The Skinny: Oakland City Council Preview, Apr. 1, 2014

Oakland City Council Preview
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Tuesday, Apr. 1, 5:30 p.m.
Twitter hashtag: #oakmtg


The crematorium proposed for East Oakland
could incinerate 3,000 bodies a year.

ASHES TO ASHES Last year, East Oakland residents protested a planned “mega-crematorium” initially approved for 9850 Kitty Lane near the Oakland Airport. Last October, the City Council extended a 180-day emergency ordinance effectively putting the crematorium on hold. On Tuesday, city staff is asking to extend the conditional use permit another 180 days. The reason: city staff says they don’t have enough expertise in air quality issues to make a recommendation whether the property for the proposed crematorium is a legitimate use for the zoned area. An air quality consultant has since been hired, but the city needs more time. A city staff report could be ready for late spring or early summer, staff said. [Item 9.2]

WHAT IT MEANS The proposed crematorium may be able to incinerate up 3,000 bodies a year. Opponents and two memos from the Alameda County Health Services Agency believe the amount of toxic compounds from the crematorium will only add to the area’s historically high numbers of asthma sufferers and other air quality issues. Recall, the Oakland City Council approved the crematorium two years ago, but quickly switched gears. The city was subsequently sued by the parent company of the Neptune Society of Northern California and lost last August. Renewing the emergency ordinance is ultimately an attempt to give the city more time to figure out an end game for an issue deeply resented by East Oakland residents who feel their neighborhood is continually suffering two steps backward for every step forward.

BE AWARE He is currently the OPD’s independent monitor, but Robert Warshaw is set to add the title of compliance director for the Oakland Police Department. The contract, not put out for bid, is not to exceed $165,000, said a city staff report. Last Feb. 12, Thomas Frazier was relieved of his duties by Judge Thelton Henderson. Warshaw asked the city to pay him separately for his new duties. The contract is set to expire Jan. 20, 2015.

The City Council will reappoint Sokham Mao to the Citizens Police Review Board. Mao is also a candidate for the open District 2 seat on the Oakland City Council…New members to the Oakland Youth Advisory Board will be appointed Tuesday: Rebecca Dharmapa, Takai Ginwright, Mahlik Smith, Jamila Coleman and Eleanor Good.

Councilmember Noel Gallo celebrates Cesar Chavez Day. Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney proclaims April as Victims Support Month to acknowledge the impacts of violent crime in Oakland on victims and their families.

Mar. 18, tenants in Oakland received some help from the City Council after approving a compromise deal to cap annual rent increases to 10 percent after improvements to their dwellings. In addition, they limited the cost of capital improvements passed down to renters at 70 percent. The council also approved a settlement worth $3.25 million to a cyclist who was injured by a large pothole in 2011 on Mountain Boulevard. >>> SEE IT FOR YOURSELF

8 thoughts on “The Skinny: Oakland City Council Preview, Apr. 1, 2014

  1. “Of course we'd also need to do 71% of all our travels on bicycles.”

    It's illegal for fast foodies to ride bicycles because they take up two bicycle lanes.


  2. I see, 11:51, you'd have us eat only tofu and raw veggies and bury all our dead relatives in our back yard?

    Of course we'd also need to do 71% of all our travels on bicycles.

    Oh and I'm guessing all those fast food jobs will be replaced by green jobs, funded by new taxes on oil… no wait…. on natural gas. Yes, that's the ticket.

    Only solar cooking allowed. That pretty much rules out “fast” food


  3. 10:42. I hope you continue to enjoy eating your fast food. Remember that during the time you spend on the freeway going from one grill to the next deep-fryer you are breathing the purest, freshest air in the world. Almost as fresh as your burger and your fries. This message is not brought to you by the American Cancer Society or Kaiser Permanente.


  4. 2:51, So I take it you are suggesting that we shut down, or prevent any new burger places from opening up in the area?

    I see, the same groups protesting would also protest if a new In-N-Out restaurant were opening…
    Is that about right?

    Or is it all about the fact that somewhere in the county bodies are going to have to be burned, if they are not buried.

    This entire protest is absurd as it relates to air quality.
    It is all about burning bodies, not the air pollution from doing so.
    The activists are just fanning the flames by inserting the idea of human bodies being burned.

    Please give us the details of the filtering, which apparently were fine until the protests erupted.

    How come its OK to burn bodies in Castro Valley but not in Oakland? If its the number, then how many are OK.. per year? Or per day.

    That new facility would be about 10 per day.
    What is the acceptable number? Zero? 3, 6, 9, ?

    How about Flints BBQ, how much meat can they cook each day? What about the pizza parlors… what is the limit on the number of pizzas they can bake each day?


  5. “An 18-wheeler diesel-engine truck would have to drive 143 miles on the freeway to put out the same mass of particles as a single charbroiled hamburger patty,” said Bill Welch, the principal engineer for the study [showing that fast food restaurants produce more air pollution than diesel trucks.”

    More air pollution is not better than less air pollution, whatever the source of the pollution.


  6. The objection to the crematorium is absurd.

    Those stirring up the opposition fail to note that between the nearest housing and the crematorium are many other businesses who have FAR greater impact on air quality.

    Chief among those is the major dumping hub for Waste Management.
    All the garbage in Oakland is brought to that site and then transferred to semi trucks that take it to Altamont.

    The insult to air quality from that Waste Management facility is easily 100 or 1000 times greater impact to nearby housing..

    The crematorium is about as dangerous as having a Burger King a couple blocks away, venting their grill.

    Go to Google Earth and look at the site, and the massive Waste Management facility…. not to mention the nearby Highway 880…

    The entire dispute is not about air quality, but about the simple issue of burning human bodies.
    Which is done all year round in many quiet locations around the Bay Area.
    Look at Jess C. Spencer Mortuary, Inc. in the middle of Castro Valley. I suppose they should be run out of town, while ignoring the emissions of Hwy 580 right next door.

    The Oakland “rights” issue is pure political blackmail and grandstanding.
    It has zero to do with air quality.


  7. Remember that new industry in East Oakland will bring many (up to 3) high-paying (minimum wage plus) jobs (for people who don't live in Oakland) in addition to making the bad air quality worse. No need for a study on this, it's a no-brainer!


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