Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2007

Oakland, CA Economic Report For 2007 - Oakland Chamber of Commerce

This is the executive summary of the economic report published by the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. A copy of the entire study can be seen with a click > here. The text that follows is directly from the summary. I disagree with the overall recommendations, but welcome feedback from others to start a debate. I feel that the recommendations are too weighted toward the development of large industries, ignores the impact of the sports indusry in Oakland, and has no mention of the need to develop small businesses. It's also too focused on biotech, and that's been talked about for 20 years, and we've still got nothing to show for it. I think we should make our strengths stronger, and that's small business, restaurants, shops, and information, and sports. Here's the study.... ONE: OAKLAND’S ECONOMY TODAY Historically, Oakland’s economic foundation rested on strong manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare industries. Today, these continue to be important pi

Oakland / Emeryville Schools Are "Dropout Factories" - Tribune and AP

Well, first, I'm happy Skyline High, where I went, is not on this list. Second, my question -- not answered here -- is "why do these schools have that problem?" Oakland, Emeryville schools make dropout list Fewer than 60 percent of freshmen make it to senior year By Katy Murphy, STAFF WRITER - OAKLAND TRIBUNE Article Last Updated: 10/31/2007 02:47:25 AM PDT OAKLAND — Oakland High School and Oakland Technical High School made the Associated Press's recent "dropout factory" list, as did Emery Secondary School in Emeryville. According to a data analysis conducted by Johns Hopkins University researchers for the Associated Press, only about 44 percent of ninth-graders from Oakland Tech, 52 percent from Oakland High and 55 percent from Emery Secondary made it to their senior year. The high schools were among 1,700 nationwide in which no more than 60 percent of ninth-graders enrolled as seniors three years later. By looking at the size of a particular grade l

Pastino's Pasta & Pizza Gets Panned - "Worst Pasta I've Had in My Entire Life."

Wow. I've never personally been to Pastino's Pasta & Pizza, but I ran accross a blog where the writer said the restaurant on 4207 Park Blvd in Oakland, had "the worst pasta I've had in my entire life" in his words. He goes on... Bad pasta The pasta that I had tonight at Pastino's in Oakland was the worst pasta I've had in my entire life. I am an old man. I have lived 300 years. In all my 300 years, I've never even heard of pasta this bad. And make no mistake -- I've heard of pasta that was bad. For about 60 of those years I lived in Bangladesh where I was a reporter at a local paper and -- I kid you not -- my "beat" was bad pasta places and the pasta they made. Most of which wasn't very good. That was a difficult period in my life. So here I am, all these years later thinking, "I'm a guy who's eaten a lot of bad pasta." But as it turns out, those thin, flappy, granular strands of my discontent were just appe

Henry Chang - Councilmember Henry Chang - At Large - Oakland

Of all the current Oakland Councilmembers, Henry Chang stands out not just as an elder statesman, but as an honest, principled elected official who I've long admired, regardless of his position. Here's more about him. Henry was born in 1934, the second child of Frances and Henry Sr. He was separated from his parents two years later, when the Japanese attacked his hometown, Shantou. Henry fled to Hong Kong with his Aunt Barbara while his parents escaped to Northern China. Three years later, when the Japanese attacked Hong Kong, Henry returned by freighter back to Japanese-occupied Shantou and was later reunited with his mother and father. Henry's most vivid childhood memories are of the concentration camp his family called home during the occupation of China. There, they witnessed unspeakable torture and brutality. He escaped in 1941 with his brother Thomas by crawling over a wall at night and hiding in a farmhouse. Henry reconnected with his family a year later, whe - Novometro On Broadway Auto Row's New Eateries

What's neat about the way Oakland's growing is the reduced institutional investor racism that's plagued Oakland in the past. Oakland's chronic underdevelopment is a child of this problem. Development leapfrogged Oakland and went to Walnut Creek or Alameda, both mostly-white enclaves. I'm not sure if some of this is due to the "balancing" of Oakand's population, where we're reaching a near racial balance that I predicted would occur in 1995, when I wrote for The Montclarion, but I'd prefer to think it's more in line with more sane attitudes toward skin color. Yes. People can be that stupid. At any rate, it's with great pride that I present Novometro's article on new eateries along AutoRow.

Forum On Domestic Violence In Oakland - North Gate News

From the North Gate News This actually matches a Tagami Vision episode on the matter. Forum Focuses on Domestic Violence, Sexual Exploitation By Kerry Seed , October 29, 2007 at 11:49 pm OAKLAND – Police are getting more cases of domestic violence and sexual exploitation in recent years, and the victims are younger, according to a city coalition that gathered Monday to report on what is being done about the problem. More domestic violence incidents are reported in Oakland than in any other city in the nine-county Bay Area, said Jean Quan, City Council president pro tempore. And prosecutors say Internet prostitution has caused sexual exploitation cases to skyrocket. “The Internet has increased the number of cases beyond what we can handle,” said Sharmin Eshraghi, an Alameda County assistant district attorney who focuses on human exploitation and trafficking. “We have an epidemic. There’s more than we can actually prosecute.” With Domestic Violence Awareness month drawing to a close,

Oaklander Rachel Howard On "This American Life" November 2nd

You may have heard of Rachel Howard as she's the dance critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. But Rachel's also an accomplished book author. Her work " The Lost Night : A Daughter's Search for the Truth of Her Father's Murder" is about the murder of her father Stan Howard and how she's coped with not just the loss of her father, but the fact that the killer was never found. On November 2nd, Rachel shares her story with Ira Glass on his show, "This American Life." Please tune in. The stations that have the show are listed here: San Francisco, CA KQED-FM 88.5 Sa 12:00 PM 12:59 PM 1/1/1998 Sacramento, CA KQEI-FM 89.3 Sa 12:00 PM 12:59 PM 1/1/1998 San Francisco, CA KALW-FM 91.7 Su 1:00 PM 1:59 PM 7/7/1996 San Francisco, CA KQED-FM 88.5 Sa 10:00 PM 10:59 PM 8/4/1996 Sacramento, CA KQEI-FM 89.3 Sa 10:00 PM 10:59 PM 8/4/1996 San Francisco, CA KALW-FM 91.7 F 1:00 PM 1:59 PM 7/11/1997

Pier 39 Fleet Week 2007 San Francisco Party - Video

I'll get back to politics, but here's some fun. My good friend Beth Schnitzer invited me to Pier 39s Fleet Week Party held October 5th 2007 on the roof of the parking lot at Pier 39 in San Francisco. It's a killer event that drew over 600 people and provided a great backdrop for products and events from various sponsors from Bauer's Limousines -- -- to Sheri's Berries. There's great food and music and people, like Movie Critic Jan Wahl. This is the first movie in a series.

Oakland Police, DEA, Stage 6 AM Heroin Arrests - SF

From today (10-24) 08:50 PDT OAKLAND -- Law enforcement officials raided numerous locations in Oakland today as part of a multi-agency investigation into heroin trafficking, authorities said. The citywide busts occurred at 6 a.m. and involved Oakland police officers, Alameda County sheriff's deputies and agents with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI. San Francisco police and Internal Revenue Service agents also were involved, said Officer Roland Holmgren, an Oakland police spokesman. The raids focused on a tar heroin trafficking organization based in the Central Valley with distribution cells in Oakland and elsewhere in the Bay Area, Holmgren said. The group had the capacity to distribute between to 50 and 100 pounds of tar heroin a month, police said. Officials plan to release more details at a news conference this afternoon. That's all the information provided.

Jane Brunner > An interview with Oakland City Councilwoman Jane Brunner

From Rockridge News, which really needs to be in blog form. An interview with City Councilwoman Jane Brunner by Stuart Flashman, RCPC boardmember, and member, RCPC Planning and Project Review Committee In 1998, the city of Oakland updated itsGeneral Plan, the fundamental document defining the city’s land use patterns. Almost 10 years later, the city has not yet revised all of its zoning ordinance to fit with what the General Plan says. The Rockridge News talked to Jane Brunner, city councilwoman for North Oakland, about this zoning upd a t e process and what it might mean for Rockridge. Councilwoman Brunner will be an invited speaker at the RCPC’s October 18 General Meeting on the topic of the Rockridge/ Temescal Zoning Update and the future of Rockridge. Rockridge News: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me about zoning in Rockridge and Temescal. Let’s start with a simple question – what is zoning about? Jane Brunner: Zoning really is taking a look at how many housing units,

Ron Dellums > About Mayor Ron Dellums | Mayor Dellums

From About Ron Dellums Contact the Office of the Mayor Ron Dellums 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza 3rd Floor Oakland, CA 94612 T: (510) 238-3141 F: (510) 238-4731 An Oakland native, Ron Dellums grew up on Wood St in West Oakland, attended Oakland schools and graduated from Oakland Tech, Merritt College (AA), SF State (BA), and UC Berkeley (MSW). Ron served two years active duty in the United States Marine Corps, Following graduate school, Ron worked as a psychiatric social worker for the California Department of Mental Hygiene. He then directed various programs in Bayview/Hunters Point before becoming Director of the Hunters Point Youth Opportunity Center. Subsequently, he was Director of employment programs for the SF Poverty program and then Senior Consultant on manpower programs for Social Dynamics Inc, a leading Bay Area consulting firm. In 1967, he was elected to the Berkeley City Council and in 1970 to the US House of Representatives. He repr

San Diego Fire - Many Times Larger Than Oakland Hills Disaster

This is the forth day of the raging series of fires that have destroyed or damaged 1,750 homes, closed 100 businesses, and scorched 263,000 acres of land. All of this has resulted in over 500,000 people being displaced from their homes over this time. I've heard reports of people coming down just to volunteer to help. If you're anywhere but there, it's hard to understand exactly what's going on or the enormity of it, untill you see something like this Google Map here. The map shows that it's not one fire but many fires spread around a vast area. I count 20 in all, and raging in size from the 200,000 acre Witch Fire to the 160 acres Walker Fire. Whatever the case, the fires -- even the small ones -- are very large in size. So large, they dwarf the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire. That disaster covered 1,520 acres; this one consists of several blazes, all save for three between 10 and 100 times larger than the Oakland Hills Fire. It's a series of fires too la

Over 100 Gathered At Oakand City Hall To Protest Police Brutality

East Bay Blog reports... Over 100 gathered in front of Oakland City Hall for a demonstration and march in Oakland on October 22, joining with people in cities across the country on the “National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation." The largest group of participants were the families and friends of those who had been murdered by the police, who marched behind a banner which read “Stolen Lives: Killed by Law Enforcement." There were many family and friends of of Gary King, Jr., a 20-year-old youth who was murdered by police on September 20. Gary King was grabbed by the dreadlocks, brutalized, tasered and shot in the back by officer Patrick Gonzales, who had mistaken King for someone else. Gonzeles, who has been responsible for shooting several other young Black men in the last few years, stood with his foot in Gary’s back as he lay dying on the ground.

Oakland A's Principal Owner Lew Wolff Continues To Chase Fremont Pipe Dream

Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff continues to chase a pipe-dream of a project to build a ball park in Fremont using a financing plan that I've told Don Fisher of the Gap is not workable. It's funny what ego can do, but even a large ego can go only so far. It's a waste of time what the A's are doing. What's even sillier is saying they're not going to stay in Oakland. Where the hell are they going, and with who's money? Baseball, both in TV ratings and franchise value, isn't the investment it used to be for an organization in a market this size. There's an answer, but I'm not going to give all of....Well, ok. Part of the answer is that Lew needs to learn local politics. Right now, he's really screwing up. He would get a losing score playing my Oakland Baseball Simworld. A's owner says there's no chance team will stay in Oakland Carolyn Jones, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer Monday, October 22, 2007 (10-22) 22:13 PDT Sa

EBMUD and UC Berkeley's present: A Clean Sweep - Help Protect the Bay!

EBMUD and UC Berkeley's present: A Clean Sweep - Help Protect the Bay! WHEN: Friday, October 26, 2007 7am-3pm WHERE: 1000 Folger Ave. at San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, CA 94720 (near Ashby) * FREE COMPUTER RECYCLING Accepting personal TVs, monitors, portable DVD players, CPUs, laptops, power cords, circuit boards, keyboards, and mice. More info at 510-642-1186 or * SAFE MEDICINE DISPOSAL Bring unwanted medicine in original containers with your name marked out. More info at 510-287-1651 or * THERMOMETER EXCHANGE & MERCURY DEVICE DISPOSAL Exchange mercury thermometers for a free digital thermometer. Also accepting other mercury devices. Bring in two plastic zipper bags to prevent spills. More info at 510-287-1651 or

Oakland Army Base Land Play Thing Of Mayor And City Council

I read the latest news on the Oakland Army Base with more than the usual passing interest. I absorbed it and chuckled. I could not help it. Why? Because the Oakland Army Base land has sat largely unused for years -- since 1999 -- while the Oakland City Council and whomever happened to be Mayor jockied with the Port of Oakland for control of its development. That struggle is also itself countered by competing ideas of what Oakland Councilmembers want to do with the land. It's these political tug of wars that have delayed development of what is still the Bay Area's best infill development opportunity. I can go over scores of examples of land uses that have been proposed for that area, from a ballpark for the Oakland A's to a farmers market, which was the proposal of long-time Oakland development activist Steve Low, my friend and for some time the with the West Oakland Commerce Association (WOCA). But as much as I like Steve, even he's been part of the enormous num

Barack Obama Rules Oakland / East Bay - Raises More Cash Than Clinton - Oakland Tribune

If one needs more evidence that Mayor Dellums backed the wrong presidential candidate, here's more. His own constituents, by a massive margin, have given more money to Senator Barack Obama's campaign for President. As I told Mayor Dellums great communications director, all the Mayor has to do is switch his endorsement to Barack Obama. It's that easy. Here's the Tribune article. Obama gets more money than Clinton Illinois senator trumps New York's in donations from Contra Costa, Alameda counties By Lisa Vorderbrueggen, STAFF WRITER Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., may lead the presidential fundraising pack nationally but in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, it is the charismatic junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who has the edge. Nearly $4 out of every $10 shelled out by East Bay residents as of Sept. 30 went to Obama, led in large measure by contributions from folk in the liberal strongholds of Berkeley, Oakland and Piedmont. Generous voters in the two

Ron Dellums Holds Town Hall Meeting On Crime - Rebron.Org Reports

This was at This reporter and I were at this same meeting, a North Oakland Community meeting where this time Ron Dellums, our mayor spoke. I have some different takeaways from what she wrote, though top of mind for everybody at this meeting was how to control the violence in North Oakland. You’d think the easy answer is get more cops on the street but it’s not that easy. If it was easy, it’d be already done. So violence was the main issue, the expansion of Children’s Hospital/zoning in general was the other top issue. I should be more concerned since several murders and shooting have happened within a one/two block radius of my house, but I know the neighborhood is getting better. I see it everyday. What I did like hearing was what Ron Dellums had to say with Oakland as a model city. I think he’s right about the opportunity. There’s a lot of Oakland pride and there’s a lot to like about Oakland, people just see the violence in Oakland but don’t see the there there. People

Port Of Oakland Gets Port Security Grant - Coast Guard

October 15th, 2007 | Coast Guard, Waterway Security, Security SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Department of Homeland Security has announced the awarding of over $6.1 million in supplementary Port Security Grant funds to the ports of San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond and Stockton, California. The San Francisco Marine Exchange was selected by the Coast Guard Federal Maritime Security Coordinator as the fiduciary agent to oversee the use of these funds on behalf of the Northern California Area Maritime Security Committee. The Port of Redwood City received an additional award of $33,000.00. These funds are to be used to enhance seaport security, mitigate seaport risks, and aid the resumption of seaport trade following an incident or disaster. The funds will be spent in accordance with a risk mitigation and resumption of trade plan that will be developed to steer the use of future Port Security Grant funds over the next five years.

Fewer Black Professionals in Silicon Valley - Oakland Tribune

A great article that needed to be written! It's amazing how stupid we are not to try to develop a diverse work force. Blacks see bleak future in Silicon Valley Census shows dot-com bust harder on African Americans, Latinos By Mike Swift, MEDIANEWS STAFF Article Last Updated: 10/15/2007 06:57:51 AM PDT When Geoffry Brown was laid off from a marketing job with a San Jose software company in 2003, he could not know what lay ahead: several years of unemployment, a divorce and, ultimately, a pay cut when he went back to work. "Nobody wants to hire a 46-, 47-year-old guy. Could I say that being black had anything to do with it? I won't go that far," Brown said. "But I will say I didn't have some of the (employment) networks some people had." Brown questioned whether he should leave Northern California for a place with cheaper housing and a more vibrant African-American culture. During the tough years after the 2001 tech bust, many blacks in Silicon Valley w

Anna Nicole Smith | Jerry Brown Suspects She May Have Been Killed

Former Governor and Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown is all over the death of Anna Nicole Smith and released this statement, which I got from "Brown's Statement Posted Oct 12th 2007 2:24PM by TMZ Staff "The California Department of Justice today served search warrants at various doctors' offices, billing locations, and residences in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties, related to the death of Anna Nicole Smith. The locations searched today are related to doctors who provided medical treatment or prescribed drugs for Anna Nicole Smith or her associates. On March 30, 2007, the California Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement commenced an investigation into circumstances surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith, including the prescribing and dispensing practices of several California licensed doctors and pharmacies. To date, agents have reviewed over 100,000 computer images and files, analyzed patient profiles and pharmacy logs and interviewed witness

Tagami Vision Has New Home -

Phil Tagami's new online show has a spiffy new blog home at In the first episodes, Tagami interviews several prominent Oaklanders about the crime problem in our city. It's most informative. The web show will have even more content in the near future, and continue to be primarily video-based with occasional blog posts in between. The idea is to bring focus and attention to Oakland's most pressing problems. It comes really from Phil's personal experiences in trying to improve the downtown area he works in. Now, of course, he's got a vested interest in the effort, but his work benefits all of us in bringing the community together. Here's a sample of some video shows on TagamiVision: Phil talks to Police Chief Wayne Tucker.... Part One.. Part Two...

Dellums Endorses Clinton - After The Mayor Gets A Bone From Her

Mayor Ron Dellums made the massive error of backing Senator Hillary Clinton in the Presidential race, a sure sign that Barack Obama will win the nomination. Of course, this didn't come as just a simple endorsement -- it came as yet another Clinton deal. In this case, Hillary placed Mayor Ron Dellums in some role in her campaign. How many times she's done this in some form makes one dizzy. But what's really wild is that Dellums would back someone who's flipped-flopped on so many issues and supported the Iraq War that it's not funny. Plus, Dellums apparently can't bring himself to back a young Black Senator named Barack Obama. It's funny with some older African Americans in Oakland. They're so afraid of anyone Black who can be in charge that they'd back someone White. I'm serious about this, and would not write it if it were not true. The real mental slaves are those who say to me -- who are Black -- that Barack can't win because he&#

Barack Obama Rally and Hillary Clinton Rally In Oakland

Sunday September 30th 2007 was a day that featured an event I seriously doubt will ever be replayed in my lifetime, or yours. On a day where Senator and Presidential Candidate Hilliary Clinton was expected to be the host of a rally in Downtown Oakland, California, local and state organizers with the Obama for America campaign held a rally of their own to open the new Northern California field office. An office located not just in Downtown Oakland, but only two blocks from where Senator Clinton was to speak. The Obama people blocked off a one-block stretch of land between 14th and Broadway and 14th and Franklin, and erected a stage for bands, then opened the doors of their new Oakland home at 436 14th Street, Suite 305. For a time, it seemed as if there were more Obama supporters than Clinton supporters, and that was because there were. As time went on, many of the estimated 5,000 people that came to hear Senator Clinton seemed to be causal attendees. Each one of which was gr