Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Oakland City Council

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan leads trade mission to China

By cburt

So Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Council president Larry Reid jetted off to Beijing this a.m. on a whirlwind trade mission to China with Port of Oakland officials. They hope to drum up new business and expand partnerships with Chinese companies in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Council President Larry Reid

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Council President Larry Reid

The 12-member group includes Port executive director Omar Benjamin and other port maritime and airport officials. They’ll spend four days making stops in three cities: Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

They’re saving the fun for last, when they visit a California wine bar and restaurant in Hong Kong to promote Oakland wineries.

A case of Oakland wine has been shipped ahead and will be served when the mayor and her entourage visit on Thursday.

Stay tuned for updates to find out what’s in the case! Hint: check out the East Bay Vintner’s Alliance.

Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2011
Under: Jean Quan, Oakland City Council, Oakland City Hall, Port of Oakland | No Comments »
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Uptown parking lot gets the boot, for now

By cburt

Thanks to LOTS of public pressure from assorted bloggers (dto510, Becks from Living in the O, etc…) and downtown neighbors, Oakland’s elected leaders decided late Tuesday night that maybe a temporary (until June 2011) surface parking lot with only 110 spaces wasn’t perhaps the best use of a prime piece of property on Telegraph Avenue next to the Fox Theater. Especially since it was gonna cost $400,000 or $500,000 (paid by developer Forest City) and be months before it would be ready for use.

Besides the wealth of alternate ideas that folks had for the space were just so darn great (park, plaza, large sculpture space, pee-wee golf), the council couldn’t help but take notice, apparently.

So last night the council voted to give the community two weeks to develop a plan to transform the dirt lot into a spot to display large public art, a la Burning Man-sized creations. Like IT by Michael Christian??? How cool would that be???

Could great art like this be headed downtown? Stay tuned.

Could great art like this be headed downtown? Stay tuned.

Posted on Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
Under: Oakland City Council, Uptown | 3 Comments »
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Slashing arts funding in Oakland

By awoodall

The city council is talking about cutting Oakland’s Cultural Arts program, acc. to the Friday story by the Trib’s Kelly Rayburn. The proposed move, on the agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting (doors open 6 p.m.), is tantamount to self-mutilation if we’re supposed to be betting the revival of Oakland on entertainment, art, dining and the like…in other words, giving people a reason for moving here and giving the ones who did something to do when the sun sets. I don’t know how many complaints I’ve heard about the city’s inability to communicate across the various departments. So the head doesn’t know what its ass is doing, but the head is supposed to be capable of giving people information about its various body parts. So let me spell it out to Ignacio De La Fuente and Jean Quan, the two councilmember geniuses who put the suspension idea out there along with some other brilliant proposals. I’ll try to go slowly. Artists and the art they create need money, which the program helps provide based on qualified people making qualified judgments. The artists create a buzz that draws more people, which draws restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs to feed and water them. That means more money for the city and safer streets etc. In short, it creates a cool city. Here is a more thorough description of what the program does and the future plans, including Illuminated Oakland.  I’m no schill for the city folks but my job will get a lot duller if Quan and De La Fuente have their way (Dellums and three other members are opposing).
I don’t care how many high-rise office buildings go up, without Cultural Arts support, the city won’t be worth hanging out in and the SF shadow will just loom darker and heavier, proving the theory that Oakland survives DESPITE its leadership. Here is a link to an online petition drive and more about it all. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008
Under: Night Owl, Oakland City Council, Oakland nightlife | 8 Comments »
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