Monday, August 24, 2009

It's Not Your Mother's GOP Anymore

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Republicans vote. Indeed, the maddening dependability of GOP voters has struck fear in the hearts of Democrats in nearly every election. Liberals and progressives have always had to get out the vote to counteract the droves of conservatives who consistently go to the polls. But are those days over? If the current Republican leadership is any indication, it looks as if they could be. It turns out that both the leading GOP candidates for governor and United States senator, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, don't vote, or more accurately, have voted rarely in their adult lives.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

No Wonder There Isn't a Stronger Outcry About the Missing Boy

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 7:10 AM

The Oakland Tribune's Tammerlin Drummond complained in a piece yesterday that people weren't out searching for 5-year-old Hasanni Campbell, who allegedly went missing in Rockridge, suggesting that it was because the boy isn't white. Drummond also argued that there was no evidence to suspect Campbell's foster father was involved in the child's disappearance. But of course, there has been ample reason to suspect the foster father from early on in the case, and now there's even more. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, newly released court documents show that Louis Ross threatened to abandon the child just ten days before the boy supposedly went missing.

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How Long Before Raiders' Coach Is Arrested?

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 6:29 AM

It appears that Oakland Raiders' head coach Tom Cable is going to need a lawyer soon, following the explosive allegations that he not only broke the jaw of one of his assistants, but choked the guy and yelled "I'm am going to kill you; I'm going to kill you." According to the National Football Post, the assistant, Randy Hanson, has decided to cooperate with Napa police and hand over his medical records, which prove that his jaw was fractured. Cable, as a result, could face felony assault charges, which would more than likely force the NFL to suspend him, thereby putting his future coaching career in doubt.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Whole Foods Boycott Gains Momentum

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 4:51 PM

The boycott of Whole Foods, launched after the grocery chain's founder came out against health-care reform, is gaining steam. As of this posting, nearly 18,000 people had signed up on the boycott page at Facebook, just one week after it started. To date, most liberal consumers had been unaware of the political beliefs and practices of Whole Foods founder John Mackey, and have shopped at his stores because of the organic and natural products they sell. But the buzz surrounding Mackey's piece last week in the Wall Street Journal apparently is opening a lot of eyes.

Did BART Cops Detain Oscar Grant Without Cause?

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 4:36 PM

It appears they may have, at least according to an independent investigation. The investigation by the respected law firm Meyers Nave concluded that it is still unknown as to whether Grant and his friends had been involved in a fight on a BART train the night Grant was killed, according to the Chron. In other words, it's not clear more than seven months after Grant was fatally shot in the back as he lay on the ground by then BART cop Johannes Mehserle whether BART cops should have detained him in the first place. No wonder BART Police Chief Gary Gee is hanging it up.

Oakland Public Schools Improve Again

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 6:59 AM

The Oakland public schools posted another round of solid test score gains in 2009, continuing a positive trend for the district, according to the Trib. Although the district's scores overall remain relatively low, the district again posted higher gains than the statewide average. Over the past few years, Oakland has had some of the best test score improvements among large schools districts in the state. This year, the district's elementary schools led the way, as 80 percent of them posted gains in both math and language arts, with several making double digit improvements.

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Finally, a Decent John Yoo Protest

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 6:45 AM

For the last few years, we've wondered openly about why there hasn't been a bigger outcry over UC Berkeley employing the architect of the Bush regime's torture program. After all, the United States likely could not have tortured prisoners — or conducted warrantless wiretaps, for that matter — if it had not been for Boalt Law School professor John Yoo. Yet Yoo had somehow escaped the wrath of a massive protest, as activists instead chose to seriously misplace their anger and shut down the City of Berkeley over of a military recruiting station. But on Monday, some of those very same protest groups that made national headlines in Berkeley last year finally turned their focus squarely on Yoo. It's about time.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Slap Hitter: The Sports Media Hates Sports

Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 7:07 PM

Today's top sports story sucks. Tom Cable allegedly hitting his assistant coach is not a sports story. The editor of the Sporting Green made it his banner tale. Ray Ratto writes about the episode with the glee. He writhes with pleasure anticipating who's going to say what to whom next. KNBR then wastes the better half of the morning on the inanity of which Bay Area coach could beat up another. This isn't sports, people, it's middle school.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

UC Theater to Become a Concert Venue

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 10:40 AM

The old UC Theater on University Avenue in Berkeley is on track to become a new large concert venue to be run by the owners of San Francisco's Slim's nightclub and the Great American Music Hall. The Berkeley Zoning Adjustment board gave a unanimous green light to the latest version of the plan last Thursday night. The proposal would turn the old movie theater, which closed in 2001, into a 1,440-seat nightclub and concert hall, featuring three levels of seating, according to the Berkeley Daily Planet. The plan also would help transform downtown Berkeley into a music entertainment hub, along with upcoming opening of Freight and Salvage slated for later this month.

Oakland Helping Berkeley Keep Bayer

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 10:13 AM

The City of Oakland is trying to help Berkeley keep its largest private employer - Bayer - and the tax proceeds and jobs the pharmaceutical giant produces for the East Bay, according to the Berkeley Daily Planet and the Oakland Tribune. Under a plan developed with Berkeley and the City of Emeryville, Oakland would expand its West Oakland enterprise zone to include a section of Berkeley that includes Bayer's large facility, which employs 1,700 people. If approved by state officials, the proposal could save Bayer up to $19 million in tax breaks and incentives over the next decade. Both Mayor Ron Dellums and the Oakland City Council have endorsed the plan, according to the Planet.

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