Crime, “citizen journalism,” Oakland/Brooklyn, and so on.

Hopefully I’ll get another post in my slowly-progressing industrial land use series up later today, but for now…

  • Yikes. We’re at, what, 36 homicides, this year (this wasn’t one of them – the girl is in stable condition.)? Is it just me, or does it seem like violent crime is even worse than usual lately? The Council’s Public Safety Committee gets a report (PDF!) tonight about current crime and arrest statistics. This is what got reported in February:

    Don’t worry, OPD is on it:

    Reducing the reality and perception of violent crimes in Oakland is a top priority for the Department.

  • Who knew? Blogging is big in Japan, too. Speaking of blogging in the news, I was flattered to find myself featured on the new PBS Engage (“exploring new connections between people, culture, and technology”), even though I absolutely hate the term “citizen journalist.”
  • Have you heard? Oakland is the new Brooklyn! Yawn. Jessica thinks so too. Her latest post on Oakland Goods awesomely points out that the NY Times was saying the same thing a century ago. My favorite part:

    Nowadays it is almost impossible to realize that Oakland was ever a sleepy city. Broadway presents a scene of activity that can be matched nowhere in America, except in Fillmore Street, San Francisco, which represents the East Broadway alluded to in the foregoing. But Oakland’s main street is even busier than Fillmore Street.

  • No congestion pricing for NYC after all.
  • That Ron Dellums, he gets things done. He goes to Sacramento and asks for “a California school finance study to be conducted by academics and educators who would figure out how to move California spending from the bottom to the 25th place or 5th place or 1st place.” Only a few days later, the Census Bureau informs us that we are in fact in 25th place (PDF!). Mission accomplished! But seriously, can we stop please stop talking about studies and what the State should be doing (direct those complaints to Sandre Swanson, people!) and focus on what we actually can do for Oakland in the present?
  • I keep meaning to write about the city employee salaries that came out a couple weeks ago. By the time I get around to it, everyone will probably have forgotten. In any case, I don’t really agree with the way most people have reacted to the data, but I’m glad that it’s out there. People absolutely have the right to know where their money is going, and maybe if we had better public information, they wouldn’t be so shocked and draw better conclusions. Anyway, it turns out some policymakers really don’t like you knowing how much you’re paying police officers. One Assemblyman has introduced a bill that would keep police officer salaries secret. Boo!
  • Did you catch this story on Novometro? Sandre Swanson is trying to ban new charter schools in Oakland! AB 2008 goes to the Assembly Education Committee tomorrow.
  • I was, um, floored, yesterday to see the press release sent out by the Mayor’s office saying that Standard & Poor’s had upgraded our bond credit rating from A+ to AA- and our pension obligation debt from A to A+:

    According to Standard & Poor’s Financial Management Assessment, Oakland’s management practices were rated “strong,” indicating practices that are “strong, well embedded and likely sustainable”. In their assessment, Standard & Poor’s found that “despite grappling with a revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year, city finances are fundamentally sound with good reserve and liquidity levels, due, in large part, to good management practices and policies.”

    Hey, I’m glad somebody thinks so.

  • Am I like the only person in the world who could not care less about the Reiser trial? I swear, it is un-freaking-believable how much media coverage this thing gets, especially in light of our wretched political reporting. All I know is that that family seems really weird, and it’s unbelievably depressing that people would rather cling to every minor development in their creepy personal saga than know what’s actually happening in their city.

6 thoughts on “Crime, “citizen journalism,” Oakland/Brooklyn, and so on.

  1. Max Allstadt

    The Oakland-Brooklyn comparison you saw was probably just a regurgitation of a Sunday NYT article from about a week ago. It’s actually pretty interesting reading. Don’t know if it’s still online, but my Aunt from NYC sent a hardcopy. Cute graphics. Somewhat silly though, they took a sketch of the Golden Gate bridge and wrote “Sanfrooklyn” on it. Guess they didn’t know the GG goes to Marin, which is more like “Sanfrewjersey”.

  2. David

    I was, um, floored, yesterday to see the press release sent out by the Mayor’s office saying that Standard & Poor’s had upgraded our bond credit rating from A+ to AA- and our pension obligation debt from A to A+

    This is the same S&P that had Bear Stearns rated at A a day or two before it collapsed. Go figure.

    Max, the article is still online — VSmoothe linked to it above. The “Sanfrooklyn” silliness came about because the Times couldn’t decide whether it is Oakland or SF that is analogous to Brooklyn. (For instance, the Mollusk surf shop in SF, which opened a branch in Williamsburg, was another one of their examples.)

  3. Joanna

    But V – the Reiser trial is so much easier to cover than the complex political stories of today. If it’s not flash, it’s rarely read! That’s why blogs like this are so good for those of us that still care about more than just the easy bits.

  4. CK

    Ugh, NYC-centric, egoistic simplifications. I guess I shouldn’t expect anything better from New York media. Normally I really like the NYtimes, but they sure do love to trumpet how awesome NYC is and how everybody wants to be just like them.

    Interesting tidbit – the area south of Lake Merrit used to be known as New Brooklyn. That’s why there’s a bunch of Dutch-sounding names down there (Brooklyn, Hanover, etc.)

  5. brell

    I dont give three craps about the rizer case and havent followed it at all! what a total waste of newsprint and airwaves!!

    thank you for reporting on the go-arounds with opd, dellums and various bit playaz. and schemes.

    OPD needs to work more with its foundation. what is tucker doing. who is tucker. where did he come from. we need a new chief hired from within!


    and if the city legalized mj sales, we’d have safer, regulated sales, and the price would drop and that portion of the “drug war on america” would end.

    S&P and their ilk are all criminals in bed with the financial wiznizerds, ibankers (ex-goldman sachs ceo treasury secretary Paulson), wall streeters (bear stearns), pigs (jp morgan), moneychangers (soros) and wall street journalists (cnbc all good news all the time)… so this doesn’t impress me? every bit helps??


    oakland schools- we could use retirees as teachers to teach kids about actual shit, like finances, how to cook a godam meal, what vegetables look like and where to buy them, credit card games, the real history of the us instead of the published crap, why oakland and the US are in the shitter, and so on.