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Showing posts from October, 2006

Inclusionary Zoning Vote Tonight At Oakland City Council - Tribune

Brown's vote may break tie on zoning Mayor's usual position on controversial plan bodes ill for commission By Heather MacDonald, STAFF WRITER Article Last Updated:10/31/2006 08:23:06 AM PST OAKLAND — With two months left in office, Mayor Jerry Brown is expected to cast a decisive vote tonight on a controversial plan to require developers to set aside at least 15 percent of their projects for low-income residents. Both supporters and critics of the inclusionary zoning proposal — and many are on both sides — believe the plan has the power to shape the future of Oakland, for good or for ill. Two weeks ago, the council deadlocked on a proposal by Councilmember Desley Brooks (Eastmont-Seminary) to form a blue-ribbon commission to study the issue. Although Brooks favors inclusionary zoning, she said she could not support the proposal before the council because it does nothing to address the needs of extremely low-income residents. Councilmembers Jane Brunner (NorthOakland) and Jean Q

Roland Smith - Oakland Auditor Plans To Meet With Public? What A Joke!

In this Oakland Tribune article, Oakland City Auditor Roland Smith says he will meet with the public to hear their complaints. Wow, after all these years. I'll bet he doesn't do anything about them, though. I met with him for a total of two hours on the problems at the Coliseum in 2000 and he never acted on anything. So why should he be expected to act now? Roland, I like you personally. But I also expected better of you in this position. I'm totally disappointed. Geez. Two candidates vie for position of city auditor Incumbent values independence, considers post a public 'window' By Heather MacDonald, STAFF WRITER - OAKLAND TRIBUNE Article Last Updated:10/29/2006 05:11:43 AM PST OAKLAND — Even though he is the incumbent, City Auditor Roland Smith will have to come from behind to win a third term. Smith, who considers his office a window into government, said he is running for re-election to defend the independence of the office and help Oakland residents under

Bad Rumor: Trader Joe's Store Coming To Grand Lake / Lakeshore Avenue

There's some buzz over at the Grand Lake / Adams Point Yahoo message board about a Trader Joes coming to the former location of the Albertsons on Lakeshore Avenue. The estimated opening date listed on the message board is 2007, but one look at the Trader Joes' website reveals that Oakland's not firmly -- if at all -- in Trader Joes plans. The "coming soon" list does not include Oakland. I think all of this was started with Councilmember Pat Kernighan's report on her efforts to "secure a High Quality Tenant" for the location back in January. And there have been residents begging Trader Joes to open at that site, and more rumors that "two Oakland locations" were scouted, but not planned. But no firm confirmation of Trader Joe's actually coming to Oakland from the people at Trader Joe's. What's happening here is what I call "circular buzz" where a group wants something to happen so bad, they chat it up online s

Nina Reiser - Reward Up To $25,000 - Oakland Tribune

Reward for mom's discovery increases FROM STAFF REPORTS - OAKLAND TRIBUNE Article Last Updated:10/24/2006 07:48:55 AM PDT OAKLAND — A reward for information that can help police find Nina Reiser, a missing mother of two, has increased to $25,000 because of public donations received online. The additional $10,000 in reward money was collected through a Web site,, in public donations ranging from $5 to $1,000. Reiser disappeared Sept. 3 after dropping off her children, ages 5 and 7, at the home of her estranged husband, Hans Reiser. Authorities, who have searched local parks and other locations with cadaver dogs and teams of volunteers, believe Nina Reiser is dead and have charged Hans Reiser with her murder. His attorneys have said he will plead not guilty. In spite of the murder charges, Nina Reiser's friends and family are continuing their campaign to locate her. The 18 billboards that have been erected throughout Oakland will be updated within the ne

Sandre Swanson Helps Dems While Eddie Ytuarte Prays For Miracle

'David and Goliath' battle for state assembly seat By Cecily Burt, STAFF WRITER - OAKLAND TRIBUNE Article Last Updated:10/24/2006 07:49:17 AM PDT OAKLAND — In the largely Democratic stronghold of the 16th Assembly district, which blankets Piedmont, Alameda and nearly all of Oakland, does a little known Peace and Freedom Party candidate by the name of Eddie Ytuarte have a chance of defeating Sandre Swanson? Probably not. Then again, it was in the 16th district where upstart Green Party candidate Audie Bock triumphed over Democratic stalwart and former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris in the April 1999 special election. Democrat Swanson, 57, former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee and policy adviser for former Congressman and now Oakland Mayor-elect Ron Dellums, said he's not worried but he's also not taking anything for granted. Swanson has kept his campaign office open and his volunteers busy since the June primary when he overcame three strong challengers. But Swanso


The article below -- written in 1998 -- serves as a reminder that SMG was hired to be the manager of the Coliseum without a competitive bid process. This fact escaped the Chronicle article, but it remains true that it should have been done such that other stadium management companies -- and other option -- were explored. They were not. Coliseum Moves To Hire Private Management Officials hope to cut huge cost to taxpayers Rick DelVecchio, Chronicle Staff Writer Thursday, May 28, 1998 (05-28) 04:00 PDT OAKLAND -- In the first of a series of moves intended to cut taxpayer subsidies for the Oakland Coliseum, officials are ready to hire a private firm to pack more events into the complex -- from big-name concerts to business conferences. Under a proposal scheduled for a vote today, management of the 62,500-seat stadium where the Raiders and A's play and the 19,200-seat arena that is home to the Golden State Warriors would be signed over to a partnership led by Philadelphia-based SMG.

Megan - Architecture Grad Student - Visits West Oakland For First Time - Video

I saw this video and had to post it. I wondered what Megan was referring to by "preconceived notions" about West Oakland? I mean when a person does a social science project -- which is what this sounds like -- they should write their values and biases down. I'd love this video if it were more revealing than it is. For as long as I can remember, West Oakland's been the focus of many young white architecture and city planning students -- particularly from UC Berkeley (I should know; I got my masters degree in City Planning from Cal). There was even the UC Berekeley / Oakland Economic Forum about 15 years ago, which focused much of its attention on West Oakland. I've heard comments like the one in this video for decades. West Oakland has never been much of a puzzle to me. All it needs is investment. Redevelopment monies should be designed to stimulate construction of industry, but it never is. And I don't mean loans -- grants tied to specific performanc

Jerry Brown Caught Using Mayor's Lincoln For AG Campaign - Video

The leaders of a website and "movement" I guess called "" have produced this video which claims that Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown was using the Mayor's Lincoln -- leased to The City of Oakland by "Cab West LLC" -- to attend a fund-raiser in Sacramento. While the video's contains some dramatic music, one must ask the question is that really the City of Oakland's Lincoln? I didn't match the license plate with the one parked at City Hall, but apparently MoveOnJerry did -- it is. Here's the video:

Grand Lake Theater Has A Hip-Hop Party! - Allan Michaan's Constant Drive For Cash

For years, Allan Michaan, the owner of the Grand Lake Theater, has constanly searched for new ways to bring revenue to his prize theater, open since 1926. About nine years ago, Allan had a major problem with getting first run movies because Buena Vista Distributing worked with the owner of the Jack London Cinema to shut him out. He won in court. Now Allan faces a bigger problem: the Internet. Squeezed by people who more often than not stay at home and watch movies either via DVD or online, not to mention failed summer movies like "Superman Returns," Allan had to take action. The result: this party for Sydewayz & Sean Kennedy's Hip=Hop DVD held earlier this year and captured on video. Here it is:

Chabot Space & Science Center Executive Director Alexandra Barnett Resigns - What About That DEFICIT!?!

This Montcarion Article leaves out a huge piece of information: that Chabot faced a $1 million budget shortfall as recently as July, and with no obvious money source to close it. She tells the reporter she's leaving for "the man of her dreams," but lets face it, if she knew she was going to continue to get paid and the Chabot board wanted her to stay, she'd stick around. After all, she says she's moving to Los Gatos -- that is the Bay Area. Chabot director to resign At year's end, Barnett will pursue personal interests and clear the way for new leadership By Quynh Tran STAFF WRITER - THE MONTCLARION Chabot Space & Science Center Executive Director Alexandra Barnett announced her resignation Wednesday to pursue personal interests and clear the way for new leadership as the center embarks on its goal of becoming a premier educational institution. Barnett said she will leave at the end of the year but will remain involved with the center's new $4 milli