Archive for the ‘East Bay’ Category

Nina Reiser’s Body Found

If you’ve been following the story- Hans Reiser negotiated with the DA and led them to the site where he buried his wife, after strangling her. The whole story here at SF Gate. I’ve been talking to two friends, one who knew Hans and one who knew Nina. “Everyone knew he was an asshole,” re: Hans, and from Nina’s, that it was hard to grieve her death since they hadn’t found the body- and no, nobody believed the escape to Russia story Hans had spun. I was interested that the jury came to a decision on all circumstantial evidence. And what’s up with all these programmers becoming weird murderous criminals? Is it just because there’s so many IT folks in the area, so it’s more likely that said criminal percentage will be programmers, or is there something about borderline OCD personalities that lend themselves to violent physical anger?

The Gits Movie – Two Bay Area Screenings

Tonight and Monday mark the only two theatrical screenings of The Gits Movie in the Bay Area.
Gits Movie at Embarcadero Cinema
The film explores the saga of one of the better punk bands I’ve ever had the chance to see in action, whose career was cut tragically short not by the usual mix of lethargy and substance abuse, but by the singer’s horrific rape and murder as she walked home from the Comet Tavern 15 years ago this week. The startling crime sent shockwaves through the Seattle rock scene, stopped a brilliant band in it’s tracks, and suspicions and rumors ran amok for 10 years until DNA testing eventually revealed the culprit. Now a whole new generation has been discovering The Gits through their records ( including the newly issued Best Of The Gits and You Tube videos like the one below.

The film documents the faces of the post grunge era, including interviews with the band, and their friends and supporters who include Joan Jett, Kathleen Hanna, and many local SF residents including Broken Rekids label honcho (and now Rainbow Grocery beer & wine buyer) Mike Millet.

The San Francisco screening is on Monday July 7th at The Landmark Embarcadero Cinema with a special post screening Q&A with members of Seven Year Bitch.

The Oakland screening at the Uptown tonight on Saturday July 5th offers the added opportunity to see The Gits drummer Steve Moriarty now a local resident, in action with a new band he’s just started with Dead Kennedy’s bassist Klaus Flouride.

For more info see the links

7/5 Uptown Oakland or 7/7 Landmark Embarcadero in SF

Oakland’s Diesel Books to open branch in L.A.

Diesel Books in Oakland - Flickr photo by vsmootheEveryone loves Diesel Books, the independent store on College Ave. in Oakland [map]. Now they’re planning to open a branch in the L.A. neighborhood of Brentwood, replacing the Dutton’s that closed last year. They already have a foothold down there in Malibu (ooo!).

In other book retailing news, a local neocon blogger criticizes Green Apple Books in the Richmond District for not carrying a book by Douglas Feith, a DoD hack who was involved in pushing the country to war in Iraq and is now one of the Bush administration’s most mocked and discredited figures. (Googling “Feith +idiot” gets 92,000 hits, for example.) The same blogger elsewhere refers to Feith’s book as “a masterpiece of history,” and in another entry characterizes global warming as “hysteria” and says “the most absurd part of this hysteria is the idea that we should reduce the amount of CO2 we produce.” So you can judge for yourself whether he’s credible on bookstore ordering policies.

Speaking of Green Apple Bookstore and the Bush administration, the Chronicle’s Kathleen Pender today quoted the store’s co-owner, Pete Mulvihill, as having a feeling customers were spending their Bush “stimulus checks” at the store, and Luan Stauss of Oakland’s Laurel Book Store said three customers had told her they were doing just that.

Pickpocket at Berkeley Starbucks

Cops outside the Starbucks at Oxford and Center, Berkeley
Cops outside the Starbucks at Oxford and Center, Berkeley (not for this incident).
Flickr photo by Mary Hodder

On Sunday afternoon, a friend was having coffee at the Starbucks at Center and Oxford Streets in Berkeley, with her jacket draped over her chair, when a pickpocket lifted her wallet from the jacket.

By the time she called her bank less than two hours later, the thief had already charged more than $1000 to one of her cards. She’s not liable for it, of course, but has to get new cards, new drivers license, etc.

I’ll be calling Starbucks’ regional office tomorrow to find out how common such incidents are. In the meantime, hold on to your stuff in high-traffic places like that.

Rory D. Root, supporter of comix, zines and DIY culture

Rory D. Root, co-founder of Comic Relief and supporter of artists, zine publishers and DIY culture, died last month, the Chronicle reported today. Said to be the inspiration for The Simpsons’ “Comic Book Guy” character, Root co-founded the Berkeley Comic Relief shop and later opened a branch in San Francisco. The Berkeley store is still open.

In addition to selling and promoting the work of DIY publishers, Root’s stores provided employment for a succession of hundreds of artists, musicians, and other bohemians, as well as providing many teenagers their first jobs.

Here’s DC Comics President Paul Levitz with a tribute, and here’s just one of many other blog tributes to Root.

Darfur Now College Tour- Berkeley 4/24

Darfur Now

Free screening– with donations going to Genocide Intervention Network (GI Net)– of Don Cheadle’s Darfur Now, at Berkeley next Thursday. More info here. Great line-up: Gaopele & Zion-I, and Berkeley college kids getting in an uproar about something that matters… Until we get an East Bay Metblogs, I guess this’ll have to do! Definitely a reason to BART over.

SF cops make the big bucks

If you’re considering a career in law enforcement then SF is the place to be for the big green. Well at least bigger than some of our other Californian cities that are actively recruiting. I looked at LA, Oakland and SF since those are the ones I’ve seen ads for recently on TV and in print.

Starting salary for the Los Angeles Police Department for high school graduates is $54,475. If you blew all your parents money on college and have at least 60 units under you belt with a GPA of at least 2.0 (!) then you get a bump to $56,668. If you have a BA or BS (the BS comes in handy on the mean streets of LA I hear) your starting salary is $58,881. I was always told a college degree would make you the big bucks and this is tangible proof that it works! If you can avoid getting shot for at least 10 years you might be able to pay of those student loans. (LAPD Salary and Benefits) LA does have one awesome upside though. They get cool recruitment films!

If you are looking to move to Oakland to start your career in law enforcement you can expect to make significantly more than your brothers in blue in the City of Angels. Starting salaries range from $69,162 to $87,172 with a base salary of $62,245 while attending the police academy. No specific information is given on their website about what qualifications rate a higher starting salary but they do mention bumps for college kids. (Oakland PD Salary and Benefits)

If you want to stay at home and protect our fair city then the San Francisco PD is where you want to be. The current annual entry-level salary in SF is $72,956 to $97,656. They also don’t disclose what the difference is on the website but a little digging uncovered that the higher end of the spectrum comes after 5 years on the force. Their recruiting site loses points for not disclosing that. With the large number of SFPD up for retirement in the coming years and their trouble with recruiting new officers now might be the perfect time to get in at the ground floor and work your way up the ladder much quicker. (SFPD Salary and Benefits)

For more information on what the crime rates in each of the cities is and how much fire you’re likely to take check out the FBI’s preliminary report on 2007 Offenses Reported to Law Enforcement for January-June 2007.

Recruiting sites for each city:
San Francisco –
Oakland –
Los Angeles –

Happy hunting and please leave the skateboarders the hell alone.

Weekend Forecast

This weekend brings partly cloudy skies, highs in the low 60’s and… lots of things to do! Here’s just a sampling…

  • The Whiskies of the World Expo takes place in SF today and tomorrow. Reserved seated tasting seminars with a list of world wide experts will commence at 3pm today.
  • From today through Sunday, hop across the bridge for the 4th Annual Western Regional Barista Competition at the Gaia Arts Center in Berkeley! Root on your local favorites and welcome the best coffee slingers in the west!
  • 826 Valencia is holding their 6th Annual Comedy Night, “A Night of a Thousand Scowls”, at Everett Middle School on Saturday. Featured comics include Bobby Lee, Tig Notaro, Al Madrigal, Jonathan Coulton (!!), Ian Edwards, and Davy Rothbart. All proceeds of course benefit 826 and their wonderful writing programs.
  • For the happy hacker in you, SuperHappyDevHouse 24 takes place this weekend as well. Collaborate, Create, Develop with some of the greatest creative and technical minds of the Bay Area!

Me, I’ll probably be checking out the Lee Friedlander exhibition at SFMOMA, which is on until May 18.

Check out what else is going on this weekend in the Bay Area!

A’s Offering Cheap All You Can Eat Seats

With the combination of the sad steroids scandal shadowing baseball, and economic hard times bringing attendance down, Bud Selig and his boys have got a hard sell on their hands.

Leave it to “America’s Pastime” to pull through in a pinch, and in a country where half of all people are overweight, ya gotta keep fans fat & happy, so the teams are going all out this year…

The bloated innards of Oakland’s McAfee Coliseum will be filled with happy gorging bleacher bums this summer as the soon to be Fremont A’s offer up their take on the latest “innovative marketing” idea to hit MLB.

Hey corndog fans, have you ever craved “All You Can Eat” seating sections ?

Apparently the LA Dodgers started this ploy off a couple years ago, and it’s all the rage, with Nascar & Hockey Teams now doing it as well. Be amongst the first in the Bay Area to enjoy this symptom of our societal sickness, and an obsequious toast to obesity…

I know previous dollar hot dog nights in Oakland have long been an insanely popular tribute to the Bay Area’s reputation for gustatory excellence & impeccable taste, and if they throw in those nasty Nachos & bottomless Mountain Dews… now yer talking.

If you’d be interested in trying this out in April and filling your belly with an endless feast of soda pop, ice cream, franks and other ballpark cuisine health hazards, I’ve got discounted ticket code info below.

To purchase discount All-You-Can-Eat seats: visit and select one of the below listed games, and enter the coupon code: EATS

This will get you in for just $20 each (instead of the usual $35) to enjoy your privileged feasting section at the following select games in April…

Saturday, April 5 vs. Cleveland @ 1:05PM
Friday, April 18 vs. Kansas City @ 7:05PM
Tuesday, April 22 vs. Minnesota @ 7:05PM

Order the tickets online, then get on Bart & get yer butt down to 7000 Coliseum Way in Oakland…

Get Ready To Be Sprayed… But Will "Sexual Confusion" Be Enough?

Discovered in a Berkeley backyard by a retired entomologist awhile back, the presence of the rarely seen Light Brown Apple Moth will soon have you ducking for cover.

Last May, I mentioned the agricultural quarantine that the Light Brown Apple Moth had caused statewide, and now we get official word that the aerial chemical spraying campaign is on it’s way to San Francisco.

The intentions of the chemicals used are to “create sexual confusion”, and get random male mating to occur, which shouldn’t be hard in San Francisco.

While the pesticides & insect “phermones” to be used claim on their containers “Harmful if inhaled. Avoid breathing vapor or spray mist,” that won’t stop California’s multi-billion dollar agricultural industry from forcing you to do just that.

Officials claim no “adverse” effects are expected when aerial dissipation of vast quantities of CheckMate OLR-F and LBAM-F will be sprayed over the Bay Area beginning as early as June. Tell that to hundreds of residents of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties who have reported health problems from last years coating. One of the more dangerous aspects contained in the sprays is a chemical called 2 hydroxy 4n octyloxybenzophenone, an endocrine disrupter that is contained in the “microcapsules”.

Either way, whether you like it or not, it’s your turn Bay Area…

State and local agricultural officials will “explain the Light Brown Apple Moth eradication program and address any concerns” in two “meetings” in SF & Oakland next week.

The locations & times of the two brief 1 hour scheduled public meetings are listed below, as well as info on the relatively untested stew they’ll be dropping on a vast swath of urban populous. A link to an anti-spray website and a likely useless petition is also included for those who wish to practice the futile prospects of “online opposition”.

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