Nominees have just been announced for the 29th Annual Northern California Book Awards, and works by East Bay authors figure prominently among them ... of course.
Berkeley-based publishing house Stone Bridge Press, which specializes in books about Japan and Asian culture, is about to be locally owned and independent again as Peter Goodman, who founded SBP in 1989 and ran it independently until selling the company in 2005, has reacquired 100 percent of its shares from its Japanese owner.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera hinted yesterday that he might file suit to stop the Oakland A’s planned move to San Jose, according to the Chron and the Mercury News. In a letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Herrera argued that an A’s move would harm the San Francisco Giants financially, and thus would harm the City of San Francisco. The letter and apparent lawsuit threat are sure to further complicate the A's plans.
Fans of that Gourmet Ghetto standby, Black Oak Books, will be glad to learn that fewer than six months after its abrupt closure, it will re-open this week. But if they loved lingering over its shelves while digesting a meal from nearby Saul's or the Cheeseboard or Chez Panisse, they might be less than glad to learn that Black Oak is opening in a new location far across town.
Nicknamed "Eco-Chef" thanks to his Master's degree in ecology from San Francisco State University, scientist-turned-gourmand Aaron French has helmed the kitchen at Albany's Sunny Side Café since it opened five years ago -- and now he's also head chef at Downtown Berkeley's new Sunny Side, which opened last month.
Trendy chef Anthony Bourdain dissed trendy chef Alice Waters -- and trendy chef David Chang defended her during a recent talk that Chang and Bourdain gave at the NYC Wine & Food Festival.
Berkeley-based Small Press Distribution, the nation's only distributor dedicated exclusively to independently published literature, has just released its latest bestseller list.
In October 2008 Google reached a settlement proposal with a group of authors and publishers who sued the internet giant for freely distributing up to 3 short passages from over ten million different books from various libraries. Now, a New York Judge postponed an October 7 hearing, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Judge cited that the plaintiffs would probably make substantial amendments to the settlement proposed by Google, and changes could not possibly be made to the 300 page document in the short amount of time until October 7.
Google's settlement offered to charge fees for the download and use of copyrighted books which would be paid to the owner of the works, but Google was also happy to include a provision keeping fees charged for publications without clear owners, rather than continuing to provide those for free. Antitrust issues have also been brought up in the delay of the settlement hearing. A blog started by members of UC Berkeley's School of Information, and Boalt Law School called the Google Books Case the number one most important pending cyberlaw case today, with Warrantless Wiretapping Cases coming in second, and to my surprise, File Sharing cases coming in a distant sixth. Sorry amature Cyberlaw geeks, the subtle Napster or Kazaa reference is officially démodé.
A group of global-warming deniers funded and run by a big oil interests is taking credit for the resignation of President Obama's green jobs advisor Van Jones. In a column on the Fox News website, Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity, a group that claims that climate change is a hoax, called the downfall of Jones "one of the most significant things I've ever had the honor of being involved in." Americans for Prosperity is reportedly funded by the ultra-conservative oil baron Charles G. Koch, who also is the chairman of the organization. The group's primary mission is to derail Obama's climate-change initiative, also known as "cap-and-trade."