73 thoughts on “Ouch.

  1. CK

    Woah, that’s pretty hardcore. Aparently he’s been talking a lot of trash and burning a lot of bridges out in District 5, so I can’t really say a hit-piece like this is all that surprising.

    Still, that’s pretty rough.

  2. Max Allstadt

    What I don’t get is why that blogger doesn’t just present the actual accusation up front. I had to go through a bunch of links to get the real deal. And why is someone who lost a judgment to the city running for office? Is this an oversight being blown out of proportion, or did he really try to hide 30k that should have been city money, on purpose?

  3. RyanC

    I once saw him kill a puppy in front of a bunch of kids from a local day care center. When I called the police to report the crime, the police said that they could not procecute him because he purchased the puppy legally from a local vendor. It was terrible! He keep saying the kids how delicious the puppy was! Do not vote for Mario Juarez!

  4. V Smoothe Post author

    RyanC –

    I don’t think it’s appropriate at all to make light of the questions raised about Juarez on the website. Do we want someone on the City Council who has declared bankruptcy, been sued by the City for breach of contract, and is currently being sued for fraud?

  5. RyanC

    V Smoothe –

    I don’t know Juarez. I know Iggy, I know him personally. I know he is a crook. He is the father of a admitted rapist, and it is true that he did not rape anyone, I do believe that the apple does not fall far from the tree. I also know, that it must be election time when I see stuff like the website pops up against a person who runs against the biggest Peralta machine. Listen, believe what you may, Iggy is the real crook in the City Council. Look at his record of rewarding his friend – including his former chief of staff, Carlos Plazola, who was just awarded a rezoning for the tidewater area. That is crooked.

  6. V Smoothe Post author

    RyanC –

    You think opening up the waterfront to the residents of Oakland is worse than fraud, bankruptcy, predatory lending, and defaulting on city contracts? Wow!

  7. Max Allstadt

    Ryan C-

    Ignacio has his rough spots, but if you’re smart you’ll take a look at his entire history rather than the handful of inflammatory articles printed about him in the Express. As far as rezoning for the tidewater area goes: it took more than Ignacio’s vote to make that happen. You need at least five votes to get anything through council. You need support from voters too. How much do you know about the issue? Do you know who voted for or against it? This is a big, complicated city, and it’s a lot easier to regurgitate simplistic news pieces than it is to really understand the big picture.

    There are things Ignacio has done that I disagree with and things I agree with and things I know nothing about. But I do know that if you want to debate V Smoothe about this and come across like you know what you’re talking about, it really looks like you’re going to have to do some more homework.

  8. Sergio Martinez

    Mario brokered a loan for me and at the last minute, without telling me, raised my points from 2 to 4 in the fine print of the loan document. I didn’t realize it until after I had signed it and now I have to pay for it. I should have been smarter and read my contract more carefully. I trusted him, and I was a fool. But he is greedy. He should have been more ethical. It was my first time, and I trusted him.

  9. Californio

    This website has enough information to raise a lot of red flags, but its hotheaded style has “vendetta” written all over it. You don’t “slap a lawsuit” on someone for child support arrearages, you initiate Contempt of Court proceedings through the DA’s office, and there’s a big difference in more than just tone. The fact that he’s been sued for this and that means little without being able to read the pleadings. People get sued all the time, especially in fields like real estate and construction. And there is such a thing as legitimate bankruptcy. What carries the most weight with me is the City’s lawsuit against him, since the City doesn’t file lawsuits for personal gain, but then the City apparently settled with him last November. If one really wanted to get into it, the most fruitful research would probably involve reading the contents of the hearings and the settlement conference in the City’s lawsuit. Were there but world enough, and time.

  10. Truisms


    “People get sued all the time”? Are you serious? This guy was sued, let’s see, 7 times in the last 6 years. 5 times in the last 2 years. Let’s pretend any of the current sitting councilmembers was sued this many times, how would this play with the public? And it’s cumulative. Add to these 7 lawsuits, a bankruptcy, this paints an image of someone who is not fit to run a business, let alone a city. But easily the most incriminating thing, if it turns out to be true, is the allegations about identity theft and sexual assault of Jane Doe #1. If this turns out to be true, even if he’s elected, he’ll go to jail.

  11. Californio

    I stand by what I say. The more people you deal with in business, the more likely you are to disagree, and thus the more likely you are to engage in litigation. Allegations are also just that. I agree, however, that the sum total of the evidence on this website, even if you factor out the hothead tone of it, leaves you with an irrevocably bad image of the candidate. What is equally distressing is that Juarez seems to have no positive qualifications whatsoever for City Council membership. Let us hope that he is not elected by demagoguery in that district where voters have more pressing daily issues than the qualifications of a city council candidate.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I voted for Ignacio for Mayor. Considering the alternatives, I stand by that choice as well.

  12. Jonathan C. Breault

    I rarely comment on other people’s opinions posted on this or any site. Everyone is entitled to express how they fee and I respect and admire to a point any citizen who takes the time and makes the effort to get involved, however minimally, in public policy debate. However, I just have to comment on the post of RyanC from Monday, April 21. The assertion that Ignacio De La Fuente is a “crook” is of course slanderous. But on the point of zoning policy how could anyone object to improving the moribund, under utilized and depressing waterfront abutting the Estuary? And how is it even remotely relevant or in any way whatsoever meaningful precisely who is going to undertake the significant economic risk attendant with a large development? I mean, this is really not mature thinking. Oakland is not New York. It is a relatively small city. There really not that many qualified, interested and competent people capable of developing anything. The absurd assertion that simply because De La Fuente knows the developer or anyone else that it is therefore a certainty that some crime has been committed is juvenile fanatasy.
    As for Mr. Mario Juarez there is the small matter of public record. Factually based and not attached to flimsy, hake-baked slanderous asssertions.

  13. RDC

    This stream is on the the wonderfully qualified Mario Juarez but something that Jonathan big Words C. Breault Esquire the 3rd kinda ticked me off.

    nice quote:

    “Oakland is not New York. It is a relatively small city. There really not that many qualified, interested and competent people capable of developing anything.”

    To whom are you referring to?

  14. Max Allstadt

    Ahh… Details. Nuance. Thanks for getting some more meat on here guys. I really think the site that started this conversation is unnecessarily nasty. But the facts behind it aren’t all that pretty either. Then again, I would have voted for Ignacio if I was in his district, and I would have voted for him for mayor if the East Bay Express’ repeated hit-pieces on him hadn’t gotten to me.

    It’s odd to make these sorts of decisions as a voter, knowing how little information is out there. Mario is very charismatic. That’s about all I know about him other than the info we’re talking about here. Ignacio is too, and my endorsement of him in this race is based mainly on what he did for me during the live/work controversy. He basically had staff that listened to me and made my problem go away. I’ve also heard from other people that his office is really engaging and attentive to it’s constituents. Lastly, I’ve seen him give a really good speech without any notes. I think that’s a reflection of intelligence and command of the issues.

    Smoothie – is there gonna be a district 5 debate?

  15. Max Allstadt


    about Jonathan’s quote: I disagree with him. But not for the reason you think. NYC’s development and political community is pretty damn incestuous too. But there are ways in which integrity can be maintained in that climate. Again: How many votes did Ignacio’s friend Carlos need on the council to get his project going? More than just Ignacio’s.

  16. V Smoothe Post author

    For the record, Carlos Plazola doesn’t actually have a development project in the Tidewater area in question, and as far as I am aware, has not submitted any application to do so. The rezoning of the area to Housing Business Mix requires an EIR, which is happening as part of the Estuary Policy Plan update process, and will not be complete for an estimated two years. The land he is part owner of is only 2.35 acres – not insignificant, certainly, but not huge either.

    Staff has been recommending changing the area to HBX since we first started talking about this in 2005, and everyone on the Council supported the change except Brooks and Kernighan. The point is to open up the waterfront so that it’s accessible to the residents of Oakland and to allow development compatible with the Bay Trail.

    Max –

    Yeah, I’m behind on my debate recaps. I still need to write up Districts 5 and 1. The District 5 debate was my first introduction to Mario Juarez, and I have to say, I thought he came off as a real joke.

  17. Jonathan C. Breault

    I am sorry to have referenced New York. It is out of context. My point in that developing the estuary is a positive development about 40 years past due. It is a fact that in this economic environment there is a finite number of people who the will, civic interest, financial capacity, experience with banks and development issues that would qualify them for this project. The assertion because someone in business knows someone in political office is therefore justification for alleging that person is a “crook” is nonsensical. This is a fact and can be expressed in any manner or form of the English language one is comfortrable with.

  18. OP

    I know nothing about Juarez and voted for Ignacio for Mayor but… this website is setting off all types of alarm bells. This seems like a political hatchet job of the worst sort.

    The style, content, and especially timing of the website are off. If you were private citizens who’d gotten screwed over in a real estate deal with Juarez, why wouldn’t you post about your experience? The site operators claim they need anonymity to protect against retaliation… I am suspicious. If you really needed to buy a new property, couldn’t you just use a different agent? How exactly could Juarez “retaliate?”

    Aside from missing any personal examples from this allegedly personally wronged group, the timing is awful conveninet. Juarez just stole a few high profile endorsements, labor and Dem, that were expected to go to Ignacio and then this comes out?

    As to the substance of the criticism, it would be useful to have someone who’s very involved in the real estate industry weigh in, but averaging 1 lawsuit a year for a decently big local real estate firm seems pretty normal — when you are facilitating transactions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars there are bound to be suits. The fact that he has kids from several different mothers is a personal attack and none of our business. The only thing that makes me pause is the allegation of domestic abuse, which should not be tolerated.

    I will say this: this combined with his having been kicked out of the Unity Council tells me that either Juarez does have a lot of dirty laundry or there is some dirty politics at play.

    I hope this group is who they say they are, but if this gets traced back to the Ignacio campaign I would lose respect for him. This type of anonymous bareknuckle character-assassination should have no place in Oakland politics.

  19. V Smoothe Post author

    OP –

    Given that Kathy Neal is running Juarez’s campaign, I don’t think anyone expected him to get the Central Committee’s endorsement. What is the other high profile endorsement you’re referring to?

    In any case, Juarez’s financial troubles and reputation (accurate or not) as a predatory lender were hardly a secret before. I’ve heard all sorts of awful things about him from a number of different people, but the only ones I knew for certain were true were the bankruptcy and defaulting on his City contract, which in my mind, is plenty to disqualify him as a candidate for Council. I’ve been wondering when that information would come out.

    I agree that the “family life” section is tawdry and off-putting. I have never understood why people feel the need to pry into the personal lives of either celebrities or politicians.

  20. LAR

    I own a restaurant on the Fruitvale district and last week I was approched by Carlos Plazola who came into my restaurant in the most treatening fashion to remove a sign from the Mario Juarez campaign. This is the actual run down; Carlos said that I was a crook since I associated with the Mario’s campaign. He stated that Ignacio was going to win the election and we were better off moving or closing the restaurant because he was going to make sure we shot down the restaurant. That I was a crook for taking money from Ignacio and not backing them during the campaign. I did not want any trouble and Carlos took the sign from Mario and left screaming like a lunatic. This is the type of political tough of war taking place in the Fruitvale. I wish Mario and Ignacio would just go away. You ride down on International you see the division taking place. Some – most merchants for Mario and Ignacio camps – including a lady from the day laborers program – I do not know her name walking down with a hit piece on Mario .

    When we left Mexico I really believe that we were going to a diferent place. But the Plazola incident made undertant that Oakland is the same as Mexico. Politics at its worst.

  21. E&J Fruitvale

    LAR -

    The name of the lady is EMILIA OTERO. She works for volunteers for America – The Day Labor Program. She also came into my store with a hit piece on Mario. She said that Mario was a crook and Ignacio was a saint – basically.

    This is not new, Ignacio staff and supporters can see the writting in the wall and its time to get nasty.


  22. Truisms

    I disagree with the perspective that family life is not relevent. I think Mario made it relevent when he painted himself as the loving family man on his website. He is selling an image to the voters of himself as a stable, loving father and husband. By portraying himself as such, he opens this part of his life up to scrutiny. If it is true, then let the facts show it. If it is false, then there should be accountability. Four children from 3 women? A law suit for child support? If these statements are indeed true, then I think Mario should change his website and stop portraying himself falsely. THe voters have the right to know who they are voting for: how that person runs their personal life, their business, their friendhsips–because all these things speak to character. In the end, the character of a person matters.

  23. L. Pippo

    There is no debate here. Mario stole over $30,000 from the City. The City had to take extraordinary measures to get it back. Now he wants to be an elected official–why? So he can steal more money? No matter how you slice it–Mario is a thief. And I didn’t need a website to tell me that.

  24. Max Allstadt

    Ick Ick Ick!

    You know what has me utterly pissed off here? All the anonymous accusations.

    The people who put up the anti-Mario site: Anonymous.

    LAR’s accusations about Plazola: Anonymous

    Ryan C: Anonymous

    As a matter of fact, it looks like the only people on this board with the cojones to use their real names are Me, Jonathan, Sergio, and possibly Scott Park. If you do a little homework you can figure out who V is too.

    Anyway, what’s my point? If you’re going to spew invective, don’t be a wimp. Let us know who you are.

  25. Thomas Hernandez

    I was a client of Sharahim De La Fuente. Daughter of Ignacio De La Fuente. She charged me SIX points to do a loan. YES, 6% points on a $679,000 loan. Now, when I tried to complaint to her – her company – or her boyfriends loan company closed down and was no where to be found. When I tried to find Mrs. De La Fuente it turned out that she did not have licensee to transact Real Estate in California. Now, the State wont go after her because she was not licenseed.

    The moral, read your loan documents. And don’t do loans with Mexicans.

    Thomas Hernandez

  26. Lorraine Watson

    Truism –

    She is right, we should talk about family. It is important. We need to know what type of children the candidates are raising. I think is fair game.

    Lets see – who has a child in State Prision for raping four diferent women. One was 15 years of age. Mr Juarez?

    Now, Max – My name is Lorraine Watson and I live on 39th Avenue.


  27. Winifred Rodriguez

    Max –

    I’d appreciate it if you stopped complaining about people using handles. Doing so is standard practice in internet forums. People have all sorts of reasons for wanting to remain pseudonymous, and it certainly isn’t my place, or yours, to judge them. A number of my commenters, who I know personally, cannot post under their real names on the blog because it would jeopardize their careers. I encourage the use of unique durable identities.

    In any case, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that because you see a first and last name attached to a comment that the person is using their real name. Case in point.

    - V

  28. maxine

    Talk about corrupt! what about the people that are pushing mario juarez ! are these people aware of his corruption? Are we willing to give crooks like Mario Juarez Wings?
    Don’t start blaming others, this was all Mario.. Mario can’t run his own business or his personal life, how do we expect him to run a district… He has burnt lots of people in District 5! from Business owners to 1st time home buyers & yet they are allowing him to run for office. Lets talk when he burns you too!!!!

  29. Barajas

    When my family sold their land it was Mario Juarez who made it happen.

    Our family property was located at International Blvd and was on the market for well over one year with another broker for about 2.1mm dollars. When the other local broker could not sell the land, it was Mario Juarez who took the listing for 2.5mm.

    At the end, my family sold the land for 2.73 cash offer.

    Now, keep this in mind, Mario went against the interest of other local developers to push the land for a lower price. He represented us for the better deal.

    My father and mother worked their whole life at the end the sale of the land is all they have.

    S. Barajas for
    Jesus and Paulina Barajas Cabrera

  30. Lorraine Watson


    It looks like another offspring off De La Fuente is committing crimes.

    That would be two for two on that family. It must be somenthing on the water of the paternal mik.

    Lorraine Watson
    on 39th Avenue

  31. maxine

    Ms. Barajas: I guess you are one of the lucky ones. I’m happy that your parents were able to get the land sold & best of luck to your family. But all do respect your land was worth millions & he made lots of money from the sale, so he didn’t need to take from you. Its the families that don’t read, write or speak english well that he takes advantage of. He knows he can talk them into anything because he’s Latino like them & they trust that!!

  32. Fortress Oakland

    This was a very interesting website since I didn’t really know much about Mr. Juarez. The public records of the lawsuits are relevant and I understand some skepticisms in regards to other comments posted on the site. I believe the most appalling factor is that he is being investigated by the DA for sexual harrasment and using employees social security #’s by selling them on the black market. This is what did it for me and why I urge everyone in District 5 not to vote for Mario Juarez.

  33. Chris Kidd

    Hmmmmm, there’s some serious scandalousness coming out of the woodwork right now. Still, I have to say I’m just not that swayed by the mud-slinging. We can character assasinate on both sides for family life and the conduct of associates and still get no closer to any sort of resolution. All the evils thrown at Mario’s feet won’t get me to vote for Ignacio, and vice versa.
    Instead, I’m going to take a novel approach and consider platforms, positions, and programs. Crazy, I know. When it comes down to it, I’m backing Ignacio because he backs the artist communities, be they in West Oakland like Max or in Jingletown like myself.
    And Max, you’ve inspired me to drop my psuedonym CK.

    …you’re also the wind beneath my wings…

  34. Max Allstadt


    My comlaint about handles is a specific complaint, not about handles in general.
    If you’re going to tell me that Mario Juarez is a crook, and you have evidence from verifiable city documents, then show me the city documents and I’ll take them for what they’re worth. If you’re going to say that Carlos Plazola strong-armed you, and do so anonymously, without evidence, on a forum like this, I have an issue with that. I don’t know Carlos, so this isn’t about him specifically. If you were accusing Dellums of soiling a rug that really tied the room together, I’d expect you name yourself too, or show photos.

    It’s about the integrity of information. If you want to go to a journalist and be an anonymous source and say Plazola threatened you, we have some integrity of information because the journalist has to decide if you’re credible and if the story is worth putting a byline on. We have accountability here. What LAR did and the way they did it is totally unaccountable. If they want to do it here, I can’t stop them, but I can point out that we should consider them much less credible than someone who puts their name or their sources on their accusation.

    Also, if we’re going to have handles, it’s ABSOLUTE cowardice to choose one that is not clearly an alias. Everybody can tell dto510 and v smoothe are aliases. Fair enough. So is CK. Just using first names is cool too, Joanna. However, scottpark implies that you’re a guy named Scott Park, which I believe is not the case.

  35. Max Allstadt

    Chris Kidd, we really oughta go do some Karaoke duets sometime. Did you ever know that you’re my hero?

  36. RDC

    Max, I am sorry that I, as well as many others, are such cowards that we won’t put our real names or clearly outline our handle names for you. You have shamed me into admitting my true name which is……………….Coward McCowardly.

    Since it’s clear that you don’t have a job to keep, I think I’m going to keep my identity private so that yocals like yourself can’t find me up in the hills hiding behind my security cameras and attack dogs.

    There is no forum like this one where you can denounce Oakland’s inept leadership without becoming a target of backlash. Everyone who actually speaks up, anonymously, is entitled to because V-Smoothe said so. Its her blog and she allows all of us the opportunity to air our complaints without becoming open to attack. Like she said, there are some people on here who are in a compromised position but still blog anyway. Hats off to them.


  37. Max Allstadt

    RDC, if you read my posts, you’ll notice two things:

    One, I backed off on my anti-hills tirade. Hmmmm… maybe that had something to do with the fact that I sign my name, so I feel like a shlub when I get carried away, because I’m accountable?

    Two, I already said that I can’t make the rules here, ’cause it’s V’s blog. I also said that it was more an issue of the credibility and reliability of accusations. Opinions rendered anonymously aren’t all that egregious, I can accept that.

    If you want to make anonymous accusations on an internet forum without providing evidence, I can’t stop it. But I will continue to berate people who do that for two reasons: it’s chicken shit, and it’s so unreliable that it accomplishes nothing anyway. I mean RDC, if I announced that somebody told me that you had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year, would that really be consequential?

    And you’re right, I’m self employed, which is liberating. I intend to stay that way, so I can keep my voice. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who can pull it off.

  38. V Smoothe Post author

    Max –

    Thanks for the clarification. I encourage my readers to use handles if they so desire. I do ask that they retain durable identities, and I think that for the most part, my regular readers have done so. RDC, Californio, CK, concernedoakff, and others all have to defend their comments in this forum as much as anyone else does.

    And to everyone reading –

    I am happy to provide a forum for vigorous discussion of Oakland politics, and I love getting comments, even when I ardently disagree with them. I have never deleted a comment that wasn’t clearly spam, and I have no desire to censor my readers’ contributions. However, I do not want my blog to devolve into a place where people fabricate nasty stories about officeholders or candidates or throw around irresponsible personal attacks. If you want to slander De La Fuente, go call Robert Gammon. If you want to yell about Mario Juarez’s fidelity, go comment about it on Oakland City Crooks. I am not interested in the family life of any of the candidates, and I am not interested in what any of their children do or don’t do either.

    So please, if you need a forum to trash political figures based on their personal lives or unsubstantiated rumor, go start your own blog. It’s easy to do. I encourage lively, even heated exchange of opinions in the comments here, but I want to see those opinions founded in verifiable fact, and I want to see the discussion limited to topics relevant to a person’s ability to govern.

  39. Cameron

    Mario Juarez got CREAMED at the community meeting in Sheffield tonight. It’s a bit of a coincidence if you ask me, but a woman stood up and reamed him a new ARShole. She said he BEAT her, STOLE her ID and a crap load of other stuff. Some lady was there and got it all on tape. I asked her what she’s going to do with it and she said ‘What else? YouTube’. LOL

  40. Sergio Martinez


    I searched YouTube under “Mario Juarez” and couldn’t find it. Can you tell me what key words to use? I’m really curious to see it. I think I know the girl who might have spoke. Her story is pretty well known in my neighborhood. She was an employee of his supposedly. I think she works at Clinica de la Raza as a nurse or something now.

    I wondered when mario decided to run for council how long it would take for all his stuff to catch up to him. Since he was endorsed by the Democratic Club it dawned on me that this corrupt piece of *#@% may actually be taken seriously. Maybe it’s time for me to step out and be seen and tell my story. If she did it, maybe I should.

    And before any of you judge me for my anger of Mario, walk in the shoes I’ve walked since he screwed me over. Every time I pay my mortgage bill, I regret I trusted him.


  41. SheffielMan

    I was a the meeting there tonight as well. The woman who stood up seem to be like a lunatic!

    Politics at worst. A complete set up. About 15 people from OUR of the neighboorhood. All De LaFuente supporters.

    If you ask my opinion, I am voting for Mario, he had a plan for the future and did not relied on the past.

  42. SheffielMan

    Excuse me, typo.

    The people supporting De La Fuente were from OUT of the neighboorhood.

    I have never seem most of them before.

  43. SheffielMan


    Maybe you should come out. Go to the Police. They should prosecute him if you had a valid story.

    To me, it seems like all too convenient that a person goes against De La Fuente and all this comes out.

    This is what bothers me. Politics at its worst. Specially when we get people crashing the neighborhood meeting and pack them with De La Fuentes. All too convenient.

  44. Sergio Martinez

    Mario Juarez, I know you. I know you are Sheffiel Man. You wrote that. I know you well. You SOB. I know you’re F’d up writing. Noose is closing, brother. You screwed me, and now it ‘s your turn.

    You should have quit while you were ahead. But you over-shot. You got over cocky. A lot of us wished the best for you as a local boy with some brains, but you got too greedy. I knew you at Fremont High. How dare you screw so many people and think you could get away with it. Good bye. Your days are numbered. I used a fake name here, but you know who I am. Like Norma, I’m coming out too. You’ll see me soon, fool.

  45. SheffielMan

    Sergio Martinez -

    I live in the neighborhood. I am not Mario Juarez. I made a point of asking you to go to the police. Take it as you may.

  46. avis

    Wow, the Fruitvale area is really going at it in this election, but I would rather see this than Ignacio running unopposed. At least we are having some spirited debates on International these days.

    However, what I think we may be missing in the whole Tidewater issue is the demolition of the 9th Avenue Terminal that the developers want. Personally, I would love to see the waterfront opened up to the neighborhood and I would love to see the 9th Avenue Terminal saved. According to local historians, the Terminal is the last of its kind in the US. It is unigue in that boats, trucks and railroad cars can all utilize the Terminal and if it really is the LAST one of its kind in existence maybe we shouldn’t rush to tear it down so we can build more condos. Also, a working winery wants to locate in the Terminal, this wouold produce some jobs for Oakland and some tax dollars, not to mention how great it would be for my neighborhood. Tasltings, tours, wine sales, sounds great to me. I also know a couple local restauranteurs you think part of the Terminal would be a great place for a new restaurant/bar. Wouldn’t it be nice to come home after a long day at work, head down to the water and enjoy a nice glass of wine while overlooking the estuary? The square area in front of the Terminal would be a great place for the communtiy to gather, I just can’t understand why we should tear this builing down, except that is what the developers want to make the area ready for their new, expensive condos. Seems like only the rich Oaklanders would get to enhoy the estuary if the Tidewater plan goes through.

  47. Max Allstadt

    It’s getting icky all over. Robert Gammon let the dogs loose on Clinton Killian in today’s East Bay Express. I wasn’t going to vote for Killian anyway, but for those of you considering him, please also consider that Gammon isn’t exactly unbiased.

    The latest flub by Gammon was printing that Patrick McCullough shot his assailant in the back. As usual, printed in an article, retracted in a small section nobody reads. The Express does that with embarrassing regularity. I’m really concerned that their editorials are the primary source of local news for a lot of my peers.

  48. californio


    What you see above is not debate, it’s invective, it’s an argument in a parking lot, and it doesn’t help clarify any issues. However, this kind of posting does awaken us to the intellectual level of a large part of the Oakland electorate, and it should tell us why, on the street, certain problems are impossible to solve. These posters are the people who have computers and internet access. What about the ones who do not? Oakland is a rough, working class city in spite of downtown development and Milano Restaurant and Yoshi’s. Our big problems derive from the nature of the people who live here. This is why Dellums has become invisible and Nadel is trying to prohibit the sale of plastic bags; they’ve thrown up their hands. The police themselves, in this morning’s article, say they have no real power either. They’re right. They don’t. This is Chinatown, Jake.

  49. maxine

    Lets get back to the real issue here: Mario has only been a business owner in the Fruitvale for a few years & he thinks that’s enough time for us to cast a vote for him.. He has not earned the title of Councilmember! I believe people need to give back to the community they live in. Not take from it? I keep trying to find some of his accomplishments, I’m still looking! all I keep finding is more & more information that he’s taken from the most needy.
    I guess his past is catching up to him – someone said that Ignacio focuses on the past in a previous posting but if you think about it! the past does come back to bite you or reward you! All i see when I come to fruitvale is how Ignacio’s past actions have created a busy and attractive District 5! That is a reward for all District

  50. Chris Kidd


    I think you’re getting a little confused about the Tidewater issue vs. the Estuary Speicific Plan vs. the Oak to 9th Project. You’re kinda all wrapping them up together and they’re completely different items.

    Oak to 9th – Gillmetti project down by Estuary Park dealing with the old 9th street terminal that you were suggesting alternatives for. Really, I don’t see that project going anywhere until the city makes nice with BCDC, Waterfont Action and Mr. Silvera. But considering he brought suit against the city, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

    Estuary Specific Plan – Specific plan to help a region from 19th to 54th and from 880 to the estuary better conform to its designations in the city General Plan. Also would involve rezoning, planning for infratstructure upgrades, traffic studies, EIRs, and a redesign of the bay trail and waterfront in that area among other things.

    Tidewater – Little area within the Estuary Specific Plan and the *opposite end* of the Estuary from Oak to 9th. Right on the openning out to San Leandro Bay, below the High St. bridge. This area would be covered under the Estuary Specific plan, but its rezoning would not be open to public input during and after the EIR because the city council already decided how it should be zoned. Some have cried wolf over this because an investment group Carlos Plazola is tied to owns 2.35 acres in the Tidewater. Personally, I don’t give a rats ass about that as long as the waterfront gets openned up, the bay trail is extended, and the 19th to 54th region of the estuary gets better zoning to help revitalize itself economically.

    And on the Mario/Ignacio pissing match that’s going on here: I know this whole thread got started because V pointed out a hatchet-job website, but can we maybe elevate the conversation a little bit? Maybe those that don’t like Ignacio could talk about what he’s done through his office in the past that they don’t like? Or stuff that they thought he should have done and didnt? Those that are railling against Mario: could we maybe stick to something that would be politically relevant? The only thing from the website that started it all that I found politically relevant was the suit brought by the city against him. If the battery charges make it to court, then I’ll count those as well.
    But instead of talking about who’s the worse person, maybe we could talk about who’s better equiped and oriented to make things *better*? That’s the whole point of serving your city, right? Or at least what we should expect?

  51. V Smoothe Post author

    It’s not the best, it’s horrible! There are way too many comments on this post! It’s hard to follow! I’ve been looking into making some changes on the site, including threaded comments to facilitate discussion, but all that is going to have to wait until after the election.

    avis –

    Can you point me to a reference that the terminal is the last remaining break-bulk terminal in the US. I have never heard anything like that – only that it’s the last remaining (out of three we once had) in Oakland. Big difference. Personally, I would prefer the Terminal area be a large park and think that would better serve the community, but I don’t oppose adaptive re-use if they can find a way to make that work. The winery plan – well, I think that would be nice, but the proposal has a lot of kinks to work out. I mean, their ability to operate in the terminal is predicated on not paying rent or having to pay for any of the structural improvements the facility needs.

    Max –

    You actually inspired me to read the Express! I don’t really know what to say. The story raises some serious questions, but then Gammon makes a habit of printing straight up lies that are easily dis-proven by public documents, so I’m skeptical. Hopefully a more reputable local journalist will follow up on Gammon’s assertions.

  52. Joanna/OnTheGoJo

    Ugh, the Express. The let’s-say-whatever-we-want-and-apologize-in-small-print-later paper. I’ve been misquoted more than a few times. I hate it! I make it a point to no longer provide quotes when asked.

    And while the comments here have been hard to follow, I admittedly find them entertaining! Hey, V, aren’t you supposed to be on vaca?

    I love the winery tasting room idea for the 9th Ave Terminal, but realistically, I see no way for it to work. My issue with O29 is that the “open space” is really a front yard for those residents living there, not for all of Oakland. Instead, Oakland has the Middle Harbor Park, which is a great park, it’s just too freaken cold and somewhat hard to find.

    I won’t comment on the District 5 race, because I don’t care for either candidate and luckily that’s not my District. I do find the conversation entertaining, especially the posts from several people are obviously not regular readers.

  53. avis

    V Smoothie,

    I would be happy to tell you who the local historian is who told me that the 9th Avenue Terminal was the last one left in the entire US. Please email me offline and I will be happy to tell you the name of the historian who gave me this info.

    I understand that a lot of folks do not find the Terminal to be a beautiful building, but I couldn’t disagree with them more. Someday, grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks on Embacardero and then walk out the back door and peruse the view across the water to the Terminal bldg. Imagine the waterfront in the 1920′s, trucks pulling into the terminal, rail cars chugging down the tracks and ships waiting to be emptied or loaded. Never fails to bring a smile to my face that this historic bldg still exists. However, in the interest of fairness I must admit I love old buildings, this is what drew me to Oakland in the first place. When I first came here in the mid 80′s I was amazed at what a wealth of historic homes and commercial buildings were still standing here in Oakland and this is why I sitill live here today. I have spent years restoring an old house here and it has been one of the most pleasurable experiences of my life. So I do understand I may not be the norm here, but I think we really have to stop and think carefully before we tear down this historic Terminal. It just seems wasteful to me to destroy this building when it could be used for so many differnt things. Why not give the landfill a rest?

  54. V Smoothe Post author

    Avis –

    The problem is that nobody has been able to find a use for it. If someone could come up with a credible plan for adaptive reuse of the Terminal, I’d be happy to consider it. Until then, I would much rather see that space be used as a public park.

  55. avis

    Wouldn’t the winery be a great use of a good part of the Terminal? I was at the city meeting the night a group of developers unveiled their plan to put a winery in there and it sounded pretty wonderful to me. They want to do tours and tastings. It will create a few jobs too. Also, the square area in front of the terminal bldg could be set up to function like a town square, lots of plants and benches, maybe some flower gardens. Great place to hang out with coffee, wine or just to people watch in the sunshine.

    As recently as Easter I spoke to a local chef who is very interested in using part of the space for a restaurant/bar, wouldn’t this also be a good use of this building? Maybe we could use some redevelopment money to get this project started? God, knows this part of town could use some more stores, maybe a bank and eventually I’m sure this building could attract paying tenants, but we have to have some vision. In my opinion I don’t think the city has spent much energy trying to elicit ideas of how we coud re-use the Terminal.

    My fear is that the waterfront will become crowded with pricey condos cutting off the water from the rest of the neighborhoods across 880. I think developing the Terminal and the square area in front of it for neighborhood use would be the best way to encourage the whole neighborhood to utilize the waterfront and this great old building. It would also be the best thing environmentally speaking.

  56. Chris Kidd


    A few things.

    — I applaud your dedication to the Oak to 9th issue, but how exactly did it find its way on to this comment thread? I’m all for a discussion of what to do with that area, but maybe in a forum not dedicated to discussing the District 5 election.

    — I’m not sure anyone has said they hate the way the Terminal looks. I used to see it from the water every day when I rowed crew in highschool. It rocks. In fact, I think the most current form of the Gilmetti design incorporates the terminal facade in its drawings. Sure, they’d be gutting the inside and buildng something on top, but the exterior that you paid homage to earlier would still be there.
    http://www.oakto9th.com/proposed_exhibits.html (sorry, I can’t find a better pic)
    I’m definitely not saying I’m totally in support of the design. There are plenty of things I would tweak. Just saying, the Terminal’s exterior will still be intact.

    — I would also completely be against piecemeal development in this area. That’s the quickest way to failure. Oak to 9th is currently empty buildings, boat marinas, a few businesses and some industrial space. If you put in a winery, and just a winery, who will go there? Where will they come from? There is no population base to support any new retail ventures out there. Not to the south until you get to Jingletown. Not to the north until you get to the Loft District (or whatever its called). For viable businesses, you need viable population bases to at least offer a modicum of financial support.
    This is the same reason I’d be against all parks and whatnot. The most amazing, waterfront-openning, beautifully designed park will function as deadening blight unless people go there. Not only that, but parks can be especially dangerous places unless you can be sure of sizable numbers of people using or viewing them at most times during the day. A park, by itself, won’t attract people there in sufficient numbers. I only need refer to Middle Harbor Park to make my point. Or even closer to home, Estuary Park (on the other side of the Laney canal) was empty and irrelevant for years until new residents from south of Jack London Square started using it, coupled with the construction of the Jack London Aquatic Center at Estuary Park.

    — I’d also like clarification on your point about “cutting off the neighborhoods on the other side of 880″. What neighborhoods are we talking about? Not the ones *directly* on the other side of 880, mainly because the freeway blocks the view as it goes up and over the Laney canal. And not the neighborhoods along 5th as it works its way up to Park Blvd. You wouldn’t have a high enough vantage point to really see the waterfront.

    I’m totally all for openning up the waterfront. I think it’s an amazing resource that the city has left too long unappreciated and underutilized. I also think the current waterfront in the Oak to 9th area is about as closed as you can get. I agree that we shouldn’t turn the waterfront into a backyard for the wealthy, I just want Oakland to start realizing just a bit of its amazing potential.

    Sorry for the rant. I just loves me some waterfront issues.

  57. josh abrams (fake name. no, really)

    The Youtube video is pretty harsh — but I find it hard to hold anything against anybody that they have only been charged for (ie not convicted or found responsible). That said, this sort of lack of ethics wasn’t all that uncommon in the real estate industry (especially the loan officers, especially in California) during the boom.

    while we’re on the topic of hit jobs, did anyone see the EB Express piece on Clinton Killian? Someone must be scared of him to have fed that sort of info to the press. I wonder who Gammons is in the tank for.

  58. Max Allstadt

    Is Gammon really doing anything but his own work? V- I know you’re on vacation, but could you inform us a bit about his history and biases.

    I really would like to see a retractions compilation website for each of the EBExpress’s writers. As a matter of fact, online retraction histories should be a new addition to standards of all journalists.

  59. avis


    Sorry, you are right this was probably not the best place to start this conversation. I just can’t stop talking about 3 things lately and the 9th Ave Terminal is one of them. It’s the historic preservationist in me. Let me try to respond to all the topics you bring up.
    1. Terminal is Ugly–
    Many folks have told me that they do not think the Terminal is a very attractive bldg, they would rather save something older, smaller, better looking. My take is this—per local historians, this is the last remaining terminal of its kind in the US and I think that the last one of anything would be a great thing to save. Maybe someday Oakland would get some positive attention for having it here. Who knows?
    2. Gutting the Inside and adding something on top–
    Then it won’t be the last terminal of its kind in the US, will it?
    3. Piecemeal development & Population base support
    I agree with you about not wanting piecemeal development, but this one historic bldg doesn’t have to keep new construction away. On the contrary I see the Terminal as being the heart of new residential development in the area. I see it filled with shops, offices, restaurants, bars, coffee houses, etc, etc, etc. God, maybe even a bank or two.
    When I speak of the neighborhoods the other side of 880, I am speaking specifically about Eastlake/San Antonio. When the new Starbucks (that has such a great view of the Terminal) first opened my neighbors organized a walking group that walked from San Antonio Park to Starbucks and back and we continue to do this from time to time. We also bike and drive there. I go freguently and always see at least one neighbor there. Gosh, I have been to Flora downtown at least once a week since it opened and folks I know here are ALWAYS looking for someplace in the neighborhood to go at night for entertainment. I definitely think the population base would support a couple restaurants in the Terminal. Look at Quinn’s Lighthouse, that place has done a whopping business for years and years and I hate to say this, but the food isn’t even that good. We go because we are desperate for someplace to go in the neighborhood. Also, the Yacht dealerships seem to stay in business along that stretch of the water, they have been there for years.
    Cutting off the neighborhood on other side of 580–
    You are right that we can’t see the water when we look out our windows, but many of us go down there to walk, bike or just sit by the water and enjoy the view. Not everyone in Oakland will be able to afford a new condo on the water, but we all deserve access to this lovely area. The Waterfront trail, the old Terminal, the oak to 9th plan, I just want to make sure these things open the waterfront to the existing neighborhood and if we could save a unique, old Oakland bldg at the same time, well, it seems like a good idea to me.

    Now it’s my turn to apologise for ranting on about the waterfront, but I’ve been waiting over 20 years for Oakland to realize its potential and I’m getting cranky!

  60. V Smoothe Post author

    avis –

    If you’re going to keep asserting that the Ninth Avenue Terminal is the last building of its kind in the US, you are going to have to provide some sort of reference for that. I e-mailed you like you requested in your last comment, and have not gotten a response. There is no reference to the Ninth Avenue Terminal being the last of anything in the country anywhere in the public record on this project – in the EIR, the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board report, and so on, it is simply referred to as the last surviving break bulk terminal in Oakland (we had three). Unless you can provide evidence otherwise, I’m going to have to conclude that your assertion is simply not true and ask you to stop repeating it.

  61. avis

    V Smoothie,
    I have not received an email from you, but I am a contractor and my emails change frequently so you may have an old email. Please email me at mauipearl@gmail.com and I will be happy to discuss how I came to know this about the terminal.

  62. Payback

    On Juarez…
    Has set-up a site a mirror site for his campaign called http://cplazola.net

    Mario’s two Bankrupt corporations are funding this mirror website.

    Isn’t that illegal for campaigns to take contributions from bankrupt corporations.

    and / or

    Isn’t it illegal to conduct business with bankrupt corporations

    If you look up the registration it comes up as:

    The data in Register.com’s WHOIS database is provided to you by
    Register.com for information purposes only, that is, to assist you in
    obtaining information about or related to a domain name registration
    record. Register.com makes this information available “as is,” and
    does not guarantee its accuracy. By submitting a WHOIS query, you
    agree that you will use this data only for lawful purposes and that,
    under no circumstances will you use this data to: (1) allow, enable,
    or otherwise support the transmission of mass unsolicited, commercial
    advertising or solicitations via direct mail, electronic mail, or by
    telephone; or (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes
    that apply to Register.com (or its systems). The compilation,
    repackaging, dissemination or other use of this data is expressly
    prohibited without the prior written consent of Register.com.
    Register.com reserves the right to modify these terms at any time.
    By submitting this query, you agree to abide by these terms.

    American Legal Judgments
    Mario Juarez
    1105 Avon Avenue
    San Leandro, CA 94579

    Email: mario@mariojuarez.com

    Registrar Name….: REGISTER.COM, INC.
    Registrar Whois…: whois.register.com
    Registrar Homepage: http://www.register.com

    Domain Name: cplazola.net

    Created on…………..: Tue, Aug 16, 2005
    Expires on…………..: Sat, Aug 16, 2008
    Record last updated on..: Thu, Mar 27, 2008

    Administrative Contact:
    The Judicial Group, Inc
    Cecilia Mendez-Olmos
    1300 Clay Street
    Oakland, CA 94612
    Phone: 510-346-9000
    Email: cecilia@judicialgroup.com

    Technical Contact:
    Domain Registrar
    575 8th Avenue 11th Floor
    New York, NY 10018
    Phone: 1-902-7492701
    Email: domain-registrar@register.com

    DNS Servers:


    Visit AboutUs.org for more information about cplazola.net

    AboutUs: cplazola.net

    Register your domain name at http://www.register.com

    How Stupid does this idiot think the voters in District 5 are.


  63. Max Allstadt

    Wow, if that’s legit, it’s a pathetically sloppy move. If its a setup, it’s spectacularly icky.

    Weird. I mean what politician would put up an endorsements page that had no names on it?

    and what would be the advantage of cybersquatting on Plazola’s name? This is getting epically bizarre.

  64. Payback

    Only the owners of a site control it. Until about 10:00am PDT, the site
    was mirroring the campaign site of MJ. The Information is ALL true.
    Register.com would know the truth.

  65. Four T He-Record

    Predatory Lending Fact Sheet

    The State of California is working hard to protect borrowers from illegal and improper lending practices while still making sure that people get the credit they need to live the American Dream. Prospective homebuyers and other borrowers need to do their part by being careful about the lenders they select. Educating yourself about the techniques that dishonest lenders use will help you avoid becoming a victim of predatory lending.
    The term “predatory lending” is used to describe a variety of deceitful, fraudulent or unfair credit practices, including:

    Steering borrowers towards interest rates that far exceed the lender’s risks.

    Charging excessively high fees and commissions.

    Persuading a borrower to repeatedly refinance a loan in order to charge high points and fees each time the loan is refinanced (“loan flipping”).

    Misrepresenting the loan’s terms and conditions.

    Requiring high-cost credit insurance (“packing”).

    Unscrupulous lenders who use these tactics often target vulnerable populations such as low-income borrowers and seniors.

  66. Chris Kidd


    I agree at the strangeness of all of this. It really doesn’t seem to add up, no matter which way I’ve sliced it. Can we get a ruling from those better informed on Payback’s claim that it’s illegal for a corporation to conduct business while in bankruptcy? Would it depend under what Chapter you’ve filed your bankruptcy? Is this even a big deal?

    As for squatting on plazola’s name… color me equally confused. If Juarez wanted to throw mud over Ignacio’s relationship with Carlos (which really has become a non-issue now, anyhow), wouldn’t he have already started flinging? Or set up his own hit-piece website similar to the one leveled against him? Does. Not. Compute.

  67. Fortress Oakland

    That is so childish that a candidate for City Council would put up a porn site to mirror the Oakland crooks website. Now I find it harder and harder to fathom how the majority of voters of District 5 could even consider electing Juarez to the Council.