Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Berkeley Cops Issue Pix of Suspected Thief

Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 11:55 AM

Seeking the public's help in apprehending a serial thief, the Berkeley Police Department is distributing photos taken of the suspect by surveillance cameras.

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The East Bay Today: April 30, 2008

Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 10:32 AM

Today's Top Event: El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros at the Berkeley Public Library's West Branch.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Celebrating Creative Music II: An Afrocentric Perspective. Hosted by India Cooke. Panelists include Dr. David Bernstein, Melanie Berzon, Greg Bridges, Dr. Karlton Hester, Roscoe Mitchell, Angela Wellman, and Andrew Rosehnthal. At Mills College Ensemble Room.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critics recommend: Bella Roma Pizza in Martinez.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Latin dance group Orquesta Bakan performs at the Shattuck Down Low for only $10 (students $5), including a pre-performance salsa dance lesson.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out the "last lecture."

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

Michael Lewis's "Blind Side" Subject Stays in School

by Chris Thompson
Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 8:04 AM

We remain mystified by the increasing obsession with the NFL draft in the last few years (Do the NBA playoffs really suck that much?), but thought we'd point out one little item. Michael Oher, the stunningly gifted and tragically neglected left tackle profiled in Berkeley writer Michael Lewis' best-seller "The Blind Side," has decided to play his senior year at Ole Miss rather than shoot for the NFL. Lewis' remarkable, emotionally rich book told the story of Oher, a young man with more talent than God, but was so neglected as a child in the West Memphis projects that he could barely speak and hustled for shelter each night.

Vermont Microbrewer Snatches Up Pyramid

by Chris Thompson
Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 7:45 AM

Pyramid Breweries, the Seattle beer company that operates the mondo brewery and pub in West Berkeley, has agreed to sell itself to Vermont's Magic Hat Brewing Company. The deal takes the company, which was once publicly owned, back into private hands. This item allows us to marvel at the fact that up until yesterday, the brewery was listed on the NASDAQ. What, do they write code for tastier hops or something?

Apocalypse Watch: Oakland Leads the Way

by Chris Thompson
Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 7:39 AM

Oakland marches on toward housing oblivion, as a new study shows that the city has the tenth highest number of foreclosures in the country! The East Bay Business Times reports that RealtyTrac, a firm that tracks foreclosures and home auctions around the country, has released foreclosure data for the first quarter of 2008, and Oakland tops the list among Bay Area cities. (The report lists San Francisco at number 71 among the cities with the most foreclosures.) But take heart, dear Oaklanders. At least nine other metropolitan areas are worse off than you, including Stockton, Riverside, Las Vegas, Bakersfield, and Sacramento.

Apocalypse Watch: Home Prices Drop 17 Percent

by Chris Thompson
Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 7:21 AM

While the national economy grew just enough not to qualify as a recession (Whoo hoo! Time to blow the kid's college fund on a new H-2!), the Chron reports that housing market continued to knock through the cellar and dig a hole to China. According to the Standard and Poor's credit rating agency, Bay Area home prices fell 17 percent in February, continuing the precipitous vanishing of equity local borrowers banked on to refinance their subprime loans and squirm out of deadly montly mortgage payments. We blame the mountain lions. Or the goats.

Mountain Lion! In Danville!

by Chris Thompson
Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 7:14 AM

Just a week after a ravenous mountain lion was spotted roaming the grimy cul de sacs of Hayward, Danville residents have spotted a member of the felonious feline family padding past the pools and playgrounds of the upscale subdivision. Who is this mysterious malefactor? And did he kill any goats? Goat haters around the East Bay can only hope.

SEIU Fight Reaches Federal Court

Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 7:04 AM

The battle royale between Service Employees International Union head Andy Stern, local chapters run by Oakland labor activist Sal Rosselli, and the California Nurses Association, has entered a new and even more combative phase. Yesterday, as the Sacramento Bee reports, Stern's organization filed a federal lawsuit against Rosselli and his co-horts, accusing them of diverting membership dues into a slush fund outside the control of the national union, to "run a shadow operation off the books and they intentionally deceived their own members and the federal government about how the money would be used." In response, Rosselli told the Bee, ""The lawsuit and the PR circus around it are a hoax perpetrated on you, the press, and our members in order to smear us and shut down the Stern team's political opposition."

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Free Ice Cream and Gravy

by Kathleen Richards
Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 5:45 PM

It's that time of year again, when UC undergrads skip Bio class and wait in interminably long lines for a free ice cream cone, courtesy of Ben & Jerry's. The event, which happens today, April 29, at 1:30 p.m. at the Berkeley store (2128 Oxford St.), also will feature hippie activist/clown Wavy Gravy, whose Seva Foundation has been chosen as Ben & Jerry's charity of the year. The 72-year-old Gravy is also the subject of an upcoming documentary film, Saint Misbehavin': The Life & Time of Wavy Gravy.

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