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Friday, November 24, 2017

EBC AGENDA | NOV 24-30 | OAKLAND probes ICE raid, remembers Ghost Ship; HAYWARD adopts 'The Commitment'; BERKELEY examines Measure GG

THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 24-30

--OAKLAND-- Special council meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 5:30 p.m. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--OPD/ICE PROBE-- A likely volatile discussion of the events surrounding the Aug. 16 ICE raid in West Oakland returns to the council agenda after being pulled in Rules two weeks ago. According to OPD, U.S. Homeland Security notified Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick that its agents would be conducting a criminal search warrant related to human trafficking. "Chief Kirkpatrick agreed that traffic control was advisable to ensure both officer and public safety," according to the report. "Chief Kirkpatrick provided strict instructions that OPD personnel were not to engage in any other capacity. On the morning of August 16, 2017, OPD deployed one sergeant and two officers to the area of the HSI operation in West Oakland. The assigned OPD personnel were directed to provide traffic control only. OPD personnel were directed to take no part in the efforts undertaken by HSI." The event, however, resulted in one undocumented immigrants being detained. Further complicating the incident is the council voted this summer to cut all ties with ICE.

--SUBSTANTIAL REHAB MORATORIUM-- Councilmembers Dan Kalb and Rebecca Kaplan want an 180-day moratorium on landlords seeking new petitions for substantial rehabilitation exemptions. "Before an exemption is granted, the current regulations require an owner to spend a minimum of 50 percent of the average basic cost for new construction and perform substantial work in each of the units in the building."

--"The purpose of the exemption is to encourage private investment in deteriorated residential units in Oakland. However, numerous residents have recently complained to the Oakland City Council and Housing, Residential Rent and Relocation Board that their rents will increase to unaffordable levels if recent petitions filed for the substantial rehabilitation exemption are granted and that this will lead to displacement."

--SECOND READINGS-- Over the past few weeks, Oakland councilmembers have passed first readings for some notable pieces of legislation. Tuesday night comes the second and final readings of ordinances pertaining to cannabis dispensaries and retail adult-use, along with Councilmember Abel Guillen's ordinance prohibiting contractors who perform any work on President Donald Trump's proposed border wall from gaining city contracts in Oakland.

--GHOST SHIP REMEMBRANCE-- On Dec. 2, 2016, 36 people lost their lives at a building fire on 31st Avenue, known as the Ghost Ship. "Nearly one year later, we acknowledge and honor the ongoing grief brought by the tragedy and that the City of Oakland continues to heal; now, therefore be it RESOLVED: That the City of Oakland remembers the Ghost Ship fire one year later with a moment of reflection and silence."

Rules Committee meeting, Thursday, Nov. 30, 10:45 a.m. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]

*****
--HAYWARD-- Regular council meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 7 p.m. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--ADOPTION OF 'THE COMMITMENT'-- The next iteration of Hayward's 1992 Anti-Discrimination Plan is now the "Commitment for an Inclusive, Equitable, and Compassionate Community (CIECC)," also referred to as “The Commitment.” The task force formed in January to update the guiding document will have its product formally approved by the City Council on Tuesday.

--The group was created, in part, as a response to President Donald Trump's rhetoric against immigrants and other minority groups. In addition, the group was tasked with recommending whether the council should or should not declare the city a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants, which it later called for during the summer.

--They are also asking that the task force become a permanent arm of the city in order to ensure its policy goals are met. Possibly more controversially, the task force hopes to form a civilians' oversight board for the Hayward Police Department, while also calling for HPD to withdraw from participation in Urban Shield, the emergency training/law enforcement trade show held each year by the Alameda County Sheriffs Department.

*****
--BERKELEY-- Regular council meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 6 p.m. [ENTIRE AGENDA HERE]
--MEASURE GG: WERE OPPONENTS RIGHT?-- "In 2008 the population of Berkeley passed Measure GG. Based on the publicly disclosed arguments in favor, Measure GG was intended to enable the City to keep fire stations open and improve emergency medical response and disaster preparedness. Arguments in opposition to Measure GG noted there was: “No protection against the City reducing non-Measure GG support for fire, paramedic and related services.”

--"...It appears that this opposition argument has come to pass, with Measure GG tax revenue serving to replace, rather than supplement, some General Fund support of fire services.In the years since Measure GG was passed, the Fire Department’s overtime costs have trended upward. In contrast, since 2009, the General Fund spending on overtime has never again matched the value it was in FY09. Determining whether the city can legally even out the difference by simply lowering the General Fund allocation to the fire department will come before the council Tuesday evening. In addition, approval for the city attorney to review the appropriated uses of Measure GG funds will be discussed.

--ADULT-USE CANNABIS PERMITS-- Berkeley medical cannabis dispensaries hoping to expand their operations in the forthcoming adult-use sector may receive temporary authorization to apply for state permits while the city hammers out its own "comprehensive policies.

--PG&E & POWER LINES-- In the aftermath of the North Bay fires and indications the rash of blazes may have been caused by power lines, Berkeley elected officials are sending PG&E a letter asking them to maintain foliage near utility poles in Berkeley.

*****
--GATHERINGS-- Annual Holiday Party & Toy Drive, hosted by Rep. Barbara Lee, Assemblymember Rob Bonta and Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m., West Oakland Youth Center, 3233 Market Street, Oakland. For info: eastbayholiday2017.eventbrite.com.

3 comments:

  1. By MW:

    Concerning the Ghost Ship Remembrance. If we ever get serious about trying to reduce the number of massive fires in the Bay area, and which also result in huge losses of life, for instance thirty-six people died in the Ghost Ship fire and about twenty-five in the Great Oakland Hills fire, we would have to start demanding quality from the people we hire to be firefighters.

    For instance, a lot of fire departments are overloaded with extreme and totally useless alcoholics.

    And if a particular fire department is fifty percent composed of extreme alcoholics, very likely its upper management is eighty to one-hundred-percent composed of extreme alcoholics.

    And that is a major reason we have such massive fires and that major safety and building code violations regularly get overlooked and ignored.

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  2. By MW:

    Related to the section of this article next to the bottom, and which is titled "PG & E & POWER LINES," previous to the North Bay fires I never thought I would be defending PG & E, however since the North Bay fires P G & E has become the all purpose bogeyman to blame for virtually everything related to fire safety.

    However it is not PG & E's fault that California agencies, and especially in our section of Northern California, are heavily infested with "sophisticated," fancy talking, and "highly educated" submental retards so extremely stupid that they cannot comprehend such simple concepts as: one, defensible space; two, that it constitutes an extreme fire hazard to allow trees and tree branches overhanging, and in some cases actually even resting on, house roofs; and three, we should spend less money on trying to have large crews of firefighters available to fight fires and more money on clearing excess vegetation, and so that way small fires will not grow into huge and massive fires.

    And as far as blaming PG & E and/or anybody else for the possibility of perhaps having caused a spark or sparks that may have caused a fire or fires in the North Bay counties that resulted in the loss of dozens of lives, thousands of structures being destroyed, and tens of thousands of acres being burned, that is laughable.

    More specifically, if a county or city is going to allow all sorts of outside fire hazards to exist, and including overgrown vegetation and tree branches overhanging, and sometimes even resting on, roofs, it is inevitable that eventually massive fires will result, and regardless of whether or not there is even any PG & E equipment in the area.

    And finally, if any of Berkeley is unincorporated, then issues in regard to vegetation, trees, and tree trimming in that section (or sections) would be regulated by Alameda County's Public Works Agency, an agency that does not give a hoot about defensible space and nor about how many tree branches are extreme fire hazards due to literally touching house roofs, but threatens to heavily fine anybody who commits the "outrageous felony" of trimming a tree.

    In fact if we want the entire state of California to eventually go up in flames, then let's have the state legislature pass a law stating that all issues relating to trees and vegetation in the entire state of California will be handles and regulated by Alameda County's Public Works Agency.

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  3. By MW:

    The last portion of the final sentence of my above post of 12:29 I should have worded - will be handled and regulated by the "EXPERTS" in Alameda County's Public Works Agency.

    More specifically, even based on the "standards" of Alameda County government, the Public Works Agency is very heavily infested with creatures so extremely stupid, that therefore if they were high school dropouts, and therefore did not have impressive sounding degrees and resumes, would be considered severely mentally retarded, and including since they lack the mental capacity to comprehend that having tree branches overhanging, and in some cases even actually resting on, the roofs of houses does not constitute fifteen feet of defensible space.

    Some years ago, it may have been back in about 2007, Ray Orrock wrote a column about people, and who even though they had college degrees, and in some cases even graduate degrees, could not figure out problems so extremely simple, that therefore the right answer could have been quickly and easily figured out by any twelve year old child who was not seriously mentally deficient. (I have a copy of that Ray Orrock article around the house and will dig it out.)

    Anyway, people who have impressive degrees and resumes, but lack the intelligence to comprehend items that any twelve year old child who was not severely mentally retarded could easily comprehend, can, and sometimes do, get jobs with Alameda County as "experts," and sometimes working on issues relating to trees, health, or fire safety.

    NOTE: While we are on the subject of "sophisticated," fancy talking, and "highly educated" sub mental retards, and who in some cases even manage to pass for "experts," back in the 1980's I worked in a major SF building that decided to install a thermal storage system so as to reduce the utility bills for air conditioning. So the building's ownership had the project designed, and also its installation overseen, by a guy who supposedly was one of the very top few experts in the entire country in thermal storage.

    But it was immediately obvious to me that his design and basic concept had several major flaws, and each of even only individually, and let alone collectively, would keep the system from working even a little bit. (While I had never worked on, or even studied, thermal storage prior to that project, however the huge design flaws in that project would have been blatantly obvious to anyone who was not mentally retarded.)

    And when people working as air conditioning technicians or as building engineers got together, whenever the name of that thermal storage "expert" came up, no one could think of even one single building or project that he had been involved in that the thermal storage system had worked.

    And yet when I last checked a few months ago, he was still giving seminars and writing papers on thermal storage and marketing himself as an "expert." In fact, he seems like the type of phony, fraud, and charlatan that AC Public Works would hire as an "expert."

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