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

December 8, 2012
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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

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

November 28, 2012
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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

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