Did Oakland Get More From Uncle Sam?

In a word, yes.

The other day, Oakland Mayor Dellums sent out a note bragging about how many dollars Oakland received from Federal stimulus grants – and he thanked everyone who worked on the aid requests.

While we believe that Oakland did well in the handouts, it’s really hard to tell:  (1) exactly how much; (2) what was specifically funded; and (3) how all the grants compare to other cities.  The note ended up obfuscating the good news, at least for non-policy wonks.

The Mayor says “the City has brought in, to date, over $65 million in stimulus funds, including over $35 million from competitive grants.”  That’s great, so where’s the $35 million in the competitive grant comparisons to other cities?

There’s no question that we have received more money than all other cities shown, magnified in the per-person and index data.  However it’s not clear what programs are included in or excluded from these city comparisons.

Last February, we had the full list of what was getting requested.  How did the City of Oakland do?  What was requested versus rejected?  What’s still getting approved by Uncle Sam?

We’re not trying to rain on the parade, and are grateful for external funds in our budget time-of-need.  It might be nice to know as much as we did last winter, when the request process began for Oakland and all cities nationally.

Little Ants Appear In Droves

These crawlers are strange, appearing suddenly and in droves.  They show up only once or twice a year, whether you’re ready for them or not.  Our ants visited last night, crawling all around the inside and outside of the kitchen garbage can – and not wandering far afield.

These creatures should have known better than to emerge in my domicile.

Bring out the carcinogens!  Somehow all those green aspirations go out the window when the icky ants appear – and that equally disgusting, poisonous spray helps me obliterate ’em instantly.

After the first rains this fall, some Montclarions were blessed with an onslaught of termites.  I thought the ants were triggered by rain as well, but maybe there are other factors.  These guys might get cold and seek out cozier spots on wintery days.

Any knowledgeable Montclarions out there?