Category Archives: Alameda County Board of Supervisors

Call to Action: Demand Laura’s Law in Alameda County

On March 18, Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan ordered a report from Alex Briscoe, Alameda County BHCS (Behavioral Health Care Services) agency director regarding Laura’s Law. His report was published on May 1; read it here. and advises voluntary programs as an alternative to Laura’s Law.  But as we all know, voluntary doesn’t work for some mentally ill.  Please read the My Word written by Candy Dewitt here (and below in this blogpost) detailing the reasons why we should demand that Laura’s Law be enacted in Alameda County. Ms. Dewitt fought for years to get medical treatment required for her beautiful son Daniel who was stricken with paranoid schizophrenia who was a clear danger to himself, and they feared others. Their fears came true. Laura’s Law in Alameda County would have protected Daniel himself from becoming a victim to his disease by ensuring he be under the proper medical care. Laura’s Law and Kendra’s Law already protects others like him in other counties and states. Let’s make sure we get the same protections in our own county: Laura’s Law intervenes before these precious young adult children become violent perpetrators, and this then protects our community and other loved ones.

Laura’s Law can only be operative in counties in which the county board of supervisors, by resolution, authorizes its application and makes a finding that no voluntary mental health program serving adults, and no children’s mental health program, was reduced in order to implement the law.



Wilma Chan Alameda County Supervisor, District 3:

Katie Rodriguez Alameda County District 3 staff person:  &

Keith Carson Alameda County Supervisor, District 5:

 Aisha Brown Alameda County District 5 staff person: &

Alex Briscoe Alameda County BHCS Director:

Aaron Chapman, Alameda County BHCS Medical Director:


Contra Costa Times by Candy DeWitt, guest commentary © 2013 Bay Area News Group

Posted:   06/08/2013 12:01:00 PM PDT

If you don’t have someone you love struck down the prime of his or her life with severe mental illness, I don’t think you could ever imagine the pain and suffering. We had no idea and knew nothing about mental illness. Today, it consumes my life: fighting for change, for our young son, fighting for others and for the hope that the senseless tragedies stop. Continue reading

Wall Street Comes to Alameda!


Now here’s a story that should be brought to the attention of our county supes… This is stunning; in a county as poor and needy …and a public servant is pulling down a huge amount of money, not as bad as Bell, but bad enough. Check the link below, if you can’t see it go to sfgate or read today’s Chron. Alameda’s county’s administrator, Susan Muranishi pulls down $423,664 a year, $24,000 in equity pay to assure she makes at least 10% more than anyone else in the county. and about $54,000 a year for having stayed with the county for more than 30 years, and a yearly performance bonus of $24,000 It gets better…. an additional $9,000 a year for serving on an ad hoc committee of the Board that oversees the sale of excess land. But wait! she also gets an $8,292 yearly car allowance, and finally she also has separate exec. private pension for which the county chips in $ 46,500 a year.!!!

And here’s an interesting fact; I recognized her picture in the sfgate (it wasn’t in the Matier & Ross article) as a person who enjoys our Mariner Square Hot tub with non other than Keith Carson who represents Berkeley on the county Board. And the article says he voted for her deal not realizing how the numbers were ballooning up over the years” (!!)


Anyway I think we should blast this off to all we know requesting letters to be sent to our county supes urging them to restructure her compensation. Then we should look for candidates to replace those who voted for this crime.

– Gretchen (the watch- dog, not the lap dog)

Next election.

Remember Mr. Oh’s advice: “…we must vote based on not what they [candidates] say, but from where their money flows. After all, it’s not the puppets we’re voting in but the hands that hold the (purse) strings.”  It’s easy enough to keep track of the money going into each candidate’s pocket, between candidates’ and elected officials’ pockets, and flowing out of special interests pockets, businesses, PACs (Political Action Committee), NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations), etc.  Alameda County Registrar of Voters searchable database is here.  Searchable city database is here.


Mr. Oh’s Open Letter to Mr. Bonta

Dear Mr. Bonta:

Congratulations in announcing your run for District Assembly in 2012. I’m sure you’ve learned much in your few months in office as Alameda councilmember, such as: relying on the Democratic Party machine and pandering to Asian American voters, as they’ll surely put a check on that box regardless of your actions and campaign funding sources. Negotiating with unions such as the Alameda firefighters while accepting campaign contributions from them. Next time, you’ll learn not to undershoot the amount of kick-back money you could get for your treasury, Rob!

Professing the desire to help one constituency, meanwhile opening the door to the next step up. I’m sure you’ll yet again say, “I’ve always hoped I could serve Alameda for as long as the voters would have me and this is a chance to strengthen and deepen my commitment to Alameda” as you run for U.S. Senate.

I’m sure you’re a real nice fellow. But everything you’ve done while in office has only reinforced my perception that you are simply another politician willing sell your votes for a chance at the next step up the ladder.

Your time in Alameda was well served — for you. You’ve learned that old politician’s tricks are still the most effective at getting elected, and re-elected, over and again. Just keep looking upwards and climbing, baby, because the responsibilities you leave behind may not be so pleasant.

To my fellow Alameda residents, let’s please use our heads instead of our hearts next time election time comes. One’s skin tone, party affiliation, or appealing rhetoric does not mean they stand for our interests. Be it President of the United States or a simple city councilmember, we must vote based on not what they say, but from where their money flows. After all, it’s not the puppets we’re voting in but the hands that hold the (purse) strings.

— Gene Oh

The EMS Loophole

I knew there was one (a loophole in the new EMS stroke protocols for Alameda Hospital). And sure enough, there it is: every stroke victim in the City of Alameda that is seen in the field by the ambulance at and after 4 hours after the onset of the stroke, goes to Alameda Hospital.  Sounds sensible, right? Wrong.  I’ll make this simple:

1. Alameda Hospital can only administer IV tPA (intravenous thrombylotics).

2. IV tPAs are only administered from the time of onset of a CVA (stroke) until 3 hours afterwards, i.e., it is not considered effective to be administered 3+ hours after the onset of a stroke (FDA Approval standard, however, the ASA [American Stroke Assoc.] recommends through 4.5 hours).

3. Certified Stroke centers provide effective (save brain cells!) interventions that are effective up to EIGHT HOURS after a CVA Onset.

So it’s medically best to go to a stroke center during the first four hours after a stroke begins AND it’s medically best to go to a stroke center if you’re taken 4+ hours after the stroke begins.

But in the City of Alameda, if you don’t get found by the paramedic within the first 4 hours, you get substandard medical options…. Continue reading

And there it is:

Alameda County Board of Supervisors (BOS) has oversight of the Alameda Hospital District (AHD).  Why then, in 2007, did Alice Lai-Bitker not exercise her authority to protect 500+ stroke victims per year in the City of Alameda?  Why did she not engage the weight of her office to 1. support the County EMS director who was making every effort to implement best EMS policies equally throughout the county and 2. protect the residents of Alameda city?  See today’s news article here.

Why did the BOS not step in in any way and address AHD board’s self-serving strategy?  Why did the BOS not require the hospital to stay focused on serving the resident population of the City of Alameda?

Here’s the real question: WHY would our elected AHD board members think it makes sense to spend any part of the $5.7 million of public funds they vote to levy on us each year–yes, it’s an annual decision of theirs based upon our very generous referendum in 2002–on a lawsuit against a County EMS for doing what’s right? WHY would they threaten a lawsuit against the County EMS for putting into place optimum EMS policies? How depraved is this?

Q/A (more Q than A): The 11/4/2010 Wall of Toxic Stink

Summary of Events: Harley Marine out on Main Street is the holding company for Marine Starlight and Public Service Marine (PSM, based in Seattle). Two crude-oil tank-holding barges owned by PSM are named the Jovalan and the Olympic Spirit.  During the Fall of 2010, the Jovalan brought crude oil up from San Diego in September and Santa Barbara in November.  Each time, PSM conducted two illicit crude oil transfers from the Jovalan to the Olympic Spirit, in order to be able to deliver their crude oil (from San Diego and/or Santa Barbara) to the Conoco-Philips refinery.

QUESTION   Why would one barge need to transfer it’s hold of crude oil it had collected in Santa Barbara before delivering the crude oil to Conoco-Philips?

ANSWER   Because the Jovalan is a single-hull barge.  Conoco-Philips requires any delivery at their facility to be done from a double-hull barge/ship.

QUESTION  Are single-hull barges/ships even legal anymore in the state of California?

ANSWER  No.  In 1990, TWENTY YEARS AGO, the U.S. enacted the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) that requires oil tankers entering US ports be double-hulled, and requires the phase out of existing single-hull tankers.

QUESTION: Why is Harley Marine’s PSM allowed to run a single-hulled barge up and down our coast, and in and out of our bay? Continue reading

Basic (not advanced) Life Support for 14 years, WTF?

Why, from 1983 to 1997, the city of Alameda’s emergency response teams–instead of providing Advanced Life Support (ALS) which had become the county EMS standard in 1983– provided only Basic Life Support (BLS).

Like the EMS stroke transport variance for the City of Alameda, the only reason I can see for deciding upon substandard EMS services, is to drive acute cases to the hospital. I mean, if there were no paramedics that could stabilize us in the field (then assess and transport us into the *right* hospital system for our medical event), then we HAD to be taken to the nearest facility–Alameda Hospital– for stabilization in those days…we had no choice… Continue reading