Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for November, 2008

A salsa congress by any other name…

By awoodall

is still a salsa congress, right? Well, consider the following. I was passing by the downtown Convention Center Saturday evening when I heard the sound of a horn section blaring and dancers swinging in unison coming from the Marriott lobby. It was the Seventh Annual San Francisco Salsa Congress. But the three-day event with 50 workshops, showcases and dance competitions that continued until 4 a.m. was in Oakland. So why is it called the San Francisco Salsa Congress and Oakland or at least Bay Area?????? Why was it not better publicized? We need some serious PR work on this city.

Posted on Monday, November 24th, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | 4 Comments »
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Night owl chariot

By awoodall

I was visiting a sick, post-surgical best friend this weekend who looked at me with some surprise when I confessed I had never heard of the Night Owl bus, the cross-Bay chariot that was supposed to run from SF to Oakland and beyond as long as partiers and graveyard shift workers (etc) did.
Oh the shame! How many of you were like me and believed that you had to curtail your evening hours to fit BART or had to curtail your reveling to fit driving laws? No more. But, like many public services, it’s a “use it or lose it” proposition.  A wide stretch in Costra County Co. was discontinued or at least in danger of being discontinued for lack of use. Don’t let that happen to us in Oakland.

Posted on Monday, November 24th, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | No Comments »
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Shop the O

By awoodall

Who knew a merchants smooch fest would be so fun? Okay, I’m a geek, but I stopped by the Oakland Merchants Leadership Forum (hang on) at the Washington Inn tonight to write a short blog about the annual schmoozapalooza. I figured it would take 15 minutes. Instead, the Inn was packed with merchants and people from retail arteries that feed our dear city’s businesses, including Steve and Andrew of Oakland Venue Management and Shari Godinez from the Oakland Merchants Leadership Forum  and Helen Wyman of Oakland Events and Ligaya Tichy of Yelp and Jonathan Bair of The DTO.  So I stayed two hours. Ooops. But, hey! Mayor Ron Dellums even proclaimed via proxy that Nov. 20 is Shop Oakland Day.
The forum has beefed up the Shop Oakland Grown campaign including the Web site that is a portal for merchants and shoppers.  Retailers list their businesses and products on the site that buyers can search acc. to their favorite criteria. I’m supposed to write a print story about the push, but the bottom line is you should be slapping down your dollar bills in Oakland. I vote for spending them on martinis but powers higher than those of your  humble night owl have determined the thrust should be on holiday spending: $100 per person. Okay, give the Christmas and Thanksgiving, THEN just slip in the martinis.

Posted on Thursday, November 20th, 2008
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
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New Berkeley animal shelter to honor late City Councilmember Dona Spring

By kbender

Recently, I wrote about the Gilman sports fields being named the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex in honor of Berkeley’s mayor, who worked for many years on the project.

It’s not often that you see something _ a building, a street or a field named after a living person.

And that’s too bad.

 

On Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council _ a board that the late Dona Spring was part of for 16 years _ voted to name the new planned animal shelter at 1 Bolivar Drive after Spring, who died in July at age 55 after a long-time battle with rheumatoid arthritis.

The honor is well deserved and her friends and family will certainly be honored. She defined what it meant to be an animal rights activist and animal lover.

 

Those who come to the shelter in the years to come will learn of Spring’s role in highlighting animal welfare problems and her work to solve them. They may learn that she was a vegan because of her heartfelt concern for the abuse and suffering of animals for food production   

And they may ever learn that she demanded that Berkeley’s adoptable animals not be euthanized.

Spring’s legend will live on in the form of her name on a building, but she will never know it.

It’s important to honor leaders while they are still living. If  the honest and true politicians and community leaders are going to continue to do good works, they should be honored _ in some way _ for it.

 

Last year, the council renamed Old City Hall in honor of longtime City Councilmember Maudelle Shirek. Shirek, who is in her 90s, retired from politics four years ago, but was able to see the building that will forever bear her name. What an honor.  

 

In Oakland, the plaza at City Hall is named for Frank H. Ogawa, the first Asian American elected to the City Council and a man who championed the importance of Asian Pacific American representation and participation in politics.

He died in 1994 after a battle with cancer. Several years later, Oakland renamed the plaza in his honor.

 

There is also the question of when it’s appropriate to name a building or street after a politician.

 In 2002, longtime Alameda Mayor Ralph Appezzato, who was battling prostate cancer, shot himself in the head while his wife was out walking the dog. He was running for a seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors at the time of his death.

 

Shortly after, the Alameda City Council renamed Atlantic Avenue Ralph Appezzato Parkway. This sparked much talk on the Island about how the move was questionable because Appezzato was honored after taking his own life, which some consider a sin.

 

While Berkeley moves ahead with its’ plan to build the new animal shelter, funded in part from a 2002 $7.2 million bond measure, it’s important for city leaders to remember to recognize people for the work before it’s too late.

Posted on Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
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Pump up the volume

By awoodall

Joyful music improves blood vessel function

Recent study results suggest that laughing and listening to music that makes people feel joyful can help to improve blood vessel function.

Read the full story here

Posted on Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
Under: Night Owl | No Comments »
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Spice up your monkey

By awoodall

You remember when I wrote that the Spice Monkey cafe was growing up and getting a liquor license? They did and tonight is a free wine tasting to be accompanied by the aptly named Swinging Monkey band.

Posted on Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | No Comments »
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West Oakland Boys & Girls need banks too

By cburt

So, I was all ready to get all righteous and indignant Last Friday over Bank of America’s absence of banks and ATMs in West Oakland when calmer and (probably) wiser) heads prevailed.

It started when BofA sent out an anouncement about the grand opening of the Leonard J. Meltzer Boys & Girls Club in West Oakland. Vern Yip of HGTV’s “Deserving Design” show crafted the fabulous facelift and the bank paid for it.

The announcement also mentioned that BofA had spent $61 million to spruce up a whole bunch of banking centers, none, zip, zero of which are located in West Oakland. I mean the bank doesn’t even have an ATM there.

But Cal Stanley, Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland president, talked about how fantastic the place looked, “the best its been in 40 years,” was how he put it. You can see how right he is by these photos, and read the Tribune story about the grand opening here.

West Oakland Boys & Girls Club

West Oakland Boys & Girls Club

West Oakland Boys & Girls Club

West Oakland Boys & Girls Club

Happy kids at West Oakland Boys & Girls Club

Happy kids at West Oakland Boys & Girls Club

Stanley said of course he didn’t like that BofA had bypassed the West Oakland community for direct banking services, but he pointed out that it had given the Boys and Girls Club a two-year, $200,000 operating grant that really helped the organization provide a safe haven for a lot of kids that need it. He said the financial giant had been a really good partner with the club. It also gave the club a $30,000 check at Friday’s grand opening. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Under: economic development, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
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Shop Oakland, baby

By awoodall

Food by La Borinquena restaurant, Fashion by SOBO (South of Broadway) merchants, Music by DJ BSG, Models hair and make-up by Gente Bella Salon & Spa. What could this be?

Event Info:

Date:        Thursday, November 20
Time:        5:30 PM Cash Bar & Mingling
                6-9 PM Festivities
Location: Washington Inn
                495 10th St.
                Oakland, CA 94612

 

Posted on Monday, November 17th, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | No Comments »
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Cheech & Chong in Bezerkley

By awoodall

Cheech & Chong have several shows coming up in the bay area… they will be performing at the Berkeley Community Theatre on Saturday, November 22nd…. at Nob Hill Masonic Center on Sunday, November 23rd…. and at the Performing Arts Center in San Jose on Sunday, November 30th. 

Posted on Sunday, November 16th, 2008
Under: Night Owl | No Comments »
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Tony Curtis goes Van Gogh

By awoodall

Tony Curtis Exhibit Comes To Dennis Rae Fine Art
Legend of The Silver Screen Will Make Personal Appearance
At San Francisco Waterfront Gallery Wednesday, November 19

Tony Curtis week kicks off tonight, however, at the opening of the show. Be sure to read this month’s Vanity Fair for the whole story about the artist. He totally dishes. Hot Hot Hot.
WHAT: Two Public Opening of Tony Curtis Art Show featuring Tony Curtis in person Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, November 14th, 2008
Under: Night Owl | 2 Comments »
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