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Readers Say The Darndest Things: People & Places 

Reader Comments From 2009 Voting

Best Charity
Alameda Food Bank
Everyone deserves to eat their fill. — Patricia Wakida

Bad Rap
Training, rescue, and adoption of pit bulls. — Anna Ocema

Brothers on the Rise
Only group equivalent to Girls Inc. for at-risk boys. Helps them with positive attitude and respect for themselves and others. Has helped Brewer Middle School become the best Middle School in Oakland. — Hugh

Food Bank
Kill the cats, feed the hungry children. — Nancy Lake

Salvation Army
I love to shop. — Kylie Gabbard

Best City Employee
Andrea Youngdahl
Smart, ethical, passionate. — Kerry Forbord

Clinton Pugh
City of Oakland, amazing gardener of Frog Park! — Theresa Nelson

Courtney Ruby
She uses her brain. — Kaeleen Costa

Jason Patton
Guided the Bike Masterplan. — Hiroko Kurihara

Jennifer Cogley
Jennifer is the reason Buy Berkeley is awesome. — Tina Ramos

Michael Caplan
He deserves a medal for working on economic development against the odds in Berkeley. — Jonathan

Robert Bobb
I know, he's not a city employee, but he seems to be the most honest person we've had involved in this whole Dellums disaster. Plus, he'll hopefully be our new mayor in the near future! — Aaron Scott

Ron Dellums
When he's working, which isn't often. — Len Raphael

Best College Hangout
Bear's Lair
So glad I'm not in college anymore. — Margaret

Blake's
Ugghhh ... the place is fantastic, even though it does bad things to me! — Camille Gebert

Jupiter
Heat lamps! — Sherri Reeves

Telegraph Ave.
One can always go outside and will never be under-dressed. — Maurice Lyles

Best College Professor
Robert Reich
So smart and so huggable. — Jake

Ronald Takaki — UC Berkeley
Founder of Ethnic Studies, just passed away this month. — Erica Newman

Best Community Organizer
Evelyn Orantes, of the Oakland Museum
Pulls together Day of the Dead every year with a mega watt smile and lots of soul. — Patricia Wakida

Van Jones
Our Obama. — Wendy Levy

Best Company to Work For
Blackrock Associates, LLC
Larry sings karaoke standing on pool tables. — Chase

Crossroads Trading Company
I'm immersed in great fashion everyday AND I get the benefit of promoting a green lifestyle! — Gina Nowicki

Give Something Back, Oakland, CA
Hires inner city workers. Gives over percent of profits to local charities. — Hugh

MediaNews
Yes, kidding. — Sara

Pacifica Radio
You get to be creative in a chaotic and underfunded enterprise. — Daniel del Solar

Pixar
Hire me, please! — Alex Butkus

Best Jukebox
Kerry House or The Hut
Every jukebox is the best jukebox!! — Camille Gebert

The Kerry House
Digital download, yes ... but they offer Cheater Slicks albums. — Mitch Cardwell

The one in Max's Diner on Shattuck
Every time I walk in, it's hijacked by punk kids playing "Holiday in Cambodia" by the Dead Kennedys over and over for hours. — Calder Marchman

Best K-12 Teacher
Bob Athayde, Stanley Music School
No one person has been more responsible for the creative development of young musicians. — Adan Tejada

Russell Wright
He gets kids to soar to places that they didn't know they could go. — Brett Sharenow

Best Local Innovator
Anantha Pradeep
He's applying cutting edge Neuroscience to revolutionize marketing and Advertising — his company is Neurofocus. — Melissa Rosengard

Oaklandish
Makes you feel good about Oakland even though it's a messed up, dangerous city. — Alex Butkus

Best New Cause
Atheism
— Gwynne Coffee

Balancing the city budget
— Barbara Gabel

Buy Local
I would have picked the Parkway Theater until they proved their incompetence by closing the Cerrito too. — Carolyn Keddu

Green Jobs
— Sarah

I Like the Parkway
— Camilo Landau

Keep the A's in Oakland
— Angela Tsay

Marriage Equality
Well, not "new" exactly, but about damn time. — Lena

Oscar Grant
— Kasha Ho

Please brush your teeth, people.
— Bobby Jean

Best Pick-up Spot
Depends on what you're looking to pick up.
— Christa

Dog Park
— Barbara Selfridge

Ruby Room
I got a lap dance there once. — Patricia Cogley

Whole Foods
Check out those pomelos, yeah. — Benjamin Thompson

Best Place to Take the Kids
Dimond Park & Canyon
Hard to find creek in the middle of a city where you can walk on rocks in a creek and see hawks learning how to fly overhead. — Hugh

Tilden Park
Little trains, merry go rounds, lawns to roll down (at the Brazilian Room), Little Farms, swimming holes, and miles of country to wander through. What's not to like? — Jon Frisch

Best Place to Worship
The Apple Store
I actually never go to the place myself, but some people seem to go there *a lot*. — Aaron Scott

Berkeley Bowl
I pray to fruit and they have a great selection. — Margo Rivera-Weiss

Center for Transformative Change
It doesn't matter whose god you're looking for. — KSC

Temple Beth Abraham
Rabbi Mark Bloom is hilarious and has some great, innovative services like "Rock 'n' roll Shabbat". — Sarah Dealy

Tilden Park
All the others are sectarian. — Andrea Safir

Best Rising Political Figure
Attorney General Jerry Brown
I know, he's risen and fallen a few times already, but he's going to be running for governor next time around, so I think he applies. Oakland hasn't seen a better civil servant for years, and the only really honest mayor we've had in goodness knows how long. — Aaron Scott

Rebecca Kaplan
Van Jones has jumped the political shark. — Justin Horner

Best Student Club or Group
East Bay Rats
Nancy Nadel can whine all she wants. A multi-ethnic, big hearted motorcycle gang that promotes safe, good-natured consensual violence? Good for Oakland! — Max Allstadt

Youth Speaks
They did the first White House poetry slam for christsakes. If James Kass had been a nominee in the Best Community Organizer Category, I'd have voted for him. — Paul Williams

Best Under-21 Hangout
924 Gilman St
Man, when I was underage, this is where I could be found. Dang, i feel old. — Cherlyn Licas Wagner

Albany Bowl
Also good for the over-60s. — Katrina Lappin

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