Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The EBX Happy Hour is TONIGHT

by Ellen Cushing
Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Do you have a mouth? Do you occasionally like to consume adult beverages and talk about the news with said mouth? Well, today's your lucky day: The EBX Editorial staff is hosting a Happy Hour TONIGHT at the Night Light. There will be drink specials! There will be merriment! There will be El Taco Bike parked right outside for your mobile eating pleasure! There will be be cocktail invented just for the occasion by bartender to the stars Doug Kinsey (which I tried last week andfound to be very good)! There will be the paper's writers and editors, eager to have you throw rotten fruit and scream at us about typos talk to us face-to-face about what we're doing well, what we're doing not-so-well, and what we could be doing more of! Most importantly, there will be you! 6 p.m., hope to see your smiling faces there.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

REMINDER: Best Of Voting Ends This Week!

by Kathleen Richards
Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 4:53 PM

There's still time left to vote for your favorite East Bay people, places, and businesses of the year! Cast your votes here by midnight on Saturday, June 30. Then check out the winners in our July 18 issue.


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Social Media Privacy Bill Would Allow You to Unfriend Your Boss

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM

And more importantly, it would prohibit your boss — or your university, or any public agency — from requesting your username and password on any social media network. Today the Assembly Judiciary Committee unanimously passed SB 1349, a bill by San Francisco Senator Leland Yee that would forbid California universities from demanding access to students' accounts. A similar bill by San Jose Assemblywoman Norma Campos, which Yee co-authored, will go before the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee tomorrow. Both legislators say they've seen a rash of privacy invasions lately, as schools and businesses attempt to control the networking habits of their students and employees. Whether the law will be effective at curbing ill-considered posts, or aggregators of such posts, remains to be seen. But privacy advocates say it's a step in the right direction.

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Silent Summer: Will This Year Be Different for the Environment?

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Published in 1962, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is widely credited with having launched the modern environmental movement. And yet fifty years later, we continue to allow Big Business to poison our environment, our planet, and us. A new study from the National Research Council disclosed that sea levels along the California Coast are expected to rise by an average of three feet by the end of this century because of global warming, wreaking havoc on low-lying areas. A new report from UC Santa Cruz found that lead ammunition from hunting is poisoning California condors, one of the world’s most endangered species. And this week, the chemical industry is battling a bill in Sacramento that would ban the use of toxic flame retardants on furniture sold in the state.

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Perata Squandered Prop 29 Funds

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM

In January 2009, when ex-state Senator Don Perata launched the cancer-research campaign that would eventually become Proposition 29, it was clear that Big Tobacco would do whatever it could to defeat a new tax on cigarettes. And sure enough, a powerful coalition led by Philip Morris USA and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company pumped nearly $41 million into the No on 29 campaign. The resulting advertising barrage changed the outcome of the race. Just a month before the June 5 election, Prop 29 enjoyed an overwhelming lead, but on Election Day the measure lost by a narrow margin. Late last week, the heavily outgunned tobacco-tax supporters finally conceded defeat.

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Blogger vs. Alleged Cult Case Ends in Favorable Settlement

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 11:33 AM

The precedent-setting trade infringement case that pitted a spiritual non-profit against two anonymous bloggers has finally reached a settlement, though the bloggers are calling it a victory. It began two years ago, when Art of Living Foundation subpoenaed the identities of two bloggers who claimed to have defected from the organization, and were now calling it a "cult." In its complaint, Art of Living accused John Does Klim and Skywalker of disclosing the organization's trade secrets, since Skywalker had published several documents and manuals on his site in order to prove they were a sham. Many free speech analysts — including lawyer Matt Zimmerman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation — say the organization used trade infringement as a legal avenue to suppress the bloggers' free speech, since it didn't actually have a foolproof libel case.


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Bay Area Sea-Level Rise Projected to Exceed Global Average

by Nate Seltenrich
Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 10:12 AM

It's easy to think of sea-level rise as a uniform force, occurring simultaneously and in equal measure along coastlines around the world. However, a pair of recent studies have illustrated just how complex and variable the phenomenon really is. Most relevant to us here in the Bay Area was a report released Friday by the National Research Council, a private nonprofit based in Washington, DC. It identified a particularly unexpected factor in sea-level rise: plate tectonics.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

It’s Time to Close the American Indian Public Charter Schools

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 7:09 AM

For the past decade Ben Chavis and his so-called American Indian Public Charter schools in Oakland have gotten away with egregious conduct that would be considered grossly unacceptable for any other school — because they have had high test scores. First, there was the revelation that Chavis routinely abused his students verbally, humiliating them in front of their classmates, to force them score higher on tests or quit the school altogether. Then came the news that Chavis had hurled racist and sexist comments at others in front of students, and that his schools had stopped serving American Indian children.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

BART Boardmember Bob Franklin Steps Down, Pulls Out of Oakland Council Race

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 3:58 PM

BART boardmember Bob Franklin said today that he's stepping down from the BART board of directors next week and pulling out of the race for Oakland City Council in order to take a full-time job with BART. Franklin had planned to resign from the BART board at the end of this year, and was a candidate to replace Oakland Councilwoman Jane Brunner, who is vacating her North Oakland seat to run for city attorney.

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100 Blocks Plan Should Have Been The 1,300 Blocks Plan

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 7:35 AM

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s so-called 100 Blocks crime plan deserved skepticism from the start. The idea that redeploying Oakland police to focus on one hundred of the most violent blocks in the city to in order to reduce crime overall may have sounded appealing to the mayor, but it was never backed up by solid research. In fact, neither the mayor nor OPD has been able to point to another city that has implemented such a plan successfully. Moreover, this week the Urban Strategies Council, a longtime nonprofit that has focused for years on crime and its root problems in Oakland, found even more flaws in the 100 Blocks plan.

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