Woofin' 

Go on, pamper the pooch

SUN 7/13

As we live in a place where most people are keenly aware of their rights and dues, it's not surprising that even the canines have begun campaigning for a standard-of-living hike. Radical organizers disguised in giant retriever costumes have been heard throughout the East Bay chanting "Food and love, food and love!" -- a meager request coming from the most relied-on and often neglected members of our community. Dogs, unlike another domestic animal we won't mention, are undiscriminating and loyal, practically to a fault. Seemingly unconcerned with where the daily doses of kibble and pats come from, they are just as likely to adore a gutter punk who sleeps close by them in People's Park as they are a weekend wilderness warrior with a souped-up SUV and a hundred-dollar custom-made collar. And with the proliferation of new pooch boutiques, it's clear that some dog lovers will spare no expense in spoiling their pals. That's exactly what the Humane Society of Berkeley has in mind for its sixth annual Bay to Barkers dog walk and festival, Sunday at Berkeley's Cesar Chavez Park. The day has been designed for both dog and owner, beginning with a 1.3-mile walk followed by a parade, agility courses, K-9 games, contests such as the best human/dog lookalike, and the inevitable vendors. Essentially it's the trickle-down effect -- only not the leg-up-on-a-hydrant variety. Your playing and spending will directly benefit the Humane Society, which needs funds to continue its work caring for abandoned pets and placing them in new, loving homes. You can help someone else make a connection that will likely lead to one of life's little masochistic pleasures -- the 7 a.m. Sunday morning tongue-across-the-face wake-up call. Maybe with all that extra time awake, dog owners can ponder what their loyal sidekicks already know -- food and love. Registration at 8:30 am. Dog walk at 10 a.m. $25 registration fee for walking includes a commemorative "Big Dog Bay to Barkers" T-shirt. For more information, visit www.berkeleyhumane.org -- Justine Nicole

SAT 7/12

Soulfulicious

Mmmm ... fun

The original meaning of "funk" wouldn't go so well with food and festivities. Thank heavens for the partying kind of funk, which can be sampled in many varieties at Flavor. Chef Mike C will demonstrate his epicurean flair before feeding the crowd funky treats; DJ Kitty of KALX and the Ruby Room will spin funk and soul; Reorchestra, J-Rod Indigo and the Pheromones, and People's Quintet (below) will play live funk and jazz; local art and fashion will be on display, as will that of Muscovite Philip Ilatovsky; and reps from Kitchen Sink magazine, Nonchalance Collective, and others will have booths to engage your savory attention. It all goes down at Liminal Gallery, 2000 Myrtle St., Oakland, starting at 7 p.m. Admission $7. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 7/12

Lady Liberty

This weekend, Right Brain Left invites all free women and the sensible men and children who love them to the Women's Freedom Fair . In addition to the usual libations, live music, and vittles on a stick, the fair will include booths to teach attendees about freedom of reproductive choice, freedom from violence, sexual liberty, and freedom from the media's unrealistic obsession with body image, plus demonstrations and mini-workshops from such participants as Girls Inc., Women's Safety Project, and Change Makers Books. Bay Area BusinessWoman is the media sponsor. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, between Allston Way and Center St., Berkeley. -- Stefanie Kalem

WED 7/9

Lucky Strikes

Tonight (Wednesday, 7 p.m.) at La Peña in Berkeley, the month-long LaborFest 2003 brings its progressive politics and sense of purpose to the East Bay with a screening of Ian Ruskin's documentary From Piers to Plantations: A Union in Hawaii, which chronicles labor leader Harry Bridges' unionizing efforts on Hawaiian farms. The film is followed by a set of Japanese labor songs sung by Tetsuro Tanaka. Curious about LaborFest? Log onto LaborFest.net and check out the events -- most taking place in San Francisco -- marking the tenth anniversary of this ambitious celebration of trade unionism and social reform. Or phone 415-642-8066. -- Kelly Vance

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