Tuesday, October 31, 2006

You've Got Costumes? We've Got Bandwidth.

by Kara Platoni
Tue, Oct 31, 2006 at 3:23 PM

Okay, Halloween isn't technically until Tuesday, but we know all the good costumes make their debut at parties over the weekend, and frankly, we're doing kinda suck-o this year in the costume-idea department over here at Express HQ and could use some inspiration. Best ideas we spotted amongst the energy domes and jumpsuits at Saturday's SF Devo show: D.B. Cooper, Gap Audrey, and Steve Zissou. Also, Bow Wow Wow, but we're pretty sure they were the real thing. Seen anything awesome? Got photos? You send 'em, we post 'em. Some kind of Express swag for the best one!

P.S. If you happen to have been the D.B., Captain Zissou, or Gap Audrey we saw at the show, send us a photo and we'll post it up with loving praise for your inventiveness. Bonus points if you are the real D.B.

Monday, October 30, 2006

MySpace Says Grace

by Lauren Gard
Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM

MySpace users be warned: As of today, you'll no longer be able to greet visitors to your profile with a jarring blast of copyrighted music. In response to increasing scrutiny from entertainment industry bigwigs - who say they've been screwed out of millions of dollars by users illegally uploading songs - the social networking behemoth has joined forces with Emeryville up-and-comer Gracenote, Inc. to nip would-be pirates in the bud.

If this serves the purpose of barring tunes by the likes of Paris Hilton and Hilary Duff from unexpectedly invading our lives while we're aimlessly MySpacing away the hours, we must say we're thrilled.

Back to 92510, the East Bay Express news blog.

Stop Reading This Blog. Go Buy a Newspaper.

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM

This just in from Editor & Publisher: Only three of the nation's top 25 papers reported circulation gains in the first six months of 2006 -- the New York Daily News, the New York Post, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The full list of the dismal national newspaper circulation figures after the jump.

USA Today: 2,269,509, (-1.3%) The Wall Street Journal: 2,043, 235, (-1.9%) The New York Times: 1,086,798, (-3.5%) Los Angeles Times: 775,766, (-8.0%) The New York Post: 704,011, +5.3% Daily News, New York: 693,382, +1.0% The Washington Post: 656,297, (-3.3%) Chicago Tribune: 576,132, (-1.7%) Houston Chronicle: 508,097, (-3.6%)

Newsday: 413,579, (-4.9%) The Arizona Republic, Phoenix: 397,294, (-2.5%) The Boston Globe: 386,415, (-6.7%) The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.: 378,100, (-5.5%) San Francisco Chronicle: 373,805, (-5.3%) The Star Tribune, Minneapolis: 358,887, (-4.1%) The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 350,157, (-3.4%) The Plain Dealer, Cleveland: 336,939, (-0.6%) The Philadelphia Inquirer: 330,622, (-7.5%)

Detroit Free Press: 328,628, (-3.6%) The Oregonian, Portland: 310,803, (-6.8%) The San Diego Union-Tribune: 304,334, (-3.1%) St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: 288,676, (-3.2%) The Orange County (Calif.) Register: 287,204, (-3.7%) The St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 276,588, +0.6% The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee: 273,609, (- 5.4%)

Back to 92510, the East Bay Express news blog.

Sexy Is the New Scary

by Kathleen Richards
Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM

The sexy French maid. The sexy nurse. The sexy soldier. The sexy school girl. Somehow, Halloween has morphed into a holiday for wearing risqué outfits. "Sexy" is the top women's costume category on the Spirit Halloween site. And check out Amazon.com's "casual dresses" section. The Chron's C.W. Nevius looks at the creepy trend, and the implications for young girls.

Berkeley NIMBYs Just Say No to Trader Joe's

by Will Harper
Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM

What do people expect when they live one or two blocks away from the busiest street in their city? Apparently in Berkeley they expect peace and quiet and minimal traffic. According to a story in the Chron, a downtown flatlands neighborhood is protesting plans to put in a Trader Joe's market at the northwest corner of University Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Meanwhile, neighboring Oakland proves to be a world away from Berkeley by welcoming Trader Joe's to the Lakeshore area .

Pittsburg's Krispy Kreme Kloses, Kitizens Kouldn't Kare Less

Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM

An East Bay community loses its Krispy Kreme and the heartless townsfolk don't even seem to care, reports the Contra Costa Times-- Jonathan Kaminsky

While You Were Out: October 30, 2006

by Kara Platoni
Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM

News breaks over the weekend, so every Monday we get you back up to speed with While You Were Out:

* The Miami Herald broke news of a federal investigation into last year's buyout of Oakland's Sequoia Voting Systems by a company linked to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez' administration.

* A Pinole liquor store bandit shot himself in the leg, then died after making his escape.

* Incoming Oakland mayor Ron Dellums averted an East Bay garbage strike.

* A Sonoma couple carried out a methodical and highly-documented double suicide.

* Oakland's homicide rate hit 125.

* And because something weird always happens when school's out: A Florida fifteen-year-old stole a city bus and took it for a cruise along its regular route, taking on passengers and collecting fares.

West County Poor: Get Ready to Die

by Chris Thompson
Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM

Here's what you need to know about Doctors Medical Center. It's a 232-bed hospital in San Pablo, and its emergency room sees 40,000 patients every year. The people it serves are among the sickest in the Bay Area, suffering from exposure to oil refinery emissions, heavy industry, and all the obesity, asthma, and heart disease endemic to the terrible poverty of West Contra Costa County. And unless county officials can pull off a miracle, it's going to shut down.

According to reports in the Contra Costa Times, the hospital ran a $15 million deficit in 2005, and the West Contra Costa Healthcare District, which took over operations after the private company Tenet Healthcare bailed out in 2004, filed for bankruptcy a few weeks ago. Last week, county officials pulled off a nifty trick and managed to save the hospital, at least for now. Here's how it works: Under federal law, a county can give the state $10 million, and the state can use a different pot of $10 million in Medi-Cal money to secure matching funds from the federal government. Presto! $10 million more. But the West Contra Costa Healthcare District can't do this, and the county doesn't have $10 million to spare. So the healthcare district is going to "give" the county $10 million (technically, $11.5 million if you count the interest), and the county will send it to the state, whereupon it will come back at double the pot. Then the county will give it to the district in a bizarro shell game. Neat, huh?

Still, accounting tricks won't save the hospital, which has lost almost $14 million in the first nine months of the year. The system is beset with numerous operational flaws, including a systemic failure to accurately predict how much a specific medical treatment will cost, and how much it can be reimbursed by the feds. It sounds all very complex and boring, but unless things change soon, the end result will be decidedly dramatic for the tens of thousands of poor people who depend on Doctors Medical Center to keep them alive. Stay tuned for updates.

Back to 92510, the East Bay Express news blog.

Oakland, Richmond Rank Amongst the Nation's Most Dangerous Cities

by Jonathan Kaminsky
Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM

Every year around this time, a private company known as Morgan Quitno uses data from the FBI to rank of the most (and least) dangerous cities in the country. The list of the top 25 most dangerous cities reads a lot like the weekly AP college football poll. How did we do?

Last year, Richmond was ranked the eleventh most dangerous city in the country, a position it retains (despite the best efforts of Mayor Irma Anderson). Oakland, thanks largely to all the murders this year, has jumped into the top 25, landing way up at number eight. The most dangerous California city is Compton, which ranks fourth nationally.

Numbers one and two overall? St. Louis and Detroit, respectively. Which, strangely, are the same two cities that competed in this year's World Series.

Back to 92510, the East Bay Express news blog.

The East Bay Today: October 30, 2006

Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 3:23 PM

Today's Top Event: Pianist Denny Zeitlin plays Yoshi's in Oakland.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, talks about her new book, Unbowed, at Berkeley's First Congregational Church.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Manila Garden in Hayward.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Check out intimate acoustic songs and hop up on caffeine at Oakland's Mama Buzz Cafe.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out SuperBad.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

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