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Showing posts from April, 2009

Johannes Mehserle loses plea to have bail reduced

Mehserle loses plea to have bail reduced - Inside Bay Area : “Although former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle is free on $3 million bail in his murder case, he recently sought but lost a plea to have it reduced, a court order obtained by the Tribune revealed. Michael Rains, Mehserle's defense attorney, sought a $2.9 million reduction of bail in the case, arguing that Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson "manipulated the facts" regarding his client's flight risk when the judge issued the original bail amount in January.”

Susan Boyle v. Hollie Steel? Boyle Should Quit BGT Now!

  More at | Follow me on Twitter! The Worldwide sensation Susan Boyle, who was discovered to rave reviews on the show Britains' Got Talent is now faced with her second "big challenger" in as many weeks on the show, 10-year-old Hollie Steel and a process that threatens to dampen Boyle's chance for real success. The small girl from Britain wowed the crowd last Saturday on yet another show. Steel makes the second talent to emerge as a possible challenge to Boyle for the winner of the competition in as many weeks, as we were introduced to 12-year-old Shaheen Jafargholi just the weekend before, and calls into question the ability of Boyle to maintain the high level frenzy that catapulted her to stardome. What I fear is that as BGT rolls out new challengers, Boyle's ability to capture a high dollar record deal will be impacted. The only solution for Boyle is to drop out of Britains' Got Talent, and sign a record deal before the end of Ma

Oakland A's Owner Wolff's Anti-Oakland Words Called "Sob Story" By Oakland City Attorney

  More at | Follow me on Twitter! In a strongly worded letter I just received as of this writing from the office of Oakland City Attorney John Russo (and is reproduced in full at the end of this post), Oakland's lawyer penned what is without a doubt the strongest attack on the Oakland Athletics attempts to leave Oakland by and Oakland City Official. Russo writes: Oakland A’s managing partner Lew Wolff is a talented and smart businessman. But if Wolff thinks anybody is buying his sob story about why the A’s have to leave Oakland, he’s seriously underestimating the intelligence of the team’s fan base, the press and the people of this city.   Oakland City Attorney John Russo with me in 2008 in his office.  What started this has been a process of dissing and trying to excavate the team from Oakland almost since it was sold to Ken Schott and Steve Hoffman after the beloved Haas Family sold the organization in 1994; Schott and Hoffman then sold the t

Scott Jackson From Alameda County DA's Office Considers Mayoral Run

More at Inside Bay Area : “he Oakland mayor's race is 18 months away, but you can add Alameda County deputy district attorney Scott Jackson's name to a growing list of those interested in the top post. Jackson, 39, said he was honored to be approached last year by a few people urging him to run for mayor. He is definitely interested and is "weighing his options" before making a final decision this summer. "I'm not saying yes, but I've been out there talking to people," he said. "I've got a lot support from families."”

NFL Draft: Oakland Raiders Pick Of Heywood-Bey Panned

  More at | Follow me on Twitter! The Oakland Raiders picked University of Maryland'Darrius Heyward-Bey even though he was rated by many behind Texas Tech Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree. Even in cyberspace, Crabtree's a better rated pass catcher. On Madden Football, Michael Crabtree is rated ahead of Darrius Heyward-Bey 84 to 79, but Darrius Heyward-Bey was taken ahead of Crabtree. For the Raiders, Draftniks here in NYC think it was a question of speed. Heyward-Bey runs a 4.3 40 yard dash versus Crabtree's 4.5 time, but Crabtree's a gamer. Still his underclassman status and his recent injury have caused Crabtree to be down-graded by some. But not so far that the San Francisco 49ers took him as the 10th pick. A number of people here at the Draft are questioning the Raiders decision to pass on him for the lower rated Heywood-Bey. Here's a video example: a conversation featuring our Bill Chachkes and Dewie from Yardbarker both in the Interv

Tony West Sworn in As Assistant U.S. Attorney General

More at Inside Bay Area : “U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder swore in Oakland attorney Tony West today as Assistant U.S. Attorney General in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Division. President Barack Obama nominated West to the post Jan. 22; his confirmation hearing last month went off without a hitch; and the U.S. Senate confirmed him Monday on an 82-4 vote. West, 43, most recently a litigation partner at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco, has served as a Clinton Administration Justice Department official; a federal prosecutor in San Francisco; and a special assistant California Attorney General tasked with troubleshooting difficult issues. A candidate in the 23rd Assembly District's 2000 Democratic primary, he later served as a delegate for John Kerry at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004 — meeting Obama there, soon after the speech that put the future president on many Americans' radar for the first time — and then for Obama in D

Girl Fight At Britney Spears Concert - Oakland, CA

This video of a fight that started between a group of women at the Britnet Spears concert at the Oracle Arena on April 22nd was posted Thursday evening April 23rd. I have no idea who the people are but the YouTube channel it came from is called two28svn5. (For the record, I was not at the concert, nor in the Bay Area. I was in Georgia and now New York City.) If you listen to the video, at 1:31 someone says "back there by a partrol officer" so one can assume police stepped in. Fundraiser This Thursday, April 30th at New Delhi Restaurant SF

An event for this " News Bash " at Host: Type: Causes - Fundraiser Network: Global Start Time: Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 9:00am End Time: Friday, May 1, 2009 at 2:00pm Location: New Delhi Restaurant Street: 160 Ellis Street, SF 94102 City/Town: San Francisco, CA Phone: 5103840788 Email:

Parkway Theater BBQ This Sunday, April 26th at 1 PM to 5 PM

I just got a message about this: Host: Save The Parkway Speakeasy Theatre In Oakland Type: Other - Festival Network: Global Date: Sunday, April 26, 2009 Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm Location: FM Smith Park (just up Park Blvd. from the Parkway) Email: On Facebook:

Oakland: Lake Merritt People On A Saturday

  More at | Follow me on Twitter! Have you ever walked by a group doing something interesting and yet never stopped to, or perhaps feared to, inquire what they were doing?  If so, this video-blog is for you .  I'm in Georgia as I write this and visiting my Mom, but two Saturdays ago I saw a YouTube video of people playing drums under the "Columns" at Lake Merritt in Oakland, where I live for those of you reading this in, er, Japan.  I said to myself, and wrote on the Oakland Focus Blog , that if I ever encountered that group I was going to have my camera at the ready and interview them (if they let me of course). Well that's what I did on that Saturday morning.  The group is called "Emeryville Taiko" at , and as Sensei Susan Horn informs us in the video, they were located in Emeryville, but are now at 27th and Harrison St, near the Whole Foods Market and near Lake Merritt.   But on Saturday's they have this Taiko c

Van Jones: Oaklander and Obama's Green Jobs Czar on CNN's Larry King Tonight

  More at | Follow me on Twitter! Van Jones , President Obama's new "Special Advisor For Green Jobs Enterprise and Innovation" who I have featured in our "Oakland Focus" blog and videos several times and I last talked to as he closed his account at Gold's Gym in Oakland where he was a member for years, is the guest on CNN's "Larry King" show tonight starting at 6 PM PST, 9 PM EST but CNN runs a "loop" so if you missed Van at 6 PM or 9 PM respectively, you can catch him again later in the evening and the video on two days later. (I hope.) Mr. Jones is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, "The Green Collar Economy" and the co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland. Over his career as activist and author, Jones has tirelessly fought for alternatives to violence and incarceration. In her tribute to Jones, Rosemary Pritzker wrote: Van Jones has been maki

UC Berkeley Student Diagnosed With Active TB

More at Inside Bay Area : “BERKELEY, Calif.—City officials say a student at the University of California, Berkeley has been diagnosed with tuberculosis. The Berkeley Division of Public Health and the University's health services are contacting about 225 students and faculty who may have been in close contact with the infected student. Health officials say tuberculosis can spread when someone with the disease coughs or sneezes and people in close contact "directly inhale the TB germs over an extended period of time." Officials say brief or casual contact with an infected person does not spread the disease.”

The East Bay Express Is Moving to Oakland - Welcome To Oakland!

More at East Bay Express I just saw this over at the Express Blog... “The East Bay Express is moving to Oakland's Jack London Square area on May 16. The Express has been in Emeryville for nearly eight years, after spending its first 23 years in Berkeley. The paper is leasing office space at 620 Third Street, between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Jefferson Street, three blocks west of Broadway.” GREAT! Welcome to Oakland Bob Gammon, but does that mean your newsroom staff will diversify? Would be nice to see a video with some people of color representing the Express. At any rate, welcome to Oakland.

Former Oakland City Attorney Jane Williams In Charge Of BART Police Investigation

This video released by the BART Board of Directors, who are finally getting New Media to a small degree, features Oakland City Attorney Jane Williams explaining what her law firm will be looking for in investigating the actions of BART Police which led to the murder of Oscar Grant. Williams says that they will look at the actions of the officers and conduct with the public and recommend discipline measures to the BART Board. Here's what the BART Board New Media rep wrote on YouTube: BART has turned over its internal affairs investigation to the Oakland-based law firm of Meyers Nave. Meyers Nave is an independent, third party that will investigate the actions of all the officers present during the events leading up to the shooting death of Oscar Grant on January 1, 2009, on the Fruitvale Station platform. ABOUT MEYERS NAVE Meyers Nave is known throughout the state for its expertise in a broad range of police work and public law. The Oakland based law firm has a solid reputation bui

Oakland Invaders v. San Antonio Gunslingers at Coliseum - 1985

This is a special video posted on YouTube of Oakland's other team, the Oakland Invaders of the USFL football league. The Invaders played at the Oakland Coliseum between 1983 and 1986 and during the time the Raiders moved from Oakland to play in Los Angeles. Here, Bobby Hebert connects with tackle Ray Pinney for an Oakland Invaders touchdown vs. the San Antonio Gunslingers in a United States Football League (USFL) game.

Children's Hospital Oakland - Khaliah's Story

From the Chidrens Hospital YouTube channel: Children's Hospital Oakland's sickle cell patient, Khaliah, and her mother explain the importance of being treated for sickle cell anemia. In severe cases, many children require monthly blood transfusions to treat their painful symptoms. Children's Hospital Oakland has one of the largest sickle cell programs in the western United States.

On "Crazy Right-Wing Extremists" v. Susan Boyle

  More at | Follow me on Twitter! On "Crazy Right Wing Extremists." You can't please everyone, especially conservatives. What's interesting regarding the outcome of my Susan Boyle video-blog of two days ago is the reaction I received from some viewers toward what I considered to be a throw-away line at best. I was trying to state that in a news World where we hear about "nasty pirates, mean internet commentators, and crazy right-wing extremists it's great to have some good news in the form of Susan Boyle's performance and story. My blog post was clear as a bell, but I discovered you can't combat the insecurities of the reader; they're going to think what they want to think depending on their background and beliefs. It's literally impossible to anticipate every reaction to what's written, so better to just go for it. As I state in the video, about 15 percent of the commenters focused on the "crazy ri

Susan Boyle: Just Who Is The Singing Sensation Susan Boyle?

  More at | Follow me on Twitter! Unless you live under a rock, you know about the Scottish woman who has taken the industrialized World by storm: Susan Boyle. Ms. Boyle, who appeared on a reality TV show called "Britains' Got Talent" last Saturday, April 11th and wowed a cynical audience and the judges, including the irascible Simon Cowell (also of American Idol) with her powerful performance of "I Dream A Dream" from Les Miserable, has taken the Internet world by storm. What surprised millions - and does not make a great statement about our World industrial culture but is a great example of the power of online video distribution as the video has been seen over 15.9 million times on YouTube (I counted over 10 videso with over 200,000 views) as of this writing - is that someone who looks like her could sing like that . But who Susan Boyle is as a person is a story of a good simple woman winning over a bad, complicated society. Ms. B

Green Day at the Fox Theater - Photo

cameraphone062 - Green Day at the Fox Theater , originally uploaded by eeetthaannn .

Green Day At The Fox Theater

cameraphone067 - Green Day , originally uploaded by eeetthaannn . A lively concert on a Tuesday night!

Oakland Tour Reveals "The Alley" On Grand Ave.

I just went around Oakland to really get out of the house, which means heading to places like Luka's, Cafe Van Kleef, and other venues. It's to socialize -- some of my best blog story tips have come in this way. But it's also to support the local businesses. In this case, the crowds generated by the successful appearance of Green Day at the Fox went away and downtown Oakland and the Lake was largely full of locals. So I dropped into The Alley really to get a copy of their menu, and then walked over to a drinkery called Smitty's two doors away. I've decided that I'm not comfortable with Smitty's at all. Sorry but some of the clientele look like they're going to take hostages! Hey, I'm serious -- some rough-looking folks hang there and they seem proud of the way they look where I'm heading for the hills! Not that I would not help raise money for an event there, but geez. I've had it with this "We're Oakland and so it's

Simon Cowell Leaving "American Idol"? AWESOME!

  More at | Follow me on Twitter! YouTube , MySpace , Metacafe , , Stupid Videos , Sclipo , Viddler and Howcast I just read the news that Simon Cowell, the British entertainment mogul who's terrible bedside temper brings an edge to the popular reality TV show "American Idol" is now considering leaving it . My reaction? YEAH! DO IT! Look, I never really watched American Idol at all -- but I've seen at least once -- and the reason was Cowell. I've got to be honest. I don't like it when people are mean to each other when they're supposed to work together in the real world, and I like it even less on reality TV. Cowell tossed insults at fearful contestants like they're hand grenades then he sits back and watches them cry! Maybe Cowell is the perfect poster child for our fashionably rude society, and if that's the case and his departure would help improve American Culture, then the faster the better. Cowel

Somalian Born Rapper Knaan talks About Somali Pirates

This is a two part series in which popular Somalian born rapper Knaan talks about the mindset of Somalians and the reason behind the Pirates... This is the perspective of one who is from the war torn zones and whose family was involved in those skirmishes. he provides us with a insightful perspective from the Somali point of view.. In this video clip, Knaan talks about why Somalia is such a 'troubled land'. He talks about the years of fighting and notes that Somalia has been involved with a long struggle against anti-colonial rule. He desceribed his people as 'uncapturable' In this video clip Knaan focuses specifically on the Pirate situation

Somali Pirate Attacks Point To Need For Somalia Aid - Zennie Abraham

  More at   YouTube , MySpace , Metacafe , , Crackle , Stupid Videos , Sclipo , Viddler and Howcast Today, Easter Sunday, an after an kidnapping affair that lasted for several days, American sea Captain Richard Phillips was rescued after NAVY Seal Snipers took three precision shots and killed three pirates from Somalia. Conservative blogs and websites like "HotAir" have unintelligently called for us to go into Somalia "bomb" the pirates, but such saber-rattling will only kill innocent women and children. In other words, "American Machismo" worked to rescue the captain, but it will not work for the resolution of this problem. In what can be described as a "growth industry" pirating in Somalia is a function of the country's lack of a government, weak economy, little military funding, and lack of financial aid from the World. In order to stop these attacks, the people of Somalia themselves must be helped.

Rennie Pratt arrested in Oakland attorney Michael Porcella shooting death - Inside Bay Area

From Inside Bay Area : “An Oakland attorney was shot to death Friday night and his girlfriend arrested in the killing at a Dimond district home, police said. Michael Porcella, 36, was found shot about 11:29 p.m. Friday on the porch of his home in the 3700 of Laguna Avenue. Porcella, who worked as an attorney for the criminal defense firm of Robert Beles, was pronounced dead at the scene. His girlfriend of about six months, Rennie Pratt, 28, was arrested at the house, police said. The gun that police believed was used in the shooting was found inside the house. Pratt, who works as a barber at the Rossmoor retirement community in Walnut Creek, declined to talk to investigators, Sgt. Gus Galindo said Saturday. Galindo said it appears the couple was having an argument. He said the two had previous altercations when police had been called. The couple had been living together at the Laguna Avenue house, but Pratt said she had moved out the day before the shooting but could not remember her n

2009 Oakland Athletics Opening Day Roster

YouTuber "established1968" created this video of the starting roster of the 2009 Oakland A's. But for the record here's the active rouster: Active Roster Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB 49 Brett Anderson L/L 6-4 215 02/01/88 40 Andrew Bailey R/R 6-3 235 05/31/84 13 Jerry Blevins L/L 6-6 180 09/06/83 51 Dallas Braden L/L 6-1 200 08/13/83 53 Trevor Cahill R/R 6-3 210 03/01/88 44 Santiago Casilla R/R 6-0 200 07/25/80 30 Dana Eveland L/L 6-1 215 10/29/83 39 Sean Gallagher R/R 6-2 235 12/30/85 55 Josh Outman L/L 6-1 185 09/14/84 36 Russ Springer R/R 6-4 225 11/07/68 48 Michael Wuertz R/R 6-3 205 12/15/78 31 Brad Ziegler R/R 6-4 205 10/10/79 Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB 35 Landon Powell S/R 6-3 260 03/19/82 8 Kurt Suzuki R/R 5-11 200 10/04/83 Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB 18 Orlando Cabrera R/R 5-9 185 11/02/74 3 Eric Chavez L/R 6-1 220 12/07/77 7 Bobby Crosby R/R 6-3 205 01/12/80 14 Mark Ellis R/R 5-11 195 06/06/77 1 Nomar Gar

Fiber Optic Cable System Vandalism A National Security Problem

  More at At YouTube , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , DailyMotion , , Stupid Videos , Sclipo , Viddler and Howcast On Thursday April 9th a criminal incident impacting nearly a million people in three counties of Silicon Valley went largely unnoticed by the media, both mainstream and blogs, yet has enormous national security implications far beyond the scale and scope of September 11th 2001 or "9-11" and potentially impacting millions of Americans. What was it and why? On that day, someone one or a group of people cut a fiber-optic and landline network placed beneath a manhole cover in San Jose, California. No one knows who did it, but the act crippled operations in hospitals, stores, banks, and supermarkets. No one could make a call using a cell phone or regular phone, or get information from the Internet. The full extent of the impact of this act is as of this writing not known, but imagine not being able to call the police or the fire departm

Crime Scene Cleaners Not Making Friends In West Oakland

The good folks on Myrtle Street have a "stone in their shoe" and it's not a rock, but a company called "Crime Scene Cleaners." As I reported earlier this week , the company, which cleans up crime scenes, is dirtying up relations with the locals. Here's what was explained on the blog " Myrtle Street Review ": It's been a rough week on Myrtle Street since Crime Scene Cleaners, Inc., owned by Neal Smither and based in Orinda, moved onto our block. Neal Smither, according to the Chronicle, owns a million-dollar house near the Round Hill Country Club in Alamo, so we are guessing he has no plans to relocate to West Oakland. Our neighbors went over to Crime Scene Cleaners to introduce themselves and were immediately faced with threats and shouting. Residents, apparently, are not allowed on the sidewalk in front of Crime Scene Cleaners or they will get a restraining order and it will take Mr. Smither "about twenty minutes" to arrange th

Giants Baseball Opening Day in San Francisco; Party Economy Still Active In San Francisco

Follow me on Twitter! | SF Chronicle version San Francisco and the SF Bay Area have developed what I call a "party economy" where to the layperson people have events with food and drink and music everywhere, but really are marketing gatherings to present a restaurant or a type of drink or even a car. These happenings are the lifeblood of San Francisco and are prevalent during the Opening Day Game of the San Francisco Giants' baseball season as my video will show . The game pitting the Giants against the Milwaukee Brewers was one I did not see much of. I was too busy talking to old friends and meeting new people and I wasn't the only one. Even with the wet weather, which eventually cleared, spirits were high, smiles were many, and at some events people dressed as if it was 90 degrees outside. I went to meet friends in what has become an annual ritual for us, even though I live in Oakland, like the Oakland A's and even made a game called " The

Security ambassadors making dent in Oakland crime - San Jose Mercury News

Security ambassadors making dent in Oakland crime - San Jose Mercury News : “OAKLAND, Calif.—Oakland officials are crediting the use of so-called "security ambassadors" with helping to clean things up a bit in the city's downtown. Since the eleven ambassadors hit the streets in early February, officials say they've booted out a drug dealer, helped police arrest a purse snatcher and are discouraging youths from hanging around the downtown area. Oakland Deputy Police Chief Dave Kozicki acknowledges the ambassadors are beginning to make a dent in low-level crimes.” -- I've never seen this presence in downtown Oakland. Where are they? And just 11 of them? I'm really in favor of helping people downtown get to know each other. That's the best deterent.

Paul Krugman is WRONG about The Obama TARP Plan - Once Again

On March 24th , I wrote a short post on Economist and NY Times Columnist Paul Krugman Paul Krugman and created this video below. Today, in the wake of Newsweeks' rather unfortunate April Fools Day article on the Princeton Professor (which presented him as a kind of edgy intellectual but lacked real substance in the discussion of why Krugman is wrong about Obama), I decided to offer this expanded blog post. The problem is that Krugman is really angry that the Obama administration is and has ignored him and this emotion has driven a sloppy intellectual approach, paced by the fact that he's not presented a plan for our troubled banks, all the while taking an aim at the President's plan that has the effectiveness of a drunken sailor at an arcade shooting gallery. Who is Paul Krugman? Professor Krugman is a decorated International Economist, who recently - in 2008 - won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his solid theory on two-country trade. Here Krugman attacked t

Proposal Would Raise West Berkeley Skyline - BDP

Proposal Would Raise West Berkeley Skyline. Category: Front Page News from The Berkeley Daily Planet - Thursday April 02, 2009 : “City planning staff have dropped a bombshell on anxious West Berkeley activists: a proposal that would double the height of new buildings and potentially open the area to office complexes. The staff proposal, if enacted without changes, could mean a West Berkeley skyline studded with 90-foot-tall office towers—a host of buildings as tall as the area’s currently dominant high-rise, the Fantasy Records Building. Even some of the more developer-friendly commissioners had questions after Assistant Planner Claudine Asbagh presented the concepts, which are the latest round of a City Council-mandated effort to ease development rules in the only part of the city zoned for light industry and manufacturing. ” -- And drive the poor out of West Berkeley. What's the deal with Berkeley's planning staff? A drive for more property taxes?

Oscar Grant Death a ‘Tragic Error,’ BART Lawyers Blame Grant

From The Berkeley Daily Planet - Thursday April 02, 2009 The BART strategy is unfolding and it spells a grim future for the Oscar Grant case and potentially even more unrest. The BDP reports that BART lawyers are saying Oscar Grants own actions contributed to his murder. I find that hard to swallow and it's a terrible message to have released into the public given the existence of the cell phone videos. BART continues to make PR blunders one after the other.

Color Correlations at Home - By Michael Caton

I was in Guatemala last summer for a wedding. A friend of mine from high school was getting married to a Guatemalan woman. Her family is fairly well-off. They are also not as dark-complected as your average Guatemalan - an observation that is, of course, less uncomfortable for me to make than for my friend's wife. Driving around Guatemala City, I had noticed that the fashion and cosmetic ads on billboards usually showed women who were also lighter-complected than most of the people walking around the city, as is often the case in the global South. One day my friend was busy, but his just-betrothed had to go to the mall. I offered to drive her. On the way there I pointed to one of the billboards: "Juana," I asked, "who are all these white people on the billboards?" "There are light-complected Guatemalans, you know," she retorted. "Yeah," I said, "and all two hundred of 'em were at your wedding." In some ways I feel