Wednesday, July 25, 2007

You Write Too Long -- This Week's Cover Story Bite-Sized

by Kelly Vance
Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Outfoxed?": Anyone who has attended a concert or other event at Oakland's grand Art Deco pile, the Paramount Theatre, has the same question after the splendid impression of the place wears off: "Why doesn't the Paramount get more bookings? It's so beautiful, it should be used more." Exactly. Turns out the 3,000-seat former movie house has had management problems from the day it first opened in 1931. Now it's owned by the city of Oakland, which runs it as a non-profit, and it generally pays for itself, or comes close. But there's a "new" old movie palace about a block away - the ornate Fox Theater, also a 3,000-seater from the Depression era, also being helped by the city, and now in the process of emerging as an entertainment venue run by the music promoters Another Planet. Can these two white elephants co-exist? And what does it all mean for Oakland's reborn Uptown entertainment district? Staff writer Kathleen Richards peeks into the situation.
Also: Any Express readers out there who remember going to a movie at the Fox before it stopped showing first-run movies in 1965? If so, comment on this post and tell us about it.

Cheating Scandals in East Bay

by Kathleen Richards
Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Two East Bay schools have been the subject of cheating scandals recently. First, there were allegations that student employees had altered as many as 400 grades at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill in exchange for cash since 2000. Then, claims that officials at University Preparatory Charter Academy in East Oakland changed grades and illegally used past tests to coach students on future ones. On Monday, discrepancies in grades were indeed discovered on teachers' records, report cards, and transcripts at Uprep, according to the Chronicle. And yesterday, the paper reported that 34 current and former students at Diablo Valley College were officially charged with grade-changing by Contra Costa prosecutors. In some cases, grades were actually made worse. The defendants face felony charges of fraudulent computer access and conspiracy and misdemeanor charges of fraudulent use of a diploma.

Not Affected By Gun Violence in Oakland: Canada Geese

by Kathleen Richards
Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Thousands of Canada geese have found refuge on the banks of Lake Merritt - immune to people, dogs, or other predators. And so has their tons of poop. It's a major problem for anyone who wants to enjoy the urban nature reserve. The question is what to do about it. "No one's talking about shooting the geese -- we don't need more gunshots in Oakland," Jennie Gerard, chief of staff to Oakland City Councilwoman Pat Kernighan, was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Oakland's Canada Goose Management Study, the Canada goose population in the U.S. is expected to double by 2010, from 220,000 to nearly half a million. A meeting on the issue will take place on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Lakeside Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave., Oakland.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The East Bay Today: July 24, 2007

Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: Prohibition at the Hayward Museum.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Readers Anonymous club. Discuss Motherless Brooklyn, soon to be a major motion picture starring Steve Buscemi, at the El Cerrito Library.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Wood Tavern in Oakland.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Show off your gift of gab at World Ground Café's Open Mic night.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out Zack Kim performing The Simpsons theme song on two guitars.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

Bay Area Newsroom Cuts: The Worst Is Yet to Come

by Kathleen Richards
Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 4:56 PM

So says media analyst John McManus in yesterday's edition of "Perspectives" on KQED Radio. Bay Area newsrooms, including the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News, lost one-third to one-half of its staff from seven years ago. That's because while readers and advertisers have migrated to the web, dollars haven't. Newspapers earned less than 6 percent of their total revenue from web ads in 2006, according to investment analyst Goldman Sachs. May was the worst month yet (in a non-recession period) for newspaper revenue.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The East Bay Today: July 23, 2007

Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: Jason Dunman Art of War at Clean Skate Shop.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's event: Marc Freedman. Discussing Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life at Cody's Books.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Ristorante Due Rose in Pinole.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Celebrate your imaginary three-day weekend with DJ C-Moses at Luka's Taproom and Lounge.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Prisoners in the Philippines reenact "Thriller". Wow.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The East Bay Today: July 20, 2007

Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: Zydeco Dance Party at Eagles Hall.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's event: Harry Potter Party. Enjoy snacks and tunes and listen to fan prophecies about the plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before the book goes on sale at midnight.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Ramen House Ryowa in Berkeley.

On the Town: Going out tonight? It's time to dance, no? Try Lakeshore Ave.'s Easy Lounge, where DJ Joe Quixx spins Latin, soul, funk, and hip-hop.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out where to get drunk after work at MappyHour.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

Buy Curious: Shopping for a Disaster

Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Blame our shopping illness: This morning's jolt (besides scaring the bejesus out of us) made us think of ... yes, shopping. Apparently, about 83 percent of Bay Area residents aren't prepared for a disaster, says the Red Cross. If you're one of those 83 percent (we're guilty), then there's no better time than now to stock up on items for your emergency kit. (Luckily, they make really cute hand-crank radios.) And after you've done your responsible deed, reward yourself by hitting up some can't-miss sales.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

The East Bay Today: July 19, 2007

Thu, Jul 19, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Today's Top Event: Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity at Chabot Space & Science Center.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Shipibo-Conibo Song Cloths from the Amazon. Sale, craft exhibit, and lecture on the Shipibo-Conibo Peruvian Amazon tribe at the Gathering Tribes Gallery.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critic John Birdsall recommends: Mijori Sushi in Oakland.

On the Town: Going out tonight? If you speak Spanish, ¡SoloBasura! at Café Temescal may not sound too enticing. But allow this Bay Area improvisational music group to impress you.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out Wizard Rock.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

You Write Too Long -- This Week's Cover Story Bite-Sized

by Kelly Vance
Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 4:56 PM

This week, "Ugo Conti Sees the Future of Ocean Travel": Mr. Conti, a champion whistler as well as a marine engineer, has invented a radically new type of ship. He calls it the WAM-V (not Wham-O -- WAM-V), or Wave Adaptive Modular Vessel, and it utilizes flexible and ultralight materials, inflatable pontoons, and modular construction in a vessel that will not tip over or sink. Did we mention that it's also cheap to manufacture and uses five to ten times less fuel than equivalent oceangoing ships? The El Cerrito-based Conti envisions WAM-class vessels as unmanned drones carrying cargo across the ocean. Read all about it in writer John Geohagen's story.

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