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Collisions with Reality » bay area

Posts Tagged ‘bay area’

Quiet Sunday in Oakland

In early June, when it was announced that Johannes Mehserle would be released from prison sometime this month, various groups planned a protest on the day of his release. Although he was released at 12:05 a.m. this morning, the protests occurred yesterday in Oakland. A few hundred people gathered at the Fruitvale BART station, listened to a few speeches, and continued on to downtown Oakland. From our home, we could track the progression of the protest by watching the police (and news?) helicopters from afar. How was this protest going to go?

One protester was arrested for graffiti. And that was it! No other vandalism, no violence, no sirens. Just a couple hundred people walking along International Blvd. But there were protests after the verdict, and after the sentencing, so why yet another one? From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Ron Cottingham, president of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, whose legal fund paid for Mehserle’s defense, said Sunday that Mehserle never received special treatment and his sentence was fair. More than two years after the shooting, he said, the protests are “accomplishing nothing.”

“Accomplishing nothing”? Not quite. The relationship between the African-American community here and the Oakland police (and perhaps the city government in general) is not great. Previous protests in this series have ended with smashed windows and hundreds arrested. But yesterday, one person was arrested for graffiti, and the city provided buses for free shuttles back to Fruitvale BART. If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is.


06 2011

Friday Core Dump: March 4, 2011

It seems like it’s been all bad news over the last couple of weeks. But there are some interesting and bright spots out there!

  • So apparently the iPad 2 is out? Is coming out soon? Whatever. Will no one think of the marginalia?
  • The Unnecesarean has a fascinating post sharing the script used by 911 dispatchers for guiding someone through an unassisted birth.
  • The Year in Pictures had a great writeup of Pier 24, a private gallery/museum in San Francisco. Admission is free, but you need to schedule your visit. No labels or descriptions: just the photographs. I know what I’m doing the next time I go into the city by myself!

Have a great weekend and Mardi Gras, everyone!


03 2011

Friday Core Dump: January 28, 2011

Another long week, another list of fun things I’ve seen this week!

  • There is actually a new library opening in Oakland this weekend. And not just any new library in any part of Oakland — a large, beautiful space in one of the rougher parts of Oakland. It’s so great to see this much enthusiasm and excitement over a library. (Although, while the library is on the site of a school, the article notes, “School Superintendent Troy Flint said that not every school in the district has its own library, though all have access to online resources.”)
  • I’ve never played much with Flickr Toys, but after seeing someone’s mosaic of orange photographs, I really want to. Unfortunately, the Flickr Toys do not actually analyze the photos for color — the photos are all selected based on their tags. Many of my photographs are tagged with their predominant color, but I’d still have to go back and manually tag many of my pictures.
  • Last night’s 30 Rock had my husband and me in search of an old Saturday Night Live sketch where an anchor is prerecording the news, so that he could go on vacation for the winter. I thought it was a recent sketch, maybe even in an episode hosted by Brian Williams. He thought it was a classic one from the 70’s. Turns out we were both wrong — it was from the 90’s, and it wasn’t even on SNL, but The Dana Carvey Show. It’s still pretty funny (even if I can’t embed it, dang it!). And if you hang on until the closing credits, there is a funny and surprising little bonus for you.

Have a great weekend!


01 2011

What did I do in 2010?

There are some things that didn’t quite pan out for me in 2010, but I want to focus on the positive. My family moved to the Bay Area, and we’re having a good time. My son is at a fun age — 14 months — and doing something new every day.

I even accomplished many of my revised goals for 2010. I didn’t manage to take my camera on the family strolls very often — for a variety of logistical reasons — but I finished nearly everything else. Admittedly, I only went carefully through my backlog of photos because I was running out of hard drive space, and needed to archive things. But if I took a picture before December 24, 2010, and I liked it, it’s online. Woo-hoo!

Tomorrow I’ll post my resolutions for 2011. Today I’m just going to enjoy the startling realization that my life is actually pretty well balanced right now.


12 2010

Losing on all fronts

A few days ago, I saw an article about the horrible catch-22 the Oakland schools are caught in. There is a huge drop in test scores from the elementary schools to the middle schools in Oakland. So many of the top elementary students leave the district. Which results in a big drop in test scores from the elementary schools to the middle schools. And so on.

You can’t even say that people don’t care about the schools here. There was a school measure on the ballot this past November, Measure L, which would have raised $20 million/year for the district via a parcel tax. Nearly 66% of the Oakland voters voted yes on Measure L. 66%! In a town where unemployment is over 10%! I know most districts in Ohio would kill to get 66% of the voters to approve a levy! But alas, we are in California, and we need a 2/3’s supermajority to raise taxes of any sort. And we just missed it.

I don’t even have anything cheerful to balance that out. It’s just a long, slow slog.


12 2010

Friday Core Dump: October 29, 2010

Boy, have I been buried by life lately. Let me emerge for a bit, though:

  • The World Series! Eh. I don’t know a single fan of the Texas Rangers. And despite being in the Bay Area, I know only one real San Francisco Giants fan (shout-out to KS!) in real life. And I’ve only seen about half a dozen people wearing Giants hats, total. Maybe the buzz just hasn’t made it outside of SF city limits?
  • I don’t remember how I found it, but CALIBER is my new favorite photoblog.
  • And through CALIBER — or maybe the other way around? — I found i live here: SF, which is a series of photoshoots and life stories of various San Franciscans. Both are highly, highly recommended.
  • I’m dreading next week’s midterm elections, but in honor of them I dug up the “Daily Show Rocks!” Midterm Elections clip from The Daily Show:
    The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
    Daily Show Rock! – Mid-Term Elections
    Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

Have a Happy Halloween, everyone!


10 2010


A bit of progress here, on several fronts. Not to jinx it, but we are signing a lease in just a couple of hours on a place in the Bay Area! It’s not quite perfect, but we really love the house, so we’ll see what happens.

And I’ve made some progress on my revised Project 52! The educational discount for Lightroom III is a steal, so I bought that and have been playing with it. Hooray for tags! Not only that, I figured out how to sync it to my Flickr account, and it uploads it with the title and caption and tags from Lightroom. Nice. Saves me a hell of a lot of typing in the long run. Here’s a picture I took last month:


I know. Flowers. Backlit. Soft focus. Well, we’re moving to Oakland, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities for pictures of urban decay. (Mom, don’t worry, that was a joke.)


08 2010