Monthly Archives: November 2008

Giving back during the holidays

So the holiday season is here again, and for most of us (well, me anyway), that usually means a fun (if somewhat exhausting) month of too much socializing, celebrating, and drinking. And lots and lots of Christmas music. But it’s also important to take a breather from the revelry once in a while and try to remember those who don’t have quite as much to celebrate. I know everyone has their own charitable traditions, and feel free to share yours in the comments section below, but today I’d like to tell you about two of mine.

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I’m grateful for my readers

Today’s holiday offers us an opportunity to pause and reflect on all the things in life we’re thankful for. I’m fortunate to have many blessings in my world, which I’ll be spending the day thinking about as I toil over a hot stove and may delineate at the dining room table later this afternoon. But there’s one thing I feel particularly fortunate about that seemed appropriate to share here, and that’s all of you who read my little blog.

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Getting more police officers on the street

You know how Oakland politicians are constantly talking about how we can improve public safety by moving sworn officers out of desk jobs and putting them on the street? People running for office, people in office, people in office and running for re-election…pretty much everyone says this all the time. It’s one of those things that I get really sick of hearing. Like, yes, that sounds like a good idea, so why don’t you just do it already and stop talking about it. (Just like Ignacio with his constant harping about GPS and 311.) Continue reading

2007 City Crime Rankings Released

And Oakland moves down a slot, to number five on the list!

Doubtlessly, this news will result in the same litany of excuses from the Mayor and Police Chief that we heard last year about how the rankings (PDF) aren’t accurate and besides, most of the good citizens of Oakland can rest easy at night, safe and sound, because crime isn’t a problem in their neighborhood. Remember this gem from last year: Continue reading

Since Dellums can’t do his job, the Council needs to do it for him

Former Planning Commissioner Suzie Lee’s term expired on May 5, 2008. May 5th. She has still not been replaced. We have now gone 199 days without a Planning Commissioner! It’s completely unacceptable.

When a seat on a City Board or Commission opens up (especially a really important body like the Planning Commission), a good Mayor would fill the seat immediately. According to our City Charter, the Mayor is supposed to nominate a candidate for the seat within 90 days of the vacancy. If he doesn’t, then the Council can fill the vacancy on their own. Continue reading

BRT Update and Creekside project approval tonight

So there’s two meetings tonight that might be of interest to my readers. They’re certainly both of interest to me. Unfortunately, my job prevents me from attending either of them. But if you’re into transit and smart growth and not doing anything this evening, you might want to consider one of these options: Continue reading

Highlights from last night’s Council meeting

Did you skip the show last night? Had something better to do with your Tuesday evening than stare at KTOP for seven straight hours? Don’t worry. I watch these things so you don’t have to. Here’s what you missed: Continue reading

1 Frank Ogawa Plaza: Oakland’s most expensive child-care center

Alerting all municipal melodrama addicts. Make sure to tune into to KTOP tonight for yet another episode in the increasingly tiresome soap opera I like to call Brooks and De La Fuente hate each other.

The pathetic pettiness of the 2008 season of this show peaked at the Council’s July 1st meeting, when De La Fuente asked to revisit a vote from the previous meeting where the Council had approved a redevelopment agency purchase of some property in District 6. This happened is response to a error-ridden and nonsensical item in the East Bay Express asserting (without any evidence) that Ignacio was somehow responsible for the City overpaying for the land. Ignacio, who one would assume is accustomed enough to paranoid accusations of corruption from Robert Gammon to ignore them most of the time, was apparently so incensed by the mere suggestion that he’d ever do anything to benefit Brooks’s district that he had to make a huge scene about it. Continue reading

OPD at 837 doesn’t mean what Dellums seems to think it means

So, if you read the newspaper, it probably did not escape your notice that the Oakland Police Department has now exceeded its staffing requirement of 803 officers, and is, in fact, now at its highest level of staffing in history, with a total of 837 officers.

When you read these stories, you may have noticed two claims from Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums that probably made you feel a little better about the direction Oakland’s been heading. Continue reading