Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. A new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Californians would support a ballot measure to raise taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents as a way to help balance the budget, the Chron reports. The poll, commissioned by a state teacher’s union, found that a whopping 78 percent of likely voters support an income tax increase of 1 percent on Californians who make more than $500,000 a year, easily eclipsing the two-thirds vote needed to pass. Support for such a measure, which has not been considered by Governor Jerry Brown and state lawmakers, also appears to cross party lines. The teacher’s union may sponsor such a measure in November as a “sweetener” for Brown’s other tax proposals.
*that price being "free."
Big news, y'all. Berkeley's very own Alice Waters, patron saint of
$10 tomatoes California cuisine, has finally joined the twitters, and the foodie universe has, unsurprisingly, gone more or less apeshit. Word of the account began spreading early this morning; before 10 a.m., she already had over 1,100 followers — despite the fact that she hasn't actually tweeted anything yet. We can only hope that Queen Alice will soon take an impassioned stance on such salient trending topics as #sheprollyahoe and #stuffthatpissmeoff.
Whoa. According to a report by Reuters, the East Bay's homegrown coffee behemoth, Peet's, may be considering a sale to megachain Starbucks. Though it's important to note that reps from neither company would discuss the matter with Reuters, and that rumors of this kind have been swirling for months and even years, this could be huge: Peet's has almost 200 stores and a market value of about $589 million, while Starbucks, of course, more or less runs the specialty-coffee universe, with some 17,000 stores worldwide and an estimated value of over $26 billion.
Well, sort of. Just in case you haven't yet had enough of the schadenfreudetastic Charlie Sheen feeding frenzy for one lifetime: According to the Feast, wisely opportunistic SoCal energy drink company Harcos Labs has concocted a Sheen-branded energy beverage, and it's hitting shelves at Bay Street's IT'SUGAR today. Per the Harcos website, the fruit punch-flavored drink contains some 80 milligrams of caffeine in a 3.4-ounce shot, and — in a true touch of class — comes in an IV bag. The website also notes that the product isn't actually affilaited with the former Two and a Half Men actor/noted trainwreck/terrifying human being, and sagely advises: "Don't do drugs. Seriously. Don't. Do. Drugs."
Duly noted! Except for ungodly amounts of caffeine and red dye #40, of course.
DailyGourmet.com, a website that lets members buy avant-garde food at deep discounts and have it home-delivered anywhere in the US, has picked vegan cinnamon rolls from Berkeley-based Cinnaholic as its first-ever "deal."
Sumo Grub — which might actually be Berkeley's most subversive hotspot, with its tempura-fried pizza, tempura-fried mac-and-cheese, tempura-fried Kit-Kats, and tempura-fried darn near everything else — has been basking in a media blitz this week.
Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. City Attorney John Russo and Police Chief Anthony Batts say in a new report that the North Oakland gang injunction has been successful in part because drug arrests in that region of the city have plummeted nearly 70 percent, the Chron reports. However, the report also notes that some violent crimes, including assaults and robberies, have increased slightly. In addition, a drop in drug arrests does not necessarily mean that drug crimes have decreased. The report also notes that the city has spent a total of $761,128 to press the North Oakland injunction and the proposed one in Fruitvale in court — money that opponents say could have been better spent elsewhere.
Foodie types spent the last three days sampling olive-oil ice cream, sidestepping chipotle-stuffed chocolates, and swigging eyeball-sized cups of Peruvian pisco at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, where tomorrow's taste trends were revealed.
For a city as awash in foodie buzz as Oakland, it really was only a matter of time before we got an honest-to-God restaurant week of our own. For a week starting Sunday, January 23, restaurants all over the city will be offering various promotions — $40 prix-fixe dinners at Oliveto, Pican, and Plum; $30 for three courses at Camino and Chop Bar; multi-course lunch menus for $20 at Bocanova, Bay Wolf, and Flora; and several other promotions and special deals — in an attempt to both highlight the city's dining scene and drum up business in typically slow January. Not surprisingly, reservations are going fast; see the website for the full list of participating restaurants and to book seats.