Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Walnut Creek Mehserle Shout Fest

by Alex Weber
Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Yesterday's much-hyped pro-Johannes-Mehserle rally turned out a group of vocal, feisty folks on both sides of the issue - and it mostly degenerated into a spectacle of shout-offs and personal slams.

Johannes Mehserle supporters rally in Walnut Creek
  • Alex Weber
  • Johannes Mehserle supporters rally in Walnut Creek

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Tuesday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 7:05 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland City Council is poised to authorize, tax, and regulate four large medical cannabis farms tonight in hopes of raising millions in tax revenues. However, the proposal by Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Larry Reid has drawn opposition from mid-sized medical marijuana growers who worry they’ll be squeezed out of business. Kaplan, as a result, plans to propose licensing regulations for mid-sized growers this fall. In addition to growing cannabis, the four large farms likely will produce oils, tinctures, and baked goods made from marijuana and will be authorized to sell to any cannabis dispensary in the state. The city projects that over time, the large farms could generate $38 million a year in tax revenues for Oakland.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Amazon Sells More Kindles Than Hardcovers

by Anneli Star Josselin Rufus
Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Kindle sales are now outpacing hardcover book sales, according to Amazon.com head honcho Jeff Bezos.

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Berkeley Unicycle Basketball Team Wins North American Championship

by Nate Seltenrich
Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 8:30 AM

The results are in: The Berkeley Revolution are the best unicycle basketball team in North America. As we reported last Friday, the team was set to square off against the perennial champions from Puerto Rico, who sent two teams all the way to Berkeley to compete in the tournament. In the Revolution's first game at Berkeley High on Friday evening, they played Puerto Rico's B Team and won. Puerto Rico's A Team, meanwhile, beat the team from Minnesota ("Level 49," another consistently strong squad that fared well at last year's North American Championships) in their semifinal. The stage was set for a long-anticipated final between the Revolution and the Puerto Rico Allstars, and Berkeley came out on top by a score of 47-30. "It was a great, exciting game, and the gym was packed," said Revolution team member Adam Politzer. "Now that we're North American Champions, my next goal is to recruit more new players." Last December, the team placed second at the World Championships in New Zealand.

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Monday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 7:02 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A right-wing extremist from the Sierra foothills shot at CHP officers in Oakland over the weekend, forcing the shut-down of westbound Interstate 580 for most of Sunday. The mother of the shooter, Byron Williams of Groveland (near Yosemite National Park), told the Chron that he was angry because of “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items.” Williams’ mother, Janice Williams, also appeared to be a militant conservative, saying she kept the guns that her son used to shoot at police, because “eventually, I think we're going to be caught up in a revolution.” CHP officers were not injured in the shootout, and Bryon Williams is expected to survive because he was wearing a bullet-proof vest.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Tonight! North American Unicycle Basketball Championships in Berkeley

by Nate Seltenrich
Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 2:09 PM

The Berkeley Revolution Unicycle Basketball team, ranked second-best in the world at last December's World Championships in New Zealand, squares off tonight against the perennial world champs from Puerto Rico. It's sure to be a barn-burner. The Revolution has a fair amount of height and plays a controlled, technical game. Puerto Rico, meanwhile, plays a more physical game built around tenacity and strength. The two have yet to match up in formal play — until tonight. Both teams have been sizing each other up for over a year and are excited to compete. The Revolution has home-court advantage and goes in as the top seed, yet things could go either way. Watch the semifinals and finals tonight at Berkeley High School (2223 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley) from 8-10 p.m. Tickets are $5. For more information on the Berkeley team, see http://ugames.caluni.org/ or read our cover story, "Fast Break," from last fall — when the team was getting ready to travel to New Zealand for the championships. If nothing else, check out this clip of the Revolution practicing last fall at Berkeley's Strawberry Creek Park.

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Friday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 7:08 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says he submitted the highest bid for the Golden State Warriors, but team owner Chris Cohan decided to sell the team for $450 million to a group headed by Joseph Lacob, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and minority owner of the Boston Celtics, Bay Area News Group reports. Sports consultant Sal Galatioto, whom Cohan hired to sell the team, told KNBR radio that Ellison's final bid came too late. Ellison, one of the richest people in the world and a Warrior’s superfan, appeared to be the favored choice among the team’s fan base.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Must Read

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 7:14 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The percentage of out-of-state and international students attending UC schools this fall is rising by one-third, with the increase concentrated at UC Berkeley and UCLA, the LA Times reports. The jump in out-of-state and international students, who pay much higher tuition, is the result of a controversial attempt by the UC system to raise revenues. The increase — from 6 percent to 8 percent of the undergraduate student population — also means there will be fewer slots for California residents at the state’s top-ranked public universities.

2. UC Regents also strongly endorsed a plan yesterday to offer online-degree programs in an effort to raise even more funds from out-of-state and international students, the Chron reports. The regents approved a pilot program proposed by UC Berkeley law school dean Christopher Edley Jr. despite concerns raised by faculty members that online classes will harm UC’s reputation for academic excellence.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Video Undermines Police "Probe" of Kaplan and Quan

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Video of the Johannes Mehserle verdict protests appear to undermine the decision by Oakland police to “investigate” Councilwomen Jean Quan and Rebecca Kaplan for allegedly obstructing police business. In this piece from Bay Citizen, a joint venture of the New York Times and UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, Kaplan is clearly shown yelling at an anarchist who had thrown an object at police, while Quan is urging others to form a line separating the angry anarchists from police:

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Oakland Police Shoot Themselves in the Foot

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 10:07 AM

The Oakland police union’s demand of no layoffs for three years in exchange for pension contributions ended up costing the jobs of eighty cops last night. In addition, the union’s hard-line stance has now jeopardized the jobs of at least 120 more Oakland police officers who may be out of work on January 1. Plus, the city may be forced to lay off even more cops next summer. In short, the union’s no-layoffs demand has completely backfired and is now threatening the livelihoods of more than 200 police officers — not to mention the safety of Oakland residents.

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