "Uptown" after that term was created by developer David Martin of The Martin Group in 1995. Phil's plan was on a much smaller scale that David's, where the latter wanted to make a large shopping complex, Phil wanted to recreate the Fox. We had that conversation in 1996. As is common with him, he kept his focus. He maintained it, even in

Racial Politics and the Unfulfilled Promise of Black Power in Oakland - Pedro Noguera

My Cal City Planning Grad School Classmate Ricardo Noguera's brother Pedro Noguera wrote this article in 2002, but it's worth reviewing. With academic failure so persistent and widespread one might wonder why a community with a reputation and history for political activism would not have acted long ago to radically reform its schools. Oakland was after all the birthplace of the Black Panther Party, an organization that took on another public institution that was perceived as failing to serve community needs, namely the police department, which it accused of engaging in rampant harassment and brutality. Oakland’s history of Black leadership and political activism goes back to the 1930s when it served as the national headquarters of the powerful Sleeping Car Porters Union (Franklin and Moss 1988). In the 1920s Oakland had one of the most active chapters of UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association - the largest Black political organization in US history headed by Marcus Garv

Don Perata Steps In To Fight Street Killings; Where's Jerry Brown?

All I can say is, it's about time. I guess Jerry's got his mind on the AG race. But that's no reason to turn his back on this. After all, he's running to office to...fight crime, right? This may backfire for Jerry. Perata gathers forces to fight street killings Senator moved to act after Oakland boy was gunned down Jim Herron Zamora, SF Chronicle Staff Writer Wednesday, July 19, 2006 State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, said he has wanted for months to do something about Oakland's spiraling number of street killings. But it took reading a Chronicle story about the July 2 death of 14-year-old Jaee Logan -- who was shot from behind three times as he ran for his life -- to prod the senator into action. Jaee, a Pop Warner League football star, may have been killed in a case of mistaken identity as he waited for a friend in an unfamiliar neighborhood, police and his family said. "It made me sick to read about that kid dying that way," said Perata, wh

John Russo's View On "Definition Of Vote Cast" - Matter of Oakland Mayoral Campaign

I just found right here online a June 16th 2006 letter written by Oakland City Attorney John Russo to the Acting Registrar of Voters David Mac Donald and on the matter of "Alameda County Counsel Opinion of June 14, 2006, to Registrar of Voters," a letter dated June 14th 2006. I'll link to it here, ...and present it below in case the link is destroyed. What does it mean? It means that the candidates for Mayor, both Ron Dellums (now Mayor-Elect) and Ignacio De La Fuente were concerned about the definition of a vote cast, and perhaps the De La Fuente campaign believed that some voters were picking candidates who were not "qualified" and thus their vote should not count. In other words if you place a write-in vote for "Zennie Abraham" that counts as a vote for me, and is considered, even if I never actually ran for mayor. Apparently the De La Fuente campaign was working to have the entire election results thrown out. It seems it was this opinion by R

Video Used To Sell 5499 Claremont Avenue, Oakland Apartment

Someone created a video of an apartment at 5499 Claremont Avenue as a tool to promote its sale, and then placed it on YouTube. Pretty good idea, except that the video lacks mention of a phone number or website to go to. The apartment itself is just $835 rent and a one-bedroom. Not a bad deal, except for the bathroom issue. Well I should reconsider that.. Here's the video.

"Walk-Pooling" - A New Idea For Lake Merritt / Adams Point Residents

Many Lake Merritt / Adams Point residents have complained of the lack of safe ways to walk from downtown Oakland BART to the neighborhood. One man was recently mugged at night just at 19th and Broadway and after leaving the BART station. Well, I propose an idea I call "Walk Pooling." It's like carpooling, but you don't get in an automobile. Instead, when you get out of BART station and are headed toward the Lake, you introduce yourself to anyone in general and say "Anyone for a Walkpool?" There's usually more than one person getting off at 19th Street, so chances are you will have some "takers." Moreover, you'll meet people from the area and because there's safety in numbers, you reduce the chance that someone -- including yourself -- will be harmed. The pool can then walk to the Lake, and people can split up whereever they wish, but it gets each person closer to home with a group of people rather than alone. Walk-pooling. Try it.

Did Some West Oakland Blacks Sell Out to Whites? This Lady Thinks So

In brief. I was talking to a nice woman recently who -- she's white -- strongly asserts that the reason for West Oakland's gentrification is that yountg white couples came in and bought out black home owners. I don't think this is exactly true, not not far off. I think some of the reason is due to new home construction -- lofts and apartments -- and not so much any "buy out" at all. Moreover the new housing is affordable. More on this later.

Mugging on Van Buren near Staten on Friday, June 30

This from the Yahoo! Message Board. A pattern of juvenile crime is unfolding in the Adams Point Neighborhood. Where are the parents of these kids? Mugging on Van Buren near Staten on Friday, June 30. An acquaintance of mine was driving along Van Buren at approx. 2:30 p.m. She told me she had seen a young Asian woman picked up and roughly thrown to ground by mugger who successfully grabbed her large purse. Victim screamed loud enough to catch the attention of several neighbors, as well as this driver. A terrific neighbor on Staten chased the culprit on foot but couldn't catch up before he got away. Meanwhile, my acquaintance followed the man to where a car + driver was waiting for him on Staten below Van Buren. She saw culprit get into a taupe colored, new-looking, shiny American-made sedan. Car then turned onto Belmont and got lost from view. She called police but Oakland 9-1-1 line was busy. Finally, she turned over info on get-away car to concerned neighbor(s), as she was on wo

Gunshots on Van Buren Ave around MacArthur last night..

I saw this on a Yahoo! Message Board. I removed the writers name to protect their privacy. Anyone know what happenedd around 1:30AM last night? We heard what sounded like 4 gunshots, a man shouting, and saw a parked white car zooming down Van Buren in a hurried pace. Given that there's no victims on the road, it could be that a passenger in the car was shot. Just wondering if someone had more infomration on it. According to Police emergency, they've had several calls on this incident.