East Bay Express

East Bay Express: Oakland's latest mess

Aug 31, 2012

The troubling saga of the Oakland Police Department took an ugly turn last week with the news that City Administrator Deanna Santana has accused Robert Warshaw, the independent court monitor overseeing OPD, of making inappropriate advances toward her earlier this year. The revelation has already threatened the integrity of the oversight process of OPD and could delay a decision on whether the department should be put in federal receivership. In short, it's a big mess.

EastBayExpress.com

Today, The East Bay Express is reporting that the Port of Oakland workers may go on strike for the first time in 41 years. Recently, contracts between the SEIU and three other unions representing port workers have expired. SEIU says that port management is asking for major concessions, including an increased five percent employee contribution to their pension plans and no cost-of-living increase in wages which workers say equates to about a 10 percent pay cut.

Dianne Feinstein's Bad Oysters

Aug 27, 2012

Dianne Feinstein and other influential backers of a Point Reyes oyster farm have at times justified their support for it by contending that it's an environmentally friendly business. Feinstein and others have made this assertion in their attempt to convince the federal government to extend the oyster farm's lease at Point Reyes National Seashore, a move that would block the creation of the first marine wilderness on the West Coast.

Chevron is the problem

Aug 20, 2012
Credit D.H. Parks, under CC License / http://www.flickr.com/photos/parksdh/7730542302/

Chevron Corporation reaped $26.9 billion in profits last year. That's right: $26.9 billion. Yet for reasons still to be explained, the San Ramon-based company declined to spend any of that cash on replacing a small, aging section of pipe at its Richmond refinery during an inspection last fall. Last week, that eight-inch pipe began to leak oil profusely before igniting a fireball that could be seen throughout the Bay Area and unleashing a giant plume of smoke that sickened hundreds of nearby residents.

One thing you probably don’t think of when you think of hospitals is garbage. And yet, these huge institutions generate tons of garbage that goes straight into our landfills. According to this week’s East Bay Express cover story, on average it takes 33 pounds of garbage to treat each patient.  Reporter Kathleen Richards says the medical industry is one of the leading producers of waste, but has been slow to recycle.

Working in landlord-tenant law, Oakland attorney Clifford Fried has seen his fair share of bogus service animals. But one particular cat owner — unfortunately, or maybe presciently, named Kitty — was exceptional. While renting an apartment in San Mateo County, Kitty began amassing a brood of felines, despite the property's no-pets clause. She already had acquired four cats by the time her landlord got wind of them. By then, Kitty was habitually flushing cat litter down the toilet, posing a major threat to the building's plumbing system. The landlord finally confronted her.

Ali Winston

Of the 2,000 people who initially applied for the 55 new positions on the Oakland Police force, most were from outside the city. In fact, more than 90% of the current police force does not live in Oakland, something that activists say strains community police relations and affects city resources. Oakland spends about 40% of its general fund on police – that compares with 26% spent on police in San Jose, 17% in Sacramento and 7% in Long Beach. 

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If you want to connect with huge numbers of people this weekend, you might want to make your way to Oakland’s biggest street celebration -- The Art and Soul Festival is a two-day celebration featuring live jazz, rock, gospel, and many other forms of soul music, along with art installations and film projections on the streets of downtown Oakland.

East Bay Express: Dawn of the digital sweatshop

Aug 1, 2012

The funny thing about the biggest shift in production in years is that almost nobody knows it happened. Which makes sense, if you think about it: It occurred invisibly, online, anonymously — all over the world, but, at the same time, nowhere in particular. And it's poised to — if most people who know about it are to be believed — completely change the way we think about work, the way we consume technology, and the way the global economy functions.

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