Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

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Uptown parking lot battle, Phase II

By awoodall

Things are heating up: “Speak Out Against the Surface Parking Lot in Uptown!” on Tuesday, 7:00pm May 5 at the council chambers of Oakland City Hall. (This the parking lot between the Fox and the Uptown apartments that sits in front of an otherwise charming park.) Read about the parking lot proposal in Tuesday’s Tribune.

 

Posted on Friday, May 1st, 2009
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Update: College Ave Safeway store

By awoodall

Safeway Corp to present the company’s latest plans for the 50,000-square-foot College Avenue store (plus small shops) 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at the Claremont Resort.

Posted on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
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Dems just wanna have fun

By awoodall

They just wanna…Hey alll you swingin’ Democrats, here’s one for you: East Bay Young Dems’ Awards gala and fundraiser 6 pm to 9 pm Thursday, May 7 at Swarm Studios & Gallery. (Let’s get political, political. Lemme hear your ballot talk…)

 

Posted on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
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Oakland Local news site

By awoodall

Oakland Local - A daily-updated Web site and mobile service will be created to cover Oakland, Calif., with a focus on environment, climate, transportation, housing, local government and community activism in Downtown, Uptown, North Oakland, West Oakland, Fruitvale, Lake Merritt, and the Dimond District. An editor, publisher and three paid part-time reporters will produce content, as will citizen contributors. The site will geotag content to an XML data map, encourage users to interact via cell phones and employ a range of social networking tools.

 

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2009
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UC Berkeley students hold sex and sustainability art exhibit

By kbender

University of California, Berkeley art students are putting on a unique art show Tuesday night. The exhibit is called “Sex and Sustainability” with each piece representing one of the United Nations millennium development goals. Accompanying text will explain why that goal is a “unachievable without considering the population growth factor,’’ organizers said.

The free exhibit will also feature information about health consequences women in developing countries face because of a lack of access to family planning services.

Organizers are holding the event to highlight the connection between population, poverty and women’s empowerment. Globally there is a tremendous unmet need for family planning methods due to numerous barriers that prevent access in the developing world. Giving women access to family planning methods allows her the right to choose her family size - a fundamental human right, organizers said.

 

“We want to raise awareness about the huge unmet need for family planning and contraceptives in developing countries and highlight its relationship with poverty alleviation,’’ said Kiki Kalkstein, a senior majoring in public health and minoring in global poverty and practice, the fastest growing minor at Cal with more than 150 UC Berkeley undergraduate sin the programs. The inaugural class of 2007-08 had seven students in the minor, UC officials said.

The event, which is from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Alphonse Berber Gallery, 2546 Bancroft Way, will include wine and cheese. Donations are welcome. The event will include speeches from  professor Malcolm Potts and visiting student activist Alberto Lopez Castro of Mexico.

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2009
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Oakland attorney to become part of NASCAR race –for a day

By kbender

Eve Chaurand-Fraser is about the farthest thing from a NASCAR racecar driver.
She’s an attorney.

But this Saturday at the Phoenix International Raceway, Chaurand-Fraser, associate general counsel at the Oakland-based search engine Ask.com, will have her name plastered on the front of the Ask.com NASCAR racecar hood driven by Bobby Labonte, the 44-year-old Texas native who drives the No. 96 car. Millions are expected to watch the race.
Chaurand-Fraser, an Oakland woman who has been with the company for three years, gets the honor because of her “superior work” at the company, said a company spokesman.

“Eve keeps the Ask legal engine finely tuned, revved up, and race-ready. Whether it’s focusing on syndication deals, privacy policies, or partner contracts, Eve is always poised and focused on doing whatever she can to help her company and community,’’ said a statement from the company. “Eve is known to go way more than the extra mile for her team, pulling many all-nighters to work out the details on some of the trickiest and most complex deals vital to one of Oakland’s major employers.”

Wow, maybe she should drive the car after all?

Labonte, a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, comes from a racing family. His older Terry Labonte was a NASCAR driver until he retired at the end of the 2006 season. The duo are the only brothers to have both won the championship in NASCAR’s top series. Bobby Labonte is also the uncle of former Nationwide Series winner Justin Labonte.

Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
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Queer On Their Feet is coming to Berkeley

By awoodall

An Evening of Stand-Up Comedy and Improv with Queer On Their Feet will be at Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley 1 Lawson Road in Kensington at 1:00 PM &  7:00 PM on April 19. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.  College student discount $10 at the door night of the show with valid college id.  Advance tickets available through Brown Paper Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 1-877-278-4842.   Buy in advance to get the discounted price! Remaining tickets will be available at the door, the night of the show. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Sunday, April 12th, 2009
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“The talk” recession-style

By awoodall

Paying for College: Teens and parents have ‘the talk’
Youth Radio (Oakland, Calif.)
A series of stories on college and money.

Posted on Friday, April 10th, 2009
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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
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New show at the Red Door Gallery

By awoodall

The Red Door Gallery: Myth Magic Mystery — Art of the Inner Worlds
Opening reception is Friday April 3, 6-10pm during the Oakland Art Murmur. The show runs until April 26. Mask making and Guided Imagery  at 6 pm and performance ritual at 7 :30 pm. Book signing for Kaleo and Elise’s books ”Faces of Your Soul: Rituals in Art, Slide show presentations will take place during the evening.

The Red Door Gallery and Collective, 416 26th St., Oakland 
For information: 510-292-7061 or 510-418-8838

Posted on Saturday, March 28th, 2009
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