World has plenty of good people, too
Even with all the terrible things that happen in the world, I know there are good folks.
Recently, I lost my driver's license and all of my medical cards. I tried to find them, even using a flashlight to look under cars, without success. Then, very late at night, I received a telephone call from Walgreen's at 51st Street and Telegraph Avenue that someone had found the collections of cards and left them with the store manager. The employees of Walgreen's protected them until I could collect. All total strangers.
Clearly some of the wonderful folks in this world are right here in Oakland. Thank you all very much.
Kaiser building lacks personality
Who is responsible for allowing the design of the new Kaiser Permanente building on MacArthur Boulevard to be built?
I have seldom seen such an ugly building, it is nothing but a large, yellow, plastic box. It has no character, metaphor or aesthetics. It is an insult to the citizens who are going to have to look at this thing for the next 100 or so years. The city officials who signed off on the design should be held accountable.
I have one question for the architects: Why would you do this to Oakland? Oakland has a proud architectural heritage, it deserves better.
Timely editorial on MTA headquarters
The editorial exposing the MTC headquarters debacle was timely. The decision-making body for the project, the Bay Area Headquarters Authority (BAHA), was to meet on Dec. 19 to approve the project budget and design, without which, it is a no go. The meeting was cancelled.
BAHA consists of six commission members, three who voted in favor of the purchase of 390 Main and three who voted against it. Heminger, the executive director, must have feared, after the press exposures, which were even posted on the MTC headlines list, that he would not have the votes. Even with his heavy arm-twisting, the full commission only approved the purchase of the building by 8-to-6, not a resounding endorsement for an action that could endanger the viability of MTC.
The three authority members who were against the purchase were: Amy Rein Worth, cities of Contra County; Tom Bates, cities of Alameda County; and Dave Cortese, Santa Clara County. Those who were in favor were: Adrienne Tissier, San Mateo County; Bill Dodd, Napa County and cities; and Scott Wiener, San Francisco Mayor¹s appointee.
Fortunately, no work has begun, and in fact, no permits even issued, so it can be flipped. And since the commercial market has improved, perhaps it make a profit. Then the focus can be on consolidating the regional agencies into one functioning regional planning organization.
Fire the lot of them at Port of Oakland
I'm sure I'm not the only person in Oakland saying, "Fire everyone and start all over with the Port of Oakland and staff."
No one reported questionable expenses of the board seen by the finance staff. Why are they employed? Port Commissioner Gilda Gonzales was quoted as saying "give people the benefit of the doubt."
Why, when they broke the rules of the California Constitution and federal laws? What am I missing? That alone says, "fire them."
Then, after Maritime Director James Kwon "retires" (excuse me, he should have been fired for cause), he is kept on as a "replacement adviser." To do what? To advise his replacement and/or the board on how to game the system on filling out expense reports? My opinion: fire the lot.
Crybaby Congress' not going away soon
When John Boehner said he has a "mandate" because Republicans were re-elected to the House, he neglected to mention that those re-elections are the result of election districts that were rigged during the latest redistricting.
Nationwide, Democrats running for Congress got 1.1 million more votes than Republican candidates. In places like Virginia and Ohio, although Democrats got nearly half the votes, they ended up with about a quarter of the seats.
So don't let Boehner kid you. The goal of Congress is to subvert the will of the people and do the bidding of their wealthy contributors.
The next redistricting is after the 2020 census, so get used to your "Crybaby Congress" because these whiners aren't going away anytime soon.
Stricter gun control needed after tragedy
I implore President Obama and my Congress members to take action on gun restrictions.
The massacre in Newtown is beyond description. It is incomprehensible to even try to imagine what was taking place in the deranged mind of this young, near-child himself. His actions are nearly unspeakable.
Our lawmakers must not let this opportunity slide by. Certainly there will be pushback from the NRA and gun lobbies. They will quote Second Amendment rights and statements to the effect that guns don't kill people, people kill people. But they are wrong! Small pieces of metal, called bullets, shred through the bodies of 20 innocent children, leaving 40 parents and myriad relatives screaming in grief and facing possible lifelong depression. That is what guns do.
Please pass gun-control laws.