Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Must Read: Protesters Plan Another Demonstration Against BART; GOP Pushes to Increase Payroll Taxes

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Protesters are planning yet another demonstration this afternoon against BART in the wake of the agency’s decision to shut-down cell service earlier this month, the Chron and Bay Citizen report. The computer-hacker group Anonymous is planning the protest for 5 p.m., and has vowed to organize more demonstrations against BART until the agency apologizes for its cell-phone shut-down decision and fires its chief spokesman, Linton Johnson, who denounced hackers as “cyber thugs.”


BART maintains that it had every right to kill cellphone service in order to disrupt a planned protest. But civil libertarians say BART’s decision violated free speech rights. BART is also being investigated by the FCC for its actions.

More …

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's Worse than Fracking

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Josh Fox, the award-winning director of Gasland, one of the most disturbing environmental documentaries ever made, describes another major threat to North America — and the world — that may be even more devastating than fracking: it's the giant Tar Sands project in Alberta, Canada. To extract fossil fuels trapped in sand, energy companies are destroying a giant swath of pristine Alberta forest that is equivalent to the size of Florida, poisoning groundwater, and unleashing so much CO2 that leading climate scientists say it will make it impossible to slow the course of global warming.

Over the next two weeks, starting tomorrow, environmentalists from around the country will be meeting at the White House for a large sit-in to protest President Obama's plan to massively increase demand for tar sands fuel by okaying the planned construction of a web of pipelines throughout the United States that will ship the fuel to refineries across the nation.

As Fox says in the below must-see video, it will blow your mind:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Must Read: Nava Family Opposes Curfew and Gang Injunction; Embattled Oakland Schools Police Chief Retires

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Relatives of 3-year-old Carlos Nava, who was gunned down last week in East Oakland, criticized a renewed call by some city councilmembers to institute a curfew for teens and to expand gang injunctions, the Trib reports. The proposal by Councilmen Ignacio De La Fuente and Larry Reid came in response to Nava’s tragic death. But relatives of the boy noted yesterday that a curfew for teens would not have prevented his murder because the suspects are in their twenties. The relatives also advocated for more resources for education and social programs. De La Fuente and Reid have failed in previous efforts to institute a citywide curfew and expand gang injunctions.

More …

The Beer Oligarchy, in Convenient Chart Form

by Ellen Cushing
Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 4:00 AM

You probably already knew, at least abstractly, of the sheer ubiquity of Anheuser-Busch and Miller — which together make a whopping eighty percent of the beer consumed in this great country — but how do you reconcile that with the seemingly endless supply of local upstart microbreweries? Tom Phillpot has an incredible informative blog post today on MoJo that explains how both sides of the beer business can — and will likely continue to — flourish at the same time. Read it here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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

by Ellen Cushing
Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Meet Bob MacDonald: Cal alum, art critic, scrambled-egg enthusiast — and gay senior. He's been out for longer than many of you have probably been alive, but at 78, MacDonald says he's been forced to go back into the closet as a result of his nursing home's conservative and quietly heteronormative environment. MacDonald's story illustrates a much larger phenomenon, detailed at length by Nancy Lopez in this week's cover story: as the first generation of openly gay men and women begins to reach old age, the same people who fought in the Stonewall riots and marched on Washington face new marginalization — and even discrimination — at the hands of a society and a long-term care system that has never before had to contend with the LGBT senior population and their specific needs. It's a fascinating story; read it here and/or watch the video below:

Gay Seniors Face Challenges in Nursing Homes from Nancy Lopez on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Must Read: Oakland Schools Top Cop Suspended for Alleged N-Word Tirade; FCC Investigating BART for Cellphone Shutdown

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland public schools Police Chief Pete Sarna is being investigated for an alleged racist tirade, in which he allegedly told a black cop that no blacks should be allowed to live in Orinda and that "the only good n- is a dead n- and they should hang you in the town square to prevent any other n- from coming in the area,” the Chron reports, quoting an attorney who is representing a white Oakland schools cop who filed a complaint against the chief. Sarna allegedly went on the racist tirade while driving other Oakland schools cops home from a charity golf event.

  • Sarna

He allegedly continued the racist attack when he dropped the white cop off at home, directing his tirade toward the man’s children and then later at an Asian-American cop. A source also told the Chron that Sarna had been drinking.

More …

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Must Read: Obama Approval Ratings Sink to All-Time Low; BART on Shaky Legal Ground with Cellphone Shutdown

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. President Obama’s approval rating has reached a low-point in his presidency, slipping below 40 percent for the first time, Talking Points Memo reports, citing the new Gallup tracking poll. Obama’s 39 percent rating comes at a time when the economy is sputtering and when liberal Democrats and his moderate advisors are at odds over whether he should continue his conciliatory stance towards Republicans and keep trying to reach “bipartisan” deals when the GOP essentially refuses to negotiate with him.


Many Democrats also note that the president has failed to articulate a coherent vision for the country.

More …

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ay Caramba! A's Disappoint All Cultures

by Kibby Kleiman
Sun, Aug 14, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Today was Fiesta Day at the Coliseum, and the Athletics celebrated by giving the Texas Rangers a going-away party. The visitors completed their sweep, giving A's fans a taste of pennant baseball for the last six weeks of the season. It won't be much fun for us, the piñata in this play, as teams with something to play for are going to beat us like a tambourine. But this weekend's beatings were made somehow worse by sad promotions — like Friday's Italian Heritage Day, which featured a warmed-over Rat Pack trio who drew well-earned boos every time they appeared, taking some of the heat off the A's terrible defense.

More …

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Must Read: Hate Crimes Against Latinos Rise; High Court Takes Up Redevelopment

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Hate crimes against Latinos surged in California last year, jumping nearly 47 percent, the CoCo Times reports, citing newly released data from the state Attorney General’s Office. The increase in hate crimes came at a time when anti-immigrant sentiment has been growing nationwide. Overall, however, the total number of hate crimes in the state remained steady in 2010, and even decreased against gays and Jews. Blacks in California continue to be the victim of the highest percentage of hate crimes.

2. In Oakland this week, a gay musician was the victim of a hate crime, as he and a bandmate were beaten outside Club Paradiso, The Bay Citizen reports. The musician, Brontez Purnell, said they were attacked by two black men with dreadlocks, who shouted anti-gay slurs and told them that if they were “in Jamaica, they’d be dead.” Oakland reported fifteen total hate crimes last year.

More …

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday Must Read: Cops Have One Man in Custody in Murder of 3-year-old; Stock Market Surges on Positive Jobs Report

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts says that one man is in custody in the case of the 3-year-old who was murdered in broad-daylight on Monday, the Trib reports. Batts also said that police have uncovered “key evidence” in the case. OPD spokeswoman Holly Joshi said that numerous witnesses have come forward with information. People are so outraged at the murder of a 3-year-old that the longstanding practice in Oakland of witnesses not talking to police has been set aside, at least for now. The child was shot dead when members of one gang sprayed bullets at members of a rival gang on International Boulevard in East Oakland.

  • Batts

Cops had detained two men in the East Bay city of Pittsburg on Tuesday, but have since only linked one of the men to the child’s murder.

2. One of the craziest weeks in Wall Street history continued this morning, as stocks shot up again, following a better-than-expected jobs report, and rebounded once more from another miserable day yesterday, The New York Times reports. As of 10 a.m. Pacific, the Dow Jones average was up more than 370 points, after another massive drop yesterday, which several analysts attributed to the banking crisis in Europe.

More …

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