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Sunday news roundup

V-Smoothe rejoins the blogosphere at ABetterOakland.com. She points out the contradictions of the inclusionary zoning position (that it’s so great, but even though every other city in the area has it, people are still being pushed out to Tracy), asking if IZ advocates are “intentionally deceitful” or “just stupid.” She also weighs in on a NovoMetro blog debate, featuring the accusation that American Indian Charter School is cheating on its tests.

Alert Oaklanders are of course aware of the controversy over the new Farmer Joe’s grocery store in the Dimond, which is being picketed by a local union. The Dimondites blog has the local debate, and the Express wrote about it last week. It’s important to note that the union is demanding that Farmer Joe’s allow a union based on signed cards, implying that they think they’d lose a secret-ballot election. Representative Barbara Lee is backing a bill in Congress that would force employers nationwide to submit to unionization without secret-ballot elections. In light of the union’s failure to extract meaningful wage and benefit increases from Safeway after their 2005 strike, it seems very inappropriate to go after a defenseless little East Oakland grocery store that invested in a downtrodden retail district.

The Wayans Brothers (Fulton Development Co.) negotiating agreement with the city expires Tuesday, and no reporter has yet delved into the protracted process of a once-popular development idea. Personally, I love the project, especially the rollercoasters! It is certainly a better use of isolated land than a biotech or retail development. Speaking of the Army Base, here is a map of the Redevelopment Agency’s portions of the base, from the staff report – click to enlarge.
Oakland Army Base - Redevelopment Agency portions

The West Gateway is surrounded by inaccessible “open space,” and so can’t be more container berths on the Outer Harbor (what a shame). It is incredibly isolated and boast nothing but visibility from the Bay Bridge (hence the casino idea). I propose the city erect a monstrous Times Square-like advertising structure, and milk it for every last penny. The city can use the revenues to take down billboards in West Oakland that are visible to residents, fully restore the interior of the Wood Street train station, and have plenty left over for whatever pork the Council can come up with.

Posted in armybase, breakingnews, citycouncil, housing, iz, oakland.