Posts Tagged ‘Oakland’

How to tell when someone has been watching too many movies

Batman no. 1SF Gate: An Oakland man was locked out of his apartment, so he made it up to the roof and then, using a “cord,” tried to rappel down to his window. This happened about 1:30 in the morning, if you want a clue.

He fell four stories and is now in Highland Hospital with two broken ankles, among other injuries.

Oakland hopes street fair attracts the right people to downtown

uptown_unveiled_poster

Oakland businesses and city agencies will hold an event tomorrow called the Uptown Unveiled Street Fair to draw attention to the north side of downtown, an area including the renovated Fox Theatre, arts school, ice rink and other attractions. Among other events, the new branch of the Piedmont Piano Company will be open 5-10 pm with free music, food and drink.

Click here to see the above poster full-sized. CLick here for a PDF map of the event.

‘Propaganda’ suggests Mixon is ‘greatest cop killer of all time,’ among other things

A posting on propagandapress.orgwhoever they are — about Lovelle Mixon, the Oakland parolee who gunned down four Oakland cops, includes a fake URL that suggests, among other things, that Mixon is the “greatest cop killer of all time” and is “getting his dick sucked by virgins” in some unspecified hereafter. Click the thumbnail for a full view. The URL is, of course, non-existent; the post explains that it was “was removed from the web for being too offensive to big.whitey.”

lovelle-mixon_fake-url1

Yiyun Li’s powerful new novel "The Vagrants"

The Vagrants, the first novel by Chinese-American author Yiyun Li — who lives in Oakland and teaches at UC-Davis, and whose 2005 debut story collection A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, garnered much critical praise — is set in 1979 in a provincial Chinese town, where a former Red Guard is being executed as a counter-revolutionary. The novel looks at how this event affects a wide range of people in the town, from poor ragpickers to a powerful, popular radio announcer who knew the condemned as a girl.

As the townspeople witness the condemnation of Gu Shan and its aftermath, each reacts differently. Those who knew her suffer breakdowns or plot to overturn her condemnation; others scheme to take advantage of the situation; still others are preoccupied with the barest details of survival. Li’s large cast of characters are drawn with great precision and insight, and she employs a sweeping, omniscient point of view to illuminate their fears, desires, and crushed hopes. Along the way, the lives of all the characters are touched by the brutality of poverty or of the Chinese police state.

The Vagrants is the best literary novel I’ve read in a long time, and I was excited to be able to interview the author, after the jump.

Li will be appearing around the Bay Area in February to promote the book. See her listing of tour events.

Click to read the interview

Three arrested in restaurant robbery spree

Oakland police think they have found the gang behind at least some of the rash of restaurant robberies that plagued the East Bay this summer.

Yesterday they arrested three people they say perpetrated three of the takeover-style heists, in which hoodie-wearing men enter restaurants at night, force employees and patrons into a back room, and clean out the cash register.

The Oakland residents were arrested Tuesday evening after they allegedly departed from their successful MO and knocked over a nail salon. Police were given a description of the getaway car, which they spotted, followed and stopped. Inside they found ski masks, guns and the money from the nail salon.

Among the arrestees was the getaway driver, a 20-year-old woman whom police said was the girlfriend of one of the bandits.

Contradicting Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums who said the string of robberies were a result of the poor economy, a police spokesman said “These aren’t guys who lost their jobs and got desperate… These are people who had access to guns and get off on the thrill of robbing people.” And the brother of one of the suspects commented:

He’s got no reason to be doing nothing like this. He’s not a drug addict, not in a bind, there’s no pressure situation. He was cool, man. He missed his calling: He should have been a basketball star. He’s an incredible basketball player. He don’t have no reason to be robbing no restaurants. That kind of (expletive) is serious and petty at the same time, you know?

Another restaurant knocked over, despite attempts to rally residents

Despite efforts by community and business figures to rally Oakland residents to ignore a recent rash of takeover-style restaurant robberies and come out to eat, bandits last night hit another Oakland restuarant, forcing customers and staff into a back room, robbing them, then cleaning out the register.

Oakland residents, horrified that the crime wave hit upscale neighborhoods, demonstrated last night on yuppified College Ave. with candles and flashlights. The robbery took place several blocks west, on less yuppified Shattuck Ave. See a map on the Chronicle’s website of the summer crime spree.

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