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Letter to the Editor: Conservation Director at the Oakland Zoo Says Yes on Measure A-1

Why Amy Gotliffe wants you to vote yes on the Oakland Zoo Humane Animal Care/Education Protection Measure of Alameda County.

Submitted by: Amy Gotliffe, the Conservation Director at the Oakland Zoo

I'm Amy Gotliffe, the Conservation Director at the Oakland Zoo and long-time Alameda County resident. I am committed to the conservation of wildlife, a green planet, an environmentally aware citizenry and a thriving Alameda County. I wanted to share my thoughts on Yes on Measure A-1. Thanks for reading:)

Basics: Measure A1 is a parcel tax. One dollar per month for each parcel owner in Alameda (that's me) - with an exemption for seniors.The funds go to care for our animals, educational programs, on site and local conservation (that’s me), some visitor safety and to simply keeping the zoo an affordable place to visit.

A1 funds go to:

Animals: The Oakland Zoo has many beautiful animals, all of which are considered non-releasable (they cannot be released to the wild). Many of them come from very unfortunate and human-created situations. A few examples include four female tigers from a divorced couple who owned them in Texas, a female tiger from a circus, two African lions from a drug bust, a sun bear from a traffiking confiscation, an abused female African elephant, 5 research hyenas, and two ex-performing chimpanzees. I have not even begun to list the zoo's stories, rescues and acts of compassion. The Oakland Zoo is known for this throughout the zoo world. The Oakland Zoo takes these animals and gives them a FOREVER home. A home they can count on. We care for the sick, injured, emotionally or mentally handicapped, and geriatric – one reason why we need exceptional husbandry and veterinary care, as well as the best possible enclosures and night houses. Not to mention, our animals require more than 1000 meals per day. A1 funds go to care for these animals.

Animal Care: Our care is inspiring. Our enclosures wow every researcher and other zoo staff that visit: large exhibits with greenery, privacy and daily enrichment. Our keepers are insanely dedicated, willing to work here because of OUR culture of humaneness – instead of other zoos for more money. PETA gives our elephant program a thumbs-up. This is unheard of in any other zoo. A1 funds go to this incredibly humane care.Structures: The zoo has been on this site for 40 years. Systems need updating, including moats, filtration, night houses, etc. We raise funds for this through small campaigns to donors, and while we might have eventual success with the Elephant Barn or Giraffe Barn, we are challenged to get people excited to give money for our moats and other vital, but not "sexy" projects. A1 would go to animal care structure projects.

Education: We believe we have an obligation to these animals to connect our visitor, student or guest to their species and their conservation story. This is the way to inspire people to CHANGE their behavior and help our animals' wild counterparts.

Our docents created conservation messages for every species we have. Our educational classes reach as many children as we can – all receiving age-appropriate conservation messaging surrounding our animals. 30% of the classes we offer are free to underserved kids. These are through grants that run out. We want to get to every underserved kid in Alameda County – introduce them to these amazing animals and use that opportunity to connect them to their own habitats.

There are teens in our programs who are now going to college to be environmental lawyers, zoologists, vets, environmentalists because they went through our teen programs. Our Teen Wild Guide Program was just granted Group of the Month from Jane Goodall Institutes Roots & Shoots. We are serious about nature and wildlife education!

We cannot wait until the economy gets better to educate and inspire for change in our environmental behavior – we are on the brink of serious wildlife loss, as well as science education loss. A1 goes to these youth programs.

Conservation: Conservation is central to our mission. That is why they hired me as the Conservation Director. It is an honor to help organizations all over the world conserve wildlife, to be greeted with such warmth and GRATITUDE from Borneo to Uganda to Big Sur.

We also conserve local animals and habitats on-site. We work with Sonoma State University and the SF Zoo to gather the eggs of The Western Pond Turtle, California's only pond turtle - who is highly threatened due to invasive species (red-eared sliders). We raise the hatchlings and feed and care for these animals until they are big enough to compete with the invasives. Then, we release them back into the wild. This program is very successful.

We work with the Ventana Wildlife Society and the California condor. Condors get sick eating animals that have been killed by lead bullets. We set up an enclosure to hold sick birds and trained our vet staff to do the blood work that they need. We are excited to take our first sick bird this spring. We work with community volunteers to clean and restore the part of Arroyo Viejo Creek that runs through the zoo. A-1 goes to these on-site conservation programs.

Clarifying Myths:

Myth: "The Zoo will use funds to make offices high in the hills of Knowland Park."
Truth: The funds go to what was stated in the voter guide, which was written with integrity.
Measure A1 funds do not go to the California Trail project. By law, it will only go to the projects in the voter guide.

Myth: "The Zoo is not to be trusted with the money."
Truth: The zoo is 100% responsible with money. I have been there 12 years, managing a budget. Every penny is accounted for, every decision in-line with our mission and well thought out budget. We are a top rated non-profit on Charity Navigator. The funding from A1 will be monitored by an independent oversight committee consisting of community members from League of Woman Voters, a PTA member, a member of a conservation group, etc. They will account for every expenditure and ensure it goes to cover what the voters agreed upon.I have worked with Dr. Parrott for 12 years and he is a man of serious integrity and dedication to wildlife. I would NEVER work here if that was not the case.

Myth: The Zoo is building a theme park all over Knowland Park with giant offices.
Truth: The zoo designed The California Trail Project. Working with very green architects, Noll & Tam, and scientists, teachers, staff including myself, local community leaders and conservation organizations, this project aims to highlight the park, the bay, and the ecology of California.

My role is to help design connections to conservation action locally and inspire each visitor to connect with and take action for our own habitat. The buildings include an interpretive/education center and classrooms, not fancy administrative offices. Visitors enter via gondola, so we do not have to build a road. This project went through an exhaustive environmental review, including many public meetings. It was approved in 2011.

Myth: "If we vote Measure A1 down, the California Trail project will not happen."
Truth: This project will happen. It has nothing to do with Measure A1 at all. The project went through a democratic process a number of times and won the debates and lawsuits by Friends of Knowland Park each time. Money for the California Trail Project was raised for just that project by inspired donors. It would be unlawful to move funds to other areas.

Myth: "The zoo has tons of money already."
Truth: The Oakland Zoo is a non-profit organization. We operate on little budget compared to other zoos. 90% of our revenue is generated by the zoo. Only 10% currently comes from government/community funds. We rely on a nice day - where people come to the zoo and ride a ride and buy a drink. And we rely on donors and fundraising efforts. We have fought for a long time to never raise admission prices. However, we cannot have a gem of a zoo without funds -and it will come down to the community. If we do not have the community support that many zoos and other non-profits have, we will have to raise the price to visit.

Myth: "Knowland Park is a pristine wilderness area that the zoo wants to fence in and pour concrete on."
Truth: If you have visited this area, you will see that most native grasslands have already been destroyed. Neighbors walk their dogs here, leaving dog feces everywhere. French Broom and other invasive plants are the norm.

The California Trail project will be in 56 acres of the nearly 500 acre park. The buildings will be environmentally designed. We will be working with environmental organizations and academic institutions to restore the area. The fencing is wildlife friendly, with appropriate heights, holes and wildlife corridors, keeping out dogs only.

More truth: It is US, the zoo, who is doing the work to care for Knowland Park already. We keep the local creek restored and healthy, we plant for pollinating wildlife in vibrant gardens and plant for local animals everywhere on the zoo grounds. We remove the broom tirelessly. The zoo grounds are home to skunks, deer, bob cat, wild turkeys, fox and more. Our work on the habitat of Knowland Park helps these animals thrive. We are looking forward to doing more.

Zoos: I come from an ecology/animal welfare/environmental background. I was not a zoo person. Mainly, because I knew nothing about modern zoos and I made a misinformed judgment. Zoos are amazing places to conserve animals, raise funds for conservation in the wild and inspire thousands of people to care and take action.

The Oakland Zoo is famous for our humane treatment of animals and the care we give each one. We are respected by long lists of environmental and wildlife organizations. I am proud of where I work and the work I do.

The Opposition: Opposition to A1 was started by a small group of people who live behind the zoo. They like their view and walking their dogs on the trail. They do not like other people to walk there and have actively approached non-neighbors. They started the group Friends of Knowland Park and began fighting against the zoos work on the California Trail project long ago.

Their campaign is based on misinformation, manipulative lies, and zero science. They have no qualms about using well-meaning environmental organizations to push their agenda. They use bullying tactics. At the Lake Merritt Farmers Market, two Save Knowland Park men my father's age spent much of their 4 hours bullying me personally, egging me on with verbal pushing, teasing and crass remarks. Each time I tried to speak to someone, one of them busted in. The have defaced our campaign signs and have spiked trees by nailing their signs up high. These are the people behind all of the opposition.•

Supporters of A1: There is a long list, but I am listing those that I work with, who know us very, very well: Laura Maloney, Chief Operating Officer, Humane Society of the United States, Jim Maddy, President/CEO, National Association of Zoos and Aquariums, East Bay Regional Park District, Kelly Sorenson, Executive Director, Ventana Wildlife Society, Zara McDonald, Founder and Executive Director, Felidae Conservation Fund/Bay Area Puma Project, Pat Derby, Co-Director, Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Cynthia Moss, Director, Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Animals Asia, Africa Matters, Brian Pope, Director, Lubee Bat Conservancy, Camilla Fox, Founder and Executive Director, Project Coyote, Charles Knowles, Executive Director, Wildlife Conservation Network, Cindy Spring, Director, Close to Home, Colum Muccio, Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association (ARCAS), Cynthia Ong, CEO, Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), Dirk Kloss, CEO, Red Panda Network, Eric Kowalczyk, U.S. Representative for the Hornbill Research Foundation, Eric Ronay, President, EcoCell, Jarrod Willis, Biologist, California Academy of Sciences, Joel Makower, Chairman, GreenBiz Group, Jon Hoech, Director of Husbandry Operations, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Megan Isadore, Co-Founder and Director of Outreach & Education, The River Otter Ecology Project, Elizabeth Young, Executive Director, MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue, Fred Babweteera, Director, Budongo Conservation Field Station, Steve Ross, PhD, Director, Lester Fisher Center for the Study & Conservation of Apes, Michael Starkey, Save the Frogs Advisory Committee Chairman, Julie Sherman, Executive Director, Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), Chris DeAngelo, Associate Curator of Marine Mammals, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Richard Zimmerman, Executive Director, Orangutan Outreach, Richard Wells, Forest Conservancy, Rosamira Guillen, Executive Director, Fundacion Proyecto Titi ("Project Tamarin")

Thanks for reading until the end - and I hope to see you at the zoo, or a creek restoration day.

Its Your Zoo
www.itsyourzoo.org

Tyler November 05, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Hi, Amy. It's great to see you're doing these conservation projects in Africa, and coming up in Borneo. Nice too, that you can take a whole team of donors with you to some of the last really wild places on earth. I'd love to go, too. If we all vote for A1, will you take us with you ? Or is that reserved for the mysterious "dark money" donors, corporate sponsors, and real estate guys? By the way, if you call having goats graze the whole of Knowland Park down to the dirt the zoo's "conservation" plan, maybe you've got Oakland confused with Rwanda.
Timothy Swenson November 05, 2012 at 04:16 PM
As you say "The Oakland Zoo is a non-profit organization." It is my understanding that the land that the zoo is on is owned by the city of Oakland. Why should tax payers pay for the Oakland Zoo? It is not a government entity like a college or park district. Normally when I pay taxes for something, I own it. Meaning that as a resident of Alameda County, I pay taxes to the county, but as I resident, I also own the county. I vote for a supervisor to represent my interests at the County level. Who can I vote for that would represent my interest in the Oakland Zoo? As the president of a local non-profit, I understand the needs of raising funds to support your organizations goals, but it is not right to have a non-government group put a tax on residents.
Karen November 05, 2012 at 05:55 PM
You make too many incorrect statements to respond to all of them here, but there is an overarching consistency: Your use of Orwellian Newspeak to argue your points. You preach global conservation, yet support destruction of acres of wildlife habitat at home. Your local California Trails “conservation” project would destroy the very habitat it features. Will the displaced mountain lions end up caged, getting “humane animal care” from the zoo? Will your education programs mention the loss of habitat caused by the zoo itself? You say Knowland Park isn't cared for, but it's zoo management's obligation to provide that care. You want credit for creek restoration, but take no responsibility for neglecting the rest of the park. With zoo management so focused on a $72 million expansion project that it fails to maintain funds for basic animal care and maintenance of facilities, there is no reason to trust it with an irrevocable blank check for millions of dollars over 25 years. I agree that Measure A1 funds can only be used for what it specifies, but that's the problem: It explicitly, carefully says that A1 funds can be used for anything the zoo wants. Ironically, it isn't those opposing A1 but the zoo board that is the “small group of people” using its political and monetary muscle to get what it wants. Perhaps it is surprising to you that people from all over Alameda County care about preserving the ever-dwindling public open space habitats in our communities.
Jen Jelincic November 05, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Tyler, our teen program through Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots goes to conservation projects around the world. So everyone, from teens to adults, can go on our trips. You are more than welcome to come. Also, domestic goats and other livestock are often used in fire prevention. There is currently science regarding that practice, and the exploration of other methods (fire ecology is a growing field) is happening in the scientific literature. As we learn more about our grasslands, we will have to modify practices if there are better options. Also, if Knowland Park was grazed down to the dirt, we wouldn't be able to see species (native or nonnative) that inhabit the area.
Jen Jelincic November 05, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Karen, as Baba Dioum stated, "In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught." The zoo cannot develop outside of their Master Plan. If you do read it, you will see differences in the California Trail Project from the 90's to its' more recent revision include smaller impacts. As conservationists, we always say that we want people to understand the intrinsic value of nature. We want kids to get outside and experience the world around them. And I completely agree. But I also know, as all conservationists know, there are tradeoffs. If everyone went out and explored nature all of the time, it would be completely destroyed. Part of what I like about the Oakland Zoo and their California Trail Project is that it will provide thousands of people with the experience without years of destroying habitat. There will be development, but it's a conservation tradeoff. I'm sure you know that there are several popular National Parks that have had to completely close down for periods of time (years, in some cases) due to human impacts. Also, I have a couple questions that I would like to ask you, and I am not asking in a negative tone, I honestly would like to know your thoughts. What is it that the board of directors wants? How would the board of directors benefit from developing Knowland Park? What hidden agenda do you believe that they have?
Jen Jelincic November 05, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Beth, the fence will absolutely keep domestic animals and people out, you are correct. But it is also built with wildlife in mind. There are ways to build fencing that allows for wildlife (large and small) to cross, which is what the zoo is planning. It will include wildlife corridors. On the already developed Oakland Zoo, we have wildlife that we see all the time, including foxes, coyotes, deer, mountain lions, and more. The zoo actually did accept public comment and send plans to the surrounding neighbors for their input. With the input of everyone who looked at the original plans, the new plans include smaller impacts. Smaller buildings, a gondola instead of a road and diesel trams, moving exhibits, and more habitat restoration. The area has been zoned as special use. There are still zoning lines in between the Oakland Zoo and Knowland Park.
Jen Jelincic November 05, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Timothy, you are absolutely right. The land (and everything on it) does belong to the city of Oakland, and the Oakland Zoo is the nonprofit that uses the land. I definitely understand your points about the zoo not being a government entity like a college. However, a tax is a way that many zoos around the country have secured funding. Some of these taxes include multiple counties. I completely respect your views on taxes, and I know that because you work in the non-profit sector as well, you know funds are tight for all of us.
Ruth Malone November 05, 2012 at 07:25 PM
We have worked tirelessly with many volunteers for years to encourage the public to discover and explore Knowland Park. Please visit our website (www.saveknowland.org ) where we have extensive information about the Park's wildlife, plants, and history, and about Measure A1 and why we oppose it. We created the website to inform the public since there was no other source of information about the park. We also have a Save Knowland Park Facebook page, including recent photos of native gray foxes in the area of the park where the zoo plans to bulldoze to build a 34000 sq foot visitor center, restaurant and gift shop. It is regrettable to see the zoo's reputation damaged by the kind of deceptive rhetoric zoo employees continue to deploy. The measure clearly allows funds to be used for this and any future expansions; the words are right there in the fine print for anyone to read, and what is in the measure itself is what is legally binding. There is no evidence in the zoo's financial statements that they have the funds to build the expansion. We will continue to advocate staunchly in defense of Knowland Park and hope the public will help us protect it for the many wildlife who make it their home. Sincerely,Ruth Malone, Friends of Knowland Park Laura Baker, East Bay Chapter, California Native Plant Society Jim Hanson, California Native Grasslands Association
Davis November 05, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Way too many taxes already! The Beatles' song the "TAX MAN" rings true. No more taxes! Two NO votes from here.
Californicated1 November 05, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Isn't voting more than once illegal? We really don't need any more hints of voting improprieties in this election, it's bad enough we already have them as seen here in the race for Congressional District 15 when there was no entry printed for "Write-In" candidates for that race on the ballots sent out to the "Vote-by-Mail" crowd here in Livermore.
Davis November 05, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Two votes from here would indicate that my wife and I are voting the same way. Sorry for misleading you!
Davis November 05, 2012 at 08:39 PM
additional question; How do you folks who vote by mail KNOW your ballot was received and counted? Just wondering, I like going to the polls and watching the ballot go down the shoot! A disgruntled Postal employee may dump the votes in the dumpster!(?)
Californicated1 November 05, 2012 at 08:39 PM
So why isn't your wife speaking for herself, here? Her opinion would sound much better coming from her directly than through you. You really can't trust what one spouse says about the other when they are "speaking" for them, especially when they have the same rights before The Law. The "United Front" stuff may work best before your children, but not the rest of the adult population around you, who like your children will eventually figure out a way to manipulate that situation and "play off" the two of you, even against each other, to get what they want.
JoAnne November 05, 2012 at 08:41 PM
" If everyone went out and explored nature all of the time, it would be completely destroyed. " This sounds like it supports or could be the next line after "They took all the trees, and put 'em in a tree museum / And charged the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em." People can't walk in Knowland Parks and begin to understand and love how wonderful nature is...it is only when those people are suspended on a gandola over the reconstructed grasslands and on their way to a zoo theme restaurant can they be taught that nature is wonderful?
Timothy Swenson November 05, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Jen, I don't work in the non-profit sector, I only volunteer there. I've been on the boards of 4 non-profits, but each one was a 100% volunteer group. No paid staff of any kind. Other zoo's might have used parcel taxes in the past, but it still does not make it right. Government can tax, but not non-profits.
Karen November 05, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Jen, of course education is crucial for valuing and protecting our natural environment, but what are you teaching when you destroy the very environment you focus your educational programs on? There is no conservation trade-off here: The zoo doesn’t have to build way up the hill on 54 acres of sensitive wildlife habitat; there is compromised land nearer existing zoo facilities. A gondola ride, instead of a road? Why put zoo buildings up on the ridge in the first place? What I believe you are teaching in this case is either that the native habitat of Knowland Park is expendable or that it’s replaceable. Neither is true. Your zoo CEO Dr. Parrott has stated that he wants to expand into Knowland Park to create one of the largest zoos in California. Why the largest? I have no idea, but I do know that the zoo board is stacked with high-end real estate developers and financial people. According to zoo officials, the cost of the expansion project is around $72 million, and Dr. Parrott says it is only about halfway funded. Logically, the zoo board’s focus is on getting the remaining $36 million for this project. Measure A1 is written to provide funds for that, without limitation. It can also provide funds for animal care and maintenance of facilities, while the board continues to focus on raising money for the expansion. Money is fungible, but it is the exorbitantly expensive expansion project that will suck up a great deal of whatever money the zoo gets.
JoAnne November 05, 2012 at 09:44 PM
oops, please suspend these people on a gondola, rather than a gandola!
debbie viess November 05, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I am thoroughly disgusted by the incredibly expensive campaign of misinformation put out by the Oakland Zoo in their attempts to pass Measure A1. Today I got two robo-calls from Kelly Sorenson, head of the Ventano Wildlife Society (think Condor reintroductions). Kelly stated that we shouldn't be swayed by "lies" from opponents, and that we should "join him" in voting for Measure A1. But Kelly isn't an Alameda Co resident. I returned the favor and called Kelly today. I informed him that he should have spent a bit more time educating himself before becoming a shill for the Zoo. Last week, I received an expensive glossy flyer touting the support of Barbara Lee, who in this case does NOT speak for me, and the S.F. Chronicle, whose reporters received several behind the scenes zoo tours. Awww, lookit all the cute animals! And there goes journalistic integrity. Buses have that "poor starving lion" cartoon on their sides, billboards around Oakland do, too. In fact, I would say, hands down, the Oakland Zoo has spent more money locally than anyone on any other campaign. When that kind of money and blanketing disinformation campaign is being waged, you have to wonder why. Over a million bucks and counting will buy a lotta ZooPreme for the lion. Perhaps the real reason is Zoo Director Joel Parrot's megalomania...he hopes to have "the largest zoo in NA" by expanding the Zoo into pristine areas of upper Knowland Park. Not on my dime. Debbie Viess Oakland and Alameda Co. resident
Camaro on Cinderblocks November 05, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Do you own the Oakland Raiders? You pay taxes for them....
Jennifer Smith November 05, 2012 at 10:32 PM
The zoo made $6M in surplus last year. The CEO pulls in over $200K a year. We don't know what the others make, as the zoo refuses to open its books. Why should tax payers foot the bill for a private organization, which refuses to provide full financials? (PS, saying we pay for the Raiders isn't a defense. It just goes to show how awful the system is that we have to pay for all of these things)
Jennifer Smith November 05, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Perfect! The one thing I have noted over and over is how the supporters are all either 1) living outside of Alameda County or 2) stand to make money off A1 if it passes. Often both. The local newspapers are call coming out against A1, as are all the local nature organizations. They (the east bay zoological society - a private organization standing to make a LOT of money off A1) also use this specious claim that low income families won't pay the tax. It is a parcel tax. Low income families rarely own land. The landowner - their landlord - will get charged the tax and will have to pass it on to the renters. Just another way the zoo has lead a very misleading campaign. Vote NO on A1! Taxpayers should not foot the bill for a mismanaged private organization! Especially not when our schools are suffering and crime rate is escalating!
Timothy Swenson November 05, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Actually I believe the taxes go toward the Oakland Coliseum/Stadium complex, not the the individual teams.
Ruth Malone November 06, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Voters interested in the social justice aspects of Measure A1--beyond the priorities issues which loom large--may want to read this blog on the website of the respected Ella Baker Center:http://ellabakercenter.org/blog/2012/10/social-justice-and-measure-a1-changing-the-face-of-oakland
Camaro on Cinderblocks November 06, 2012 at 01:13 AM
It wasn't a defense, it was point you don't own the Raiders or the complex and you pay taxes on it. Yeah the taxes go to the complex and if they didn't you they would be LA Raiders again.
Paisley November 06, 2012 at 01:47 AM
"Do you own the Oakland Raiders? You pay taxes for them...." With the amount of money they make - it is unconscionable for them to make us pay for them.
Kris November 06, 2012 at 01:59 AM
No for sure. Just run the Zoo as it is till economy recovers. By paying parcel taxes, do you send me a free pass every yr?
John Harrington November 06, 2012 at 02:12 AM
I live in Livermore. I do not go to Oakland because I don't want to get killed. Why should I pay a tax to support a narrow focused institution that does not benefit me, nor the community in which I live.
Californicated1 November 06, 2012 at 02:35 AM
So what happens when they call you up for Jury Duty and on the day that you have to call in, the phone message or the Court's website tells you that your group has to show up over at the Wiley Manual Courthouse over at 661 Washington? What happens then? Will you skip jury duty? How about if it were at the Rene C. Davidson courthouse over on 1225 Fallon? Or before Judge Carvill's courtroom over at the Courts Administration Complex? I doubt that they will let us Livermore residents forego jury duty because we were called into Oakland to serve for that day unless they called us to actually be in a trial as a juror. And one of the biggest problems these days is that it is too expensive, either to drive and park at the Oakland court facilities or even to take the Rapid and then BART out to 12th Street or Lake Merritt Station from Livermore. And you don't get paid just for showing up for Jury Duty. And the cheapskates in the county government don't seem to care about what our out-of-pocket costs are going to be for answering a jury summons, they only care about us showing up.
John Harrington November 06, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Ignore the jury summons unless it is for Pleasanton.
Californicated1 November 06, 2012 at 03:50 AM
And if you ignore the Jury Summons for any Court, the court might issue out a warrant for your arrest and have the ACSO deputies come out to your place, arrest you and take you before the administrative judge right out there in downtown Oakland. And at that point, you might be cited for contempt and sentenced unless you can prove that you had a valid reason for disregarding the summons. Unfortunately, indigence is not a reason. And neither is because you were being called to serve your Jury Duty in an Oakland venue and you didn't feel safe serving your Jury Duty there.

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