Archive for June, 2015

Oakland’s Housing Market Spikes, Prices May Be Rising Faster Than San Francisco

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and Causa Justa are two of the organizations fighting foreclosures and supporting tenant protection in Oakland.  Photo courtesy of localprogress.org.

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and Causa Justa are two of the organizations fighting foreclosures and supporting tenant protection in Oakland. Photo courtesy of localprogress.org.

By Tulio Ospina

Oakland’s housing market continues to skyrocket, making the city one of the fastest-moving housing markets in the country, according to a new city report.

The report finds that rent prices in Oakland increased dramatically over the last 18 months – about 22 percent higher than in April 2014, pointing to growth that may be outpacing San Francisco’s market, according to the city’s Quarterly Report on Foreclosure Issues presented Tuesday at the City Council Community and Economic Development (CED) committee meeting.

Home sales prices in Oakland have also escalated by 17 percent in the past year – the median home price is now at $507,750.

According to the report, the city’s growing housing market is being fueled by “an influx of international capital,” and homebuyers who have been priced out of San Francisco continue to find Oakland attractive as a more affordable alternative.

“Real folks can’t buy a house around here,” says Anya Svanoe, lead organizer at Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE). “Speculator activity is high in this area, and they’re the reason prices are going up so rapidly.

“So if I go to an auction to buy a home,” she claims, “I’m going to find there are a ton of big developers with cash on hand who are going to outbid any regular person.”

Meanwhile, foreclosure rates have continued to decline over the past few years since 2012 when foreclosed homes were being auctioned at an average of 98 homes per month.

Over the past three months, the average fell to 20 foreclosed homes sold per month. However, compared with several years ago, most of those who are losing their homes now are longtime homeowners, including elderly residents whose houses have been in their families for several generations, the report said.

Despite the decrease in Oakland’s foreclosure rates this quarter, there were 160 new notices of default, 12 of which were short sold.

ACCE has joined a coalition of community organizations currently in the middle of a budget fight to allocate more funds to Oakland’s Tenant Protection Ordinance so that two fulltime staff members can be hired to respond to landlord harassing behavior.

“The ordinance right now has no teeth for tenant protection,” said Svanoe, “There is currently no staffing if anybody calls in with violation complaints. We’re fighting to get more money to support the ordinance so that Oakland can quickly act when tenants need it.”

Courtesy of the Oakland Post, June 30, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)

Lawsuits Challenge Solitary Confinement in State Prisons as “Inhumane and Degrading”

The “solitary confinement regime…will bring you to the edge of madness,” says Justice Kennedy

San Quentin State Prison, located in Marin County, is California's only prison for men on death row. Photo courtesy of San Quentin News.

San Quentin State Prison, located in Marin County, is California’s only prison for men on death row. Photo courtesy of San Quentin News.

This is the second lawsuit in three years that has been filed in California by prisoners who have spent years living in extreme isolation.

Dan Siegel

Dan Siegel

California has more prisoners and utilizes solitary confinement more than any other prison system in the country.

Both cases assert that long-term solitary confinement violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has denied them meaningful review of their placement, violating their Fourteenth Amendment right to due process.

These lawsuits seek to end indefinite solitary confinement in California, which prisoners claim has brought them serious mental and physical suffering.

Prisoners in solitary are condemned to living in windowless cells, no larger than a typical parking spot, some for up to 20 years without consequential reviews of their placement.

The lawsuit filed by Siegel last week names six death row prisoners suing in San Quentin’s Adjustment Center, claiming they are deprived of basic human needs such as human contact, sunlight, adequate recreation and proper medical care.

“Experts have shown that being in solitary conditions for longer than 15 days causes irreversible psychological damage and constitutes torture,” said Dan Siegel, citing the consensus of many leading experts in the U.S. and around the world.

“Prisoners are human beings, and the law and Constitution state that people should be treated humanely, even in prisons, and have the right to be treated like other prisoners unless for misconduct,” said Siegel.

“Even then, fair procedures are needed to decide who goes in and for how long because indefinite solitary confinement constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.”

The plaintiffs in both cases have been assigned to solitary solely for alleged gang affiliation. The lawsuit asserts that these accusations rely more on perception than actual evidence that a prisoner has participated in gang activity.

According to Siegel, accusations by a prison informant, flashing a gang sign or even greeting a suspected gang member is enough evidence to send an inmate to solitary indefinitely, as long as several decades.

The prisoners claim they are then denied meaningful reviews of the evidence that condemned them to isolation.

“These two lawsuits are part of a growing movement in the US to reign in abuses of law enforcement that have not been seriously examined by courts,” said Carol Strickman, an attorney with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) representing the plaintiffs in Pelican Bay’s Secure Housing Unit (SHU).

These lawsuits are part a larger movement to challenge the use of indefinite isolation as a punishment, awakened by hunger strikes in 2011 and 2013 that were initiated by prisoners in Pelican Bay’s SHU.

The hunger strikes grew to include 30,000 participants in prisons across the country, including those is San Quentin’s Adjustment Center.

Just last week, US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy fiercely condemned the widespread use of solitary confinement in state prisons, writing that “the penal system has a solitary confinement regime that will bring you to the edge of madness, perhaps to madness itself” if left unchecked by the courts.

Coutesy of the Oakland Post, June 28 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)

Brooks’ Victory for Oakland’s New Department of Race and Equity

Community support for historic measure garnered council’s unanimous support

By Ashley Chambers

After months of debate, the City Council unanimously voted this week to create a Department of Race and Equity to address systemic racism and inequality in the City of Oakland.

Desley Brooks

Desley Brooks

The council voted at its special budget meeting Monday for full funding of the department, $520,730, to pay for the hiring of a director, program analyst and administrative assistant.

Authored by Councilmember Desley Brooks, the proposal came before the council earlier this year to create the new city department to begin to come to grips with the systemic racism and inequity in city policies and practices that adversely impact communities of color.

Over the past few months, hundreds of community members have come to council meetings to speak in favor of the proposal. They talked about the desperate need for the city to take action to deal with gentrification and the displacement of families, the lack of minority contractors on city projects, failure to enforce tenant protections and persistent underfunding of job programs for reentry, youth, and unemployed residents.

Over 50 organizations and 700 residents have expressed their support for the new department.

Speaking at the Council meeting Monday, Post Publisher Paul Cobb called for the councilmembers to endorse, support and fully fund the Department of Race and Equity.

Cobb read a text message sent to him from community advocate José Dueñas who died last weekend. Backing the new department, Dueñas wrote:

“I think we need to create a coalition of Latinos, African Americans and Asians to discuss how to deal with the inequities in this city and this county.”

“This is just a first step, and the next step to what started out as affirmative action… I still remember how tenacious you (Paul Cobb) were with me (during that time)…We must do that again now.”

Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who endorsed the department and fully funded it in her proposed budget, said, “Oakland is changing and we need to have a department to ensure that we continue to respect and honor our diverse population and that we are able to do that proactively.”

She added, “The focus is really about how the city delivers its services to ensure that (local) government is serving all sectors of its residents, and all geographic sectors of the city.”

This victory for the Department of Race and Equity makes Oakland one of few cities around the country, along with Portland and Seattle, that have created departments to ensure equality and fairness for all residents.

Among other issues, the Department of Race and Equity will need to look at unequal enforcement of city zoning policies, said Brooks.

“It’s the planning and the zoning decisions that have allowed for auto body shops to be next door to somebody’s house, that allow for environmental issues to impact communities of color, that allow for West Oakland to have (a higher) asthma rate because of the bad conditions,” she said.

“We need a Department of Race and Equity because we have normalized the conversation of race,” Brooks said. “When you think about the incidents that just happened in South Carolina…we need a Department of Race and Equity because there are systemic issues that unless we address them we will never get to where we need to be.”

 Courtesy of the Oakland Post, June 28, 2015 (postnewsroup.com)

Reid Announces 59 Units of Affordable Housing on International Boulevard

Rendering of new affordable housing on International Boulevard

Rendering of new affordable housing on International Boulevard

By Ken Epstein

Seven years in the making, a 59-unit affordable housing development will break ground before the end of the year at International Boulevard and 94th Avenue, the culmination of the work of City Council President Pro Tem Larry Reid and Bishop Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel Church in East Oakland.

“This is a good day,” said Reid, speaking at press conference Wednesday in a parking lot at the site of the future project.

Larry Reid

Larry Reid

“This is the beginning of change along the International Boulevard corridor, creating opportunities to build affordable for our families who live and work in the city, so they can stay in Oakland, he said.

Bishop Jackson thanked Reid others who have helped make this development a reality, including developer, Related California, Oakland Housing Authority and the Department of Housing and Community Development of the City of Oakland.

“We believed we could do it, but we didn’t have the hookup to do it,” said Bishop Jackson. “This project has brought a lot of wonderful people together.”

“We are partnering long term in this community,” said William Witte, chairman and CEO of Related California.

Work on the 1.26-acre affordable housing development will begin in December and is scheduled to be completed in February 2017. The project will contain 18 one-bedroom units, 23 two-bedroom units and 18 three-bedroom units.

There will also be a computer room, laundry facilities and a tot-lot, as well as 3,500-square-feet of commercial space on International.

The project will be financed with conventional debt, low-income housing tax credit equity, a $7.7 million residual receipt loan from the city and a $2.6 million residual receipt loan from the Oakland Housing Authority.

Courtesy of the Oakland Post, June 28, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)

Councilmembers Reluctantly Pass Stop Gap WIB Budget

They say they want to revisit the budget by Sept. 30

 By Ken Epstein

City Councilmembers this week reluctantly approved a new Oakland Workforce Investment Board (WIB) budget for 2015-2017 that will make drastic cuts in jobs and job training programs for youth and unemployed adults.

Rebecca Kaplan. Photo courtesy sfgate.

Rebecca Kaplan. Photo courtesy sfgate.

Unhappy with the cuts to services for jobseekers, councilmembers also voted to hold a meeting before Sept. 30 to revisit and amend the WIB budget submitted by city staff.

Councilmembers on the city’s Community and Economic Development (CED) Committee said at their Tuesday meeting that they had no choice but to temporarily pass the budget in order to keep the flow of funds for jobs and training programs from being interrupted,

Carroll Fife

Carroll Fife

The proposed WIB budget will now go to the full council for approval,

Councilmembers said they want to meet in the fall to discuss the concerns raised by community members and representatives of nonprofits that operate programs in the community.

The top concern of the speakers at Tuesday’s CED meeting was that the WIB is making deep cuts in its budget and program that are not justified by the tiny reduction of federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) jobs funding that pays for Oakland’s programs.

According to WIB Executive Director John Bailey, while the federal money was only reduced by 1.3 percent compared with last year, the WIB budget is reducing money for youth by 15 percent and funding for adult programs by up to 24 percent.

Cat Brooks, co-chair of the Onyx Organizing Committee.

Cat Brooks, co-chair of the Onyx Organizing Committee.

Another major issue is that the city diverts too much of the money to pay for its administrative staff. Speakers at the meeting complained that the city takes 32 percent off the top for overhead, and the city makes no contributions to support the programs.

Pressed for specifics by Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, Bailey could not explain why so much of job funds are used to pay for city staff.

Councilmembers said they want the WIB to come to the fall meeting with a detailed explanation of how it spends the money that is diverted from direct services to Oakland residents.

Speakers also complained that the WIB does not provide adequate

Agnes Ubalde

Agnes Ubalde

opportunity for the public to participate in the budget process, saying that public meetings are held at 8:30 a.m., making attendance impossible for many people who work or who are looking for work.

“It doesn’t make any sense that Oakland has its funding cut by less than 2 percent, and the service providers will be reduced by 15 to 24 percent – this budget is the antithesis of the values expressed by this council,” said Gay Plair Cobb, CEO of the Oakland Private Industry Council.

Speaking at the meeting, Cat Brooks, co-chair of the Onyx Organizing Committee, said that when her husband was unemployed, he went to many job agencies and got a runaround. But when he went to the PIC, he was listened to, treated humanely and helped.

The city needs to support these services that are more effective than 100 new cops to combat crime and support unemployed workers and their families, Brooks said. “Or are we going to keep repeating this pattern of murder, incarceration and demoralization?”

The WIB board is dysfunctional, said community member Carroll Fife. “I have been barred from attending these meetings, and service providers say they feel they will be retaliated against if they speak up.”

Defending the work of the board was WIB Chair Agnes Ubalde, vice president and community development officer of Wells Fargo Bank.

“Our board is transparent. Our budget process is open,” she said.

Courtesy of the Oakland Post, June 28, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)

Oakland Club Owner Geoffrey Pete Wins Oakland “Pillar” Indie Award

By Post Staff

Entrepreneur Geoffrey Pete, owner of the well-known nightspot Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, was recognized as a “Pillar” of the community at the recent 9th Annual Oakland Indie Awards.

Geoffrey Pete. Courtesy of www.safero.com

Geoffrey Pete. Courtesy of www.safero.com

“An Oakland cornerstone, Geoffrey’s has opened its doors for parties, political events, press conferences, fundraisers and public gatherings for five decades,” according to the Indie Award website.

 “(Geoffrey’s) has remained strong through unstable times and has been an advocate in the African American business community,” the website said.

The award ceremony, held on May 29 at Jack London Square’s Market Building, honored some of the city’s most influential local businesses and artists who benefit the local economy.

According to Indie Award website, the Pillar award goes each year to a “long-established Oakland business or artist with deep roots in the community and long-standing ties to the people, culture and history of the town.”

“This person or business mentors newbies and is renowned for their contributions to Oakland’s living history.”

The nine inners were selected based on their community leadership, being environmentally responsible and creating innovative projects.

Geoffrey’s Inner Circle is located at 410 14th St.in Oakland.

For more information on the wards, go to www.oaklandindieawards.com/2015-winners.html

Teachers Question Mayor’s Appointment of New Education Advisor

By Ken Epstein

Local teachers and school activists are questioning Mayor Libby Schaaf’s decision to appoint David Silver as a chief policy advisor on education, criticizing her for paying for the position with money

David Silver

David Silver

donated by non-profits that have a record of working to expand local charters schools at the expense of public education.

A number of people see her approach as setting a dangerous precedent.

“I personally have nothing against David – I do not question his integrity or his passion for Oakland students, “said Oakland Education Association (OEA) President Trish Gorham.

OEA President Trish Gorham

OEA President Trish Gorham

“I do question paying the salary of someone with private money that comes with a very clear agenda, using that money to pay for someone who is going to help shape public policy,” she said.

Mayor Schaaf announced Silver’s appointment on June 11, funded through “a multi-year partnership” with the Oakland Public Education Fund, made up the Rainin Foundation, New Schools Venture Fund, the Rogers Family Foundation and the Packard Foundation.

New Schools Venture Fund is an organization associated with the national movement for corporate-driven school reform of public education, accused by opponents of backing policies that seek untapped investment opportunities and to unleash hidden markets embedded in public schools.

The Rogers Family Foundation, which is closely connected to the nonprofit Great Oakland (GO) Public Schools and helped found the Oakland Public Education Fund, has long been associated with efforts to expand the role of charter schools in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and decrease of the influence the teachers’ union and of unionized teachers.

Libby Schaaf

Libby Schaaf

“The Rodgers Foundation, New Schools Venture Fund -what see in Oakland and other urban school districts is that foundations may have started out to help a district pay for its projects, but now they come in with money and their own projects and their own agenda, their own point of view and their own expectations of outcomes,” said Gorham.

“I don’t think David Silver is going to forestall a privatizing education agenda,” she said.

In her June 11 media release, Schaaf praised Silver for his ability to create equity and help students succeed in colleges and careers.

“(He) has demonstrated a unique ability to pursue and implement strategies to ensure Oakland students succeed in school — with a special focus on correcting unacceptable disparities for underserved communities,” she said.

“I am committed to ensuring that David has the resources and support to transform my vision of a cradle to career pipeline into reality,” she said.

Despite Schaaf’s strong vision, school activists expressed misgivings.

“The Rogers foundation continues to use its money to leverage policy. It’s shocking that the Mayor’s Office in our city would allow its policy to be bought and paid for,” said Mike Hutchinson, a public education advocate.

Added community activist and longtime educator Pam Drake, “I’ve been writing about this on Facebook and Twitter. The language they are using covers up what is really going on. Rodgers and New Schools Ventures are definitely privatizing organizations.”

Silver spoke earlier this year at a school board meeting in support of OUSD Supt. Antwan Wilson’s decision to allow charter schools to apply to run five Oakland schools, including Castlemont, McClymonds and Fremont High schools. Speaking in opposition were angry groups of students, parents and community members from the schools.

Ultimately, no charters turned in an application to operate the schools.

Silver until recently served as chief executive officer of College Track, a national non-profit that helps students from underserved communities to graduate from college.

He also helped found and lead Think College Now, a public elementary school in East Oakland.

“I have worked in education in Oakland since 1997, and I have never been more optimistic than today,” he said. “We have incredible students, dedicated teachers and principals, committed families and community partners, as well as a mayor, superintendent, and School Board with a powerful vision of educational equity, and models of successful schools. This is our time.”

Silver has a degree from UCLA and a master’s degree from Harvard. He lives in the Laurel District with his wife and son.

Courtesy of the Oakland Post, June 19, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)

Civil Rights Complaint Filed Against School District on Behalf of English Learner Students

By Ken Epstein

Several local Latino organizations filed a complaint this week with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights against the Oakland Unified School District for failing to provide adequate education to English Language Learner students.

Latino Education Network spokesman Jorge Lerma hold a copy of the complaint that was filed this week with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights. Photo by Ken Epstein

Latino Education Network spokesman Jorge Lerma hold a copy of the complaint that was filed this week with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights. Photo by Ken Epstein

The complaint alleges that English Learners are systematically deprived of their rights to equal education under the law, citing evidence based on a review of Oakland’s English-Language programs conducted for OUSD by the Stanford University Graduate School of Education.

The Stanford study, which was released earlier this year, “revealed deep and troubling practices and conditions in the English Language Learner program in Oakland,” said Jorge Lerma, spokesman for the Latino Education Network.

“The complaint says OUSD has participated in systematic and multigenerational non compliance in regard to federal and state regulations, which in turn has negatively impacted English Language Learner students for many decades, “ said Lerma.

As a result, he said, “OUSD has created a dual system of education in Oakland, one for English speakers and one for English Language Learners.”

The complaint has been filed, he said, because the “community has been patient and has believed in the good will of school and governmental leaders with no meaningful results.”

Among its specific allegations, the complaint says:

Students are not counseled to take courses they need nor prepared to pass the required academic classes that are required to enter the university, causing many students to end up dropping out of school or not being prepared to go to college;

Many classes that were labeled as “bilingual” were in fact conducted entirely or nearly all in English, disregarding students’ individual needs and level of understanding;

Many students who no longer need English Language instruction or needed more advanced instruction were left to languish in programs that did not challenge them;

The Stanford study found that in 43 percent of middle and high school classrooms and 37 percent of elementary classroom, fewer than one-fourth of the students interacted verbally at last once during a class session. However, the study notes that “academic discussion” is a prime method for teaching English;

English Language Development teachers tend to be newer and have less in-service training than other teachers to prepare them to understand their students’ needs and the cultural context in which the children live.

According to the Stanford study, 30 percent of OUSD students are English Language Learners, and 49 percent speak a language other than English at home.

The district’s demographics last year, when the study was done, were 38.1 Latino, 30.6 percent African American, 14.1 percent Asian and 11.8 percent white.

The complaint was filed Tuesday by the Latino Education Network, the Educational Coalition for Hispanics in Oakland, (ECHO), which has been active in the city for more than 20 years, and the Spanish Speaking Citizens’ Foundation, founded in 1965.

At press time, the school district had not responded to the Post’s request for a comment.

Courtesy of the Oakland Post, June 19, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)

Lakeshore Avenue Landlord Raises Monthly Rent from $1,080 to $3,870 to Force Tenants Out

Oakland attorney steven Schectman and teants speak Wednesday at a press conference across the steet from the 1918 Lakeshore Avenue apartment building owned by landlord Russell Flynn. Photo by Ken Epstein

Oakland attorney steven Schectman and tenants speak Wednesday at a press conference across the steet from the 1918 Lakeshore Avenue apartment building owned by landlord Russell Flynn. Photo by Ken Epstein

By Ken Epstein

A group of tenants are resisting a landlord’s ongoing attempts to kick them out of their apartments, just a few blocks away from the site of the new luxury high-rise tower that will be built at the corner of East 12 Street by Lake Merritt.

The 16 tenants in 10 of the units at 1918 Lakeshore Ave. facing Lake Merritt, many of whom have multiyear leases, last year received a notice to raise their rents about fourfold.

“The rental of said premises will be the sum of $3,870 per month instead of $1,080 per moth as heretofore payable,” said the landlord’s letter to tenant Mohsin Sharif.

According to Oakland attorneys Steven Rood and Steven Schectman, who this week filed a lawsuit for damages on behalf of the tenants, the building was bought in the last year by landlord Russell Flynn, with the intention of pushing out the tenants and renting the units at a higher rate.

Speaking at a press conference in front of the building on Wednesday, the attorneys and the tenants they represent accused Flynn, as well as the previous landlord, of using harassing tactics to drive people out of their homes, like illegal astronomical rent increases, fraudulent lease forms, spy cameras in hallways to watch tenants and repeatedly turning off the water to the building.

“Flynn is one of the largest private owners of rental housing stock in the Bay Area (mostly in San Francisco), controlling more than 3,600 rental properties, and is, by his own admission one of California’s leading proponents of both ‘vacancy de-control’ and the Ellis Act (evictions),” according to the lawsuit.

One of the tenants is Cortez Pheniz, who has lived in the building since February 2013.

The harassment by the landlord has gotten bad “just recently,” he said.

“It’s really stressful,” said Pheniz, who has worked as a bus driver for Golden Gate Transit since 1998.

Another male tenant works is a fourth grade teacher in Oakland. A woman tenant does community organizing work and event planning.

Other speakers called on tenants like themselves throughout the city to organize and fight against being displaced.

Responding for the landlord, property manager of the building Lucky Stewart told the Post, “There’s a lot of tenants that have been there for 20, 30 years. They are wonderful tenants who can give more facts and truth to these ridiculous claims.”

Courtesy of the Oakland Post, June 19, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)

Board of Education Members Balk at Placing Charter High School on Westlake Middle School Campus

The Westlake community went to the June 10 school board meeting to oppose placing a charter high school on their campus.

The Westlake community went to the June 10 school board meeting to oppose placing a charter high school on their campus. Photos by Ken Epstein.

By Ken Epstein

Several members of the Oakland Board of Education are balking at a proposal of the Oakland Unified School District administration to place a charter high school on the same campus as West Lake Middle School, leading the board president to table the motion without discussion, the Post has learned.

OUSD General Counsel Jackqueline Minor and Deputy David Montes de Oca explain the district's position at meeting at Westlake Middle School. Photo b Ken Epstein

OUSD General Counsel Jackqueline Minor and Deputy David Montes de Oca explain the district’s position at meeting at Westlake Middle School.

The proposal to place 185 students and eight staff of American Indian Charter High School in eight portable classrooms on the middle school campus was on the agenda to be decided on the Wednesday, June 10 school board meeting but did not come up for discussion.

“Staff needs to do more due diligence on the relocation of American Indian Model Schools,” said Board President James Harris, tabling the proposal.

However, board members told the Post that staff wants more time to lobby the board to back a plan that is extremely unpopular with the Westlake community.

Westlake is located on Harrison Avenue near Lake Merritt and draws students from West Oakland and the Chinatown/downtown area.

At a tumultuous meeting at the school on June 8, parents, teachers, students and members of the Westlake came out in force to condemn the move.

Administrators said the district was required to give space the school, and Westlake was the only good choice.

Therefore, they said, the decision was up to the board, but was all but a done deal.

However, parents did not go along. They objected to putting high school students on the same campus with students who are 12 years old.

Some parents did not want more sophisticated 17-year-olds on the same campus as their young special education students.

Vocal meeting at Westlake.

Crowded meeting at Westlake.

They did not like the idea that the school would have to have double lunch periods in the cafeteria and would split the use of the school library with the charter.

They suggested that the charter be moved to nearby Lakeview School, across from the Grand Lake Theater, which is currently closed and being for district offices. Staff said Lakeview was not possible but did not convince the parents.

Earlier, the district had tried to move an American Indian charter to Bella Vista Elementary School, but that plan ran into organized opposition from parents, teachers and the community.

Ultimately, administrators withdrew the plan to use Bella Vista. They said it was because they had to remove portables from the school’s playground, and therefore would not be enough space.

Courtesy of the Oakland Post, June 19, 2015 (postnewsgroup.com)