Arts/Culture

Clean Water Program Curbs Plastic Bag Pollution – Get Your Free Reusable Bag Friday at Pac N’ Save!

January 27, 2013
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Clean Water Program Curbs Plastic Bag Pollution – Get Your Free Reusable Bag Friday at Pac N’ Save!

Pick Up A Free Reusable Bag, Friday Feb 1, 3-5 pm, Pac N’ Save Foods In support of the countywide reusable bag ordinance that went into effect Jan. 1, Alameda County’s Clean Water Program will give away reusable bags on Friday in front of Pac N’ Save, San Pablo Avenue at 40th Street, 3 pm to 5 pm. The ordinance prohibits stores that sell packaged food or alcohol from giving away single-use bags at checkout, and requires them to charge a minimum of 10 cents per paper or reusable bag, as an incentive for shoppers to bring their own reusable bags to the store. Each year, the equivalent of 100,000 kitchen garbage bags worth of litter end up in our local waterways, including an estimated 1 million disposable plastic bags. In Alameda County, storm water does not pass through a water treatment plant. This means that litter and other pollutants carried into the storm drain system by wind and water flow directly into creeks and the Bay, where they harm fish, marine mammals, and birds. So get your reusable bag and pledge to bring it to the store, doing your part to keep our creeks and the Bay clean and

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The Big Job of Choosing the Right City Manager

January 24, 2013
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The Big Job of Choosing the Right City Manager

Patrick O’Keeffe Retiring Emeryville City Manager Patrick O’Keeffe has resigned, effective April 19. O’Keeffe served as City Manager for the past 7 years. Before that, he was the city’s Economic Development and Housing Director under City Manager John Flores for 11 years. During his 18-year tenure with the city, O’Keeffe used his considerable autonomy, political influence, and hundreds of millions in redevelopment money to help transform rugged, industrial Emeryville into a modern hub of big box retail, biotech, and condo/apartment complexes. His principle role — what he knows how to do — is promote and manage development. Reviews of the city’s transformation – and O’Keeffe’s role in it – have been mixed. While the City Council theoretically makes the final call on development projects, anyone who knows Emeryville politics knows O’Keeffe is a key player. The Council largely depends on him (and other city staff) to inform and advise them. And he does, always in favor of big business and often at the expense of residents. Pedestrian and bicycle safety, open space, small business, historic buildings, and hundreds of old growth trees are sacrificed in the name of progress. Enormous tax breaks are given to billion-dollar corporations like Pixar, but

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Emeryville Public Market Unveils First E. Bay Outdoor Exhibits from Exploratorium

January 11, 2013
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Emeryville Public Market Unveils First E. Bay Outdoor Exhibits from Exploratorium

Reprinted from Heraldonline.com Published: January 10, 2013   One of several Exploratorium exhibits at the Public Market in Emeryville ________________________________________________________ TMG Partners and the City of Emeryville welcome the public to discover the science of sustainability in eye opening new “Green Living Room” SAN FRANCISCO — Today, developer TMG Partners, in conjunction with the City of Emeryville, unveiled a unique place for Bay Area residents to play and learn as officials cut the ribbon on new permanent exhibits from the Exploratorium at the Public Market in Emeryville. Woven throughout the outdoor walkways and plazas of this popular shopping, dining and work destination, the Exploratorium’s hands-on science displays represent the world-renowned museum’s first outdoor presence in the East Bay. Public Market recently sold to City Center Realty Partners/Angelo Gordon who are working with TMG to continue to create a unique mixed-use community at Public Market. The Exploratorium’s exhibition is a key feature of the Public Market’s “Green Living Room,” an artful, interactive living park that will engage the Public Market’s 3,000+ daily visitors to discover how the latest in green design and management revitalized this private, mixed-use project. The Green Living Room was funded in part by a $1.35 Million California Catalyst

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Emeryville Police Chief Ken James Supports Bill Regulating Ammunition Sales

January 9, 2013
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Emeryville Police Chief Ken James Supports Bill Regulating Ammunition Sales

Assemblymember Nancy Skinner Unveils Bill Designed to “restrict the bullets that are ravaging our communities.” Reprinted from Berkeleyside January 7, 2013  by Berkeleyside Editors Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) today unveiled a bill to regulate the sale of ammunition, and said it was time buying bullets required the same scrutiny as buying guns. Skinner, D-Berkeley, held a news conference on Monday morning outside the Oakland state office building on the day Alameda County students returned to school after the winter break and in the wake of the Dec. 14 Newtown, CT, elementary school massacre. “Assembly Bill 48 aims to restrict the bullets that are ravaging our communities,” Skinner said in a statement. “Tragic but true, it is easier to buy ammo than to buy cold medicine, alcohol or tobacco. It’s time for buying deadly bullets to fall under the same controls as guns and Sudafed.” Emeryville Police Chief Ken James, who also serves as the chair of the California Police Chief’s Association Firearms Committee, said: “Like pseudoephedrine is the precursor to methamphetamine, bullets are the precursor to gun violence. If we can control the precursors, we may avert tragedies like the ones at Oikos University in Oakland, Aurora and Newtown.” AB 48 would establish

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City Agrees to Preserve 7 “Parkside” Trees

December 24, 2012
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City Agrees to Preserve 7 “Parkside” Trees

The City Council  voted unanimously on Dec. 4 (Council Member Jennifer West recused) to approve a new design of the soon-to-be-built Parkside Development on Stanford Avenue between Doyle and Hollis streets. The new design retains seven of the mature trees currently on the site along Stanford Avenue. There will be no moving or transplanting of the trees, as previously contemplated by the City Council. The new design, put forth by Public Works Director Maurice Kaufman, keeps the trees where they are, while doing away with 10 new street parking spaces that were going to be added to the north side of Stanford. I think the City made the right decision and the park will be a nicer space because of it. I and many others look forward to sitting in the shade of these 20-year-old Chinese Elms. I thank the city staff and the City Council for being open-minded and for valuing the preservation of mature trees. (To comment, or to read the comments of others, click on the headline to go to the story page, then scroll to the bottom.)

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City of Emeryville Artist Reception

December 10, 2012
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City of Emeryville Artist Reception

Join a celebration of the city’s public art program and the recent purchase of a new work by Emeryville artist Carl Hoard II entitled “Urban Transformation.” The piece was acquired by the city through the city sponsored “Purchase Award Program,” which was developed for the city of Emeryville’s Art in Public Places program. “Urban Transformation” is a digital enlargement containing three digital photo frames playing more than 700 unique images of urban graffiti. 5:30-7 pm, Wedensday, Dec. 12, Emeryville City Hall, 1333 Park Avenue, Emeryville. RSVP is requested: aevans@emeryville.org, 510-598-4382.

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Bay Street Mall, Emeryville: Shopping on Sacred Ground

December 10, 2012
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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

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Realtors renaming of Golden Gate neighborhood raises gentrification concerns with locals

November 29, 2012
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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

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

November 28, 2012
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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

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Police: Emeryville warehouse was marijuana distribution center

November 14, 2012
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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

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