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40 in 40

For our 40th anniversary, we compiled a list of 40 of the Express' memorable in-depth reports and the topics we've loved writing about the most.

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20. "Oiltown," by Paul Rauber, Sept. 30, 1988

Chevron once wielded so much power in Richmond that the oil giant had an office inside City Hall. And the Express has examined this corporate political dominance and corruption for decades, along with the numerous pollution impacts from Chevron's Richmond refineries on surrounding low-income communities, starting with Paul Rauber's 1988 cover story, "Oiltown."

Also, "Price of Power," by Chris Thompson, March 24, 2000; "Big Oil in Little Richmond," by Anna McCarthy, July 8, 2008.

21. Holiday Books & Records, by Express staff, Nov. 25, 1988

Throughout most of the '80s and '90s, our annual Holiday Guide each November focused almost exclusively on books and records. We really loved them; we were old school (and many of us still are). The 1988 edition of the Express Holiday Guide featured 56 pages on books and records alone. Hell, we loved books so much that for many years, we published a monthly supplement on the newest books and local authors.

22. "Home Town Hero," by Derk Richardson, July 28, 1989

Sure, we dig the Golden State Warriors and the Oakland Raiders (OK, maybe not the Raiders), but there is no doubt that the East Bay Express is an Oakland A's newspaper. Always has been.

We've featured the Green and Gold on our cover more than any other sports team, with one of the first being Derk Richardson's in-depth 1989 piece, "Home Town Hero," on pitching star Dave Stewart.

Also, "False Spring," by John Krich and Christopher Hawthorne, April 19, 1996; "The Fremont Athletics," by Chris Thompson and Robert Gammon; Nov. 29, 2006; "Moneyball 2.0: The Pitching Whisperer," by Kibby Kleiman, Sept. 12, 2012.

23. "The Gender Factor," by Brady Kahn, March 8, 1991

"The UC Berkeley math department considers itself to among the very best in the world. So when it denied tenure to Jenny Harrison, effectively dismissing one of the only two female assistant professors it had hired in more than 30 years, it was simply because she wasn't good enough to teach at Berkeley. Or is there another explanation?"

Spoiler alert: There was another explanation.

"You asked if there was a subculture antagonistic towards women. I am afraid that the answer is a resounding 'yes.' There are men [on the faculty] who think women can't do math ..."

Brady Kahn's in-depth piece on gender discrimination at Cal was one of many such stories to grace the pages of the Express over the years.

24. "Young & Gay," by Linnea Due, June 26, 1992

Journalist Linnea Due, a senior editor at the Express for more than 20 years, wrote some of her most essential early work on being young and LGBTQ in the East Bay. "Young & Gay" was transformative.

Due's longtime colleague, award-winning journalist and author Dashka Slater, called Due's stories on LGBTQ issues "ground-breaking," including two memorable features — one on trans sexuality and one on coming out in high school ("Sex and Safety at San Leandro High," April 17, 98) that later became her book Joining the Tribe.

These days, the Express publishes an annual Queer & Trans issue in late August.

25. "The Happy Warrior," by Dashka Slater, June 9, 1995; "Don Perata: The Man, the Machine, the Investigation," by Robert Gammon, Will Harper, and Chris Thompson, Dec. 8, 2004 For nearly two decades, Don Perata was the East Bay's most powerful — and shady — politician. Other politicos, particularly in Oakland, were terrified of him, because he was a prodigious fund-raiser and a master at exacting revenge. Cross him, and you'd be facing a well-financed candidate in the next election.

The Express covered Perata like no other news organization. In 1995, Dashka Slater penned the definitive piece on his rise from being an Alameda high school civics teacher to becoming a powerbroker. Nine years later, the Express broke the story of the FBI's corruption investigation into him.

After being termed out as state Senate president, Perata ran for Oakland mayor in 2010, but Jean Quan upset him, in part because she attacked him relentlessly with negative ads quoting from Express exposés.

Also: "Road to Nowhere," Will Harper and Robert Gammon, March 1, 2006; "Living Large," by Robert Gammon, May 23, 2007; "The Cancer in the Oakland Mayor's Race," by Robert Gammon, Feb. 10, 2010.

26. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," by Dashka Slater, Nov. 24, 1995

"The regular customer has round silver spectacles and a brown leather jacket and a smile that is used to getting its way. He turns it on now, cocksure, charming. He understands that there are no clean rooms right now, he knows the maid has just arrived and the sign out front says, 'no vacancy.' But he can't wait. He's got his arm around a woman and he pats her bottom ever so softly. He doesn't care if the room's clean or not, just as long as he can have it now."

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