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Showing posts from October, 2008

Rebecca Kaplan, Tom Bates Get Endorsement of East Bay Express

In the At-Large Oakland City Council race,  Kerry Hamill's switch from supporting to opposing Measure NN to establish a new tax for police may have been the nail in the coffin of her backing from some persons and news groups. That's certainly true for the East Bay Express, which backed Hamill in the primary but then switched to Kaplan for the general election.  The Express also backed Tom Bates for Mayor of Berkeley.   I will make my video explaining my endorsement choices on Saturday.   

High Speed Rail Initiative Defeated At SF Debate Event Tuesday

Say, remember my post on how I was not supporting the state proposition 1A calling for High Speed Rail because the route did not come through Oakland as I worked to have done when I represented then-Mayor Elihu Harris?   Well, I waa able to partcipate in a debate on the matter at The Commonwealth Club's SF Debate program Tuesday night, and where the prop started out with more yes votes than no votes.  But after my insistance that it was not the right plan and that there were CalTrain plans that were rejected for no good reason , the initiative lost 10 to 7 with a number of undecided observers. The basic problem is that the plan is the plaything of politics -- whoever cries the loudest gets the route and that trumps a system that rightly serves the state in way where poor communities are represented. But what bothered me was the claim by a supporter involved in the project that Oakland's Ron Dellums and staff had done nothing to argue for Oakland. What the hell were

Bowoto v. Chevron - Day One Court Update

This video presents Day One of the case of Bowoto v. Chevron at U.S. District Court, Northern California, San Francisco. Here Larry Bowoto from Nigeria is accusing Chevron of harming him and his mates and violating their civil rights, and Chevron's counter is that Bowoto and his mates entered there oil production facility and attempted to kidnap Chevron employees. In calling the Nigerian Military police, a skermish unfolded where Bowoto and his mates were alledgely harmed. In this video Chevron's Don Campbell presents Chevron's side of the case; there was no spokesperson for Botwoto's side available.

Protest @ Mormon Temple in Oakland Chronicle Article Sucks

There was a protest at a Mormon temple yesterday, and I was hoping that the SF Chronicle would tell us about it! So that the GLBT community could see that we aren't letting religious legislation that will destroy families, be proposed and sponsored by a faith. We protested and they should have reported it. Instead they called DKos witch hunters. read more | digg story

Oakland Resident, Elnora Caldwell, Stabbed to Death Near Caldecott Tunnel

I read about the stabbing of Elnora Caldwell today. This is such a horrible story. OAKLAND — An Oakland woman who was stabbed to death Saturday evening had taken out a restraining order against her estranged husband, who was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of her slaying, authorities said.... Read the full story here.

'YES' on Prop K in San Francisco

Most people don't know that prostitution has only been criminalized in modern times. Selling sex is not a crime. Sex is sold everyday through corporate and independent mediums. Like drugs, legalizing it, allows you to control it, keep it safe, and free up law enforcement resources for more pertinent, non controversial criminal activities. Take the example of Nevada, where some prostitution is legal. It is controlled, reduces the need for pimping, and keeps the girls tested often. Furthermore, who the hell says you can't sell your body for money?? Bodies are sold all the time for money. Look at the porn industry, look at television. Sex is a sold product. Why cant we allow women to sell it for themselves for their own benefit. If corporate America could get between the prostitute and the sale they would. Market forces have no problem making money off sex. Let's understand and move closer to legalizing prostitution.

Vote NO on Measure NN, For City of Oakland

The question here is where should we put our tax dollars?? Do we put our money into reacting to a crime? Or making sure that crime doesn't happen in the first place? I think we should put our money into preventing crime from happening in the first place. For example, Oakland's new program; Green Jobs Corps. has the right idea. The aim is to offer these training programs in the inner city and in forgotten rural and once-industrial towns where idleness and crime have replaced factory work. There are many programs, not to mention our broken education system, where money is needed to stablize our community which in turn will reduce crime for the long hall. Yes, we need to tax and invest into Oakland but measure NN funnels our money into treatment and not a cure. So Vote 'NO' on Measure NN.

Do Raiders have what it takes to beat Ravens on Sunday?

Just a few days removed from beating the New York Jets 16-13 on Sebastian Janikowski's 57-yard field goal in overtime, the Raiders turn their attention to the Baltimore Ravens and their vaunted defense. Oakland will travel cross country to face the top ranked D at M&T Stadium on Sunday as they look to inch closer to first place in the AFC... read more | digg story

Palin Claims Vice President "In Charge Of The U.S. Senate"

Yesterday, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) sat for an interview with KUSA, an NBC affiliate in Colorado. In response to a question sent to the network by a third grader at a local elementary school "What does the Vice President do?", Palin erroneously argued that the Vice President is "in charge of the United States Senate". Reporter asked her... read more | digg story

Oakland's New Hill Friendly Fire Trucks

Today is marked the 17 year anniversary of worst fire in California, which occured in the Oakland Hills. So many homes and lives were lost that tragic day. Oakland's Fire Department finally came out with a custom made fire truck that is specifically designed to nagivate it way through the Oakland Hills. Te read the whole story by the Oakland Tribune, click here.

Joe The Plumber - Palin On SNL - Obama Draws 100,000

   This is my blog report on "Joe The Plumber", where I point out that he's actually not part of of the labor force, but a member of the growing underground economy in America. Then I praise Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's appearance on Saturday Night Live and state that she's got the wrong job -- she should be a political comedian. Finally I look at what is the largest crowd in American Political history. 100,000 people came out in St. Louis to see Senator Barack Obama.

East Oakland Sports Complex Development On City Council Agenda

There's an interesting but not reported on item -- ignored by the Oakland Tribune -- coming up on the Oakland City Council agenda, and it's called the "East Oakland Sports Complex Development." The resolution "on the table" will transfer $2 million from the Oakland Redevelopment Agency to the City of Oakland to fund the construction of this proposed project. There's nothing that's online about it that's immediately obvious to the lay person. which is terrible. But that written, and before I discuss the ELS website information, this is a project I know about and that Councilmember Larry Reid has spent years -- years -- trying to get moving. It started in 1996 with an idea Councilmember Reid had with then-Otis Spunkmier founder and CEO Ken Rawlings.  Both wanted to change the fact that while East Oakland had a population of familes with kids and teenagers, there was very little for them to do, if anything. To the end of changing that st

Measure NN's Rocky Road

Will this be the first time in Oakland's modern political history that all bond measures fail at the election booth? Given the rocky road of Measure NN, which doesn't seem to excite the same electorate that wants more police on the street, it seems that we may see a window to such a future. On Tuesday, a proposal by Councilmember Pat Kernighan met its Waterloo, with opposition. Here's what happened according to the Trib: No deal on Oakland landlord, renter tax split By Kelly Rayburn Oakland Tribune Article Last Updated: 10/17/2008 04:55:22 AM PDT OAKLAND — City renters will help decide Nov. 4 whether Oakland will create a parcel tax to give the police department a personnel boost — but, for now, those same renters won't be asked to share in paying if the new tax is approved. A proposal from Councilmember Patricia Kernighan (Grand Lake-Chinatown) to amend the city's rental laws so landlords would have been allowed to split their portion of the proposed

No on Prop 8: Actors of Noah's Arc and Jumping the Broom

A community forum held recently in Oakland, with the cast of the popular gay African-American now defunct television show that ran on Logo. The actors do not directly talk about No on Prop 8 but conversations were indirectly related to the controversial ballot initiative in California in this years National Election. read more | digg story

No on Prop 8: Actors of Noah's Arc and Jumping the Broom

A community forum held recently in Oakland, with the cast of the popular gay African-American now defunct television show that ran on Logo. The actors do not directly talk about No on Prop 8 but conversations were indirectly related to the controversial ballot initiative in California in this years National Election. read more | digg story

No on Prop 8: Actors of Noah's Arc and Jumping the Broom

A community forum held recently in Oakland, with the cast of the popular gay African-American now defunct television show that ran on Logo. The actors do not directly talk about No on Prop 8 but conversations were indirectly related to the controversial ballot initiative in California in this years National Election. read more | digg story

Is Sarah Palin Stabbing John McCain In The Back?

After much study, I've come to the conclusion, which I present in this video: ..that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is stabbing Senator John McCain in the back. Often, Palin has approved of views that were taken by Senator Barack Obama, causing McCain to rein her in with a press statement that makes the campaign look like a keystone cops routine.   Consider how Palin has went against McCain in these following examples.   1) Pakistan - Palin favored the Obama-Biden assertion of going into that country to "get" a known terrorist even if that government would not cooperate.  2) Bankruptcy - Palin favors the Obama-Biden approach of allowing the homeowner to be protected against losing their dwelling after filing for Bankruptcy.   3) Korea - Palin agrees with the current action of the U.S. dropping Korea from the state terrorist list, even as McCain opposes this.  Obama also backs the Bush Administration action. 4) Palin Administration - Governor Palin has referre

Berkeley Planning Student Looks At Oakland's General Plan - Text Here

A planning student at U.C. Berkeley wrote a 19 page paper about the Oakland General Plan and the Design Review Committee. I don't know who the student is, because they didn't put there name where it could be easily noted. It's worth reading; so much so I posted it here for you to see and evaluate: Oakland: report on General Plan and DRC - Upload a Document to Scribd

Repair, Don't Eliminate Oakland District Election System

I can't disagree more with my friend Chip Johnson on the idea of replacing district elections in Oakland with an all-at-large system. The simple reason is that having people represent a district means that economic resources are better targeted and people are more engaged than in an at-large system. Think about it. While the current system certainly has problems, what Chip forgets is that the ability to influence councilmembers in an at-large system will be left more to the rich and powerful than to small neighborhood activists and groups. What did he say? That's right. If you think that politics exists without the need or attempt to influence is some way, then you're dreaming. Big time. The fact is that the district process brings power closer to the common person. It takes less money, effort, and time when the geographic area is smaller and that produces better and more engaged citizens at the grass roots level. There's a reason the district election sy

Cutting Police Overtime Will Not Save Money; Use Oakland Redevelopment Revenue

With all of the crime problems Oakland faces it's almost funny to think that cutting police overtime charged would actually cause the city's $42 million deficit to decrease. It will not over a period of time because the workload that is attached to police overtime will not magically go away. Indeed, the move could result in more work not done or crimes not solved or criminals not apprehended, which means that the problems that exist will not go away. I have another solution: merge ALL of the City of Oakland Redevelopment Project areas and release some of that money reserved for projects to pay for police overtime. Between the Coliseum Redevelopment Area, the Downtown Redevelopment Area, and the West Oakland Redevelopment Area most of Oakland's flatlands are under the view of the Redevelopment Agency. Before someone says "you can't use Redevelopment revenue for services" that's simply not true; such can be done if the money is declared for such

SF Magazine Writing Another Dellums Article

Last year, San Francisco Magazine devoted an e ntire issue to Oakland . It was a great work and I don't write that because I was in it. It did try to cover the base, although I felt it could have focused more on Oakland's African American businesses than it did. My overall impression was that the publisher wanted to present Oakland to the monied White establishment of San Francisco. I kind of said that in this video: But still it was a great work. One of the articles was on Mayor Ron Dellums and there I said that the good Mayor could do more. So Friday, I was contacted for my comments in preparation for this new article and I pretty much said the same thing. But what was of interest to me was what the reporter said OTHERS were saying about the Mayor. His supporters feels Dellums is doing a good job but that others don't know it. But what they point to are small projects, when Oakland really needs big projects and a coherent downtown development plan (We ha

Oakland And The Market Crash - What About Our "Swap Option Bonds"?

When I worked for Elihu Harris as Economic Advisor between 1995 and 1999, Goldman Sachs responded to an RFP issued by our then-treasurer Jan Myzck to issue municipal bonds for Oakland projects. At the time, Goldman was competing with an organization I favored, the minority firm Pryor McClendon Counts (PMC). Goldman proposed using a kind of "swap-option" bond, where our payments were essentially swapped with those of another party -- a counterparty -- with the idea that we would be under the rate of interest of the other bond when it was lower. I prefered PMC's more basic proposal because it had less risk attached, but Goldman won the competition and was the sole-source organization with zero minority participation -- a situation I just plain didn't like at all and since Jan was Black, I was really steamed that she handled matters the way she did. PMC had a good -- great =- proposal but she was in Goldman's back pocket. Elihu hated the outcome of the dea

Seems PG&E Wants To Screw San Francisco? What About Oakland?

Does PG&E wanto to screw San Francisco? If you consider that the utility doesn't back using clean energy sources and has not met State of California guidelines for renewable energy, it sure seems so. You can change that with the passage of Proposition H - "Yes on H." It's the first initiative of its kind; tell your friends around America about it and have them call friends in San Francisco and tell them to vote "Yes On H".

Palin tried to hire Terrorist Gordon Liddy as spokesperson.

Sarah Palin thought it was a good idea to hire Liddy to promote drilling in ANWR. Did she know Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary, wiretapping, contempt of court and contempt of Congress; was willing to kill a janitor and a journalist as part of the Watergate break-in; admitted plotting to firebomb the Brookings Institution? Kidnap plans? read more | digg story

The Nation: The Audacity of John McCAIN

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) who after a quarter century on Capitol Hill surely knows the political etiquette, did not refer to Senator Obama as respectfully as he would would any other colleague. If Obama had referred to McCain as "that one," he'd have been attacked for showing disrespect or ridiculed. THAT ONE? No wonder Obama is America's choice read more | digg story

Obama - McCain - Obama Will Win; The Economic Problem Is Why

This video was created just before the debate, but my prediction seems to have held and for the reasons I state here. This American Economy is in trouble. It's in bad straights for three basic reasons: 1) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate topped out 10 years ago and then decreased and continued to do so through to present day. What that means is that more and more people basically stopped looking for jobs and working at jobs than ever before for the first time. 2) The total rate of job growth started to increase at a rapidly smaller rate in the late 1990s and that continues today. You can see the BLS data I collected right on the video. We added about 20 million jobs each decade from the 60s to the 90s, but again in 1999, the job growth party stopped cold. We added just barely 5 million jobs in ten years, that's a drop of 75 percent over what we've produced in the past. 3) During the period of the job los

John Russo featured speaker at October APAC meeting

This is from the Adams Point Yahoo! Message Board. Hello. On very short notice, City Attorney John Russo's office was able to arrange for Mr. Russo to join us at our meeting next week. He will take questions, and present some information about a new joint effort between the OPD, the Alameda County DA's office, and the Oakland City Attorney's office to crack down on "chronic non-felony crimes" such as disorderly conduct, illegal dumping, drug-related offenses, disturbing the peace and selling stolen property. See the website for the City Attorney: Beat 14X Problem Solving Officer Madlansacay will be joining us for the first time in a few months as well, so if you have questions about recent crimes or related matters, please bring those to his attention during the Q&A with him. Below is the text of the meeting agenda. I will also post a copy in Word Document format in the Files section of the Yahoo Group. Incid

Oakland Raiders need a leader

Al Davis is known for loathing disciplinarians as coaches. He believes that it is important for the locker room to police itself. Once upon a time that idea worked perfectly. The Raiders had their zany characters, but the core of the team was the solid vets with names like Jim Otto, Gene Upshaw, and Art Shell. read more | digg story

Measure N - Parcel Tax for Outstanding Oakland Teachers - Pros and Cons - League Of Women Voters Video

This video presents a new tax that pays for Oakland Teacher salaries. The woman giving the "pro" argument is my friend Libby Schaaf. The act reads... To attract and retain highly qualified and credentialed teachers for Oakland's District-run public schools, and to support successful educational programs at Oakland's public charter schools, shall Oakland Unified School District levy $10 per parcel per month ($120 per year) for 10 years with an exemption for low-income residents, mandatory annual audits, an independent citizens' oversight committee, and all money spent to benefit Oakland Schools and all Oakland students?

Measure NN Oakland Police Services Expansion - Pros and Cons - League Of Women Voters Video

This League of Women Voters video gives two views on the proposed parcel tax for the City of Oakland Called Measure NN. The basic argument is that this pays for much needed more police officers. The measure on the ballot reads: To provide more police services to neighborhoods and businesses for the purpose of preventing crime and enhancing resources for investigation of crimes, shall the City of Oakland authorize a parcel tax to fund the cost of (1) adding a total of 105 police officers and 75 police services technicians; (2) a crime data management system for crime analysis; and (3) mandatory independent annual audits and evaluations with performance standards?

John Russo - Oakland's Top Lawyer On Biden Palin Debate

I sat down with Oakland's Top Lawyer and friend John Russo just a day after the Vice Presidential debate between Senator Joe Biden and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and to talk about who won the debate, and what Palin's assendency says about American Government and Culture. We have a difference of views and it centers on the idea that Palin did a terrible job -- my contention. Russo says that in debates one must "hold their ground" make sure their point is gotten across. He says she did that. Russo's observation is that Palin used a "game show" approach to the debate, comparing her to the legendary game show host Wink Matindale, where she uses the eye wink and assured finger "gun" point to connect with the audience. My point was that she just repeated talking points and failed on many occasions to answer questions Gwen Ifel asked of her. What do you think? Watch the video and let me know here.

Oakland Chamber Backs Measure NN For More Police in Oakland

I agree that we need more police, but will people vote for a new tax in this economic climate?  I guess is "yes."   Here's the Tribune  ... Oakland chamber backs tax to boost city police force By Kelly Rayburn Oakland Tribune Article Last Updated: 10/02/2008 11:00:57 PM PDT OAKLAND — Measure NN, the city's ballot measure to impose a parcel tax in exchange for more police officers, will have the support this fall of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, whose CEO called it key to attracting business and changing the perception of Oakland as an unsafe city. The ballot measure would add 105 police officers and 75 police services technicians over a three-year period. It would also mandate use of a new crime-data management system. "The chamber has been a vocal and consistent advocate for improving public safety," chamber Chief Executive Officer Joe Haraburda said in a statement. "Getting more cops on the street will help reduce crime, increase inc

Cal Bears Beat Arizona State 24 to 14 - Oakland Tribune

I missed the game -- working -- but glad to see Cal get a commanding victory.    Here's the details from the Tribune: Cal Bears Beat Arizona State 24 to 14 By Jonathan Okanes Staff writer Article Last Updated: 10/05/2008 08:04:09 AM PDT Click photo to enlarge California Golden Bears LaReylle Cunningham, #85, makes a catch and is tackled by Arizona State... 1 2 » Slideshow Slideshow:  Cal vs. Arizona Related Oct 4: Follett sack seals win, earns payback Longshore likely to keep job BERKELEY — How well did Cal's defense play Saturday afternoon against Arizona State? Nate Longshore replaced Kevin Riley as the team's starting quarterback and it still wasn't the prevailing storyline. The Bears' defense continues to flourish in its new 3-4 scheme. It dominated the Sun Devils, holding them to 236 yards while forcing three turnovers in a 24-14 victory in front of 58,302 at Memorial Stadium. "I love watching our defense. They're on fire right now,"

Oakland Offers Green Job Training - Oakland Tribune

OAKLAND — The Oakland Green Jobs Corps, an ambitious plan to lift at-risk youths out of lives of poverty and violence and place them into jobs helping the environment, this month is recruiting its first students as a contract gets finalized between the city of Oakland and three organizations chosen to run the training. more....

Police Fundraiser Proceeds Will Go To Christopher Rodriguez

Chris is a 10-year-old boy who is currently paralyzed from the waist down after being hit by a stray bullet while attending a piano lesson on January 10th, 2008. Chris and his family face a difficult road ahead. A fraternal motorcycle club of local law-enforcement officers is donating some of the proceeds from its fifth annual open house and poker run Sunday to Christopher Rodriguez and his family. Click here for the story

Invisibility cloak now within sight

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have for the first time engineered 3-D materials that can reverse the natural direction of visible and near-infrared light, a development that could help form the basis for higher resolution optical imaging, nanocircuits for high-powered computers, and, to the delight of science-fiction and fant read more | digg story

Urban Temple y Lake Merritt

On a warm weekend in mid-September, some 1,000 people offered incense to their ancestors at a new temple in East Oakland, the same weekend that Catholics welcomed their new cathedral by Lake Merritt. Except here, the people were celebrating a religion much less well known. read more | digg story

Urban Temple y Lake Merritt

On a warm weekend in mid-September, some 1,000 people offered incense to their ancestors at a new temple in East Oakland, the same weekend that Catholics welcomed their new cathedral by Lake Merritt. Except here, the people were celebrating a religion much less well known. read more | digg story

Ralph Nader - Presidential Candidate On The Bailout Bill - Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader took time to talk with me specifically about what kind of form he would like to see the Baillout Bill take before he could support it.  Nader appeared today at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, California as part of a California and Bay Area event swing which saw the consumer crusader take in 10 events in one day. On CNN iReport Thanks to Mary Lee for her help.