Friday, June 27, 2008

Death at Santa Rita County Jail

by Chris Thompson
Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 9:00 AM

According to the Oakland Tribune, Albert Jenkins got popped for outstanding warrants at the Oakland airport. While being processed at Santa Rita, he took a dive for his shoes, and county sheriff's deputies jumped him and wrestled him to the ground. Jenkins was dead a few minutes later. The Trib reports that heroin was found in his shoe, a bag of white powder was found in his stomach, and Jenkins' heart was found to be a lot bigger than recommended.

Will Edgerly Get to Choose Who Succeeds Her?

by Chris Thompson
Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 8:53 AM

Whoever runs the blog Future Oakland raises an excellent question. Edgerly's resignation letter includes provisions for her to stay on past July 31 for as many as 120 days to ease the transition to a new city administrator. So just how involved will Edgerly be in selecting who takes her place? When Oakland hired Robert Bobb, the mayor and the City Council took months and a nationwide search before they settled on him, and city leaders made a deliberate choice not to hire someone who had risen through the ranks of City Hall. Edgerly, meanwhile, came straight out of Oakland's broken, nepotistic, inept system. Apparently, the city plans to hire executive search firms to scout for a new city administrator, but the question remains: What provisions are in place to guarantee we don't get another Deborah Edgerly?

Chron, Daily Planet on Edgerlygate

by Chris Thompson
Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 8:41 AM

Now that Ron Dellums has apparently decided to let embattled City Administrator Deborah Edgerly stay at her job until July 31, East Bay columnists Chip Johnson and Jesse Douglas Allen-Taylor couldn't have drawn more different conclusions about the end of the affair.

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12th Street BART Station Closed

Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 7:42 AM

The Chron says the cops are investigating a "suspicious device" and have shut down the station since 6:30 this morning. Hey, why not drive your car instead? You'll get a better view of the smog!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wall Street Journal Feels Ron Dellums' Pain

by Chris Thompson
Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 7:43 PM

The Journal took a look at Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums yesterday, with a piece about how his lofty promises of building a model city have run into the realities of governing a broke-ass burg with aging infrastructure and a high crime rate. The story manages to be simultaneously too mean and too kind, which is no mean feat. On the one hand, as part of his graf comparing Dellums to the messiah who came before him, WSJ reporter Bobby White writes, "Oakland's homicide rate during Mr. Brown's eight years as mayor was 30% lower than the prior eight years." But everyone knows that the homicide rate slid al around the country during the same period, and when it started to rise again in Oakland, it started under Brown's tenure. (And don't get us started on the reporter's decision to quote cop union head Bob Valladon as if he were the voice of the ordinary Oakland citizen.)

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What's That Smell? Fires Choke the Bay Area

by Chris Thompson
Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 6:34 PM

We probably don't have to tell you this, but the air outside is damn nasty today. It's all those fires up in Northern California, you see; Lake County is particularly bad, with 14,000 acres gone. According to the Chron, the areas where the air is tangibly unhealthy include the cities of Concord, Livermore, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek. Sorry, suburbs, but our mighty father-god Zeus is angered by your monotheism, your chastity during fertility fesitvals, and your insufficient idolatry! That's why he sent his terrible thunderbolts to set the earth ablaze! Try to be less pure next year.

Second Life for Delauer's?

by Chris Thompson
Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 6:24 PM

Well, it seems that Oakland can't live without its raggedy old magazine stores after all. Once word broke that downtown's fabled Delauer's was within days of closing (after almost 101 years of operation), city officials and various "private individuals" went to work. According to the Trib, Oakland Citizens Committee on Urban Renewal executive director David Glover has announced a new group will brainstorm a new business model to keep Delauer's afloat. Not much word beyond that, and the odds are long, if you ask us. Still, it's certainly heartening to see people get crackin' on this. Way to step up, anonymous private individuals!

The East Bay Today: June 26, 2008

Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 2:26 PM

Today's Top Event: The Busy World Is Hushed at the Aurora Theatre.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: "Concord & Kitakami: Sister Cities." Lecture and slide show on Concord's Japanese sister city at the Concord Library.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critics recommend: The Banyan Tree in Pleasant Hill.

On the Town: Going out tonight? DJ Fats spins old-school hip-hop and rare grooves at Oakland's Easy Lounge.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out Heavy Load.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

Lawmakers Try to Seize Control of UC Pension Plan

by Chris Thompson
Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 6:07 AM

After years of declining profits and mounting criticism, the UC Regents' control of the University pension plan may finally be wrested from them. On Tuesday, state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino introduced a bill to seize control of the plan from the UC Regents and turn it over to an independent governing board. According to the Contra Costa Times, the board would consist of Regents, faculty, staff, retirees, and union members. The state legislature has tried to convince the Regents to go along with this plan in the past; last year, state Senator Leland Yee introduced a nonbinding resolution calling on the Regents to help set up the board voluntarily. But once the Regents refused to go along, legislators decided to seize governance of the board through this bill, which would put the question to the voters in a state ballot. As this paper has detailed, the UC pension plan's profits have steadily shrunk in the last seven years, and critics have raised allegations of conflicts of interest among investment advisors, who had financial relationships with some of the companies managing hundreds of millions of dollars in retirement assets.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

EdgerlyGate: Who's to Blame?

by Chris Thompson
Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 2:44 PM

So let's say the allegations against Oakland City Administrator Deborah Edgerly are true. Yes, she did try to bully police officers, who were conducting perhaps the most important gang investigation in years, into freeing her nephew, who had a gun and has been identified as an alleged member of the Acorn street gang. Yes, she did bully the cops into finding a way to hire her unqualified daughter. Yes, she did threaten to use her authority against police who arrested a friend for raising hell outside an Oakland nightclub. If all this is true, who's to blame for letting her stick around?

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