Gopalan Nair, a Fremont lawyer, blogger, and activist for human rights in Singapore, has been arrested in the city-state on charges of defamation. Ironically, he was in town to cover the defamation trial of another citizen, who has been accused of not having very nice things to say about the prime minister. Disgusted with how the trial was being conducted, Nair wrote in his blog Singapore Dissident that the judge, Belinda Ang, was "prostituting herself." Now, according to the San Jose Mercury News, Nair stands accused of calling her a whore. His passport has been seized, and he is unable to leave the country until the government decides what to do with him.
Well, it's D-Day plus one, and Oakland City Administrator Deborah Edgerly still has a job. The Trib reports that Edgerly even showed up for a regularly scheduled cabinet meeting with department heads and Mayor Ron Dellums; imagine the tension and silence in that room. In addition, the Trib claims that Edgerly has requested a meeting with Dellums and City Attorney John Russo, to "discuss issues surrounding her pending departure." As we wait for the axe to fall, let's have a looksee at what other opinionated East Bay types have to say about l'affaire Edgerly:
Today's Top Event: Ursula K. LeGuin and Karen Joy Fowler read at Rakestraw Books.
Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's event: Healthy Gardening Workshop at the San Ramon Library.
Is It Dinner Yet? Express food critics recommend: Messob in Oakland.
On the Town: Going out tonight? Local artists the Moral Tourists and Pinched Nerve play the Mama Buzz Café and Gallery at 7 p.m.
Hardly Working: You've got time. Read this.
Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.
My A's buddy points out that the Florida Marlins must have felt right at home this weekend in Oakland playing before a half-full house in a decaying stadium better designed for watching subpar professional football games. But the charm of Beer night on Saturday and the bigger lure of twilight baseball brought Slap Hitter down from the cheap seats and sneaking into the first deck to watch Huston Street impersonate a big league closer. At game's end we wanted to grab some local grub and realized that except for the BART station's lukewarm hot dog we weren't too hip to where to get our grub on. After heading into the night we wondered, who would know the local scene better than a national publication devoted to denigrating the accomplishments of second cities everywhere? We present: ESPN's guide to gustatory Oakland eateries. Bring napkins.
Good lord, more people yelled and screamed at the downtown Berkeley Marine recruiting station this weekend. According to the Chron, about 250 motorcycle riders converged on Berkeley to support the military, while remaining silent on the occupation of Iraq. As the bikers roared through town in waves of sixty apiece, opponents of the war rallied on the sidewalk, waving signs and denouncing the war. No one was arrested, although the two sides did occasionally, um, vigorously share opposing viewpoints with one another.
If it's Monday, this must be Decision Time for embattled City Administrator Deborah Edgerly. Last week, after Edgerly allegedly used her authority to interfere with a police investigation into West Oakland street gangs, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums reportedly gave her until today to decide whether to quit, retire, or be fired. Will she go quietly? Not if her most recent remarks are any indication. After the news broke Friday morning, Edgerly issued a public statement, which we'll print after the jump:
The Berkeley Daily Planet paid a visit to North Oakland's Peralta Elementary School on Thursday, as Safeway officials unveiled expansion plans for the store on Claremont and College before 300 hostile neighbors. Company officials had to know what a tough crowd this would be, as their plans to triple the square footage of the present store would be a radical change for this dense, quaint, pedestrian strip. But one neighbor surely didn't do her side any favors when she said, "It's clumsy, overbearing, cheap, and looks like it belongs in a commercial mall. It's appropriate in downtown Oakland." High-priced, demure ballerinas are raging throughout downtown as we write this.
We've truly grown to love the fact that bedbugs, like global food riots, have joined the ranks of problems which we thought humanity had finally licked, but have returned to plague our lives once more. For the last few years, bedbugs had been gradually infesting hotels in cities around America; now, as universities convene in Florida to figure out to deal with the recent dormitory infestation, the Trib has reported that UC Berkeley has recently treated six students for bedbug bites. (How does one get bedbug-bitten so badly one requires medical attention?) So far Cal officials have tried blasting dorm rooms with steam guns and supercooling electronics and books. But only hardcore pesticides will reliably knock out the nasty little critters, and the world has been phasing out use of such toxic chemicals. Hey, we hear the plague is making a comeback too...
And the high cost of gas continues to drive commuters into the hands of mass transit. Last Thursday, more than 394,000 people took BART to and from work, beating the previous record of 392,000, which was set back in April. Now, we know you're thinking, "Nice try, but BART was free on Thursday, so how can you connect it to gas prices?" Try this: average daily BART ridership is now hovering around 365,000, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. In fact, BART directors are getting a little concerned about possible strains to the system.
A memo that just arrived from Cody's Books bears sad news: "After 52 years, Cody's Books will shut its doors effective June 20, 2008.