Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The East Bay Today: June 25, 2008

Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Today's Top Event: Life is a Pigsty at the Compound.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's event: Kathryn Harrison reads Discussing While They Slept: An Inquiry into the Murder of a Family at A Great Good Place for Books.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critics recommend: Chow Lafayette.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Cato's Ale House beckons with beer, food, and the Kurt Ribak Trio.

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

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

Cody's Owner Writes Letter of Apology

Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 9:51 AM

The final owner of Cody's Books, Hiroshi Kagawa, sent a letter to the store's original co-owner, Pat Cody, on the store's final day, June 20. It was mainly a letter of apology, as a copy received by the Express reveals:

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News Flash: Berkeley Makes a Fool of Itself

by Chris Thompson
Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 7:37 AM

We tend to shy away from easy jokes at Berkeley's expense, mainly because the national media use all the same tired routines that were old fifteen years ago, and we think the town's more interesting and complex than it gets credit for. But the Berkeley City Council's latest absurdity has us rethinking our policy altogether. According to the Oakland Tribune, the City Council is terribly worried about the poor little tree-sitters who can no longer receive care packages while perched in the oak grove near Memorial Stadium. So at Tuesday's meeting, they ordered an assistant city manager and a deputy fire chief to drive up there, check on the tree-sitters, and report back to the council by the end of the night. These poor guys had to drive the five minutes it takes to get to the grove, jump out, and say, "Um, hi everyone, we're the city of Berkeley. Everything okay up there? Getting a little hungry, huh? Yeah? Could probably use a Clif Bar or something? But no one's, like, dead or anything, right? Okay, well, we'll just go tell the City Council." And here's the best part: the City Council already knew how the tree-sitters were doing. You know how? Because City Councilmember Kriss Worthington was talking to one of them on his cell phone during the goddamn meeting! For the record, Mayor Tom Bates and councilmembers Gordon Wozniak, Betty Olds, and Laurie Capitelli declined to participate in this ridiculous spectacle.

Californians Turning Into Fat, Lazy, Slothful Layabouts

by Chris Thompson
Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 7:17 AM

That's the only conclusion we can draw after learning that housing construction has dropped...again! According to the East Bay Business Times, new home construction dropped 37 percent, compared with the same period last year. And in the East Bay, housing construction dropped almost 72 percent. Now, we know some Johnny-Come-Smartlies out there will say this is due to a collapse in credit markets for both construction and home ownership. But we say you'd all just rather play on Facebook all day. After all, consider this: again according to the Biz Times, California's oil production is at its lowest point in 66 years. And no, we don't want to hear some fairy tale about a national shortage of drilling rigs and crews. Did the dog eat your homework too? Really, you disgust us.

Did Edgerly Accidentally Tip Off Street Gang?

by Chris Thompson
Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 6:49 AM

That's what Matier and Ross suggest in today's column. When Deborah Edgerly allegedly sped down to West Oakland to ream out the cops who dared to tow her nephew's car, they report, she soon learned that the action was part of an ongoing, massive anti-gang operation. A few days later, Edgerly may have called her nephew and warned him to stay away from the gang, as the cops were on to them. The nephew then allegedly warned the gang's leadership of the police investigation, adding that this news came "from the top." If Edgerly was trying to keep her nephew out of trouble, rather than bully the cops into giving him a free pass whenever he runs afoul of the law, she leaves public service with a slightly less tarnished reputation. Still, if this is true, then Edgerly should have known better than to compromise a major police investigation.UPDATE: In a moment of sentimental weakness, we imagined that Edgerly may have been calling her nephew in order to kick him in the ass and tell him to stay away from gangs and a life of crime. But as a commenter points out, she may have simply been warning him, and by extension the Acorn gang, of the investigation.

Downtown Oakland Delauer's Newsstand Closing

by Chris Thompson
Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 6:40 AM

Now, this is just downright low. After more than a century of peddling Gauloises and Le Figaro from its sweet spot in downtown Oakland, DeLauers Super Newsstand is fixin' to close its doors this very week! According to the Oakland Tribune, chain stores and this thing called the Interets did a number on the business, and founder, 91-year-old Charles DeLauer, is too sick to keep up the good fight. Still, we're left with two questions. One: how can a 91-year-old man have founded a store more than 100 years old? And two: where the hell are we gonna get our Iceberg Slim novels now?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The East Bay Today: June 24, 2008

Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Today's Top Event: Karen Essex reads at A Great Good Place for Books.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Rethinking Plastics Workshop at the Ecology Center.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critics recommend: Herbivore in Berkeley.

On the Town: Going out tonight? At Berkeley's cozy Caffe Trieste, jazz group the Randy Craig Trio performs at 7:30 p.m.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out Mind Control Made Easy.

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

Tom Bates Worried About Hungry Tree-Sitters

by Chris Thompson
Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 9:20 AM

The University of California at Berkeley has decided to play hardball with the last nine activists perched in trees among the Memorial Stadium oak grove, erecting barriers to prevent supporters from supplying them with food and water. So what has Mayor Tom Bates decided to do? Ask Cal nicely to reconsider giving them food. "Even though there's not a lot of sympathy for the tactics utilized by the people in the trees, we do feel their health and safety should not be put at risk," Bates told the Chron. "To starve people out of the trees does not seem rational." Cal spokesman Dan Mogulof retorted, "If they're tired and hungry and thirsty, the easy solution is for them to come down."

Dan Walters: Perata Recall Drive Remains a Mystery

by Chris Thompson
Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 9:14 AM

Three weeks after Don Perata's recall drive against state Senator Jeff Denham went down like the lead balloon it always was, Sac Bee columnist Dan Walters still can't let it go. What, he asks, was Perata thinking? Could it be that he couldn't control Denham like he could Republican Senator Abel Maldonado? Was he out to get a two-thirds Democratic majority to smooth out the budget deliberations? Or could it be a sneaky way to grease his friends with money? "Another potential motive for the recall surfaced in several articles in one of Perata's hometown newspapers, the East Bay Express, which suggested that it was a way for Perata to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds to close friends and campaign aides under the guise of recall campaign consulting," Walters wrote. Naah. Couldn't be that.

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