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Showing posts from July, 2009

Obama "Beer Summit", Crowley Press Conference - history!

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit YouTube , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , DailyMotion , , StupidVideos , Sclipo and Viddler Thursday, President Barack Obama held a "Beer Summit" , as some have called it, with Harvard Professor Henry Lewis Gates, Jr., Cambridge Police Sergeant Officer James Crowley, and Vice President Joe Biden, bring an end to an unfortunate but necessary event in American Cultural history, and starting a new chapter in American race relations. It was the first time in American and world history a sitting president met publicly with a white police officer and the person the officer arrested, a black man. And to add to the moment, the president is African American. I think the teachable moment President Obama referred to was that two gentlemen of seemingly different stripes but of one culture can not only meet, but (as they agreed to do) meet again and again.   Sgt.

Oakland Shootout and Sideshow - a review

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit On Yesterday I posted a blog entry which contained set of videos from the YouTube channel of "EASTOAKLAND106", and contained scenes that were shocking. One showed two young black men basically exacting an ugly form of "street" justice on a white man in East Oakland. The other videos were created during "The Sideshow", an activity featuring muscle cars revved to full-throttle by their drivers, spinning donuts in the middle of the intersection of 106th and Mac Arthur Blvd. The YouTube channel contained other videos that together gave the viewer a real picture of what was going on (or "going down") in that part of Oakland. I made the decision to create the blog to get the attention of the normally placid blog reader, tossed a steady diet of texts about celebrities, sports, and Erin Andrews . These videos showing the rea

Live-blogging the Oakland Council meeting on The Army Base

I'm writing this from the comfort of a suburban Atlanta home office, listening to Darrel Carrey talk to the Oakland City Council regarding the need for jobs and the importance of redeveloping the Army Base. He is one of 75 speakers and 165 speaker cards (double-counting plus?) and there's a lot of emotion. While the favorite to win the right to negotiate with the Oakland Redevelopment Agency is AMB/CCG over Federal Oakland Partners, it seems in failing to communicate with the Oakland Film Center people, Phil Tagami, who represents the developer team, has angered a ton of folks and they've come to the Oakland City Council to express their anger. Well, not Darrel. Long-time Oakland activist Joyce Roy asked how a developer could get this far without talking to the Oakland Film community. Yikes. This is going to be a long agenda item. After about 50 speakers, the council's talking. Even with the film community's issues with how they perceive Phil treated th

Oakland Shootout and Sideshow on YouTube

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit It was only a matter of time. Just a matter of a few years before the crime we read about and see in the mainstream media news outlets hit the new media circuit, specifically video distribution services like YouTube and now it's a regular happening, largely ignored by the blogs. No more, at least here in my blog network. I warn you. What you're about to see are a series of videos created in Oakland, California that are violent but give a real view of what's happening in East Oakland. The YouTube channel creating the videos in this case, there are other examples, is called "EASTOAKAND106" which is to give the location that's the focal point of their vlogging activity: the neighborhood around 106th avenue and Mac Arthur Boulevard in East Oakland and the nightime (and some times, daytime) "sideshows" that take place. The sideshow is a va

Oakland Army Base - Pick AMB / CCG for developer

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit To some the title of this blog may seem like a turnabout considering that I suggested mixing the development teams with AMB/CCG as master developer and Federal Oakland Associates working for them in redeveloping the Oakland Army Base, and it is just that. After a lot of thinking about this matter I decided to go with the AMB / CCG team flat out. My initial reasons for suggesting a mix of the teams were borne of my concern that the Federal Oakland Assocates / AMB/CCG organizations show a racial split - the first black and of color, the latter far less so when AMB Properties is considered. But with that, and I've noted this before, the AMB/CCG team brings credibility and California Commercial Investments President Phil Tagami has worked hard to bring to Oakland a billion-dollar organization that normally would have looked past our city. Give Phil credit for his hard wo

John Edwards has a sex tape?

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit In the story that will not die, we now learn that John Edwards, the former North Carolina Senator and VP running mate to John Kerry, now reportedly has a sex tape. According to Rush & Molloy, the gossip columnists of the New York Daily News , Edwards former aide Andrew Young just finished a book proposal that described first, that he is not the father of the child of Rielle Hunter, John Edwards mistress, second, that Young just happened to see a sexually-explicit videotape as he was unpacking after moving to California from the East Coast, where he lived with Rielle Hunter, Edwards' mistress, and Young's wife and family. The story is known by now: in August of 2008 , after the heat of the Democratic Primary had cleared and just before the Democratic National Convention, former Senator Edwards admitted he cheated on his wife Elizabeth starting in 2006, while she

Oakland Army Base - Mayor's Office was "Deep Throat" of issue

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit A few weeks back I took a hard look at the proposals for the redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base and concluded that given the weaknesses of both, AMB/CCG (AMB Partners with California Commercial Investments) lacking really good cash flow analysis, and Federal Oakland Associates not having as much fiscal firepower but a complete proposal, and the racial split between them, that the two groups be combined. Well, two days later I received a rather curious phone call from someone who said "Zennie, for the purpose of this call, I can't tell you who I am, but I read your column and have some information for you. I'm going to send it to the San Francisco Chronicle Oakland office for you." Well, the person who called didn't even leave his phone number for me to call, let alone meet him " on the bottom level of an underground garage just over the Key Br

Chevron Richmond issue: new video shows job loss impact

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit Apparently someone was paying attention to my call for videos from last week's Richmond City Council meeting where I reported that California Attorney General Jerry Brown visited a packed council hearing room and got passed a resolution to allow him to get involved in the issue of the stopped Chevron plant construction order. A number of comments on my blogs pointed to video links but then out-of-the-blue, Chevron itself stepped forward with their video, and it's a good one: The video shows the workers impacted telling their stories in much the same way that laid off plant construction electrician Dennis Roos told his story to me. The video was apparently created last Tuesday, at the Richmond City Council hearing. One worker in the video said "I've got a family. I've got four girls. I've got a house payment. A car payment. I was really depend

SF AIDS benefit features Jersey Boys, American Idol stars

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit On This Sunday, August 2nd (yikes, two days before my birthday!) The San Francisco-based Richmond / Ermet AIDS Foundation ( ) features the 15th annual presentation of "Help Is On The Way: No Business Like Show Business." I've attended this gala over the last four years and I've got to tell ya it’s a load of fun; a mix of a little serious, a lot of energy, and a ton of talent. (The video above is from last year's event, where San Francisco luminaries like Harry Denton were holding court in the pre-show auction lounge, joined by "Austin Powers" , "Dean Martin" , and others.) Before I explain why you should attend, let me give you some background. REAF was founded by Barbara Richmond and the late Peggy Ermet in memory of their sons, John Richmond and Doug Ermet, who both lost their lives to AIDS. In 1995, t

Assault in East Oakland on 98th Avenue on YouTube

I saw this at the YouTube channel of EASTOAKLAND106. who wrote: 2 Thug Azz Niggaz went dumb on a addict i mean dayam only in oakland. But if you sell bad dope and you get caught its bad for the seller. But if you going to sell dope make sure its real or be simple about it DONT MESS WITH IT! LOL Then the white due tried to jack a homeless person in a wheele chair on 99th and E-14 i dont know why he did that. That was a big mistake. But why they decided to make a video of one of them hitting a man on the street is beyond me, but it shows the other side of Oakland not captured by the blogs, but it should be. Between this and the Oakland Salon Beating, also on YouTube, it's becoming a small habit of posting assaults on the video channel.

President Obama's beer bust with Gates and Crowley: a beer poll

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , DailyMotion , , StupidVideos , Sclipo and Viddler What started as a calamity threatening to divide America has seemingly ended in a planned beer bust at the White House, courtesy of President Barack Obama himself. The ill-advised ( in my opinion ) arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Lewis Gates by Cambridge Police Officer Sgt. James Crowley four days ago caught the attention of the nation, but it was President Obama's comment that the Cambridge Police "acted stupidly" and the rather terrible response by the Cambridge Police Union at its press conference , which created a much-needed national conversation about race, law enforcement, and American culture. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, there's no doubt that it has been the political talk of the day, even if much of it was disjointed, nas

Shawn Nealy Personal Development Teacher at 2009 Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances

I found this on YouTube and its worth a good look. Here' what was written at ckellogg05: The personal development teacher at the 2009 Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances, Shawn Nealy, talks about the class and shows examples of the campers drawings about their role models. The nationally acclaimed youth program, conceived by Alvin Ailey, founder of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and locally produced by Cal Performances, combines ballet, jazz, modern and African dance instruction with personal development and creative communication classes and field trips. The camp is tuition free and admits under-served middle school students ages 1114 from the Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond and Albany Unified School districts; the camp is located on the UC Berkeley campus.

Chevron Richmond issue: Jerry Brown steps in; scores over Newsom

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit The latest news in the Chevron / Richmond oil refinery issue is that California Attorney General Jerry Brown wants to step in and mediate the negotiations between the oil giant and the City of Richmond. In working to do this, Brown's scored a point on San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in the California Governor's race. According to the San Jose Mercury news and Contra Costa Times (yeah, I know they're merged), Brown appeared before the Richmond City Council and a "standing-room-only" crowd of 350 people, most reportedly laid off union workers from the Chevron facility, who's reconstruction effort was halted by court order in the wake of a lawsuit by environmentalists challenging the environmental impact report for the venue, costing them their jobs (I wonder if Dennis Roos was there ?). The Richmond electeds passed a resolution supporting the involvem

Henry Louis Gates arrested for being "uppity black man"

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit YouTube , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , DailyMotion , , StupidVideos , Sclipo and Viddler It's all over the Internet: Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested by Cambridge police officer Sgt. James Crowley after trying to pry open the lock, which was already damaged, to his own Cambridge home with the help of his driver, who picked him up from a trip to China. President Obama, in a press conference on his health care initiative, chimes in by saying "the Cambridge Police acted stupidly." President Obama's totally right. Here's why. Professor Gates problem was that he was being "an uppity black man" against an officer who looked for "uncommon" versus "common" elements to connect with Gates - no connection, or "uncommon leads to an arrest. On the plane from Chicago to Atlanta yesterday, I was in firs

Oakland Gets Tax On Pot (Yeah!), plus higher Hotel Tax

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit Oakland has a new set of taxes I think are much needed and should not be a massive burden on the citizens already hurt by job losses and the credit crunch. In a very cool mail-order voting style, which really gets those people who care about the issue to actually vote for it with a chance of passing, Oakland Measures C,D,F, and H all passed, a dramatic reversal over the revenue-increase killing outcome of many of the November choices, reflecting the then-worsening economy. Now, Oakland can and will tax the gross receipts of all "cannabis businesses" with a tax of about 1.8 percent which will raise over $200,000, on top of a new 14 percent hotel occupancy tax (high, yes) for the Chabot Space and Science Center and the Oakland Museum and the convention center; meanwhile Measure 00 was reduced, which I'm not cool about but it helped solve the deficit problem, and pr

Oakland's Green Building: 1100 Broadway

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! YouTube , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , DailyMotion , , StupidVideos , Sclipo and Viddler Consistent followers of my videos and Oakland Focus Blog will r emember my coverage of the proposed 1100 Broadway building in downtown Oakland at the historic Key System Building site, as well as the terrific Rocky Rische-Baird-created mural at the corner. The 20-story structure is planned as a spec office building that will dramatically transform the center of Oakland and give the American President Lines (APL) office building across the street on Broadway a lovely sibling. Its construction next to the giant APL Building will mark the first time two modern skyscrapers were constructed right next to each other but from different developers and not part of an overall master-developer plan in the history of Oakland. By contrast, the Kaiser and Ordway buildings were erected by The Kaiser Corporation, and the Fede

Race Issue at Berkeley High Reveals Problem of "Hip Hop Culture"

The East Bay Express reported on an incident at Berkeley High earlier this year, that happened because a white student wrote the word "nigga" on their Facebook page. While some see it as an issue of lack of diversity training, and I agree, I think something else is at play: the impact of hip-hop culture. In the multi-racial world of Hip-Hop blacks using such a term is so common that whites who are consumers of the music think everyone who's black uses the term. Of course, that's not true at all. The reality is that it's has a lot of negative images and many blacks, myself among them, don't want the word to be uttered by anyone. Period. This can be confusing to anyone white who's parents aren't giving them the proper training. Couple that with the fact that there are people who still use the word offensively and you've got a real powderkeg problem. The best solution is for people to learn that even if you hear it, it's not right to use it,

Oakland to Consider Ron Davis and Bob Nichelini for Police Chief - Tribune

OAKLAND — A panel that is helping the city select its next police chief is paring down the field of candidates and could submit a list of finalists to Mayor Ron Dellums as soon as this week, officials said. The position became open when former Chief Wayne Tucker stepped down Feb. 28, and about 40 people applied for the job. About a quarter of those people were interviewed by a panel of police chiefs and law-enforcement experts last week, City Administrator Dan Lindheim said. The finalists who emerge out of that group will return for another interview with Lindheim, Dellums and possibly others before the mayor makes a final selection. "We're continuing the interview process and should have it wrapped up in a matter of weeks," Dellums spokesman Paul Rose said.

Top 10 On Twitter in Oakland: Zennie62 over KTVU; DaveyD Drops out

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! In the third installment of my series on the " Top 10 on Twitter " in different cities , I took a new look at Oakland today and found some dramatic changes. But first, from Dharmesh Shah's awesome Twitter Grader app, here's the list by name, score, and number of followers: 1. MistahFAB - 99.99 - 22,971 2. acedtect - 99.97 - 16,206 3. mollywood - 99.97 - 20,539 4. zennie62 - 99.95 - 5,878 5. mc_lars - 99.8 - 3,912 6. ktvu - 99.8 - 2,445 7. bulldogreporter - 99.8 - 1,736 8. mariedenee - 99.8 - 2,397 9. stocktwits - 99.8 - 85,623 10. pandora_radio - 99.8 - 26,844 The news? Well, compared to two day ago when I started this, I jumped from number 7 to number 4. How? Well, I really didn't set out to improve my Twitter Grade from 99.8 to 99.95. What happened was that in losing followers - which happens all the time - I gained a better score! I was up to about 6,000 fol

Councilmember Reid Gets Pissed Off at Meeting...

Getting a deal to build at the former Oakland Army Base is turning into an exercise of patience for front-runner AMB/CCG, the team led by Rotunda and Fox Theatre developer Phil Tagami. The city of Oakland's economic development committee on Tuesday stalled the start of negotiations with Tagami's team to develop the city's 108-acre share of the base, possibly until late September. The same team is considered a front-runner among three applicants vying to develop the Port of Oakland's 168-acre share of the base, but Thursday the three-member Maritime Committee failed to forward a recommendation to the full Board of Port Commissioners.

The Top 10 On Twitter In Oakland, LA, and San Francisco

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! YouTube , Metacafe , DailyMotion , , Sclipo and Viddler Who's on the "Top 10" list of Twitter users in Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco? There's no question but that Twitter, the microblogging service, has become a "must be on" new media system with an engaged and loyal core group of users, all microblogging about events, activities, news and opinion. The San Francisco-based firm has grown from small beginnings just three years ago to 19 million visitors (or 17 million if one goes by the digital research service ) in April in what was a dramatic 83 percent jump over March, and in that month alone Twitter went from 9.8 million visitors to 17 million visitors, perhaps the fastest expansion of a new media service in the short history of the industry. It's clear that Twitter, as Eric Schonfeld with the tech industry website said , is workin

Oakland Army Base - Phil Tagami v. Michael Johnson

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! The giant 100-acre Oakland Army Base is the focus of a development competition between two groups led by people well-known to many Oaklanders: "AMB/CCG" (for AMB Property Corporation and the "CCG" is California Commercial Group) is directed by Phil Tagami, of California Commercial Investments, and who redeveloped two Oakland landmarks the Fox Oakland Theater and the Oakland Rotunda, and Federated Oakland Associates, who's boss is Michael Johnson, the developer of several multi-unit housing projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the builder of the San Francisco version of Yoshi's Jazz Club.   The Oakland Army Base  The developers are engaged in a competition with the Oakland City Council as the final "decider". The winner gains the right to enter into an "Exclusive Negotiating Agreement" with the Oakland Redevelopment Agency, which will lead to the production o

Chevron Richmond issue: meet the real "little guy" Dennis Roos

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! YouTube , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , DailyMotion , , StupidVideos , Sclipo and Viddler On July 1st, Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Barbara Zuniga issued a decision that altered Richmond, California's economic course for the future. She ordered the oil giant to rewrite its environmental impact report (EIR) because of environmentalists' contention that the EIR was flawed and that a newly refurbished Richmond refinery would not produce lower carbon emissions than the current facility. Her decision was hailed as a victory for "the little guy" by my friend San Francisco Chronicle Columnist Chip Johnson. But his column made me ask "Who's really the little guy, here?" So in a search for the answer to my query, I did some digging and found a person who represents the real "little guy": Dennis Roos. But before we meet Roos, a brief recap is in order. Two Sid