Local: February 2009 Archives

No Fremont A's

I'm delighted that the planned move of the Oakland A's to Fremont looks pretty dead.

Stadium deals are pretty uniformly bad deals for the affected communities, which often end up paying huge subsidies to private businesses, while dealing with unwanted environmental, traffic, and economic impacts.

The Fremont A's stadium proposal isn't all that different. In the midst of an incredibly rancorous and one-sided debate, local activists seem to have been able to do a reasonable job of getting their message heard, giving context, rebutting A's statements, and organizing neighbors, one person at a time.

Wow. There are enough jobs in the U.S. government/public transparency sector that the Sunlight Foundation has a whole website for jobs in the transparency field. Who knew?

Among these, at least two of the jobs are in Berkeley--Research Associate and Program Assistant positions at MAPLight.org.

MAPLight.org's a great resource on bills, issues, and politicians. Here's Barbara Lee, my representative, and Loni Hancock, my state assemblyperson. (They both get love from unions and lawyers. Go figure.) I also love the interests view; while nobody always gets what they want, some do better than others, e.g. animal rights campaigners vs. international trade associations.

Know transparency-minded campaigners and hackers? Pass this along.

Color this Berkeley desi happy. The new Tamil movie Vaaranam Aayiram has several scenes set in Berkeley, including a few song sequences shot in Berkeley and SF. Watch for loads of local shots.

Here are snippets from an undoubtedly unauthorized copy of the movie on YouTube.

Part 1

Part 2

(My fave bit? Dancing in the Bancroft Library, at 3:56 into the second video.)


I'm sick and tired of local businesses I like shutting down. In the last few days, we lost Cafe de la Paz, Elephant Pharmacy, and Cafe Intermezzo.

I'm trying to muster up a little sadness, maybe a smidgen of outrage, but it's not coming. After losing Cody's, I'm ready to see it all go.

So here it is, my (in-progress) list of favorite Berkeley businesses. The way I see it, knowing my luck, they're all going to shut down anyway, so why delay the inevitable? I can start mourning now, even as I continue to patronize them, knowing any day could be their last.

  • Cheeseboard
  • Vik's Chaat House
  • Thai Temple brunch
  • Amoeba Records
  • Moe's Books
  • Black Oak Books
  • Comic Relief
  • The Other Change of Hobbit
  • Impact Theatre
  • Aurora Theatre


Anirvan Chatterjee is a San Francisco Bay Area tech geek and bibliophile.


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This page is a archive of entries in the Local category from February 2009.

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