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Showing posts from June, 2009

East Oakland Sports Center Breaks Ground; Congrats To Councilmember Larry Reid

The East Oakland Sports Center has been a goal of Councilmember Larry Reid for a decade. Now, it's going to be a reality. This is the Oakland Tribune's account : OAKLAND — Plans for a 25-meter East Oakland swimming pool and athletics center, in the works for decades as planners struggled to raise the cash to pay for it, finally broke ground Monday. The ceremony marked the beginning of construction for the East Oakland Sports Center, a $24 million project at 9175 Edes Ave., at Brookfield Village Park. "It's the community that dreamed of this place, and that dream, those people are responsible for why we're finally building it," said Councilmember Larry Reid (Elmhurst-East Oakland), whose work many credited as responsible for the project's long-awaited arrival. Community members began pushing for the project in 1976, when a neighborhood pool closed and children began swimming in a nearby estuary, community representative Jacquee Castain said. &q

BART's possible strike - a view from the street

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! On With BART's deadline to reach a new union contract or face a worker strike extended to July 9th but still coming up on us fast, I took to the streets to learn what the public thinks about this possible event. What I found was that many claimed they didn't even know of the possibility, but of those who did they all believed it would "severely cripple" transportation service in the Bay Area. I didn't tell those I talked to that the average BART union worker's salary was $115,000, or that the public ridership took in an average of $55,000, as that would be leading the witness. I wanted to learn what was on their minds and you can see that in the video. But people not being informed about this? That's crazy. But I encountered a frightening number of people who were not informed. It's not that they don't care, but I think they see themselves as powerless to

Hayward, CA to get new power plant with greenhouse gas controls

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! Right on the heels of the passage of the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act , which establishes a kind of "cap-and-trade" system for greenhouse gas emissions, we have a project I'm excited about as it will be the first power plant in America designed with a federal greenhouse gas limit. It's called the Russell City Energy Center and will be constructed in Hayward, California. The facility is slated to employ 650 people and generate a one time tax revenue of $30 million and an annual revenue of $6 million for the City of Hayward, according to the website for the proposed facility. What's exciting about the development that we're finally seeing a project that languished in development hell since 2001 finally see the light of day under the Obama Administration and the new act. The act calls for modernization of the electric grid; this is a brand new power plant. It calls for

Brian Copeland - Event Chair: Erasing the Stigma Awards 2009

From DidiHirsch on YouTube: Cheri Renfroe-Yousem and Andrew E Rubin introduce Emcee Brian Copeland Oakland california comedian and advocate On Friday, May 8, 2009 Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services held the13th annual Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards - to help dispel myths and prejudices and honor advocates who have advanced our understanding of mental illness. The focus was on schizophrenia. Joe Pantoliano introduces Elyn R. Saks - advocate, professor and author of the book "The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness"

BART Strike & Oscar Grant: strike hampered by police racism

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! YouTube , and Sclipo For weeks now, BART management and labor have been arguing over who should give up what on the eve of the expiration of contracts with the five unions that represent BART workers. But there's a problem: the matter of the murder of Oscar Grant and the revelation that another BART officer used a racial slur, and this was captured in a new video, raise questions regarding labor's moral standing to strike. While BART's police can't strike, as one officer told me, the unions essentially represent the labor issues for the police. Thus, the use of the racial slur by a BART officer with BART Officer Johannes Mehserle, coupled with the murder by Mehserle, opens the accusation that it was a hate crime. According to the San Francisco Chronicle , it was officer Tony Pirone who yelled "Bitch-ass N__, right?" As he was hitting Grant while Grant was on the ground. Wh

Michael Jackson passes | public opinion: "We Are The World"

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! YouTube , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , DailyMotion , , StupidVideos , Sclipo and Viddler Michael Jackson's passing is still a shock to me. The very idea that someone I feel like I grew up with left us at the age of 50 is just not right at all. I first saw Michael perform when I was 10 years old at the old Chicago International Amphitheatre in 1972; the Campbell family, who babysat me, took me and I remember it like it was yesterday. The Jackson Five was then the must see event and Michael was the star. Michael was like my brother. In a way for many African Americans he was just that, a sibling. I knew him as the guy who grew up in Gary, Indiana. We knew people who knew them in Chicago, so I felt close to him long ago. I think it's for that reason so many African Americans were on Michael's side during the years when it seems he was kind of flying the coup: changing his skin color fro

Oakland's KTOP Doesn't Get New Media

I'm starting to really feel sorry for Oakland's KTOP, who's efforts at getting out the Mayor's message don't work at all. For example, their presentation of Mayor Dellums videos is such that they're only seen by less than ten people, if that, over a five-day period. That's a laugh to say the least. The videos should draw over 1,000 views over that period of time, each. I could make a long list of performance errors, but they're getting paid for this, so I'm not going to bother at all. I have several reasons for my admittedly snarky prose: 1) they should be more curious about how this works, 2) they're not media distribution specialists but try to be, 3) they've got the resources to do much better.

Alameda Superior Court Workers Ask for Justice-3

By the SEIU on YouTube which writes: Rene C. Davidson Courthouse (Oakland) - On June 23, Superior Court workers throughout the Alameda Co. court system held noontime informational pickets at all of the county's six courthouses. They protested 73 layoffs -- 10% of the court system staff -- that are taking effect on Monday. The result will be courthouse closures and longer lines on the days that courts remain open.

Mayor Dellums On Oakland Budget

Here Mayor Dellums talks about the budget but I've got to say KTOP did a terrible job of placing this on YouTube. It was seen 8 times since June 18th until I found it. Also, this represents old media and shows that KTOP really doesn't get what it needs to do to get the mayor's message out. Terrible KTOP. Just plain bad.

City of Oakland, Council Member Jean Quan On The Budget Problem

In this video from her YouTube channel, Oakland District Four Councilmember Jean Quan explains how the State of California is "coming after" the tax revenues of the City of Oakland. "For the last four years the state budget has been on a credit card," she says. Now, she says, the state wants to take eight percent of Oakland's property tax revenue. She also explains the State of California wants to take city revenues from the gas tax - a total of a $17 million "hit" to the City of Oakland. She asks Oaklanders to visit I'm happy to see Quan use YouTube to get her message out; I only hope she does it more often.

Perez Hilton v. Wil.I.Am | Black Eyed Peas' manager turns himself in

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! According to Roger Gillies of the Associated Press , Polo Molina, the manager of the Black Eyed Peas, turned himself in to the Toronto police and was charged with assault on Perez Hilton .   Polo Molina  Hilton got into a heated, verbally abusive argument first with Fergie, the popular singer with "The Peas" then with Black Eyed Peas' lead rapper Wil.I.Am early Monday morning. According to videos from both Wil.I.Am and Hilton , Hilton's verbal abuse led to his being beaten by what Wil.I.Am called "a fan" while Hilton said the attacker was the band's manager. You can learn more with my initial video on this: And more information's coming as the flow from Twitter is tremendous, but my estimate is it will subside by this time tomorrow unless someone from the Peas makes a new statement, Perez follows up, or another video surfaces. This subject is now the fourth highest h

Oakland Officers Injured, Onlookers Get Unruly NBC Bay Area 2

From raustean on YouTube who writes: une 20, Raustean hits the streets of oakland to see how the police interact with people in the wake of the oscar grant murder, and Lovelle Mixon's killing of four oakland police officers. On location the public asked at numerous points for a Public information Officer or a shift supervisor to come provide the public with a statement, what you will see in this footage is a large number of OPD and Alameda Sheriffs showing indeed how they feel about the people they serve. Two Oakland police officers are in the hospital this morning after getting involved in a car accident. They were in their patrol car, driving on 73rd Avenue around midnight, when a car made a left turn into their path. The two cars collided. The police officers tried to help the people injured in the other car, but a large crowd had formed. Officer had to call in backup for crowd control. Only when help had arrived were they able to give first aid to the two adults and one child i

WSJ's Kara Swisher attacks Zennie on Twitter

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! ' On So a few days ago I wrote a blog post with a vlog about the Iran Elections or given what's going on over there the "Iran Revolution" and in preparing for it ran across an article who's take on Twitter , the main event in the Iran uprising, I disagreed with. It was written by Kara Swisher, the semi-well-known Wall Street Journal vlogger who covers "All Things D" or "Digital" as her blog site's called. I wrote: The amount of information communicated through Twitter has been of staggering proportions. While Kara Swisher may write that it's "inane and half-baked", the fact that Iranians can use their cell phones to tweet information and share photos has done more than the mainstream media in telling the World what's happening. Well that sent her into a tizzy. She got on Twitter and publicly blasted me, writing things like:

YouTube As-One Meetup in San Francisco

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! ' On A few months ago, a few vloggers (that's video-bloggers), most located in the SF Bay Area, and a few from other parts of the country came to meet in North Beach for the San Francisco YouTube As-One Meetup. Now you're probably thinking "What's the heck is that." Well, the idea was started in 2007 by Cory Williams, AKA "Mr. Safety" who's current claim to fame is something called "The Mean Kitty Song" and who's knack for making viral videos has earned him celebrity status in the vloggerverse, if there is such a thing. Ok. There is. The vloggerverse. Anyway, the idea is for YouYube vloggers, or YouTubers, to get together at one place and get to know each other in a real-time physical environment. Mr. Safety organized the first one of these at Pier 39 in San Francisco and included then then major star of YouTube, Renetto, who flew out fro

Facebook was down; was it an Iranian government plot?

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! YouTube , MySpace , Metacafe , , Sclipo and Viddler I was just heading to Facebook to test a theory on profile settings for a friend when I noticed the page wasn't coming up. I got the famous "the connection to the server was reset while the page was loading" message, so I refreshed the screen and the same thing happened: nothing. Still I had to make sure it wasn't me, so I sent out a tweet on Twitter (see the video). @egratto responded experiencing the same problem. We're both located in California, but I'm in Georgia, so location wasn't the reason. Facebook was down. Facebook has about 175 million users so for that five to ten minutes of time communication stopped a lot of people were impacted, which leads to this question: Was it an Iranian government plot? I mean think about it. They want to get Twitter but maybe, just maybe someone over there tried to t

Oakland Tribune On Uptown Oakland Party

Oakland Tribune's Angela Woodall on the party: Hundreds of revelers Thursday filled the Telegraph Avenue corridor from 16th street to West Grand Avenue along with musicians, skaters and artists during Uptown Unveiled. The city and merchant-sponsored events brought out residents and visitors alike to meander, dance and just gawk at the city's sights. The event, intended to "unveil" the city's arts and entertainment district, was the culmination of years of planning, said Steven Huff, public arts coordinator for the city of Oakland. "We finally get to show off," Huff said.

Oakland Uptown Block Party - Band At Stage Next To Sears

From @Kevchoice on Twitter

Oakland Uptown Block Party - Someone Streamed Part Of It

One of the fears I had about the great Oakland Uptown event was that New Media would not be employed in a coordinated fashion to "mark it's footprint" online for the future. For example, I happened to find a streamed video set that I could see from here in Georgia where my Mom is, but I was the only person watching it. There should be 1,000 or more viewers. Events that draw thousands of people (or hundreds) in the 21st Century can have such a free broadcast, but it has to be part of the marketing effort months ahead of time and designed such that if I see Twitter, there's a designated tag for the event and so many tweets it comes up as a trending tag. That didn't happen. However, It's fun to watch the area come alive.

Tiempo Libre, a great Cuban Timba band at Yoshi's in Oakland

From @alvelda on Twitter

BART Airport Connector Gets $70 Million From Port of Oakland

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! On Tuesday, the suddenly controversial (there's a kicker) Oakland BART Airport connector project was approved for $70 million from the board of commissioners of the Port of Oakland, according to the Oakland Tribune . The plan, which has ballooned to $522 million over the three decades of discussion, finally looks like it's on the way toward reality. Perhaps the days of $30 cab rides to the airport from Lake Merritt will end. And to put a fine point on it, a cab ride to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from Lake Merritt costs me $40; just $10 more! Taking BART means waiting for the crowded Oakland Airport bus, a time cost I'm tired of paying. Meanwhile I can take BART to SFO for $6 and I'm placed right in the terminal system; I can take the people mover or walk to my gate from there. While the connector plan is hated by some , it's a much needed transportation service improve

United flight turbulence - pilot was a pro!

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! YouTube , MySpace , Metacafe , , StupidVideos , Sclipo and Viddler I've been in Georgia for a week now - most of the time I've been sick - but I'll never forget the flight to get here. Now, I've flown thousands of times and come here each month, but the way this United Airlines flight shook while entering Atlanta airspace scared the heck out of me. Turbulence? Sure. I've felt it before – a lot actually - but usually during the flight, not at the end of the flight. Apparently the Georgia weather included more than a few storm clouds; because of this our landing was delayed 12 minutes. But then I guess the pilot got cleared to land because we just dived into the most terrible clouds I've seen in a while and all hell broke lose. The plane shook, at one point before the video violently (which is why I turned it on) and the Airbus A319 airframe produced this kind of loud whi

Oakland Laying Off Almost 100 People

The City of Oakland is laying people off. This sad news comes from the Oakland Tribune and will take place this week in the wake of the massive City of Oakland budget shortfall projected to go to as much as $100 million. The departments impacted include Parks and Recreation, finance, human services and others. In total the Mayor's budget calls for 250 people to be let go.

Downtown Oakland's Massive Thursday Party

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! To say that Steve Snider - my friend known for the revival of the downtown Oakland party scene and who served on the Mayor's Sports and Entertainment Task Force, and is now part of the Uptown District team that's behind this party to take place tommorrow - gets involved with anything small would be a joke. While "Oakland Uptown Unveiled" isn't the largest event ever held in downtown Oakland, it's certainly the biggest one for the Uptown. This area, which just five years ago was still considered a place not to be for any but the most experienced Oaklanders, has taken off. Where the Broadway / Grand development is today was once the home of a sleepy rental car establishment. Luka's across the street was the long time location of "The Hof Brau" where old-timers spent a day talking with friends and eating large meals. Another Oakland of another time. Now, the area

Oakland Women Brag to KMEL About Beating! From SFist

This is classic from the blog SFist : After taking turns brutally beating Seals at her Oakland salon and videotaping the entire thing, because Seals' ex-boyfriend allegedly asked them to do so, the two mental giants went on-air and had the following conversation. Ahem: Sana G (KMEL DJ): "Which one was the one doing the karate kicks to the face? Was that you?" Caller #1: "Right here, this my sister." Caller #2: "... that was me, man. That b---- deserved everything they got, that she got. And if you would have been there and on the situation, you would have respected it." WHAT???? One more example why we live in scary times.

Christopher Rodriguez 12- Year Old Forgives Jared Adams, Who's Stray Bullet Shot Him

I remember when this happened because Rodriquez, then 10-years old, was not far from the car wash on Pleasant Valley and 51st near Piedmont Avenue on the Saturday this happened. The whole neighborhood was buzzing about it. Now, he's forgiven Adams , which shows a lot of strength for anyone, and he's paralyzed from the accident.

Digital Britain? How about Digital Oakland?

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! On The Twitterverse is abuzz with the news of the "Digital Britain" report introduced by Stephen Andrew Carter, the Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting or "Lord Carter" in the UK. The idea of the report is to lay a framework for future development of the digital media industry in Britain. But this is a terrible first start; it's just a PDF report! ( You can get it here! ) When I think "digital media" I expect a video, podcast, and blog complete with a website of some kind. Not in this case. There's no real good website at all, just pages and a forum that has way down in the page an embed of a video from the first Digital Britain event, a stodgy affair featuring a bunch of older British white guys, rather than a diverse set of young people, the common theme in the industry. That's the problem. Digital industry policy should b

Oakland: Home Of The MaiTai, Not The Drive-By

Will Viharo of Parkway Theater fame has a new effort to have the Mai Tai named the official drink of Oakland . So far he reportedly has At Large Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan on board. Why? Because it's true! Vic Bergeron invented the original Mai Tai recipe at his Oakland restaurant (Trader Vic's, formerly Hinky Dink's) in 1944, as he plainly states here. Now it's a grassroots movement, spearheaded by Mano Thanos, co-owner of The Conga Lounge in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland (for which I do freelance PR, along with Forbidden Island of Alameda.)   Ok. I'm in support of this; why not?

Iran Elections: Iranian Culture to blame for a rigged outcome

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! YouTube , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , , Sclipo and Viddler Iran held its national election process to select its next president on Friday, June 12th. With all the televised demonstrations and Internet buzz it was logical to believe Iran's current leader, the not-well-liked President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , would be beaten by his progressive challenger Mr. Hossein Mousavi. Indeed, late on Friday in America, some reports were that Mousavi was on pace to upset Ahmadinejad considering the vote count. But by Saturday that was not to be; the Iranian Elections Commission annouced that Ahmadinejad was the winner with 62.6 percent of the popular vote compared to 33.75 percent for Mousavi.   Did he really win?    The outcome upset many who believed it was rigged and caused violent street protests that are still going on as of this writing on Sunday ( Twitter is the best place to keep up with the devel

Oakland Mexican Cuisine Mexicali Rose Restaurant

From yellowpages on YouTube - 701 Clay St Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 451-2450 - Hungry for some carne asada? Craving a margarita? Satisfy your palate and your hunger at the original Mexicali Rose Restaurant in Oakland, California. Serving authentic Mexican dishes and drinks since 1927, this family-owned restaurant makes a great place for family and friends to gather and celebrate a special day. Call for catering.

Hans Reiser Murder Trial - Nina Reiser Body Found

From linuxguru1968 on YouTube - Investigators confirmed Tuesday that a body a prominent software engineer led them to is, in fact, that of the estranged wife he was about to be sentenced for killing, pulling closer together the final pieces of a murder mystery. Hans Reiser was convicted in April of first-degree murder even though Nina Reiser's body had not been found. Reiser, 44, showed police the body in exchange for the possibility of a lighter sentence, prosecutor Paul Hora said. The deal would allow Reiser to plead guilty to second-degree murder, providing for a lighter sentence, but deny him the right to appeal. It still must be approved by a judge and was made with the support of Nina Reiser's relatives, Hora said. "Now the family gets to pick the burial site, not the defendant," Hora said. Dental records, jewelry and clothing helped confirm the woman's identity, police said. The cause of her death is still being inv

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger answers Ellen DeGeneres

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! Who's minding the Guv's tweets? California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the target of comedian Ellen DeGeneres Twitter and email-based campaign to stop his proposal to reduce the time animals are kept in shelters from six days to three days, answered DeGeneres on Twitter today: @ TheEllenShow We are eliminating funding but shelters determine time before euthanization. about 12 hours ago from web       @ TheEllenShow We can only spend money we have and can't afford many programs, for example, health care for children. about 12 hours ago from web       Basically the Guv's claim is shelters themselves make the timing decision, but that's passing the buck, really. The bottom line is the reduced funding would almost certainly cause such a lowering of time, which is what outrages Ellen and many who've been informed of Schwarzenegger's proposal. But what's got me really tw

Ellen DeGeneres starts Twitter campaign "Tell Gov. Arnold"

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! In just less than an hour ago, comedian Ellen DeGeneres has started a Twitter / email campaign informing her 1.9 million Twitter followers to email California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger en masse in an effort to stop him from reducing the time animals are kept in shelters from six days to three days. Important: Tell Gov. Arnold not to limit time animals are kept in shelters from 6 days to 3. Email him: Pass it on.   In other words, what the Governor's proposing is that an animal that currently has just six days time in an animal shelter before it is sentenced to death by euthanasia would have only three days time if the Guv gets his reported wish, which, as Franny Syufy informs us on her blog is ... barely time for owners to discover their cat missing, track him down to a local shelter, then arrange for his release. Why the Governors' people decided to pick on defenseless a

Oakland Considers Budget Solutions, Just Not Mayor's - Chip Johnson

In today's SF Chronicle, Chip Johnson explains that the City of Oakland is considering a number of solutions to the estimated $100 million budget shortfall, just not the ones Mayor Ron Dellums has suggested, like borrowing $24 million from the city's reserves. I'm surprised the Oakland Redevelopment Agency Budget's not a target for borrowing. Hmmm..

Parkway Theater: Pat Kernighan must lead now!

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! The "Save The Parkway Theater" movement, once a seemingly happy collection of like-minded Oaklanders, has rapidly degenerated into the same kind of feckless factionalization that's doomed the effort to keep the Athletics baseball team in Oakland. Yes, once again, we have groups that don't talk to each other and with different agendas and a common problem: a lack of leadership from the elected officials involved. In the case of the Athletics , it was Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums (until he began to really insert himself into the process and call for meetings) and now it's Oakland's District Two Councilmember Pat Kernighan. (A bit of housecleaning: I like Pat; I really do. Always have. But I don't like the way she handles community controversy and this is an example.) Four Factions When the Parkway Speakeasy Theater closed after its last show on March 22nd 2009, a rag-tag group of

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger follows Zennie62 on Twitter!

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! Ok. As of this writing I have over 3,500 Twitter followers . Normally one follows those with more Twitter followers, unless the Twitter account has quality Twitterers following them; that's true for me. I've learned that such a position attracts the larger Twitterers, like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger , who has over 200,000 Twitter followers himself. Now, he's following me! What? You've got issues with him? Hey, it's Ahhhold, baby! Yah know? Of course I followed him back, which means we're Twitter friends. Very cool. A pipeline to California's governor who has a pipeline to this blogger - nothing to sneeze at. It's prized. It doesn't mean I voted for his initiatives in the last election; I didn't. But truth be told I voted for him twice in the California gubenatorial races starting in 2002. Why? Because as a Dem, I felt the California Democrats needed a shakeup,