Fresh & Easy update in the Trib. Also, shame on you, Nancy Nadel!

So today’s Trib has a story about the Fresh & Easy situation. It’s fine. It doesn’t say anything that hasn’t been covered here, but it’s good to have all the information in one place rather than scattered over months of posts. But this is ridiculous:

Lorie Alemania, president of Portfolio Property Investors — which, along with the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation represents the third partner in JLG Associates — said Fresh & Easy’s decision was disappointing, but not wholly unexpected, given its announcement this month that the company would not open any new stores for three months.

Fresh & Easy announced their East Bay locations way before they announced they were pausing from opening US stores, and West Oakland, one of the very first Northern California location they had talked about, was never on the list. East Oakland was. If the store on 73rd and Bancroft never opens, then that is a result of Fresh & Easy’s financial problems. The lack of a store in West Oakland is entirely about conditions EBALDC placed on the lease.

Anyway, the reason I’m writing about the article at all is because of this:

Carletta Starks, an aide to Oakland City Council woman Nancy Nadel (Downtown-West Oakland), said the shopping center is part of a redevelopment zone and specific conditions apply to any lease there. For example, Starks said, there are tight controls on subleasing, and the lease also requires a living-wage agreement, something objected to by Fresh & Easy, saying it already paid competitive wages.

Which is just total jibberish, and I can’t even understand what it’s supposed to mean. You have to pay a “living wage” if your business is in a redevelopment area? News to me, and to my employer, located in a redevelopment area, who currently pays me $8.50/hr. Seriously – that’s absurd. Redevelopment areas have absolutely nothing to do with wages or subleases. Could you imagine? The City shouldn’t be imposing any conditions on leases at the Jack London Gateway shopping center, because we don’t own it. We sold it in to EBALC, and PPI. It’s the property owner, not some law, that kept a grocery store and the 30 jobs it would have provided out of West Oakland over thirty nine cents an hour. I don’t know if Cecily Burt simply got Starks’s comments wrong, or if Starks is lying about the living wage requirement on purpose, or if she is really that clueless about redevelopment areas, which is probably the most disturbing option of all three. The living wage requirement only applies to select recipients of City financial assistance of $100,000 or more, something that nobody has ever claimed Fresh & Easy asked for.

Whether Nancy Nadel had any input into EBALDC’s decision doesn’t matter. She made it very clear at the All Candidates Forum that she endorses the decision, and would rather see no grocery store in West Oakland than one that paid only $10/hour. This is beyond unacceptable. Food access is a ginormous problem in West Oakland, and the District 3 Councilmember should be fighting tooth and nail to get a real grocery store in the neighborhood, not standing in the way of one. It is way past time for her to step down and let someone who has their priorities in order take over that office.

UPDATE: In case anyone was doubting that this claim about a living wage being required in this location for whatever reason is absolute bullshit, I just spoke with two other tenants at the Jack London Gateway shopping center, McDonalds and KFC. Both businesses confirmed to me that their starting pay is minimum wage, $8/hour. So why is Fresh & Easy being held to a different standard than Jack London Gateway’s other tenants? Why?!!? Why is a full-service grocery store that provides organic produce held to a higher standard than fast food restaurants? Why?!!!!! In case I haven’t made it clear yet, I am absolutely enraged by this decision. District 3′s Councilmember should be raising hell with EBALDC over denying food access to West Oakland’s residents. Instead, Nancy Nadel supports their decision and her aide is making up excuses in the newspaper defending it. District 3 needs a Councilmember who cares about food access and food security. Vote Sean Sullivan!

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32 thoughts on “Fresh & Easy update in the Trib. Also, shame on you, Nancy Nadel!

  1. ac

    I would be more enraged, but I have such *LITTLE* respect for Nadel, I can’t even muster up the anger anymore. Heck, I can’t believe I just wrote the words “respect” and “Nadel” in the same sentence. (As a constituent, I got a phone call reminding me of a coffee meeting this Saturday, and the campaign headquarter’s phone number appeared on Caller ID with Nadel’s name spelled wrong. It just seemed emblematic of her entire history and capabilities.)
    I’m not voting for Nadell or Nadel.

  2. Joanna/OnTheGoJo

    Why is honesty so freaken hard? Because you’re totally right to be enraged about this. When I read the article yesterday, my blood pressure spiked also because of Carletta’s comment. Carletta is a very nice person, but she’s not so good at follow-through. But then, how many people are that work for the City? Okay, probably not a fair shot because many people do their jobs.

    It seems to me that often people make stuff up when they don’t have the answer or when they don’t like being called out on something.

    But what a complent, V – undoubtedly the Trib looked further into the story once the right questions were being asked.

    And how is it an obviously ultra intelligent person is working at an $8.50/hr job?!?! You must REALLY love it!

  3. V Smoothe Post author

    Joanna –

    I do love my low-paying job, and it is not my primary source of income. I used to work as a cook full time, but eventually decided to leave the industry because it was just too hard to make a decent living doing it. I’m lucky right now that my real work affords me the flexibility to cook a few hours a week, and it never hurts to bring in a little extra money on the side.

    I am happy that the Trib ran a story about Fresh & Easy not coming to West Oakland – way more people read the Trib than read my blog, so it’s good to have to information more widespread.

  4. Ken O.

    Lucky for West Oakland residents, the non-profit PEOPLE’S GROCERY is opening an organic produce store, neighborhood scale, in the next year or so!

    I’m sure you all saw the other Oakland Trib article about “junk food jungle” and how the ratio of fast food to produce/grocers in the area you live determines your neighborhood’s rates of asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

    Heart Disease Kills More West Oaklanders than Violent Crime

  5. RDC

    V – please tell me these things about Nadel are not true…..please this has to be made up. No one stops a supermarket moving in over 39 cents/hour.

  6. V Smoothe Post author

    RDC –

    I wish! Nadel told the audience at the All Candidates Forum on Sunday that the reason Fresh & Easy is not coming to Jack London Gateway is because of the living wage issue, and her aide repeated that to the Tribune reporter, so if anyone’s making it up, it’s her and her office.

  7. RDC

    V- yeah I just watched that video and it is incredible that she glosses over it like a flight attendant showing you how to use your oxygen mask. I know that this is a very pro-Sullivan site but this is the first I have seen him speak. as a staunch devil’s advocate, why didn’t he raise hell when she said this? He must of known the details behind it yet he went on to a quite rambling politico type speech. Nadel doesn’t strike me as someone of quick wit yet everything seems so very civil, no in your face rebuttals. C’mon Sean release the hounds!

  8. Becks

    Is it me, or is there a campaign being waged to keep supermarkets out of Oakland? Last summer, the planning commission tried to stop both the Rockridge and Lake Merritt Trader Joe’s from opening (by withholding alcohol licenses), and now this.

    I was already upset about this whole situation, but the hypocrisy of Fresh & Easy being held to different standards than fast food restaurants really pisses me off. Maybe this is the reason I see chip bags and fast food wrappers littered on the bus, but never an apple core or trail mix bag.

  9. Vashone Parker

    Nancy Nadel has been a disaster for West Oakland. She doesn’t listen to her constituents. We have been deprived of many important improvements because she can’t work with the other council members. We need a change. I am supporting Sean Sullivan, but anyone would be an improvement.

  10. danatindianrock

    For all of you who are criticizing the living wage ordinance, do you support minimum wage? Bacause the Republicans who oppose minimum wage make the same argument, that a job at $2.50/hour is better than no job at all. Well I don’t buy that.
    Living wage is not required in all redevelopment areas. Living wage is required for projects that receive over $100k in City subsidies. In the case of Jack London Gateway, the City sold the shopping center to EBALDC for less than market value, plus put in lots of subsidy dollars for rehab. EBALDC has no choice, it’s a City ordinance that passed Council unanimously. (McD’s and KFC leases predate the ordinance, that’s why they can get away with not paying living wage.) Is it really too much to expect that a company that gets the benefit of a taxpayers subsidy should pay$10.39/hr plus medical ($11.95 if no medical)?

  11. Max Allstadt

    If the ordinance requires 10.39, and there was no way around it, or no way for the council or planning commission to make exemptions, perhaps it’s not as well written as it could be. Or perhaps there are incentives the city could offer to compensate for the cost of wages. Clearly there must be a way to negotiate out of this and get a grocery store over there.

    How the hell is it that the fruitvale transit village is such a success while West Oakland languishes?
    I was at fruitvale last week, and as lame as the architectural design is, the layout really works. At West Oakland, developing on the opposite side of 7th street in a long row, without a foot traffic area was totally foolish. Bad architect! Bad! I’m sure restricting conditions were partly to blame, but c’mon. We could have seen a lot better. It’s depressing.

  12. oaklandhappenings

    What more can be done to get Sean S. into that d3 council seat, besides everyone telling everyone else to vote for him? This is a MUST, and I refuse to have NN as my council member any longer than June 3rd–except as a lame duck for her remaining time after June 3rd, in which I guess SS can override her stupid decisions if he is the winner, correct?

  13. Another Westoaklander

    It is sad that Fresh&Easy is not opening at that location, but probably a good thing for the Mandela Food Co-op which should be open by now (across from BART) but apparently is having issues getting started. Mandela Food Co-op has been in the works for a LONG time and they are planning on selling organic food as well. They now have competition from the 99cent store next door, which is THE HIT among my neighbors. They sell groceries and cheap! Sullivan is a very nice guy and in way over his head, if you ask me. He has simply not been around long enough to understand the issues or the fact that many of the loudest screamers in West Oakland are outright crooks. He’s a little naive… By the way, West Oakland does not have an issue with food access. Its just not true. Just because the Pac n Save is on the Emeryville side of the city line doesn’t make it inaccessible. There are also a couple of small markets that carry good groceries. Don’t forget that you can’t make people eat what they don’t want to eat. Let’s stop being patronizing and accept that people make choices. I’m all for a nice grocery store because it will add a convenient choice, but it is not an emergency solution because there is no emergency. Carletta Starks needs to go! along with her girlfriend Sandra Sanders-West (NSC). Just sitting on their considerable behinds at meetings doesn’t help anyone and WHAT???? they get paid for it???? Why?!? So they can report back to someone who’s friend and who’s foe???? RI DI CU LOUS!

  14. J.P.

    yes, RDC, it’s not about $0.39/hr, it’s about >$50/month/employee and >$900 forced “initiation” fee per employee going to the grocery union UFCW Local 5. That’s the whole story, all over Oakland. Nadel and Quan are onboard with the union tactics of preventing (not always sucessfully) the opening of any union neutral groceries.

    to quote Ron LInd, President of Local 5: “Locally, we’re working with elected officials to help protect our union market share by limiting the growth of non-union stores.” That’s all you need to know. It’s not about “living wage” or City subsidy regulations or EBALDC, it’s about forcing union dues and preventing the free-market from raising wages through honest competition. The price (of non-cooperation) to these these weak-willed politicians is union-lead opposition at election time, which is much more important than, for instance, local groceries for constituants. When, for instance, Local 5 calls for a mandatory participation in a strike by all Safeway employees (or face prohibitive fines in the employee contract), the union doesn’t want Oakland shoppers to have alternative groceries operating without a picket line.

    but the UFCW business model of corporate campaigns (smear tactics) against businesses that decline the UFCW demand to represent workers is taking a hit, across the USA. For instance, R.I.C.O. lawsuits against the UFCW by Smithfield Foods and Basha’s Groceries (Arizona) are exposing that union coercion constitutes unlawful racketeering activity.

    now, if those lawsuits could only set a legal precedent by including complicit politicians (insert Nadel and Quan here) then we might find fewer potential businesses prevented from providing much needed services by a few special interests.

  15. Tom352

    Such a problem getting food to market. Fresh and Easy must know something other stores don’t. Could they have found a way to make a profit (aka staying in business) where others have failed. Our esteemed commenters and business/economist experts, may do better consulting with local businesses, who have failed our city. Like Safeway. They may be the only grocers left standing after a few more years of competition from Wal-Mart and Costco. Safeway closed stores in areas where the cost of security affected the bottom line to drastically. Solve the “shrinkage” problem and businesses would gladly set up shop. Until then security companies and lawyers are the winners in the grocery game.

  16. Max Allstadt

    Another Westoaklander-

    For the record, I’ve lived in three spots in West Oakland, and without a car, that Pack n Save is tough to get to. If you’re in the lower bottoms it’s a pretty lousy option.

    As for Sean Sullivan being in way over his head, it’s simply not true. Watch him on youtube, watch him at the upcoming forums. He may not have been around as long as Nadel, but he’s far from being a doe eyed newbie. The main reason I’m voting for him is that I think he’s very very sharp, and that his reasoning is deep and nuanced.

    I expect if he wins that when complicated issues come his way, he’s going to do way more research and homework than we’re used to seeing. Particularly in terms of direct constituent outreach. I’ve walked with him from 24th to 30th between MLK and San Pablo, house to house, and when we met people, he wasn’t just selling himself. He was getting to know their concerns, one on one, and he was damn good at it.

  17. V Smoothe Post author

    danatindianrock –

    You misunderstand the living wage ordinance. Under the ordinance, EBALDC is required to pay living wage, but there is no such restriction on their tenants. And yes, I absolutely think that a grocery store that pays $10/hr instead of $10.39/hr is better for West Oakland than no grocery store at all.

    Max -

    danatindianrock’s assertion is wrong, but let’s say, just for fun, that it wasn’t. Of course the City Council can find a way around it. They write the law, which means they can change the law. It’s simply a matter of political will to do so.

    oaklandhappenenings -

    I’m glad to hear you’re a Sullivan supporter. I think he’s got a real shot, but challenging an incumbent in Oakland is really tough, so he’s definitely got an uphill battle ahead of him. Two things you can do to help get Sean elected. 1. Donate – Sean needs money to win, to send mailers, to print his literature, etc, and even a small donation really helps. 2. Volunteer your time. If you can find just two hours to come to the office and make phone calls or walk a neighborhood and knock on some doors, it’s an enormous help.

    And I’m glad you like the photo! The garden is totally my favorite place in downtown Oakland.

    Another WestOaklander -

    I wholeheartedly disagree about Sean. I’ve spent a great deal of time listening to him speak about the problems facing District 3 and the city as a whole, and I’m incredibly impressed with his nuanced grasp of the situation. Re: food access. There is a serious food access problem in West Oakland. Pack n Save is not easily accessible for most of the area at all. I’m all for letting people make choices. The problem is that right now they have no choice.

  18. Vote for anyone but Nancy!

    This is just appaling, but unfortunately not unbeleivable – typical Nadel politics, at the cost of her constituent’s good and welfare. I have tried to remain neutral about Nancy, always willing toi give her the benefit of the doubt, but she continues to dissapoint. I appreciate that Nancy has specific views and beliefs, but not allowing a grocery store to open, which would benefit many, many people, over the fact that the gorcer wants to apy competitive salaries, is outrageous. Yes, we do have a Pac&Save – easy to get to for me because I have a car, but how many people in West Oakland don’t have a car, and are again forced to rely on corner liquor stores? This is beyond the pale! In the five years I have lived in West Oakland I have had the opportunity to work with NN on several issues and projects, and not once has she she been supportive of whatever the project was, be it park beautification or better street lighting, etc., or asked me what I think might work. She regularly takes full credit for improvements that I and/or my neighbors worked on for months if not years to make happen. Nancy Nadel does not work for what her constituents ask for, nor does she represent me or any of my friends and neighbor’s interests. It’s all about Nancy and whatever her agenda happens to be.

    I have chosen to support Sean Sullivan for the city council seat. Why? Because the first time I met him, and many times since, he has asked me what is going on in my neighborhood, what I think could work to help solve problems, and has offered his assistance, every single time! He is smart, inquisitive, and has convinced me that he cares about all of his potential constituents – exactly what a council person should be about.

    I know Sean’s campaign needs help – working phone banks, raising funds, or walking the neighborhood to let people know about him and remind them of the upcoming election. If you want change, please don’t take this election for granted – help make change happen and get involved!

  19. Max Allstadt

    As far as relying on liquor stores for food goes, it really is appalling. I have seen so many poor folks in liquor stores, buying vienna sausages or sardines for lunch. These are folks with mobility issues, folks who are likely eligible for food stamps, and because there’s no neighborhood grocery, because our city planning reflects decades of pro-automobile thought, they’re stuck eating sodium saturated canned food. Wonder why the life expectancy is so low over here? Steady diet of ramen, spam, dinty moore stew, and whatever else can sit on a shelf for 3 years without going bad. Suggesting that there isn’t a problem here is absolutely absurd.

  20. RDC

    J.P. – That is some good ind-epth stuff there. Unions are desperate due to losing jobs all over so an easy pushover like NN or Quan can easily be dispatched to do the dirty work. I would love to know how many Local 5 members NN represents who were up in arms over this Union neutral Fresh and Easy? Will the Local 5 be stepping up their recruitment in west oak to direct the constituents there to high paying union jobs? Will NN now be search for a union approved grocery provider? I caN Only guess at the answers…

    So to sum it up for myself.

    West OAK is going to get grocery store.
    grocery store will provide quality and competitively priced food.
    jobs, taxes, sense of community will be added
    Grocery store will be Union neutral (ohhhh nooooooooo)
    Union’s don’t like this, union’s won’t make money.
    Union tells Politician X that this is unfair and to remind them of their generous donation habits.
    Politician X attempt negotiations (bad idea), quote some “living wage” provision on a property they don’t own or operate.
    Grocery store is lost, does not want to deal with Union/Politician/B.S/
    Jobs lost, tax revenue lost, faith in government takes another hit.

    This has to be the final straw on her reign of genius correct? probably not because most vote-casting citizens don’t read this page or truly understand what she has been doing. Sean needs to inform people of what she is up to, loudly. He understands the constituents concerns, he is a gifted speaker, he can connect on a personal level with people. All fine qualities but that is not what gets you elected here. People need to know howutterly incompetent NN is as well as many other jokers in office here. I do not believe in negative campaigns but highlighting someones track record loudly and repeatedly could get it done.

    Others will know this better than I, is Sean S doing this? He looks every part the earnest leader we need but again, that won’t get him elected.

    Nadel can look equally qualified for the position and can spin this grocery store saga this way: We fought against a low paying store and WON! we will not accept low paying jobs from money grubbing supermarkets! We want the people of D3 to have a real living wage and won’t accept anything less!!!!

    Now if you didn’t know any better would this sound good to you? Any politico worth their weight could spin this off the top of their head and feed it to any neighbor who is not in the know. And come across as the incumbent (safe) choice over this Sullivan character(spin doctor speaking) who they may not know at all. It doesn’t take much.

    please excuse the off topic ramblings.

  21. Lou Zer

    Funny, Nadel’s re-election campaign web site lists the soon-to-be-opened Fresh & Easy and the opening-end-of-April Mandela Food Co-op as accomplishments for which she claims credit.

  22. Another Westoaklander

    Hi Max Allstadt
    I have also lived in various spots in West Oakland for the past 15 years, and the last 10 of those in what you unfortunately refer to as ‘the lower bottoms’ – which is properly named: Prescott. That is, I think, where the problem starts: with people like us referring to our own neighborhoods in a disparaging way. Let me tell you the history: the cops came up with this name for Prescott when it was, in their opinion, the worst neighborhood around: i.e. after you hit bottom, you hit the LOWER bottom. As if that name was not bad enough, when the jail culture hit and people began to run around with their pants below their butts, someone thought that ‘lower bottoms’ actually referred to THAT! It makes many of us who go to a gazillion meetings and try to improve this place cringe to hear neighbors refer to it this way. I understand that many simply don’t know.
    Now on to whether there is a serious food access problem in Prescott. We have the 99 cent store which I do not patronize, but everyone else does apparently. All of my older neighbors L O V E the place and tell me frequently what kinds of food bargains they’ve found. There is the meat market on 12th street where many go shopping, and almost everyone from here goes to pak ‘n save at least once/month to stock up. if you have a bike – its easy to ride over. everyone else drives or gets a ride from someone. Then there is the people’s grocery which comes through at least 3 times a week with a van and stops throughout the neighborhood. they have fresh food and veggies. additionally, there is the community garden on 18th and Mandela, where food is sold on a sliding scale and given away if you can’t afford it. I am no friend of liquor stores and have fought many of them, but i had to stand corrected on the market on 12th/Peralta because they really do sell food according to my neighbors. Does it makes sense for a Fresh & Easy to open 3 blocks away from the Mandela Foods Coop? I don’t think so. Are some people disadvantaged and have a hard time getting to the store? Absolutely. But the solution is not to put a store on every block! You don’t have this in other residential neighborhoods and nobody is complaining. Why would you need it here??? Maybe the solution is to have a food/grocery delivery service that is affordable.
    Regarding Sean – he is obviously a very bright guy, but I have also talked to him and while I believe that he will do due diligence and research, at some point every council member runs out of time because they have a lot going on. and at that point, he will begin listening to fewer people, and what I am not convinced of is that he KNOWS who’s telling him the truth and, again, who’s friend and who’s foe! THAT comes with experience. I am not happy with Nadel either on many many issues, but she’s a known quantity. With Sullivan, I fear we have a developer poodle (pardon me, Mr. Blair).

  23. James H. Robinson

    Here’s an idea: let’s put Fresh & Easy in Foothill Square Plaza. Problem solved.

  24. V Smoothe Post author

    James H. Robinson –

    The only announced Fresh & Easy location in Oakland is at the Eastmont Mall, I think. So East Oakland will be getting another grocery store if F&E opens, but they certainly could use more than one. East Oakland often gets neglected on this blog because I’m so focused on downtown and District 3 issues, and that’s something I really do need to work on.

    Another Westoaklander –

    Regarding your comment that other neighborhoods don’t have multiple grocery stores, I have to disagree. Look at Rockridge. On College Avenue alone, you’ve got the Safeway at 51st and Broadway, right below the start of College, Market Hall, Trader Joes, Ver Brugge, Yasai Market, Safeway at College and Claremont, then Star Market a little further up the street on Claremont.

  25. Max Allstadt

    Another Westoaklander:

    I’m not going to get into the semantics of what to call a neighborhood. Dogtown and Ghosttown are easily considered disparaging, but

    As for the neighborhood services West of 980, I think it’s laughable to say that they’re adequate. This area super flat, for the most part the block size is relatively small, and it’s street layout mostly pre-dates the automobile. This is the ultimate recipe for a thriving walkable neighborhood. We’ve got the recipe, we need a better cook.

    Things like conditional use permits and residential zoning restrictions screw things up. That’s not Nadel’s fault, it’s the whole council and planning commission. If you compare the variety of things one can do in residential zones in SF to what’s allowed here, it really sticks out. We’re way too restricted for an urban area. The rules are more appropriate for Levittown type scenarios. There are 11×17 sheets detailing these use restrictions available at Oakland’s planning department and at SF’s planning department. If I can get a hold of PDFs for comparison, I’ll send them to V to post here. The contrast is ridiculous.

    And again, the people I see buying sardines for lunch don’t usually look like they could get on a bike. Ridesharing is all well and good, but if we make it EASY to eat right, rather than requiring people to go out of their way, we’ll do much better.

    Developer poodle? Unlikely. Sean’s spent too much of his career working with poor people to kowtow to irresponsible development that would push them out. I’m no developer appologist either. In fact, my first contact ever with Nadel’s office was to submit a letter that condemned the Mandela Grand project as “Glittering towers from which the rich would look down upon the poor” because that was literally true.

    If there’s one thing I can say for Sullivan above all others it’s this: I’ve had rigorous discussions with him, and I’ve seen him change his mind in the face of good reasoning which contradicted his point of view. Plus he’s really really nice. OK that was two things.

    While I’m going over, I’ll add that Sean has pledged to work exclusively on the Council. How many hours a week do you think it takes to start a chocolate factory? How much energy and effort will be expended there and not on our behalf?

    Oh, and the guy’s name isn’t Mr. Blair.

  26. Max Allstadt

    I was gonna say at the beginning that Dogtown and Ghosttown could easily be considered disparaging, but they’re also catchy. Tenderloin and Dogpatch in SF could be looked at the same way. Ultimately names like that come and go. If the are gets better, they’ll have nostalgia value.

  27. V Smoothe Post author

    Nancy Nadel, in her TagamiVision interview, says that in addition to starting her chocolate business, she is also in the process of starting two non-profits. Where she plans to find time to do her Council work is beyond me.

  28. Another Westoaklander

    Thanks for setting me straight on the people’s grocery, V Smoothe, I stand corrected. What a shame that they’re not around anymore! But regarding college ave: how many stores do you have along broadway terrace? you are comparing apples to oranges. and again, there will be a store opening 3 blocks from the fresh & easy location very soon.

    but max allstadt, it must be my job today to educate you:
    i quote from wikipedia:

    Along with enjoying a close relationship with Bill Clinton during the latter’s time in office, Blair has formed a strong political alliance with George W. Bush, particularly in the area of foreign policy. At one point, Nelson Mandela described Blair as “the U.S. foreign minister”.[83] Blair has also often openly been referred to as “Bush’s poodle”.[84]

    and to everyone, i will not agree to disagree on the naming of neighborhoods. not only is prescott (not that other name) listed as eligible for inclusion in the national register of historic places, but clawson/mcclymonds and bunche neighborhoods have also long standing histories and should presumably see a little more respect than what is being dished out: oh, i live in sh*thole, oakland. how is that different from what you’re calling these areas? still wondering why we get no respect? start respecting your neighborhood and maybe others will follow. a lot is in a name…

    finally, i really enjoy this forum and i thank everyone for the info on sullivan who, i hope, will not turn out to be a poodle after all ;) we can certainly use more smart, educated, and community oriented people around here, whether elected or not!
    ps. it might not be smart to refer to him as ‘ss’ however… (…what’s in a name ;) )

  29. masb

    I am so grateful for your coverage of Downtown and District 3 that I hope if you decide to cover other neighborhoods (ie East Oakland) you will enlist other writers. I don’t think one person can do it all. I don’t comment often but I am a daily reader and really appreciate this blog. By the way, at one time I was a NN voter but not anymore.

  30. Max Allstadt

    Another Westoaklander, I thought you were refering to a friend of ours who’s name is similar to blair but isn’t.

    also, broadway terrace is post-automobile, I believe. suburban style thought. made for cars. or it was a streetcar suburb. to me the whole beauty of West Oakland is that it was made for pedestrians in the first place, and we oughta try and help it have it’s renaissance unfold accordingly.