Willie Brown Disses Oakland, Thanks

Willie Brown, retired San Francisco mayor and political major domo, pens a weekly column at the SF Chronicle and decided to diss Oakland today about its restaurant heists.

Hey, don’t rub salt into a wound that’s healing, Willie.

While Willie cracked a joke, it was a pot-shot over the Bay to Oakland:  “By the way, there’s a new dining tip for people going out in Oakland.  Be sure to order soup.  That way when the robbery starts, you can slip off your jewelry and drop it into soup so the robbers won’t see it.”

Willie’s a little late to the party.  A few days ago, the Oakland Police nabbed the two guys (and one gal) whom they believe are linked to four of the restaurant heists.  The robbers decided to expand their scope to a nail salon, and the cops caught them afterwards.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums made a press appearance when the suspects’ capture was announced.  He declared, “We cannot allow a few people to capture the espirit-de-corps of the community.”  He meant well.

However Dellums uttered a classic double entendre.  Were these robbers able to emulate and follow the bad mojo here?  Or were they effectively bringing community spirit down?  Now that’s funny, or maybe it’s just me!

Reality Check To Dellums, On KQED

This morning, KQED’s Michael Krasny devoted an entire hour to Oakland Politics.  The always-measured Krasny kept the participants under relative control – but managed to share his own consternation with Mayor Dellums too.

When Ron Dellums ran for office, he promised Krasny that he would make appearances on Forum afterwards.  Since then, he’s been hiding from Krasny and the local press.  Krasny wants to interview him, and it’s frankly dumb that Dellums ignores this invitation.

Instead, a Dellums spokesman appeared on today’s program and performed very badly.  First, the other journalists and blogger below eviscerated the guy!   The callers were not kind, either.  One active Dellums supporter said he was dumbfounded by the doubletalk from the Mayor’s office.

The news that triggered today’s program was the city administration hoopla, of course.  At this point, Deborah Edgerly is working through July.  An active hunt has begun for her replacement.

When one of the Forum guests asked exactly when the replacement search began, the spokesman couldn’t respond.  He just said they hired an expensive head-hunter.  When pressed again, he still deflected the question.

During the hour, Oakland’s downtown vibrancy came up too.  The spokesman mentioned things that happened in the past two years.  He identified one developer deal by name.  The journalists pounced and explained that development happens over many years.

Finally, the city’s crime prevention efforts were discussed.  The spokesman pointed to slightly lower violent crimes and full police staffing levels.  In response, the journalists pointed to temporary Measure Y funding to get there.  They also raised the need for addressing educational opportunities, as a more structural fix.

If you have time, then listen to this Forum hour.  I’m sure you’ll agree the Mayor is hiding behind his flacks – and that he deserves “the quiet mayor” moniker bestowed by the SF Chronicle guest.