128 thoughts on “
Open Thread

  1. oaklandhappenings

    My apologies for wearing down the topic of the Fox theater reopening, but I have to at least share this:
    I don’t know if this is the first evening, but the marquee was turned ON Monday evening, and it looks f’n fabulous!!
    There are/were a few burned-out letters, which is likely another reason it was on, so they could start fixing those(?). However, as they did about the time that the decision to restore the theater was made, they turned the marquee on to remind people that this theater is now alive, and soon to be “kickin’ “; perhaps that “rebirth” article in the Trib inspired them?? Even better, if you walk towards the theater on 19th St from the Lake after dark, you can see how the red letters (not the background but the letters now)
    shine a glare on the theater’s exterior where the sign is attached. As you walk closer, looking at the sign edge-on from 19th, it looks like a torch! The white, swirling light patters on top of the sign, give it that impression, from that angle. You can see this all the way from the north sidewalk of where 17th meets Webster. The 3-panel signs (the ones currently reading “Features ‘Another Planet’…”) also have fancy light animation; resembling those of the Paramount and Grand Lake, a little fancier, I think.
    As I think one poster said on here, when standing at the Broadway/Telegraph split (i.e. Latham Square) on an evening that the Paramount and Fox are both having shows, will look MUCH better than the Paramount on its own, and the Fox standing there unlit, and “under construction”.
    If any of you proud Oaklanders have a chance, even before the Grand opening (37 more days, btw!), check out the marquee; hopefully they are lit regularly until the opener, to ease the deadly suspense…
    a suspense that really sucks right now! :-S

  2. Navigator


    Happy New Year. You’re so right regarding the Fox Theater. It should provide a great lift to Oakland’s entertainment district in 2009.

    Also, I responded to your comments on the SF Gate comments section regarding the San Francisco crime numbers. I’m a little curious as to why they once again rehashed the 2006 feature story “OAKLAND: A Plague of Killing,” along with their new “Oakland’s Baby Iraq,” at a time when their city has just recorded a 13 year high in homicides. Also, I don’t know if you noticed but Susan Gluss’s essay regarding her opinion of how, “unlivable” Oakland is, has somehow made it all the way to the New York Times. Chip Johnson’s assertion that there’s an ongoing exodus in Oakland has now been made official to the Nation.

    Well, these are just some revelations and musings from the asylum. I have to run now, the guards just noticed me here in the warden’s office using the computer. Have a great new year!

  3. Navigator


    I wonder if you could post the same observations that you made about the San Francisco homicide numbers for the last couple of years, which you posted in the SF Gate comment section, regarding the man stabbed to death in the Western Addition and San Francisco’s “99th” homicide.

    Also, what’s your take on the San Francisco Chronicle rehashing the 2006 feature story “OAKLAND: A Plague of Killing.,” and “Oakland’s Baby Iraq,” at a time when San Francisco has recorded a 13 year high in homicides? Is this fair? Why is the San Francisco Chronicle going back to 2006? That’s three years ago! Why don’t they address their own crime problems? Why do they always deflect attention towards Oakland?

    I’m so pissed off regarding this bullshit. The Susan Gluss column in the New York Times should be the last piece of evidence detailing how the tone is set from San Francisco regarding the perpetuation of Oakland’s crappy image. Susan Gluss’s opinion piece has now been given validity by the Nations largest and most prestigious news organization.

    How can anyone sit at this site and dismiss this. Anyone with any sense of fairness knows that this is wrong.

    I’m going to write my own essay to the New York Times exposing this bullshit that passes for fair and balanced journalism in the Bay Area. I’ve already written to the L. A. Times regarding this bullshit.

    I’m going to document the pattern of different methods of crime reporting in the Bay Area. I’m going to document the Chip Johnson columns juxtaposed with the C. W. Nevius columns. I’m going to document the missing or not updated San Francisco homicide numbers in Jaxon Van Derbeken’s San Francisco homicide articles. I’m going to document the “neighborhood identification” for crimes and homicides in San Francisco as opposed to the “Oakland” identification for the city of Oakland. I’m going to document the artificial lowering of San Francisco’s “official” homicide numbers by deducting justifiable homicides at the same time that the San Francisco Chronicle includes Oakland’s in their “official” count with out disclosing the method used to lower San Francisco’s numbers to their readers. I’m going to document the five missing homicides which once appeared in the San Francisco Police Crime Map, but now have vanished without explanation and are still included in this website, http://www.sfcrime.blogspot.com/ . I’m going to document the pattern of artificially lowering San Francisco’s homicide numbers by differing homicides to a previous year and by ruling certain suspicious deaths as “suicide” as was the case regarding a French National. I’m going to document the pattern lowering the SF homicide number just to just under three digits for two consecutive years even though the FBI’s own website says that San Francisco recorded 100 homicides for 2007,NOT the 98 that the San Francisco Chronicle reported for THAT year. I’m going to document the complete omission of this study which showed San Francisco as number one for three consecutive years for adjusted homicides, http://www2.gsu.edu/~crirxf/HomRates-PR-2007-02-02.htm .

    Enough is enough! I’m tired of the bullshit!

    I’m also going to send a copy to Attorney General Jerry Brown documenting the illegal, unethical, and unscrupulous business practices, used by the San Francisco Chronicle to harm Oakland economically while at the same time omitting pertinent information regarding homicides and crime in San Francisco.

  4. oaktownlove

    Navigator you’ve turned into a total psycho. Can you do something about this please V? He’s ruining this site.

  5. Navigator


    Instead of calling for censorship, why don’t you point out what is incorrect about what I wrote? What have I said that worries you so much? It’s a fair issue to discuss the documented media treatment that Oakland receives from the San Francisco dominated media. Unless you can debunk what I wrote, you have no right to call for my censorship.

  6. Navigator


    I’ve noticed that you haven’t posted even once in the 120 comments of the “Susan Gluss has a point” segment. You haven’t posted once in the 122 comments in the “Gentlemen of Leisure” discussion, and, you haven’t posted once in the 66 comments regarding “Oakland’s budget.”

    But, your moniker suggests that you love Oakland. However, only my truthful documentation of how the San Francisco media reports crime in the Bay Area got you to post on this site asking for my censorship. Interesting. Let’s discuss the issues instead.

  7. Brooklyn Avenue


    Weren’t you just recommending that NYTimes article a day or two ago because it was very fair-minded and focused primarily on the positive aspects of Oakland? Now suddenly you are calling it “the Susan Gluss column” because it briefly quoted her Chronicle essay? When you wonder why people dismiss your posts as lengthy and repetitive rantings, I suggest that you step back and try to imagine how they come across to people reading them. Even people who may be predisposed to agree with you about the SF media are probably put off by your histrionic tone and your lack of perspective, not to mention the length and frequency of your posts, most of which seem to say the same thing over and over. I genuinely wish you a happy new year, so feel free to take this as constructive criticism, or as an attack — that’s up to you.

  8. Navigator

    Brooklyn Avenue,

    Why does a portion of the Susan Gluss essay to the San Francisco Chronicle find its way to the New York Times? Yes, most of that article was positive. However, the fact that they felt the need to mention 3 homicides within fifteen blocks of the Christ the Light Cathedral, shows that everything about Oakland has to be preceded by negativity. Much of that negativity comes from San Francisco sources.

    Brooklyn Avenue, why don’t you address what I wrote? What is it about what I wrote regarding the manner which Oakland’s homicides are covered compared to San Francisco’s, that you don’t agree with, or that you think that I’m making up?

    Histrionics? Telling the truth is now considered histrionics? I think histrionics is calling someone a “psycho” and calling for censorship because I brought up a fairness in the media issue. You may think this doesn’t effect Oakland’s economy, but unfortunately it does. Should I not bring up something when I see an unfairness? Should I be quiet because someone involved with the San Francisco media might become uncomfortable?

    Brooklyn Avenue, please refute any of the points which I made regarding the documented incidents of a double standard in covering homicides in Oakland vs San Francisco.

  9. Navigator

    Brooklyn Avenue,

    The article I was originally recommending from the New York Times was an article in the business section regarding the development going on in Oakland. This current article regarding Christ the Light Cathedral, is a different article which has been posted on this blog. I liked most of what I read. However, I was very surprised to see Susan Gluss being quoted about the “unlivable” conditions in Oakland. However, I realize that the local negative media emanating from San Francisco gets picked up by National sources. That’s how the slanted San Francisco reporting which I documented above has an affected in perpetuating Oakland’s negative image Nationally. I hope that wasn’t too long. You didn’t insult me personally, and I take no offense to your criticism. Have a great new year.

  10. Brooklyn Avenue


    The reason I didn’t “refute” anything you said is that I don’t have particularly strong feelings about whether the SF media is biased toward Oakland or not. I was simply commenting on the way you express yourself, and trying to explain why you evoke such negative responses from other people here. I don’t see what my comment about your histrionic tone has to do with whether you are telling the truth or not — one can tell the truth with a histrionic tone, and one can lie in a sober and calm way. I was addressing your tone, not the truth or falsity of what you wrote. I tend to think you vastly overstate the importance of SF media bias, but as I said, I don’t have strong feelings on the issue.

    Seriously, you should consider starting a blog of your own. You obviously have strong opinions and care passionately about these issues, and you could write about these things as much as you please without anyone having the right to tell you to shut up and go away. Really, you should think about it. Blogger.com and wordpress.com are both totally free, and you could write about media bias to your heart’s content. Think about it. (I’m not saying you shouldn’t comment here as well, although I would encourage you to write pithier, more focused comments and keep the “bullshit”s to a minimum. I honestly think it’s the tone, the length, and the relentless repetition of the same points that pisses people off, not the fact that they happen to disagree with you.)

  11. Navigator

    Brooklyn Avenue,

    You’re an Oakland blogger and this issue doesn’t evoke strong and passionate feelings in you? Perhaps, if you read carefully what I write, instead of concentrating on how I write it, this issue would finally evoke some passion and move you and many other Oakland bloggers to deal with this very important issue.

    Maybe that’s why I have to continually repeat myself. Other than Oakland Happennings, who pays very close attention to this issue, and is very well informed, many of the Oakland bloggers sit here and pretend everything is peachy, even as San Francisco rehashes a 2006 hatchet job on Oakland with their “OAKLAND: A Plague of Killing” series, along with an “Oakland’s Baby Iraq” series, even as their own city reaches a thirteen year high in homicides.

    Do you think this is fair? Do you think that it’s fair that Jaxon Van Derbecken omitted the San Francisco homicide numbers throughout the year in his articles even as San Francisco was experiencing a thirteen year high in homicides? Do you think it’s fair that Oakland gets its homicide total plastered in headlines in the Chronicle on a regular basis even as San Francisco’s thirteen year high is ignored?

    This is irrespective of Oakland’s numbers. Fair is fair. The same method of documenting and reporting homicides for both cities need to be consistent.

    I hate to repeat myself, but many Oakland bloggers are not doing their jobs.

    Finally, this isn’t the first time “bullshit” has been used on this blog. I’ve read much more colorful language here. I’m sorry if I offended you.

  12. Brooklyn Avenue


    You didn’t offend me. I love a good “bullshit” here and there, but when it appears four times in one comment, including twice in a single short paragraph, then the law of diminishing returns really start kicking in, and it just makes your comment sound like a rant.

    As for your questions: I don’t know if it’s fair, and honestly, I don’t particularly care either. I just don’t believe that Oakland’s future is dependent on whether or not the Chronicle has an anti-Oakland bias — it may have some effect at the margins, but I think the dysfunction in Oakland’s city hall has a much greater effect, and is therefore the more important thing to worry about. So you can show me all the proof in the world that the Chronicle has an anti-Oakland bias, and I still won’t be very interested.

    Incidentally, not only do I lack passionate feelings about the media’s anti-Oakland bias, but I increasingly lack passionate feelings about Oakland in general. I’ve hardly posted to my blog at all in the past few months, and frankly I find it hard to muster very much concern about Oakland. Maybe that makes me a bad citizen, but I’m just not very interested anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if I am living in some other city when New Year’s Day 2010 rolls around

    Anyway, as I said, if you think Oakland bloggers aren’t doing their jobs, or if you think Oakland’s bloggers are focused on the wrong things, or if you feel “censored” by V Smoothe or your fellow commenters, then you should start your own blog. It’s easy enough to do, and you can explore these issues as much as you like without anyone doing a damn thing about it.

  13. Brooklyn Avenue

    Funny: right after I posted my comment, I opened my RSS reader, and this Chronicle headline was the first thing I saw:
    “S.F. homicides on rise; city’s grievous problem”

    Of course, SF still had fewer than 100 homicides in 2008, even though their population is significantly higher than Oakland’s, but you might have to revise your theory that Oakland’s homicide total is “plastered in headlines” while SF’s is “ignored.”

  14. Navigator

    Brooklyn Avenue,

    I’m sorry that you feel that way about Oakland. There’s nothing wrong with long comments. You expressed yourself in a passionate manner regarding your feelings about the city of Oakland.

  15. Navigator

    Brooklyn Avenue,

    I wont bother responding to that article. If your interested in my opinion, go to page 2 of the comments section.

  16. Patrick

    Have to second Brooklyn’s comments, Nav. While I commend you on your ability to thoroughly argue that a San Francisco media bias harms Oakland’s image, it is likely not the only – or most important – problem that faces our city. Beyond that, your point has been THOROUGHLY argued!

  17. len raphael

    yeah, to carry bklyn’s point furthter, the main problem w local print media reporting anything is that their ship is sinking. they’re trying different combo’s of emphasis but i doubt if any of its succeeding. be surprised if even the chronicle survives as a paper product in 5 years. maybe blogs with for fee subscription sections.

  18. Navigator


    I agree that we have problems as a city which we need to address. However, I do think that media bias against the city of Oakland from the media based across the Bay in a competing city, is just as big a problem. Patrick, at the end of the day when we lower our homicide rate to let’s say, where Jerry Brown had it at 66, and we clean up Broadway to look like Main Street at Disneyland, the public will still get their perception of the city of Oakland from what they hear in the San Francisco based media.

    Patrick, you’re probably not aware to what extent San Francisco goes to in order to artificially lower their homicide count. I won’t bother you with the details. Oakland Happenings is a good poster to consult with on this.. The point is, that they decide what makes news. As long as we stand quietly and don’t challenge this slanted crime reporting system that they have in place, we will continue to have the negativity focused on us regardless of the crime rate, regardless of how much cleaner our downtown is, regardless of how many new trees we plant, etc. The bottom line is that we have to challenge them when we see an unfairness.

  19. Patrick

    Uh, I don’t know whether to laugh or scream.

    Nav., and I say this with all kindness and good intentions: we are all fully aware of your feelings regarding SF media vs. Oakland, because you write about it over and over and over and over again. We’ve covered that! And, if there is some spectacular *new* information you’d like to share, great! Otherwise, it’s like being in that episode of Star Trek where they were caught in a time loop.

    Image is not everything. Personally, I’m much more interested in improving our reality. Like our City’s government, we need to move forward, which will require a fresh outlook. Whining and pointing fingers isn’t going to solve anything.

  20. Navigator

    This is amazing. So this is about my feelings? This isn’t a legitimate issue? I’m amazed at the level of hostility towards me for bringing this up. Many of you dismiss this out of hand. “Whining and pointing fingers?” Are you talking about me, or the slanted SF media?

    I’m not a transplant to Oakland who comes to this city with a San Francisco centric point of view. I don’t view Oakland as “Brooklyn,” or as some extension of a crappy part of San Francisco. I view Oakland as a separate and proud city with its own institutions, its own sports franchises, its own history, architecture, culture, etc. I don’t think Oakland deserves unfair and biased media coverage for the purpose of entertaining Bay Area residents in order for San Francisco to spare its tourist image.

    But you’re right, I’ve said enough. I’m tired of defending Oakland to Oaklanders. I have enough trouble with the Oakland bashers, the racists, and the SF elitists, on the SFGate board. I don’t need this from fellow Oaklanders. Maybe Oakland IS a crappy place. Maybe we should all leave. Maybe Oakland is the exact place portrayed by Chip Johnson and Susan Gluss. Maybe Oakland deserves the headlines, the homicide scorecard, the feature articles like OAKLAND: A Plague of Killing, Oakland’s Baby Iraq, Oakland War Zone, etc, while San Francisco’s thirteen year high murder rate gets swept under the rug for most of the year.

  21. oaklandhappenings

    Nav, while I greatly appreciate your compliments towards me, I would rather–out of respect to V and her blog’s title–not repeat my SFgate comments on here. If you feel that people should read them (which is fine with me), they can do so there by clicking on my screenname link there to read my posts alone. I will leave it at that, as many here probably are already aware of that, or just don’t care.
    Also, despite your good words, I also request to you that my (screen)name is only used in posts when directed towards me; referring to your/their responses towards me. Thank you for your kind cooperation. :-)
    Anyway, aside from all of the “entertainment” I have read here over the last 40 or so minutes, I am mainly posting here also, just to correct one thing I said in the opening comment of this thread: I said 17th St, when I should have said 19th St (leads right to the Fox)…my bad. 33 more days until the grand opening! Haha!

  22. oaklandhappenings

    Also, I have a question, on a very different topic: when the heck is the State of the City address, and how many people here are going? Just curious, as (if in the Marriott/Convention Ctr again) I will try to get there early for a seat in the ballroom itself (as opposed to standing and watching it on a video screen). Hope to see some of you there, and hopefully Dellums has a little more intelligence to present that time around…such as, how the hell we keep our police force from shrinking again.
    What else would people here like to hear him address/talk about? Any ideas, same or different than last year’s, for those who remember/have the youtube® or transcript available?

  23. ConcernedOakFF

    Cheerleading leads to blind approval and tacit cover-ups of the real issues.

    Bias or no bias this city is more dangerous for more of it’s residents than any surrounding city (except maybe Richmond)

    Bias or no bias this city provides LESS services for MORE money than any surrounding city. (again, except maybe Richmond)

    Bias or no bias we DESERVE a large slice of the rep that this city has, because at least some of it IS earned.

    We have more room to grow as a city precisely BECAUSE we are so messed up.

    There are no perfect places, but…we are ….how can I say it….MUCH farther from perfection than other cities.

  24. oaklandhappenings

    Thank you much, Nav., regarding the latter. BTW– I agree with the other poster, that your own blog could be a very good idea. You could teach people alot about Oakland, as your opinions and feelings are very strong. Good luck getting all of that “documenting” done!

  25. Navigator


    You’re one of the biggest Oakland supporters on SF Gate. You make some very good arguments regarding the unfairness of the San Francisco media. You’ve recently stated in one of your posts that San Francisco “has once again cheated on their homicide numbers.” You’ve defended Oakland from savage attacks from various posters who dislike Oakland because of the city’s demographics, or because of regional rivalries. You’ve asked for my support in assisting you in repelling some hate filled attacks against the city of Oakland. Now, that we’re discussing the same “fairness in the media” issue, you throw me under the bus. What’s that all about?

    Oaklandhappenings, you know that what I wrote is true, and yet you say nothing to back me up. This site is tittled “A Better Oakland” and that includes improving this city’s tattered image in every way possible, including making sure that Oakland gets a fair shake from the San Francisco dominant media.

  26. oaklandhappenings

    Nav, I back you up whole-heartedly. However, I believe that it is more appropriate to keep those discussions towards SFGate and other anti-Oakland sites, where the bashers are. Once again, it is in respect to V and her work on the blog, that I feel a continuous discussion along the lines of them vs. us (or some variation of that) would not fit well for this blog; that’s my opinion and instinct. I would also rather make comments towards many other things going on in Oakland, or great things (potentially) to come.
    I hope that clarifies things. I noticed that the posts in response to your comments yesterday were somewat harsh. Although it is an open forum, I didn’t feel that it was appropriate for me to get in the middle of you and other(s). If I feel at times that I have something to defend Oakland about, provided that it is in a manner that sticks to the ABO theme, then perhaps I will post it. It’s all a judgement call on my part, so please do not take it personally.
    With that, I would like to move forward. Thanks for understanding.

  27. Patrick

    RE: Chang’s retirement, and to quote a favorite of mine, Dorothy Parker: “How can they tell?”

  28. Navigator


    There are plenty of people on this board who go to SF Gate to denigrate Oakland, and, agree entirely with Chip Johnson and Susan Gluss. There are people on this board who agree that Oakland’s stereotypical reputation as a crime plagued, blight ridden city, is well deserved. There are people on this board who view the machinations of the San Francisco media, as they highlight Oakland’s imperfections to the World at the same time they cheat on their homicide numbers and otherwise downplay their crime and homicide issues, as perfectly fair.

    There are posters on this blog who view any criticism of Oakland’s denigration by the SF media, as implicit approval for Oakland City Hall. They eagerly cheer the denigration of our city at the hands of a publication, and other mass media from a competing neighboring city. They claim that they don’t care about Oakland’s image yet they clamor for cleaner streets downtown, increased retail, and more vibrant streets. They’re under the impression that a cleaner 14th & Broadway and lower crime alone will offset the decimation of negative publicity regarding Oakland to National publication like the New York Times. They claim that image isn’t important but they don’t pay attention to what lengths our neighbors across the Bay go through to protect their’s. They admit that they lack the knowledge or interest regarding this issue, but, they’re adamant in criticizing anyone who brings it up as “ranting and being repetitive.” They demonstrate their eagerness to refute my points, along with their lack of paying attention to this issue, by posting apologetic, year end, make up articles claiming that “San Francisco isn’t the only city where homicides have increased,” and ” the homicides have occurred in five neighborhoods,” and ” overall, non-fatal shootings are down” and “Oakland has half the population,” and Richmond has crime too, yada yada yada. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/01/MNEN1515TC.DTL&feed=rss.bayarea

    This is the site that’s supposed to be pro Oakland. Instead, they criticize does of us who are informed and defend Oakland from unfair attacks in the pro San Francisco anti-Oakland media. Go figure.

  29. oaklandhappenings

    gotcha Nav– points well taken. I don’t like the negativity any more than you do, but there are also times when I don’t know exactly how to phrase something (perhaps) in a manner that both fits the blog terms and conditions, yet overall atmosphere.
    I don’t know what else to say at this point, regarding that. Try as we might, it is hard to persuade a basher to look at Oakland as a glass half-full (optimistically) instead of half-empty (pessimistically); I would perhaps, have an easier time convincing someone to convert from religion “a” to religion “b” (which I wouldn’t do anyway).
    If you and I are busy stating the facts about Oakland (for the better) hopefully that is all it takes at times to at least change some views. If it is not written in the media, however, others will ignore. We can only control so much, can’t we?
    In the meantime, switching topics, I hope to get out to the tail end of the Jack London Farmer’s market today after I have some lunch, to see the happy faces on a sunny day…that includes the children too.
    Have a good Sunday, and let’s hope for a good week for Oakland.

  30. Navigator


    Thanks for at least acknowledging this.

    I’m also thinking of heading to the Jack London’s Farmers Market. Last time I was there there were families with kids enjoying the music and sunshine. The little grassy knoll by Miss Pearl’s is a great place for the kids to play chase and for adults to lay back and listen to some soothing tunes.

    Also, I noticed that they’ve finally linked the new 1100 car parking garage next to the train station to the Market Hall building with the pedestrian walkway over the train tracks. Let’s be optimistic about the long-term future of the revamped Jack London Square as a regional draw and possible tourist destination. The only thing that will hinder the prospects at Jack London Square is the current economic conditions and the perpetuation of a “scary” Oakland to the outside world.

  31. oaklandhappenings

    On my way to the Farmer’s Market now! I gut caught up in some emails, but heading over, and looking forward to the progress on the construction. I hope that the Square and district gains better, and more reliable transportation to the Square from the downtown/uptown district BART stations. Do they still run the free shuttles during the weekday lunch hours? If not, they sure as hell better– even during the day on weekends.

  32. Navigator

    Speaking of BART, I just viewed the KTVU footage of the BART shooting at the Fruitvale station. The guy is on the ground with a number of officers restraining him. One cop gets up, unholsters his gun, points it at the guys back from about three feet away, and fires a single shot. Unbelievable.

    Also, a young woman who also took some footage shown by KPIX , says that a female BART officer approached her as she was getting on the BART train demanding her camera. The doors closed and the officer was left empty handed banging on the BART car window. That’s classic movie script material.

    On another note, the SF Gate’s most commented response regarding this story is by some guy blaming all of this on Oakland, comparing Oakland to Detroit, and lamenting the fact that this horrible city is “connected to the best city in the Country” by a bridge.

  33. Navigator

    Also, for those of you who think that the San Francisco’ s slanted reporting doesn’t affect people’s perceptions of Oakland vs San Francisco, read what this poster to SFGate had to say,

    “Every day I open SF Gate, I’m reminded that Oakland is like Detroit attached by a bridge to the best city in America, and wonder why anyone would want to live there that didnt have to.”

  34. oaklandhappenings

    Hey Nav, that really, sucks, regarding BART police.
    As for the SFGate poster, I will go over there and give him a peace or three of my mind. Haha! In the meantime, this will ruffle your feathers even more:
    If you like, follow up my comments with your own “creativity”…SFGate never seems to give a sh*t when you do, do they? ;-)

    Oh, how could I forget: 31 more days until the Fox opens! Gotta keep the countdown alive, ya know.

  35. Brian T

    I too, can’t wait for the Fox to open, especially the opening gala. I might go ahead and splurge for the $250 ticket.

    On a different note, hopefully someone in the know can answer this for me. I noticed some activity lately at a former derelict strip mall at Grand and Market, the “West Grand Shopping Center”. It’s across from the ARCO station in West Oak. The graffiti’s been painted over and the building’s being renovated. Are there going to be stores there or something else? I’m praying for a grocery.

  36. oaklandhappenings

    Brian, B.B. King is one of the big-time acts there this spring! I might actually see if I can get a ticket for that if not outrageously expensive. At least the theater’s “rebirth” is helping me feel as if I am getting more of a rent-bargain here for my apt less than half of a mile away!

  37. Navigator

    I’m not sure that Another Planet Entertainment has the pull to bring big headliners to the FOX Oakland on a regular basis. I don’t want the FOX to struggle because of an inadequate promoter.

    Also, some observations after taking a one hour walk around downtown Oakland. Uptown and the FOX Theater look great, but, what are they going to do with the semi under renovation properties on the 1700 block of Telegraph. These properties have graffiti plastered plywood at street level. I hope construction hasn’t completely stopped or this is going to be a huge blight on Uptown.

    Another thing, downtown Oakland as a whole needs much more density in order to bring about the vibrancy we all want. The contrasts between Chinatown, which is always bustling with an amazing amount of foot traffic, and across Broadway in Old Oakland where the area looks like a ghost town after lunch when the office workers go back to work, is amazing The City of Oakland needs to find out what Chinatown is doing correctly and export that to other parts of downtown. This maybe exaggerating a bit, but the intersections of 9th & Franklin and 9th & Webster, remind me of the foot traffic that I saw in certain parts of Manhattan. Whatever they’re doing in Chinatown, it’s working.

    City Center, is a very pleasant and clean area filled with eateries and various other businesses. It looked almost completely leased. This is a very pleasant Oakland experience during the lunch hour. Also, Frank Ogawa Plaza makes a nice contribution with the surrounding historic buildings like City Hall and the Rotunda, along with other restored historic buildings. Again, a very pleasant town square and a great extension to the modern and clean atmosphere of City Center.

    Having said that, Downtown Oakland needs much more density and street life before and after lunch hour. We should have been building skyscrapers, instead, because of community opposition, we ended up with a bunch of squat six story buildings which lack the density needed to bring the vitality we need to downtown Oakland. Jack London Square is another example of how community pressure killed any kind of density needed to bring about any sort of street level activity.

    I don’t know if downtown will ever reach it’s full potential because of bad planning decisions.

  38. Max Allstadt

    Warning: Urbanist Rant Below…

    What is Chinatown doing?

    Easy: The Chinese community is living, working, shopping, and playing all in a very tight area.

    They also have less uptight community aesthetic about what many fully assimilated Americans would consider blight. For instance, the Whole Foods fish counter is as odorless as Tinkerbell’s farts. Meanwhile, a Chinatown fishmonger’s shop reeks of fish from two doors down – because that’s what a fucking fishmonger’s shop is supposed smell like! Like fish! Inhale, baby! Sea creatures in. Sea creatures out.

    Similarly, Chinatown doesn’t seem to have NIMBYs who feel like it’s their right as citizens to vet every storefront design or every prospective tenant.

    The Chinese are often stereotyped as paternalistic and dictatorial – yet Chinatown seems to be have more acceptance of good healthy urban anarchy than much of the rest of the city. I could say the same about parts of Fruitvale. You can smell the vegetables in the markets down there, and there are plenty of markets. Walkable markets with produce. Walkable butcher shops.

    Why? The Latinos and Chinese of Oakland emigrated from places where car culture had not yet decimated the urban fabric. Either their homelands were still economically developing, or their cities were old enough to have been laid out and built tight before the coming of the car.

    Many Oaklanders who’s families have spent more than a few generations in the US may have a different story. Levittown is graduating it’s third generation of young adults who love cars and hate having neighbors on top of them, below them, or even particularly close to the left or the right of them. Pardee and Pulte have taken up Levitt & Sons’ sword and disemboweled California’s cities before they even had a chance to mature.

    Millions of Americans have been conditioned to fear noise, crowds, and knowing their neighbors. If we want to learn how to get over the trauma of suburbia, the best place to look is to those newest Americans who’ve been fortunate enough to come here from real cities. Cities with real din. Real stink. And all the real vitality that goes with it.

    We need to wake up and smell the fish. And enjoy it.

  39. Navigator


    I have to agree with you regarding the similarities between Fruitvale and Chinatown. And you are right when you describe the color, the density, and the aromas. That’s part of the charm of these successful and vibrant urban areas.

    I remember some years back there was some hesitation in allowing Asian businesses to migrate across Broadway and into Old Oakland. Why the hesitancy. Instead of all those non profits occupying and stifling any growth of street level commerce in that gorgeous area, let them come. The only time when 9th street in Old Oakland is truly vibrant other than lunch hour, is when the Farmer’s Market brings many Chinatown residents across Broadway.

  40. Deckin

    Maybe someone here can answer me this question. As I watch my TV right now there are people in the streets of downtown Oakland protesting over the young man shot at the Hayward BART station on New Year’s Eve. The man was shot and killed in Hayward, he lived in Hayward, and yet there are people in the streets of OAKLAND!? And now Dellums is out making statements of apology? Why is he making this into an Oakland issue? He worries about the bad press coming from an HBO show, and here he is talking to the world and basically bringing the whole issue and mess into Oakland. What kind of idiot is he? My God if the man had half a brain he’d take it out and play with it. Why was the protest started at the Fruitvale station? Are they headed to BART headquarters? But if it’s disrupting BART headquarters they’re after, why go out at night? It seems to me the protest is happening in Oakland because Oakland provides the protesters, all under the watchful guidance of John Burris and the Allen Temple Baptist Church.

  41. Patrick

    I have a few bones to pick with your assessment of American culture, Max.

    Yes, the Chinese community in Oakland is living, working, etc. in a tight area, but they are accustomed to that because that is likely similar to where they came from. But as is true of people from any culture who come here, with money comes the desire for a different type of lifestyle – like you would find in heavily Chinese and decidedly suburban Cupertino. A friend of mine and I had a similar discussion years ago, and he made a statement that I often think of: “If the people in other countries had the land, resources and wealth that our country did after World War II, they would have done exactly what we did”. The suburbs of Paris, Buenos Aires, Sydney and Johannisberg look very similar to ours – and that isn’t due to aspirations towards an “American” lifestyle, but to what appeared to be a better lifestyle at the time, to them. Like most cultures, we emulated the rich – and the rich have always had detached “homes” on large “lots” that provided distance from their neighbors.

    A fishmonger’s shop is not “supposed” to smell like “fish”. Fish does not smell “fishy” except when it is old. There is rapid turnover in Chinese fishmarkets (and I would also submit that the Chinese would never accept a rotting product) and the smell of the store has nothing to do with our respective cultures desire for acceptable quality fish, but rather the difference with our requirement for cleanliness of the store itself – and our willingness to pay for that cleanliness. If given a choice – with the same quality and price of product – people of any culture would choose the cleaner store. For Americans, our aversion, I think, is due to advertising, mostly. For several years, I dated a guy who worked for Procter and Gamble as a brand manager for Tide. In just three short generations, companies like Procter and Gamble (and for a little local flavor, Clorox) managed to convince us that we had to wash ourselves every day, wash our clothes after one wearing and fight the nasty scourge of soap scum with deadly chemicals. All of these things would have been viewed as, at least, obsessive by generations past. And also, probably, by newer Chinese immigrants.

    I do heartily agree with your assessment of what car culture has done to our society. However, I would say that television – and possibly the internet – has had a far more negative impact on our society’s interaction as a whole. When our “entertainment” is conveniently packaged and sent to us via Comcast, who needs to interact with other people? And by the time some figure out what they’ve lost, it is too late.

    Finally, I do not believe that we have been “conditioned” to fearing noise, crowds and our neighbors. Television (think Green Acres and Sex in the City) and movies have freqeuntly portrayed city life as glamorous and exciting, though more expensive. But what we really fear is crime – and crime, historically, has been the province of inner city, tightly packed neighborhoods. However, Oakland has managed to make crime worse in the less-dense areas of our city due to inadequate policing…suddenly, living “on top” of each other is an advantage. And that, along with a deteriorating economy, resource scarcity and the very real realization that cars and shopping do not a wonderful life make, will be the driving force for urbanization.

    Chinatown and Fruitvale are recreations of the lifestyle that recent immigrants had in their home countries; “American” re-urbanization will be a result of declining resources – but will certainly be colored by preconceived notions of blight, cleanliness and safety.

  42. Brooklyn Avenue

    Navigator and Max –

    Finally something we all agree on.

    What Chinatown and Fruitvale are “doing right” is simple: attracting recent immigrants who either can’t afford cars yet or else haven’t been here long enough to metabolize the car culture that is so prevalent in most of the United States. Unfortunately, that situation is sort of impossible to recreate in most neighborhoods, unless our oil sources (or our economy in general) collapse enough to make owning a car too expensive for most people. It’s very hard to change people’s mentality once they have settled into a car-centric way of life — things like housing density and good mass transit and wide sidewalks help, but I doubt we’ll see any major change in most people’s behavior until gasoline is over $5 a gallon, or preferably $10.

  43. Born in Oakland


    the young man was from Hayward but worked in Oakland and was shot at the Fruitvale BART station. It was an Oakland “event.”

  44. Ralph

    More specifically BART has hdqtrs in Oakland specifically at LM hence the Oakland protest. A protest in Hayward — crickets

  45. Brian T

    There isn’t anything “wrong” with the lack of heavy foot traffic in Old Oakland. It has a different flavor than Chinatown or Fruitvale, which is fine with me. Summer movie nights or Thursday Night Live wouldn’t be a good fit in Chinatown.

    I was just watching KRON news coverage of the protests. Nice to see nightlife downtown :-)

  46. Deckin

    I stand corrected. I thought the whole thing happened in Hayward. I’m still no fan of rioting, but it’s at least somewhat more sensical than I originally thought. Would that this many people turned out for the 120 odd other killings that happen on an annual basis.

  47. Max Allstadt

    Don’t get me started about that protest. Actually, too late…

    If you look at those tapes it’s clear as day that it was an accident. Those cops body language after the shot is clearly showing horror and despair.

    As a rational liberal gun owner, what I want to know is if BART police carry the Glock 22. These guns are ubiquitous and unsafe. They have no external safety lever, and are carried with a round in the chamber. The trigger pull is also rather light. This is what Plaxico Buress shot himself with. It’s what a DARE officer shot himself with in front of a class (search youtube), and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the culprit in the Cole Middle School accidental discharge incident last year. If it was a Glock, part of BART’s settlement should be to re-equip their force. Glocks aren’t safe. The mechanism they use shouldn’t be allowed.

    But enough about technical matters. The real problem here is that people are lining up on sides when there really aren’t sides to line up on.

    The ultra-left, particularly the young ultra-left, has a tendency to dehumanize law enforcement. These protesters are presuming malice where the intent of the officer is unclear at best. This guy is a 27 year-old new father who just killed a 22 year-old father. Grant even identified himself as a father before being killed. The officer’s child was born within two days of the incident.

    Lets assume for a moment that the officer is not diabolically evil. I’m willing to do that. Let’s put ourselves in his place. He is likely a total wreck right now, and will be as emotionally scarred as Grant’s family will be. The only difference is in the color of horror each family is seeing. Grant’s family probably feels robbed, powerless, and victimized both by fate and by the system. The officer could be feeling shame, incompetence, and powerless to correct his own mistake. The horror of “what could I have done different” will likely haunt him to his grave.

    In 2007 I lost an aunt to gun violence. Not a mother, not a brother, not a son, an aunt, who I wish I’d known better. I’m still not over it. And to have lost someone closer to me is still an unfathomable horror. I cannot begin to conceive of my cousins and uncle’s grief. Nor could I conceive of the grief of the family of the man who shot my aunt.

    The best I can imagine of what that officer is going through involves puking and weeping uncontrollably. How would you feel in his situation? In Grant’s families situation? Not nearly enough people in the press or on the online comments are asking themselves both of these questions before they spout off.

    It saddens me to see two store fronts shattered in anger over an incident that appears to not have even begun in anger. What I see on that tape is not abuse of power, not vindictiveness. This was a stupid, meaningless death with absolutely no reason. In some ways it’s more horrible than it would have been, had it been simpler, more comprehensible.

    I just don’t see a side to take here. I wish the protesters could pause and see that what has happened is the purest dirty trick of fate for both Grant and the man who shot him.

  48. Butch

    In fact, Oscar Grant, worked at my local grocery store, Farmer Joe’s, behind the meat counter. Joe has a long history of hiring local kids. I’ve known Joe for a number of years and his sense of quality personalities is a gift. If Joe hired him, it would be enough of an endorsement for Poor Oscar. I mourn Oscar and his family.

  49. Zak

    I don’t want to detract from the tragedy that occurred in the shooting of Oscar Grant, but I take issue with the protests. 500 people have turned out to protest what could (or could not) be an accidental shooting, strictly because the shooter was a member of law enforcement. If that shot was fired by an early 20′s Oakland man, and there had been 25 eyewitnesses, no one would have even spoken up about it. It may have ended up in the Trib on the 8th page.
    There needs to be outrage like this for every shooting in Oakland, not just this one.

  50. ConcernedOakFF

    As if ANY of these protesters even KNEW the guy. They are just opportunists that wanted to break stuff. SICK.

    Yeah guys..thanks for setting Oakland back about 10 years. I am sure that the gentleman that was killed would really have wanted innocent business owners to have their property destroyed.

  51. Navigator

    Oakland has the worst luck in the World. Here’s a guy from Hayward, coming from San Francisco, shot by a cop from Napa, in a regional transit station. This was regional violence spilling over into Oakland

    Now, Oakland gets the riot, and all of the stigma attached to that. The idiots setting fires and breaking windows are beyond contempt. I’ll bet you many of these people don’t even live in Oakland and probably didn’t even know Oscar. These are opportunist troublemakers who enjoy recreational violence and recreational vandalism. This is totally pathetic.

    As far as what happened on that platform, there was absolutely no justification in what that officer did. There was no reason to pull a weapon at that point. The guy was pulled from the wall, he had his hands up, implying he didn’t want any trouble, they had three cops on him, one with a knee on his neck, and none of the other cops reacted like they were being threatened. The cop stood up, reached in his holster, aimed the weapon at the man’s back, and from about three feet away pulled the trigger. Taser or no taser, there was no reason at that point for that cop to do what he did.

    Now, an innocent man has lost his life, and the City of Oakland will pay a heavy price for years to come for the actions of that knucklehead cop. Two hours into the New Year and Oakland’s image is once again mud to the rest of the World. This city is doomed.

  52. Max Allstadt

    I just saw an angry young man throw bricks into the Fox’s windows. Somebody messed up the uptown too. Storefronts from 14th to 18th are smashed. Dumpster fires. Car fires. At least 50 car windows, some doors torn off.

    BART police mismanagement is not a good reason to do this.

    I understand we have some messed up departments, but this is nuts.

    More later. I should have got that helmet cam.

  53. Ralph

    The problem with young people – they are stupid. Yes, a man died on a BART platform, but these idiots acting a fool steps from my home need to be arrested and locked up for a long time. What is even more annoying these nimrods have a very difficult time distinguishing between OPD and Bart Police. Lock their butts up for a good long time.

    “We came in here in peace. We shut down Fruitvale and now we are shutting down downtown Oakland.” Yeah that sounds peaceful.

  54. Navigator

    Idiots, Good job Dellums. Our Mayor was trying to play pied piper with these hoodlums. Dellums got them to City Hall and tried to reason with these animals. He brought them over to the center of town so that they can tear down everything that’s taken Oakland years to build.

    That was a brilliant move. He should have taken these rampaging idiots down Broadway all the way into the Oakland Estuary.

  55. Mike Spencer

    Massive frustration all the way around. Tonight’s “episode” will set Oakland way, way, way back. It is the cullmination of so many things. Oakland police have lost credibility as scandal after scandal has racked the department. (I can’t even name the messes but let’s try: Tucker becomes chief, officer groping Asian woman fired and sued, Union fights bringing back retired investigators, residents killed by stray bullets, officers lying about search warrants, Chauncey Bailey investigation fiasco, Chief Tucker sued for granting union chief Valadon favors, police Capt. sued for harassment of subordinate,) And this was a BART shooting yet the public will connect it to Oakland forever because it happened here.

    Where are parents or elders to reign in their kids? Nowhere. Guidance, right from wrong, anyone, anyone? NO wonder business does not want to go near DTO. Look what happened tonight. Let’s see….I can start a business in Pleasanton, Alameda or Oakland….Duh, where SHOULD I NOT GO?

    Shameful behavior. Stop making excuses for our fellow residents. Straight up criminals looking for ANY excuse. What happened to nonviolent protest? Oh, guess I just don’t understand youth criminal culture.

  56. Navigator

    They absolutely are criminals. This is an excuse for their destructive recreational behavior. This is just an extension to a much greater degree that we see in the graffiti and vandalism all over downtown Oakland on a regular basis. They are selfish, no respect hoodlums, who will destroy everything in their path just for fun. These losers need to be locked up now for the crimes they’ll commit in the future. Lock them up and throw away the key. The world will be a much better place without these thugs.

  57. Mike Spencer

    Oakland has tolerated this type of behavior for so long. Festival, er, riot at the Lake anyone? That little party at Mosswood that ended badly? This is what happens when we tolerate such behavior for years and years.

  58. Ralph

    what navigator said and as added protection we really should remove their reproductive organs.

    they really should not have let this band of vandals wander throughout Oakland. i don’t know what transpired on the bart platform, but the actions of these vandals tonight makes me think there are times when police use of force is justified

  59. Mike Spencer

    The Oakland “power structure” is bankrupt in making any stance against this very sort of thing. People, perhaps rightfully so, have no respect for the institutions and this is what occurs. Can the City sue BART for damages. My heart goes out to any business affected by this.

  60. Navigator

    Mike, I don’t know if it’s that we “tolerate this”, or it’s that we just can’t control it. Looking at that footage downtown, I did see a lot of “Berkeley types” out there. There seemed to be quite a few professional demonstrators in the group. The trashing of the Oakland Police car seemed to be a multi cultural event. As far as the rest of the serious vandalism, I couldn’t tell you.

  61. Navigator

    These businesses are having a hard time making it in this terrible economic climate and now these hoodlums decide that they want to complicate things further for these people trying to make a contribution to Oakland’s economy. This may be the stone that breaks the camel’s back. Self destructive bastards.

    Who’s going to pick up the pieces tomorrow? These sorry hoodlums will be home sleeping until early afternoon. They’ll sleep like babies, while Oakland’s reputation will be tarnished Internationally. The progress made in the last five years goes right in the toilet. Brilliant move kiddies!

  62. Max Allstadt

    Fruitvale Res:

    Broadway looks a lot better. There’s scattered damage from Jackson and 8th all the way to Telegraph and 20th. But nowhere near every block got hit.

    I actually saw the jerks who threw stuff at the Fox and told them to stop. All but one did when I shouted “that’s a MUSIC SCHOOL”.

    This is going to be expensive. And we’re going to be the new Detroit in late night talk show jokes.

    Oh, and everybody go to Flora and the Uptown and all the other businesses that got hit and get a bite or a drink. The folks at Flora gave me a free Martini about half an hour ago after they got boarded up and calmed down. That free Martini is going to get them at least two or three visits out of me this year.

  63. Fruitvale Res

    Max –

    Thanks for the update. I’ll be at Flora tomorrow. What a depressing way to christen the Fox.

  64. DoubleA

    I think it is important to take note that from all accounts, most of the protesters were peaceful, and only a small group of people were violent. I’ve heard that there were between 400 and 1000 people during the height of the protest, but how many of them were actually engaged in violence?

    The peaceful protesters have every right to be out there and express their anger. A 22 year old man was shot in his back while lying down! There has been a long history of suspicious deaths at a cops hand, but rarely are cops charged with any wrongdoing. Some of those probably were justified use of force, but the anger has been simmering for years, Now with this event caught on tape, showing the man being shot while laying down with his hands behind his back and a cop holding him down near his neck, people are rightfully angry.

    Unfortunately, some people are resorting to violence which has no positive effect. I actually applaud Ron Dellums for going out there tonight and talking with the protesters to try and calm them. As much as we complain about him never being visible and constantly dragging his feet, at least he was out tonight.

    Now that the officer has resigned from BART, he will never have to tell his side of the story. I feel that he should face criminal charges, whether it was an accident or not. The family and the public deserve to know why a situation that should have ended peacefully, and by all accounts did not warrant the use of a taser, much less a gun, ended so tragically.

  65. John

    We’ve been through all of this before. We know how to solve problems without resorting to violence, yet the village has become a mob. Yes, a terrible thing has happened: a young man is dead, another’s life is ruined forever. But will violence in the streets make everything like it was before? No, it will not. Now is the time for the best of each person to come out. Now is the time to remember ourselves, our purpose in life, our higher goals, and to recall what we say we want to be in our lives, to be that good person we all want to be.

    Now is the time to call upon and evoke that great and forgiving soul that we know is in each of us. Yes, a terrible thing has happened. Forgiveness, compassion, love, patience, and peace upon all of us. Let us remember we are all brothers and sisters.

  66. Butch

    Phew……. Lousy night for Oakland. Yes, the damage seems to be done by feral thugs. Yes, a community demonstration seemed necessary. From the Media, What seems to be true: BART Officer Mehserle shot and killed Oscar Grant. Officer Mehserle was wisked away and protected by BART and Oakland Law Enforcement. Officer Mehserle resigned from BART so that he didn’t have to answer for the shooting. Oakland and Alameda County Law Enforcement have not yet made Officer Mehserle accountable for the incident. BART is a soverign entity with no accountability. Where is Officer Mehserle? Who is our “Jack McCoy” here in Oakland? Who is watching out for Citizens in Oakland? I live in the Fruitvale/Laural area. I’m a middle aged White Dude. Destruction like last night is Out Of Line. But even BART officers can’t go around shooting folk and not answer a few questions……. The White Dude would like to know where Officer Mehserle is and who is asking the hard questions. Is there a conspiracy between BART, OPD, Oakland City Government? If I were a Black Dude, I’d be a bit miffed (white guy expression)

  67. Navigator

    Why do these knuckleheads feel the need to trash downtown Oakland? We have people from Berkeley with bullhorns instigating this BS. We have people coming from San Francisco, Hayward and other Bay Area cities to trash Oakland. I’m sure a good percentage of these idiots are Oakland residents, but by no means all of them.

    Oakland is a victim in this. Oakland didn’t ask for this trouble. It’s not Oakland’s fault that a fight started aboard a BART train coming from San Francisco. It’s not Oakland’s fault that a young man from Hayward was shot by a BART cop from Napa in a regional transit station. Now, Oakland gets to clean up the pieces, and once again Oakland’s image will be soiled Nationally. All it would have taken to ruin Oakland’s image is that dumpster burning and that police car rocking. Oakland doesn’t have the luxury or ability to cover this type of stuff up. Oakland isn’t San Francisco where a forty niner’s Super Bowl riot gets covered-up. Oakland doesn’t have the luxury of having 35 people arrested on New Year’s Day on its streets, like San Francisco did, without any pictures to show for it.

    The knuckleheads need to realize that ANYTHING done in Oakland will get National exposure. They could have stopped at the burning dumpster and the smashing of that cop car. That would have been plenty of ammo to soil Oakland’s image for the next five years. This town is hopeless and has no future.

    I apologize to HBO. Come and shoot your pimp and ho series if you still want to. Although, Oakland may ruin YOUR image.

  68. Andy

    What a bunch of dopes. This killing was wrong, but the riot is just as wrong, if not worse. Protest is fine/necessary. Destroying property and businesses that have nothing to do with the original incident is totally counter productive. Who can be in favor of this? What support can this garner?

    Was it not possible to isolate the trouble makers, arrest them and allow the peaceful protest to continue?

  69. Butch

    How about Strong City Government and neighborhood leadership? Hold management responsible….. we have a Mayor with intellectual resources and a police force , and a City Council that has the ear of the Mayor. Who the heck is in charge here? Is there an Adult nearby? The feral ones, are, just feral. Borderline Sociopaths. Destruction is Fun. What’s gonna happen today? Any adults in the room?

  70. Joanna/ShopGirl

    I’ll be going to Flora tonight to show my support… it sucks that any business has to get damaged. What message exactly are they sending and who are they sending it to? I heard a woman interviewed on KTVU last night who tried to excuse the mayhem by saying that “they” (who are “they”?) wanted to stick it to “them” (who exactly is “them”?) over the shooting. I don’t see “them” as the city of Oakland. This happened on BART with a BART police officer, nothing to do with Oakland. (I know, preaching to the choir here.)

    I must admit I’m not happy with the BART police officer that shot Oscar Grant. I don’t care about Grant’s history. I think that the mistake of one officer can not be blamed on the whole city of Oakland. And for people to take their frustration of BART administrators out on innocent and already suffering business owners, MANY OF WHICH ARE AFRICAN AMERICAN OWNED, is he stupidist thing I’ve seen. And what are “they” expecting? A public beheading of the officer? While I agree that it does appear that justice is slow in being served, that’s how the process is.

    As a business owner here in Oakland already frustrated with the City, I feel for those businesses and individuals that were innocent victims last night. Cars burned, windows broken. Pathetic and embarassing.

    My own business was vandalized a few weeks ago (broken window) by a homeless couple that are determined to live in the empty storefront next door to my store. I got grief from local residents when I complained on our NCPC message board about the situation. Okay, I’ll stop complaining, but don’t expect me to stick around. Trust me, if I could get out of my lease, I would. I’ve had enough of local residents who expect Wal-Mart prices and Nieman Marcus service with the neighborhood convenience. I’ve had enough of paying myself nothing or minimum wage the few times I have paid myself just so that I can stay in business.

    This city is just too frustrating, but so to are many of the people that live here. How many of those people rioting/protesting last night were from Hayward? I’d bet that the majority were from right here in Oakland.

    Vent over.


  71. Max Allstadt

    Having been there Andy, I think that a pro-active arrest blitz would have made it worse. Everyone I saw arrested was complaining of brutality, loudly, even though there wasn’t much excessive force that I saw. One guy kept screaming “i cant breathe!” over and over again when the cops pinned him. If he couldn’t breathe, he shouldn’t have been able to scream that loud.

    From what I’m hearing, Dellums fucked it all up by trying to play Moses and failing horribly. If he wasn’t out of touch, he would have been able to recognize the fashion sense of all the wannabe anarchists in the crowd and known immediately that at least a hundred people just wanted to go break shit, and wouldn’t have been satisfied with anything less.

  72. bartholomew

    Domestic terrorism. It’s that pure and simple.

    Last night was the first night in a long time that I’ve seriously considered leaving Oakland. Owing primarily to the fact that the senseless rampage of the evening stood as a metaphor for much of what’s wrong with this city.

    Those who’s lot seems most in need of improvement are precisely those who erect the largest barrier between their proclaimed (and apparent) plight and what they claim to desire. They and others profess to look to the Mayor and City Council for solutions, when these entities have time and again proven their inability to tend to even the smallest of the City’s problems. This can go nowhere.

    Russo and Dellums need to set an example. Every thug plucked from the street last night should be charged under domestic terrorism statutes – especially those who came from out of town. No more apologizing – recall that during the strong-arm robberies the Mayor blamed the economy for the thuggishness. Now he “senses the frustration” of the mob gathered to protest the accidental death of a fellow who by all accounts had brought at least a measure of the problem upon himself.

    We can’t count on the Mayor to do anything other than pander. We can beg that he perhaps do only one thing, then get the hell out of our way. Hold these people responsible, put the instigators in the slam for a long time, and quit accomodating the thugs by blaming forces out of control for their behaivior. The rest is up to us.

  73. V Smoothe Post author

    Just for clarification – nobody in the City of Oakland has the power of criminal prosecution – either for the officer or the rioters. That’s the jurisdiction of the Alameda County District Attorney.

  74. RDC

    Listened to Jane Brunner and Delsey Brooks on 740 this morning. Ms. Brunner said that the police should of stayed downtown and communicated with the protesters until the protesters got the answers they were seeking. To not try to control them but to just talk with them. That the protesters just want to be communicated with!!! They didnt want to break anything they just wanted to be talked to. Ms. Brunner then states that if they dont get what they want then sometimes you have to “UP THE ANTE”. WTF??? I just heard our elected leader pretty much advocate violence when you dont get what you want. You take to the streets and show that you are not smart educated people but still street thugs who just want to break things in the name of (latest controversial issue).

    Delsey had the best zinger of them all. She said that a “splinter group” was responsible for all of the violence. They were not the peaceful protesters but a group of people that always go places to cause trouble. She states that these are the same people at the Raider games and the Festival by the Lake who are looking to do violence no matter what. I have no clue how she equated street violence and riots with raider fans and a neighborhood festival but that is why she is the resident council genius and I am just a guy who put in his 30 day notice this morning to move out of Oakland. F this place. F our leaders who didnt shout down or condemn this violence but are making excuses for it as fast as they can.

    Where were these screaming throngs of people and the poverty pimps when the 100+ other “innocent” people are gunned down in Oakland yearly? Why are they not parading down E.14th with banners about the latest victim of violence? Because now they have a target……….The Man followed closely by White people and the un-named “THEM”. They are hoodlums all of them and do a major disservice to Mr. Grant and anyone who wants justice to come from this.

    I hope that all the cameras that caught the BART shooting are used to catch all these idiots who destroyed the city.

  75. V Smoothe Post author

    I was similarly disturbed to hear Dellums commenting on the rioters, saying “I don’t want anyone jailed here.” WTF? From what I witnessed, a lot of people should have been jailed.

    But the absolute WORST thing I’ve read about it anywhere was in this Chronicle story:

    “I feel like the night is going great,” said Nia Sykes, 24, of San Francisco, one of the demonstrators. “I feel like Oakland should make some noise. This is how we need to fight back. It’s for the murder of a black male.”

    Sykes, who is black, had little sympathy for the owner of Creative African Braids.

    “She should be glad she just lost her business and not her life,” Sykes said. She added that she did have one worry for the night: “I just hope nobody gets shot or killed.”

  76. Navigator

    I’ve lost complete hope for Oakland’s future. This city just can not overcome the thugs, the incompetent city government, and all of the material that they serve up on a silver platter to a media more than eager to exploit and destroy Oakland as a viable community for businesses and for residents.

    No city can overcome this.

  77. bartholomew

    We can’t effectively stoke our economic fire without simultaneously eradicating the thugs. Businesses not intimate with City geography assume all of Oakland is infested with self-serving race-baiting criminals. The obvious attributes – location, workforce, available land – all take a distant second place when an entity weighs the safety of its employees in location or relocation deliberations.

    So … we can’t entice economy bolstering business to the City so long as the thugs burn police cars, and as (per Dellums) it’s the economic condition that underpins the social unrest – this is a death spiral.

    The only way to get anything done is to clean house. If we let the old Oakland machine determine the outcome of the 2010 mayoral race we’re doomed – and I’m gone. No current council-member can be permitted to even make it through the primary. I’m not a fan of Guliani, but we need a Guliani-esque makeover. NYC, from the bankrupt days of Lindsay and Beame to an example of a better-functioning metropolis should give us the faith. Take the mayor’s office first, get rid of the council in 2012.

    But it isn’t going to happen unless we make it happen.

  78. Becks

    Last night angered and saddened me. It was so difficult to walk down 14th today. Smashed glass. Overturned trash cans. Store owners staring and standing in silence as workers cleaned up the mess.

    A friend of mine attended the protest yesterday wrote about his experience. It’s up on my blog if you want to check it out.

  79. Christy

    I for one am not moving out of Oakland any time soon. The video was shocking, and the mess that happened last night makes me fucking sad, but to my mind the thing to do is to hold feet to the fire when it comes to BART, the DA, and city government. It’s important that cooler heads prevail and this whole mess gets unraveled and dealt with. Where is Officer Mehserle’s statement? Why did he refuse to attend the IA hearing? And why in hell did he resign, thus potentially relinquishing protection by BART? There is something else going on here, and that is the real story. That, and the fact that if we had a better-working government and if BART police knew their ass from a pothole then last night’s freakshow could have been avoided, or mitigated. Crowds of angry people are okay. Crowds of angry people smashing the window of my favorite sandwich place are not okay (that said, it could have been a lot worse and Oakland’s finest did a good job of making sure it wasn’t). We need to learn from history, which includes the Rodney King riots and Amadou Diallo as well as Giuliani’s success in cleaning up (or purging, if you like) of Times Square.

  80. Joanna/ShopGirl

    Here’s a thought. Instead of destroying property, why not hit BART in their economic heart? Organize a peacefull rally with lots of signs around all BART stations – not just in Oakland. Rally people to boycott BART until they do something (and I’m not sure what the something would be at this point, because I think only a public beheading of the officer would sooth some). I know I would personally not take BART until they did something. If the freeways filled up, there would be much bigger pressure on BART than there is just by destroying some cars and smashing in business windows here in Oakland. For once, Oakland wasn’t even at fault!

    Not that Dellums did anything to make the situation better, but I’m sure it would only have shocked us if he had made a difference for the positive.

    That chick that they interviewed on KTVU trying to explain the violence, specifically on Creative African Braids, needs to have her own belongings destroyed so that she can see for herself what it is to be innoncent and affected. This is what is wrong with our society and I wish we could find a way to fix it. I thought about paying for a one-page ad in the Oakland Post… but probably those doing most of the damage are not readers. Of any sort. Sigh.

  81. Navigator


    Those are some very interesting pictures. I’ve never seen so many white people at 14th & Broadway at night. Also, the blond Caucasian girl kicking that USA Today box and standing on an overturned and burning garbage container is quite intriguing

    It seems to me that this was a multicultural riot. However, the common wisdom on the SF Gate comments section is that this is just the usual “Oakland” (meaning black thug,) reaction. This is the way this will be portrayed Nationally, The fact that this was a Hayward resident, coming from a night of partying in San Francisco, and shot by a BART cop from Napa, in a regional transit station, will be forgotten. This will be “Oakland thugs” rioting in Oakland. Period.

    I’m sure the SF media has already eagerly sent footage of this “Oakland riot” to their National affiliates. This is why Oakland will never be able to overcome the stereotypes and attain its full potential. How can ANY city overcome an incompetent City government, uneducated thugs from all over the region who don’t understand, and who don’t care, what their violent actions do to the long-term future of this city, and, an eager media from a competing city across the Bay which relishes putting Oakland in a bad light, while at the same time covering up crime in their own city. Oakland has NO chance!

  82. Ken O

    The city is not destroyed.

    Just a bunch of smashed windows – at Sears, Flora restaurant (filled with old whities up until oh 10pm) and other places.

    Yes it is idiotic. Smashing car windows and denting in roofs and car hoods does nothing to help Mr. Grant or his family.

    Yes I understand people are angry at BART police, and this obvious execution of justice itself.

    Yes, there are people who take advantage of any excuse to cause some melee, even if they feel justified for some reason.

    Yes, I was there last night walking around Telegraph and Broadway near 20th and 19th streets, and no I don’t think the police over-reacted. I think people are over-reacting to the video. Yes, be pissed off, but do it right!

    I will be attending all future protests for this one incident. I wonder if the policeman will be executed, probably not, as if that solves anything – no it doesn’t.

    Oakland does have a chance. Wait a few years.

  83. Izzy Ort

    I started writing this before going to spend an hour and a half at the DMV, and some of what I said was covered subsequently, but here goes.

    “Why do these knuckleheads feel the need to trash downtown Oakland? ”

    This question, along with the the admonishment toward nonviolence expressed by others, is misplaced.

    To most reasonable people, the shooting of Oscar Grant was at least a tragedy, but more likely an outrage, or both, to be remedied, hopefully, by legal process, either civil, criminal, or both.

    To the so-called “knuckleheads”, the shooting created OPPORTUNITY. To them the exposure of their handiwork on national TV, if it came to that, was not a self-defeating put-down of Oakland, it was GRAVY.

    While the makeup of a particular protest depends in part on the subject that led to it, It’s clear to me after seeing dozens of Bay Area protests while living in the Bay Area off and on for almost 20 years, that there’s a lumpen “protestariat” who can be summoned to protest just about anything. Among them are a hard core that attends with the pre-formed intention of destroying public and private property, operating under the cover of the larger non-violent protest. I don’t know if that’s who was involved last night, but I doubt many of them had more pressing engagements elsewhere, and this was their type of event.

    You cannot advise people that violence will thwart their true goal, when violence is their true goal.

    Like it or not, this situation was dropped in Oakland’s lap, and Oakland has to deal with it. Instead, Oakland is letting it fester, and I think that by oficially ignoriing it or downplaying it, the situation is as likely to grow worse as to iimprove.

    The hooligans who trashed downtown last night would be only too happy to keep the pot boiling, and come back for more, if conditions can be made ripe for doing so. Others with an axe to grind may also decide that Oakland is a good place to grind it.

    Meanwhile, Mayor Dellums is catatonically clueless. He stated “You deal with the appropriate agencies on the ground, and I think right now that’s Bay Area Rapid Transit and that’s the district attorney’s office” . . . “At this point, I view my role as simply trying to articulate the pain and the sorrow and even the anger that people feel at the loss of human life.”

    Well, BART are the ones responsible for the killing, and they’ve said and done nothing, as far as I know, for a week and a day. I’ve googled “Statement by BART Officials over Shooting”, and find nothing, except the fact that the officer has made no statement. Not even a “Geez, if anyone was offended by what happened, we apologize”.

    All that that D.A. can do is bring charges, step one in a long slow process, or decide not to bring charges. And if the D.A. decides not to bring charges, the mayor had better be prepared. So meanwhile the Mayor is content to sit around and twiddle his thumbs waitng for BART, and waiting for the D.A. Others may not be so content.

    Dellums’ view of his role as “simply trying to articulate the pain and the sorrow and even the anger that people feel at the loss of human life” is a mind-boggling abdication of responsibility.

    No, Mr. Dellums, your role in regard to the shooting is “crisis management” — you’ll find it in your “leadership” portfolio. It’s 3 A.M. and your phone is ringing. The killing happend in YOUR city.

    Crisis management includes, among other things, management of perceptions and expectations, and anticipation of future events.

    The perception of the City’s concern, and leadership, or lack thereof.:

    That’s why Governers and Presidents go to disaster sites, even when they can’t do squat once they get there– to show that they recognize that a disaster has occurred, recognize that something must be done about it, and to take the lead in doing it. Where was Mr. Dellums before the crowd went to HIM last night? he did not appear at the protest at Fruitvale, he sent a minion. He did not appear at Mr. Grant’s funeral.

    The expectation of justice, or lack thereof:

    At the time of the shooting a lot of people probably figured the whole matter would just get swept under the rug, and guess what? After eight days, that’s exactly what seems to be happening. And that’s just fine with Mr. Dellums. He’s going to let BART handle it. Not a word about seeing justice done. Sure he lacks prosecution power, but he has a bully pulpit, and he ought to be using it.

    And keeping silent until “all the facts are in” is not a strategy and is not an excuse. There are ways to position one’s self out ahead of the story without rushing to judgment. If it were me, BART would be on warning that if ‘all the facts” pan out the way it looks like they will, someone higher up than the officer is going to feel pain, and if there’s a lot of screwing around to get at the facts, the pain is going to be worse, sooner, and higher up, and is going to come from me personally. Then I’d let the gist of the conversation get out, and back it up with a public statement that “denies” it in such a way to actually confirm it. I’m not exactly sure how I’d pull this off, but I know that this country is CHOCK FULLL of political operatives who know exactly how to do it. And I’d have done it long before now.

    And we haven’t heard much from the City Council, either, except from Desley Brooks, who apparently showed up at Fruitvale and sounded suitably outraged.

    Anticipation of future events: Dellums has palmed the matter off on the D.A. As I said earlier, what if the D.A. decides he can’t prosecute? And what if the D.A. brings criminal charges, but the officer is acquitted, or gets only a slap on the wrist? Remember that the trigger to the Rodney King riots in 1992 was not the beating of Mr. King, but the acquittal of the officers who administered it.

    If the sh*t comes down, it’s going to come down in Oakland, not BARTland. The City Government needs to get out ahead of this issue and build (apologize for the hackneyed term) streed cred. They’ve got to go on record that aren’t going to stand by like dummies while the fix goes in. Otherwise the city is going to cede the field to the crazies, and when they start burning and breaking, no one will hear the city’s plea for order.

    This shooting gives me the same sick feeling as when Christopher Rodriguez was shot a year ago. Well, at least there are no reports of any pimps being involved.

  84. bartholomew

    Izzy: Well put, all. I’m still hoping (naively) that the protestariat picked up last night, at least those caught in the act, will be tried and sentenced hard. I’d love to see at least a few tried as domestic terrorists.

    And for the Mayor – grow a sack.

  85. Navigator

    I’m all for protesting this heinous killing. I’m not for allowing a small minority of thugs to run wild all over downtown smashing windows and setting garbage cans on fire.

    Sure, downtown isn’t physically destroyed. I drove by 14th street and also Telegraph Avenue. The good people of Oakland are courageously putting everything back together. The MacDonald’s on 14th street shows no sign of damage, some broken windows on the street have already been repaired, the Fox is bustling with construction workers and looking better than ever. I didn’t see any damage to Flora, although the Uptown night club had a broken window and Sears also suffered a couple of broken windows. The physical damage to Oakland was minimal.

    However, the damage done to Oakland’s image Nationally with shots of hooligans and thugs running amok will have an incalculable affect on Oakland’s long-term economic development. The act of our Mayor legitimizing these thugs by lowering the stature of his office by trying to play pied piper through the darken streets of downtown Oakland in a feeble and naive attempt to control the thug’s innate predisposition to destruction, only made Oakland look even more pathetic and foolish. Instead of sending the cops on their merry way at 14th & Jackson where they had the hooligans encircled, he could’ve instead instructed the Police Department to arrest every single one of those knuckleheads for disturbing the piece and inciting a riot. Mayor Dellums naively believed he could reason with these thugs bent on destruction. Maybe the Mayor has fallen in love with his oratory skills to the point that he thinks he can convince irrational people with a rational argument. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Now, the damage has been done, and Oakland has once again become the laughing stock of the Nation.

  86. DonkeyKong

    “I feel like the night is going great,” said Nia Sykes, 24, of San Francisco, one of the demonstrators. “I feel like Oakland should make some noise. This is how we need to fight back. It’s for the murder of a black male.”

    Sykes, who is black, had little sympathy for the owner of Creative African Braids.

    “She should be glad she just lost her business and not her life,” Sykes said. She added that she did have one worry for the night: “I just hope nobody gets shot or killed.”

    As far as Ms. Sykes is concerned, she can be reached at her “organization” by clicking on contact us.


    Be pointed, yet respectful. In short, make some noise.

  87. Max Allstadt

    Izzy Ort,

    As for not hearing much from the city council, let me take an opportunity here to mention what Larry Reid was doing last night. I was riding around watching what was happening and I ran into him twice.

    What he was doing was exactly what he should have been doing. He was injecting good will into the situation. I saw him help direct traffic, smiling and greeting people, and seemingly trying to calm the situation just by being a positive presence. I don’t think he did any speech making or grandstanding. He was just out being a good citizen and trying to make a bad situation better. He told me to go home twice too, but with a smile.

    So thanks, Larry. As a legislator, there’s not much you can do on a bad night like last night, but as a citizen you seemed to be doing exactly the right thing.

  88. Max Allstadt


    I just sent them a note saying that if they don’t fire Ms. Sykes and publicly rebuke her, I will be writing to women’s foundations and asking them to cut funding. I was polite. I think you have the right idea. A lot of young anarchist types get involved with prison reform organizations. That’s fine. It’s good actually, and needed. Advocating vandalism in the Chronicle is different. Very very not OK.

  89. DonkeyKong

    Tip of the hat Max

    Pressuring for Ms Sykes resignation, and for the Oakland City DA to press charges against officer Johannes Mehserle is one in the same.

    I love and cherish the people of Oakland, but I hate assholes.

    I’m Manichean like that.

  90. Navigator

    I’ve also sent them an e-mail telling them that I didn’t appreciate Ms Sykes comments in the San Francisco Chronicle.

  91. Max Allstadt


    To clarify, once again:

    NO ONE in the city of Oakland has any authority in the matter of Oscar Grant. BART police don’t answer to Oakland. BART doesn’t answer to Oakland. Alameda County DA Tom Orloff has Jurisdiction.

    Protesting Oakland’s government and cops about Oscar Grant’s death is nonsense. Oakland had NOTHING to do with it. If we want change here, we need to protest for oversight and accountability of BART police.

    And if you look at the tape, Mehserle is guilty of negligent homicide at the absolute worst. If BART police carry Glocks, a case could be made against BART for negligence because they haven’t studied the safety issues around that weapon. Or perhaps negligence for training their cops to overreact.

    Mehserle, on tape is clearly not a malicious killer. He’s a terrified guy who’s realizing he just made the biggest mistake of his life. The crew of cops in general could be characterized as over aggressive, but the situation is nuanced as hell. Pinning the blame on one guy might feel good, and easy, but it’s not how this went down at all.

  92. Jennifer

    As for what is going in on Market and Grand across from the Arco Station — it’s a beauty supply outlet. I noticed the new sign when I was getting gas this morning.

  93. len raphael

    the good new is that we can stop discussing the hypothetical PR effects of a hypothetical video series and discuss a real PR disaster.

    it took me the last three weeks to persuade my visiting 28 year old son to try a downtown oakland bar instead of going to sf to spend money. so he and his date park on a side street. first thing a homeless guy warns him that shit is going down and not to park his new vehicle anywhere downtown that nite. my son thanks him for the advice, gives him a buck, and proceeds to the bar. gets in the bar, settles down and looks out the window watching rioters smash every vehicle window on his stretch of bway.

    grabs his date, goes back to the vehicle and dodges attempted police cordon for a few blocks and heads for the bay bridge.

    a few of his comments:

    the opd needed about twice as many cops plus equipment like barricades to safely cordon the rioters. in iraq and afghanistan, where my son had some experience in these things, he could have done that with the number of cops he saw out there, but they would needed automatic weapons…

    it appeared in his small stretch that the cops were rounding up every african american they saw.

    he thinks he might have seen bart cops alongside opd. if so, who’s brilliant idea was that? neither berkeley nor san leandro pd’s were called by opd for mutual assistance (according to a san leandro dispatcher i talked to today).

    maybe opd figured that bart cops created this mess and now bart cops would have to help deal with the consequences.

    -len raphael

  94. Patrick

    So, is Oakland to going prosecute those arrested for the crimes committed? Or will we “in the spirit of fellowship” claim extenuating circumstances and let them all off the hook? It’s a no-win situation either way – but if we let them all off the hook, Oakland’s reputation is sealed for another generation.

  95. Joanna/ShopGirl

    DonkeyKong – thanks for letting us know more about Ms. Sykes. I have sent a letter calling for her resignation. Her interview came up time and time again today in my store from people that saw her and heard what she had to say. They all agreed that this was the worst attitude possible. To find out that she works with women prisoners was appalling! What kind of advice is she giving out?! If it’s anything like what she said on tv, it’s not the right advice, imho.

    So I’ve written my letter. I hope others join me. She should not be a role model for others, and in fact she needs some mentoring.


  96. DonkeyKong

    No problem, please be persistant. Ms. Sykes has that hard leftist/rightest twofer of narcassism and self loathing.

    Revolution Books is next.

    If Oakland is to rise above this, we need to be diciplined in our demands and prune our community of ……..well…………assholes.

  97. len raphael

    young’uns, this isn’t the body blow to oakland it might seem at the moment. every few years for the past 35 some odd years, oakland gets another black eye like this. whether it was a panther related shooting, the SLA killing the ousd admin, protester losing a leg, or bloody faces at the Port, raiders riots on E14. this too shall pass and add a thin layer to our city’s tarnish.

    any info on how each of the council members dealt with the shooting and the riots?

    what were Desey Brooks comments before the riots? something about taking action? or was that just a rumor? even if untrue, wb plausible because she’s probably not used to anyone taking action based on what she says at council meetings.

    -len raphael

  98. len raphael

    The OPD Lt. who filed whistleblower complaint against Tucker is a cop very highly respected by every person i know active in improving opd. and that’s a bunch of people who disagree on many other things.

  99. oaklandhappenings

    Nav, although you are right, regarding the SF media pulling their regular bad-publicity stunt-sh*t, on Oakland, I think you are mistaken to think that Oakland doesn’t have a chance. Millions of people in the US will move on with their lives, perhaps forgetting, and–provided that this shooting turns out unjustifiable–repeated trauma will hopefully not happen again. Looking at downtown Oakland’s track record, it has fared no worse than places such as Seattle (the World Trade Organization mess), Chicago, and other cities…SF being among them as far as slight rioting. Other big cities–Oakland’s size and larger–inevitably encounter a major issue that causes large disturbance, even if rioting isn’t involved.
    Let us just be relieved that no one (else)–according to sources– was shot and/or killed. Or, for that matter, no genocides happened. I was trying to think what could be worse–Wed. night, or that violent Castro Halloween party in SF where 9 were shot–mostly innocents that couldn’t get out of the way.

  100. len raphael

    who gets prosecuted and who does not, for what crime, and what sentencing is often a question of political climate here. whether you believe protester’s should be released with a warning or prosecuted as strongly as the bart officer, the person to contact with your opinon now would be the Alameda DA. Later, it would be the judges involved.

    Orloff lives in Oakland and based on prior local ncpc appearances, would welcome and need public support for tough prosecution of both bart cop and the violent protesters.

    Alameda County District Attorney
    Tom Orloff
    1225 Fallon Street, Room 900
    Oakland, CA 94612
    (510) 272-6222 fax: (510) 268-8629

  101. Pekoebrew

    In today’s SF Chronicle (Jan 9), quoted is one Reiko Redmond of Revolution Books in Berkeley. “I uphold the whole protest from start to finish”, and called the events a “righteous rebellion”.

    Perhaps it might be “righteous” if some of our broken glass were delivered to their doorstep…

  102. Navigator

    Oaklandhappenings, Thanks for the kind words.

    In my humble opinion, it is outrageous that Oakland gets stained and vilified for this mess. The media has not done a good job letting the World know that 70% of the vandals arrested were from out of town.

    This whole thing was a regional mess played out in Oakland’s downtown. A young man from Hayward is killed on his way home form San Francisco by a BART cop from Napa, in a regional transit station. This tragedy is then followed by a protest, which was then followed by violent disturbance where 70% of the culprits were from out of town, and Oakland gets vilified for this? What’s wrong with this picture? Why isn’t there more outrage over this? Why do many Oaklanders just sit back and allow the media to misrepresent what happened?

    The San Francisco media is presenting this to the world as “Oakland thugs( read: young black hoodlums) are running wild and once again destroying their own city, in the, “Oakland Riots” where “300 businesses” have been damaged.”

    Let’s see, we have people coming over from San Francisco and other cities to trash our town, and then, their media comes over and compounds the problem by misrepresenting what happened to the World? They tell the World that “300″ businesses have been damaged, they infer that the damage was done by Oaklanders by showing selective pictures of who was arrested, they interview local merchants with scary OAKLAND stories, and then they contrast all of this with their “peaceful” daytime protest between the Palestinians and the Israelis in San Francisco. The Message: You see America, you see how violent Oakland is, and how civilized WE are? Oakland is more violent than the middle east.

    They send us their anarchists and then blame us for the ” Oakland Riots.” Again, why do wee accept this without uttering a word?

  103. V Smoothe Post author

    Navigator, the key phrase in your comment is “played out in Oakland’s downtown.” Who cares if the people doing the damage were from Oakland or San Francisco or Iowa City? I certainly don’t. The fact is that no matter where the people trashing and terrorizing downtown Oakland were from, the problem happened in Oakland and Oakland couldn’t control it.

  104. Patrick

    Hmmm…I’m not sure. I think that the Oakland police were well capable of controlling “it”, but due to the racially charged nature of the situation, they were hesitant. When you look past the the crocodile tears, this was about black vs. white, not black vs. cop. Which is why there were no riots – or even relative concern – associated with any of the 99 black people murdered in Oakland in 2008 (as none of them had a white suspect arrested). That’s tacit acceptance by the black community for black on black crime.

  105. Max Allstadt

    Patrick, are you implying that if the BART Cop had been black, this riot wouldn’t have happened?

    Nav, V’s right,
    Oakland got the bad press here because of failure. Oakland’s Mayor very publicly failed to calm down the crowd. He failed at grandstanding, which everybody thought was about his only strong suit. Shortly thereafter, Oakland’s police force very publicly failed to control a rolling mob that casually traipsed through a 10 block by 10 block area leaving a trail of arbitrary destruction.

    Wherever there is epic failure, there will be media rubbernecking.

    Besides, whining on a blog about how we’re being victimized by media bias wouldn’t change anything even if there was a bias. This blog has something in the region of 3-4000 unique visitors a week, and I’d bet that most of them are inside Oakland. If you believe the outside press portrays us unfairly to non-Oakland audiences, shouldn’t you be posting your objections where non-Oakland audiences will read them?

  106. Patrick

    Yes, that is exactly what I implied.

    Oakland’s Mayor failed because he injected “Oakland” into a situation that had nothing to do with Oakland (other than location of a BART stop). Suggesting that our Police Dept. would investigate (later rescinded) is further proof of that. And again, I say, Oakland police could have very easily controlled the mob…except that our Mayor was trying to control the situation, by proseltyzing to a group that was interested in only one thing: anarchy. As this had little to do with Oakland, our Mayor should have instructed the police to end the violence, period.

    This is the perfect place to discuss our perceived victimization. No one cares more about Oakland, I would submit, than the readers of this blog.

  107. Max Allstadt

    The other reason there are better places to discuss our so called “victimization” is that the idea has been monopolizing conversation on this blog for an entire fucking month.

  108. Navigator

    This is amazing. So you’re all OK with the “300″ vandalized businesses which the media incorrectly reports? You’re OK with the media portraying this as “Oakland thugs” destroying Oakland? You’re OK with the fact that 70% of the people who trashed Oakland were from outside this town and Oakland is held responsible for this? Pretending that Oakland gets fair press in the San Francisco dominated media is sticking your head in the sand. What type of self-hate do some people in Oakland have? You want to blame this city for every damn thing that ever goes wrong.

    BTW, Was that a “riot” in the Castro when 9 people were shot during Halloween a couple of years ago? That’s right, I forgot, no burning cars. It doesn’t count. Open your eyes and stop covering up for Chip “300 business” Johnson!

  109. Navigator

    V, I care where the people who trash our town come from. The media has a responsibility to inform their readers/viewers more than just the ” where ” of the story. They have to report the “who” and the “why.” The San Francisco media has perfected the “where” in their stories regarding these disturbances and stories of Oakland in general. The “who” and the “why” need a little work.

    Also, Max, this is the perfect place to let the 4,000 visitors to this site know that 300 businesses in their city were NOT vandalized. This is the perfect place to let them know that 70% of the people who trashed their city came from outside of their town. Who else is going to inform them of this? The San Francisco media?

    Also, Max, haven’t we talked about urbanization, development, blight, graffiti, on this site? Let’s not pretend that media bias isn’t real and should be off limits on this site.

  110. Max Allstadt

    I prefer to deal with negative portrayals of Oakland in the media by getting off my ass and working on making Oakland better.

    This blog is better at making Oakland better when it isn’t stuck on one track. Monotony is counterproductive enough simply because it’s monotonous. Ad to that that you’re complaining about an externality without offering solutions, and it’s just a horrendous waste of time. We don’t fix Oakland by bitching about SF journalists. Fuck, you can’t even fix SF media by bitching about SF media in a forum that SF media don’t even read.

  111. Navigator

    It’s never a waste of time to inform Oaklanders of facts regarding what happened in their city. The only way the slanted reporting stops is if people are aware of it, and take action. Take a look at all the money that Oakland Realtors spend advertising in the San Francisco Chronicle as an example. The only way they’ll change their two tiered system of crime reporting is to hit them in the pocket book.

    Max, we can make Oakland better, and they’ll never acknowledge it, and our image will still be mud, and people will still be afraid to come to Oakland, to invest in Oakland, etc. When we had 66 homicides under Jerry Brown and crime reached a 30 year low, no one noticed. It was the same old BS from their media.

  112. Max Allstadt

    It is a waste of time when everbody’s heard you 47 times already. Saying it for the 48th time doesn’t constitute “taking action”. If you can find a way to “hit them in their pocketbook” without yammering on about this topic for another month on this forum, more power to you.

    As for the second paragraph, how incredibly defeatist.

  113. Navigator

    Max, you know what I meant. Stop turning it around. I meant that you have to deal with the media bias, OR, whatever improvements we do make, will not bring about the positive publicity to change our horrible image which then prevents this city from prospering and from achieving its full potential. What is it about that concept that you refuse to acknowledge?

    So, you’re OK with the media distorting the number of businesses vandalized and where the people who trashed this city came from? You’re happy with the “Oakland thugs” destroy their city in the “Oakland Riots,” scenario? I’m not, because that’s not what happened. Max, keeping one’s head in the sand will do nothing for this town. Stating the facts is yammering? I think in a way Oakland deserves the publicity it gets because many of its residents have been conditioned to hate their city for so long, that they don’t care, and many times don’t even notice. It’s like a battered wife. Oaklanders internalize the media beatings.

    I know this subject makes you furious, so I’ll stop for now.

  114. Patrick

    Nav, the subject itself does not make anyone furious; it is the constant, unrelenting, ad nauseum, repetitive nature of the beast. YES! The SF media treats Oakland unfairly! Got it! Wrote it down, fed and chewed on it, rubbed it on my private spots and wiped it off on my pillow! NOW, what can we do about it? Really, you’ve force-fed that hypothesis to us for months now; please, can you offer a solution? Or will you just keep restating the problem? Again, and again, and again, and again….

  115. Max Allstadt

    Exactly, Patrick.

    I like green eggs and ham. But every morning? And the side order of hyperbole keeps getting offered in more and more generous portions. I’m stuffed.

  116. Navigator

    Anyone hear about the San Francisco riot? I have plenty of solutions. I mentioned a few. Many people here just don’t care.