Friday, September 30, 2011

Shrooms Make You a Good Person ... Up to a Year Later

by Rachel Swan
Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 5:07 PM

So declared researchers at John Hopkins University, who administered "magic" psilocybin mushrooms to subjects in a clinical setting, and found that those who took the drugs became more "creative, empathic, and curious, up to a year later," ABC 7 reports. Now, progressive scientists are suggesting new uses for the drug, as a therapy for cancer patients and even cigarette smokers. Sounds magical.

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Friday Must Read: Hate Crimes Increase at Cal; Alameda Spanked Over Drowning

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Hate crimes rose significantly at UC Berkeley last year, jumping from just three reported incidents in 2009 to eighteen in 2010, the Bay Citizen reports. The news about the spike in hate crimes comes the same week that campus Republicans sparked allegations of racism when they held a highly controversial “bake sale.” It appears that a significant portion of the hate crimes increase involved anti-Semitic religious bias, as numerous swastikas appeared on campus last year.

2. An independent report strongly criticized Alameda police and firefighters for standing around earlier this year while a man drowned in chest-high water in the bay, the Chron and Trib report. The report described cops and firefighters as confused and disorganized.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Eucalyptus Grove Cleared for Solar Panels at Point Pinole

by Nate Seltenrich
Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM

KGO Radio reported today that Contra Costa County workers over the last couple weeks cut and removed more than 100 trees at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline in Richmond to make way for a ground-mounted solar array that will serve the county's adjacent West County Detention Center. Intrigued by this ironic turn of environmentalism, we called Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, in whose district the park falls, to learn more.

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Fremont Teen Microlender Gets Shout-Out from President Obama

by Rachel Swan
Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Seventeen-year-old William Kim of Mission San Jose High School got props from President Obama yesterday, for founding a micro-finance nonprofit that helps young entrepreneurs start their own businesses. "You know, he's raising the money doing what he loves," Obama said, in a soundbite that reappeared on KQED this morning. "Through dodgeball tournaments and capture the flag games." According to the KQED story, Kim found out about microfinance from a critical reading question on an SAT practice test. So far his company, Happy Happy Day Microfunds, has doled out given small loans to two other teenagers. Oakland Military Institute alum Erika Simmons will use her $100 loan to start a beading company, Everyday Beauty, while San Jose State student Huong Chen will use her $200 loan to start an animation business.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some Good News: Oakland Wins Federal Grant to Hire 25 Police Officers

by Rachel Swan
Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Finally, some good news for crime in Oakland. The city just secured a $10.7 million grant from the US Department of Justice, enough to hire 25 officers for 3 years, Matthai Kuruvila reports on SFGate. Batts has proposed using the money to fight youth crime and human trafficking, while creating "safe zones" near schools. It turns out 237 other US cities — including Salinas and San Jose — received similar grants, depending on their overall crime rate and economic state. Oakland got the maximum dollar amount permitted.

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Member of the East Bay Dragons Shot and Killed

by Rachel Swan
Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Last night a gunman entered the East Bay Dragons motorcycle club on 8800 International Blvd., and fired repeated shots at club member Hassan Sayyid, who was sitting with friends in the garage. Sayyid, 40, was taken to Highland Hospital and pronounced dead. According to an article posted on SFGate today, there was no clear motive behind the shooting, and Oakland police have yet to release a description of the suspect. Sayyid worked at the city's public works department until he was laid off last year. His death marks the second homicide that occurred on that block this year; on May 29, three people were shot and killed during a sideshow which appeared to be unrelated to the East Bay Dragons, since the clubhouse was closed when it occurred. Anyone with information about Sayyid's shooting should call Oakland Police at 510-238-3821. No arrests have been made, yet.

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You Write Too Long: This Week's Feature, Bite-Sized

by Ellen Cushing
Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Do you eat food? Sometimes even multiple times a day? Are you interested in learning about new and exciting ways to stuff your face? Well, TODAY IS YOUR LUCKY DAY. That's right, cats and kittens: it's time once again for our semi-annual Taste special issue, in which our crack team of gluttons and drunks drops all kinds of knowledge on the East Bay restaurant and bar scene. Behold: John Birdsall on the top ten reasons to eat in Oakland; Anneli Rufus on the real meaning of sustainability; Kibby Kleiman on the high times and assorted adventures engendered by the East Bay's very own munchies delivery service; and your truly on the growing bounty of late-night happy hours in the East Bay. Hope you're hungry.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Video of the Day: Lip-Synching Rick Perry

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:15 PM

And you thought that it wasn't possible to make more fun of Rick Perry. Check out the funniest video of the week. And don't forget: "Save a pretzel for the gas jets!"

Why Doesn't the Anti-Affirmative Action Bake Sale Offer Discounts for Men?

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Yesterday we told you about the Berkeley College Republicans' "anti-affirmative action bake sale," a stunt to protest proposed legislation that would allow college admissions boards to take race and gender into account when considering new applicants. The bake sale offers discounts based on race and gender: White/Caucasian” going for $2, "Asian/American American" for $1.50, "Latino/Hispanic" for $1, "Black/African American" for 75 cents, and "Native American" for a quarter, plus a 25-cent discount is offered for women. Yet, as caller to this morning's KQED Forum program pointed out, there's a big flaw (well, probably a few big flaws) in the protestors' logic — namely, the discount for women. New research by the National Center for Educational Statistics makes it clear that, with men's college admission rates declining at a much faster rate than women, men would be far more likely to benefit from any sort of preferential treatment. Therefore, they should get the .25 discount. Berkeley College Republicans club president Shawn Lewis, who was invited to speak on the show, countered that the discounts were based on "history," not logic.

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Tuesday Must Read: Replacement Nurse Injected Food in Patient; Congress Averts Government Shutdown

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The 23-year-old replacement nurse who accidentally killed a cancer patient at an Oakland hospital over the weekend put a food supplement into the woman’s bloodstream, the Chron and Trib report. The nutritional supplement was supposed to go a tube that ran to 66-year-old Judith Ming’s stomach. Hospital administrators say it was an accident that could have happened to any qualified nurse, but regular nurses, who were locked out of the hospital over the weekend in a labor dispute, tell the Chron that the nutritional supplement doesn’t fit the catheter tube that goes to a patient’s bloodstream, so the replacement nurse must have “jury-rigged” it to make it work.

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