Sep 202016

revengeThe City of Oakland has set up a service to help Bay Area citizens get back at anyone (or at least, any male) whom they feel has done them wrong.   All they need to do is complete this form, entering the license plate number of their target’s car and make up a story as to how they were seen soliciting prostitution in some neighborhood known for such.   In response, “the Oakland Police Department will send a letter to the registered owner stating that the vehicle has been observed in an area known to have high incidences of sexual exploitation and trafficking.”  If the target opens the letter, it may just confuse him – but if it’s opened or seen by a family member or significant other, it could cause all sorts of strife.  Just what a jilted lover, upset political rival or unhappy business partner might want.

To make it easier for would-be-avengers, the report can be submitted anonymously.  While it’s technically illegal to submit false information to police, anyone who uses a public wi-fi connection and then deletes the cache of the form from their internet device, can feel fairly assured that it won’t be traced back to them.

The form is likely to be particular popular with High School girls dumped by their boyfriends, as their cars are most often registered in their parents’  names.

Sep 182016

marijuana-dispensary1Update: On Sept. 20th, the City Council voted 6-0 (with Benny Lee abstaining) to approve a third marijuana dispensary in San Leandro.

Short months after approving licensing a second marijuana dispensary in San Leandro, the City Council is considering adding a third license: one that would be granted directly to Blüm, a dispensary chain that already has three locations.  Blüm scored highest in the last application process, but the dispensary license was granted to Davis Street,  likely because of the close relationship between City Council members and the would-be operators of such facility.  Faced with the prospect of a lawsuit by Blüm, the City is considering just creating a third license and granting it to them.

But is it a good idea to have three marijuana dispensaries in San Leandro?  I was a very big proponent of having multiple licenses for marijuana dispensaries from the start.  I lobbied the City Council and spoke at numerous community meetings to that effect.  But with two dispensaries in the works within San Leandro, and the prospect of more dispensaries opening in other areas, I think it may be wise to wait.  The regulatory scheme for operating dispensaries is both untested and strict, and the zoning restriction for these facilities place them outside residential areas, in locations badly served by public transportation.  It may be wiser to let these dispensaries open, analyze how they work and what accessability problems patients encounter, and then perhaps modifying the regulatory and zoning scheme before granting further licenses.  By then, recreational marijuana may be legal in California, which might create new challenges that will also require adjustment of our regulations.

In any case, the San Leandro City Council has a history of making careless policy changes to respond to litigation, brought up by careless actions by the Council, compounding mistakes and causing needless trouble.  Let’s hope they don’t follow on their own footsteps.

Sep 182016
Alameda Democratic Leader Disses smart-growth Democrat, Endorses pro-development Republican Mayoral Candidate?

Update: Ramirez Holmes has contacted me to say that she had not endorsed Jerry Thorne.   That would mean that Jerry Thorne lied by listing her as an endorser. Angela Ramirez Holmes, the Vice Chair for AD 16 of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee and a member of the Executive Committee, is listed as an endorser *of incumbent Pleasanton Mayoral candidate Jerry Thorne, a Republican.  Ramirez Holmes, who also serves in the Zone 7 Water District Board, owns Alliance Campaign Strategies, a campaign consultancy business, which represents developers and developer-backed candidates. At the Democratic Party’s endorsement interviews which took place [Continue Reading]

Sep 172016

Today, the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee met to decide on the Democratic endorsement on about 20 contested races.  Almost 70 candidates had been previously put on consent for the endorsement and were also officially endorsed today. The results of today endorsement interviews are as follows: BERKELEY MAYOR  Jesse Arreguin, BERKELEY COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 5  No Endorsemenbt BERKELEY COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 6  Hon. Susan Wengraf FREMONT COUNCILMEMBER (elect 2)  No endorsement** (Raj Salwan already endorsed) OAKLAND COUNCILMEMBER AT-LARGE  Hon. Rebecca Kaplan OAKLAND COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 3  Hon. Lynette V. Gibson-McElhaney OAKLAND COUNCILMEMBER DIST. 5  Hon. Noel Gallo PLEASANTON MAYOR  No Endorsement PERALTA CCD [Continue Reading]

Sep 112016
Election Time: Learn About the Candidates

The November elections are approaching, and with that the work of learning about the many candidates for local office. To help you in this task, I am sending in-depth issue-based questionnaires to (almost) all candidates for elective office in Alameda County, and publishing them on this website as I get them back. To find them, click on the “2016 General Election” tag on the menu above, or go here and select your city or district.  More cities and districts will be added, as I receive completed questionnaires from those areas, so keep checking! Here are the questionnaires returned so far: [Continue Reading]