Saturday, December 30, 2006

Oakland Sky


Photo by Patrick Mills Highland Hospital (artist, co-worker and friend) Posted by Picasa

Another Year

Door closed, curtain pulled, light off. When I finally got through to the bed it looked more like a shroud than a patient. A crisp white sheet stretched from the patient’s head to toes. The only noise and movement in the room came from the IV pump, the alarm sounded and the LCD flashed “occlusion” on the panel. Actually, the bag of IV fluids had finished running. I made as much noise as possible pushing back the curtain and I turned on the light and then stood at the bedside letting the alarm sound. I stood a full minute before the sheet spoke, “are you going to turn that damn thing off?” “I’m sorry, I’m not a nurse; I’m a physical therapist are you going to walk with me?”

Reality is that which we can’t make go away. It’s like the bumper sticker said “Froto lost, and Bush has the ring” many of us have a strong urge to leave our current state of affairs. And we do try: drugs, wine, curtains, luxury vehicles, cruises, casinos, blankets, TV, escaping has become such a big part of our lives that many have forgotten what we are running from. A year of violence and failure for Oakland, our children our dying, what could be worse.

This year hundreds of parents, grandparents, girlfriends, boyfriends and siblings spent their days at Highland at the bedside, pulling back the sheet, bringing in food, helping the patient get washed up and to the bathroom and home. Caregiving is a “no glamour no glory,” type of a job; it is also what holds a community together and makes Oakland a wonderful place to live. Politicians hate hospitals they don’t understand illness, adversity or how strong or brave people are. Families and parents don’t have the luxury of wallowing in their losses, Highland’s families spent the year fighting to keep us here, to keep us well and to keep us together.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Oakland Night


Photo by Patrick Mills Highland Hospital (photographer, artist and friend.)
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Dirt List- Your Tax Dollars at Work

1,448,905 - Population Alameda County (2005 census estimate)

48,219 - Oakland Coliseum Seating Capacity

4,000 - Inmate beds at Santa Rita Prison

360 - Juvenile Hall Beds

236 - County Hospital Beds (Highland)

250,000 - Conservative estimated number of uninsured in Alameda County
That’s 1 hospital bed for every 1,000 uninsured people in Alameda County.

Based on these numbers the sick and dying should seriously consider going to a Raider’s game and kissing their ass good-bye or getting arrested and trying to get the dialysis or chemotherapy from the robustly funded county prison system.

Wacktivists Wule!

As you may or may not know and as you undoubtly could care less; I have embarked on a journey of self-discovery. Do you want to hear what I learned about myself? That’s a rhetorical question, you don’t really have a choice. Actually, I find almost anything more interesting than self-discovery and last evening as I scrupulously avoided self-examination in bed with a candy bar and a New Yorker magazine, I inadvertently discovered myself, printed in black and white. I’m a wacktivist, Nick Paumgarten wrote a piece called “Dirty Wikitricks,” there I was in black and white.

Why wactivism you wonder. Well, wacktivism works. I started my career as a worker wonk. Pass out the flyers spread the message from the committee, don’t offend, follow Wobert’s Wules of Worder and walk in step. I have trouble with authority, wules and worder. See wacktivism is all waction, gives the politicians the willies. When you refuse to play by their wules you create a clear and present danger, which is the next best thing to a big fat campaign contribution.

Politicians know, I’ve heard them say, “That Ann Nomura, she’s a wacko.” Wong bucko, I’m a wackivist and I’m your worst nightmare.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Beautiful Women I Work With


A Social Worker, a Medical Clerk and Nurses Posted by Picasa

The Working Wonk

I confess I have a real interest in healthcare policy. It’s a professional problem, I’m trained as a physical therapist, I evaluate and treat function. This means I see people with disabilities newly acquired, chronic and progressive. So I have to understand resources and insurance and more importantly how the Feds, the State, and the private insurers keep patients from the drugs, equipment, services and income benefits they need.

See a patient is unlikely to be able to focus on strengthening their amputated limb, if they can’t get MediCal to pay for the prosthetic and if they will be homeless because the Feds feel that the loss of a limb is not enough get disability. Social Security is a mother, basically you’ve got to die these days to get disability or be white with legal representation. And MediCal under Arnie is getting just as ugly. You get sick and die slow of cancer and Arnold will take that house from your kids, to pay for that meatball salvage surgery, a broken hospital bed, and medication.

See, I work with the most rationed population on the planet, insurance don’t want em, the Feds dumped em, the State keeps thinking up new ways to drop em and the County, Dave Kears, still wants to close the county hospital to cut costs.

As activists fight for the Holy Grail, the Single Payer System, now, “California One Care”, the Terminator has decimated MediCal putting public hospitals at higher risk for closure and the public at higher risk for a preventable illness or death. The cheap bastard sends the MediCal payments to Highland Hospital late, causing huge cash flow problems; now, you know the muscle bound meat head sends the prison payments out on time. Us wonks have to find a way to make it a single fight.

Right now volunteer activists have to divide their time between causes, helping patients fight the bureaucratic MediCal system to get their meds and care and explaining the wisdom of a single payer system to their friends and neighbors. To be truly successful we must combine the struggle of the sick for service with the struggle of the wonks for a workable system. How about MediCal for all Californians it protects the public and the public hospitals and keeps Arnold from shooting our benefits out from under us.

Blogs for Healthcare Wonks

Health Access Weblog

The Health Care Policy Blog

Friday, November 24, 2006

Medicare Part "D" Update

OK, I can't keep up with the laundry; much less my insurance but as someone with senior parents, Medicare matters to me. I plan to follow this discussion, can democrats help us get the drugs we're all going to need? Or will drug companies squeeze every last penny out of us while we die?

Here's the article in the Wall Street Journal

Click here


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Reverend Jesse Jackson Saving the Medical Center

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Reverend Jesse Jackson in front of Highland Hospital with patients and staff August 12, 2004


Thank you for the House. Thank you for the Senate and thank you for America for waking up and smelling the snark.

Corruption was a big theme nationally and locally. The Oakland Perata developer machine has been packaging developer subsidies in feel good school and library bonds. Oaklander’s have finally said no. Measure “N” (a developer funded library construction bond) got voted down. A neighborhood Nimby email list compared Perata’s quarry cronies to Halliburton. The Oak to Ninth development has catalyzed radicals like the Sierra Club and the League of Women Voters, to fight the power and Oakland City Council, feeling the political heat has begun talking about resuscitating the ethics committee.

The Bay Area bond business is finally getting some scrutiny. Measure “A” (the fund the public hospital bond) is one of the only honest bonds. What money the Medical Center gets, gets spent on patient care. The only real credibility issue is having the County Supervisors suck millions out of the Medical Center in phoney “debt” payments. The County has taken a “blame and drain” approach to the Medical Center, steal the cash and then blame the hospital for any service failures or budget shortfalls. Measure “A” put a price on the Medical Center’s head. Every one of those overpaid under-worked county bureaucrats wants a piece of the bond money and they may get it yet.

Still tis the season to DT, OD and give thanks. Thank you friends and neighbors for Measure “A” and for giving us crutches, codeine, and the ability to care for one another for another year.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Jennifer Stone

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Jenny Said

When I am called upon to participate in this great democracy of ours, I often consult with my Highschool English teacher, Jennifer Stone. When asked about America under George Bush, Jenny said, "It's government of the penis, for the penis, by the penis."

Barbara Selfridge’s Crib Sheet for November 7, 2006

Feel free to pass this along -- and pass your opinions back to me, since I’ll probably change at least one of these votes before the election.

Phil Angelides, gov. I like the Green’s Peter Camejo, but I need this Democrat who fights to raise taxes on the rich and fund human needs.

John Garamendi, lt. gov. The Bay Guardian thinks conservative Republican McClintock has a shot, but then again, they’re supporting all the Dems.

Debra Bowen, secy of state. A close race and an important vote for the Dem fighter for fair elections.

Laura Wells, controller? Wells is one of the Greens who helped put Instant Run-Off Voting on the Oakland ballot, but John Chiang, Dem, needs votes to win.

Mehul Thakker, treasurer. Why vote for pro-Swartzenegger Lockyear if his Republican opponent’s a can’t win unknown? The Green’s a social investor.

Jack Harrison, atty gen. Peace & Freedom because I don’t trust Jerry Brown (tho my man in Sacto says the Republicans think they can win this race).

Tom Condit, insurance commish. Smart Peace and Freedom insurance expert.

Betty Yee, state bd of equalization. A hard-working incumbent.

Marsha Feinland, senator. Feinstein’s way too pro-war/anti-rights. Vote P&F.

Barbara Lee, congressperson. The best.

Edward Ytuarte, state senator. I’m glad Sandre Swanson got the Dems nod, but Peace & Freedom Ytuarte has a rep as an effective disability advocate.

Note, the Bay Guardian and others say it’s a mistake to target judges unless they are malcreants, discriminate or otherwise use the system illegally. The Greens say judicial selection should be reformed and non-endorse Carol Corrigan. I still target judges myself. (Quote’s from lawyer friends.)

Joyce Kennard--Yes. A conservative who has since moved left, now one of the more liberal of the 7 Supremes.

Carol A Corrigan--Yes? The Greens say not another Republican-appointed former DA, but I heard she was smart and funny with tremendous integrity.

James J Marchiano--Yes. Great.

Sandra L Margules--Yes. A Gray Davis appointee.

Paul R. Haerle--No. A Wilson appointee, former chair of the CA Republican Party.

James A Richman--Yes. Appointed by Wilson, works with Loaves & Fishes (Catholic charity for the homeless) and Downs Syndrome Connection.

William R McGuiness--No. A Wilson appointee with only DA experience.

Peter Siggins--Yes? Schwarzenegger’s former Legal Affairs Secretary and Assistant Atty Gen under Lockyear.

Ignazio John Ruvolo--No? A Republican.

Patricia K Sepulveda--Yes. Tho conservative.

Maria P. Rivera--Yes. A Gray Davis appointee.

Barbara Jones--Yes. Great.

Superior Court Judge, Office #21: Denis Hayashi. The public interest lawyer who worked on and won so many civil rights cases. (Note: it’s okay to vote FOR a judge in a contested race!)Alona Clifton, Peralta bd. The Greens like Abel Guillen, but the incumbent’s an African-American woman who’s doing a good job.

Courtney Ruby, Oakland auditor. Because the incumbent’s hard to work with.

Rebecca Kaplan, AC Transit bd. A great smart Green.

Andy Katz, EBMUD, ward 4. An environmentalist running unopposed?

State Propositions
1A--Highways Uber Alles. NO. The road construction industry wants to stop sales taxes--the only tax regressive enough to sometimes appeal to Republicans--from ever funding human needs.

1B--$19.9 Billion for Highways. NO. Costly short-sighted fix for a post-oil future.

1C--$2.9 Billion for Low Income Housing. Yes. Cuts in housing funds = more homelessness.

1D--$10.4 Billion for School Facilities. Yes? IMPACT says no, that local bonds meeting locally assessed needs would work better (repeal Prop 13!).

1E--$4.1 Billion for Disaster Prep. No? Why pay Brownies to do heckuva jobs when Prop 84 does it better?

83--Lifetime Ankle Bracelets for Misdemeanor Sex. NO. The felony part of this package already passed, so this is just the non-violents--like 19-yr-olds who sleep with their 17-yr-old girlfriends--unhelped by lifetime punishments.

84--$5.4 Billion for Environmental Projects. YES. Goes a long way.

85--Torture Pregnant Teens from Dysfunctional Families. NO. So mean.

86--Make Tobacco Addicts Pay for Kid’s Health Care. Yes? I favor methadone/ tobacco clinics, but anything that hurts tobacco companies saves lives.

87--Make Big Oil Pay Back $4 Billion to Subsidize Alternative Energy. YES. See 1A and 1B if you think the oil industry has never received gov’t hand-outs.

88--A Chicken-Shit Regressive Property Tax. NO. To raise money for schools, repeal Prop 13 and/or tax by value, not the same $50 for a home or a power plant or a 500-unit apartment bldg.

89--Make Corporations Fund Elections, Not Buy Them. YES. Go democracy!

90--Compensate Corporate Criminals for Lost Profits If Caught. NEVER. Disguised as don’t take my home, but if this had been law 100 years ago, taxpayers would still be paying off mill-owners hurt by child labor laws.?? on M, the Stockbrokers’ Dream. Oakland’s closed-club pension fund wants to stop being conservatively invested.

No on N, the Developers’ Dream Dressed as Library Upgrades. Shouldn’t there be a city-wide discussion about what we want to do with the Kaiser Convention Center’s lakefront property and/or the also desirable site of the current main library? Or should we just accept whichever developer proposal comes first? Should we pay them $100 M to build a bottom floor library and then let them collect $$$ on high-rent units on all other floors?

YES on O, Instant Run-off Voting. More than ending costly run-off elections, this will end voting out of fear: Greens could vie with Dems without the bugaboo of a Republican victory. A good precursor for representational democracy.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Oakland Front Yard

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I live a few of blocks above MacArthur Blvd and Fruitvale Avenue, a little house with lots of trees, huge Eucalyptus trees in the back. A couple of stories high they make creepy creaking sounds in the wind. We can’t afford to remove them or the 30 foot dead stumps so I plant vines on the stumps. We put the exercise bike in front of the bedroom window, it looks out the back of the house on the trees and stumps and the backside of the houses behind us. With the light off in the bedroom the dirt on the window glass is hardly noticeable, and you can watch the light change in the trees and street behind the house.

Fifteen minutes into my very brief very slow work-out an owl swooped down and landed on top of a stump and peered down toward my compost pile. OK, I might have a slight rodent problem but I also apparently have a biocontrol strategy.

Amazing the things we don’t see in Oakland, particularly the politicians. We have some seriously low vision or quite possibly blind politicians. Oakland has epidemic levels of violence spreading like the flu through our community and I’m getting emails from my council person about the next festival and great Oakland eats. Whatever the Oakland City council is smoking I want some. Even Chip Johnson (Chronicle journo and Don Perata lapdog) has noticed.

The fear, the frustration, the uneasiness, the denial, the grief, the pain and the physical damage touches us all we just deal with it differently. Anyone who thinks they can live in the middle of this much murder and mayhem and not have it touch their life lives, lacks either vision or conscious or in the case of our local leaders, both.

Politicians can build walls or bridges and Oakland seems intent on building walls, it’s an “us and them” approach. More police, more prisons, more condos, more yuppies and less poor people. Why fix the schools when we can subsidize luxury housing. Why take care of minority teenagers when you can attract people who can send their kids to private schools. Don’t fund the county hospital; have the hospital fund the County Government so they can put up prisons and billboards.

So what causes this type of “social epidemic?” How do you propagate such violence and despair? This isn’t a virus and it’s not spread by spinach, or birds or even dirty needles; the greed, the arrogance and the corruption of the Oakland City Council and the County Board of Supervisors fuel this decay. What we have is what you get when City and County government refuse to build and support schools, hospitals and community services which meet the needs of children, families and working people.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Chiori Santiago Benefit

Chiori a Bay Area writer, artist and someone with a real talent for bringing people together is fighting cancer and medical bills. Insurance is not enough these days. She babysat my brother and I, her family lived across the street from us. Every boy on the block had a crush on Chiori and most still do. Come help an artist, a family and a community.

Sunday October 22
5-9 pm La Pena Cultural Center
3105 Shatuck Avenue Berkeley

Check or cash donations 10 dollars and up sliding scale

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Today's News

More on Highland's new infusion center, from Rebecca at the Tribune

Yesterday's News

Creating new services and expanding healthcare access is hard in good times. In spite the County Supervisors sucking revenue out of the Medical Center like swarm of hungry mospquitoes the Medical Center was able to upgrade and expand services for cancer patients.

The new face of the uninsured is well, middle class, middle income and middle aged. Your HMO has a plan and it doesn't include paying for comprehensive cancer care. The Medical Center's leaders have decided not to hide from the chronically and expensively ill. In a great show of moral as well as operational leadership they have upgraded and expanded treatment options for cancer and other chronically ill patients.

Read all about it in the Tribune

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Barbara Selfridge

Dear fellow victims of election-thievery,

I thought you might be interested in what I'm doing to try to fix the November election. I'm looking for future fertile grounds for impeachment, big-time.

1) I went to Act Blue, a web-site that lets Democrats craft their own little PACs. I gave money to a bunch of Democrats and progressives who each have a shot at flipping some Republican seat. I started with a list of recommendations from Barbara Boxer -- Jim Webb, VA; Claire McCaskill, MO; Bob Casey, PA; Jon Tester, MT; Sherrod Brown, OH; Sheldon Whitehouse, RI; Jack Carter, NV -- and then added Ned Lamont in Connecticut, Jerry McNerney in Stockton (the big show-down race in northern CA), and a bunch of other progressives I read about on the Act Blue web-site.

It was awfully easy and I suspect that the $5 I gave each of those candidates will put them in my pocket for the rest of their political lives.

2) I'm going to do my crib sheet early, disseminate it wide, and also widely disseminate the crib sheets of my friends (Nathan!). I really believe in this and wish that the pre-election period could be full of us sharing personal knowledge and debating political issues -- that's not the campaigning that needs to be reformed: it's what the big-ticket campaign financiers are drowning out. People have confused voting booths with closets -- we should all be OUT.

3) I'll sport an election bumper-sticker/yard sign. When I was a kid, my parents pointed at any car that had bumper stickers from rival candidates: "the battle of the sexes," they laughed, and maybe now couples don't share bumpers any more, but I think it's sad that people don't share their predilections Is this a democracy or a police state? (yeah, yeah, yeah)

4) I'll work on a campaign. My friends Melody and Stan are spearheading an "election sesshin" in which Buddhists and non-Buddhists (like me) move in together and use meditation and mutual support to sustain each other during the intensive get-out-the-vote work of the last two weeks before the election. Last year I joined them for a few days as they campaigned for Darlene Hooley in Oregon. This year they're closer to home, campaigning for Jerry McNerney against Bush-lackey Richard Pombo in Stockton, and I plan to join them for a couple of short stretches within that last stretch.

If you're interested in joining us, let me know. I'll send you a copy of the invite with all the contact info.

5) I'll vote. I signed up for absentee voting, which I don't really like because I like going to the polling place with Wendy and her dog and seeing other neighbors and inciting riots when I ask people if they expect a paper ballot, etc. But election day phone banking is really useful, especially for people who put off thinking about the election/reading the voter guide and then feel like they don't deserve to vote. YOU DON'T HAVE TO VOTE IN EVERY RACE, I tell them. (I'm so politically savvy!)

I humbly invite you to join me in all these activities. It's possible that as my friend Mike says, fascism has already arrived and we'll feel stupid looking back at all the work we did for an election we couldn't have won anyway. But that's like believing Richard Nixon when he said he was watching the superbowl and couldn't be bothered paying attention to the protesters and then twenty years later you find out that those protests stopped a planned nuclear assault. The Republicans are campaigning with a "Stay home -- Don't vote!" strategy and I think it behooves us not to agree.

----xxoo yr electioneering Bárbara

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Movie Night

New Documentary
"The California Healthcare Solution
California OneCare"
Grand Lake Theater
Thursday October 5th
7:00 pm
Invited Guests
Barbara Lee ( she speaks for me)
Ron Dellums Oakland's Next Mayor
& more politicos

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Play Date

My kids chased their friends through the house screaming as we sat out in a yard with the parents drinking beer and eating pizza. Oakland above the Warren Freeway really is a different city. The views, the wildlife, the problems: the kitchen remodel went over budget. Co-workers don’t get killed, children don’t get shot and old and sick people don’t live on the winding roads.

I complained somewhat bitterly about the state of Oakland as I see it from the county hospital. One of the parents concurred expressing disappointment with the City government and their complete lack of vision or leadership. They then stopped and qualified their comments. “I don’t think much of our councilperson but she really sticks up for this neighborhood.”

The comment stuck in my mind. See, Oakland city and county government spend a great deal of their time, energy and resources pandering to affluent voters in the hills. This isn’t their first priority, their first priority is developing good relationships with land developers so they can sell off public land and make enough rich friends to fund their ambitious ascents to Sacramento. Still they take pains to insure a higher quality of schools, services and life to the residents of the Oakland hills.

Just think about it. Do the obvious inequities of services in the City of Oakland contribute to the crime and desperation we are seeing?

In Loving Memory of Jamellea Deary

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Remembering a Friend

OK, I don’t deal with death well. In my family we get drunk and overeat. Not that I don’t do that anyway but… I knew Jamellea Deary, not well. We worked on the union negotiating team together, I knew her well enough to know she was hardworking, generous and kind. She worked at Fairmont as a nursing assistant, she spoke kindly of her patients, she liked her work and now she’s dead. She was 53 and a grandmother for goodness sake, she worked hard all day, helped her co-workers as a shop steward and drove a wicked commute. She never complained and always pitched in.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sure, They Look Harmless Enough

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Back to School

So I’ve been out of the loop, off my beat and out of my tree. Back to school for my little McNuggets. My son learned about the “Big Boom Theory” in school. Halfway through his description of gasses and the great cosmic fart, my daughter got jealous and interrupted him. “Hey what about the big splash?” My son countered with, “Emma you’re rude, you never use your manners.” My husband broke up the brouhaha by throwing them both in the tub.

So as soon as I catch up the laundry, finish the homework, pay the tuition and make the lunches, I’ll get back to the Dirt.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fairmont Hospital

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Committee Comments

The Measure "A" Oversight Committee is in the process of producing a report (that's what committees do.) The following are Charlie Ridgell comments.

Highlights Section:
The report on the use of Measure A funds to support the School Based Health Center program at the McClymonds High School in West Oakland was one of the real highlights of my participation on the Measure A Oversight Committee. Maybe it’s because this program receives only a very small percentage of Measure A funds and uses them in an area of great need, namely to address the crisis faced by many high school students as they struggle to obtain an education in an under funded school system without adequate family and social support. The way our society is failing these young people is truly an outrage. It was heartwarming to learn of the good work being done by this program with the help of Measure A funds. I would support increasing the Measure A allocation to this program.

Concerns Section:
The people of Alameda County should be alarmed at the dishonesty of the Board of Supervisors in placing Measure A before the voters without informing them of the Board’s plan to cheat the Alameda County Medical Center out of a portion of the Medical Center’s Measure A funds through the Supervisors’ demand that ACMC “pay back” the County for previous years support of the Medical Center through its fiscal crisis which was, in part, caused by the Supervisors. This so-called ‘debt’ was agreed to by the ACMC Trustees under threat of the County cutting off support of the Medical Center . This scheme should have been disclosed to the voters prior to the March 2004 election, but it was deliberately withheld in order to deceive the voters as to the Supervisors’ intent to reduce the 75% portion of Measure A funds earmarked for ACMC. The Supervisors and the County staff knew what they planned to do but were too dishonest to tell the voters in advance of the vote.
The acquiescence of the ACMC trustees in this scheme is shameful and should be investigated as a possible a violation of their fiduciary duty to the Medical Center .

Simply speaking, the voters were lied to. As a citizen of Alameda County , and a member of the Measure A Oversight Committee, I feel our County government (Board of Supervisors and staff) have violated and betrayed the public trust.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Ann Plan

The strategic planning process has begun. This earthquake retrofitting stuff necessitates a new hospital building, so the turf building, fundraising and brainstorming has begun in earnest. The last real CEO we had, Ken Cohen planned heavily, in fact the executive team and the docs retreated deeply into the planning process, they weren’t seen for months. I guess strategy necessitates a secretiveness and withdrawal from the day to day, too many cooks in the kitchen and that sort of thing.

Anyway there’s a poverty of information and no means for working people to watch or participate in the strategic planning process, no union representatives or union members are invited allowed to attend. It’s sort of a Wizard of Oz situation. Since mums the word on the actual strategic plan, and I have to write about something, let me lay out “Ann’s Plan”.

Here’s the deal, a bigger hospital is better. Why ? Well the emergency room backs up onto the streets of Oakland and the numbers of uninsured show no signs of decreasing. Population’s up, car wrecks are up, average age is up, violence is up and last year’s flu season overfilled all the local hospitals. So even ignoring any natural disasters and outbreaks, we need the beds.

More importantly Highland’s currently too small and too resource starved to do the job right. We get the sickest of the sick and we keep them alive and get them going but that’s a far cry from comprehensive management of chronic illness and disability in the poor, and the elderly. What about cancer, TB, diseases of poverty and desperation? We can’t track cancer, we can’t support caregivers and families living with chronic illness, we provide care one crisis at a time. We have to get people out the door as quick as possible because of the long lines of sick people waiting in the Emergency Room.

Without hospital beds we can’t do the elective surgeries and procedures which increase patient’s function and health and ultimately decrease healthcare cost. The County Supes whine and moan about us spending money on chemotherapy, ventilators and cardiac drugs-the outrageous cost of healthcare. They never talk about the flip side: the cost of not providing healthcare; under medicated paranoid homeless people cost my community two small businesses and lots of people sadness and grief. How about angry juveniles who have no skills, no income and no parents because they lost their primary caregiver to a treatable illness? We have thousands of people who cannot function and the pull of their dependence, disease and pain affects us all. See, we’re dealing with the cost of not caring everyday in Oakland and it’s costing us more than the decent healthcare would.

Politicians babble about the breakdown of the family. Yo, bozos how about the breakdown of the public services which support families, there’s a problem you can fix.

I say let’s do it right, build a 200-bed hospital with subacute and skilled nursing beds in it. Take the speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and rehabilitation staff from the Fairmont Hospital and use them to optimize function and independence in all patients before discharge. Make the mission of the hospital to make all patients and families independent and functional. If we become the place medical problems can be heard and addressed we can start to fix our county’s disintegrated social services. You cannot cure people without caring for them and we should build a hospital that let’s us do just that.

Fairmont Hospital at Night

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Fairmont Hospital at Dusk

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Fairmont Hospital Late in the Day

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Bye Lara!

Boo Hoo. Lara Bice-Sim Supervisor Keith Carson's healthcare point person is leaving for wetter climates and a lucky man. Lara's work in Carson's has helped the Medical Center immeasurably. She's beautiful, smart, ethical and kind. She will be so missed.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Highland Outside the ED

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Treat’em and Street’em

Layoffs, reorgs, heat waves, crime waves and well, PMS. Is it just me, or is the planet getting warmer? Oakland and Highland have gotten hot enough, somebody please turn up the air and the funding. Did you know Sheriff Plummer and Susan Murahishi the County Administrator “bump” into each other over at the Claremont Spa? Seriously, I read it in Bizwoman. Maybe I’ll pop over at lunch and explain the situation to them.

Have our leaders all left town in the interest of personal comfort and safety? What’s up? One of America’s most wanted got killed a block from the hospital in June, over 410 crimes around the hospital so far this year and we get every trauma in Oakland.

How have the County Supervisors responded? Well they want to close the Rehabilitation Hospital at Fairmont. Great that’s helpful. So lets say you get shot and you’re a paraplegic, once we stop the bleeding, who’s going get you a wheel chair and teach you to use it. What about a stroke, shall we send these patients home with a brochure? How about Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Stenosis and people who get joints replaced?

While San Francisco moves toward comprehensive care, chronic illness management, and prevention, Dave Kears and the County Supes who love him pushing for cost containment at its meanest. All the Medical Center needs is an emergency room and a couple of cots according to Dave. All you need is an emergency room- it’s Dave’s treat’em and street’em healthcare cost containment plan.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Save Our City Land

As you may or may not know local politicos fund their campaigns by sweet deals with developers and public land givaways. State Senator Perata and his loyal servants ( Ignacio De La Fuente, Larry Reid, Jean Quan and Henry Chang) want to sell off Oakland school land and the Oakland waterfront (the Oak to Ninth Development) and the supes want Fairmont Hospital and Highland if they can get it. The greedy bastards also want the Peralta College land over by Laney.

Oaklander's have wised up to the real estate rip-off , a coalition has formed to fight the Oak to Ninth Development. I'm giving them my time and money, so should you.

Here's the link

Thursday, July 27, 2006


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Help, I Need a Brochure!

No, this is not “normal,” 78 murders in Oakland this year. Real estate at all-time highs and earnest Berkeley/Albany parents worried about their kids getting shot at parties. We have more money, more desperation, more death and violence than in years past.

County Supervisor Nate Miley’s office said, “Well, that’s Oakland and the City Council’s responsibility.” I said, “ We have nothing for people, no support services to offer the broken, the battered and the frightened.”

Nate Miley got lots of great press for his violence prevention program and feels he’s spent enough resources on Oakland. I sounded so pitiful on the phone that Miley’s staff felt sorry for me and said they’d send over a brochure.

I didn’t bother calling my City Council Member, Jean Quan. Jeanie prefers not to talk about crime: it frightens people who vote.

So my dear friends and co-workers if it feels like we’re standing alone in a flood of violence, diseases of desperation and community disintegration that’s because we are. Politicians say they want to help the sick, the poor, the injured, the unparented and the over and under-medicated but the truth is they don’t mean it.

See, the county hospital catches all the fabulous failures of our bureaucratic and inept county and city services. Jails fail to prevent chronic illness and disability, compassionately release inmates to Highland. Adult Protective Services fails to protect –that’s right Highland. A nursing home ships a psychotic patient from Hopunk California because they get paid extra to take care of the guy and they realize he bites and throws feces. No problem, send him to Highland. How about Behavioral Health they cost effectively under-manage mental illness and substance abuse for years and then just send their clients to the Highland. Violence prevention fails to prevent violence, that’s right, let Highland deal with it.

That’s why our patients and our hospital get defunded and attacked by politicians: we take care of people. Politicians hate us because we remind them of their failures. They don’t come to Highland to see victims of violence and their families – they hold Summits and press conferences to talk to campaign donors and to expound on how much they are doing about the problem.

See, people fall between the bureaucratic cracks. County’s all about spreadsheets, power points and political pork programs; it’s no longer about people or their problems. Caregiving has become an act of political defiance. So, for all you baby docs, yes, our leaders indifference is more frightening than the carnage and yes, it is up to us the fix world as well as our patients. But don’t despair Supervisor Nate Miley is going to send us a helpful brochure!


“Bald, black and broke.”
-San Francisco Bay Guardian Personal Ad

I almost answered that ad, I figured at least the dude’s honest. For the record, my husband has a full head of hair and a job and so you wonder what do personal ads have to do with the job, the Medical Center. Well, the subject of relationships has come up.

For the last ten years I’ve done lots of moonlighting. My second job consists mainly of working with other folks to keep my first job open. We’ve, rallied, vigilled, blogged leafleted, called, faxed and emailed. We had a “fire Dave Kears” campaign and rally once. I stood two cars away from a huge spotless sedan in a reserved parking space in the county lot when then Supervisor Mary King came out, turned red, and ripped our literature from her windshield and shredded it.

Mary and I had a relationship. She misrepresented me, my values and my interests and I called, faxed and flyered her with what I felt was helpful information. That’s as much relationship as I need with a politician. I just want them to do the right thing; I don’t want to do lunch.

When activists, organizers, and wonks get together into groups with bylaws, committees and minutes the strategy discussion often becomes should we compromise with a politician who’s not doing the right thing so we can build a “relationship” or should we do something that would make a difference.

The whole notion that the Medical Center should be subsidizing the county budget with “debt” and “interest” payments is a big hot steaming pile of horse…..

I feel so hurt, so dirty, so used, I thought we had a “relationship” with the board of supes. Boo hoo.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Go Gavin!

Free love, good eats and universal healthcare. Gavin Newsom beat Dellums to universal healthcare. Read all about it. Click here:

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Discussing Utopian Visions of Healthcare

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Wright Lassiter III CEO. ACMC (left)
Ron Dellums Mayor-Elect of Oakland (right)


Leave it to the Supes to use a natural disaster as an opportunity to dismantle the Medical Center. All hospitals must be earthquake safe by 2012 to be in compliance with state regulation. Kaiser got the go ahead to expand and the Supes blessings but the poor Medical Center trustees are out behind the back room arguing with the Supes. The Supes want to build an outhouse and the hospital trustees and Wright Lassiter III want to build a hospital.

That’s the kind of progressive visionary thinking Alameda County deserves. In the event of a major earthquake the hospital will crumple and prisons will be left standing. If current county budgetary trends continue, getting jailed might be the only way for the uninsured to get healthcare.

Wright Lassiter III Doing Diligence

Alameda County Medical Center CEO Wright Lassiter III will discuss his
strategic vision for ACMC at the next Vote Health general membership

The meeting will be held at 7:00 pm
on Monday, July 17
California Nurses Association located at 20th and Franklin Streets, Oakland
For more information, please call 510-832-8683.

The Oakland City Council will vote on a resolution in support of SB
840, Sheila Kuehl's single payer bill, the following night, Tuesday, July 18th.
The city council meeting begins at 6 p.m. at city hall.

Kay Eisenhower,
Chair Vote Health

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Dave Kears

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Dave Kears’ Weed Not Greed Treatment Center

That’s right! The time has come to identify and treat Alameda County’s most pernicious, widespread and contagious social problems. It’s an epidemic, a pandemic and it’s maiming and killing thousands- it’s a scourge, a plague, it’s the “green death.” That’s right it’s greed. Overpaid overfed bureaucrats, policy shakers and makers, politicians have gotten richer and richer undeserving the poor. The Sheriff, Dave Kears (Director of Health Services) and Susan Muranishi (Chief Administrative Officer) salaries are over half a rock and that’s without kickbacks, pensions, junkets and free food.

They vote themselves frequent fat raises while cutting and privatizing public services like healthcare. They give themselves awards and hold fancy parties for other greedy people and everyone congratulates each other as they divide up the public funds for the next fiscal year. It’s a public health crisis: TB, AIDS, homelessness, sexual exploitation of children and imprisonment in general are all up and our leaders are throwing a victory party with melon martinis and novelty napkins.

The time has come to take county government and medical marijuana to a higher level. All the “top dogs” will live communally in the Weed Not Greed Treatment Center.

Let’s take a quick look at our leaders after a week of intensive treatment:

Dave used his left toes to pick up a pair of worn running shorts, he kicked them into the air and caught them in his right hand knocking over a lamp and a half can of beer in the process. He grabbed a chair with his left hand and stepped into the shorts pulling them up over his bare ass. He looked under a pile of clothes for a shirt but couldn’t find one, and wandered out of the room shirtless and shoeless looking for his friends.

Charley Plummer wore an open black bathrobe and sat fully reclined in a pink vinyl Lazy Boy, in the common room. Susan Muranishi lay on the red rug on the floor. One of her favorite Gucci silk scarves tied around her breasts as a top. She lay very still but her belly button ring, a plastic peace sign with a bell jingled each time she breathed. She sounded like a snoring cat.

Dave: “Hey Chuck, I’m so sorry about last night, that was my bad.”
Charley: “No problem, Dave I’ve been known to get a little psychedelic myself.”
Dave: “That’s righteous of you dude, I think I love you.”
Charley: “I love you to.”
Dave: “I mean it Chuck, your kindness will never be obliterated.”

See at Dave’s Weed Not Greed Treatment Center the motto is why get rich when you could get high? Dare to care, dare to share. Toke for a cure: treating corporate crime one spliff at a time.

You can support Dave Kears’ Weed Not Greed Clinic by participating in the “Toke for a Cure” Smoke Out and Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Highland Hospital

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Dirt Readers Rock the Board

Under intense pressure from the voting public the supes managed to do good, 8 millions dollars worth of good. Super Supes Keith Carson, Nate Miley and Scott Haggerty came together to help out healthcare. Supervisor Gail Steele was the only supe to object. After almost having lost her seat due to her dismal record on healthcare, she plans to serve her last term being even more mean-spirited. Oh well, at least she’s consistent.

We obviously should be talking to our local politicians more often and more honestly, left to their own committees they come up with some really bad ideas. A thousand thanks to everyone who wrote, emailed, called, and faxed. Vote Health’s Kay Eisenhower and Brad Cleveland spent most of their weekend on this campaign, as did most of the hospital’s shop stewards.

It is shocking how invested people are not just in the Medical Center but also in Measure “A”. People really want the promises of Measure “A” to be protected and they will stand up and fight if they feel someone is undermining its success. Nice to see people fight for our patients, it makes those of us who work at the Medical Center feel really good.

Friday, June 23, 2006

We Got 8 Million!

I guess it's true. I read it in the Tribune the supes came up with 8 million.
Read all about it:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Stay Turned...

We may live to fight another budget battle. Supervisor Keith Carson has put together a plan to get us 8 million dollars. Susan Muranishi, the county's Chief Administrative Officer found the cash in her other shoe. She makes a cool quarter million a year because of moves like this, but what do I know about high finance.

So Carson's proposal goes to a vote and if it passes the Medical Center will feel much better. Cross your fingers, hold your breath, pray, whatever works, we deserve a break.

Budget Crisis Coverage

Well the Berkeley Daily Planet did it again, best coverage of Oakland and healthcare issues. To read Jesse Allan-Taylor's piece about the budget hearing click here:

Sunday, June 18, 2006

More Measure "A" Money Games

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Help the Medical Center Now!

Care about healthcare here's you chance to act.

Sign the petition to insure that Measure "A" dollars are spent on healthcare.

To read about the supes latest move on the Medical Center click here:

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Milking Measure "A"

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The Bond Boondoggle

Well the board of supes continue to milk Measure “A” revenues out of the Medical Center and back to the county coffers. That’s right between rent increases, undocumented “debt” and that debt’s interest public healthcare will be subsidizing the county budget to the tune of about 20 million.

The county supes have shown great initiative and motivation with a couple years of practice and low resistance they will be sucking the full 75 million out of the hospital and into their own pet projects like prisons and puppies for Supervisor Gail Steele.

The “Dirt” interviewed real people about the current state of financial affairs.

“I voted for Measure “A” and all I got was this sheriff’s substation.”

“I voted for Measure “A” and the County Supervisors got a thirty thousand dollars raise.”

“I voted for Measure “A” and all I got was this lousy blog.”


That’s right MSM (Main Steam Media) got Oakland all wrong all the newspapers: the Chronicle, the Tribune and the Express all endorsed Ignacio for mayor. The press forgot to talk to the public they just spoke to the politicians. Jesse Taylor from the Planet and the blogs got it right they went for Dellums. What’s the message? What difference does it make to the Medical Center?

Lots you see Larry Tramatula, the political consultant who ran De La Fuente's Karl Rovesque campaign which appealed to the pissed off and priced out of San Francisco yuppie elite of the Oakland hills, also ran Measure “A.” He just got his clock cleaned trying to get approval to build a hospital up in Sonoma County, maybe that’s why he appealed to self-righteous self-interest.

Who knows, still watching this campaign many were moved to help themselves not the poor. If the Medical Center plans to continue to exist we depend on the public and the press’s better nature. Public healthcare is about our willingness to care for each other and to foot the bill for our common humanity and decency. While decency and a humanistic vision prevailed in the mayoral race, our politicians, press and pollsters found a huge pocket of self-interest. This view of Oakland as under serving the over privileged and over serving the poor will play prominently in the future of the Medical Center.

If you want to know what’s really going on read the blogs and the Berkeley Daily Planet they’re smarter than the MSM (Main Steam Media.)

Kid Oakland
The Berkeley Daily Planet

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Early Election Results

I'm too old to stay up all night but right now, we got good and bad news, the Super Chicks :Gail Steele and Alice Lai-Bitker are winning. Boo hoo but Ron Dellums is also winning, whew. Here's the numbers:

Dellums 44.3% De La Fuente 36.2% Nadel 14.6% Oz 2.8% & Arnie Fields 1.4% (4.73% reported)

Alice Lai-Bitker 48.6 % Sheila Young 31.8% Jim Price 8.8% Glenda Nardine 6.5 % Lou Filipovich 4.1% ( 4.4% reported)

Gail Steele 54.3% and Richard Valle 45.5% ( 2.16% reported)

Here's the link for those who can stay up all night:

A Better Blog

For those infrequent travelers in the blogosphere here's a treat:

Monday, June 05, 2006

Vote Health- Highland Hospital

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Vote for health, for hope and for our children. Jim Price and Richard Valle for County Supervisor and Ron Dellums for Mayor of Oakland.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Charlie Ridgell said...

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Both the Tribune and the Daily Dirt are missing the big point, namely that, when it comes to Measure A and ACMC, the Board of Supervisors misled, and continue to mislead, the voters of Alameda County!

Alert observers will recall that, at the time the Board of Supervisors put Measure A on the ballot, there was controversy about its provisions. As a result of the controversy, Local 250, the largest union of health care workers in the county and one of the original proponents of Measure A, refused to support Measure A in the form the Supervisors placed it on the ballot because, as it was written by the Board of Supervisors, it failed to guarantee that the Board would not use the new funding stream as an excuse to reduce its support of the Medical Center through some other means.

In typical politician fashion, it was only after the voters approved Measure A that our Board of Supervisors raised their outrageous demand that the County's medical center "repay" the County almost $200 million for the County's past support of the County's Medical Center.

The County bureaucrats refer to these funds as "loans", but nobody has produced any loan contracts or documents with any signatures by anyone in authority at the Medical Center promising to pay anything back as a condition of receiving the money.

The Board of Supervisors' actions since the passage of Measure A and right up to the present validate Local 250's (now the UHW) criticism.

If it weren't for this so-called "debt" there would be no deficit at ACMC! For the hard of hearing, I repeat:


The questions for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors are:

"Why did you lie to the voters?"


"When will you tell the truth and admit what you did with Measure A was dishonest?"

The question for the ACMC Trustees is:

"When will you find the courage to live up to your fiduciary obligation to ACMC and repudiate the bogus 'debt' so that the Medical Center can deliver what was promised to the voters?"

By the way, two members of the Board of Supervisors are up for re-election. Let's connect the dots, people!

Bárbara Selfridge's Crib Sheet for the June 6, 2006 Primary Election

Are you a democrat? Apparently I'm one, so these are my votes in their primary. (I thought I'd switched to Peace and Freedom, but I guess I switched back.)

The important votes for me are governor (I have that institutionalized sister whose life hangs in the balance every time the Republicans get on their no taxes hobby horse), Oakland Mayor (no to De La Fuente/Don Parata/developers machine), Alameda County School Supe (make Sheila Jordan pay for her role in the state/developer takeover!), Superior Court Judge (because there's so little info out there), and the Democratic Central Committee (because there are at least four Lyndon LaRouchies on the ballot!)

Prop 81: Bonds for Libraries--Yes. Because how else do we fund libraries in a no-taxes-except-on-future-generations time?

Prop 82: Tax the Rich to Pre-School 4-year-olds--YES. Wow! A progressive project without a regressive tax/bond financing plan! Take note, prop 81!

Gov--Phil Angelides. He's friends with Cornel West, and he's the Dem who has fought for low income housing and entitlements for the developmentally disabled, and is willing to raise taxes, which is so needed and so different from Schwarzenegger. Steve Wesley, the ebay millionaire, is running as a no-new-taxes Schwarzenegger-lite. My man in Sacto says that a Schw-lite may be more effective in getting the taxes over the 2/3rds hurdle (that's how a minority of Republicans in the legislature can prevent new taxes), but then, that's the same rational that told me I might get new taxes out of a Republican-lite like Arnold.

Lt. Gov--Jackie Speier. The Bay Guardian likes her better than Garamendi (a headline-chaser/past loser for the Dems) and Figueroa (a potential loser, they say, judging by her lack of support).

Secy of State--Deborah Ortiz? Debra Bowen is actively fighting Diebold and theft by voting machine, which would be her job as secy of state, but Ortiz is at least as good and we'd get a Latina into a state-wide office.

Controller--John Chiang? The Bay Guardian likes Enron-fighter Joe Dunn a little better than Chiang, and I'll probably go with a Green or Peace and Freedom candidate -- Laura Wells or Elizabeth Barrón -- in November.

Treasurer--write in Mehul Thakker. Bill Lockyer disappointed me as Atty General, so why should I give him my vote in an unopposed election? Thakker's the Green.

Atty General--Rocky Delgadillo. The Bay Guardian says Delgadillo's articulate and experienced and has tremendous chraisma, but he's not so good on the issues: no crackdown on corporate crime, etc. Maybe he's better, they say, than the bombastic Oakland mayor Jerry Brown, but worse than the old Pacifica talkshow-host Jerry Brown. Why give Jerry Brown another chance, I say.

Insurance Commissioner--write in Tom Condit. The Kraft cheese heir isn't running a real campaign against Cruz Bustamante, and Tom Condit's a really smart Peace and Freedom activist.

Board of Equalization, 1st Dist.--Betty Yee. The Bay Guardian likes this incumbant for getting money out of the big corporations and utilities.

State Schools Supe--Sarah Knopp. The Bay Guardian likes incumbant Jack O'Connell as a smart pro-kid liberal, but he's all about exit exams. Knopp's a Green running on anti-No Child Left Behind, pro-taxes, and strong teacher's unions.

US Senator--write in Marsha Feinland. Why waste a vote on hawkish/PATRIOT act-supporter Feinstein when she's running unopposed so it's painless to make a statement--albeit an extremely SMALL statement--in favor of the Peace and Freedom party?

US Representative--Barbara Lee. She still speaks for me.

State Assembly, 16th Dist--Sandré Swanson. John Russo's flashier, more ambitious, and not that bad, but Sandré is Barbara Lee's staffer who's closer to me on all my issues.

Democratic Central Committee, 16th dist (vote for 6)--Egerman, Andropoulos, Neal, Berzins, Sweeney-Griffith, Williams. I know very little about these people (Kathy Neal is Elihu Harris' wife) except that they're Democrats and at least 4 of the other 6 are Lyndon LaRouche-supporters (ie left rhetoric/fascist practice) who just obstruct obstruct obstruct: Jason Alexander Ross, Oyang W. Teng, Summer Justice Shields (probably elected last time because she was a woman but he's not), and Sylvia Spaniolo. Let the Democrats run their own party.

Note: in the 14th and 18th districts, the alameda county afl-cio and the Lesbian-Gay-Bi_Trans Democratic Club both endorse these slates: Weinstein, Gee, Kelly, Jaramillo, Echols, Green (14th) and Prola, Torello, Sanborn, Fernandez, Trullinger, and Perry (18th). Must be Dems.

Superior Court Judge, #21--Dennis Hiyashi. Hiyashi is the social justice lawyer who helped overturn Fred Korematsu's conviction for disobeying WWII internment laws. The Greens also like Mike Nisperos for his social justice analysis and experience. The Bay Guardian likes Fred Remer as a trial lawyer, an alternatives to incarceration advocate, and the endorsee of retiring judge Donald Squires.

County Schools Supe--John Bernard! The Bay Guardian likes Shiela Jordan, which makes sense since they've been using the ex-Trotskyist as their go-to gal on Oakland politics for years. If Oakland is ever to get community control of its schools back tho, it'll have to do so over the dead bodies of State Senator Don Perata and County Schools Supe Sheila Jordan who both played major roles in putting in State Administrator Randolph Ward. (note: I've included the Daily Planet article on the subject at the end of this crib sheet)

Bd of Ed trustee, area 1--Lois Corrin?? Jackie Fox Ruby's the incumbent with lots of union ties and endorsements, but in '02 Sheila Jordan put all her campaign money and focus on putting Ruby in to be her yes-person. Hard to say yes to that. Corrin's an African-American Stanford alum, otherwise unknown to me.

Note: after reading a Berk Daily Planet article, I like Marcie Hodge in area 2, Nicholas González Yuen in 4, and Melanie Sweeney-Griffith in 6, mostly based on their endorsements.

Alameda County Measure A: Peralta College Bonds--Yes. Schooling takes money.

Assessor--write in Eddie Ytuarte. The Bay Guardian is backing the uncontested lack-luster incumbant, but my friend Nora says Eddie Ytuarte, a Peace and Freedom candidate for state assembly, is smart, a disabled rights housing advocate, and easy to work with in the Pushing Limits disability rights radio collective.

County Auditor-Controller--write in Jack Harrison. The Bay Guardian endorses the incumbent because it's no big deal, but why not, then, a Peace and Freedom incumbent? Harrison is running for Atty General.

DA--write in Michael Wyman. The Bay Guardian says not to vote for pro-death-penalty Orloff, but there's no one else. Wyman is the Green candidate for Atty General.

Sheriff--Gregory Ahern? The Bay Guardian isn't expecting a lot from Plummer's hand-picked successor, but he's unopposed and they give him the nod. Maybe we should write in Mike Hennessey, the wonderfully progressive chief cop of SF.

County Tax Collector--Eddie Ytuarte? Donald White is the incumbent, and I've heard nothing against him, but as long as I'm writing in Peace and Freedomer Ytuarte for Assessor, I may as well tag him again for Treasurer.

Oakland Measure B: School Bond--no. I know I took that oath never to oppose a school bond ("schooling takes money"), but what if it just goes to Randolph Ward and the state takeover team? What if they get the bond money, but sell school real estate off to the developers anyway, just because the developers want it? The Bay Guardian says vote no till Oakland has an empowered School Board again, and the Greens point out that the teacher's union is also withholding support.

Oakland Mayor--Ron Dellums! Ron Dellums is so smart and so liberal and such a great speaker/motivator, and we need to take Oakland back from the developers (whether they're working thru the Jerry Brown or the Don Parata machines, they all know De La Fuente is their fix-it man on the city council). I support progressive councilmember Nancy Nadel, just not when I think she's going to lose to De La Fuente.

Oakland Auditor--Courtney Ruby. The Oakland Tribune published leaked info on the abusiveness/dysfunctionality of incumbent Roland Smith and now he's going after the leaker. The Bay Guardian likes Episcopal Charities CFO Courtney Ruby (a woman) best among the three challengers. The Greens aren't so sure Smith is in the wrong.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

In the News

The Tribune's latest on inspections, citations and funding. Click here:

Monday, May 22, 2006

Write In

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Don’t be a lemming. For goodness sake don’t give these sad sack unopposed, overfed and overpaid turds a free pass, write in a candidate! Your cat, your hamster, your husband your fish, your pet rock. Take charge and fight back.

Endorsed by The League of Pissed Off Voters