Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The East Bay Today: April 29, 2008

Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Today's Top Event: Andrew Foster Altschul reads at Moe's Books.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Michael Eric Dyson discusses the death of Martin Luther King Jr. and its impact on America at the Bentley School.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critics recommend: Thai Satay in San Leandro.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Enjoy the folk, gospel, and ethnic singing of the World Harmony Chorus at Lake Merritt United Methodist Church.

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

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

Perata Foreclosure Bill Passes Senate

by Chris Thompson
Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 9:15 AM

Don Perata keeps doing important work in the Senate, forcing us to entertain increasingly complicated opinions about whether he's good or bad for California. Yesterday, the Senate President mustered Senate approval for a bill that would give homeowners facing foreclosure a chance to work out payment options with their lenders. At a time when thousands of homeowners lose their homes every month, this could give borrowers the breathing space they need to stave off disaster. The bill now goes to the Assembly, with the support of the California Mortgage Bankers Association.

Rita Moreno: We Blog Because We Love

by Chris Thompson
Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 9:06 AM

Okay, we admit it: we've been trying for weeks to come up with a reason to blog about Berkeley resident and smokin' hot gal Rita Moreno. And now we've finally found a hook! Tomorrow kicks off the Rochester, New York, High Falls International Film Festival, where said Moreno will be presented with the Susan B. Anthony Failure Is Impossible Award, whatever that is. Attagirl, Rita! Stand up for suffragettes everywhere!

Don't Call It Boalt Law

by Chris Thompson
Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 8:55 AM

The effort to rebrand the UC Berkeley School of Law and drop Boalt from its moniker has been met with its share of derisive hoots among the legal blogosphere. Abovethelaw.com snorts, "Berkeley paid a public relations firm $25,000 to come up with the brilliant new moniker, UC Berkeley School of Law. We wonder why they didn't take ATL readers' (free) advice and call it the White Guys with Asian Girls School of Law." And UCLA law prof Stephen Bainbridge chuckled, "Considering that Berkeley's bar passage rate dipped to just 82% in the July 2007 California bar exam, maybe they ought to devote as much attention to teaching as they are to branding." Watch it, Bainbridge, or our football team will have to give you another thumping. Oh wait, Cal choked in the fourth quarter. Damn you, Stephen Bainbridge!

SuperGen Bleeds a Little Less

by Chris Thompson
Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Officials with the Dublin-based biotech firm SuperGen announced that the company is losing less money than it did last year! Woo hoo. According to the East Bay Biz Times, SuperGen only lost $1.1 million last quarter, compared with bleeding $3.3 million for the same period in 2007. But SuperGen expects to shell out an additional $5 million in 2008, stemming from an earlier acquisition. Let's hear it for staying alive!

Apocalypse Watch: Empty Homes

by Chris Thompson
Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 8:22 AM

The U.S. Commerce Department reports that the number of vacant homes in America is higher than at any point in the nation's history, with 18.6 million houses currently unoccupied. According to the East Bay Business Times, that number grew by more than one million in the last year. Staggering fact of the day: nationally, the rental vacancy rate is an astonishing ten percent. Where is this mythical land of cheap rent and desperate landlords?

New Exhibit on Nifty and Stupid Berkeley Notions

by Chris Thompson
Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 8:07 AM

The Chron has a long and fun write-up of the new exhibit at the Berkeley History Center, which showcases all the interesting innovations that Berkeley civic leaders have come up with over the years. High points include cops on bikes, police radios, undergrounding BART, integrating the schools, domestic partnerships, and mandating biodiesel for city-owned vehicles. Not-so-high points: trying to build an airport on the waterfront. On balance, this town's smarter than your average college burg with a larger-than-life reputation.

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