Tag Archives: East Bay Express

March 29-April 4 Oakland Political & Community Events

28 Mar

Monday, March 29th – East Bay Young Democrats Endorsement Meeting

EBYD’s first endorsement meeting of the year will be this Monday, and you won’t want to miss it! We will discuss the various June state and local races as well as the candidates for CYD office, hear from the local candidates, and vote to endorse. Candidates from all of the local races have confirmed, and you can now read their questionnaires on EBYD’s website. Join us for free food and to learn about all of these important races! The meeting takes place from 6-9 pm at the Washington Inn, 495 10th Street in Old Oakland. Check out the Facebook event page for more info and to RSVP.

Tuesday, March 30th – Climate Action Plan Rally & Hearing

On March 30, the Oakland City Council will have its first major hearing about the city’s Energy and Climate Action Plan. To make sure it’s strong and uplifting for all of Oakland, the Local Clean Energy Alliance and the Oakland Climate Action Coalition are throwing a rally to show the broad-based, cross-sector coalition that’s standing together. The rally takes place at 4:15pm on the front steps of City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, and the hearing starts at 5:30 in the Council Chambers inside City Hall. RSVP and find more info at the Ella Baker Center’s website.

Wednesday, March 31st – Libby Schaaf for City Council Campaign Kick Off Fundraiser

I am working on Libby Schaaf’s campaign for Oakland City Council, District 4 (the seat Jean Quan is vacating), but even if I wasn’t, I’d definitely be attending her kick off fundraiser this week. She’s incredibly experienced, knowledgeable about how the city works, and committed to improving the City. Please come show your support for Libby, enjoy great refreshments, and spend time with fellow Oaklanders who are ready to Let Oakland Shine. The kick off will take place from 5:30-7:30 pm at the home of Robert Kidd & Joan Story, in the District 4 hills. RSVP for the address and directions.

Thursday, April 1 – Special Oakland City Council Budget Meeting

At this week’s special meeting, the Council will continue its seemingly never ending budget discussions. See the full meeting agenda and check out my post about how to watch and understand City Council meetings if you need some guidance on how or where to view the meeting. The meeting starts at 7:00pm (there are no ceremonial items or consent calendar items) in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Friday-Sunday, April 2nd-4th – Oakland School for the Arts Spring Exhibition

Oakland School for the Arts annual Spring Exhibition spotlights the amazing artwork created by OSA’s Visual Arts students. The show opens Friday, April 2, in the Marion E. Greene Black Box Theatre and features hundreds of student-generated prints, paintings, drawings, digital artworks, sculptures, jewelry pieces, and more. Prices start at just $10. Opening night runs from 6 to 10 p.m. and coincides with the monthly Oakland Art Murmur and Midtown Art Walk. The event will also feature the musical talents of OSA’s gifted instrumentalists. The Spring Exhibition continues Saturday, April 3, from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The Marion E. Greene Black Box Theater is located at 531 19th St. near Telegraph, in the same building that houses the OSA campus and the historic Fox Theater in Oakland’s revived Uptown district. You can read a review of a previous OSA art show and sale at Oaktown Art.

Friday, April 2nd – Edible Art: Works from the Artists of Edible East Bay

This will be a fabulous evening of food art by a dozen local artists whose work has graced the cover and pages of the stellar local periodical, Edible East Bay. Exhibiting artists include: Zina Derestsky, Kieren Dutcher, Rosalie Z. Fanshel, Lorrie Fink, David Lance Goines, Helen Krayenhoff, J. Panter, Linda Pedersen, Francesca Preston, margo Rivera-Weiss, Luz Marina Ruiz and Cheryl Angelina. Great tastes and drinks from Nibbler’s Eatery and Lev’s Kombucha. Music by the Healing Muses. The art will be on display through June 25, 2010. The gallery is open M – Th 9-5; and 2nd and 4th Fridays. This opening event takes place from 7-9pm at JanRae Community Art Gallery at Women’s Cancer Resource Center, 5741 Telegraph Avenue. For more info and to RSVP, see the Facebook event page.

Friday, April 2nd – Art Murmur

Check out the monthly evening of art gallery shows and entertainment in Uptown. Read my review of the art murmur here. The Art Murmur runs from 6-10pm but individual art gallery times vary. The galleries are mostly located in Uptown, between Broadway and Telegraph, and Grand and 29th. Visit the Murmur’s website for more info.

Saturday, April 3rd – Taste for Artisans

Presented by the East Bay Express in collaboration with Mini Marzipan, the Taste for Artisans party will be an urban ho down of epic proportions. The event features over 75 Bay Area artisans selling their wares Live bands and DJs Mechanical bull riding Cream corn wrestling Pie eating contests Square dancing demonstration/instruction Demos from Artisans and Artists Beer, wine, and food Urban and family farmers Amazing raffle prizes Swag bags for the first 200 guests Free Bike valet, courtesy of East Bay Bike Coalition. This event is a fundraiser for DrawBridge – Bring art supplies for donation and get raffle tickets! The event takes place from 5-11pm at Jack London Square Pavilion, 98 Broadway. For more info and to RSVP, see the Facebook event page.

Oakland Blogger Showdown: Living in the O vs. A Better Oakland

30 Jun

OK, so the title of this post might be a bit misleading. V Smoothe and I won’t be duking it out in the Thunderdome or anything like that. But we are two of the three finalists for the Best of the East Bay best blogger award.

I hadn’t realized this previously, but East Bay Express is holding another round of voting, where the top vote winners for each category are facing off. For the blogger award, it’s Living in the O vs. A Better Oakland vs. Inhuman Eating Machine. I’m not going to ask you to vote for me, but please do vote for either me or ABO – it’d be a shame if an Oakland blogger didn’t win.

More importantly though, there are lots of Oakland businesses, artists, and community members that have made it to this final round of voting, and you should vote for them too. Here are my suggestions some with links to previous posts on these places, people, and events:

  • Best Artsy Cafe/Best Cafe: Awaken Cafe
  • Best Band: Damon and the Heathens (You can find my reasoning in my last post about voting.)
  • Best Club: Uptown
  • Best Performer/Singer/Musician: Kev Choice (Yeah, he’s up for practically every musical category and deserves to win several awards. Did you catch his set at Uptown Unveiled? It was incredible.)
  • Best Festival: Temescal Street Fair
  • Best Local Book: Bryant Terry, Vegan Soul Kitchen (Help stop Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food from winning. I love Pollan, but that was by far his worst book. It was written in a hurry and didn’t really say much. Terry’s book, on the other hand, braves new territory.)
  • Best New Culture Scene: Uptown Oakland
  • Best East Bay Product/Best Place to Buy a T-Shirt: Oaklandish
  • Best Farmer’s Market: Temescal (I know many won’t agree with me on this one, but I’m loyal to my local market.)
  • Best Salvage Store: East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse
  • Best City Employee: Jason Patton (Jason is one half of the City of Oakland’s bicyle and pedestrian team, the other half being Jennifer Stanley. Also, he’s up against Ron Dellums and a bunch of other elected officials.)
  • Best Community Organizer: V Smoothe (OK, so V Smoothe is not even her real name, but let that slide and show that blogging and community organizing can go hand and hand.)
  • Best Rising Political Figure: Sean Sullivan (I’m sticking with my initial choice, even though he’s up against Rebecca Kaplan and Van Jones. Why? Kaplan and Jones have risen already and are staying put for a while, while Sullivan is still moving up.)
  • Best New Restaurant: Sidebar (See why in my initial review when they first opened.)

That’s it for my recommendations. Share yours in the comments below. Voting closes on July 6th so take a few minutes to cast your ballot now.

Vote for Oakland artists, businesses, and more in the East Bay Express Best of the East Bay Awards

14 Jun

I’m a bit late on this, but voting is still open for the East Bay Express 2009 Best of the East Bay awards. Last year, I urged readers to vote for V Smoothe at A Better Oakland for best local blogger, and she won! This year, you can once again vote for your favorite Oakland blogger and can vote for your favorite Oakland businesses, artists, musicians, and more. There are 136 categories in all and you have to to vote for at least 26 categories, but this shouldn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes.

This year, I have a couple of recommendations. For best band, I enthusiastically voted for Damon and the Heathens, who I’ve written about here a couple times. They describe themselves as:

a six-piece punk soul band from Oakland, California. We combine the sounds of New Orleans brass bands with Detroit garage rock, blues, jazz, and funk to create a sound best described as horn-fueled Oakland grit. Known for a raucous live show and a tight sound, the only thing holding us back now is our bar tab.

They’re an incredibly fun ban to see live, and their lyrics often talk about life in Oakland, specifically Ghost Town.

Sean Sullivan at Join the ImpactFor rising political figure, I voted for Sean Sullivan, who ran for Oakland City Council last year. Sean lost that race but that has not stopped his involvement in Oakland community and politics. He is co-chair of his NCPC and represents the 3rd district on the Community Action Partnership and Community Development Block Grant board.  Sean recently wrote a guest post here about the need to think carefully about cuts to libraries, in order to protect libraries and services that are most needed by the community. He also helped with the fight to stop the surface parking lot in Uptown Oakland. Sean is dedicated to marriage equality and gave a moving speech about this movement at the Join the Impact rally last year, after the passage of Prop 8. Sean is already a prominent community leader in Oakland, and I look forward to the day that he further serves Oakland as a City Councilmember.

So go vote, now, because voting ends on Tuesday, June 16th.

Vote for A Better Oakland as the Best of the East Bay

5 Jun

The East Bay Express is asking for input on it’s annual Best of the East Bay awards. As I was voting for my favorite Oakland restaurants, stores, performers, etc, I stumbled on the best local blogger category. It was one of the few in which I didn’t even have to think twice – V Smoothe at A Better Oakland is by far the best local blogger. Hands down.

She does in depth reporting on a level matched by no other by sitting through countless city hearings, even when they’re frustrating or boring, and pouring over complex reports. I know I would have been completely at a loss in some of the local election races if it wasn’t for her reporting. I also love her engaging and often entertaining writing style. And I think there are few in this city that can beat her dedication to making Oakland a better place to live in.

So head over to the Best of the East Bay ballot and vote for A Better Oakland. While you’re at it, make sure to vote for some of your favorite Oakland establishments (you have to vote in at least 25 categories for your vote to count) so that Oakland is well represented in 2008’s awards. Don’t procrastinate too much – voting ends on June 16th.

And if somehow you’ve never checked out A Better Oakland, head over there now!

Big Win for Bay Area Independent Media

6 Mar

Yesterday, the jury came back with a verdict in the Bay Guardian’s suit against SF Weekly for illegal predatory pricing. SF Weekly was found guilty and will have to pay the Guardian up to $15.6 million! The Weekly will of course be appealing, but this is a major win for independent media in the Bay Area.

If you haven’t been following the story, here’s the gist of it:

The trial had been underway for more than five weeks. The Guardian charged the Weekly with violating the state’s Unfair Practices Act, a Progressive-era law that bars a company from selling a product below cost for the purpose of destroying competition.

Evidence produced in the trial showed clearly that the Weekly had been selling ads below cost. In fact, the paper had lost money every year since the New Times chain, now known as Village Voice Media, bought it in 1995. Those losses totalled $25 million over the 12 years.

The Guardian produced extensive evidence that the Weekly and VVM were trying to injury the local competitor, including three witnesses who testified that they heard Mike Lacey, one of the two principals of New Times, vow to put the Guardian out of business.

The evidence produced also showed numerous internal emails discussing the Weekly’s battle plans to take ads away from the Guardian…

The jury ruled that New Times/VVM and the East Bay Express, which until recently was owned by VVM, were equally culpable in aiding the predatory sales.

The Express is now an independent paper, and VVM is liable for any damages assessed against that publication.

And here’s some of the great testimony from the trial:

The witnesses, former Weekly sales rep Jennifer Lopez, former Weekly co-publisher Carrie Fisher, and former Weekly editor Andrew O’Hehir, all described a January 1995 meeting at which Lacey arrived to tell the staff that New Times had bought the Weekly…

Lacey launched into a profanity-laced diatribe, Fisher testified, “insulting the office space, insulting the neighborhood and making comments on the quality of the writing” in what was then a small locally owned paper.

At one point, she said, Lacey picked up a copy of the Bay Guardian, threw it on the floor and said “we don’t just want to compete, we want to put the Guardian out of business.” While she said she couldn’t swear to the exactly language Lacey used, “the gist of what he said was very clear.”

If you want to read more of the testimony, which is not only informative but also entertaining at times, check out the February archives of the SFBG Politics Blog.

What does this mean for news in Oakland? Probably nothing for now, since the East Bay Express, even as an independent weekly, doesn’t do such a great job covering local news. But regardless of what you think of the Guardian, this is an important win for independent media everywhere.


This is a bit off topic, but I just noticed that the Guardian started the Chauncey Bailey Project, “an investigative team that will continue and expand on the reporting Bailey was pursuing at the time of his death.” It’s been up there for a while, but if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.