Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 12, 2012

Say it ain’t so


There have been rumors circulating about endorsements for the School Board and City Council.  I’ve heard a lot of variations from different sources about what actually went down, but the best I can piece it out is this way.

I’ll start first by saying, I know that the initial reaction will be to point fingers at the two easiest targets in this tale, but I’ve been contemplating how everything shakes out and honestly, for me, the biggest issue here is one of integrity on the parts of the candidates who weighed the political math and determined it was worthwhile to either pull an endorsement or not endorse at all in order to reap the rewards of a more “valuable” endorsement.

Here are the players in this drama:

  • Niel Tam, School Board candidate
  • Trish Spencer, School Board candidate
  • Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, City Council candidate
  • Jeff Cambra, City Council candidate
  • Stewart Chen, City Council candidate
  • Jane Sullwold, City Council candidate
  • IAFF (Firefighter Union)
  • AEA (Teachers Union)

Here are the basic background details:

AEA endorsed Jon Murphy, Barbara Kahn and Trish Spencer.  IAFF endorsed Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Jeff Cambra and Stewart Chen.   Now these endorsements are pretty important because along with the name comes support in the form of boots on the ground.   It should come as no surprise that both unions have been doing some pretty heavy lifting in the form of phone banking and door-to-door visits for their candidates of choice.   In the end these are the things that matter when you are in a tight race and both races should be nail biters.

So these endorsements are pretty much locked in stone, neither IAFF or AEA are really going to un-endorse candidates they have already endorsed, but here’s where the weirdness starts.   Both IAFF and AEA were willing to endorse the others’ selected candidates.   That means that IAFF would endorse John Murphy, Barbara Kahn, and Trish Spencer and AEA would endorse Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Jeff Cambra and Stewart Chen.   The only condition was that those candidates could not have endorsed candidates that were not endorsed by that particular organization.

Now this may seem as callous, but politically it makes sense.  AEA is running a campaign to oust at least two sitting School Board members.  They don’t have to support anyone for City Council, so it’s obvious why they wouldn’t want to support a candidate that is supporting a candidate that they are actively trying to unseat.   The same is true of IAFF, they have supported candidates and don’t need to make an endorsement for School Board so they can establish whatever conditions they want to.

This condition for the AEA endorsement caused some conflicts among some of the candidates particularly the City Council candidates.    Two of the three had already endorsed Niel Tam for School Board: Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and Stewart Chen.    Of the two, Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft is still listed as an endorser for Niel Tam and Stewart Chen is not.   Stewart Chen also now has the endorsement of AEA.

On the flip side, rumor had it that Trish Spencer had planned on endorsing Jane Sullwold for City Council, but based on the criteria above decided not to endorse Jane Sullwold.

I have to say when I learned of this I was pretty upset and frustrated,  but I realized that nothing that happened is necessarily out of the ordinary when it comes to political gamesmanship.   However, what should be acknowledged and recognized is that one candidate didn’t sacrifice her integrity for short term gains.   Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft continued to endorse Niel Tam even though it cost her the AEA endorsement and, for me, that speaks volumes.


  1. Although there is nothing inherently wrong about this sort of thing, it does demonstrate which candidates can be pressured by a special interest group to do other than they had initially intended. The endorsements also indicate which candidates those special interest groups believe are the most vulnerable to pressure. Sullwold’s looking better and better all the time.

    On a side note, the City is attempting to break its 15-year lease with Karen Ulrich at Alameda Wine Company. At issue is the City’s insistence that her wine bar be open every day at 11 am. Located next to the theater and in the heart of the area most frequented by Alameda High students most days until 3 pm, it makes no sense whatsoever, since most of the people in the area at lunch time are not old enough to walk in the door. This is an unfair burden placed on a business that has been a wonderful asset to the community during the appropriate hours for such a business. One would think the City would be concerned about limiting kids’ exposure to an alcohol related business rather than promoting it. Needless to say, in spite of being expected to staff the business and bear the added cost of utilities, etc. The hours before 3 pm generate next to nothing in revenue for AWC, except on the weekends. In addition, the City allowed another “wine bar”–really a tasting room for Alameda based vintners to occupy space at the far end of Angela’s, right next to AWC, with no such dictate that they must also be open at 11. A significant number of people have a financial interest in the Angela’s/Alameda Vintners business, people well-connected, with friends at City Hall. As I said, it makes no sense for the good of the people for Karen to keep these hours and waste her time and money, but it may serve someone else’s purposes rather nicely if she is driven out of business. I have known Karen ever since she opened. She is an expert of the highest order on wines in general. She works long hours and pays her employees at times when she has no money left to pay herself. Yes, she is a unique personality, who doesn’t suffer fools lightly and who has rubbed some people the wrong way with her uncensored opinions, but she’s not running a kindergarten, she’s running an adults only business. Her loyal patrons will tell you what a champ she is and how her business is a great asset to the community. If you care about the climate for small business in Alameda, please let the City know that you expect them to act in good faith, not break the lease, and apply the same rules to everybody.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 12, 2012 @ 7:43 am

  2. Lauren. Last I looked, Neil Tam had endorsed Stewart Chen but hadn’t retracted his endorsement in retaliation. If that’s the case it’s worth mention, and though I would not quite hold Neil to the same standard as Stewart if he did retaliate, that would be worth mention also. While I’m willing to believe that Trish Spencer withheld endorsing Sullwold because it’s consistent with her behavior on the board, it is also a rumor and in my mind does not sink to the level of Chen’s switching. Actually if she had endorsed and then retracted that would be exactly what I’d expect from her, so maybe she should get points for improving her poker game. After all, the candidates are free to endorse who they please, just like the unions.

    To that last point, what you haven’t focused on which is maybe worth as much scrutiny as action by candidates is how the unions seem willing to rubber stamp each others endorsements. Is it also correct that Spencer got the endorsement of Alameda county labor ( Central Labor Council?) seemingly based on AEA support alone. I generally support unions but won’t unconditionally support any action they take and this years AEA endorsements for BOE would be a case in point. I’m not an anti-union knee jerk like some libertarians who lurk around this blog, but political back scratching can be kind of nauseating.

    Comment by M.I. — October 12, 2012 @ 8:21 am

  3. Thanks Denise, for that little snippet on the incongruities that thrive within the offal of this city. I doubt you could find any other city on this continent threatening to shut down a business because it doesn’t want to sell booze early enough.

    I’m voting for Daysog and Sullwold because their answers to the questions were both thorough prescient.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 12, 2012 @ 8:34 am

  4. Right, M.I., you’re not a ‘knee jerk’!

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 12, 2012 @ 8:36 am

  5. Denise: I believe the operating hours for the Wine Company was spelled out in the lease that she signed with the City. While I think the Alameda Wine Company is an asset to Park Street — my husband likes it, I don’t drink but the non-alcoholic options are always nice — on the other hand, she knew what she was getting in to when she signed the lease. If the terms were not conducive to her business, then it might have been a better option to have selected a site without unfavorable lease terms to her business model. If the landlord were anyone but the City of Alameda, I’m sure no one would even question the landlord enforcing the terms of the signed lease.

    The other wine club, which is in a weird space off of Angela’s has the benefit of not being a standalone business, so if the lease terms are met by the larger business — in this case Angela’s itself — comparing the two is a bit of apples and oranges.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 12, 2012 @ 9:30 am

  6. 5. When she signed the lease, it was an untried business in an untried location and the focus of the business was both wine bar and retail sales, so the earlier opening time seemed to make sense. A great location is critical with this type of business, so if she had any misgivings at the signing, one can understand why she agreed to try to make the earlier hours work. In spite of a horrendous business climate–which has been the case ever since she opened her doors–she has managed to keep going, but only by shifting from being a wine store/bar to being mostly a bar since the retail store part of the business did not do well. Once she realized that the retail end was not the draw, she petitioned the City again and again to let her adjust her hours and they have refused. Other businesses in the area have had to make similar adjustments to stay afloat. A reasonable landlord, whose interest is in renting to a profitable business, would have allowed her to adjust to meet public demand. One can only conclude that the City is supporting the desires of a third party who is anxious to see her fail. There is no other reasonable justification. As a landlord, the City has a special obligation to treat tenants fairly and to be flexible in assisting them to adjust their hours so that businesses thrive, because it is in the best interest of the community in general.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 12, 2012 @ 10:08 am

  7. 5. But Lauren, the city is the landlord for both Angela’s and the Wine Company. If it’s a good thing for a wine tasting business to be open at 11 am, why wouldn’t it be a good thing for a restaurant to be open at 11 am (I believe- I could be wrong- that Angela’s was open for lunch at one time, but is not now)? For the shopping district, it’s better to have stores open all day, whether they are profitable all day or not. You have the same mandatory hours when you open in a shopping mall. My point is, it seems that the city is more lenient with Angela’s than it is with the other tenants in the theatre complex. Why is that? Is that fair?

    Comment by Not. A. Alamedan — October 12, 2012 @ 10:14 am

  8. 7. Angela’s is open with a limited menu for lunch at noon.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 12, 2012 @ 10:35 am

  9. Thanks Denise

    Comment by Not. A. Alamedan — October 12, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  10. #8 — According to their website, they open at 11:30.

    And I’ll vouch for their menu — it’s a great place to have lunch!

    Comment by Susan Davis — October 12, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  11. Back to the subject at hand — when I heard that Ezzy-Ashcraft had stood up to pressure from the unions to withdraw her endorsement of Tam, that sealed the deal for me. She has my full support. I also decided not to vote for Chen when I found out that he had caved and withdrawn his endorsement of Tam. Shame on him. Seriously. Have a little integrity, Stewart. I won’t vote for anyone who blatantly puts adult special interests ahead of what’s in the best interest of our kids. I’m voting for Tam, Mooney and Robles-Wong for school board because they are thoughtful, positive leaders and aren’t beholden to special interests.

    Comment by Oh the Irony! — October 12, 2012 @ 10:55 am

  12. 9. Their posted hours online say they start at 11:30 although it seems that they don’t always hold to that. I walk by every weekday on my way to work. They were not open for lunch at all for a while but perhaps the City leaned on them, too. I patronize Angela’s, too, by the way, and have nothing against them. The Alameda Vintner’s Club went about things a little obnoxiously, naming themselves AVC and opening right next to AWC, with a sign out front proclaiming themselves to be the “hippest wine bar” in Alameda. Since the offerings are very limited and don’t include any wines from outside the area they probably won’t be a raging success. Most likely the enterprise costs them little and can stand in as a tax write-off for the backers if it doesn’t support itself. I know Kyle Conner wanted to have a wine component to the theater at one point upstairs off the balcony but it doesn’t look like that is too feasible. A great economy would make room for everyone but right now, I think there’s some undue pressure at work which, though not illegal, certainly seems unfair. By the way, I thought it was a shopping mall vibe that everyone was trying to avoid.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 12, 2012 @ 10:57 am

  13. Denise: While I’m sympathetic to the Wine Bar’s plight because I think it’s a nice place, on the other hand, it’s not the landlord’s job to make the business profitable for the business. The terms of her lease are the terms of the lease, I’m not clear why the City as a landlord has a duty to do business any differently than a private landlord would. Again, if this were a dispute between a private landlord and the wine bar, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion, I don’t see why — when it comes to a business relationship — the City should change the terms of the lease because a tenant had formulated a nonviable business plan.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 12, 2012 @ 10:58 am

  14. Jack, not a Knee-jerk, just a jerk? To M.I. re:unions sticking together for political gain. We [libertarians] told you so!
    Vote for Sullwold; she’s above all the fray.

    Comment by vigi — October 12, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  15. BTW, why does the LWV keep having forums on nights that conflict with other previously scheduled city meetings? 6-8 pm Last night was the only annual Navy poster presentation on clean-up proposals for the dirtiest potentially developable site on NAS [building 5]. Jane Sullwold & Doug deHaan did attend, few others did. I see the next LWV candidate forum is scheduled for Oct 18, same night as the Shoreline/Westline Dr re-striping/bike lane/bus shelter meeting. I thought the fruit of the Public Participation workshops was supposed to be more coordination/cooperation between groups scheduling such meetings. Like making that some City staffer’s actual JOB [alex???]

    Comment by vigi — October 12, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

  16. 13. Uh, because they are supposed to be pro-business.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 12, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

  17. 13. Without the sweetheart deal done on the theater complex with the City, the whole bulk would have been an unviable business plan. That’s why the theater was empty for so long.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 12, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  18. That’s block not bulk. Oh for an edit capability!

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 12, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  19. #1 Denise, I am curious (genuinely) to know how you reconcile the perception of votes for sale created by Sulwold accepting a donation from Greenway golf with your view that she has more integrity than candidates that accepted donations from unions? What is the difference?

    As for the wine bar, yes Lauren she did walk into the lease knowing what she was getting, but I think Denise makes a good point – a good landlord would want to ensure their tenant was successful, rather than risk driving them out and having a vacant space. There really is no good rationale for the City enforcing an 11 am opening. As much as I despise the Alameda Sun’s lack of journalistic integrity, I really think they had a good take on this in yesterday’s paper.

    Comment by notadave — October 12, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

  20. Notadave: if memory serves, the 11 am opening was because the City wanted the storefronts to be open to encourage activity around the Alameda Theatre. I would imagine that if the Wine Bar had been upfront from the start that 11 am wouldn’t be viable for her business model, the City wouldn’t have executed the lease. In fact the operating hours were outlined in the RFQ to lease the space. Here’s the staff report when the Wine Bar asked for a time change the first time around.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 12, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

  21. Why the Employee Unions should not be involved in politics.

    We had a 5 Million budget by Fire in 1987 and it is now 23 Million.

    Inflation adjusted from 1987 to 2012 the Fire Budget should be 10,115,096.

    So were paying about double …inflation adjusted…..Probably around what the Federal Firefighters pay schedule is.


    Looks like we overpaid about 100 Million over past 10 years in the Fire Dept.

    Add in the 75 Million plus we still owe that is not in Budget to these same employees and past employees. The Real Costs are much larger but are not in Budget.

    The Average Firefighter in Alameda will retire with the Equivalent of 5- 7 Houses Fully paid for and be able to retire between 50-55.After receiving double the Average Pay of a Federal Firefighter while working for City.

    The Captains and above receive the Equivalent of 10-12 Houses fully paid for upon retirement all financed by the Citizens of Alameda.

    It’s Like buying each of them a house every other year.

    We are behind on our house payments and still buying a lot more houses.

    Comment by John — October 12, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

  22. United States Budget Dilemma……City of Alameda …County…State.

    This is a NONPARTISAN video produced by an
    accountant, Hal Mason, retired after 27 years with IBM. He looks at
    the budget, its revenues and expenses, and very simply illustrates the
    problem. Amazingly, we get all the media talking heads blathering and
    shouting for hours and never get clarity. This guy provides all the
    clarity you need in just a of couple minutes.

    Comment by John — October 12, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  23. This is why I never send in my ballot, I walk it in. You never know what is going to be revealed. I, like OTI will be voting for Ezzy-Ashcraft and now Cambra. Cambra was a 3rd because I really thought Chen had some heart and I think Cambra is all show. I will take show with honesty over heart that will turn on a dime any day. Not posting this because I really think anyone cares how I vote but clearly hope candidates who pay enough attn to read these (aka not Tracy J) should know that when you are a sellout sooner or later your karma catches up to you.

    I am not just worried about union money. Sullwold taking money from the golfing interest is just the same in my eyes. Too bad, she may hang-out with a few that I would question but I heard her speak and read her here and she isn’t stupid and a bit snarky (which I love).

    Comment by voting for people who pay attention — October 12, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

  24. 19. Glad you asked! The Greenway donation looks to me like more of a thank you for her previous support than anything else. They have the contract already, and since the sitting Council ignored the panel’s recommendation for Kemper, I can’t believe that her vote was bought–it wasn’t worth enough. (Kind of makes you wonder about the sitting board, however.) Anyway, I realize that the unions like to endorse people, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that the people they contribute to have agreed to look favorably on them in any way. On the other hand, history shows that they tend to like people who they think are not going to stand in their way, not just those who will go to bat for them, so in that sense–right or wrong–I see a union endorsement as cautionary at best.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 12, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

  25. 20 After reading it, I agree with the Staff report. AWC should be required to open at 11 AM period. That’s what they agreed to and that’s what they should be required to do. I searched tasting room opening times in Napa Valley and found that most open at 10 AM and some as early as 9 AM, I have no sympathy for AWC (my own tasting room is open 24/7).

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 12, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

  26. so much power, and support to my good friend Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft, she is the most courageous person I know, for that, I will only be supporting Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft to make sure she wins for sure, and won’t have to share votes for City Council. for that I will make sure she wins by telling everybody to vote for her, and her alone. She definitely helped seal the deal. On to victory Niel Tam, Ron Mooney, & Mike Robles-Wong.

    Comment by peace — October 12, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

  27. Jack, what would you recommend as a starter say about 8:am or 8:30 am. Myself I like to start off with a nice Muscatel.

    Comment by John P.(L) — October 13, 2012 @ 10:43 am

  28. (L) That late in the morning I’d go for a decent Muscadet, Muscatel’s too sweet and I’m not Italian and it’s still morning so I’d stick with whites until noon then work my way through some Pinot Noirs then Cabs and eventually up to my favorites, the Zins.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 13, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  29. 24. Denise, what is the difference between a “thank you” after the fact and a promise of support before? Greenway is an on-going vendor for the City with a long-term contract. The council will likely have to vote on issues regarding that contract in the future.

    Personally, I think that Jane S. is a person of integrity who will not be swayed by the donation, just like I believe that Gilmore, Tam and Bonta have behaved such.

    I’m not troubled by the contribution, I am troubled by the double standard of Sullwold’s supporters who make hay of some contributions and not others when the same potential conflicts exist in both cases.

    Comment by jkw — October 13, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  30. Wine bar hours of operations:
    It is interesting to see in election years to see City hall Employees and who know who else , being involved in trying to break up the lease with Ms Karen Ulrich the wine bar , one cannot have it both way , theirs cutting city hall hours and staff including Firefighters and a small business which has a hard time trying to make it , City hall is trying to force her to open at 10 AMso some wino will get their fix , fine Ms Karen let them do it , on the other side we in Alameda have the right to have drivers not under the influence and City employee the same , so it is a request that anyone getting out of the wine bar be chjecked for alcohol level , pedestrians and drivers , now The City just open the doors for major liability , because it is the choice of a few to dictate and force a business hours of operation , then they should also be fully accountable for the conscequences . I will never ever repeat more clearly the word and serntence of Mayor Appezzatto “a real Mayor” it is up to the business to succeed or fail not up to City hall to inteterfer, to this day this small business is generating positive cash flow, What a concept ……
    Moving back to the elections , many of you have signed petitions on a sidewalk or supermarket , miost of them had 2 pages , your signature in support and your registration to vote , in most cases the second page was added by an outfit called Strategic Allied Consulting one of the biggest consultant of the GOP and guess what adresses were changed Political affiliation were switched , your vote was now fair game and became Republican , or simply discarded at the pools .as questionable , Istriongly recommend you do check your statusv .
    You will vote for who ever you care , I will simply ask you before you make up your mind , to check very carefully , Mitt Romney when voting in Massachuset was also registered in Utah , Mitt phylosophy:” we buy business groom them then harvest them 8 years laters “, not my words his own words at a public speech while at Bain capital , Who handle his profit Bain Capital where ? the caribean !
    You may want to check a couples web site wich by the blast both side and I do hopev it is ok with you Lauren .Their english is far better than mine and thom hartmann

    Comment by mijoka — October 13, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  31. mijoka, “spell check”, its easy enough that I use it.

    Comment by John P.(L) — October 13, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

  32. John:
    Thank you for the tip ,
    I never spell check or proof read back on what I post , nor will I ever do . it is direct and my honest opinion ,
    it is based on sound media report and personal understanding under the freedom of speech, it goes against the grain of every political party .
    I am sorry if you have a problem with it .

    concerning comment #25
    it is sad to see neither the Napa PD nor the CHP conduct field sobriety check point , should they do , quite a few would be walking home , one has to remember alcohol pay for their wages …. plain and simple.
    Opening at 9 AM to promote their own product only is a far cry from forcing a bar to open early so they can poison , yes I did say poison and destroy lifes for profit , alcohol is the most deadly addiction in the world , far before pot and other drugs ,

    It is very clear That Ms Karen Ulricht is being set up by someone from City Hall which may have ulterior motive to break Her lease ,Why would anyone require a wine bar or the like open early in the morning , when everyone try to cut on alcohol consuption or is the poster on the right side of the door at the Alameda Police Station a bad joke ?
    The City is the one that approached Ms Ulricht , not the other way around .
    The concept of a wine bar was a City idea , wIth nothing else to capitalize on people vice and weakness , that is reprehensible . only 75 000 peoples die from it every year , why not a smoking saloon 440 000 death , a drug parlor could be a choice only 36000 death , why not a Casino or a Bordello , it was stupid Idea then , it is even more stupid now .
    leave with the conscequences of a recession !
    The City did not mind cutting hours of operation to save money why should it be different for a business. , that will make few less drunk on the street and the work place .
    This business cannot survive by staffing it as required ,I love to see some sobriety test done at 11 AM ….drivers and pestrian going back to work at City Hall for instance ….
    It remind me it the building inspector that showed up in a chevrolet corvette several years ago to check on building project for my residence ” we will work things out between you and me, don’t worry” yes I did without Him , directely with the building dept all legal , another storie . {He is no longer working for the City either}
    I am not a Customer of that establishement .

    As far as Mitt when you have someone running and voting in another State while still maintening an adress in a State known for it’s lax taxes law, it is called election fraud and borderline tax evasion compounded with the real fact the profit where transfered outside of the USA it is called tax fraud ,{Bain Capital}
    As I have said before I really do not care for who you are voting for , someone has to come clean on that chapter .

    Comment by mijoka — October 13, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

  33. 32. making an effort to be clearly understood is against your principle based on right of free speech? Or did I misconstrue your point because your post was so mangled as to be barely intelligible?

    Jack #4. sure. On Robles-Wong you said: ” I can not support any candidate, particularly one of the Democrat persuasion who’s party has had control of the legislative branch in this state since the 70′s, who attempts to use the courts as a legislative tool, period.” Very nuanced, not at all knee jerk.

    Unions can be very knee jerk. Even though I support them in general principle it’s hard to be in lock step when they behave foolishly. But just the same, No on 32!

    Comment by M.I. — October 14, 2012 @ 12:19 am

  34. mijoka, I’ll give you credit for being entertaining.

    First in your #30 you seem genuinely passionate about the city not enforcing contract law, ie: regarding the agreed on by the city and AWC concerning the 11:00 AM opening time. Either you believe that the city should enforce an agreed upon contract or you believe that what’s written and agreed upon is subject to either party’s own interpretation.

    Next you want every person who exits an establishment where booze is sold in this City to be checked for an alcohol level whether or not subject person imbibed alcohol.

    Then you go on some wild goose chase accusing innocent supermarket shopping dorkey democrats of being magically changed into repugnant republicans while signing two page petitions without reading the second page.

    Next in your #32, you state that your freedom of speech is inhibited by spell check and by you reading your own comment. That’s a novel idea I’d wager the founding fathers never thought of when formulating the first amendment.

    Next in regard to my #25, you sadly report that unfortunately neither the Napa PD nor the CHP has seen fit to put your alcohol level check into place (one must only assume that your alcohol checks should extend into private homes since that’s where most alcohol is consumed).

    Then you take the reader on a prohibition enforcement tour because most people like to poison themselves and we should stop them.

    Finally you end with the repugnant republicans committing election fraud and set the stage for M.I., the lurk, who knee jerks unions and me around by castigating us both all the while reminding us proposition (32) stops Unions from stealing paycheck money for Democrats.

    Keep up the jokas mijoka.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 14, 2012 @ 10:11 am

  35. Jack — Napa and Sonoma play host to thousands of wine focused tourists every day. I know Alameda aspires to be like that, but the reality is quite different. We don’t have buses lined up waiting to get into tasting rooms early in the day. Mijoka makes a good point about the City seeing no problem cutting its service hours to meet the economic reality but expects everybody else to pretend like all you have to do is open your doors and the customers will flood in. Other Park Street district landlords have allowed tenants temporarily reduced rents and other accomodations to keep storefronts from going dark, why should the City be any less reasonable? Yes, there is a contract and yes, the City has every right to hold Ms. Ulrich to it. What I’m saying is, they should be flexible, just like they demand the rest of us be flexible when it comes to the adjustments they have had to make to the operating hours of City services. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The rent is still being paid and the tax revenue for those hours virtuallly non-existent. The City loses nothing in agreeing to an adjustment. Your point is that they shouldn’t because they don’t have to, but they didn’t have to make allowances for Kyle Conner to make the theater complex a reality, but they did. I guess like in “Animal Farm,” some animals are more equal than others.
    @jkw–Just like Gilmore, Tam, and Bonta? Do you ever take a break from trying to promote those three? Jeeze. You’re not doing Jane any favors by mentioning them in the same breath. Not everyone shares your enthusiasm. As I’ve said time and again, actions define character. The record speaks for itself. You interpret it one way, I another.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 14, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  36. Denise – Per Ulrich via East Bay Express:, “The city has a hard-on for me,” she said. “They’re looking under every rock for money.”

    Maybe Ulrich shouldn’t work in the whorehouse if she doesn’t want to submit her earnings to the pimp.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 14, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  37. @ Jack Richard
    Thank you for the clarification on the founding Fathers “2 of them by the way were close to illiterate by today standards”

    Bad new for you I do not drink , so all the poison you sell goes somewhere else .And no it is a fact that lot of drivers leave those tasting room with a alcohol level above the legal limit , however no winery no paycheck . Only 75000 death a year.

    I am not a democrat , most peoples in this very blog can attest to that , just ask Capt Weaver from the AFD.Ms Kate Qwick and John Spangler a very long list …..
    However should there be no UNIONS in the USA we would all be working days a week for a bowl of rice and $500 a month.No insurance and No retirement , No vacations , all created as a weak firewall against communism , labor day week end was created to counter May 1st labor day in most other country , a communist holiday. Like it or not that is factual.

    What I do not like is liars and thieves Mitt for which you pray every night at the altar fit all definitions by his actions .
    And NO again I did not run spell check this time again just to rub it in , since you seem to enjoy it
    You cannot have it both way , impose new operating schedule for the City and the residents yet force Everyone else to set schedule driving them to bankrutcy and yes most likely for personal gain.
    IN GOD WE TRUST . you should travel a bit it would open your narrow minded spirit

    Comment by mijoka — October 14, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

  38. Follow the Money.

    No on 32.

    $45.6 million raised in total

    Rank Contributor name Total

    For Yes on 32

    $9.0 million raised in total.

    Rank Contributor name Total
    1 AMERICAN FUTURE FUND $4,080,000
    2 CHARLES T. MUNGER, JR. $992,204
    3 THOMAS M. SIEBEL $500,000
    4 WILLIAM E. BLOOMFIELD, JR. $300,000
    5 LARRY T. SMITH $260,701

    So who really is the Influence on Politics in California


    Prop. 30:Taxes (Brown plan)

    Yes on 30

    $41.3 million raised in total.

    Rank Contributor name Total

    No on 30

    $3.1 million raised in total

    Rank Contributor name Total
    2 NO NEW TAXES – HOWARD JARVIS (unitemized contributions) $389,220
    3 NO NEW TAXES – HOWARD JARVIS (cash on hand as of 1/1/2011) $331,255
    4 CHARLES B. JOHNSON $200,000
    5 JERRY PERENCHIO $200,000

    Comment by John — October 14, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

  39. I’m on the wrong side on all three, John, no on 30, yes on 32 and scratching my head on mijoka.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 14, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  40. Jack I agree with you on 30 and 32….I’m afraid if I keep listening to these teachers I will be down to the 1.09 wine.

    Comment by John — October 14, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

  41. Jack…I just look at your mijoka experience as Latka trying to explain the world to you.

    Comment by John — October 14, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  42. John & Jack or is it Jack and JIll ?
    if you wanted to know how I would be voting why did not you ask ? here are the answer and why .

    Obama yes ! it is better to vote for someonne you know than the unknown
    Mitt No ! if a US President candidate bragged about {harvesting businesses during his tenure at bain capital } have off shore account , lied on His voter registration , proud to have outsourced off American Jobs , what else can He do.

    No on 30 it is a smoke screen to by pass prop 13 and increase taxes across the board

    No on 31 if you cannot make a budget on 1 years why 2

    Yes on 32 , to give back the voting voice to average Californian

    No on 33 it is another scam from the insurances Co

    No on 34 they did not ask the people they murder , I would actually shorten the appeals at this time less than 2% of convicted actually meet their maker

    Yes on 35 I would actually make it life time penalty for the pimps , but our polititians “both side need them” this was actually started By Oakland assemblyman Mr Swanson has been at the heart of the reform for years and should deserve the credit , got none .

    Yes on 36 it need to be revised

    Yes on 37 You have the right to know what you are eating

    No on 38 it is only a way to raise new taxes

    Yes on 39 california’s money stay in California , at this time , every transaction made to these out of state Co is immediatly transfered there , by forcing them to keep it in california fund will be available for school , roads, and BBQ ! sorry pancake breakfast for the fire dept with the mayor.
    Recall Bonta useless and ill timed

    like to see a real control on the Alameda Hospital , no one should seat on the board when they actually have a vested interest in it as a tenant .
    like to see who pulls the strings at City hall in the case of the wine bar .

    Prove me wrong in a civil non sarcastic debate .

    As far as TAXI , personally knowned and distanced myself from several peoples from production to distribution , you don’t need to scratch your head with it , more like your rear , the reason the show was cancelled the remote association of my name with it is insulting.
    No pot head , no Drug here and sadly no booze either.

    Anything else you would like to know ?

    Yes Isupport the Alameda PD without them this City would be like Oakland .
    No I do not support the Alameda Fire Dept , they have not been able in 25 years to save a single structure without the Oakland Fire Dept , check the mutual aid records.
    Yes I do support the teachers , and No I do not support their administration overpaid incompetent bean counters.

    If you ask me what to do with the navy base , lease it for $ 100 that’s right one hundred to Samsung and have them assemble their product for sale in the USA , no property taxes for 15 years , that will bring jobs back to the USA . They must stay 15 years .

    Comment by mijoka — October 14, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

  43. #42, how can anyone top that post ??? or understand it.

    Comment by John P.(L) — October 14, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

  44. mijoka,in your #37 above you told me this, “you should travel a bit it would open your narrow minded spirit”

    I would like to open up my closed minded spirit, so where would you suggest I travel for a mind spirit opening session? I other words where have you gone that opened your mind spirit?

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 15, 2012 @ 8:34 am

  45. Jack and Jill ,
    look at yourserlves in a mirror . end of conversation !

    Comment by mijoka — October 15, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  46. Mijoka…..Maybe I missed something or maybe it’s just me……But I can’t make much sense out of anything you post…I interact on almost a daily basis with people from multiple cultures and ethnic backgrounds. There is alot of toungue in cheek comments made here that you probably take literally. Were not solving world peace or curing cancer….this is a local blog looking at politics and mostly from a local perspective….Were a grain of sand at the beach when looking at the world. Everyone has their own perspective.

    John P….I won’t try and top anything but you probably already heard this one…

    Comment by John — October 15, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  47. 25, 34: Jack, there is no reason why a landlord should not make reasonable adjustments to a lease contract if those changes will help a business succeed. It looks to me as if the City of Alameda has been trying hard to get rid of a successful business on any grounds it can find for the past 2-3 years–instead of being reasonable and working with the owner to find appropriate ways top modify the lease and conditions, which I would think a “normal” or “reasonable” landlord would do…And no business owner running a mostly-solo operation can stay open 24/7 the way you can keep your own private bar open at home. Not a reasonable comparison at all since you aren’t open for business in retail…

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 15, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  48. What we have here is a Failure to communicate…..

    And no business owner running a mostly-solo operation can stay open 24/7 the way you can keep your own private bar open at home. Not a reasonable comparison at all since you aren’t open for business in retail…”

    Jon S … you are kidding I hope…..Has everyone lost their sense of humor….I think Jack made that comment regarding his bar being open 24/7 as a joke…..But your the social media expert.

    Comment by John — October 15, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

  49. He ! He! sound like I am not alone ,……

    Failure to communicate ,
    how anyone can comunicate with you jack and jill when you mix serious business , with sarcasm and joke , anmd you call that Humor
    it appear to me you are the one that has a serious communication issue .
    Cannot even express yourself without quoting someone else .

    Since you are comparing the funding by the Unions , then compare it with out of State Billions Dollars Corporations ,
    You claim to be fair , No let’s be honnnnnnnnest ! Ouch that’s hurt.
    As I previousely said without the Unions {like it or not} we would be back into slavery .
    I do hope you enjoy your product made in China under working condition you would not tolerate yourself .
    That’s Mitt for you .

    Comment by mijoka — October 15, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

  50. With Humor you create friends,generally. Politically it has been used to enormouus advantage by Churchhill, Rosevelt ,any leader,any person in leadership can with humor achieve what otherwise often seems impossible.

    In General, Political humor is the fastest way to association and to accomplishment.

    But there are some that are humorless…. Mijoka….So no Joka for you. We will leave it at that.

    Comment by John — October 15, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  51. 47 Jon, did you read the staff report? Perhaps a tenant who doesn’t unilaterally change the agreement would be better for the area and the city, I do not know. I read the staff report and I think there are compelling arguments within that have not been countered by those supporting Ulrich. In my view, the Ulrich arguments are strictly based on emotion, not the agreement. We have city staff to weigh decision making based on what’s best for the city not based on emotion. The flip side of staff are those city officials who have been elected and if they see compelling emotional arguments, so be it.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 15, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

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