Monday, July 13, 2009

Seen at the Grand Parkway

"With $2 an Hour Meter Parking Until 8pm, The City Will Finish Destroying Our Shopping District". This is one of several terrible, short-sighted ideas the city now has, along with raising hotel taxes (which you should vote against).

Ozumo is Excellent

We went down to Ozumo on Broadway for the Monday night all-you-can-eat sushi special. Yes, you'll wait a little for a seat at the sushi bar, and yes the orders get a little backed up - but it's worth it. Quality of fish and preparation are excellent. Ambience and sake selection outstanding. Sushi chefs and host bust their asses to make your dining experience a good one. One specific recommendation for appetizer: gyu katsu in particular melts in your mouth. Single? Good eye candy too. Get down there.

Friday, July 10, 2009

One Reason California is Bankrupt

From Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic:

In California, a state worker can retire at age 50, do absolutely nothing all day, and collect 90 percent of their salary for the rest of their lives! 5,000 of these pensions amount to six figures incomes. Nor can the state afford the system it has. As the Matt Welch piece mentions, "the state's annual pension fund contribution vaulted from $321 million in 2000-01 to $7.3 billion last year." That is a rather alarming rate of growth, and an astonishing figure, don't you think? Given that the state is bankrupt and issuing IOUs to its creditors, it doesn't seem unreasonable to complain that public employee unions have extracted benefits that are both obviously unaffordable and far in excess of what is enjoyed by the taxpayers who finance them.

Monday, July 6, 2009

San Francisco Homicide Rate Cut in Half

"San Francisco's homicide total for the first half of 2009 hit a nine-year low - falling more than 50 percent from last year - a drop that police officials attribute to flooding high-crime areas with officers and focusing on the handful of people who commit most of the crimes."

This, during a severe recession. Here's the Chron article. Let's hope their new police chief keeps up the program.

What's stopping Oakland from copying this program? Yes, we're in the hole, yes, we have an officer shortage - which seems all the more reason to deploy OPD where it can make the biggest difference. Public safety is the non-negotiable number one core service of city government.

And - here's my understated farewell - I will be moving to San Diego by the end of the summer. Yes, I'm defecting to SoCal! Don't worry, it's not because I want to move down there for its own sake - if there were a great med school with an excellent neuro program in Oakland (and they let me in), I would love to stay. In Brazil people say "We are the country of the future - and always will be." I used to talk up Oakland as a place with great potential, but the fact is, it's a great place now! People just have to figure that out, both inside and outside the city. So hold the fort down for me, because I'm already scheming to get back here for my residency. 2013 isn't that far off.