Open Thread

A place to discuss things I haven’t written about.

20 thoughts on “
Open Thread

  1. Jennifer

    Chip had another great column in the Chronicle today. One just has to wonder if any of this sinks in with Dellums — if his wife lets him read the paper, that is.

  2. Born in Oakland

    Things in my neighborhood I hate:

    1. Chain link fences
    2. front lawn removed and cemented over so cars can park and garbage cans can be placed on what was once lawn.
    3. Metal fences with razor wire on top with papers and trash stuck to the fences behind which are cars and/or household appliances in various stages of disrepair.
    4. bars on all windows and front door
    5. Tennis shoes hanging from power lines
    6. graffiti and graffiti painted over in a different color shade than on the rest of the facade.
    7. campers, trailers, semis parked in residential neighborhoods.
    8. Feral cats running across all streets
    9. Cars moved for street sweeping and then left until street sweeping occurs on that street.
    10. trash around corner stores
    11. furniture and bicycles stored on all balconies of all apartments and never moved/used.
    12. boom cars and now motorcycles with loud stereos blasting

    That is my dozen…we just picked up trash in the street and I am grateful to find this “open thread.”

  3. Max Allstadt

    Things in my neighborhood I could do without:

    1. Used needles under and around the crossings below the 980 at 23rd and at Sycamore.
    2. Prostitution (some clearly underage) between 27th and 34th along San Pablo.
    3. The crack house and drug market at the corner of Mead St. and San Pablo.
    4. The crumbling hotels near the corner of San Pablo and West Grand.
    5. The fact that the city closed the park at 25th and MLK.
    6. The fact that street sweeping happens EVERY night on San Pablo, and that many potential residential properties on San Pablo have no off street parking. This combination means no development.
    7. Over-cleaning of the streets in general, which targets poor people for parking tickets and wastes water and gasoline doing cleaning we don’t need.
    8. The fact that the city is allowing high-impact social services to cluster next to the 980, creating a barrier of fear that keeps development from crossing to this side of the highway.
    9. Total lack of fresh groceries anywhere west of 980 and north of Grand.
    10. Rampant debilitating alcoholism.
    11. The guy who owns a business at 24th and San Pablo who lets his dogs wander free in the street all the time.
    12. “Stop Snitchin” stickers and t-shirts. I want the sellers to stop breathin’.

    That’s my list. But complaining is easy. Finding something to do about it is the tough part. I wish I could come up with a list of actions to go with this.

  4. avis

    THINGS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD I COULD DO WITHOUT
    1. Used condoms, especially the ones left on my roses.
    2 The person or persons who use my side steps as a lavatory.
    3. The man who keeps climbing over my fence trying to break into our house.
    4. Same man who stole my wreath, my shovel, my plants, etc.
    5. The Meth House right behind our house, 2yrs and counting.
    6. The boom cars that make ALL the old windows rattle in my very old house.
    7. The 12 yr old prostitues on International and 22nd Ave.
    8. The D boys on all the corners in my neighborhood making it a violent place.
    9. The drunks/druggies passed out in San Antonio Park.
    10. The folks who buy 100 yr old houses and then destroy them by stripping.
    11. Oakland residents who make excuses for conditions in this city.
    12. Mayor and city council who are ineffective and unproductive in dealing with problems 1-10.

  5. Hayden

    On Wedesday, the SF Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board imposed a $200,000 penalty against the owner of the old Leona Heights Sulfur Mine for failure to report on the progress of his mine cleanup (As it turns out, there isn’t any progress, and also he hasn’t reported on the lack of progress).

    The mine, located in the Oakland Hills on a creek that flows down to Mills College, has old waste piles that acidify the creek (the mine was in operation from the 1900s through the 1920s). So the lack of cleanup is a big deal–it results in ongoing acidic discharges and, essentially, a dead creek.

    While it looks like the cleanup may continue to stretch over time, perhaps the State’s action will prod the property owner, who owns a total of more than 200 acres of land in Oakland, to at last begin to implement the cleanup plan for the site.

    More information:

    http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/sanfranciscobay/board_info/agenda.shtml

    Click on the “September 10, 2008″ agenda link and scroll down to Item 13 for more information.

  6. V Smoothe Post author

    Did anybody go to last night to the meeting with Arnold Perkins about the Public Safety District Plan? I was, um, busy, and not to mention not invited. If so, care to share some details?

  7. Ken O

    5 Things I like — and don’t like — about my hood in temescal-

    1. white girl with glasses who blasts rap music from various cars with well-maintained audio systems (with little truck rattle)…just damn annoying. which must be the point. why must she cruise every area which happens to have section 8? showing “support”? living the “dream”?

    2. people in oakland who excuse crime for whatever reason

    3. the crazy drivers who don’t completely stop at the intersection 49th & manila

    4. the lack of streetcars… we need to bring back light rail and street trolleys (like phoenix, detroit, charlotte, columbus, seattle, portland, louisiana have or are planning on having) if we must go through BRT first, i don’t care. (BRT is cheaper up front — but more expensive over its lifecycle from rising diesel fuel costs, unlike electricity which is cheaper, quieter, less jerky, less polluting and could be powered by local renewable energy sources)

    5. broadway is so jacked up between 51st and 30th… just not bikeable at all, although you’d really be better off using bike paths for various reasons

    ———

    What i like about my ‘hood

    1. Most people are homeowners–care about the hood and at least don’t mess it up

    2. relatively safe. for whatever reason–maybe having two schools nearby–it is more quiet here. Section8 people on my block are overall good bunch, although some of their friends drag them down (ie drive by last month, crazy friends, trash all over their own place, although some of them bring out a garbage can and actually clean it up…) — i think my neighbors could reach out more to them and vice-versa.

    3. i planted sunflowers all over it, and shared some seeds with the neighbors who also planted some

    4. in between two bart stations, less than 1 mile from each :)

    5. bakesale betty’s, lanesplitter (i like having the social scene – people hanging out on the street for leisure instead of D boys, eyes on the street, the food is so so), tiptop bike shop, 24hour long’s and safeway

  8. Chris Kidd

    10 Things that piss me off in Jingletown

    1. The E 7th street gang and the Jingletown boys tagging up the neighborhood and tagging over each others’ stuff.

    2. People treating the streets without stop signs like a drag race course and the city traffic department that just hems and haws every time we petition for a stop sign on said drag race courses.

    3. The used condoms and needles littering the block around the Fruitvale Ave 880 exit.

    4. The kids who use the wide intersections as training grounds for sideshow doughnuts.

    5. Igancio trying to c*ckblock Tiki Tom’s from moving into the old abandoned Pier 29 restaurant.

    6. The big rigs that illegally idle their cabs for longer than 5 minutes (sometimes up to several hours) right in front of my apartment.

    7. OPD parking in the White Elephant lot for several hours while they work off their hangovers.

    8. The local bar down the street that has a flop house on the second floor and hosts a Raiders biker gang on sundays.

    9. The cement plant down the street that throws up huge clouds of particulates, covering all the cars in dust and causing respiratory problems for the neighborhood. They also sometimes dump waste directly into the sewer system.

    10. Anytime the E 7th St. gang and the Jingletown boys decide tagging wars aren’t enough and start shooting each other.

    Things that are awsome about Jingletown:

    1. It’s called ‘Jingletown’. That’s just awesome.

    2. East Bay Open Studios and the Holiday Art Walk.

    3. The plethora of mosaics built all over our neighborhood. Seriously, they’re amazing and they never get tagged on. A great way to fight blight.

    4. The white elephant sale, especially the last day. Everything you can fit into a black trash bag for a dollar!

    5. The cal boathouse. MMmm, those college crews boys might be enough to make me switch teams…

    6. The sunny Fruitvale weather. Great for growing fruits and veggies.

    7. The public market at the Fruitvale Transit village. The best churros in oakland AND the best mexican ice cream in oakland? Sweet.

    8. Living around a bunch of wacky artists. It makes life so much more interesting.

    9. Living with the mystical unicarns: http://www.unicarnsofoakland.blogspot.com/

  9. Jennifer

    On Leadership – We are all frustrated by the absence of Dellums, both literally and figuratively. I thought that when the restaurant hold-ups were happening, he should have been (and still should be) dining in a different neighborhood each evening to show that he had confidence that the police were doing their job to keep us safe. In following the Metrolink crash this weekend, I saw Mayor Villaraigosa at the site, showing leadership but staying out of the way of those searching for survivors and those trying to figure out what happened. Now he is riding the train and saying,
    “I want to dispel any fears about taking the train,” the mayor said. “Safety has to be our number one concern, and while accidents can and do happen, taking the train is still one of the safest and fastest options for commuters.” That is leadership.

  10. Rebecca Kaplan

    Dear All:

    I wanted to share upcoming opportunities to hear from both of the Oakland City Council At-Large candidates (this is the only Oakland race with a November run-off election):

    1) Monday Sept 15th, 6:30pm. Candidate forum sponsored by the Jack London District Association. (At Portobello) For info see: http://www.jlda.org

    2) Saturday Sept 20th. 10am – Noon. Candidate Debate at Allen Temple Baptist Church. Moderated by League of Women Voters. (Will also include candidates for Judge).

    3) Friday Oct 3rd. 5:30pm. Oakland City Hall — Hearing Room 1. League of Women Voters “formal” debate. (To be televised too — on KTOP Cable 10).

    Best wishes,
    -Rebecca Kaplan

  11. City of Oakland Wants Your Input on Having Wireless in Oakland

    The Office of the Mayor, Oakland City Council, and Oakland’s Department of Technology are seeking community members’ input on how city services might be enhanced by public wireless access to the Internet.

    A series of public meetings will be held in Oakland council districts over
    the coming weeks to learn how to increase public Internet access and how
    residents wish to utilize wireless broadband technology to boost public
    safety and improve the quality of life.

    The first meeting will be Councilmember Desley Brook’s District 6 public
    meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 17. Community members wishing to
    participate should contact (510) 764-2425 or email OaklandWireless@tellusventure.com. Please see attached list for additional district meeting dates and times.

    Participants in public meetings who stay for the entire session will be
    entered into a drawing to win an iPod shuffle at the end of that session.

    In addition, a town hall meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 22, 2008 at 5
    p.m. at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland.

    For more information or to RSVP, please contact (510) 764-2425 or email
    Oaklandwireless@tellusventure.com

  12. Max Allstadt

    Municipal Wireless? I hope this doesn’t mean actually building a physical infrastructure!

    To put it bluntly, the physical part of this problem is going to be solved nationally and globally faster than the City of Oakland could get a system approved, funded and built. We would be wasting a lot of money if we tried.

    If the city wants to spend money to get low income residents on the web, we should it with vouchers or subsidies, not by building a system.

    WiFi is old news. Long-range wireless broadband is coming. Google has recently invested billions of dollars in satellite based web access that will blanket the entire planet, and they seem capable of rolling this out within the next four years. If they fail, American telecom companies are already hard at work rolling out faster and better wireless internet. We can expect high speed wireless internet to be available everywhere in America by 2011.

    My alternative proposal to a city-run wireless network is simple and two-fold:

    1. Provide vouchers to help our lowest income residents pay for internet access.
    2. Lobby the OUSD to get involved with the One Laptop Per Child program, which builds and sells inexpensive, education oriented laptops.

    This is a much simpler and much more effective allocation of funds. I am all for getting the internet into the hands of low-income Oaklanders. I actually think that the US needs a Tennessee Valley Authority type agency to bring the Internet to everyone. The gap between the online and the offline today is as dramatic as the historical gap between those with phones and electricity and those without.

  13. Oakland Wireless

    Come tonight for a meeting in Ignacio de la Fuente’s District 5 at 5:00 pm. For more information or to RSVP, please contact (510) 764-2425 or email
    Oaklandwireless@tellusventure.com

    The City is spending money doing the study to see if investing in wireless is what the community would like to have. Come by and express your opinion.

    The Office of the Mayor, Oakland City Council, and Oakland’s Department of Technology are seeking community members’ input on how city services might be enhanced by public wireless access to the Internet.

    A series of public meetings will be held in Oakland council districts over
    the coming weeks to learn how to increase public Internet access and how
    residents wish to utilize wireless broadband technology to boost public
    safety and improve the quality of life.

    The first meeting will be Councilmember Desley Brook’s District 6 public
    meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 17. Community members wishing to
    participate should contact (510) 764-2425 or email OaklandWireless@tellusventure.com. Please see attached list for additional district meeting dates and times.

    Participants in public meetings who stay for the entire session will be
    entered into a drawing to win an iPod shuffle at the end of that session.

    For more information or to RSVP, please contact (510) 764-2425 or email
    Oaklandwireless@tellusventure.com

  14. V Smoothe Post author

    1. I’m totally against the City putting any resources whatsoever into the pursuit or even discussion of municipal wireless, largely for the reasons Max noted above. Also – if cities that have their shit together in other areas can’t make wireless work, why on earth would Oakland, that can’t provide even basic city services, think we are capable of doing it?

    2. Stop spamming my blog. The first time was okay – this is an open thread and I’m fine with people trying to make people aware of public meetings. But any more comments that consist of reprinting wholesale a City announcement that has already been noted here will be deleted.

  15. Max Allstadt

    the spam is inappropriate, bit it’s also unfortunately a great way to reach tech savvy Oaklanders who give a damn. I’m glad I know about the initiative.

    I fully support attempts to get low income Oaklanders online. I’ll revise my counter proposal now.

    1. I stand by my suggestion to get OLPC involved in Oakland schools.
    2. Instead of the vouchers I proposed yesterday, perhaps the City could negotiate a lease on a large percentage of the wireless bandwidth that will soon be commercially available, and them make that bandwidth free.
    3. Subsidized OLPC laptops could be made available to low income residents after a mandatory web-education class. The beauty of the OLPC is that it will be too inexpensive and too ubiquitous to be a risk for pawning. We might even ban pawnshops from selling them, or engrave them with city logos to discourage a blackmarket.

    I reiterate that building a physical infrastructure with city money is a dated idea. A dated idea that was a bad idea even when it was new.

  16. Erick

    Things I like, dislike about my place on 48th Ave. in Fruitvale…

    Like-

    the Mi Pueblo supermarket, especially the bbq’s outside, the meat selections, 4 for 1$ fresh bread rolls and the family atmosphere.

    Dislike –

    people who perpetuate the false notion that Mills College is in the Oakland Hills, when it is clearly not (see link to map)!

    Signed,

    A grad. student slowly discovering the truth about the neighborhoods surrounding Mills College.