Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2009

Oakland Redevelopment Agency says SMG Coliseum is keeping info from them

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit I have it from a very good source that the Oakland Redevelopment Agency is upset with SMG Coliseum, the managers of the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, because they charge the organization is withholding information needed to complete a bid for Oakland to host a FIFA World Cup Soccer Game. I believe it because the source is a good one and SMG Coliseum has done this before. To me. When I was working to bring the 2005 Super Bowl to Oakland . What happened in my case was that I needed specific drawings of the Coliseum to have for the Super Bowl bid package we at the Oakland Alameda County Sports Commission were creating. Sally Roach, who was representing the Stadium Management Group at the Coliseum at the time - 1999 - told me they didn't have the drawings. Deena McClain, who was then and is now again working as the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Administrator,was led t

Naomi Sims, first black supermodel, died of breast cancer at 61; opened doors

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit Wow, what a year for the passing of people who formed our modern culture. From Michael Jackson and Farrah Faucett to Naomi Sims, the World's first black supermodel. She passed away of complications due to breast cancer last month at just 61 years old. By being the first black supermodel, Naomi Sims ironically opened up modeling and the fashion industry for a wider range of women regardless of race. Today fashion and modeling are so much a part of our mainstream culture that BARE Magazine has achieved much success as a college-run fashion magazine at UC Berkeley. Naomi Sims is the focus of this blog and of a renewed push for breast cancer fundraising and awareness. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 but thanks to a then-new drug called Femara , she's still doing very well. On October 1st, she turns 75 years old.

Alamda Chamber of Commerce is wrong; voting on SunCal development is a good idea

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit Briefly I have to admit to some confusion. The Alameda Chamber of Commerce is for the redevelopment of the Alameda Naval Air Station as proposed by SunCal, but against an initiative process . Or at least as written. That's unusual. In all of my years working in economic development developers were afraid to go to the voters to get a building project approved. The answer is obvious: they could lose, big time. Yet opponents always said "Take it to the voters". Well, that's being done now. It's a good idea. Plus, my personal bias having served on the original Alameda Base Reuse Committee, is to see our work become reality in the development of the former air station. More later.

Councilmember Jean Quan hosts Mayor of Oakland" meeting Saturday

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit Speaking, er, writing of Councilmember Jean Quan and her pursuit of the office of Mayor of Oakland, she's having one of those exploratory meetings I referred to. I an email from Maggie Kostoff of The Grand Avenue Breakfast Club which reads: You are invited to join us- District 4 Councilwoman, Jean Quan, is considering running for Mayor of Oakland. I have scheduled an opportunity to meet with Councilwoman Quan. I personally do not promote any candidates, but feel that this is rare opportunity to share your opinions with a potential candidate. She is meeting with Oakland citizens to discuss how you view the office of the Mayor, and to discuss your priorities for this important office. This meeting is an open discussion for our local community. When: Saturday, September 26, 1:30pm-3:30pm Where: Lakeview Library (located across the street from Gold's Gym on Gra

Oakland City Council parking decision draws ire of Conga Lounge Owner

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit The infamous Conga Lounge MaiTai  Which you'll need after getting a ticket in Oakland! (Just don't drive after you've had it!) I just got an email from Emmanuel ( Mano) Thanos, the owner of the famous (or infamous if you've had one of their Mai Tai's) Conga Lounge . He's responding to my video and blog post on the Oakland City Council's decision not to toss out the current parking enforcement system. If you didn't see the video, here it is: Here's Mano: This is Mano here from the Conga lounge and Pizza Rustica Cafe. It is a shame that the Oakland City Council has decided not to listen to the people of Oakland. We used to be quite busy after 6pm. Now folks stay away until 8pm when they can park without having to pay the high hourly fee of $2 or the fine of $55! This parking policy is extremely short sighted and has caused trem

Oakland City Council meeting parking video - city staff clowns around

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit Yesterday I blogged on how the Oakland City Council got its ass chewed out by angry Oakland business owners and residents Tuesday night over the new parking enforcement process, especially the $55 tickets and the 8 PM daily end time. I promised a video; here is the first of a set of them: It features Grand Lake Theater owner Alan Michaan explaining that he wants the Oakland City Council to "rescind (the parking plan) or (be) recall(ed)" and Chinatown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carl Chan explaining that his well-organized group (which will be more of the focus of my second video), has no such intentions. The video at nine minutes long also features the angry rant of Oakland retailer Steve Salazar, who accuses the City of Oakland of "predatory parking ticket" practices. But I want you to notice the African American gentleman in the backgroun

Oakland City Council gets butt handed to them by Oaklanders

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit The Oakland City Council got its ass chewed out last night, and I'm not sure there's much left this morning. This is an account best told with video, and I've got a lot of it coming today. The meeting, at least for the issue of rolling back parking enforcement times from the current 8 PM ending to the old 6 PM stop point, didn't itself end until 12:29 AM. I've attended well over a 1,000 Oakland City Council meetings going back to 1987, but I can't remember one where several people were as red-faced angry as they were last night. Oh sure, we've had our "Hugh Bassett" moments, where the Oakland school teacher would blast Councilmember Larry Reid (District 7 East Oakland), but nothing like this. Only video does it justice. Grand Lake Theater owner Allan Michaan is threatening to start a recall of the Oakland City Council after it failed t

"Oakland Gang Wars" makes Oakland's problem tv entertainment

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit My YouTube friend "EASTOAKLAND106" sent a message informing me of the Discovery Channel TV series called "Oakland Gang Wars". Part2Pictures created the controversial series, which aired September 14th at 9 PM. The show has reports to a fair degree of detail regarding the gang problem in Oakland. There are, for example, over 10,000 gang members versus a special unit of just eight cops. Now, Oakland's a city of about 150,000 adults - the rest are kids. So that means if half of those members are adults, then about just less than 3 percent of the adult population is a member of a gang in Oakland. Shocking number. Plus, the gang members are concentrated mostly in East Oakland. I've got to check into that estimate, but that's what the show announcer says. Here's a video "EASTOAKLAND106" created of the first episode of the show:

Miley Cyrus, Susan Boyle, Erin Andrews push Zennie62 on YouTube over 8 million views

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit Thanks to Miley Cyrus , Susan Boyle , Erin Andrews , and Megan Fox , President Obama, politics, celebrities, Oakland, and the NFL Draft, My YouTube channel Zennie62 is now over 8 million video views (not channel views) at 8,133,111 views as of this writing. Today we are at between 18,000 and 24,000 views a day and earlier this year we hit over 100,000 views daily.  Even at low end of the current view rate, that's 760 video views an hour each day.  It's not my objective - I am aiming for the 100,000 view mark we were at - but its a sign of progress.  My channel was established in 2006, (and its not the only one I have as I'm on several more video systems thanks to Tubemogul ) but its grown by 6 million views in just the last year, with my video " Susan Boyle: Who is Susan Boyle " gaining over 1 million viewers in its first month of life.  Since then my blu

Crime is up in Oakland's Rockridge; Knowing your neighbor is the deterrent

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit I was reading the minutes from the August 27th Oakland Rockridge Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council meeting (a pdf file, not a link) and noticed the news that crime is up dramatically. Let's take cars as one example. There were 40 stolen cars in a 90 day period this year. The most commonly stolen cars are the Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and the Honda Civic. According to the Oakland Police, the reason most cars are stolen is because people simply leave the keys in them. "Lock it. Lock it. Lock it", is the advice given. Vehicle theft is a common problem in the Rockridge area. I used the Oakland Police " CrimeView Community website " to search for the number of vehicle thefts within a mile of 5600 College Avenue (see map below) and discovered that there were seven such crimes over the last 15 days. Almost one every other day.

In Oakland, CA, don't call 911 with your cell, call 510-777-3211

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit This brief but very valuable tip comes from the website of the Oakland Rockridge Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council : Don't Call 911 From Your Cell!! When you call 911 from a cell phone, the call is routed to the California Highway Patrol! The CHP then has to find out where you are and route the call to your local police or fire dispatcher, which can lose tens of minutes in a critical situation. The Oakland Police Department has an emergency number for use in cell phones: 510-777-3211 Program this number into your cell phone and put it on speed dial! Also remember that other cities have local emergency numbers for cell phone users. Contact the police departments of other cities you visit regularly and put their local emergency numbers into your cell phone contact list as well. ONLY CALL 911 FROM A LAND LINE! This should be widely known, but it's not. Pa

Calvin Klein SF Union Square - Is store front racist?

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit On I received this email below from a viewer which explains the person's shock over the Calvin Klein SF Union Square store front display in the San Francisco Shopping Center. I went over to make the video above and get your view on the display. As I've stated in the video, it was not a good idea to approve a store front that is at best questionable. Everyone who's seen the video thus far has a reaction to it, from furled brows to frowns and raised eyebrows, the video does not make for a stoic reaction. Why someone would do this is a question I will ask Calvin Klein's staffers in the days ahead. Indeed, the worker that talked to me through the glass admitted that she did not the racial overtones in the display until they were pointed out to her. But for now, read the email below, then take my poll on this certainly controversial Calvin K

City of Oakland employees got a long Labor Day vacation

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit According to a friend, City of Oakland employees got a real long Labor Day vacation. First, the City was closed last Friday. Then we had the three day weekend holiday which was to end on Tuesday, but in the City of Oakland's case, employees were furloughed on Tuesday (and I know because I saw Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente looking badass in sunglasses at the Lake Chalet's Patio for "Taco Tuesday") so that means most didn't come back to work until Wednesday - unless they happened to take that as a sick day. The result: a full six days off. Even with all of that rest, morale is still really low in all quarters. Why? Well, for starters to be furloughed means you don't get to work that day and you don't get paid. My friend thinks its a good way to save money, so no complaints there for that person, but it's not the same for some others

Tila Tequila's questionable videos in Shawne Merriman case

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit The latest news in the unfortunate story of the accused battery and assault charge on San Diego Linebacker Shawne Merriman by Tila Tequila is that Merriman claims he was trying to get Tequila , who's real name is Tila Nguyen, to avoid driving while intoxicated. This is just what I speculated in my video commentary: Tila's lawyer disputes Merriman's claim, saying it's "spin" but does not offer an alternative explanation regarding what happened. Morever Tila herself now says she was not drinking, and that she's allergic to alcohol. Really interesting... But Stingaree nightclub owner James Brennan says that Tila was drinking Saturday night. Apparently Tila made the claim to an aversion to cocktails on her Twitter page but that specific tweet is now not to be found . Also not to be found is any reason why Tila's suddenly covering up he

Calpine's Russell City Energy Center focus of public hearing in Hayward

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit Last Wednesday I attended the suprisingly popular public hearing held at Hayward City Hall by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) on the planned Russell City Energy Center. I've followed this issue because it's another example of what I contend is an unnecessary division between jobs and environmental health. The hearing did not result in a final decision being made but was held to gain the required public comments on Calpine's permit application to build the 600-megawatt complex. But that didn't stop people, mostly opposed by a 60 percent, 40 percent ratio, from coming out to the meeting, which I'm from here down calling "an event". I also must observe that I don't think a lot of the opponents really understood the technical issues behind the plant enough to be shown evidence that Calpine's working to have a plant that

Van Jones should run for Mayor of Oakland

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit I had to take a time out to send a little message to my friend Jack Cafferty at CNN. He has a blog post focusing on Van Jones and asking if the White House should have so many czars. Van Jones: Mayor of Oakland Now a bit of background, CNN's been very good to me by giving me a platform to feature my video work, particularly during the Democratic National Convention last year, and putting me on live TV more times than I can immediately recall. CNN essentially "made me" so after so many appearances and headquarters visits, like the one below, where I met the iReport staff that's become family to me, I've got a pretty good idea what they're looking for. Now, I know what CNN's doing - same thing I do - ask a question or go to a subject that I know will smack the hornets nest and get people emailing, commenting, and talking, er, like this one. It

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger talk to Joe Diamos about California's economy

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit Is California becoming a "party economy"? Governor Schwarzenegger should talk to Joe Diamos. Diamos says we're in trouble Since our credit crunch of 2008 and the staggering wave of not just job losses but the dramatic drop in overall job creation over the last eight years, I've always believed our American economy was in trouble. Rather than throw out a bunch of statistics, I decided to turn to someone who's in the middle of the economic storm: Joe Diamos of Diamos Funding Group in Redwood City, Ca. Diamos' company is a law firm that specializes in representing you before the bank you have a mortgage with to get that bank to adjust your loan - called "loan modification" - so that you're better able to afford your monthly payments. I asked Mr. Diamos how the economy was doing; I didn't get an enthusiastic answer. "It&

Lady GaGa, The Jonas Brothers, and Gravy Boat - Music Monday

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit On Lady GaGa , The Jonas Brothers and Gravy Boat are all in the business of music and part of my new series called "Music Monday" where we feature blogs and videos about local and national singers and groups. Lady Gaga is the incredible pop pretty singer with infectious dance tunes like "Poker Face. The Jonas Brothers have become a World phenomenon, I present to you Gravy Boat . Gravy Boat - which features Steve Gerard, Erik Frykman, Marc Ramsey and Don Frank - is based in Marin and plays in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, my connection to this cover band is my friendship with Erik and his brother Lars, which goes back to when we were, oh, 14 years old.   Lars and Me: 1974  Fast forward to August 2009, and I visited San Francisco's popular bar and restaurant La Barca to here Gravy Boat for the first time.  I also brought my camco

Oakland Raiders Coach Cable says Seymour wants to come to team

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit The lastest information on the ongoing story of the trade of New England Patriots Defensive End Richard Seymour to Oakland has Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable on the NFL Network today at 4 PM PST saying that the star lineman told him he wants to come to Oakland. According to Jerry McDonald of the Contra Costa Times , Cable said he talked to Seymour today. That counters earlier information that Seymour didn't want to come to Oakland. He was traded to Oakland for the Raiders 2011 first round draft pick, leading some to scratch their heads regarding why the Silver and Black would make such a trade for someone about to turn 30 years old. The NFL network's Alex Flanagan said it for me "It seems confusing." Mike Mayock said that the Raiders could control Seymour by slapping the much-hated "franchise" tag on him after 2010. Solomon Wilcots observed tha

Van Jones is a good man who should fight back

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit Van Jones talks about "The Green Collar Economy" I just saw an email from The Washington Post explaining that Van Jones resigned from his post as the Green Jobs Czar in the Obama Administration. Sad news as I know Van and have known him as nothing but a good man committed to the betterment of society. One of the staples of Van's life has been the pursuit of social justice. He's always worked to better the lives of those less fortunate and the creation of the Oakland-based Ella Baker Center is a great example of what he's tried to do to improve life for Oaklanders, especially those who are poor and black. Van Jones stepped down from a post that was the logical end result of his tremendous growth as a person: a job in the White House. Moreover, those attacking his character themselves are people with questionable backgrounds or anti-social actors.

Richard Seymour may not report to the Oakland Raiders

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit According to my friend Mike Florio over at , the Oakland Raiders trade for Richard Seymour may be scuttled by one action: Seymour's not reporting to the Raiders . According to Mike and also Peter King of , Seymour is "angry" that he was traded to the Oakland Raiders, described as "football's literal black hole" over at Peter King writes: Seymour, I'm told, is angry about the deal. He lives in Foxboro, has children he may have to relocate to new schools as the school year dawns and has to get acclimated to a new defense (and an awful team) a week before the opening game. "I would not be surprised if he doesn't report,'' a good friend of Seymour's told me Sunday. I would. Aside from not earning his 2009 salary of $3.7 million, Seymour wouldn't be able to be a free-agent if

Oakland Raiders now have Richard Seymour and Greg Ellis, but...

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit UPDATE: Seymour may not report to the Raiders. The trade shot heard 'round the football and the Internet world is that the New England Patriots long time defensive end Richard Seymour was traded to the Oakland Raiders . While the transaction seems like a good deal for Oakland, hold on. There are two problems: the first one is that Seymour has not had an all pro season since 2006 and the Raiders defensive formation design is suspect. Since 2001 Richard Seymour has been a force on New England's defense. But starting with a knee injury in 2007 and a back injury in 2008, he hasn't been the disruptive player he was known as three years ago. While he did have a career-high eight sacks last year, giving up a first round pick was too much for Seymour. Why Oakland did that is beyond me (it would make more sense for a Seymour three years younger) but he's here so

Some Oakland councilmembers could be nicer to outgoing David Chai

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit It's reported today that David Chai, formerly the Chief of Staff to the Ron Dellums, the Mayor of Oakland, but demoted a few months ago, is leaving Oakland for San Francisco to become the "business czar" for Mayor Gavin Newsom. But what's sad about the article written by the Oakland Tribune's Kelly Rayburn is how many Oakland Councilmembers were openly trashing Chai on the way out. First, it was known months ago in May that Chai had been demoted from the level of Chief of Staff and I mentioned this back then as well as that Marisol Lopez would be the new head of Dellums' staff. So while Rayburn's article is out, the news is a bit off; Chai was moved long ago. But while David may have had his shortcomings, he was a talented staffer frustrated with the overall culture of Dellums' office. Still, you would think Oakland Councilmembers would be m

Oakland Police set up red-light camera - news from Jean Quan

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit Oakland Councilmember Jean Quan has an email newsletter with some interesting information. Take this item with the headline "Community Policing and Other City News". The Councilmember reports that the Oakland Police have set up a red light camera at High and Foothill (paragraphs broken by me): Red-light Camera Now In Place at High and Foothill: In an effort to reduce red-light related accidents, OPD announced it installed a Red Light Camera Enforcement System (RLCES) at High St. and Foothill Bl. The system will capture red-light violations and warning notices will be mailed to violators for 30 days. After the 30 day warning period, starting September 29, 2009, citations will be issued for red light violations. The four intersections in the City now being monitored by the automated red-light camera system will be marked by an advisory street sign, notifying app

Maryland's "46 Defense" versus "Utah" Offense for Cal

Yesterday I wrote that Cal has not seen tapes of Maryland's new defense as the Terps have a new defensive coordinator Don Brown. Maryland players expressed joy that Cal would be surprised by their new look system. It was also reported that Cal's looking at last year's Maryland tapes, for some reason. But as it turns out, the new look is an old look: the Buddy Ryan 46 Defense. According to this Washington Post article , Brown is bringing a version of the "46" - named for Chicago Bears Safety Doug Plank , who was a key rover in the Ryan defense - to Maryland. Don Brown's defense, called "The Bear" reminds me of the kind of system Artie Gigantino brought to Cal when he was defensive coordinator under Keith Gilbertson at Cal: the linemen positioned opposite the tight end or the side with the most receivers, and both outside linebackers on the strongside of the offense. Artie called his defense the "Split" 43. The Bear's the s