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

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Gail Steele & Alice Lai-Bitker

The press is on it. The Super Chicks, Alice Lai-Bitker and Gail Steele each have a real race on their hands. Don't forget to tell a friend, vote Jim Price and Rich Valle and check it out:

Monday, May 15, 2006

Flag Waving

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Democracy Starts with Democrats- Let’s Elect Some

I went to an orgy, I mean a candidate's night. My union hosted all the candidates for the county supervisors seats. The Democratic Party has real problems with quality control. First of all they obviously need some sort of litmus test to see if the candidate is a Democrat. Second, we need some kind of cognitive criteria, OK Skippy in the White House is a babbling idiot but do the Democrats plan to fight fire with fire by promoting and supporting our most feeble minded? What’s the plan here guys?

One candidate running for the District 3 Supervisor seat (the seat Alice Lai-Bitker is currently sleeping in), Sheila Young, sounds, acts and smells like a Republican or maybe a monarchist. She hates unions, doesn’t like working people and wants to privatize public services. If she had any talent, connections or money, the Republican Party would have given her work.

Then we have the incumbents, the Super Chicks: Alice Lai-Bitker and Gail Steele. In the right corner weeping onto her power suit we have Gail Steele still tearful from hormones, an earlier meeting or just a fit of emotion about her 25th term in the seat. I think she would have retired if it weren’t for the huge raise the Supervisors just gave themselves; she can’t walk away from easy money. In the other corner in a pink suit and accompanied by her over-caffinated chief of staff sits Alice Lai-Bikter. Alice concluded her tortured and defensive remarks with one frank and honest statement. I can’t do Alice speak but to paraphrase she said, you better support me cause I’m the favorite and I’m going to win. These gals really know how to kill a party.

See this endless incumbent stuff stinks: dumber and dumber Democrats get sucked up the political food chain and their chief’s of staff get sucked into the vacated seats. Then the county bureaucrats manage these ninnys without breaking a sweat and government becomes less and less effective and more and more expensive and everyone votes themselves huge raises. Both the county supervisor seats have talented candidates in the race, Jim Price for the District 3 seat and Richard Valle for District 2 seat. They both bring real world skills and experience to the job, and they both appear more knowledgeable about county problems than the incumbents. So what’s the hang up?

Why do we have such trouble getting leadership on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors? This cycle of endless incumbents kills interest, ideas, change and imagination. Anyone who actually pays attention to our emotionally and intellectually challenged elected officials dies slowly of boredom and frustration.

Voters don’t can’t stand the candidates, so how do incumbents get these lifetime appointments. Well, first the county big dogs, the bureaucrats: the Sheriff, the Assessor, the Controller, the Treasurer and various and sundry board members* support the incumbent because well, weak is good and they might get a raise out of it. Then local democrats, herd animals that they are, chase the bureaucrats to new heights of mediocrity, they make glowing endorsements and modest cash donations, words are cheap and so are politicians. Then one hears a chorus of praise about all the incumbent has done for puppies and sick children, and the campaign coffers fill up. That’s why Alameda County voters stay home and watch American Idol instead of humping out to a candidate’s night. Compared to Alameda County elections American Idol is refreshingly democratic.

*All the above-mentioned bureaucrats endorsed Alice Lai-Bitker again.

Richard Valle for County Supervisor

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Highland Hospital

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Layoffs, Leadership & Lack of Vision

The Alameda County Medical Center Board of Trustees meeting reminded me of Deep Space Nine, not the space bar scene, the scene where everyone is in suspended animation. At one point I counted two board members and nine managers, all-sleeping.

The meeting got moved to Fairmont to discourage attendance and two different versions of the Power Point presentation were provided: the complete detailed package for managers and the dumbed-down version for line staff. I tried to get the thick packet from a nurse executive but she got surely and I don’t mess with people in tight shoes.

There was lots brag and gag about money saved, but people came because of the layoffs. Sheriff Plummer looked absolutely festive with his two commanders and three deputies. He doesn’t go anywhere without a security perimeter. No wonder he’s 40 million short this year, talk about fat and waste. He’s not laying anyone off he’ll just shake down the supes for the cash up front. Like we should be doing. While the rest of the county’s “movers and shakers” are dividing up the county funds the Medical Center is busy cutting off its own fingers and toes.

So here’s the damages, 60 United Healthcare Workers West jobs, 1 SEIU 535 job and 31 SEIU 616 jobs. They also propose cutting 16 managers union and non-union. The talk was all about money-“green dollars”. Dollars and cents, this Board of Trustees is all about the budget. They didn’t ask any questions about care, about quality about how taking things apart affects patients or morale. It’s a one-dimensional picture, flat monochrome and poorly composed.

Charlie Ridgell (UHW), Kay Eisenhower (Vote Health) and Wayne Templeton (SEIU 616) all got up and spoke with insight about the hospital. The president of the Board, Ben Tate, was openly rude to Charlie Ridgell who represents the 60 workers about to loose their jobs. This Board has a shocking amount of distain for the people who provide the care in the county hospital. If they think so little of us, I hate to think what they think of our patients. This sorry collection of wannabes, never-weres and has-beens couldn’t build a sandcastle, we need to get out from under this dead weight or we’ll slip into an endless cycle of downsizing.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Have You Kissed a Nurse Today?

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I love nurses and now is a great time to tell a nurse thanks, or to buy them lunch or flowers, or even give them cash. Nurses know what to do with cash.

So I hope all the nurses I work with know how much I love them. I need their help, their parenting advice, their homemade cookies and their support.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Highland Hospital Halls

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Audit This

What’s the plan? What’s happening and to who. The Medical Center as a result of Cambio Healthcare Solution’s voodoo budget, mismanagement, excessive consulting fees and county payback faces a deficit. The new team just went through a “Margin Audit” process to try to identify fat, waste and new revenue. The massive ranks of middle management sat in hot rooms brainstorming. Sleepy, Dopey and Sneezey were out of the box and on the carpet trying to come up with millions in revenue. Most of us working stiffs haven’t heard a word about it from our supervisors although productivity in some areas did increase just by getting the supervisors out of people’s way.

So the results are in and the “Audit” is to be presented to the Trustees. Now’s your chance to get some information, insight and maybe a clue as to the plan.

Board of Trustees Meeting
Tuesday, May 9
Fairmont Cafeteria

This may change, so keep your eyes and ears open and if you need to call administration and ask.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Layoffs, Rumors and Still No Raise

Like the rest of the hired help at the Medical Center, I’m at home trying to figure out where I am on the seniority list and if I need to start looking for another job.

One friend said, “I’m gonna take a couple of days this week and start looking for a new job. I have a mortgage I can’t be unemployed.”

Another nurse said, “Oh, I’ll go work for Kaiser or something, I’m tired of this.”

Most people just said, “Again, didn’t we just do this?”

In an attempt to cheer my co-worker and myself up I called and asked when we would be seeing our raise on our checks. We negotiated it months ago. The COO’s assistant said they’d try to have it on the May19th check. I announced it at the nursing station thinking it might perk people up.

My friend didn’t even turn to look at me when she said, “Do you think they’ll try to lay us off first and save the cash.”

SEIU 616-the Team

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These photos are of most of the members of the Tri-Local Negotiating Team. They negotiated the new contract, which will give all non-registered nurse union employees of the Medical Center a modest raise.

They’re my friends, my co-workers and my union representatives and they’re not a bad looking bunch.

United Healthcare Workers West- the Team

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SEIU 535 & Company- the Team

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Oversight of the Oversight.

Jesse Allan Taylor is a better man than me, he went to the Measure "A" oversight committee meeting, meeting mania. So here's the skinny on the committee, Dave Kears (Alameda County's Healthcare Czar) wants to tell the committee what to do and the committee actually wants to do the job. It's Dave Kears versus democracy, the saga continues.

Here's the news: