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Showing posts from March, 2007

Peralta Elementary School Target Of Possible Arson

To say this is terrible is an understatement. Oakland school sustains damage in possible arson Firefighters get the blaze under control in about 45 minutes By Katy Murphy, STAFF WRITER Article Last Updated: 03/28/2007 08:24:45 AM PDT OAKLAND — A possible arson fire tore through the once-serene courtyard of Peralta Elementary School late Monday night, damaging parts of the office, library and adjacent classrooms and possibly canceling school for the rest of the week. No one was injured in the 11:45 p.m. blaze, which Capt. Melinda Drayton of the Oakland Fire Department described as "a suspicious fire, possibly arson." But the destruction to the beloved school between Alcatraz Avenue and 63rd Street felt deeply personal to the close-knit group of teachers and parents who gathered outside the building Tuesday to survey the damage. "Who would want to hurt this school?" asked Kathy Rieves, a co-chair of the school's parent-teacher group. Firefighters had the blaze un

A.W. Woodall On The Many Oaklands And A Fruitvale Killing

I just spotted this blog post by A.W. Woodall , which must be read. The many Oaklands Fruitvale district: by day a sunny, colorful neighborhood where you are more likely to hear Spanish spoken than English. But at night the beasts come out. Friday afternoon my older daughter and I were hanging out in Fruitvale, devouring tamales and empenadas at World Cup Tamale near the BART station. Friday night a 19-year-old man was shot dead while walking with friends to a party. Even if the murder was more

Oakland Budget: From $16 Million Up To $13 Million Down In One Year

The main question is why can't Oakland streamline its spending to smooth these wild swings in surplus and deficit? Are they conducting decent forecasts? I guess not. Oakland looking at budget shortfall City projected to be $13.5 million in the red for next fiscal year By Heather MacDonald, STAFF WRITER Article Last Updated: 03/23/2007 02:53:16 AM PDT OAKLAND — Less than a year after reveling in a $16 million surplus, the City Council must grapple with a projected budget deficit of nearly $13.5million. At a daylong retreat Monday at the Joaquin Miller Community Center, the council began working in earnest to craft a spending plan for the next two years. In addition to the deficit projected for 2007-08, the shortfall for 2008-09 is estimated to be $8.8 million. The council spent the surplus on a host of programs, including tree-trimming and roof repairs. In addition, each council member got $250,000 to spend as they wished on projects and programs in their districts. That windfal

Retaining The Oakland A’s Takes Action and Aggression

It doesn’t matter if it’s a retail business or the Oakland A’s, all good economic development efforts start with one thing: action. Well, two things – action and aggression. Over the past six years, the City of Oakland – and I mean everyone, not just the government, has shown little of either. By contrast, Fremont, led by Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, and Fremont’s Mayor Bob Wasserman have been both active and aggressive in attempting to yank the A’s from Oakland. What can Oakland do? Simple. Fight. Take action and aggressively work to retain the A’s. Oakland should use Jacksonville, Florida as an example. Jacksonville had no business thinking it could host a Super Bowl game, but their shortcomings didn’t stop them from trying. They were rejected by the NFL, but kept coming back until finally in 2000, they landed the right to host the 2005 Super Bowl – the one the Oakland-Alameda County Sports Commission and I worked to bring to Oakland. We had a better plan, and

Senator Barack Obama In Oakland, Part One

Senator Barack Obama came to Oakland on St. Patrick's Day and was greeted by an audience estimated to be as large as 15,000 to 20,000 people - the largest gathering of its kind in Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza. This video contains his introduction by Army Sgt. Georgatos and the first five to seven minutes of his rousing 22-minute speech which included a focus on his plan for Iraq. The video is also a glimpse of the sheer size and excitement of the Oakland crowd. Take a good look at the audience, and you will see that the San Francisco Chronicle was wrong in claiming that it was "mostly African American" as a way of saying that Whites, Asians, and Hispanics didn't come in large numbers. I sometimes think the Chronicle is deliberately trying to marginalize Senator Obama's candidacy, but it can't.

Ron Nails Too Much Wanted To Work For Mayor Dellums

Man arrested in threats to City Hall employee Suspect had gone to Mayor Dellums' office looking for a job By Heather MacDonald , STAFF WRITER - OAKLAND TRIBUNE Article Last Updated: 03/17/2007 02:47:15 AM PDT OAKLAND — A 26-year-old man was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of making criminal threats against a member of Mayor Ron Dellums' staff after he created a disturbance outside the mayor's City Hall office, police said. Ronald Nalls, who has lived in Dublin and Oakland, went to the mayor's office seeking a job with the city after volunteering in Dellums' transition office, said Karen Stevenson, a spokeswoman for the mayor. Nalls is on probation for disturbing the peace and making criminal threats, officials said. He ran errands and stuffed envelopes for the mayor's transition team, said Stevenson, who added that he had been pleasant and had caused no problems. While Nalls was waiting to see a member of the staff in the office's small reception area a

500 At Barack Obama Rally Planning Meeting In Oakland

I just read Frank Russo's account of the Sunday planning meeting for Saturday's rally for Senator Barack Obama. The Sunday meeting alone drew 500 people. Think about that. It's about half of the number that came to see John Edwards in Berkeley, and he was there. This is a planning meeting! I'm sorry I missed it, but I'm involved in planning the Saturday fund-raiser. Too much on my plate, too!

Cybelle's Hostage Story Did Come To A Good End...

Ok, I found the rest of the info on the hostage story. ....It's in the Chron, so I guess I missed this... (03-10) 16:36 PST -- Oakland police hostage negotiators peacefully talked an armed customer out of Cybelle's Pizza at the corner of Piedmont Avenue and West Macarthur Boulevard after a one-hour standoff Saturday afternoon. Employees called police after 2 p.m., when the man approached the counter with a handgun sticking out of the waistband of his pants, said Capt. Frank Lowe. The customer didn't threaten anyone, but refused to leave the restaurant when patrol officers arrived and evacuated the employees and eight customers out the back door. The SWAT team was called and police blocked off streets. Neighboring businesses were ordered to shut their doors and keep workers and shoppers inside. A man who was with the armed suspect told police the two men had been up all night taking methamphetamine. After an hour, the pizza customer came out and kneeled on the sidewalk wi

Senator Barack Obama In Oakland and SF March 17th

Senator Obama is coming back to the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay Area Democrats are one of the hosts of a fund-raiser at The Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, on Saturday, March 17th at 5 PM. The contribution levels are $1,000 (for the 6:30 reception), $2,300 (for the 8 PM dinner), and one TBD but lower level for a grassroots event in Oakland at 3PM on the same day. To sign up for both or either event, click here: I'm a co-chair for the evening event, so don't hesitate to ask any questions. You may also call at 510-387-9809.

4.2 Earthquake Shakes East Bay March 1st - May Be Sign Of Bigger Quake

I felt this one and told someone it was a 4.3; I was close. This earthquake hit in Lafayette, CA as its center. While in the report below, the research claims there's no cause for alarm, I disagree. These things are coming more frequently, and its a matter of time before we get a good sized one and its not far off. LAFAYETTE 4.2 quake jolts Bay Area -- no link to last week's temblor Keay Davidson and Wyatt Buchanan - Thursday, March 1, 2007 (03-01) 22:02 PST -- A 4.2 magnitude earthquake near Lafayette shook the Bay Area, just one week after a smaller quake in the same region. There's no cause for alarm, however, and judging by preliminary evidence, the Thursday evening quake is just another reminder of continual slippage on Bay Area faults, a leading U.S. Geological Survey expert said. "This is just a reminder that we all should ask ourselves, 'Do we have an earthquake kit in the car?' " USGS geophysicist Ross Stein told The Chronicle lat

Kenneth Eng Fired By AsianWeek After Public Pressure - Editors Should Go Next

Kenneth Eng took the fall for this, but AsianWeek's editors are the ones to blame. They too should be fired. "I don't hate asians, but after this doofus, I know there is at least ONE asian I dislike intensely. Posted by: Brian Schlosser | Feb 26, 2007 2:58:04 PM - WIRED Message Board" SAN FRANCISCO 'Hate Blacks' writer dismissed by AsianWeek Leslie Fulbright, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer Thursday, March 1, 2007 The 22-year-old author of a column titled "Why I Hate Blacks" in the regional newspaper AsianWeek has been dismissed, and the paper's editors said Wednesday that they suffered "a serious lapse in editorial judgment" when they published his column. Editor at large Ted Fang said Wednesday at a news conference organized by the San Francisco branch of the NAACP that Kenneth Eng, who lives in New York, will not write again for the free weekly. "The failing of our editorial process in allowing this piece to go forward w

Berkeley - Shattuck Barnes & Noble May Be Closing Doors - Daily Cal

Shattuck Barnes & Noble May Be Closing Doors Major Chain’s Potential Closure Follows Departure of Independent Telegraph Icon Cody’s Books in July BY Sameea Kamal Contributing Writer - Daily Californian Thursday, March 1, 2007 One major chain bookstore in Berkeley could soon close because of some of the same factors that have led smaller independent bookstores to close their doors. The Barnes & Noble on Shattuck Avenue will close, store department manager Jeff McGinnis said. Company representatives did not return calls for comment and McGinnis did not comment on when or why the store was closing, but city officials said that the bookstore may have been struggling to stay afloat with the current expansion of online book retailers. In July the iconic Cody’s Books closed its primary location on Telegraph Avenue, while the owners of Black Oak Books, also on Shattuck, put the store up for sale in January. City officials said they were unsure about the reasons for the closure, and Mic