If you think you want to launch a new poetry slam, first take a walk through the Bay Area. Your cutting edge idea may have already been done. In San Francisco, SoMa’s Brainwash Cafe has called dibs on hosting an open mic in a laundromat. Quiet Lightning has taken poets everywhere in San Francisco, including to a sporting goods store. Oakland’s Tourettes Without Regrets has trademarked the Burlesque show-dirty haiku contest combo. Each slam is different, but finger snapping, occasional jeering, and cash prizes have become the slam standard. If Roman Gladiators were handed poetry and told they had to bring the crowd to their feet or be fed to the lions, it would look like a poetry slam.
This past January, Adobe Books in San Francisco’s Mission District was on the verge of going out of business. It had been in the community for decades and this seemed like another sign of the great changes taking place in the neighborhood. KALW’s Holly McDede visited the store and brought back this story.
For many, the Eastmont Town Center in East Oakland is the go-to place to apply for food stamps, get medical coverage, find childcare, and get job assistance. It was once the Eastmont Mall, but as income dropped and crime rose in the surrounding area, Planned Parenthood and the Oakland Public Library moved in, Mervyn’s became the Oakland Police Department, and JC Penney’s became the social service agency.
It’s been 60 years since poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti decided to open City Lights Bookstore in the heart of San Francisco’s North Beach. It was the first all-paperback bookstore in the country to also serve as a publishing house, a business move that changed the game of book selling forever. It didn’t take long for City Lights to become the center of the beat literary scene – by the 1960s it was practically home to writers like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.
By 2017, the Golden State Warriors plan to scamper out of Oakland to the more polished side of the court over at San Francisco’s waterfront. This move was announced in May at a press conference held in San Francisco. That day was cloudless, and the waterfront shimmered on San Francisco’s Pier 30. Loudspeakers belted Train’s “Soul Sista," a fire department boat shot off water cannons, and Mayor Ed Lee smiled as though his daughter were coming home for Christmas, which would be true if his lost daughter were the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
(SF Gate) // Solar eclipse blinds driver. Check out that solar eclipse yesterday? It was blindingly beautiful. In fact, a driver in South San Francisco was, she said, “temporarily blinded” when she ran into a mother and daughter crossing the street during the eclipse. In her defense, Grand Avenue has signs warning drivers of glares – even when there aren't any eclipses happening...
Bay Area News Group // Oakland’s Oikos University lost six students in a campus massacre last month – and now students enrolled in the Oikos nursing program may lose their school if they don’t improve their test scores within the next two years. Administrators say they’re working on it…
In 2003, librarian Sarah Houghton was tired of having to wander around the Internet looking for information about technology and Web services. So she stopped looking and made a blog of her own. She called it “Librarian in Black,” so that her blog would match her wardrobe.
The bad news is that state funding for California libraries has been completely eliminated. There’s not really any good news about that except that it was expected. This past July, state library funding was sliced in half, and there was a trigger amendment attached to the budget that would eliminate state funding for public libraries at midyear if the state's revenue projections were not met. Needless to say, they weren’t.
In a case of history repeating itself, Caltrans worker Duane Wiles was fired, then rehired, then fired again for issues relating to “incompetence, insubordination, and dishonesty,” and most recently, falsifying data in tests of the safety and integrity of freeway structures. This time, however, the settlement agreement with Caltrans is allowing Wiles to resign instead of having his issues publicly aired…
California medical marijuana advocates should be a little bit happier than usual today because the California Supreme Court has decided to review Pack v. Long Beach and two other cases that have led to dispensary bans in many cities and counties...
East Palo Alto is considered a food desert: There is little to no access to healthy food, and residents have to rely on corner stores for food. In fact, it had been over 30 years since East Palo Alto had its own full-service supermarket until grocery chain Mi Pueblo announced it was coming to town in November 2007. It was a huge source of controversy at the time; demonstrators flooded the streets and packed city council meetings, carrying signs like, “No to Mi Pueblo” while supporters held signs that said, “Yes to Fresh Produce.” The new store brought in both excitement and anxiety.
Monterey had the highest youth homicide rate in California in 2010, followed by Alameda County, according to an analysis conducted by the Violence Policy Center. Brian Contreras, who co-founded the Second Chance youth program, says this is due to an entrenched gang culture and a lack of alternatives to gang participation...
Nobody mistakes California for some mythical Library Land of fully staffed facilities with budgets that reach up to the clouds. In fact, Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year would eliminate all state funding to California library programs. Still, some library systems are somehow, someway continuing to upgrade – like San Francisco. 22 branches have been refurbished or opened in San Francisco through a Neighborhood Library Campaign that began over a decade ago on a budget that has grown to $188.9 million as of February of last year.
Hey, so, just wondering, why did the love of your life break up with you? Actually, it’s not just me who’s wondering. David Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket, would like to know as well. So if you could post your break up tale here, that would be great.
The War in Iraq has come toaformalend; the flag will be lowered today. Yesterday, President Obama addressed soldiers in an aircraft hangar at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Obama said that, unlike previous empires, the United States did not invade other states for "territories or resources" but "because it is right." Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said Iraqis were glad the US troops were leaving. He told the BBC, "These have been difficult years...”
Who would have thought that Borders, the corporate bookselling behemoth that had stores in practically every mini mall across America, would now be shutting its doors? Some blame the Borders breakdown on the end of books as we know them. The cause? Technology.