Friday, February 29, 2008

The East Bay Today: February 29, 2008

Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 5:39 PM

Today's Top Event: Anchee Min and Lloyd Lofthouse read at Clayton Books.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Classics on the Contemporary Stage. Panel featuring Helene Foley, Mark Griffith, and Barbara Oliver, presented in conjunction with The Bacchae at Zellerbach Playhouse.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critics recommend: Unicorn in Berkeley.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Guitar-wielding singer-songwriters Greg Lamboy and Tim Jenkins are giving a free show at the Nomad Café.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out high-end skateboard furniture.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

Cal Takes One (more) up the Wazzou

Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 2:52 PM

Men's basketball at Cal is now not only boring, it's lousy. With just one home game left in the season, insomniacs and relatives will have only tomorrow to watch the hibernating Bears getting nudged awake briefly by Washington, before rolling over and going back to sleep. Cal is now 6-9 in the Pac-10, and if they don't win Saturday against the equally soporific Huskies, they won't win another game this season. March sadness for the boys from Berkeley.

Next week the Golden Bears will get rolled by U.C.L.A and U.S.C, then have to hang around Hell for the week, awaiting play in the Pac-10 tournament starting (and ending) for Cal on March 12.

Coming into last night's game against the Washington State Cougars, at least Cal had the glamour of being the top scoring team in the league; but the 49 they put up against Wazzou now finds them falling well short on style points as well.

Cal has actually played much worse at home; so perhaps it's best that they're dissolving in front of less than a full house. Yesterday's attendance was 8,282, proving that Doe Library right now is more fun than Haas Pavilion. Coach Ben Braun has established a reign of beige over the past decade and the silence around the program is well, kind of peaceful. The Daily Cal's sports blog, Bear Bytes, has more noise about rugby while the other visible Bear blog, has a grand total of two people chiming in on the latest "effort".

Perhaps it's all a part of some clever strategy, to lie low and avoid the heat that the football program receives, and they won a bowl game. So if you want to see the basketball team go out on a winning note — it's tomorrow or bust. And bust is giving points. — Kibby Kleiman

Buy Curious: The Elephant Sale … for Real This Time!

Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 2:45 PM

So we were a little excited about the White Elephant Sale last week, so much so that we posted about it a week early. Well it's really happening this weekend. And thankfully, it looks like the weather will cooperate so you won't have to wait in line in the rain. But the monstrous sale, as great as it is, has some stiff competition this weekend, including Noise Pop's "Pop and Shop" Expo, the Alameda Antique Fair, and the design fair Chillin' the night before. How to choose? Click on oh shopping faithful …

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It's Official: No Drought in 2008

Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 10:22 AM

California is expected to end the rainy season with above-average precipitation for the year, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Officials from the State Department of Water Resources measured the Sierra snowpack in about 200 separate locations before delivering their happy verdict. That means no drought and no water restrictions.

First Black Woman Assembly Speaker Elected

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 10:22 AM

The state Assembly for the first time in its history elected a black woman to be its speaker Thursday. Karen Bass of Los Angeles was elected with the help of outgoing Speaker Fabian Nunez, according to the Los Angeles Times. The election of Bass, along with state Senator Darrell Steinberg as president pro tem earlier this month, also means the Bay Area will not be represented among the state's political leadership for the first time since 1974, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Before being elected to the Assembly in 2004, Bass never held political office before. But she quickly rose to power after aligning herself with Nunez.

Plumbers and Mechanics Unionize at Livermore Lab

Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 10:14 AM

A union has agreed to drop two unfair labor practices complaints against Lawrence Livermore Lab after the lab agreed to recognize a new bargaining unit for 170 craft workers, the Contra Costa Times reported. The Society of Prosessionals, Scientists, and Engineers said it was jubilant about the successful organizing drive.

County Tells San Ramon to Slow Down on Tassajara Valley

Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 10:09 AM

A county agency has concluded that San Ramon is not yet ready to take control of the undeveloped Tassajara Valley, the Contra Costa Times reported. A letter to the city from the executive director of the Contra Costa County Local Area Formation Commission rapped the city's environmental plan as inadequate. Environmental groups and neighboring Danville share a variety of concerns about potential future development of the 4,900-acre valley, which San Ramon has mentioned vaguely as possible in the future if it were to annex the valley.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Positive Loitering

by Anneli Star Josselin Rufus
Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 7:27 PM

Someone posting on a Laurel District neighborhood-watch listserv described how, as her son was walking to World Grounds Cafe around 7 a.m. on Sept. 24, some ten African-American males "about 16 to 22 crossed the street and threatened him with a knife asking for his wallet."

This posting on the listserv sparked a "take back the streets" discussion, with locals vowing to become a more visible presence on their own streets. Thus, others added, non-menacing locals should create more of a visible presence. They called this concept "positive loitering."

"I see a lot of questionable hanging out by the young men in the neighborhood," one local business owner wrote. "Sometimes I see things that are suspicious, most of the time they're standing around talking. On the one hand they don't appear to be doing anything, on the other when they're standing at the bus stop or on the corner people are hesitant to come into my store."

The hangers-out, laments this local, "know what kind of impression they make and I believe they enjoy the bit of power they have ... if the boulevard is only populated by young guys in white T-shirts it's far harder to create a safe, supportive community."

Another opined: "We need MORE people on macarthur. We need MORE people walking on high st. See & be seen."

The East Bay Today: February 28, 2008

Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 5:20 PM

Today's Top Event: Journalists Alfredo Corchado and Ricardo Sandoval present "Life, Death and Committing Journalism Along the U.S. Mexican Border" at UC Berkeley's North Gate Library.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's lecture: Starvation and Re-Feeding. Eating disorders seminar with Neal Anzai at Alta Bates Medical Center.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critics recommend: Postino in Lafayette.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Catch innovative local act Loop!Station at Café van Kleef for only $5.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out photographs of highly camouflaged people.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

Safeway Announces Layoffs

Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 11:45 AM

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the Pleasanton-based company will lay off about 400 people nationwide, including about 70 jobs locally.

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