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OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Oakland
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kevink on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 11:47 am:

This is a non-baseball post which is why I'm adding it to Off Field Matters.

Since I know there are a lot of intelligent people that post on this board, I would like to hear feedback here instead of going to some political board.

Oakland just had it's 90th murder of the year. As insane as this is, it's nowhere near the record of 175 set back in 1991. Any number that high is deplorable. Does anyone really care to find a solution to this? I don't think Mayor Brown or anyone running the city do.
Let's first look at the murders.
1) The overwhelming majority of these murders have been comitted in the ghettos of Oakland. So it's not necessarily an "Oakland problem" as you do not see activity like this in the Montclair area, or Rockridge, or anywhere in the hills.
2) Many of these murders are domestic disputes, many of them are gang and drug-related. Some of them involve innocent bystanders.

This is a problem that goes back to the early 70's. I see a pattern of what has been done over the years that clearly has not worked:
I see the #1 problem being blaming others. I hear excuse after excuse from both the local gov't and community leaders. No one seems to want to take any responsibility for their own community.
"It's George Bush's fault."
"There aren't enough cops."
"There's too many cops."
"We need more programs for the kids."
"We need more government funded housing."
"Let's pray for help."
This is what has been said for 30 years. Has any of this helped?

What is the solution?
I think it needs to start within the communities. Look at the source of the problems.
Why are these kids out on the streets? Government programs are merely band-aids that cost the tax payers more money, and sink an area deeper into trouble. The SOURCE of the problem is not not having enough programs for kids. Other parts of Oakland don't have the programs and don't have these problems.
The source of the problems starts with the families. Crime and drugs infiltrate neighborhoods full of broken families. Broken families are rampant in the ghettos of Oakland. What Oakland needs is strong community leadership, something that has clearly been declining or missing in the last 30 years. Teen pregnancies, drugs, and gangs are issues often arising from single-parent families. Right now those with the biggest influence on these kids are the drug dealers. These kids need better people to look up to.

Until individual and community responsibility is taken, the 100-murder years will continue to plague Oakland no matter how many excuses are made or programs are created.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 01:54 pm:

There's a vicious circle of hopelessness. I think many of the younger residents of these areas see no way out and so they turn to drugs and the immediacy of fast cash. They have poor education, no job prospects, no family support, no community support or leadership. They see police as the enemy.

I don't know how you go about changing these behaviors, but maybe improved education should be the first step.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By tekgraf on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 03:27 pm:

What we need here in Oakland and other big cities is a good after school sports, music and art program! When I was growing up we had lots of activities to keep us busy. yes, Oakland has it's problems, but they're no worse than other cities, including the grande dame across the bay. In the summer we had baseball and the winter was basketball and football. Maybe we need these sorts of things again. Or is it too late? I hope not.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 03:49 pm:

I’m no expert and no social worker. All I have to bring to this discussion is a love for Oakland because of the way I grew to love the diversity of the people I have met at the ballpark and around that city since I became involved with the ballpark drive. I lived and grew very close to a community which reminds me a lot of what Oakland is all about, Brooklyn, NY in the mid to late 50’s. They also lived in the shadow of the glamour of greater Manhattan, but they had a unique and very desirable community that was not found across the bridge.

I think first we should look at how Oakland compares in crime and violence to many other so called "blue collar" cities and to other industrial towns who in fact host sports teams.
There are many other cities where inner city crime is a lot worse. Atlanta, Saint Louis, Baltimore and Miami come to mind at just a glance.

That is not to say Oakland doesn’t have a serious problem and something we should not shy away from discussing and encouraging city leaders and business community to look at ways to fight urban blight and crime, especially the drug problem.

It is always a good idea to look at how other cities with common urban problems are finding solutions and succeeding. Recently we've read that Mexico City, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, has hired Giuliani as a consultant to start looking at solutions.

In the long term, I think that one of the solutions is what many city planners are trying to do by shifting the dormitory suburbia population of large cities back into the urban areas where it once existed. Mayor Jerry Brown has addressed this problem with his 10K plan. However the economy’s downturn has hampered some of the plans and I don’t know how much he will succeed. And the displacement of many low income housing occupants is a difficult transition when trying to eliminate urban blight by eliminating and replacing ghettos with low and middle income housing and higher level housing. There is a need to find affordable housing financed and that costs a lot of money.

We have seen the Mayor of Mexico City hire ex NY Mayor Giuliani as a consultant to advise and give solutions to fight crime in what is considered the most dangerous city in the world at the present. I read that Giuliani is going to be paid $4 million plus expenses for a one year contract. Some city business leaders with mucho $$$$ will pick up the tab. Mexico City has a population of 18 million people and some feel has the same problems NY had in the 1980’s with corruption and drug infestation. Giuliani is credited with reducing crime in NY by 65%.

Of course I’m not suggesting that Oakland should do the same nor am I comparing the cities. But I am suggesting the adoption of some of the methods and measures taken in NY. We all read how many times Giuliani was very close to violating our sacred civil rights etc…etc…

I am also not suggesting that police corruption is the problem in Oakland, like it was in NY, but I am suggesting that drugs is a major part of the problem and how to fight the drugs has to be the primary focus.
And the mishandling of public funds in Oakland has become a common occurrence like we’ve read recently in the news. The cleaning house has to start at the top in order to reach the bottom of the food chain.,1413,82%257E1865%257E941286,00.html

Here's a website which compares cities in the US for safety or crime.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By tekgraf on Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 05:07 pm:

Lil, I agree. Oakland in comparison to other cities around the country is tamed. Even that other city across the bay has a crime rate similar to Oakland's, but because SF has the media behind them the perpetuation of Oakland's negative side will always be exaggerated. Take the A's for instance. The A's are always put down and hardly ever praised by the media. The Giants, even though they are horrible, have a more positive spin place on them. I live in East Oakland, not an area that is racked with murders and other crimes, but when you mention east oakland, people outside of the city think, oh my! They have no idea how large and diverse Oakland really is. They have no idea that there are many neighborhoods that are clean, and very safe (other than the hills). It just amazes me the ignorance that goes on.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kevink on Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 08:55 pm:

Tekgraf, most people don't want to think too much and just want a cute little explanation about everything. "Oakland is a crime-ridden, horrible place and no reason to go there." Some people HATE Oakland with a passion in SF, makes me think THEY have an inferiority complex.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By tekgraf on Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 09:41 pm:

Kevink: I think you're right. It doesn't matter that much to me anyway. I say keep the bigots out and let them live else where. Oakland is alot like an old sweater. It's well wore, feels warm and you don't want to share it with other people. Whereas SF is snobby, looks fabulous but is cold and uncomfortable. Which would you choose?

Go Oakland A's, Raiders and (Oakland) Worriors!!!

Lil, when are you guys having another pizza night?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 10:01 pm:


I think we talked about having another pizza night in December sometime. And this time we are going to make sure it will be in Oakland. We'll post it here on the forum.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By swat on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 04:12 pm:

hi all
now I understand why my friends in US told me "Oakland sucks!" or "stay away making any biz there!"
I'd like to ask you something. any help would be appreciated.
I have someone I thought my best yankee friend owing me 3100$, the most from April.
I asked my other friends in Cali to help me, when they heard he's part black and living in a possible ghetto, they were afraid to go there. he's 22 years old, tall and thin, studying to Hayward Cali State edu.
And my friends are strong bodybuilders, they aren’t afraid kicking a kid, problem is they are afraid for their life there.
He lives on Rusting Ave and Davis St. I was told the last one is in a bad area with robbers, whores, real paradise for gangsters. This is right?
What chance do I have to recover my money? I almost lost my job in my country.
Thanks for any help.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By tekgraf on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 04:41 pm:

What the hell are you talking about? What does him being black have to do with anything? And what is possible ghetto mean?!! As far as your first line is concern, therein lines in what I've said before. Only ignorant, bigots would make any of the statements you just made. I know lots of white guys who have ripped off other whites guys for money and are they labeled as living in whore infested ghettos? This whole line of questions reeks with narrow mindedness and ignorance. Maybe, sir, you should watch who you consider friends. Your muscle bound friends don't sound like they are too smart, either. Where do they live? In San Ramon? Oh, yes, because its all white it's alright out there?! Give me a break!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kevink on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 05:24 pm:

tekgraf, take it easy! I don't think this guy was being an ignorant bigot. His post may have made about as much sense as one of sactodavey's, but I think it's due to his lack of English comprehension.
Swat, no idea what you are saying or asking.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By tekgraf on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 06:01 pm:

Kevink, sorry. Lost my head. You're right. I will keep it in check. It just ticks me off with this sort of thing.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By swat on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 06:16 pm:

thanks kev, I'm from europe, sorry if my english isn't so clear.
saying black doesn't mean you could be a racist.
as time I thought he was my best friend, I'm not a racist in this case.
my friends were afraid to pass in a real ghetto. so tekgraf please take it easy, no way of offending you, all my knowledge about the ghettos is limited at "Juice", "Boyz in the hood" with Ice Cube and "Tresspass" with Ice T.
let’s be serious about, how many guys would have the courage to pass on their territory in a real ghetto? I heard about guys part black, they had problems just not being as dark as the others, they were called “whity” and getting isolate by the crews. The more a white wouldn’t have the courage to pass there. Am I right?
Regarding the fact Davis St is in a bad area with robbers, whores, real paradise for gangsters, like this I was told by my friend from Oakland. He left his parents home and moved out himself in that neighborhood. They were his words…
So my question was, those street are or not in a bad area? I don’t want to think my friends are chicks being afraid to go there.
thanks and sorry again for my lack of english :)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ronc on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 07:49 pm:

If you need some cash you could try contacting Mr. Frank Emeka, a manager with Diamond Bank Nigeria Limited, Lagos.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 08:26 pm:

Ron, you are bad!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By vinnieangelo on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 08:46 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 09:32 pm:

trick or treat?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By linusalf on Friday, November 01, 2002 - 11:51 pm:

linusalf is confused..............

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By swat on Saturday, November 02, 2002 - 04:36 am:

ronc don't worry I'll take myself back my cash!!!
even I'll have to wait 2-3 years. I'll be somedays in LA and I'll make myself the trip there!!!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 11:08 am:,1413,82%257E10834%257E967989,00.html

Sunday, November 03, 2002 - 10:20:16 AM MST

Silicon City: Oakland's tech industry blossoms with unified attention
By Alec Rosenberg - STAFF WRITER

OAKLAND - San Francisco may be known for tourism and San Jose for high-tech employment, but the city Oakland isn't so easy to categorize.

Oakland has a diverse economy and work force. It's home to a range of construction, health care and food manufacturing companies. It's a transportation hub, with a major seaport and growing international airport.

Bit by bit, it's also becoming more of a technology hub, like its Silicon Valley neighbor to the south.

Change came rapidly during the dot-com boom, as companies moved to Oakland, lured by location, lower rents and Mayor Jerry Brown, who rolled out the welcome mat.

The dot-com bust and recession spelled the end for some high-tech firms and curbed the enthusiasm of many investors. But even in this difficult environment, Oakland added 2,100 high-tech jobs last year while San Jose lost 5,000 and San Francisco lost 2,100, according to a recent report from the American Electronics Association.

Oakland has prided itself on having a diversified economy, but it is changing, said Bruce Kern, executive director of the East Bay's Economic Development Alliance for Business. ``We are gradually moving toward more of a tech-based economy, more like Santa Clara County,'' Kern said, with a variety of jobs in biotechnology, software and business services. ``Oakland does have a very skilled work force. Oakland has always been one of the best-kept secrets in terms of its work force.''

In computers and information technology, a report found that Oakland's job growth from 1997 to 2000 outpaced the rest of the East Bay by 77.5 percent to 43.8 percent. Forbes magazine listed Oakland as the eighth-best U.S. city for business and careers for its growth in high-tech, jobs and salary.

With available land and an array of higher education institutions to train workers, the city is poised to add new-economy jobs in software, telecommunications and biotechnology, as well as old-economy jobs such as retail, teaching and driving trucks.

In the Zhone

Oakland scored a high-profile tenant three years ago when network equipment vendor Zhone Technologies Inc. agreed to build its campus headquarters in the city across the freeway from Oakland Coliseum/Arena. Newsweek magazine featured Zhone in a cover story that called Oakland part of a new brand of tech cities.

Zhone founders Mory Ejabat and Jeanette Symons were no strangers to the area - they built nearby Ascend Communications Inc. of Alameda from a startup to a company that was sold to Lucent Technologies Inc. for $24 billion in 1999.

Their familiarity with Oakland helped.

They were attracted by the local talent base, a pitch from the mayor and a deal to buy land at a discount from the city in return for warrants if the company went public. Zhone, which raised $500 million in venture capital, is still privately owned. The 300-employee firm just completed its seventh acquisition and is approaching profitability, spokesman David Markowitz said.

``(Zhone's founders) found Oakland to be very amenable, very easy to work with. At the time, Jerry Brown was doing everything he could do to attract high-tech to the area,'' Markowitz said. ``It's been a great place to do business.''

Brown said public-sector investment in Oakland's City Hall, state and federal buildings helped lead to private-sector investment.

``When companies like Zhone come, it's because there's a good piece of land and there's proximity to workers. When one company like that comes, then another company comes,'' Brown said. ``This thing evolves one step at a time.''

Jobs follow market demand, he said.

``The jobs are not designed by Communist planning,'' Brown said. ``It's not driven by political rhetoric but by the underlying factors that are favorable - the price of land, the location, the excellent transit.''

While Oakland has been late in getting recognition for its location, the city is on the move and adding tech and service jobs, he said.

``Oakland is more of a gritty, urban city that has been held back by any number of factors - probably crime and blight,'' Brown said. ``Those issues have been on the mend, even though the murder rate is up, which is not helpful.''

Oakland's unemployment rate is about 10 percent, double the rate in the rest of Alameda County, according to state data. Brown questions whether the city's jobless rate, which is based on 1990 U.S. Census data, is that high.

Indeed, quantifying Oakland's work force is an inexact science.

The Census has employment data by the city but is updated only once every 10 years and categories have changed from 1990 to 2000, so much information is not comparable. The state compiles monthly employment data, but most combine Oakland's job information with Alameda County or both Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Despite the dot-com bust, trends indicate that high-tech employment will rise in Oakland and surrounding East Bay cities.

MDNM``The closer the businesses were to Silicon Valley, the harder hit they were,'' said state labor market consultant Idell Weydemeyer. ``Southern Alameda County was hit harder than Oakland and Berkeley. Oakland has some of the old economy companies like Clorox.''

State labor market information shows that the four fastest-growing occupations by percentage in Alameda County are tech related - systems analysts, computer support specialists, computer engineers and semiconductor workers.

By number, fast-growing jobs include general managers, retail salespeople, computer support specialists, cashiers, clerks, systems analysts, truck drivers, retail supervisors, carpenters, computer engineers, registered nurses and teachers.

Tech base growing

``As Oakland's economic base is changing, we still have both the old-economy and new-economy businesses,'' said Kern of the Economic Development Alliance for Business.

``Definitely, there's been an increase in tech jobs. The technology employment base in the city has been growing and is projected to grow.''

But the bar for tech jobs continues to rise, Kern said. Some laid-off dot-com workers have had trouble getting new jobs because they had narrow technical skills or limited English skills, he said.

``They were so pigeon-holed, they were not competitive to be considered in other jobs,'' Kern said.

The city has contracted with a private firm, Ultimate Staffing, to better match job seekers with job openings.

``There always are going to be jobs out there - it's getting the right people to those jobs,'' said Al Auletta, Oakland's work force development manager.

It seemed like tech jobs were growing on trees when the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce helped start East Bay TechNet in late 1999. The network, which formed to develop the region's tech base, has changed its focus in light of the dot-com bust.

TechNet has been working with the economic development managers of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville and San Leandro, gathering seed money from the cities and is preparing to launch a marketing campaign to attract tech companies from Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

``A lot of those people live here but work there,'' TechNet Executive Director Todd Willis said. ``Why not relocate here? We've got the labor force, low rents and space to grow, and we've got the infrastructure, the fiber optics network.''

Technology is still a way for Oakland and neighboring cities to grow, but the jobs may come from a variety of industries, he said.

Beyond dot-coms

``We want the Pacific Bells, Kaisers, PG&Es and Cloroxes involved and we want the startups and the mid-size companies involved with TechNet,'' Willis said. ``Technology is a tool to do our business. It's an integral part. It's not just dot-coms.''

A look at local tech job fairs confirms that., partnering with TechNet, has hosted a series of popular pink-slip parties. The parties have featured a variety of employers from online lender E-Loan Inc. to grocer Safeway Inc. to medical-device maker TheraSense Inc., with the bulk of job openings from the University of California, Berkeley.

Technology is almost everywhere, said Judith Pacult, executive director of TechVentures Network in Oakland.

``When I go to the cleaners, they use computers to track clothes,'' Pacult said. ``There are very few businesses anymore today that don't rely on hardware or software to be successful.''

The East Bay is a fertile ground for startup and emerging tech companies, she said, citing local business incubators and the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute. But it's a challenging time for those companies because funding has declined.

``Instead of going forward, they are treading water now,'' Pacult said.

If it's tough for employers, it's also tough for job seekers. Lester Morris, 42, of West Oakland, used his experience in construction and health care to land a job as a security guard in downtown Oakland. Morris, who hopes to return to the health care field, said job seekers need to keep trying by getting training and attending job fairs.

``A lot of people want jobs, but it's hard to find jobs in Oakland,'' Morris said. ``They should do more to create jobs here, especially downtown.''

Oakland resident Frank Tucker has done his part to create jobs and hire locally. His 6-year-old Oakland telecommunications installation firm, Tucker Technology Inc., has employed a few hundred local residents over the years.

However, the recession has hurt his firm, as big customers such as Lucent Technologies Inc. and Nortel Networks Corp. have struggled.

Tucker Technology, which once had more than 200 employees nationally, now has 35 - 25 in Oakland. Some former employees are unemployed while others have found jobs in baking, health care and securities.

But Tucker is adjusting. His firm is focusing more on the public sector and has made headway in building a local clientele.

``We need to use our local businesses,'' Tucker said. ``If we give local business to local firms, they are going to hire locally.''

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By gregorymark on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 04:36 pm:

They should determine to make Oakland known as a Sports Mecca....

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