Arts/Culture

Emeryville in the Post Redevelopment Agency Era

March 8, 2012
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Emeryville in the Post Redevelopment Agency Era

The city’s Finance Advisory Committee met on Monday, Feb. 27.  Some of its business was routine, some not. First, some good news:  Revenue for the second quarter was up $1,512,843 over the same period last year, a gain of about 15%, and expenditures for the quarter were down $356,958.  That’s encouraging, and we hope these figures represent continuing positive trends, not just circumstantial or temporary budgetary adjustments. That’s about it for the good news.  On the grimmer side, consider the pending fate of the City’s Community Promotion Grant Program, which spent $94,500 last year to support artists, art organizations, art exhibits, access to local art, library programs, nutritional programs, low income legal assistance, and other worthy activities.  Between $91,000 and $92,000 of this funding came from our Redevelopment Agency.  And now that money is gone.  Should the General Fund be tapped to keep things going?  Should the list be pared?  Should a cap be put on the Grant Program and have entities compete for a slice of what’s still there? The Committee, wisely I think, deferred judgment on what to do.  We need to think carefully about our options, hear more from the community, and consider other possible sources for

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Meeting Tonight! Charting Emeryville’s Future

February 28, 2012
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Meeting Tonight! Charting Emeryville’s Future

Tell the City Council What You Would Like to See When: 5:30-8:30 pm, Tonight, Tues., Feb. 28 Where: Emeryville City Hall, 1333 Park Ave. What: Redevelopment is gone and we must set our shared priorities before the new two-year budget is drafted and adopted in June. Hear information from staff, share your ideas, and meet neighbors. Participate in the shaping of your city’s future. The agenda is available here. (From Council Member Jennifer West’s blog): To keep you informed on Redevelopment changes, there will be an Oversight Board. The Board will be established in the next month or so and will be in place by May 1, 2012. This body will be reviewing all decisions made by the City Council as Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency as we wind down its affairs, including looking at all of the projects and “enforceable obligations” that are listed on our Enforceable Obligation Payment Schedule (EOPS). The Oversight Board will have 7 members: the Mayor a person appointed by the County Superintendent of Schools, Sheila Jordan a person appointed by ACTransit a person appointed by the Peralta Community College District a member of the County Board of Supervisors a person appointed by the

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Why Buy Local: Arizmendi Bakery and Pizzeria

September 28, 2011
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Why Buy Local: Arizmendi Bakery and Pizzeria

by Reem Assil and Jabari Jones   In a tough economy, and in a city known as a haven for big business, it has been a longstanding challenge for small businesses to thrive in Emeryville. But Arizmendi Bakery and Pizzeria has proven to be an exception to the rule. Located in the heart of the San Pablo corridor, it has outlasted several businesses that have come and gone, even Starbucks, which vacated after just a few months.  Arizmendi recently celebrated its 8th year in operation. Many attribute Arizmendi’s success to the unique vision of those who pioneered the worke- cooperative bakery model back in 1997, the year the first  Arizmendi opened in Oakland. A second one, in San Francisco, followed soon after. Inspired by the famous Mondragon Corporation, a federation of cooperatives in Spain, worker rights and community activists in the US established businesses owned and run by workers, creating living-wage jobs and providing an invaluable asset to the communities they inhabited. The name “Arizmendi” comes from Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta, a Basque priest who played a principal role in the anti-fascist movement during Spains’s Civil War. He inspired workers to start their own factory, Mondragon, which over the past 60 years has

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Hostages Held Overnight in Botched Office Depot Robbery

September 10, 2011
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Hostages Held Overnight in Botched Office Depot Robbery

OAKLAND (CBS 5) – A suspect who held hostages overnight at an Emeryville office supply store in a botched attempt to rob the store was taken into custody Saturday morning, an Oakland police officer said. After police reviewed surveillance video from the store, an employee was also arrested for allegedly assisting the suspect with entering the store to commit the robbery, police spokeswoman Holly Joshi said. The 45-year-old suspect from Oakland held an unknown number of people hostage at an Office Depot at 3535 Hollis St. starting at 9:36 p.m. Police were in a standoff with the suspect for six and a half hours, Oakland police Officer Kevin McDonald said. Read more at CBS San Francisco

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Children Matter: Join the Richmond Read-Aloud Volunteer Program

September 9, 2011
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Are you looking for a good place to volunteer and help children develop a love for books and reading?  Our neighbor to the north offers just the thing.  For 15 years, volunteers like me have been reading to kindergarten and first and second grade students, one-on-one, in Richmond elementary schools—six of them at present count.  Teachers select the students who participate.  We readers meet with two students once a week for half-hour sessions right through the school year.  Every two weeks, the students get a gift book of their choosing, the building blocks for personal libraries. The program is simplicity itself: a caring adult reads to a young person and they talk about what’s read and what the reading suggests to them about the world.  You don’t have to be an expert to do it, just an enthusiastic book and reading person yourself.  And don’t think of it as just feel-good work—although you certainly will be doing something worth feeling good about.  It’s also great fun, and, for me, brought back memories of reading to my own daughters.  I’m glad Marilyn Nye, my one-time colleague at Cal State East Bay, who created the program, talked me into joining the cadre

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Why Buy Local?

September 3, 2011
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Why Buy Local?

Why should Emeryville support locally-owned businesses? Shopping is a political act.  Where we choose to plunk down our dollars has implications far beyond our own household budgets.  Supporting local business helps the local economy and makes our communities stronger. Locally-owned — what does it mean? Shopping locally does not mean driving into the parking lot of your nearby big-box mall and going from box to box to do your shopping.  Shopping ‘local’ means sticking to the stores that have their roots in your own community…it may be a mom-‘n-pop, one-of-a-kind place of business, or a small local chain that started out small.  In any case, we are talking about stores that have local ownership, local management, and are closely attuned to the particular needs of their customers. Keep your money in your community According to a study done in 2003 in Austin, Texas by the American Independence Business Alliance, when you spend $100 at a nationwide chain store, only $13 stays in the local economy.  But spend that same $100 at a locally owned store and $45 stays to support the local economy.  Think about it.  It goes beyond the profits, which, of course go to “the headquarters in New

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The Osher Life-Long Learning Institute

August 13, 2011
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The Osher Life-Long Learning Institute

  I’ve been taking courses and attending lectures for seniors offered by Cal State East Bay’s OLLI (Osher Life-Long Learning Institute) for several years.  It’s been a mind expanding experience and great fun.  OLLI offers lectures (free to members), courses (usually four weeks in length and reasonably priced), and a variety of field trips. History, science, and literature are my own favorite topics, but the range of subjects offered is broad and the skills of the presenters impressive.  OLLI offers this rich trove at seven sites.  The two closest to Emeryville are the Lake Park Retirement Residence in Oakland and the Mastick Senior Center in Alameda.  The Baywood Retirement Residence in Castro Valley, the Danville Town Meeting Hall, the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living, and Rossmoor in Walnut Creek aren’t all that far away.  The events at Cal State East Bay’s Concord Campus are a bit of a stretch for us but still inviting given the varied mix of offerings there.  If you would like to know more about OLLI, call 925-602-6776 or e-mail Kathleen Bryant, the Program Coordinator at kathleen.bryant@csueastbay.edu.  OLLI is also on line at www.scholarolli.com.  Give OLLI a try: no homework, no tests, no papers to write

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Richard Misrach: A focus on the after-story

August 6, 2011
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Richard Misrach: A focus on the after-story

Reprinted from Richard Misrach: A focus on the after-story August 1, 2011 1:00 pm by Tracey Taylor Richard Misrach in his Emeryville studio where he has worked since 1976. Photo: Tracey Taylor  Richard Misrach is nothing if not patient. When, in 1997, the renowned photographer moved into a home in the Berkeley hills and decided to capture his new view of the Golden Gate Bridge, he didn’t just take a few dozen shots and leave it at that. Rather, over the course of three years, he shot hundreds and hundreds of photographs. The result was Golden Gate , 85 beautiful meditations on the iconic bridge seen through the seasons from a single vantage point on his front porch. Similarly, when Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast in August 2005, Misrach took his time before making the journey to New Orleans to document it. He waited until October, after the turmoil and drama had abated, to capture images of a post-storm calm that were no less dramatic. But the most striking evidence of Misrach’s self-discipline must surely be his decision to wait 20 years before revealing the fruits of one of his major photographic projects. It is only now that

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25th Annual Emeryville Arts Exhibition

August 6, 2011
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25th Annual Emeryville Arts Exhibition

Reception: Friday September 30, 2011 6-9 p.m. Show Dates: October 1-23, 2011

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The North End: Third Annual 64th Street Block Party a Success!

August 3, 2011
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The North End: Third Annual 64th Street Block Party a Success!

Introducing The North End by Richard Ambro. This occasional column will feature news and events happening in and around the north end of town. _____________________________ The 64th Street neighborhood recently held its Third Annual Block Party and about 100 or so neighbors stopped by throughout the sunny day to chat, eat, and enjoy the day-long event.  A permit to close the street between Vallejo and Doyle Streets was obtained from the City of Emeryville, and no-parking notices were posted to free the space for the amusements, tables, and circulating neighbors. North End residents Joy Kent and Michael Ashe bought their house at 1262 64th St. four years ago, when there was little neighborhood cohesiveness.  Joy and Mike conceived of a Block Party as a way of bringing the neighborhood together—at least for one day a year.  They created an event that brings adults and kids together with food, music, and play.  It’s been a great success; water slides and a bounce house for the kids, and food, music, lively conversation (and competitive ping pong!) for the adults.  Joy, a caterer, provided wonderful pasta salad, meats for grilling, and other foods; and neighbors brought out their tables, chairs, and grills, and

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