Archive

Bay Street Mall, Emeryville: Shopping on Sacred Ground

December 10, 2012
By
Bay Street Mall, Emeryville: Shopping on Sacred Ground

  Reprinted from the Oakland Tribune By Anne Lowe, My Word Posted:   12/04/2012 10:17:08 AM As we shove our way through holiday shopping, I hope we can remember the reasons why we were grateful on Thanksgiving. I hope we can stop running around long enough to be thankful for the land under our feet and remember the people who have held that land sacred for so long. Did anyone remember that November was National Native American Heritage Month? Some residents certainly remember. Last Black Friday, which also happened to be Native American Heritage Day, there were more than 50 people gathered at the Emeryville Bay Street Mall — and not for shopping. People held signs that said, “Protect Sacred Sites,” and “You Are Shopping On Ohlone Burial Ground.” They were protesting the destruction of the oldest and largest Ohlone burial ground, called a shellmound, the rest of which still lies under the Bay Street Mall. The Ohlone people are the original residents of the Bay Area, and a number of Ohlone descendants led the protest on Bay Street. However, according to the U.S. government’s official list of recognized tribes, there is no Ohlone tribe. Emeryville City Council used that missing legal

Read more »

Crime Boss Gets 18 Years for Narcotics Conspiracy, Loan Sharking at Oaks Card Club in Emeryville

December 8, 2012
By

Reprinted from the Contra Costa Times By Katie Nelson Posted:   12/06/2012 03:49:45 PM PST A Hercules man will spend the next 18 years in prison for his leadership role in a large-scale racketeering and narcotics conspiracy at card clubs in Emeryville and San Bruno. Cuong Mach Binh Tieu, 42, pleaded guilty June 19 to 10 felony counts, including conspiracy to spearhead a racketeering organization, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and ecstasy and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The four-year investigation, conducted by the FBI, the DEA, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Gambling Control, and the IRS, revealed that Tieu served as a leader for a criminal group that regularly used the cash drawers at both Oaks Card Club in Emeryville and Artichoke Joe’s Casino in San Bruno to finance drug purchases, authorities said. On June 30, 2009, for example, Tieu used $30,000 from Oaks Card Club to purchase 25 kilograms of ephedrine, which he used to help manufacture methamphetamine and ecstasy. In addition to drug trafficking, Tieu’s criminal organization worked with casino employees to openly engage in loan-sharking on the floor with both casinos. The loan sharks regularly charged 10 percent interest

Read more »

Realtors renaming of Golden Gate neighborhood raises gentrification concerns with locals

November 29, 2012
By
Realtors renaming of Golden Gate neighborhood raises gentrification concerns with locals

(This story was reprinted from  Oakland Local.) Published on Thursday, November 29, 2012 by Lauren Soldano In the last few months, a new word has been coined by Realtors at Lawton Associates, Better Homes and Gardens RE and other local realtors to describe the North Oakland neighborhood between Emeryville, Rockridge and Temescal:  “NOBE,” which stands for North Oakland Berkeley Emeryville.  Some long-time residents and community organizations – specifically members of local food justice collective Phat Beets – say that the new moniker, as well as other marketing strategies, are making the area attractive to gentrifiers – and not reflecting the neighborhood as it is today. Phat Beets collective member Josh Cadji says the collective first learned about the “NOBE” marketing project when their organization was featured on the neighborhood map put out by “NOBE” Realtors. “It listed all these hip new places that were not historical institutions or organizations or businesses,” Cadji said.  “Obviously they’re not including black-owned businesses and really, they’re not including restaurants owned by black folks.” Cadji pointed out that the “NOBE” map’s boundaries are almost identical to those of the North Oakland gang injunction area drawn by the city of Oakland two years ago, still in

Read more »

Emeryville Taiko Group Moves to W. Oakland Due to Noise Complaints

November 28, 2012
By
Emeryville Taiko Group Moves to W. Oakland Due to Noise Complaints

Emeryville Taiko, a Japanese drumming group, has been without a set practice place for years due to noise issues. The group’s latest home is Soundwave Studios in West Oakland.  (Reprinted from Oakland North.) By Samantha Masunaga     Drums boomed from every corner of the West Oakland studio. At the front, a small drum called a shime tapped out a rhythm, setting the beat for the six other drums in the set. At the back, a large drum called an odaiko was suspended in midair by a wooden stand, two drummers pounding furiously on either side, framed by a black backdrop and some velvet curtains. With a red floral carpet underfoot, six women and one man pounded out a happy rhythm with relatively serious faces. “Smile!” Susan Horn, director of the group, called out to her players. Her players obliged, with embarrassed grins. Taiko, by its nature, is a loud activity. Players are encouraged to use their entire bodies to produce a clean, crisp and reverberating sound. Even the process of learning songs is auditory—kuchi shoga, or the phonetic, repeat-after-me method used to teach taiko, is the only way music is taught. Nothing is written down, only spoken. Big hits

Read more »

What the City, and Wareham Development, Can be Thankful For

November 28, 2012
By
What the City, and Wareham Development, Can be Thankful For

Finance Committee Update: Sales Tax Asset, Cheaper Fire Services, and Potential 12-Year Tax Exemption for Wareham Development The Finance Committee met on Monday, Nov. 19, just three days before Thanksgiving.  Are we feeling thankful?  Yes and no. On the positive side, city revenue remains up over last year— the new Target store in town is proving to be a solid sales tax asset—and expenditures by most city departments are down.  Doug Robinson, a regular advisor to the city on its investments, reported that our monies are in safe instruments and remain substantially liquid.  No surprises here, and we don’t expect any given the city’s conservative investment philosophy.  We heard a report on the new contract arrangement with Alameda County for fire services, and aside from a modest increase, county-wide, in overtime costs, the new system looks like a winner for cost savings over all.   I should also add that Debra Auker has been named Director of Administrative Services for the city, and she continues her responsibilities for managing financial affairs.  The Finance Committee members find her reports and analyses clear.  She is also responsive to our queries and suggestions. I think I speak for the Committee when I say that

Read more »

Police: Emeryville warehouse was marijuana distribution center

November 14, 2012
By
Police: Emeryville warehouse was marijuana distribution center

By Harry Harris Oakland Tribune Posted:   11/13/2012 09:36:52 AM PST Updated:   11/13/2012 03:39:53 PM PST EMERYVILLE — A 2,000-square-foot warehouse where police last week seized 400 pounds of marijuana with a street value of at least $250,000 was a distribution center and not a grow house, authorities said Tuesday. The weed, which was found in buckets and bags, had been grown elsewhere and brought to the warehouse in the 4300 block of Halleck Street where an assembly line of workers apparently packaged it for sale, Officer Brian Head said. Normally, the growing, harvesting and distribution all happen in the same location. Head said no arrests have been made so far. The grow site has not been located, and, so far, no one has come forward claiming the marijuana was being grown for a medicinal dispensary, authorities said. Police said one person with an apparent link to the warehouse, a onetime newspaper distribution center near Interstates 80 and 580, claimed it was now being used as a skateboard manufacturing center. But Head said police only found four skateboards with no wheels in a box. Police were tipped off to the operation by people in the area who became suspicious

Read more »

Emeryville Police Seize 400 lbs of Marijuana from Warehouse

November 10, 2012
By
Emeryville Police Seize 400 lbs of Marijuana from Warehouse

Police Estimate Street Value at $250,000 Emeryville police have seized 400 pounds of marijuana from a Pellegrini warehouse space in the 4300 block of Halleck Street. Acting on tips, and information gathered by Emeryville police, about 12 patrol officers and detectives descended on the warehouse with a search warrant at about 7 am last Thursday, said Emeryville Police Officer Brian Head. There was no one at the location at the time of the search and no one has been arrested, according to Head, who was among the officers at the scene. Police became suspicious after receiving reports of increased night time activity and distinct smells in the vicinity of the warehouse, said Head, Emeryville PD’s public information officer. “We received tips about some suspicious-looking people coming and going at all hours of the day and night,” Head said. “We also received reports of vehicles backing into the warehouse very quickly and leaving very quickly.” He added that during the search, a nearby resident approached an officer and told him that “people could smell it.” But Head said that a recent, routine traffic stop by two Emeryville patrol officers in the vicinity of the warehouse provided the information crucial to securing

Read more »

The North End: “Butchertown”

November 2, 2012
By
The North End: “Butchertown”

Richard Ambro is a historian who has lived in the North End of Emeryville for more than 26 years. His goal is to preserve atleast some of the mature trees, historic homes, and general character of the neighborhood. This article is the first in a series about the history and evolution of the North End. Ambro holds a PhD in archaeology and anthropology from UC Berkeley. First in a Series What is a neighborhood? A neighborhood is a geographically localized community within a larger city, town or suburb. Neighborhoods are generally defined as specific geographic areas as well as a set of social networks. They are the personal settings and situations where residents seek to realize or share common values, raise children, and maintain effective social control. (Wikipedia). _______________________ The 64th Street neighborhood where I live is a block-wide (east-west) strip sandwiched between the Oakland border at Vallejo Street and the former light industrial district west of Doyle Street, in the NE corner of Emeryville. This neighborhood has a long and interesting history.  It was originally an outlier of the area once known as Butchertown – the meat packing district established in the late 19th century, on the west side

Read more »

Emeryville Among Bay Area’s Five Most Violent Cities

October 30, 2012
By
Emeryville Among Bay Area’s Five Most Violent Cities

  Tuesday, October 30, 2012 The five most violent cities in the Bay Area were all in the East Bay last year, according to figures released this week by the FBI. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, which gathers data from police departments around the nation, shows that Emeryville, Oakland, Richmond, San Pablo and Antioch topped the Bay Area charts for violence. At the other end of the scale, Hillsborough, Los Altos, Orinda, San Ramon and Lafayette were the region’s least violent cities last year. Click here for more information. (Click on link above, then click on “view details” corresponding to each city listed.) (To comment on this story or to read the comments of others, click on the headline to go to the story page, then scroll to the bottom.)

Read more »

City Should Provide Design and Approval Histories for all Development Projects

October 29, 2012
By

At the Oct. 16th City Council meeting, at the request of Councilmember Jac Asher, the City Council discussed the Parkside Park design and in particular the Council’s decision to approve the removal of all the trees in the new public park.  The discussion began with a presentation from Planning Division Director Charles Bryant who gave a full history of the park’s protracted design and approval process. During his presentation, Mr. Bryant shared a lot of interesting information including these two points: Although the current park design drawings show replacement trees being planted very close to where the existing trees are, there are significant grade differences between the current topography and the topography called for in the park design. The trees are located on a raised mound (“the berm”) and keeping them there would require significant changes to the current design. According to Archstone, redesigning the park to accommodate the existing trees could cost up to $100,000 Mr. Bryant’s presentation was followed by public comments from residents, a discussion among councilmembers and finally two motions and two votes. The first motion, put forth by Councilmember Jac Asher, directed the city staff to find the most cost-effective way to retain some of

Read more »

Upcoming Events