When considering ways to improve the fraught system of policing in Oakland, the examples set by other cities may prove useful. Join the Safe Oakland Speaker Series and its founder, Oakland City Councilmember Libby Schaaf, at Holy Names University's Valley Center for the Performing Arts (3500 Mountain Blvd., Oakland), for a look at what Los Angeles has done. Gerald Chaleff, LAPD Special Assistant for Constitutional Policing, will speak to how the elimination of excessive force and comprehensive accountability across the entire police force helped Los Angeles earn its release from a court-ordered consent decree akin to the settlement agreement handed to OPD following the Riders Case.free
If you're missing the drama and antics of the 2012 election, Jonathan Alter's your man. The former Newsweek editor of nearly thirty years interviewed more than two hundred sources for his assiduously reported new book, The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies, an account that picks up a year after his previous book, The Promise, which detailed President Obama's first year in office, and follows him through the 2012 campaign. In so doing, Alter seeks to shed light on the Obama administration's current woes, but the book may have been published a bit too early considering some of the concerns about government surveillance making headlines recently. Future history books will likely paint a less-rosy side of the administration, and the president. In the meantime, join Alter as he reads from his book at St. John's Presbyterian Church (2727 College Ave., Berkeley).free
How Jerry Brown's plan to build two giant water tunnels, along with legislation in Congress, could ultimately spoil the last of Northern California's wild and scenic rivers.