Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for June, 2008

The monster sighted

By awoodall

The monster of Lake Merritt, still unnamedLadies and gentlemen, thank you for the outpouring of ideas and name suggestions for the Lake Merritt monster. We’ve had a breakthrough in the meantime from a Lake Merritt specialist:

“We are very pleased that the Oakland Tribune has finally acknowledged the existence of the Oak-Ness Monster. Those of us who frequent the lake every day have known about this beast for several years. For more details and photos of the monster, see the November and December, 2006 issues of “Tidings” the newsletter of the Lake Merritt Institute. Just go to www.lakemerrittinstitute.org; click on Help LMI, then on Newsletter Archives. Click on the November and December 2006 issues and they will appear in .pdf format. I have attached a photo of the monster as it was last seen in 2006. We also have video of it, showing it rising from the depths, disappearing, rising, and going down again. Yes, it does move. We tried to get the city council interested in passing a resolution to protect it (resolution available upon request) but had no response. Other jurisdictions have promoted their monsters, but, sadly, not in Oakland.”

Posted on Monday, June 30th, 2008
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B.A.D. Girls Bout July 12

By awoodall

On Saturday, July 12, the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls (B.A.D.) will host their first bout ever in San Francisco at Fort Mason Center. Skaters sought a new bouting venue after the limited capacity at B.A.D.’s Oakland practice location prevented the non-profit league from recuperating bout event expenses.
Fort Mason’s Herbst Pavilion is a 30,000 square foot column-free space that will allow up to 1,000 derby-crazed fans to converge for this classic Bay Area rivalry: Oakland Outlaws vs. San Francisco ShEvil Dead.
About the Event: Oakland Outlaws vs. San Francisco ShEvil Dead on Saturday, June 12, at Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; the beatdown starts at 8:00 p.m. Event is 21+ with ID for entry and to purchase alcohol. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door.
This event is expected to sell out, so buy your tickets today at www.bayareaderbygirls.com.
Herbst Pavilion is located in the historic Fort Mason Center at the intersection of Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street (www.fortmason.org). Free street parking is available but limited. The Fort Mason Center parking lot will cost attendees $8 for the evening. Carpooling and use of public transit is encouraged. The venue is accessible by the following MUNI lines: 22 Fillmore, 47 Van Ness, 49 Van Ness/Mission, 30 Stockton, 82x Presidio, and the 28 19th Avenue.

Posted on Monday, June 30th, 2008
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More than $1 million raised to send care packages to troops

By kbender

Even on a day (last Thursday) when the Dow Jones industrial average finished with a loss of 358 points with another surge in oil prices and warnings of trouble in financial, automotive and high-tech industries dogging the market, troops’ supporters donated more than $1 million for military care packages.

During an 8-hour Web telethon called “From the Frontlines,” people made donations to cover the costs of sending the largest single shipment of care packages for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

More than 50,000 care packages containing Jelly Bellies, lip balm, cookies, coffee, hand-held fans and other personal care items will be headed to the troops a few days before the Fourth of July.

“Clearly people are yearing for a way to support the American military. The economy be damned, people came together as a community online in a way that has never been done before,” said Melanie Morgan, who heads Move America Forward (www.moveamericanforward.org) the nonprofit that organized the drive.

The telethon was hosted by Morgan, and blogger, author and TV analyst, Michelle Malkin and included guests Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, military families and others. President Bush and his wife, Laura, sent a letter of support that was read during the telethon.

The original fund-raising goal for the drive was set for $500,000. However, donations surpassed that amount in the first few hours of the telethon, Morgan said.

The telethon was broadcast by http://www.UStream.tv. It can be viewed on the Move American Forward Web site. The care packages will be shipped from Sacramento on July 2.

Posted on Saturday, June 28th, 2008
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Dreamteam of conservative talkers/celebs rally for the troops

By kbender

Last month, former KSFO morning talk show host Melanie Morgan told me that the group she heads, Move America Forward, (www.moveamericaforward.org) was working to send more than 50,000 care packages to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s a lot of chocolate chip cookies and toothpaste.

 

Morgan said the group was striving to bring the “largest amount of care packages in history” to American service men and women.

 

Tomorrow is the day Morgan and conservative blogger, author and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin will host a web-a-thon in hopes of raising  $500,000 for Operation Care Package. 

 

Morgan says it may become a fight for mic time with the all-star lineup that includes Ann Coulter, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Talk Radio Network’s Monica Crowley and Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Lt. Col. Oliver North,  ABC Radio Networks’ hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin as well as Nancy Reagan. 

 

 

The Jelly Belly candy company (maker of President Ronald Reagan’s favorite candy) has donated 100,000 bags of their gourmet jelly beans that will be included in the care packages, acccording to Move America Forward.  While the jelly beans shipped in the past were welcomed by the troops, military members say their real value comes in being able to hand out the candy to the children of the war-torn nations in which they are serving.

 

Comedian Jackie Mason and actor Kelsey Grammer will also be on hand for the web-a-thon as will men and women of the U.S. military and various representatives of military and veterans organizations.

 

Kicking off at 1 p.m., the Jerry Lewis-style 8-hour Internet telethon will airing on Ustream.tv. Calling the show “From the Frontlines,” Morgan said it’s the grand finale to a month-long push to collect sponsorships to send the care packages right before the Fourth of July.

Posted on Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
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Goodbye Eli’s for good?

By awoodall

Holy blues guitars. I missed this on June 22 but it’s still news: Eli’s Mile High will be torn down next month (Tuesday July 8th). In honor of the club thats been a blues haven for so many musicians Tom (Troyce Key Uncle) is hosting a private Blues Jam tonite from 8pm – 1am, all the blues greats from the bay area will be there, the doors open at 7 signup is at 7:30 and will kick it off at 8pm. This is for musicians for musicians to say good bye to Eli’s Mile High Club for good.

Posted on Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
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Mercury 20 Gallery party

By awoodall

Mercury 20 Gallery
25 Grand Ave. (at Broadway)  
Oakland, CA 94612 
  Exhibition dates: July 4–
July 26, 2008 

 

Please join us for the Opening Reception: Friday, July 4 from 6:009:00pm (in conjunction with First Friday/Oakland Art Murmur).  

Chela Fielding and Joan Weiss open an exhibition of new work at Mercury 20 Gallery on July 4th with a reception for the artists from 6:009:00pm.
Chela Fielding is a collector. Fascinated by the forgotten or ignored details of peoples' lives, the artist conjures up stories by giving castoff materials new identities. In her latest show, Misremembering You, Fielding integrates her painting and sculptural works with style, ingenuity, and humor to explore aspects of identity in a new light. Each of the works in this show exposes views of an imagined personality, like pages from someone's personal journal, giving voice to the lost person in all of us.
 East Bay abstract painter Joan Weiss‘ new body of work continues to refer to nature as a source, but the climate and palette have darkened. There is a palpable sense of atmosphere along with a mood that feels meditative. The artist’s focus has narrowed; we no longer see an entire landscape, even highly abstracted. There is a lush feeling to the paint, and surface has gained in importance. Charged with emotion, these paintings offer an intimate experience of nature as a metaphor and abstraction as a marker of states of being–expansive or enclosed.

Mercury 20 also presents an ongoing group exhibition in its back gallery. The artwork changes monthly and features new work from the gallery artists. Mercury 20 Gallery is an artist-run gallery in the heart of downtown Oakland; part of the emerging arts district in the Broadway/Telegraph corridor. Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday, 12:00 noon3:00 pm, and by appointment. 

 

www.mercurytwenty.com

For more info: 510-701-4620

Posted on Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
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My chance to be Simon Cowell at Berkeley songwriter’s contest

By kbender

It’s rare, but every once in a while reporters get to do something fun.  I’ve had my share of fun flying around in the Goodyear Blimp, taking a ride with a professional skywriter, meeting Halle Berry at the Paramount Theatre and going to the Price Is Right game show, all in the name of a good story.

Now I can add being a judge for the Westcoast SongWriters competition at Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage coffeehouse to my good-times list. The invitation from Grace Woods, the manager of the East Bay Chapter of the West Coast Songwriters (westcoastsongwriters.org)  Association,  popped into my email basket last week. “Given your experience, we would be honored if you would help out the local songwriting community and come be a judge,” it said.

A judge of musical talent and songwriting? Me? OK,  how could they want someone whose musical knowledge extends to playing the flute up to the 8th grade? 

It must be my knowledge of writing they were after. OK, that made sense. “Sure, I’ll do it,” I wrote back.  OK, so this is where I started dreaming about how I’d get to be justifiably mean and critical, like American Idol judge Simon Cowell in trying to determine the best song and the best performance.

But there was no room for mean and overly critical on Monday night. Every single one of the two dozen performers who took the stage at the Freight sang and strummed and played piano with passion and gusto. Their original songs ranged from folksy to soulful to downright foot stompin’ fun.

A singer songwriter named Tim Mooney emerged as the winner in the best song category with “A Great Generation,” a tune about the stories he’s heard from his dad, now 85 and suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Mooney won three hours of  studio time at a local recording studio. Chris Hanson got the top nod for his Bob Dylan-like performance” of ”Diamond Ridge,” taking home some blank CD’s as a prize.

Next up is the East Bay Play-Offs on  July 21 at the Freight & Salvage.  The winner there will go on to the State Play-Offs.

Who knows what will happen to the state winner. But “Two at a Time,” a song in the new movie “Sex in the City” was written by  Westcoast SongWriters Association members Joel Evans and J. Elle. To catch another round of the West Coast Songwriters contest head over to Cafe Royale, 800 Post Street in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m. tonight. It’s free.

 

Posted on Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
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Go Baby Brigade, go

By awoodall

The Baby Brigade night (nowadays only at the Cerrito) is a finalist for Nickelodeon’s Parent’s Picks Award for Best Parents Night Out for Little Kids in the Bay Area.
Only 6 days left to vote! If you want to cast your ballot for Baby Brigade, please go here:

http://gocitykids.parentsconnect.com/ParentsPicks/register.htm

Posted on Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
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Spice Monkey cafe

By awoodall

This place – Spice Monkey Cafe – looks adorable. Looks like they are applying for a liquor license? They already serve wine and beer…
From the Web site: Spice Monkey Café is a playful new café located at 1628 Webster @17th St., 2 blocks from Lake Merritt and 3 blocks from Downtown Oakland in a gorgeous historical landmark building. Cuisine: International, local and organic.  Beers and wine, along with espresso drinks. Order at the bar and food is delivered to your table. Open 11am to 9pm – Monday thru Saturday. Good for lunch or a cute dinner on the way home.
 

Posted on Monday, June 23rd, 2008
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The creature from the Oakland lagoon

By awoodall

So the hunt is on: We need a name for our monster that lives in Lake Merritt. The Trib was supposed to announce that fact a little more boldly that what appeared in Friday’s paper. So, folks, let’s hear — by June 27 — what you propose to name the creature from the Oakland lagoon. The top five names will be voted on by readers in an online poll. Come on. Let your imagination run amok. You can comment here or e-mail me.

Posted on Monday, June 23rd, 2008
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