Oakland's Koreatown Takes NIMBY Stance Against Parolee Center

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    Residents and business owners in Oakland's beacon of revitalization are unhappy a nonprofit is opening a state parolee center in the Koreatown neighborhood.

    Restaurants and art galleries have sprung up in recent years and the north downtown neighborhood has been transformed. But planning commissioners voted last week to approve a San Rafael nonprofit's state parolee center in the neighborhood.

    Some merchants fear the presence of previous criminals in the area, saying everyone will be scared.

    The center, which would treat a maximum of 100 parolees every four months, claims crime would decrease in Oakland with their help because parolees would have a place to train for jobs and find housing.

    The Koreatown Northgate district board voted Wednesday to appeal the decision to the City Council.

    Counseling, anger control, money management and high school equivalency degree training are among the courses to be offered at the center.