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Showing posts from June, 2010

Oakland Mayor's Race: Rebecca Kaplan announces run for Mayor

Today, Wednesday, Oakland At-Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan made official what many of her supporters were waiting for: that she's officially running for Mayor. She did this 49 minutes ago at the Joyce Gordon Gallery at 406 14th St. It was just two years ago in September 2008 that now-Councilmember Kaplan talked with this blogger about running for the At-Large Oakland City Council Seat: Now, less than two years later, and having successfully been elected as At-Large Oakland Councilmember,  Rebecca Kaplan announces she's running for Mayor of Oakland. What was true then in 2008 is true now, Oakland's in terrible fiscal shape and its worse today. But let's go a step further: Oakland's got a giant unemployment and underemployment problem that could sack many of the new restaurants that have opened over the past two years. Is Kaplan the person to fix all of this? Well, she just got into Oakland City Hall. Mayor Dellums?  What's up? While I don&#

Oscar Grant, Johannes Mehserle case graffiti at Oakland Lake Merritt removed

On Sunday, this space reported the existence of 11 examples of graffiti at various points around Oakland's Lake Merritt from Grand Avenue to Lakeshore Avenue. All of the taggings were done using red spray paint and all were messages related to the Oscar Grant, Johannes Mehserle murder case. Some of the graffiti messages seemed to wish harm to Johannes Mehserle, the former BART Police Officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant. Here's the video showing the problem: Today, all of the messages have been removed by the City of Oakland. The shores of Lake Merritt are back to their unmarked and clean look as the photo above shows.   I did not check the AC Transit Bus Stop on Grand Avenue, but since the video pointed to all of the places, and all of those points are clean, the bus shelter should be as well.  Unless, of course, the City of Oakland's not in the mood to help AC Transit.

Oakland Mayor's Race: Rebecca Kaplan to make "special announcement"

City of Oakland At-Large Councilmember and would-be Oakland Mayor's Race participant has announced she's going to make a "special announcement" and reports that it "Will be an eventful speech solidifying her position in the Mayoral race." It will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m at the Joyce Gordon Gallery 406 14th St. In other words, after meetings, events, talks, and the parking issue, Councilmember Kaplan's going to officially run for Mayor of Oakland. And why not? The Oakland Mayor's Race is wide open race and anything can happen between now and November, when the election for the next Mayor of Oakland is held. What I hear from Oaklander after Oaklander is that not one of the candidates is exciting to them. That may be because they haven't seen all of them. The Joyce Gordon Gallery is located on 14th Street between Broadway and Franklin Streets in downtown Oakland.

New York Times v. Google, Twitter in "hot news" case

Google and Twitter taking on the NYTimes While Arthur O. Sulzberger, Chairman and Publisher of The New York Times , holds that Google is the NYTimes "friend" and they have a good working relationship - even to the point of hounding regarding this blogger's claims to the contrary - a recent Amici  or "friend of the court" brief filed by the New York Times and other large news organizations openly attacks the work of online news aggregators like Google News. If the New York Times likes Google so much, why would it attach itself to the friend of the court brief? The backstory is the Barclay's Capital v. case. In that case, New Jersey-based was accused of taking information on bank upgrades and downgrades of stocks that was originally produced by Barclays and the other banks involved in the copyright infringement lawsuit lawsuit. Barclays holds that website “systematically and

Gen. Stanley McChrystal's aide gets off Gay-bomb in Rolling Stone

Gen. Stanley McChrystal  The Runaway General , the Rolling Stone Magazine article that cost Gen. Stanley McChrystal his job as commander of Allied Forces in Afghanistan, and exposed a culture of McChrysal's aides that were hostile to civilian military officers, is out on newsstands and online, and it opens with the now famous blast against NATO allies slated to attend a dinner he was assigned to go to. While Gen. McChrystal's comment that there was no one in the room who could beat him up, or: "I'd rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner. Unfortunately, no one in this room could do it." ..made the press, there's more that didn't, until now. This is what else McChrystal's aide said after the writer Michael Hastings asked "Who's he going to dinner with?" The McChrystal aide says "Some French minister. It's fucking gay." Hastings says McChrystal's staff consists of "a

Oakland parking problem: another one for Rebecca Kaplan

Oakland Parking is STILL a problem Yes. Another Oakland Parking problem. This space continues to receive tips and emails from Oaklanders and people visiting Oakland who have horrible parking stories they want to share with the World. Since Oakland's At-Large Councilmember and would-be mayoral candidate Rebecca Kaplan thinks it's OK for Oakland to use parking fees to balance its budget, even at the expense of the poor from what was yelled to this blogger earlier this year, and without provocation or apology from Councilmember Kaplan (and not bloggers who support her run for Mayor), this space will continue to present each Oakland Parking problem to her. The last one was from Nick Mitchell, who complained of the ugly DMV and Oakland system that works to cause late payment of parking fines . This one is from an Oaklander, Terese Tatum, who shared a letter sent to Oakland Parking Head Noel Pinto: Dear Mr. Arnold and Mr. Pinto, I have spent hours on the phone and left

World Cup Soccer 2010: Brazil vs. Portugal, Germany vs England

Koman's off the hook, sort of While it's a bit harder for this space to be excited about FIFA World Cup 2010 after the USA was eliminated by Ghana 2-1 on Saturday, the fire for World Cup still burns. After all you have to love a sports event where Soccer fans Mick Jagger and Bill Clinton have a better chance of scoring than some of the teams. Take Brazil vs. Portugal, and England in it's match against Germany. In the Brazil vs. Portugal match, neither team scored; it ended in a 0-0 draw and both advanced to the second round. Brazil won Group G play, while Portugal was two points behind them. Now, Brazil will play Chile in the second round, with Portugal vs. Spain. Portugal needed a draw and so played like they did, much to the frustration of Brazil. "It's really boring when we have to play against an opponent with 11 players on the back, only trying to draw," Brazil's striker Luis Fabiano said according to The LA Times . England and the Disa

Frank Shamrock retires from American mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting

Frank Shamrock (Frank Alisio Juarez III) announced he's retiring from American mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting at at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum Saturday at HP Pavilion. Frank Shamrock is the four-time defending, undefeated MMA champion and a 7th degree black belt in something called "Submission Fighting," which is a type of wrestling sport. Shamrock's four time title defense included some memorably brutal battles, like the one against Igor Zinoviev in 1998 that ended in a knockout. It was called the most violent slam in Ultimate Fighting Championship history. (Warning, the video is violent .) Shamrock stopped UFC fighting in 1999 after what's considered to be the one of the greatest fights in UFC history against Tito Ortiz. After that fight, Frank Shamrock was considered the greatest ultimate fighter in history. After a brief stint as an actor, Shamrock returned to fighting in 2001 and had a number of memorable bouts through 2009, when he was

USA vs Ghana World Cup 2010: Oakland watches Golden Goal

USA vs Ghana World Cup 2010: Oakland watches Gyan's Golden Goal : USA loses 2-1 in OT And so another nail-biting FIFA World Cup Soccer game ends for the USA, this time the wrong way. The USA lost 2-1 in overtime as this blogger returned to the Era Art Bar on Grand and Broadway in Downtown Oakland, CA for the anticipated single elimination Saturday match. But in the process, Soccer's importance to Americans grew by fantastic proportions, and in no place was this more evident than Oakland, California. The USA loss was a sad end to a great run by a USA team that wasn't really picked to go far in World Cup competition. But the hustling team paced by USA Soccer star Landon Donovan tied England 1-1 to start match play, then tied Slovenia 2-2 in a controversial match that the USA really won 3-2 but for a mistakenly discounted goal by FIFA referee Koman Coulibaly. Finally the USA won a match, beating Algeria 1-0. All that set up today's exciting overtime win. The

Oprah Winfrey Network's show contest: vote for Aimee Allison!

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Sidebar Oakland Cocktail Competition Monday June 28th, 7:30 PM

Sidebar Oakland Sidebar Oakland, the bar and restaurant at 542 Grand Avenue in Oakland, CA, is hosting a No. 209 Gin Competition featuring some of the best bartenders in Oakland. What's cool about this event is it's a showcase for Oakland's new food scene, as in the past you had to go over to San Francisco to get a great drink. Not any more. The list of bartenders competing is a who's who of Oakland mix-a-lots: Matt B from Sidebar, Brian M also from Sidebar, Marjon B from Era Art Bar, Josh P from Pican, Alex S from Marzano, Matt from The Wood Tavern, Brian M from Lavende East, Jon C from The Grand Tavern, and Eric from Adesso. The best bartender will win a great prize, I'm told, and the winner will be selected by a professional panel of judges. Come on down to Lake Merritt, where Sidebar is located, this Monday.

Brazil vs Portugal World Cup 2010 | USA v. Ghana Saturday

The Brazil vs Portugal World Cup 2010 match ended in a tie Friday. The long-anticipated match pitted the Number one Brazil team against the number three ranked Portugal team, so while you'd expect an epic battle, the actual result was described as "lackluster". Brazil, playing without three it its stars, performed at a lower level with their replacements. Julio Batista, Dani Alves, and Nilmar put in a good effort, but it wasn't enough to win. Portugal, which obliterated North Korea 7-0 earlier in the week, showed none of the form expected after such an amazing performance. Instead, what we got was sloppy play by both sides. There were seven yellow card cautions, four for Portugal and three for Brazil, and that was in the first half. There were a total of 29 fouls. USA v. Ghana Saturday The USA Soccer team takes on the Ghana Black Stars in a single elimination, do-or-die match Saturday at 11:30 AM PDT / 2:30 PM EDT. President Barack Obama paid a cal

Tupac Shakur, Bill Cosby, REM work called "Culturally Significant"

Years after his death, the sprint of Rapper Tupac Shakur continues to live with us via his music. A series of works so powerful that one of them, Dear Mama , was called "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress. Tupac Shakur joins Bill Cosby, REM, Willie Nelson, Little Richard, Mississippi John Hurt, Patti Smith, and others in the honor. Tupac Shakur was killed in Las Vegas in 1996 and during a feud with rival rappers that really should not have happened at all. Tupac Shakur was a major music figure in the San Francisco Bay Area, having moved here and to Marin City in 1988. That Tupac Shakur's music has reached this lofty status should be a sign to urban economic development officials (if they're paying attention and most don't) that investing in the people who create music in a city can not only help them but give the city itself incredible visibility. That's certainly true for cities like Oakland, California, which has a rich rap music

USA v Algeria World Cup: Oakland cheers Landon Donovan goal

It could be said that the USA's win over Algeria in this morning's World Cup Soccer match caused the Toronto Earthquake. Indeed, you would be excused if you thought that the Toronto Earthquake happened because of USA Soccer Star Landon Donovan's monsterous goal. While Donovan's goal didn't start an earthquake, it did send America into hysterics, and that was certainly evident in Oakland, California. Pure Joy in Oakland The Era Art Bar on Grand Avenue and Broadway was the crowded scene, with people cheering for the USA and for Algeria. In fact, there was a health contingent of Algerian fans lined along one wall of The Era Art Bar. It was a friendly place to be, though, as people stood and sat with eyes glued to the TV sets at the bar. The game went back and forth, and it looked like the USA and Algeria would both be eliminated as neither scored a goal for most the contest. Plus, again, the USA had a goal taken away from them for an offsides call that

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums aide Paul Rose leaves for San Francisco

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums The San Francisco Chronicle 's lead story in the newspaper edition has the not-good-SEO title, "Just before budget deadline, Dellums weighs in," and has Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums looking every bit like the leader he wants you to think he is. One photo features Mayor Dellums giving a "you lookin' at me" stare at someone. Another photo has Mayor Dellums with his hands clasped together as if he's the all-knowing seer-in-charge. All of that's great PR for Mayor Dellums, that is until he speaks: I'm the master strategist," Dellums said according to Matthai Kuruvila at . "My job is to establish strategy, to establish the policy framework within which those negotiations would take place. And I have assiduously and diligently and coherently done just that." Really, that comments' OK. A mayor's supposed to be a cheerleader for his own actions. But then Dellums gets a little weird. &

Blogger News: Oakland Bloggers for Libby Party at Era Art Bar

Relax at Era  This Wednesday, June 23rd, a group of Oakland friends, boosters, and bloggers (and some combinations of all three) are gathering at Era Art Bar and Lounge for Libby Schaaf. The event starts at 5:30 PM, in Oakland's Uptown District. The Era Art Bar and Lounge is a new venue, growing in popularity due to it's warm, inviting, large interior and fun atmosphere. And if that reads like a commercial, well, it is. But really, come on down. You don't have to be an Oakland blogger or a blogger for that matter to join us. But we do ask that you donate $30 to Libby's campaign for the Oakland District 4 City Council Seat. So, see you Wednesday, June 23rd at 5:30 PM, at 19 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA‎, (510) 832-4400, and near the intersection of Grand Avenue and Broadway in Downtown Oakland. ‎

Summer Solstice 2010: first day of summer roundup

Today is Summer Solstice 2010, the first day of summer. According to Wikipedia, Summer Solstice, or the "first day of summer," is "when the Earth's axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'." It's the longest day of the year, with the shortest night, and thus the best reason to have a round up of what's happening. So, picking through the national and local issues and trends... Oakland, CA Oakland Police, who have gone without a cost-of-living adjustment for four years, are bracing for job cuts as the Oakland City Council sends signals that it is considering eliminating up to 200 jobs. Some officers say that they've given quite enough in adjustments and feel like they're being used as political footballs while the Oakland City Council tries to look like it can make tough decisions. The best move for the Oakland City Council is to cut pay temporarily rather than jobs, as many officers would rather have a

World Cup Soccer 2010: Heart and Dagger Saloon in Oakland, CA has it

Not soon after this space blasted Oakland for not having enough bars and restaurants showing World Cup Soccer matches, and slammed Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums for not hosting an Oakland City Hall outdoor viewing party for World Cup Soccer, did an email fly in from some where in Oakland. This one: Zennie, With as much as you follow Oakland business, I find it hard to believe you aren't following the Heart and Dagger Saloon on Lake Park Avenue. Since you didn't list it in your post and lamented how Oakland isn't with it, let me fill you in. Heart and Dagger is opening early on weekends (11am) for the games and are offering drink specials. Follow them on Facebook, they post about it all the time . Natalie Okay! The Heart and Dagger Saloon is located at 504 Lake Park Ave, where the quirky Seranader bar was located, which is that little street that starts where the Grand Lake Theater is at Grand and Lake Park and extends to Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland. Here's a

World Cup Soccer 2010: few TV watching chances in Oakland, CA

For all of its claims to be moving ahead as a city, Oakland, California is still light years behind it's neighbor, San Francisco, and other cities like Atlanta and Seattle in World Cup Soccer viewing opportunities. If you don't have a television or happen to live with roommates who don't care about World Cup Soccer 2010 (boring people they must be), you're almost out of luck in Oakland. There are only eight establishments showing World Cup Soccer, and spread out between North Oakland and the Claremont District of the Central Oakland Hills. The one I most recommend is Barclay's at 5940 College Avenue. Why this blog post? I just got this email: Hi there, I just came across your video shot right after the game on Friday, and I noticed you were in Oakland. I'm originally from Germany (another lucky team that day...), and none of my roommates give a damn about the World Cup, so I was hoping you could point me in the right direction, as to where in Oak

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums aide Paul Rose leaves for San Francisco

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums' head of communications Paul Rose is leaving Oakland City Hall for a new jobs with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. As I told Richard Parks of The Bay, and who called for my opinion of Paul's move, it does not mean Mayor Dellums isn't running for reelection. Now, Richard called me because I worked for two Mayors of Oakland, Elihu Harris and Jerry Brown, so because of that, and a lot of friends, I have some idea of what happens in that office in Oakland City Hall. Frankly, Rose has found it hard to get Mayor Dellums to come into the New Media landscape. Mayor Dellums' Old Media idea of withholding information only has served to allow the development of a negative media pool around Dellums. I know Rose tried like heck to change that, but in the end, Rose has to consider his future. Of all of the staff that worked for Mayor Dellums, Rose is one who gave it a good go. Still, I think the best staffer is the on

The 49ers Santa Clara Stadium issue: an interesting email

On June 8th 2010, election day, and the same day of the Angry Luxor Cab Driver incident, the San Francisco 49ers scored and important and this blogger thought impossible victory in getting Santa Clara County to give the go-ahead to build the 49ers new stadium. But in the wake of the victory, knifes are coming out from all over because of the very valid claim that Santa Clara can't afford to pay their share for the stadium. This email, the name withheld, and which will be expanded on in the coming weeks, is telling: Hi Zennie, Re: your interview with Mr. (Don) Perata and that both of you were surprised that the 49ers won the stadium vote. I live in Santa Clara and I'm on the board of the grassroots organization that was opposed to the stadium subsidy. If you want to know how they won, you can contact me. They spent >$4.1 million on a saturation campaign of misinformation to tell the voters that the stadium won't cost residents anything. We have a mayor and 4 c

The Alley Oakland and the apartment fire next door

If you live in Oakland, or were just visiting from San Francisco on Wednesday night, perhaps you saw the flames coming up from a building on Grand Avenue, just up the street from the Grand Lake Theater. What happened was an apartment unit at 3323 Grand Avenue and in the same building as the famed bar and grill called The Alley, caught fire. While the flames rendered the renter of the unit without an apartment, the good news is The Alley is still open, operating, and undamaged. It's a blessing because the fire could have spread to The Alley itself; it did not. How the fire started is not certain, but sources told this blogger, who visited the establishment last night three hours after the fire, the unit was owned by a patron who allegedly has a drinking problem and was drunk before the fire started. Once the fire was discovered patrons of The Alley worked with others who lived in the building to quickly put out the fire. All that remains is for fans of The Alley to com

Don Perata Interview - Oakland Mayor's Race

Of all the candidates in the Oakland Mayor's Race, Former California State Senator Don Perata, a Democrat, is the one who has the mosts: most experienced, most talked-about, and most controversial. Don Perata  Don Perata's controversy and scandal has been so well-reported it seemed the East Bay Express' Robert Gammon paid his bills from it. Indeed, Perata's controversies have clouded his ability to explain his case to be Mayor of Oakland, which is what this video interview is about. This video interview is Perata's platform, just as I've created for every other Oaklander running for any office. I've known Don Perata for at least 17 years, and have seen a different side of Perata than what's painted elsewhere. When I was a columnist for The Montclarion, Don Perata was an Alameda County Supervisor, and before that he was a school teacher. Then, as I worked for the last two Mayors of Oakland before Ron Dellums, Perata became California Ass

Greg Harland Interview - Oakland Mayor's Race

On Monday, Greg Harland, a candidate in the Oakland Mayor's Race, was kind enough to open his Oakland Hills home to talk about why he's running for Mayor of Oakland and his view of how Oakland needs to be changed. The full 23 minute interview is on video above; what's presented are some highlights of our discussion. Again, the style of this blogger is to give a candidate a platform, not to attack them. Greg Harland is a mild, smooth, white, bespectacled business man who grew up in Oakland, California for most of his life, since 7 years of age. Harland graduated from Oakland High School, class of 1964. He lost his father, a pilot on the USS Yorktown, in a crash at Alameda Naval Air Station when he was a boy. Harland grew up from hard times that he's reluctant to openly talk about, to, with the help of friends, the business entrepreneur he is today. Why run for Mayor of Oakland? Harland got the idea to run for Mayor of Oakland while sitting at the dinin

Angry, Violent, SF Luxor Cab Driver update - no Luxor apology

An update in the case of the Angry, Violent, SF Luxor Cab Driver who tried to physically remove this blogger from Luxor Cab #1046 License number CA 8L46060, a white Ford Crown Victoria. The assault report was filed and San Francisco Transportation Authority staffers reported that it was sent to the San Francisco Taxi Cab Commission. As of this writing, there has not been a follow-up phone call, but the report was filed on Friday and today is Tuesday. But given this blog series was first posted last Wednesday and it's six days later, and information to me explains that Luxor has seen the blog post, there has not been an apology from anyone representing Luxor Cab in San Francisco. Meanwhile there has been a sudden development of comments from the same person using different YouTube accounts. Cool, but if this person represents Luxor Cab San Francisco, they're advocating against free speech rights (in this case, the right to say the cab driver's problem was he wanted

KPIX Channel 5's Mike Sugarman discovers the Sony camera at BART

San Francisco TV Station KPIX Channel 5's Mike Sugarman discovers the Sony camera at BART . On Friday of last week, on the way to Cafe Americano to meet a friend, Mike Sugarman - the long-time San Francisco KPIX Channel 5 (CBS) News Man, who interviewed this blogger when the focus was bringing the Super Bowl to Oakland in 1999 - was struggling with a new Sony Betacam camera that he was given to use for a story about the planned BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) 15 cent fare decrease (which he and I disagree about.) I stopped to help Mike and suggested he restart the Sony camera; he did and it worked. So, in turn he interviewed me as part of his segment. That was Mike's first time with the camera on his own. For 31 years Mike Sugarman worked a story assignment with a camera person. But in the age of smaller media budgets, reporters like Mike Sugarman are learning to be, well, something like video bloggers, using the camera to make the news themselves without a came

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band Concert Film At Balboa SF

This San Francisco event annoucement comes from Gary Meyer, the owner and operator of The San Francisco Balboa Theater and the Co-Director of The Telluride Film Festival, who you may remember from this video interview earlier this year : Sent a press release announcing the exclusive debut of a new concert film featuring Bruce Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band this Thursday June 17th at the Balboa Theater in San Francisco with two shows at 7:15 PM and 9:15 PM. This YouTube video gives you a preview. It's from the very show the concert film is based on: Here's the extensive press release: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND CONCERT FILM PREMIERES AT BALBOA JUNE 17 TO BENEFIT MELANOMA RESEARCH Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band in "LONDON CALLING: LIVE IN HYDE PARK” will have it exclusive San Francisco area Premiere on Thursday, July 17. This one night only benefit will have two showings at 7:15pm and 9:15pm. The showings will benefit th

Oakland parking problem: Rebecca Kalplan should explain this one

The Oakland Parking problem of high ticketing rates, high parking ticket prices, and aggressive parking enforcement practices in low income areas continues. This blogger just received an email from Nick Mitchell, a PhD. candidate at UC Santa Cruz, that he asked me to print in full. Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who's defended Oakland's parking practices very loudly in the recent past, should read and explain this one. I also have a somewhat nightmarish story about Oakland parking drama. I live in West Oakland, and I love my neighborhood, but the parking ticket situation is starting to get absurd. Last year, my registration sticker got stolen. I didn't notice this until I received a ticket for not displaying it. Never mind the fact that my registration was fully up to date. Having one's sticker stolen, I guess, is a ticketable offense, and one that resulted in my receiving $70 tickets on two different weeks. The thing is that the CA DMV is slow and