A one-time undocumented immigrant has become the Golden Bears' golden ticket; a hero of Oakland's Chinatown; the 30th year of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival; and local singer Roem Baur.
Jorge Gutierrez is not big for a basketball player; 6 foot 3, 195 pounds. But you can always spot him on the court by his shoulder-length curls, which he ties into a pony-tail. We’re standing in the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas Pavilion, a place that’s become a second home for Gutierrez. I ask him to teach me a crossover dribble, but he wants to start with the basics. “A free throw is one of the easiest shots in the game, so I have a kind of routine for myself,” Gutierrez says, holding the ball in the palm of his hand.
Harry Hu is the former gang-unit leader for the Oakland Police Department. He’s tall and burly, and – although he recently retired from the force – he still wears his gun and badge proudly on his belt. When he strolls down 8th Street, the foot patrol he followed every day in the early 80s, most people seem to recognize him – some wave and others stop to chat.
Roem Baur has a very distinctive voice. Now from San Francisco, he started singing as a boy in a small-town church in southern Texas. He’s playing a free show this Saturday (March 10) at the Apple Computer flagship store, near Union Square, at 2pm. Then he’s heading back to Texas – this time to sing at the South by Southwest festival in Austin.