Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Governator to Become a Cartoon Character

by Ellen Cushing
Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Like, literally! Not just as a joke! Entertainment Weekly reports in this week's cover story that our very own former governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, will soon be the hero of an upcoming comic book and animated TV show, both produced by comics legend Stan Lee. Says Schwarzennegger in EW:

"When I ran for governor back in 2003 and I started hearing people talking about ‘the Governator,’ I thought the word was so cool...[this cartoon] brings everything together. It combines the governor, the Terminator, the bodybuilding world, the True Lies…”

The series is set to debut in 2012; GET YOUR TIVOS READY.

Thursday Must Read: Koch Brothers Fund UC Berkeley Climate-Change Skeptic; Radioactive Rain Falls on US

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 7:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Koch brothers, the billionaire oil executives who have financed the Tea Party movement, are now funding a climate change study at UC Berkeley that is led by a global warming skeptic, the LA Times reports. Some scientists fear that the Berkeley study is designed to undercut climate-change science and the Obama administration’s plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The study is being headed up by Richard Muller, a Cal physicist who is a longtime critic of the international scientific consensus on climate change. And the largest backer of the study is the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, which donated $150,000 to it. Charles and David Koch are the nation’s most prominent financiers of efforts to block the regulation of greenhouse gases.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

City of Oakland Shuts Down Novella Carpenter's Urban Farmstand

by Ellen Cushing
Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM

The war on fun strikes again! The victim this time: None other than mild-mannered urban farmer notorious hoodlum Novella Carpenter and her insurgent backyard chard operation, long known for threatening the lives and livelihoods of Oakland's upstanding citizens with reckless abandon and utter disregard for the rule of law. According to our BFFAEs at SFist, the Oakland-based author, activist, and foodie (and former winner of EBX's prestigious "best hippie" award) has been slapped with non-compliance — and a hefty fine — for violating a city code she didn't even know existed. Here's the deal, via Carpenter's blog:

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You Write Too Long: This Week's Feature, Bite-Sized

by Ellen Cushing
Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 10:53 AM

This week, we give you three feature stories for the price* of one: see, it's our semi-annual "Taste" special issue, in which we dutifully plumb the depths of the East Bay's ever-expanding food and nightlife scene in order to introduce you to such deliciousness as the new intensely bitter, super-hoppy Double IPA beers; frozen custard, Italian-style hero sandwiches, strombolis, and other East Coast comfort foods, now making their way to the Bay Area; and Plum's burger: "juicy and sharded with bits of beef cheek and oxtail, slathered in house-made horseradish, and served on a slate-black plate with fresh, locally-grown greens." If your mouth isn't watering, you're not paying attention. Check it all out here.

*that price being "free."

Defense Attorneys Demand Release of Gang Injunction Defendant Javier Quintero

by Rachel Swan
Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM

City attorney John Russo was all a-twitter last Tuesday (yes, literally) about the arrest of Javier Quintero, a gang injunction defendant who was apprehended in an alleged gang-mobile. "Gang injunction 'star' defndnt found last nite in car w drugs & gang symbols," Russo tweeted. "Last wk he testified under oath that he knew nothing re. gangs."

That led to a dramatic courtroom arrest, when parole agents nabbed Quintero right in the middle of testimony, according to Chron reporter Demian Bulwa. Gang injunction opponents balked at Russo for what they called "a stunt," and an example of racial profiling. Among Russo's critics is volunteer attorney Yolanda Huang, who is part of a team representing the alleged gang members. Huang, who was with Quintero at the time of his encounter with Oakland police, said the friend's car was searched, as was Quintero's house, where police found several red items (red is the color of Norteños, the gang in question). Russo and fellow attorney Tricia Hynes argue, to the contrary, that 27-year-old Quintero was violating the terms of his parole, and that he may of have perjured himself (as Russo alludes in the tweet).

Meanwhile, Judge Robert Freedman postponed the gang injunction hearing, which began after Russo requested a 2-mile zone in which 40 alleged gang members would be prohibited from associating with one another. Under the proposed rules defendants would also have to adhere to a 10 p.m. curfew. The hearing is scheduled to resume on April 4.

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Wednesday Must Read: No June Election and Redevelopment Saved — for Now; Oakland Candidates Jockey to Replace Russo

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 7:05 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers called off plans for a June election that would have asked voters to approve the governor’s proposed tax-extension measures after Brown declared yesterday that budget talks with Republicans were dead, the Chron, CoCo Times, and SacBee report. Brown and organized labor are now looking at launching an initiative drive for a November election. But such a move likely would require the state to issue IOUs this fall to stay afloat financially.

2. The move also means that redevelopment agencies throughout the state are safe — at least for now. Brown needed Republican votes to kill redevelopment and for his tax measures proposal. Brown blamed the Republicans’ last-minute laundry list of demands, including tax breaks for corporations, for his decision to end the budget talks. The GOP leadership had issued a seven-page list of demands last Friday. Republicans, meanwhile, blamed labor unions and other Democratic constituencies for allegedly failing to compromise on their proposals to slash public-employee pensions and enact a state spending cap.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Report: Alameda Picks Russo to be City Manager

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 9:20 AM

The Alameda City Council has selected longtime Oakland City Attorney John Russo to be its new city manager, Michele Ellson of the Island reports, citing an anonymous source. The council may make an official announcement tonight at its meeting.

Russo, who has been Oakland's city attorney for more than a decade, and before that, was a councilmember, is friends with Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore and Alameda Councilwoman Lena Tam. He also donated heavily to their campaigns last year, and to that of Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta. Russo also has been unhappy for some time in Oakland and has clashed repeatedly with members of the city council and with Mayor Jean Quan.

The Oakland City Council will have sixty days to name Russo's replacement, who would then serve out the rest of his term, which runs through 2012. If the council fails to do so, then there will be a special election.

Tuesday Must Read: Bonds’ Ex Talks of Sex and Roid Rage; Gas Could Hit $5 a Gallon

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 6:58 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Barry Bonds federal perjury trial turned tawdry yesterday during testimony by his former mistress, Kimberly Bell. California Watch reports that Bell told jurors that after Bonds blamed a 1999 elbow injury on his steroid use he grew increasingly angry and controlling. He also became far more muscular, and "developed acne on his upper shoulders and back," she said. "His hair was falling out quickly, and he ended up shaving it all off." Bell also told jurors that Bonds underwent "changes sexually and in his testicles." And Bell said that "more than once," he threatened to "cut my head off and leave me in a ditch," she said. Baseball’s homerun king, she said, also threatened to "cut out my breast implants because he paid for them. ... He was very controlling."

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Must Read: FBI Investigates Elihu Harris; GOP Gives Brown Seven-Page List of Demands

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 7:02 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The FBI is investigating Elihu Harris, the ex-chancellor of the Peralta Community College District, for his role in steering a $950,000 no-bid contract to his friend and business partner, Mark Lindquist, the Chron reports. Federal agents also questioned Peralta Vice Chancellor Sadiq Ikharo, who administered the contract. Last year, the Peralta board decided to not renew Harris’ contract as chancellor after the CoCo Times published a series of investigative stories about the Harris-Lindquist connection and lavish trips Harris took on Peralta’s dime.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oakland Scammer Wanted for Robbing the Local Elderly of $20,000

by Anneli Star Josselin Rufus
Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 9:50 AM

The Oakland Police Department is asking for the community to help nab a felony grand theft suspect who has been running a scam against the elderly.

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