59 thoughts on “
Open Thread

  1. V Smoothe Post author

    Since I’ve been saying Tucker needs to go ASAP for well over a year, I obviously think today’s news of his resignation is a step in the right direction. I’m really happy that within the last week, people finally started to realize and care that the police department has been, like, imploding for months. I think it’s really important that our next Chief comes from outside OPD – the department is just too damaged at this point for a promotion from within to provide any confidence.

    Anyway, what I was posting to say is that Tucker, even in his resignation, has managed to shock me. His line in this story is unfuckingbelievable:

    Tucker said, “I don’t want to be here with this council. I don’t have any faith in those council members.”

    The man has been an unmitigated disaster for four years, watched violent crime skyrocket at an almost inconceivable rate, and left our police department dripping with one scandal after another. The least he could do is have a modicum of grace as he leaves. But no. I couldn’t even imagine a worse thing to say? I’m shocked. Seriously. In total shock.

  2. Joanna/ShopGirl

    Can the council now give a no confidence vote to Dellums? Or themselves? (except RK, of course – she’s too new and has a clue)

    I’m glad to see Tucker give himself the boot.

    If Dellums would also do us that favor, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Now we need a City Administrator and a Police Chief. What other key positions need to be filled? CEDA? Or is that now permanently going to Dan Lindheim?

    And how much are we paying Robert Bobb? I’m sorry, but I don’t care how good he is, I’d like to see a fresh face instead of having him back.


  3. V Smoothe Post author

    I continue to be irate about Tucker’s unbelievably graceless exit. If he wanted to blame the Council for all his problems, he should have quit months ago before the entire City was clamoring for his head. Also, he just lies, lies, lies. The Council gives him every damn thing he wants. Look at this stuff:

    Tucker alleged that the City Council only “pays lip service” to public safety, saying, “all you have to do is look at the budget cuts that the city has undergone.”

    What budget cuts? OPD basically gets a blank check. The Police Department’s budget for 2004-05 when Tucker started was $160 million. The Police Department’s budget for 2007-08 was $208 million. Which they went over, as they do every year. And all sorts of other things in the City get sacrificed to pay for it.

  4. Joanna/ShopGirl

    No sooner did I make that comment about Robert Bobb and I see that he’s taken his name out of the running for City Administrator.

    V – Tucker has been so bad for the morale alone within OPD. He’s yet another embarassment to add to the list for the City. It’s even more pathetic that he can’t just quit and leave quietly, but instead feels some need to continue to be a jerk.

    Instead of leaving Feb 28, why don’t they show him the door today? Or maybe Friday?

    Is he really doing all that much?

    I guess it’s the figurehead part, but I’d say that he’s doing more harm than good by sticking around another 30 days.

  5. PinoyOaklander

    I’m actually quite glad for Tucker’s resignation, but his comment about the city council is just shocking. Seriously, I agree with you people with this. Why couldn’t he just leave, or make a peaceful resignation? That’s one more important key roles to fill in.. for Mr.Dellums. Fire Chief, Police Chief, City Administrator, etc.


    I agree, why couldn’t the city council just vote no confidence against Dellums. I would of love to hear that news.

  6. Max Allstadt

    Luke, a city hall leader who shall remain nameless said EXACTLY the same thing to me about 8 weeks ago. We’re becoming a caricature. yuck

  7. oaklandhappenings

    What is Tucker going to do now during his lame-duck last 30+ days? Sit on his ass and pick his nose? It seems interesting, in a way, that when he decides to finally resign, Oakland homicides have gone down quickly: only 18 in the past 4 months; 27% lower in the last 16 months compared to the same time-period prior to that.
    While these are just “only numbers” (Dellums’ words from the SotC 2008 address),
    and the Oscar Grant events overshadowing almost all good coming out of Oakland public-safty wise, here’s the situation: Oakland could miraculously finish the year with only 30-40 murders (realistic perhaps!) and unfortunately, it would take awhile for many to realize the drop. As of 2 days ago, btw, SF had a higher murder rate (not number alone but RATE), than Oakland. Hopefully it stays that way, for at least one year.

  8. V Smoothe Post author

    While it’s true that the beginning of 2009 has been blessedly low on homicides, the increase in aggravated assaults continues unabated.

  9. oaklandhappenings

    Oh, and how could I forget:
    ONLY 8 days until the Fox’s grand opening, followed by several concerts already…and even the Moody Blues are coming!! Their gig is Friday, April 3rd–tix go on sale Sunday, and I’m “there”, damnit! :-)

  10. VivekB

    FYI, I just did a “2008 Crimes Year in Review” analysis. No shocker, looks like Area 3 bore the brunt of violent crime increase from 2007, either 12% or 14% based on which metric you use. Area 1 was either 0% or down 3% based on the metric, Area 2 was either up 2% or down 3% based on the metric. I consider all that to be “flat”, since crime is inherently a random event that’s not precisely measurable.

    On the upside, Area 3 Property Crime is *down* 12% from 2007. Area 1 was down 9%, Area 2 was flat, so that does seem to be a general trend.

    I did graphs comaring 2008 to 2007 & 2005, plus roughly 3 bazillion tables, if you want more details than you can imagine. Those are up on the RockridgeResidents site, although if you have specific questions let me know and i’ll answer them here.

  11. Chris Kidd

    So Dellums’ “Progressive Economic Roundtable Discussion” has been postponed … *again*. Now it’s scheduled for Feb. 19th. Who wants odds on it being postponed a third time?

  12. Mike Spencer

    True story from overnight about why I won’t give a dime to OPD or the City for more cops, and they want $300 or whatever it is they want. Last night about midnight I see a car parked in the middle of my street with lights on and engine running but no visible driver. I live next door to a house under construction so paranoid about break-ins/thefts next door. I proceed to call OPD non-emergency 5 times in the next two hours. One dispatcher claims someone sent out and “unable to locate.” WTF? Ever hear of Mapquest? So I go to bed, wake up at 7:30 a.m. and STILL SEE SAME CAR in middle of street, lights on, engine still running. Cops finally came after 8 a.m. Car was blocking the street. The point of all this is that OPD can’t do little things right and it utterly erodes public trust. I don’t even bother reporting minor property crimes because I know OPD can’t handle it or doesn’t care. That woman who moved from Oakland and wrote about is looking smarter by the day. A certain level of police work is customer service. The attitude of the dispatchers utterly sucked.

  13. Navigator


    Unfortunately, the Oakland Police Department is an archaic, unprofessional, self-serving agency, which decimates the Oakland city budget without any results or any accountability for the ongoing crime rate.

    The Oakland Police Union has been running the Department for years as an overtime accumulation enterprise for certain officers. The Police Union has set staffing levels, they’ve set scheduling, they’ve protected cushy desk jobs at the expense of additional patrol officers, etc.. This has been a cruel hoax played on the good citizens of Oakland. Two hundred million dollars wasted on a yearly basis for what?

  14. Navigator

    On a positive note, has anyone noticed the lack of homicides in Oakland so far in 2009. How many have we had so far? One or two? What can we attribute this incredibly low homicide rate for January to? It can’t be anything that our dysfunctional police department is doing. We had 66 homicides in Oakland one year under Jerry Brown with a much smaller police force. Saint Louis has way more cops than Oakland and a much higher homicide rate. We don’t need a bigger police force. We need a smarter, more honorable, police force.

    Oakland just needs to wrestle control of the police force from the Union and start running this agency in a professional and efficient manner with a mission of providing top notch service to the citizens of Oakland.

  15. Navigator

    Yes, Valladon was a huge defender of the “Old Boys Network” that was, and IS, the Oakland Police Department. Until this self-serving culture of Police Department first, Police Officers schedules and overtime first, and lowering the crime in Oakland a distant second, nothing will ever improve crime wise in the city of Oakland.

  16. John

    The mutant masses may be interested to know that Max Allstadt and I finally met. I still wish I knew who the hell Carlos Plazola is in real life…….

  17. Max Allstadt

    Wait, didn’t you and Carlos shake hands towards the end of that meeting?

    I do have to say that you guys were really very civil about the whole thing this evening at the ZUC. I think that typed sentences can take on a more strident tone than the same words would in person.

    The only person who showed up and was abrasive and grandstandy was Sanjiv Handa.

  18. oaklandhappenings

    Hey Nav, good backup thoughts, regarding the low homicide total, although we still have 3 days left to go this month, and anything can happen (sadly but realistically). Interestingly enough, ever since Obama was elected, Oakland has only had about 14 or 15 homicides. SF recorded its 5th for ’09 alone today (apparent murder-suicide).

  19. oaklandhappenings

    V (or anyone else), I have a favor: can you please post–or provide the link–of those crime comparison tables that you used to post? You mentioned the aggravated assaults, but I haven’t heard/read much about non-fatal shootings/stabbings in Oakland this month, among the number. I would be interested in seeing that. Thank you much.

  20. Navigator

    Sorry to change the subject for a minute but I have to mention this. Tesla Motors has just pulled out of their deal with San Jose to build the factory for their new all electric sedan. The reason given was that San Jose was offering 89 acres of undeveloped land for the construction of a NEW plant. Apparently the government requires the reuse of a blighted “brown field” property.

    Tesla Motors is looking for 600,000 square feet in an existing building. This is the perfect opportunity for Oakland to jump in and establish a manufacturing base for this new and exciting green technology. Oakland must have at least a half a dozen sites which would meet Tesla’s requirements. The Oakland Army Base right next to the Port of Oakland would be a natural. The warehouses near the Oakland waterfront or near Oakland International Airport would also be a perfect fit.

    I’m sure Oakland’s economic development team is way ahead of me on this one, but, just in case, I emailed Nancy Nadel, Ignacio De La Fuente, Jane Brunner, and Jean Quan with the idea.

  21. oaklandhappenings

    Navigator, regarding your latest info, that is fun to think about. Unf, however, I don’t see how emailing Nancy Nadel, among the cc members, will get hardly ANYTHING done. She’s too busy with her chocolate business. She didn’t even release a statement of concern/sympathy (or did she?) when the protests/vandalism happened in HER district. I’m sorry, but since she doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass, emailing her seems more like “in one ear, out the other”.

  22. VivekB

    For those of you interested in Neighborhood Watch & Public Safety, Mayor Dellums is in the midst of commiting a travesty. He’s terminated/reassigned the two people directly responsible for the growth of NW in Oakland (Claudia Albano & Felicia Verdin), this requires a large response from as many people as possible. Please see http://www.rockridgeresidents.org/forums/showthread.php?t=401 for details, and email the Mayor (rdellums@oaklandnet.com) with a strong urging request to NOT do this.

  23. Navigator


    I just received a response from Nancy Nadel regarding Tesla Motors. She mentioned that the City has previously tried to accommodate Tesla but they chose San Jose instead. She said that she would inform staff.

    I’m a little disappointed in the less than excited reaction from the City of Oakland at this tremendous opportunity. When Tesla was approached by Oakland previously they were looking at attracting 100 million dollars in private investment for this venture. Now that venture capital money in Silicon Valley has dried up, Tesla is looking for a federal loan to build their factory. This federal loan comes with strings like using an existing blighted “brown field” building.

    This is a whole different ballgame. This time, Oakland is in the driver’s seat instead of San Jose. Oakland must have dozens of properties which fit the federal requirements in order for Tesla to obtain the Federal Loan. Oakland is the perfect location with easy access to the fourth largest port in the Country, proximity to Silicon Valley, proximity to world class universities, etc.

    Oakland can not waste another great opportunity. Come on City Council wake up! Rebecca Kaplan, are you there? Is anybody home?

  24. Joanna/ShopGirl

    I think there’s more to why NN isn’t so excited. One, because they probably spent a fair amount of time in the past talking to Tesla and feel like it was wasted time. Two, because I have a sneeky suspicion that Tesla doesn’t want to be here in Oakland, although I have nothing to back that up. Three, do we really have the perfect three locations for them to choose from lined up and ready to go – you say we must have, but I’m not sure about that. Four, does NN get excited about anything anymore?

    I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, I’m just saying…

    And where’s our local chamber of commerce in all this? They don’t care about little businesses, so maybe they’re not convinced Tesla will be big someday. (I am – a friend has one!)

  25. Navigator


    Mayor Reid of San Jose told KPIX yesterday that he was afraid that there were no sites in San Jose which qualified as “brown field sites” and met the 600,000 square foot requirement which Tesla is looking for. Tesla responded that they can build the factory anywhere in California and could possibly still have the administrative headquarters in San Jose.

    Also, why wouldn’t Tesla want to come to Oakland where there are plenty of under utilized warehouses which could qualify as “brown field” sites. Tesla was previously looking for private venture capital, hence Silicon Valley and San Jose made sense. Now, they are looking at a federal loan with many guidelines. What is the matter with Oakland? Do we really hate ourselves that much? We have such a low opinion of ourselves that we have no confidence in going after what should be ours considering our advantages location regarding our world class port, our central location, our great climate, our proximity to world class universities, and our relative proximity to Silicon Valley. Where would Tesla rather be, in Oakland, or in Bakersfield, or Detroit?

    We have a chance to establish a new green manufacturing base in Oakland and everyone is asleep at the wheel. We can all get excited about bringing a pimp show to Oakland but a promising green technology is just beyond what we could hope for. Unbelievable!

  26. Rebecca Kaplan

    Hiya folks. Yes, I would be happy to help reach out to Tesla. (If anybody has contact info, please send it to rkaplan [at] oaklandnet [dot] com. Thanks). Also, I will talk with Councilmember Nadel next week, to find out more about the history of negotiations with Tesla.

    Meanwhile, I like the idea of identifying and reaching out to potential businesses for Oakland — especially if they are having trouble finding good locations (since we have lots of great spaces available).

    For example, American Apparel is reportedly looking to open a large store in SF, and are running into problems. They should be able to find what they need in Oakland!

    Want to help? Please visit the website of American Apparel, where they ask for location suggestions, and suggest Oakland. I have done this already, but I bet the more people who request Oakland, the more likely they are to come here.

    The site is:

    -R. Kaplan

  27. Chris Kidd


    Dov Charney is a disgusting misogynist, American Apparel promotes some of the worst objectifying of women around, and their corporation is absolutely leveraged to the hilt.

    But beggars can’t be choosers, so I voted to bring an AA to Oakland. At least they pay factory workers living wages in the US. …I just have to keep telling myself that…

  28. Max Allstadt


    I’m confused by your comments. I just put on a pair of American Apparel thigh-high socks. I don’t feel objectified at all.

  29. oaklandhappenings

    Rebecca, it is very encouraging that you–as the City At-Large–are making yourself available to us here on ABO, and perhaps the other blogs. I don’t see any other council member on here, as you seem to be the only one who really cares. Whether that is true or not, thank you much. My comments earlier regarding Ms. Nadel were somewhat proven by Navigator’s response to me. It was as if she was saying, “well, nice idea, but they chose SJ instead; no biggie, we have other stuff to focus on”.

  30. Navigator


    Thank you so much for your interest in Tesla. Also, as Oaklandhappenings mentioned, it is indeed refreshing to see that you’re interested in the views of average citizens.

    Also, yes, Tesla may be in trouble now because they didn’t get the 100 million in private venture capital. The 400 million dollar government loan which Tesla is looking for should go a long way in establishing this green company as a pioneer of electric vehicles in the future. Oakland needs to be aggressive in attracting ALL businesses to the city. This city has way too much to offer just to sit by on the sidelines.

    Yes, let’s bring Tesla to Oakland, let’s bring American Apparel to Oakland, and yes, let’s bring HBO to Oakland. I’m hoping Oakland city government and the Oakland Chamber of Commerce have an office with a phone bank somewhere similar to what happens in political campaigns, like for instance the Obama Campaign, with people on the phone contacting every possible company which has any interest, and needs any assistance in expanding in the Bay Area. Oakland needs to be aggressive and proactive in business attraction.

  31. Navigator

    Rebecca, I went to the American Apparel site and suggested Upper Broadway along with the retail space on the ground floor of the new 1100 space parking garage in Jack London Square at 2nd and Harrison.

  32. Max Allstadt


    Those locations would be great for us. But for them? The draw isn’t there yet, regrettably. Lakeshore seems like the easiest sell to them. If we had a rigorous non-auto business attraction program in upper broadway, that would be another story.

    The terrible catch 22 here is, if you want to attract retail businesses to a location, the best way to do it is with retail businesses at that location.

    In her campaign, Rebecca talked about a retail/entertainment district on auto row. Frankly it’s a perfect streetscape for just that. The surface lots and plazas in front of the dealerships would create spaces for street life and for people to mingle and interact and relax. The tough part is, in this economy, what can we do to push broadway over the tipping point and get momentum for this vision? Right now, there are a few new bars, but little new retail. We would need to do something drastic to push it over the edge.

  33. Navigator


    I’ll agree with you regarding existing retail in the upper Broadway area. Also, I agree that the auto dealership plazas offer a perfect start for an interesting street scape. However, if you look closely at the demographics of the area around a one to two mile radius, we already see plenty of potential disposable income in the surrounding area. Within that two mile circumference, we have the Piedmont Avenue neighborhood, we have Adam’s Point, we have Lake Shore/Grand, Crocker Highlands, Temescal, Uptown, along with a good portion of the City of Piedmont. We haven’t even talked about Rockridge and Montclair which are just outside of the immediate area.

    I have to agree with Phil Tagami when he recently stated that Oakland suffers from institutionalized economic racism. The people and the demographics are here, the retail deserved by a diverse city of 400,000 residents is not.

    I don’t buy the crime excuse crappola. Other areas have more crime than downtown Oakland, and much more retail. The key is to convince these retail establishments that Oakland is a good market as evident by the success of former companies which had shunned Oakland for a very long time. For example, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Whole Foods, In/out etc. These businesses have some of their highest grossing stores in Northern California right here in Oakland. Ever try to find a parking space at the Trader Joe’s on College or Lake Shore? It was like pulling teeth to get a crummy little Trader Joe’s in Oakland? Also, Walmart does huge sales in Oakland, in N out has their highest grossing location off of Hegenberger.

    Once they get to Oakland they like it . The problem is giving Oakland a chance. Unfortunately, a lot of that has to do with the horrible press this city gets. If all I knew about Oakland was what I hear in the news media, I wouldn’t want to set foot in the city either.

  34. Max Allstadt

    It’s not that it isn’t possible, Nav. It’s just that in order to get national chains like American Apparel to go to broadway, we’ll need a concerted effort, rather than just expecting them to wander in one by one.

    Broadway needs public parking lots and some aesthetic sprucing up to start. And we need to identify a 3 or 4 block long strip that we want to be the apex of development, and then expedite the process with incentives, reduced permit requirements, tax holidays or other goodies.

  35. bartholomew

    I just received an alert to a possible protest this afternoon and another one for next Friday. How’s about those of us who have had enough of this bs stage a counter-demonstration of our own? I think the point, whatever it might be, has been made. It’s time to turn our energy to something more productive. Businesses are reluctant to locate here because of what’s portrayed. Let’s not supress our voices, but let’s make an equally visible show of our desire to bring productive change. We need to attract jobs and opportunities. Let’s turn the tide. Turn out on Friday and tell the jackasses to go back to Berkeley.

    They never should have cut those trees on the Cal campus. The streets in Oakland would still be free of their detritus.

  36. Navigator

    I have to agree with you guys. Enough with the protests in Oakland. This city has suffered enough at the hands of these knuckleheads. BART is a regional transportation system. How about taking your demonstrations to Berkeley and San Francisco for a change? Oakland has suffered enough destruction at your hands.

  37. oaklandhappenings

    Good points by many of you, regarding retail and the protests. Fortunately, despite a small amount of vandalism, and was only enough to stir up talk on a few local news stations. That protest Friday better be done before sundown, as nearly 10,000 people will be flooding Oakland for another reason: entertainment! The Uptown Nightclub, Paramount AND Fox theaters all have shows/concerts that evening, but there is more: the Art Murmur, not far from any of these venues. I even hear that artists are spreading this first Friday event towards downtown, with laser-light shows on/near the Rotunda. Did anyone here catch that last summer or fall? I hope they bring that back.
    Speaking of the Fox, the final countdown is well under way: 4 days, (only a little over 100 hours) left to the Grand opening celebrations! I better get some sleep, so I can be rested and up in time to call in for my Moody Blues tickets there (April 3rd) at 10 AM! Anyone going for BB King?

  38. Navigator

    Oaklandhappenings, That’s great news regarding all of the people and entertainment coming to downtown Oakland Friday. Unfortunately, Oakland has another protest hovering over what should be a glorious day for the City. We all know that if one freakin window gets broken, it will be the focus of the SF media and it will be broadcast Nationally and even Internationally .

    I even saw this last skirmish broadcast Nationally on Headline News. KRON had a helicopter taking shots of every single arrest at 14th & Madison. They were doing a play by play and examining footage of every single arrest. They reviewed the footage over and over again. The day of the bail hearing I drove by the Alameda County Court House around 12:00 PM not knowing what the heck was going on. I was amazed at the dozens of media vans with their antennas sticking up in the air. Yes, if one window gets smashed, or there is one arrest featuring a tussle with the cops, we can forget about the opening of the Fox Theater, the events at the Paramount, the Art Murmur etc. All the World will know is that there was another “riot” in Oakland.

    Oakland will never get a break in an area dominated by a media from a dominant competing city. Oakland will be defined by this and their isn’t one thing any of the many positive events going on downtown Oakland on Friday will do to change what the focus of the media will be. Let’s just hope not a single window gets cracked in Oakland.

  39. oaklandhappenings

    Nav, I think that would be expecting alot, about windows not getting cracked. If there are no developments (right word?) happening that Friday before the protest, I will imagine that things will go fine. However, if JM was to post bail that day, and there was enough to let him out, THEN we are talking a much different story, regarding emotions. Without jumping to a conclusion, regarding the media and all, I will just keep my fingers crossed that all works out. also– I can’t stand KRON; they are the worst of the SF newscasts, when it comes to Oakland+negativity. They are too proud of their own “other” city. I really only watch KTVU now, since it is Oakland licensed and–for the most part–does accurate coverage.
    BTW, (i.e. my previous post), I got my Fox tix for April 3rd, 40 some-odd minutes ago. Woohoo! I don’t think there will be a bad seat in the house there. I am looking forward to going on a tour first, when/if they are offered.

  40. Max Allstadt

    How the hell is the Meserle family expected to come up with a 300k cash bond? With the real estate market in the tank, how the hell are they even supposed to be able to put up the equity in their homes as a bond?

    There was a little unrest this week because our idiot mayor and his idiot PR man put out an incorrect press release saying Meserle was out of Jail. If they can keep their idiot mouths shut until Saturday, perhaps we’ll be OK.

    Ronzilla actually put out three press releases that day. The first one, incorrectly, basically said “The cop’s out on bail, but the law will prevail”. The second one said “wups! I meant he’s still in jail!” And the third one said “More unrest? Not my fault.”

  41. Quercki M. Singer

    Speaking of retail, the Oakland Tribune keeps having a Penny’s insert. I call Penny and ask where there is a Penny’s store. I point out that Richmond is four cities away and ask for one in Oakland. Maybe it will help.

  42. JB


    My understanding is that Mehserle’s extended family & friends have been able to come up with about $2.9 million and that many others are helping to raise the additional $100K. It will not take much longer. (FYI: Bail bondsmen collect a 10% fee for posting a bond. So, in this case, the family is forced to post the entire $3M or else lose $300K to a bondsman.)

  43. Max Allstadt

    Well if Meserle is about to make bail, I strongly recommend that Alameda Superior Court and OPD and anyone else involved do some pre-emptive outreach. I don’t know how much it will help. The mayor tried to put out a calming press release and the reaction was broken windows on an unmarked with police in it, right?

    If OPD or the Sheriff’s Office is listening – PLEASE, try to seek out the more peaceful and rational leaders of protest movements, and beg them to distribute the Gandhi and MLK protest rules that I linked to above. I don’t know how much it will help, but it can’t hurt.

    Anything we can do to transform destructive outrage into constructive dissent is worth trying. It’s also worth getting the most senior person (judge?) to issue a public comment on the release.

    This is a situation where the guy’s entire family and multiple friends on the force are laying their asses on the line. Flight risk seems like zero. As far as racial bias in bail hearings go, I’m betting this number is much larger than many other homicides, right? That needs to be a talking point.

    I sincerely hope that by taking steps ahead of time we can keep our city from being torn up again.

  44. oaklandhappenings

    BTW– is the council’s approval–or disapproval–of Lindheim Tuesday during a regular city hall meeting, or behind closed doors? Do citizens have a chance to voice their opinions first before they vote, as with the case at other CC meetings? Just wondering.

    Off-topic– only 90-ish more hours until the Fox’s grand opening!

  45. oaklandhappenings

    Now, as I type, we are less than 45 hours away from the Fox’s Grand opening!
    I plan to be outside watching the good folks–who shelled out 200+ smackers each to get attend–enter this marvel. The marquee’s letter lights are now all fixed up, after a few being burned out last month. The paving in front of the entrance is finally done, with the Broadway-style lamps placed in front of the theater; they–along with the sign–help make the theater’s exterior visible all the way from the corner of Alice & 19th St, after dark 5 blocks away. Look forward to Friday, standing at Latham Square looking north, seeing the Fox, Paramount (and smaller Uptown-Nightclub sign) all beaming and beaconing 6-7,000 people in their direction: from downtown, north Oakland, and even from the air! The Fox’s marquee top is like a flame! It would be fun if a plane could fly at just the right angle, taking off or coming in, to see all the lights shining. Of course, on the other side of the Lake, you have the Grand Lake Theater marqee and sign, as well as–most of the time–the Parkway. It will be theater night in Oaktown! Go enjoy it (Art Murmur as well).
    Tomorrow will be my LAST “countdown” post on this, I promise–duh! :-)

  46. Frank

    Hmmm… Oakland City Council considering spending $50k for a “national search” for a new Police Chief. Hey Ron, save us the $50k and just appoint Lindheim.

  47. Ralph

    On Tesla, I too thought it would be a good pick up for Oakland. It fit nicely with Doolittle’s Green Plan. But what makes SJ a better draw than Oakland – education?. Both cities have about the same % of people over 25 with either an undergrad or grad degree (SJ: 32%; Oak: 31%). So it ain’t education. But by the numbers, SJ has over 2x Oakland in these key demographic metric, 180K v 80K. Thus looking at the depth of the talent pool SJ looks more attractive.

  48. len raphael

    obama’s sec of ed has a record of supporting charter schools. the new sec of homeland security has a record of tightening up AZ border crossings. interesting implications for local and state policy, and unions.

    assume there wb have to be another big stimulous bill, because this one seems like it will barely make ripples in unemployment and state/local cutbacks.