Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2009

Oakland Parking Enforcement Reform Initiative - a follow-up

It's good that Oaklanders are responding to the Oakland Parking Enforcement Reform Initiative , but it's not in any way my idea. There are aspects of the proposal I do not agree with, but that's not my role as I elected to participate in the process. My desire is to see a policy-formation process started that leads to some meaningful change in our parking law and enforcement system. That process is starting.   It's easy to argue.  Anyone can do it and it takes little thought.  It takes less energy to destroy than to create. But it take a lot of thought and patience to work to bring disparate ideas of different people together.   There are more people out there who want change than those who don't. And I have to laugh at the one's who say "I follow the laws.." because that's not the point. They really tend to be selfish and refuse to try and think beyond themselves. This just in: it's not about you. It's about protecting Oak

Oakland Parking Enforcement Reform Initiative - a 2010 proposal

The Oakland Parking Enforcement Reform Initiative is gaining steam.  I've been asked to now make public our efforts, so this blog post is to get things rolling. Which is a weird consideration because they've been rolling along already! A group of concerned Oakland citizens have been meeting and communicating to fashion a comprehensive Oakland Parking Enforcement Reform Initiative for presentation to Oakland voters in 2010. The diverse team consists of both Oakland business owners and residents and I'm really, frankly, surprised at how smooth and easy our meetings and communications have been. Oaklanders are used to disparate groups not being able to see eye-to-eye on even the smallest issues; not so here. Yes, there are disagreements, but they tend to come to a rapid end. It's really cool to be a part of. Everyone involved has been energized to act - if even to just be kept 'in the loop' and provide informal feedback – because in some way large

Happy Kwanzaa! December 26th is the first day of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration of family, community, and culture. It's an African American holiday; born of the first harvest celebrations of Africa. In a custom similar to Hanukkah, Kwanzaa is marked by candle-lighting and gift giving. This Kwanzaa opening ceremony was held at Youth Uprising in Oakland in 2009: Greg Hodge, who ran for Oakland's District Three City Council seat in 2008, is also Minister Greg Hodge of Wo'se Church in Oakland. In this video , he talks about the importance of language and names in Kwanzaa. Greg, as usual, offers great words of wisdom: If you're looking for a good guide for the preparation of Kwanzaa-related cuisine, check out the new website Cuisine Noir . Stay tuned and Happy Kwanzaa!

Thomas McDonnell on law, racism - Oakland lawyer turns Oakland artist

Oakland lawyer turns Oakland artist - Thomas McDonnell Just when Charlie Sheen, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, and Michael Jackson's doctors need him, Thomas McDonnell, a well-known Oakland, California criminal defense attorney every bit as good as Gloria Allred, quit the practice. Thomas McDonnell Thomas is now a digital artist (and very happy) specializing in creating art using scanners. But why McDonnell - who comes from a family of lawyers, based in Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area – quit practicing law is a fascinating story. I know a lot of lawyers - from Oakland City Attorney John Russo and Personal Injury Lawyer Robert G. Shock, to Alameda County Counsel Richard Winnie and Peralta Community College Chancellor Elihu Harris - and many talk about what they like and dislike about the practice. Quite a few quit. Some go into politics; others take a completely different turn. That's Thomas. I met with my friend and fellow singer at The Alley on Grand Ave

Pernell Harris from '24' passed Christmas morning - Oakland artist

Pernell Harris, a friend of mine and a fixture in the Oakland fitness community and in the Oakland entertainment community, passed away today, Christmas morning, in his sleep. He was 40 years old. Pernell Harris Pernell starred in the Fox Television Series 24 in 2001 as 'Agent Harris'. In my video interview in 2006 , Pernell talks about his experience working with the cast of 24 including Kiefer Sutherland: Pernell was Assistant General Manager at Gold's Gym on Grand Avenue in Oakland, and worked as a Sales Manager at 24-Hour Fitness in downtown Oakland. Harris was also a singer. in 2006, he released an a album called Say-No-ism and which you can hear all of the tracks here. Pernell was a good man who will be missed by many.

Oakland-based Khadafy Foundation Breakfast this Friday

I received an email from Sean Sullivan who's on the board of directors of the Oakland-based Khadafy Foundation for Non-Violence, regarding a breakfast this Friday, December 18th 2009. The event, called the Chicken & Waffle Holiday Breakfast, starts at 8am and goes until 10 am, and is something that you should attend. It's just $25 per person and the ticket goes to the foundations' work. The founder of the organization is Marilyn Washington Harris, who lost her 18-year old son, Khadafy on my birthday - August 4th, 2000 - as he was just riding his bike in West Oakland. Ms. Harris channeled her grief into the creation of Khadafy Foundation for Non-Violence to provide support services to anyone who's lost a child or loved one to violence.  Marilyn Washington Harris I think Sean already expressed it better than I can in his communication to me; here's what he wrote: Seasons Greetings, As the holiday season approaches, this will not be a merry time fo

Oakland got $65 million in Economic Stimulus; where's the jobs?

I received this email from Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums' Oakland Community Task Force late Sunday night: Hear Mayor Dellums report on stimulus funding (some of which will fund task force-related recommendations). Oakland has received $65 million in stimulus funding, including half from competitive grants. A preliminary review of selected cities indicates that this makes Oakland second after Chicago (my emphasis) in the amount of competitive funding received. And Oakland is not, by any means, the second largest city. Congratulations to the Mayor, the wonderful city staff led by task force member Margaretta Lin, and other task force members who participated in the planning process and grant writing. Ok. Great.  The Mayor's giving a City Council report tonight on Economic Stimulus money to Oakland for ...$65 million?  Wow.  But here's the question: where are the jobs? Oakland is a city of just around 400,000 people; the Chicago Metro area's about 4 millio

Tiger Woods alienates black community with white lovers? Garbage!

The Associated Press' material can be a howler at times. The latest funny was this title: "Tiger Woods alienates black community with white lovers" which was conceived and written by a writer at the AP who presents his take on what the "Black Community" is and who represents it by turning to the old mainstream media standard, the legendary Tom Joyner. Now, I love Tom Joyner, so it's not his fault; I'm aiming at the AP's 39-year-old Jesse Washington , who, while African American, has no idea what the "Black Community" is. Jesse Washington In a time when interracial dating is common, and black women with white men in commercials are more common than the opposite, its downright silly to complain about Tiger Woods' choice of female companions, blonde, brunette, or polka-dot, Rachel Uchitel, Jaimie Grubbs, Jamie Jungers, Kamile Moquin, Cori Rist, or Mindy Lawton. Besides, why would any woman regardless of color want to be compare

Oakland Adams Point Action Council Party December 8th

The Oakland Adams Point Action Council, a group of neighbors that live in the Adams Point area next to Lake Merritt, is having its Holiday Party Tuesday, December 8th at 7 PM the Bellevue Club 525 Bellevue Avenue. They're asking you to bring cookies and other "nibbles" to share, but come-on. It's a holiday party, so someone bring spiked egg nog and grilled chicken. There's a Kentucky Fried Chicken nearby on Lake Park, right next to the Grand Lake Theater, for goodness sakes!

April Ryan v. Robert Gibbs - does Ryan hate White House' Desiree Rogers?

April Ryan, a reporter with American Urban Radio Networks , bumped the Tiger Woods scandal down Google Trends and for something I didn't think would reach the collective public media radar, an exchange with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs posted on YouTube by the conservative blog The issue that April Ryan's asking about is White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers' role in the State Dinner Partygate Scandal where Tareq and Michaele Salahi gained access to the exclusive affair without being on the White House' Official Guest List. April Ryan of American Urban Networks April Ryan was trying to ask Robert Gibbs why Desiree Rogers was at the dinner. Desiree Rogers is the White House Social Secretary who planned the event. But Ryan says that Washington gossip centers around the perception that Desiree Rogers is just working to advance her own interests. What's of concern to me is Robert Gibbs' mistake of talking down to April

YouTube Meetup at Oakland's Lake Chalet Saturday, December 12th

There have been YouTube Meetups, but never one in America's most exciting city, Oakland, California. The Oakland YouTube Meetup at Lake Chalet at 1520 Lakeside Drive in Oakland, and is on Saturday, December 12th 2009 from 2 PM to 5:30 PM. What's the plan?  To meet, eat, and video!  But the idea is to meet YouTubers from all over and especially Oakland, San Francisco, and Northern California.   But it's also a party for non-YouTubers to learn more about how YouTube and YouTubers can help promote their business; you learn by watching us in action and mingling!  It's also a YouTube contest with prizes for the person who uploads their video the fastest.  Join me and other YouTubers like Sarah Austin for a cool event in a really awesome place: Lake Chalet: Visit our Facebook page here . More information to come, but contact me Zennie62 at

Oakland Parkway Theater update: no new news

If, like me, you're wondering what the newest information on the Parkway Theater is, well, according to the "i like the parkway" website forum, there's no news - but that's news. If you need a refresher, this video explains what happened to The Parkway Theater: And this video covered the first community meeting: And this is my video interview of former Parkway owners and founders Catherine and Kyle Fisher: This is the communication that was released recently: Dear friends of the Parkway Theater, We hope you're well. We've missed you. It's been a while since we've given an update on the status of the Parkway, so we'd like to share the information we have about the on-going efforts to get a new business opened there. As we approach the time of year where friends and family are a central theme, the organizers of I Like The Parkway are reminded that we have found both in the eclectic group of movie-lovers united through the