Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for December, 2007

Alarming Alliance, aka Operation Heat

By awoodall

An alarming alliance between a New York crime family and a New Jersey street gang that conspired to supply drugs and cellphones to gang members inside a Jersey prison. And we thought Oakland had problems.

Member of the Luchese crime family and the Bloods street gang were running the “criminal operation” with the help of a New Jersey prison guard, according to a New York Times article. I didn’t even know inmates were allowed to have cellphones.  Or, maybe that’s the point of the bust. Never ones to be picky about who they consort with, an organized crime family collaborating with a street gang was a new one for the Jersey attorney general’s office. Or at least “Operation Heat” netted concrete evidence that the two are branching out.  I thought New Jersey folks didn’t like New Yorkers.  

The potential for more cooperation was great, according to A.G. Anne Milgram in the NYT article, ”given their shared interests in violence, illegal drugs and quick profits.” Maybe she should have added “communication.”  

Posted on Wednesday, December 19th, 2007
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The dept. of bad luck

By awoodall

Sounds like last night an Oakland woman had a double case of car theft. The woman’s stolen vehicle had been returned to her for no longer than it took to go inside her home and come out again, when she discovered it had been stolen once again. Now, that’s bad luck.

Posted on Wednesday, December 19th, 2007
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Double-fisted cans of country-fried whup-ass — huh?

By awoodall

This message brought to you by Brett O’Bourke over at FlavorPill.com: Dec. 26 the Fillmore opens up double-fisted cans of country-fried whup-ass with the Reverend Horton Heat joined by Hank III and Nashville Pussy. On one hand, you’ve got the good Reverend, who’s been stomping out Texas-sized psychobilly since his band blazed out of Dallas in 1985. On the other, you have the skeletally skinny Hank III, who not only sounds like his granddaddy, but looks like him to boot. Junior typically opens with a set of classic country covers and originals — filled with the acoustic heartbreak of real country music, not the crap you hear on the radio — before launching into an electrified storm of breakneck hellbilly. You’re going to want to hold onto your hat.

 1805 Geary Blvd, (415) 346-6000) Price $35

Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2007
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Viva Cuba

By awoodall

The Los Angeles Coalition in Solidarity with Cuba presents the CUBAN FILM SERIES:
 VIVA CUBA  – A Film by Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti
Malu is from an upper-class family and her single mother does not want her to play with Jorgito, as she thinks his background is coarse and common-place.  Oorgito’s mother, a poor socialist proud of her family’s social standing, places similar restrictions on her son.  What neither woman recognizes is the immense strength of the bond between Malu and Jorgito.  When the children learn that Malu’s and Jorgito.  When the children learn that Malu’s mother is planning to leave Cuba, they decide to run away and travel to the other side of the island to find Malu’s father and persuade him against signing the forms that would allow it. 80 minutes  Spanish with English subtitles
 
 RSVP:  RachelJay@earthlink.net or call  310-451-2752 (first 20)
 Home of: Rachel Sene and Jay Johnson
601 – 9th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90402
one block East of Lincoln and one block North of Montana.  South East corner.  
 
$5 donation for The Cuban Five defense
freethefive.org
  “Ours may be one of the most ridiculous accusations of espionage in the history of this  country.”  GERARDO HERNANDEZ NORDELO No. 58739-004
USP VICTORVILLE,  PO BOX 5500, Adelanto, CA 92301
Tel: 760- 530-5000
You can write to him in English or Spanish.  He is fluent in both.
 
Continue discussion at: Izzy’s  Deli -15th and Wilshire, Santa Monica C
Free parking in rear + free valet + free street parking  READ SIGNS.

Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2007
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Ashkenaz’s David Nadel Memorial

By awoodall

Friday, Decc. 21: Celebrate the life of Ashkenaz founder David Nadel, to honor the 11th Anniversary of the passing of the community activist.  The memorial event will take place in the Back Studio from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Bring thoughts, memories, hopes, and something to share.

Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2007
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What are you birdies doing this weekend?

By awoodall

The Night Owl is going stir crazy in this New York nest. I’m in Manhattan for a week of R&R — even more rest and relaxation than I bargained for, it seems with this turn for the worse weather-wise.  A snow storm is brewing and the streets are unhospitable for a bird with a broken wing — or, to be precise, broken leg. My crutches keep slipping out from under me on the snow-rain slushy streets. So I’m stuck for the night inside. Bad news for an after-hours prowler. So help relieve the cabin fever, little birdies: What are you up to this weekend in the fair city of Oakland? Dancing? Dining? Tell all! Let me live vicariously.

Posted on Thursday, December 13th, 2007
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Do the Loup

By awoodall

The Owl has been silent too long. Actually, I’ve been running around New York again. Or, rather, hobbling. Still on crutches but the impediment has only slowed me down. This time I’m noticing how many wheelchairs and crutches and canes grace these streets. It was Monday when a day of wandering around the Village tired me out, fortunately right near a little bistro called Cafe Loup on West 13th Street. I was beat and needed a place to rest for a half hour. And there it was. French fries and a martini were beckoning at a most reasonable price (the rest of the menu might be another matter). The barmaid was a lovely, weathered gal from Ohio (my birthplace, btw). I had started with a snack at the Union Square greenmarket (what we call a farmers market) and traveled on from there. When I wandered in to Cafe Loup, the barmaid and a 30-something Australian were chatting. Turns out, I gathered from the conversation, he – he being ”h.r. king” according to his business card – was a  singer who used to work at the bistro. The barmaid was an actress and who knows what else everyone else did in those hours before and after the Loup. I get the feeling New Yorkers pull a veil over their daily lives. Peek behind the veil and there’s a whole parallel world to be uncovered.

Speaking of lives on the side, Jazz is on the menu Sundays during brunch. So I asked one of the wait staff if the framed photo of Woody Allen looking down on the bar hung there because he played at Cafe Loup (he plays jazz — clarinet — and was once busted in Venice for trespassing on the grounds of the torched out Fenice opera hall where he was to give a benefit concert. It was a farcical incident. I can imagine his face). Nope. It just fit, the waiter told me.  Simple as that. 

Posted on Wednesday, December 12th, 2007
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Love you long time

By awoodall

This is truly the night owl. I’m sleepless and can only listen so long to the drip drop of rain off the big Oak tree in front of my apartment. Actually, I call it the nest. So I’ll tell the tale of the watering hole I stumbled into the other night. The Parkway Lounge over on Park Boulevard. It is, in short, a dive bar of the hip species where you can dive for a variety of fun. The lounge offers happy hour 4-7 p.m. and a variety of drink specials, including the presumably popular Hot P…. (starts with P, ends in Y and is also the nickname for kitty) advertised on the mural of chalk boards behind the pool tables. A taste of paradise for just $7.
Drink Specials compliments of the Parkway Lounge It’s the land of Cash only, folks. I was so foolish as to slap down my plastic payment in a place with an ATM machine. “I didn’t even notice it there,” said the waitress when she finally acknowledged my card lying impotent on the big wooden bar. Live and  learn. It’s like being in North Beach.

Both pool tables that grace the wide open area on one side of the bar were occupied by couples. A trendy, white, 20ish couple was playing one table. An African American couple about the same age were at the other one. Another couple exchanged fairly modest smooches at the bar, under the TV broadcasting the Warriors game. Things got loud with hoots and hollers a few minutes after my martini was served up ice-cold (the ice crystals were as crisp as the baby olives). “Are they getting excited about the pool game or the Raiders?” I asked aloud, looking at the TV screen on my far right, to no one in particular.  A fairly tipsy blond in the stool next to mine chuckled at the idea of boisterous billiards fans. Sensing my lack of sports acumen – it was the New England Patriots vs. the Baltimore Ravens (how was I to know another team daring enough to wear black existed?) — he informed me I was privy to a potentially historic moment. ”In case you don’t know the significance, if the Patriots make it through this game they could break the record for an undefeated season for the first time since 1972.”   I didn’t follow the exact numbers he reeled off and I’ve read that they are aiming at an NFL record-breaking 16-0 for a regular season, not the way he explained it over what must have been a few too many on his part. He said something about 19-0 so maybe it was something different (chime in, sports fans). But it was a cliff hanger when the clock stopped with 44 seconds left while the refs did a slow-mo analysis of the touchdown that put the Patriots ahead by two points 26-24. Had the decision gone east, the team’s hopes of a perfect regular season would have gone south.

My sports guru was delighted. But, he informed me, the bartender “Stacey” was not of like mind as far as the historic moment went. “History has already been made. They don’t need to do it again,” explained the ever so slightly cantankerous Stacey. She was, after all, the one who quibbled with me briefly over issuing a receipt.

The Park Way Web site claims the lounge is, “your best bang for your buck in the Oakland area.” (Only if they get rid of their $3 ATM fee.)  Next time I’m going to come with cash and order “Love You Long Time.” How often do you get that in a glass?

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2007
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