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Showing posts from June, 2011

City Of Oakland's Brenda Franzel Comes To Council to Save Her Job

If anyone had a doubt that the City of Oakland was in financial trouble, one look at tonight's Oakland City Council meeting should change their mind. Watching via live stream from Georgia, this blogger has never seen so many Oakland workers come before the City and beg to have their jobs maintained. And these are good, long-serving, proud Oakland workers, like Brenda Franzel. Really sad.   Brenda Franzel,a revenue officer with the City of Oakland, just took the unusual step of coming to the Oakland City Council tonight and having her daughter speak before the Council first, and then and asking for "justice." This as the Oakland City Council considers various budget options placed before it. "I refused to participate in the slurs about who brings in revenue for the City, and by that, I mean money," Franzel said. "I blame the culture in which we serve for even considering cutting people who raise revenue for the city. It creates a hostile envir

Oakland City and Unions Agree, Oakland Greens Fume Over Budget

Just got an interesting email from Don Macleay, last year's Oakland Mayoral Candidate, who is urging Oaklanders to come to Tuesday night's Oakland City Council Meeting. But before we get to his, and the Oakland Greens, issues, a comment. The City of Oakland must agree on a budget plan by July 1st, and that day is this Friday. There has been a lot of focus on and discussion over a process that, long ago, this blogger knew was insular, and because the public doesn't have all of the past budget information, and because the arguments about the budget are within the margins and not about how to extend the margins . What do I mean by extend the margins ? One problem is that of each property tax dollar collected, the City of Oakland gets to keep just 26 percent of it. The other problem is much of Oakland's revenue-producing land is controlled by the Redevelopment Agency, which is a good thing, because that's the only way Oakland itself can collect 100 perce

The Oakland Mayor's Office Must Clear-Up Its Communications Process

This blog post comes as an advisory to the Oakland Mayor's Office, and it's done not for malicious intent, but to bring a stop to a growing problem that's reared its head twice in five days. To cut to the chase, the Oakland Mayor's Office needs to determine what it's going to sent out in a communication to this blogger, and then make sure that message is consistently delivered, and without potential for misunderstanding, or appearance of subterfuge. First, I must take time to thank the Oakland Mayor's Office under Jean Quan for at least trying to communicate with the public - it's a far cry from the previous administration. But, Mayor Quan's approach still appears as if it's confused and all too reactive to what's written in the press, well, OK, what's blogged by this blogger. After trying to deal with this behind the scenes, I've just plain had it. The first episode started when I received an email from Susan Piper, Mayor Qua

The Black Holes of Healthcare, Lemonade,…And My Plan!

HI Your Fit Day Friends: I hope you're all enjoying the spring weather. Here in the Bay Area we've had some pretty picture-perfect days. And the days are still getting longer. Hey! You know what that means, don't you? More daylight hours... for... ex-er-cising! So no excuses; at least for the next 6 months, anyway. Go enjoy the great outdoors and make fitness fun. Grab your kids-or someone else's-and Go Go Go. Visit your National parks, (hurry, while you still time, since many are set to close in September). Play on the swing-sets. Bike the trails, and run in them thar hills!! Hey! Speaking of running...that's something I won't be able to do for a while, and I wanted to give you an update on your trainer's life. My Hippy News In my Part I of Key to Pain Free I mentioned seeing a second surgeon after I was 'misdiagnosed' by the first. The first surgeon, let's call him Dr. Compassion (not!), advised Motrin daily; told me to

Car Driven Into Lake Merritt Oakland, Saturday Morning

Car In Lake Merritt Oakland, Saturday Morning , a photo by zennie62 on Flickr. According to social media reports, a woman, unidentified, apparently, accidentally drove her car into the waters of Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. The accident was reported on Twitter and this blogger found it via the use of the social search engine, and during a search for "Lake Merritt." The photo was placed by @BarakaBlue and them retweeted by @TjaderDaRaider on Twitter and with this tweet: : "Yes that is a car upside down in lake Merritt." That it was a woman was reported by @MissKimmie123: @MissKimmie123 Miss Kimmie Action by the lake I heard a crash then a splash then hella oh my gods, a woman just drove her car in to Lake Merritt never a dull moment UPDATE: According to @BarakaBlue a "heroic dude" jumped into the waters of Lake Merritt to pull the woman from her car. Then Oakland Police and what was described as "medic and f

Oakland News: Changing State Of Blogs In Oakland, Part One

Oakland News on the changing state of blogs in Oakland - part one. Oakland Blog Shrinkage First, what happened to blogs like OaklandSeen and Good News In Oakland ? The OaklandSeen blog started by long-time Oakland political activist and KPFA Morning Show star Aimee Allison has not produced a single new blog post since late May - it's June 24th now. And this tweet was issued June 8th and pointed to some kind of problem: OaklandSeen has been undergoing a few technical difficulties. Thank you for your patience. Keep watching this space for more Oakland LOVE... The most recent, most prominent blog post pointed to Oakland Seen's recently gained "Making Democracy Work" award, presented by the Oakland League Of Women Voters. That's the same award given to this blogger for work during the Oakland Mayor's Race - thanks again! But whatever's happening, and sources have pointed to some difficulties between editorial staff and management, let's hope O

Deanna Santana Returns To Oakland To Become City Administrator

Deanna Santana, who came to the City of Oakland in 1995 and worked in what was then called the City Manager's Office and is now called the City Administrator's Office under the Oakland / Jerry Brown version of the strong-mayor system, was unanimously approved as Oakland's new City Administrator, replacing Interim City Administrator P. Lamont Ewell. Ms. Santana started in the City Manager's Office when Craig Kocian was held the title, then remained as Kocian left for Colorado, and gave way toward then-Interim City Manager / Economic Development Director Kofi Bonner. When Robert Bobb was hired as City Manager in 1997, and Bonner returned to his role as head of the Community and Economic Development Agency that year, Santana remained in the City Manager's Office, but had the primary assignment of the Police Department. In 1999, Deanna left for San Jose and has remained at the City Manager's Office as Deputy City Manager for 12 years. Her most recent assignm

Oakland's Tupac Shakur Turns 40 - His Senseless Murder

Oakland Rapper and Actor Tupac Shakur turns 40 today, and yet while he's not with us, his spirit is. The legendary poet-rap writer was gunned down in 1996, and by four-shots from a gunman in Las Vegas (the video mistakenly reports 1994 as the year Mr. Shakur was murdered. Now, a man named Dexter Isaac says he was responsible for the 1994 shooting and robbery that, for some time, Sean (P Diddy) Colmes was said to have been responsible for. Isaac also offered that he was paid $2,500 to go after Tupac Shakur. Think about that. A man was paid less money that some people make in a month to kill Tupac Shakur. Mr. Isaac must be a sad sack to even think of doing that - messing up his life and Mr. Shakur's for a measly $2,500. That's just plain nuts, but also shows you how screwed up our culture can be. Meanwhile, Tupac lives on with us in his way.

Barbara Parker Appointed Oakland's Acting City Attorney For John Russo

Well, with former Oakland City Attorney and Alameda County City Manager John Russo's blessing, Barbara Parker, who Russo mentioned in my video interview with him as one of his lieutenants who "handles the (Oakland City) council's agenda," now has the title of "Acting City Attorney." Here's the press release from the City of Oakland: OAKLAND, CA - Chief Assistant City Attorney Barbara J. Parker, a longtime Oakland resident and second in command of the City Attorney's Office, will take over as Acting City Attorney effective 11:30 a.m. today. In a letter sent Friday to the Mayor and City Council, outgoing City Attorney John Russo wrote that Parker will serve as Acting City Attorney "to assure a seamless transition with an experienced, eminently qualified attorney in charge of the Office until the Council makes its appointment decision." The City Council passed a resolution declaring the Office of City Attorney vacant as of June 13. &q

Oakland Police Search For Alleged Cell Phone Rapist

The person in this video above reportedly broke into a 28-year old woman's home in Oakland, and was allegedly in the process of stealing a box of "electronics" when she caught him via cellphone camera. Here's the full video: He's described as "a black man in his early 40s, five feet nine, 160 pounds, with a bald head," but as you can tell he's more light-skinned black or a person of color, who may be black or Latino. According to reports, the woman didn't scream or call 911. And after the man left her home at her request, then he reportedly returned and sexually assaulted her. She was sent to the hospital for treatment, then released. What I can't help asking is why didn't she call, or try to call, the police when the dude left the house the first time? Also, in the video she sounds rather calm for someone who was supposedly taken by surprise by the man. She says "can you please leave. How did you get in here?&q

AC Transit's Joel Young In Sex Scandal; Sandre Swanson Can Relax

UPDATE: Joel Young Issues Must Read Statement - Click Here. According to Indy Bay, which is all over this story, AC Transit Board Of Director's member Joel Young , who had a promising political career and filed to run for the California State Assembly (District 16) against the incumbent Sandre Swanson in 2012, is seeing it go off the rails in a sex scandal.  Young is accused of domestic violence by his ex-girlfriend, who was granted a restraining order against him, that was filed on March 16th, 2011 and became active April 5th. A hearing on the domestic violence complaint is set for August. Reportedly, Young's ex-girlfriend found him in bed with another woman in March. The woman confronted Mr. Young, who allegedly attacked her, and she was hospitalized. Later, she called the police to file a report, but it's not clear from Indy Bay that an arrest was made. Meanwhile, Young filed his own restraining order against his ex-girlfriend on April 14th, and said that

Oakland, Meet Lloyd, Crossing Guard At Grand And Mac Arthur Blvd

If you are on Grand Avenue and Mac Arthur in Oakland, California, during the rush hour and school mornings and afternoons, you've seen Lloyd. For 13 years, the man, 76 years old and turning 77 July 10th, served as the official crossing guard for that corner for 13 years. Over that time, Lloyd has always worn a big smile and had a greeting for everyone, without fail. He says that by smiling he makes others happy in a kind of "pay-it forward" way. As to what's changed about Oakland from his vantage point, Lloyd gave me a surprising answer: that everyone's in a hurry, "Nobody got time for nothing. People just rush by." So, let's pay it forward, and back to Lloyd - give him not just a smile, but a greeting. Stop and talk to him for a spell. It's a great way to pay back someone' who's given so much to so many with his time on that busy corner of Oakland.

Oakland Restaurants - Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe Visit In Uptown Oakland

The new Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe finishes a buildout of the front store spaces of The Fox Theater in Oakland, and is enjoying its first week of operation, this week. The deal to get Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe at the Fox Theater started just over two years ago, and while it was delayed in fits and starts of deal-making, the end result was well worth the wait. This blogger walked in on just plain impulse and, possessing a craving for breakfast at night, changed mind and ordered the Monday Blue Plate Special: The Meatloaf. A full, hearty meal of the kind not seen during the whole California Cuisine craze (which I'm somewhat happy has been altered to encourage larger portions), the meatloaf was almost as good as my Mom's at home, and overall I'd give it a B. The atmosphere at Rudy's was incredible. Bright and airy, it's a great place to hang out and talk or people watch over a great meal. The added plus is a kind of dining car in the rear of t

Code For Oakland App Competition: Redirectory Wins!

In this tech news, the first annual (hopefully) Code For Oakland hackathon is history. The event drew 102 people, complete with Oakland and San Francisco geeks, and notable non-geeks like AC Transit Board Member and long-time Oakland Piedmont Avenue Activist Chris Peeples, resulted in a number of fascinating and promising applications, all designed with the needs of Oakland's low-income residents and those who aren't well "connected" in mind. The Saturday, June 4th meetup at Kaiser Center was sparked via the efforts of Oakland Local Founder and Editor Susan Mernitt, and "about 20 people," as Susan explained in the video, who contributed to getting Code For Oakland off the ground. What's Code For Oakland? Code For Oakland's mission was simply to have a "one day workshop to build an awesome mobile app." As one of the judges involved in the selection of the winning teams, I can share the criteria we were given to work under, a

T-Mobile Samsung Loss Leads To Bad Oakland Service

View Larger Map The loss of my T-Mobile Samgung Galaxy Variant in a taxi cab has led to bad service encounters at T-Mobile's Oakland, California store at 3201 Lakeshore Avenue. The obvious point aside, which is specifically to watch what pocket you place your phone in, that's no reason this blogger should get the minimum level of service at a T-Mobile story. Three visits to the T-Mobile Oakland Lakeshore store this week have resulted in being told that the store did not have a hotspot-capable (even with a file download) 3G phone, when I knew damn well it did. And who told me that? A T-Mobile sales person by the name of Grace. And that was just the highlight of a period of bad treatment.  Grace simply did not want to help me. She basically told me that the 4G phone I wanted to buy was $500, but in a way that implied I could not afford it because I didn't want to pay that amount all at once. Then, she failed to even try to call T-Mobile and arrange for a di

Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, Dogwood Bar, Mark Uptown Oakland

Last night this vlogger trekked down over to the Uptown District in Oakland to just check out how the scene was changing. The result? The video you see above. It started with a walk over to the Fox Theater, with a look at how the much-anticipated Oakland version of Emeryville's Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe was coming along. As it turns out the owners were hosting what California Capital Group's Mark McClure called a "soft launch," but considering the tweets we've exchanged, like this one ... @RudyCantFailCaf Rudy'sCan'tFailCafe @zennie62 not quite yet...a couple more weeks...we'll keep you posted! Check out the RCFC-Oakland FB page for the deets!!! You figure they'd have invited me to the damn thing, right? Oh well. Maybe they will have this kid dancing at the opening: But that aside, the Oakland Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, which occupies a space that was once an adult book store, officially opens this coming Monday from

John Russo On Oakland A's, Raiders, "Donated Alameda Politicians" Issue

On May 17th, this blogger interviewed now former Oakland City Attorney John Russo on video, as you can see. There have been three blog post written in this space, referring to that 38-minute interview. But even with that, comes the usual San Francisco Bay Area journalist that has to tell you they got an "exclusive" with Mr. Russo, and after the interview. Enter the website Oakland North this week. So, the initial plan was to run this new blog post next week, but considering Oakland North's hubris or error in claiming they had an "exclusive" interview, I figured "Why not today," so here it is. John Russo Recaps Sports In Oakland When John Russo gave his video interview for this blogger, he talked about how proud he was that he settled a number of legal issues with Oakland's sports teams, the Oakland A's, Golden State Warriors, and the Oakland Raiders. But, as John leaves for Alameda to become its new city manager, he says there are

Oakland Sideshow Still The Happening In East Oakland

Unless you've had some doubt, let this blog post put to rest the idea that the Oakland Sideshow is dead. It's not. It's alive and well on International Boulevard, as this video, made during the East Bay Dragons event, and uploaded today on YouTube by wbr510 , shows: The East Bay Dragons are the same group linked to sideshow activity, and were the focus of the murder of a San Leandro man on Sunday night. But But Phil Baker, the East Bay Dragons vice president, told the San Jose Mercury News that "the clubhouse was closed early in the evening and all their members had gone home or elsewhere." That would seem to exonerate the Dragons from the Sunday night shooting, but the video above points to the Dragons as the producer of this sideshow.  And care must be taken not to associate that video with that incident simply because the SJ Mercury News account points to a night-time sideshow - the one captured in this video below. Second Video Shows Dragons Sid