Arts/Culture

Save Oakland Libraries – “Read-In” Monday, June 20 at Oakland City Hall

June 16, 2011
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Save Oakland Libraries – “Read-In” Monday, June 20 at Oakland City Hall

In the face of a major budget crisis, Oakland is considering closing 14 of its 18 libraries, including Golden Gate on the Emeryville border. Other locations to be closed are Asian, Brookfield, Cesar Chavez, Eastmont, Elmhurst, Lakeview, Martin Luther King, Melrose, Montclair, Piedmont, Temescal, West Oakland, AAMLO, and the Tool Lending Library. Monday, June 20, Save Oakland Libraries is having a 14-Hour Read-In in front of City Hall (1 Frank Ogawa Plaza) before the Oakland City Council presents its budget recommendations on Tuesday, June 21. Guest readers, including some local celebrities, will read in 15-minute intervals continuously from 6 am to 8 pm. There will also be a children’s storytime and other activities to be announced.

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How We Cook: A Fabulous One-Plate Meal for the Weekend

June 4, 2011
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How We Cook: A Fabulous One-Plate Meal for the Weekend

The gentle late rains have done wonders for my garden. Salad greens are in abundance and more are on the way. Salads grace our table daily, usually dressed in the house vinaigrette. Tonight’s one plate meal consisted of a green salad, roasted bell peppers stuffed with feta and walnuts, and simple bruschetta…sound good? If so, here is what you’ll need: For the stuffed peppers: One small to medium bell pepper for each serving. Any color will do, not that they are all the same; red, of course is sweetest. For this meal, I was looking for red, but I couldn’t find two with the right shape, so I used yellow. A small symmetrical, non-convoluted pepper with a pointy bottom will not only be pretty, but easier to roast and peel. Walnuts. Make sure they are fresh. Feta cheese (not pre-crumbled) Salt (only if feta is not very salty) Pinch of dried Oregano Fresh lemon juice Olive oil Freshly ground black pepper Italian parsley For the Salad (and Vinaigrette):  Nice salad greens Kosher salt Garlic Clove Lemon Dijon mustard Balsamic Vinegar Sherry Vinegar Good Olive oil For Bruschetta: Nice crusty bread Kosher or coarsely ground salt Good olive oil Garlic clove

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Emeryville: A Retrospective

May 9, 2011
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Emeryville: A Retrospective

COMMENTARY ~~ My favorite phase of the tide of change reshaping the city was the flourishing of artists’ studios and co-ops. Relatively low costs, empty buildings, and a critical mass of creative people lent the town an enviable, almost bohemian air. Peter Voulkos, the great sculptor, dined at Bucci’s, and the walls of a variety of businesses were graced with Emeryville-produced art. The residue of this flourishing still exists despite the rise of rental costs and other challenges. Whatever else happens, I hope Emeryville keeps giving artists breathing room. _______________________________________________________ I came to Emeryville in 1979 expecting to stay a few years.  Thirty-one years on, I’m still here.  Not surprisingly, things are different.  The great shift from a blue collar town of foundries and industrial shops to one featuring high-tech fabricating, office buildings, and retail shopping centers was already under way in the later 70’s.  The trend would accelerate. Politics was undergoing a sea-change, too.  When I arrived, then Chief-of-Police John Lacoste ran the town, some say from his favorite bar stool at the Town House, a hub of live music performances: Zideco, jazz, country and western, rock.  Whether old timers had it right about that bar stool, Lacoste was

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How We Cook

May 8, 2011
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How We Cook

The Betty Crocker Cookbook was published in 1950. You can still buy the latest edition of this American classic, or simply go online to bettycrocker.com. Clicking on the featured recipe of the day, I find Potatoes Rancheros Casserole, which sports one box of Betty Crocker au gratin potatoes, a cup of taco seasoned cheese (they don’t explain what taco seasoned cheese is or where to buy it), crushed tortilla chips, and the ubiquitous half-pound of ground beef, browned and drained. From Wikipedia: Betty Crocker, a cultural icon, is a brand name and trademark of American Fortune 500 corporation General Mills. The name was first developed by the Washburn Crosby Company in 1921 as a way to give a personalized response to consumer product questions. The name Betty was selected because it was viewed as a cheery, all-American name; it was paired with the last name Crocker, in honor of William Crocker, a Washburn Crosby Company director. In 1945, Fortune magazine named Betty Crocker the second most popular American woman’ Eleanor Roosevelt was named first. ____________________________________ I was born in 1957, one of five children. I’m remembering an edition of The Book with a red gingham cover. I ate my share

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