Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for December, 2008

Industrial strength DUI patrols

By awoodall

Even Oakland Raiders fans will feel the heat as Avoid the 21 plans industrial-strength DUI enforcement this weekend in Alameda County. Friday night checkpoints are set for Alameda, Oakland and Pleasanton. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2008
Under: Night Owl | No Comments »
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Oakland’s bloggerati last night

By awoodall

The official vehicle of the blogosphere would be a Segway scooter, I decided last night erstwhile when Nancy Nadel challenger Sean Sullivan rolled up to the Washington Inn last night. The downtown business darling showed up at the Oakland Blogger Get-Together. The blogoyalty were there — such as the event’s organizer “Becks” of Living in the O, Future Oakland/The DTO’s Jonathan Bair and ”V Smoothe” of A Better Oakland.  So were Oakland’s citerati:  Oakland Events, Dowtown Lake Merritt Neighborhood Group, Tina “Tamale” Ramos (The big cheese over at La Borinquena Mex-icatessen who’s living in a tamale world cuz she’s a tamale girl). Lots of readers and numerous genuinely engaged residents who had lots to say about people trashing their town, the popping entertainment scene and transit.  It was the first blogger party I’ve ever been to or heard of. I was half expecting to find a bunch of freaks and geeks to be tapping away at their laptops. Just kidding. No way Oakland’s urban bloggerati would be doing anything but looking fabulous drinking their cocktails. Anyway, I appreciated being there but felt a little strange as the only reporter. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2008
Under: Night Owl | 7 Comments »
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CodePINK doesn’t see it like Austin Powers “Who throws a shoe? Honestly!”

By kbender

No matter what you think of the Bush Administration, it’s not a journalist’s job to hurl two size 10 loafers at the U.S. president. In my humble opinion, it’s actually not OK to throw shoes at anyone – ever– but I guess not everyones’ mama taught them their manners.

CodePINK, the colorful and always theatrical anti-war group that has spent the last year protesting in front of the U.S. Marine recruiting center in Berkeley, took to the streets Wednesday calling for the release of Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who hurled two shoes at the 62-year-old president during a news conference in Baghdad on Sunday.

Members of the group and others marched around the recruiting station and hung tennis shoes, flip flops, work shoes and boots on lines air to show support for al-Zeidi.

Melanie Morgan from Move American Forward, the largest pro-troops organization in the country thought the whole idea was inane.  

“It’s not a journalist’s job to insult or make any kind of editorial judgement,” said Morgan. “Journalism is observing and reporting the facts.”  

In fact, shoe throwing really is so asinine that actor Mike Myers’ play8ing international man of mystery Austin Powers asks “Who throws a shoe? Honestly?” when a bellman hurls a black dress shoe at his head during a scene in the movie. “It really hurts. I”m going to have a lump there you idiot.”  Check out Powers and Bush in a hybrid video brought to you by our friends at YouTube.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOWR-9HYQjo

In many Arab countries, showing the sole of one’s shoes, much less throwing shoes at another person, is considered extremely disrespectful. It’s like spitting in someones face _ or worse _ here in America.

But that’s not the way CodePINK co-found Medea Benjamin sees it.

“It’s outrageous that al-Zaidi could get two years in prison for insulting George Bush, when Bush is directly responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis and 4,200 U.S. troops, and 5 million displaced Iraqis,” she said.

CodePINK’s Zanne Joi took a different route, blaming the media for “accepting the propaganda to go to war and perpetuating that propaganda.”

“I’m not saying journalists should throw shoes at Bush but journalists could have asked the hard questions and not been a mouthpiece for these war criminals,” she said. 

Posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
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Food, music and fun

By awoodall

The Friends of OPC invite you to enjoy FOOD, MUSIC, AND FUN!
 OPCMusic Annual
Holiday Party and Celebration

Sunday December 21, 2008.  2pm-6pm

The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music opened its doors in October 2005. Come and celebrate with us as we embark upon our 4th year.  Performances by faculty, students, and friends. We will also have a screening of videos and slide shows of concerts and other special events that have occurred at OPC through the years.
This event is FREE!
Bring the whole family! 
Please RSVP by Dec. 18
phone: (510) 836-4649 ext. 112 or 
email:  party08@opcmusic.org

Posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | No Comments »
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Pray the devil back to hell

By awoodall

So the other night my boyfriend and I caught up with a reporter we used to work with and his wife at a showing of “Pray the devil back to hell,” a documentary about the women’s peace movement during the bloody days of war in Liberia. The verdict was mixed about the documentary for several reasons but I think it’s worth anyone’s time and inspiring. Anyway, it got me thinking about how their attitude could be applied to other issues and it’s playing around Berkeley and SF for a little while longer.

Posted on Monday, December 15th, 2008
Under: Night Owl | No Comments »
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NIMBY migration begins!

By cburt

After several years of flying under the radar, thanks largely to the no-man’s land Dogtown neighborhood where it was located, NIMBY is moving this month from West Oakland to East Oakland.

NIMBY, for those who don’t know, is a warehouse/studio space that catered to Burning Man artists, painters, and tinkerers who really like fire. Founder Snook was forced to look for a different spot after someone left a candle untended and it sparked a smoky blaze. The blaze also sparked a series of inspections, which uncovered a few violations, such as no sprinklers, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, December 15th, 2008
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St. Mary’s a welcome place for homeless seniors

By cburt

Man, just the thought of someone my mom’s age not having a place to live, or not being able to get enough food to eat makes me want to cry. So I was so glad to tour St. Mary’s Center at San Pablo Avenue and Brockhurst Street last week. That place is amazing. They offer food, shelter, medical and mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, showers, money management, all for seniors. 

The part I liked the best was the way they treated the seniors. Just like they are family. Check out my story here and help them if you can.  Their website is www.stmaryscenter.org

They also run a preschool for 40 kids from low-income families. These cuties are having so much fun!

Youngsters at St. Mary's Center preschool

Youngsters at St. Mary

Posted on Monday, December 15th, 2008
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Downtown session tonight

By awoodall

Come on over to the Downtown Session tonight
Bliss Rodriguez-piano
Carla Kaufman-bass
Rob Rhodes-drums
December 15, 2008  7pm   $5

Listen or sit-in
Food and Drink available
Experience Live Music Tonight
1616 Franklin St. in Downtown Oakland,

Posted on Monday, December 15th, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | No Comments »
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Musiq4Hunger: Red for naughty, white for nice

By awoodall

PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHILDREN~BRING-A-GIFY & ENJOY THE MUSIQ 12/17/08
Wednesday December 17 @ Element Lounge
Musiq 4 Hunger & Element Lounge in association with LK Management & Vixxen Ent present:
2008 Toy Drive and Open Mic
Featuring Hopie $pitshard, Verbz, and Selassie, with DJ Maniakal on the 1′s and 2′s
$7 donation at the door or $5 with a toy; $5 to perform
*First 100 people will get a special gift!
WEAR RED if you’ve been naughty or WHITE if you’ve been nice.


Posted on Saturday, December 13th, 2008
Under: Night Owl | No Comments »
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Marijuana dispensary almost robbed by guy with fake gun

By kbender

It was just 9 a.m. Thursday and the Berkeley Patients Group, a medical cannabis dispensary at 2747 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley, wasn’t even open yet.

But the dispensary’s security guard was sitting in his car out front. We’re not entirely sure what he was doing there but police are now glad he was.

Without warning, a guy opened the passenger-side door of the guard’s car and hopped in the front seat. He wasn’t there to chat and immediately pointed, what appeared to be a gun, at the guard. He then demanded the keys to the 2500-square-foot dispensary, one of four in the city, I believe.

The security guard, who said he didn’t have the keys, then got out of the car, grabbed the suspect and started “screaming” for police, who weren’t far away on routine patrol, police spokesman Officer Andrew Frankel tells me.

The suspect successfully freed himself and ran towards a 6-8-foot tall fence that has razor tape on the top.

Think of the blades of a saw sitting upright on top of a fence and you’ll get the idea of what razor tape looks like. Ouch.

But this security guard wasn’t letting the would-be thief get away and somehow stopped him from climbing the fence.

Police arrived and arrested Derrick Wentz, 22, of Berkeley without incident.

Turns out the gun was fake. Police weren’t sure if the security guard knew the gun wasn’t real and they don’t advocate that people go after potentially armed suspects.  But in this case, all turned out well.

“I hope he’s getting more than minimum wage cause that guy earned every penny of it (Thursday),” Frankel said.

Posted on Friday, December 12th, 2008
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