Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for April, 2009

Seven Seas Bar goes dry, really dry

By awoodall

On Monday, April 6, the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will post a notice revoking the liquor license of the Seven Seas Bar in Oakland’s Laurel District (4001 MacArthur Boulevard) after a simultaneous enforcement action by ABC, the Oakland Police Department and the Oakland City Attorney’s Office. Earlier this week – the night before ABC was originally scheduled to post the revocation of Seven Seas’ license – a fire caused extensive damage to both the bar and the market. The cause is under investigation by the Oakland Fire Department/Oakland Police Department arson team. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2009
Under: Night Owl | 1 Comment »
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Going beyond the T-shirt

By awoodall

…in the immortal words of Oaklandish impresario Jeff Hull tonight in the Oakland Airport’s Tower Lounge, where the more-Oakland-than-thou indie group handed out loving accolades and beloved dollars to some of our hometown do-gooders.  The Oakland Innovators Award went to seven groups this year and blended with “The Most Known Unknown: Oaklandish” public art exhibit at the airport “so travelers in and out of Oakland can see their work and catch a glimpse of what’s going on in the community,” Hull said. The money from Oaklandish and an extra check from the Port of Oakland (Steve Grossman was the man with the white envelopes) is the first dollar Tyrone Stevenson, the young dude who helped launch the scraper bike scene in East Oakland, has ever seen even though the scraper fever spread like a wild virus near and far. “Oakland youth have birthed so many trends that others have commodified and sold,” said the ceremony’s emcee and KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio Weyland Southon. In the spirit of Bruce Lee’s Oakland roots, there was also the Kung Fu Grocery Summer Camp. You gotta love the name! K-Dub, aka Keith Williams, accepted the love on behalf of Town Park, who turns blight to delight for young folks in West Oakland parks. The money will go toward the Cabeza Project.  Cycles of Change, an afterschool project that “hooks kids up with bikes,” as Matt Gereght and Eugene Kang put it,  will use the extra money to buy bike locks and helmets. Other recipients were Youth Spirit Artworks, Just Cause Oakland, Bay Area Girls Rock Camp.  But for anyone who was still sticking with the T-shirt, they were on sale in the airport gift store. Kudos to the awardees and the hard-working Mr. and Mrs. Oaklandish, Angela Tsay and Jeff Hull. The city owes a thank you to both and the awardees for stoking Oakland pride. And bravo to the Port of Oakland and Oakland Museum for showing them some respect.

Posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | 2 Comments »
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New letter of the week… this one is hard to believe….

By kbender

Covering Berkeley for the Oakland Tribune, I get about two dozen emails, letters and phone calls each week about stories I’ve written.

About 80 percent are folks who aren’t pleased with something I’ve written. Understandable. Everyone has the right to their opinion. And sometimes I make a mistake and folks are quick to notice it and point fingers at me for my “agenda.” I don’t know any newspaper reporter who has the time or energy for an “agenda” these days but whatever.

I also get plenty of really nice, thoughtful letters from appreciative readers who are all too happy that there are still four or five of us still covering local news.

But occasionally, I get a letter that is so baffling, neither I nor anyone in the newsroom can make sense of it. So, I’ve decided to start a “letter of the week” item on this blog.
Today, that letter came from Robert in Fremont. I’m not using his last name because he did not include a phone number and I have no way to verify his actual identity. Who knows if he is who he says he is.

Anyway the letter is in regards to the life-threatening injury of former Berkeley tree sitter Tristan Anderson, who was shot in the head with a tear gas canister while protesting on the West Bank on March 13. 
We covered the story that day and today’s story was a follow-up about his current condition and to advance a rally that was being held for him in Oakland.

Anderson, 38, had been involved in a demonstration in the West Bank village of Naalin to support villagers who have been trying to stop Israel from confiscating their farmland to build a separation barrier.  He was struck in the right temple by a tear-gas canister fired by Israeli border police, according to the Northern California International Solidarity Movement.

Anderson has been in the intensive care unit at a hospital near Tel Aviv for nearly three weeks following several surgeries, including one to remove part of his frontal lobe in his brain. He also may lose his right eye.
OK, so on to the letter from Robert in Fremont:

“This guy is a rabble rouser who spends his time traveling the world in order to agitate.  Why don’t you folks in the media do some investigating into how and why these activists do what they do and what it accomplishes? 
“Obviously, Tristan doesn’t have a real job, so where does he get the money to travel the world to protest?  So the guy got hit in the head with a tear gas canister– too damn bad. 
“I’m sure the person who shot the canister was NOT aiming directly at his head.  It was an unfortunate accident that would not have happened had he not been there in the first place. 

“Life is a gamble, and this guy put himself into harm’s way once too often.  You close your article with a quote from (friend Matthew) Taylor which reveals your true objective, to trash Israel for their `continuous violation of Palestinian human rights.’ 
“What about the human rights of all of the innocent Israeli citizens murdered by Palestinian suicide bombers over the years, or doesn’t that concern you and your liberal friends???:
“So the guy got hit in the head with a tear gas canister– too damn bad.”

Wow. I can honestly say that no matter what your politics — and Robert from Fremont don’t try to guess mine because you won’t — that statement is mean, uncaring and shameful. 
Robert from Fremont also included an excerpt from an article in the Jerusalem Post regarding Anderson that I will post here for the sake of complete accuracy:

“We want to know the truth of what happened, and we want justice for our son,” Anderson’s father, Michael, told reporters at a press conference he and his wife (Nancy Anderson) held in Jerusalem.
The “command inquiry” that the IDF has launched is not about finding liability but rather investigating operational flaws, said [Michael Sfard], adding that this type of investigation did not have the same investigatory power to collect evidence as a criminal one and would allow the Border Police to coordinate their testimony.

“(Tristan) has always been interested in how societies in conflict resolve their issues,” said Michael, reading from a handwritten statement.
“He has gone to many dangerous places. He went to Iraq during the Second Gulf War, and spent years in Central America right after the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala, advocating for social justice.”

Maybe Anderson needs to spend some time in Fremont. At least one person there has a thing or two to learn about social justice.

Posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 4 Comments »
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