[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by John Orr

Want your event in Peninsula Things To Do?

Send name of event, time and date, place of event including address, how much it costs and where to buy tickets to jorr@bayareanewsgroup.com. Include the name and phone number of a contact person, not for publication. Note: This calendar only lists events on the mid-Peninsula.


The Anderson Collection. “Nick Cave,” including “Soundsuits,” video, film, through Aug. 14. Works by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Robert Irwin, Ellsworth Kelly, Terry Winters, Sean Scully and Vija Celmins, open ended. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays; Thursdays till 8 p.m. The Anderson Collection, 314 Lomita Drive, between Campus Drive and Museum Way, Stanford. http://anderson.stanford.edu or 650-721-6055
Art on the Square. June 9, July 7. Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. 650-780-7311 or http://www.redwoodcity.org/artonthesquare
Caldwell Gallery. “78 Years of Fine Art” by the Society of Western Artists. Through June 28. Caldwell Gallery, 400 County Center at the Hall of Justice, Redwood City. http://cmo.smcgov.org/arts-commission
Djerassi Resident Artists Program. “Open House/Open Studios: Scientific Delirium Madness 4.0.” 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 16. Djerassi Resident Artists Program, 2325 Bear Gulch Road West, Woodside. $25-$50. Reservations required, http://www.djerassi.org/openhouse.html
Gallery 9.  “Vignettes from Cuba, India & Italy,” photographs by Bill Scull, through May 28. Watercolors by Rosemarie Gorman, Suej McCall, Daniel Meehan, Mami Weber, Nancy Wulff, and Gene Zukowsky, May 30 through July 2, reception 5-8 p.m. June 2. Gallery 9, 143 Main St., Los Altos. gallery9losaltos.com
Mohr Gallery. “Meringue,” paintings by Lindsay Evans Montgomery. Through July 23, reception 6-8 p.m. June 2. Mohr Gallery, Community School of Music and Arts, Finn Center, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View. Free. www.arts4all.org or 650-917-6800, ext. 305
Palo Alto Art Center.  “Cultural Kaleidoscope” and “Youth Art” exhibitions, through May 28. “Collections from Sundown,” using groupings of notes and collections of personal belongings, artist Kija Lucas explores the ways in which Alzheimer’s disease has shaped her grandmother’s understanding of the world around her and how that understanding affects those caring for her, May 27 through July 9. Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto. http://tinyurl.com/paactomb
Peninsula Museum of Art. “Fun Stuff Reinvented Art,” works by Nancy Woods, June 1 through July 16, reception 1-4 p.m. June 4. “Richard Kamler: Remnants,” sculpture and paintings, through July 30. “Resolving Space,” lithographs by James Claussen; “Memory’s Fog,” paintings by Farnaz Zabetian; and “Under the Surface,” encaustic paintings by Rinat Goren; through July 9. Free demonstration, Rinat Goren: Encaustic Layers of Wax, 2-4 p.m. June 4. Peninsula Museum of Art, 1777 California Drive, Burlingame. Free admission. 650-692-2101 or http://www.peninsulamuseum.org


The Comedy Get Down. Cedric The Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley and George Lopez. 8 p.m. Aug. 19. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $39.50-$99.50. livenation.com or 800-745-3000
Jim Gaffigan. “Noble Ape” tour. Sept. 17. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $29.50-$95. http://www.jimgaffigan.com/tour-dates


Los Altos Stage Company Arts Razzle-Dazzle. 5:30 p.m. May 30. Proceeds benefit youth educational programming of Los Altos Stage Company. Performances by Blach Busters Boys’ Choir and Blachappella Girls’ Choir of Blach Intermediate School; Bullis Charter School 5th grade student Ava McClatchie; Freya Forstall, a senior at Menlo School; the stars of Foothill College’s “Side Show”; the cast of the musical “[title of show]” at Los Altos Stage Company; Elizabeth Lawrence, who is to appear in the fall production of “1940’s Radio Hour”; and the 2016 Follies Cast performing political parodies. Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos. $10-$45. Includes a reception before and after the show with music by the Follies Band. 650-941-0551 or www.losaltosstage.org


Bonsai show and sale. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 3, 4. San Mateo Garden Center, 605 Parkside Way, San Mateo. Free.
The Hoover Institution Library & Archives. “Weapon on the Wall: American Posters of World War I, through Sept. 2. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays. Free. Herbert Hoover Memorial Exhibit Pavilion (next to Hoover Tower), Stanford University. Parking on campus is free on Saturdays. Hoover.org
Museum of American Heritage. “Open for Business: Office Success Before Computers,” through Aug. 20. Emphasis on business and mathematical machines that revolutionized the workplaces across America. Museum of American Heritage, 351 Homer Ave., Palo Alto. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. 650-321-1004 or www.moah.org
Los Altos History Museum. “Joseph L. Eichler’s architectural vision,” through Oct. 8. Main Gallery, Los Altos History Museum, 51 S San Antonio Road, Los Altos. Noon-4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Free admission. www.losaltoshistory.org, hello@losaltoshistory.org 650-948-9427, ext. 14
San Mateo County History Museum. Free First Friday, June 2; 11 a.m., preschool children will learn about high tech robots and make cardboard robots to take home, hear the story, “Sometimes I Forget You Are a Robot”; 2 p.m., docents will lead tours for adults.  “Peninsula at War! San Mateo County’s World War II Legacy,” through Feb. 4, 2019. “Redwood City in Bloom,” photographs of the historic floral industry, May 20 through Sept.10; part of Redwood City’s sesquicentennial observances. San Mateo County History Museum, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. www.historysmc.org or 650-299-0104
Wings of Freedom Tour. Through May 27. World War II era airplanes including a B-17 Flying Fortress, a B-24 Liberator, a B-25 Mitchell and P-51 Mustang on exhibit at Moffett Airfield for viewing and for ride-along flights. Flights on the B-17 or B-24 are $450; on the B-25, $400; for the P-51, $2,200 for 30 minutes, or $3,200 for an hour. 800-568-8924 or www.collingsfoundation.org


Movies Under the Stars. At dusk on Thursdays. June 1, “Hidden Figures.” June 8, “Spaceballs.” June 15, “Trolls.” June 22, “Passengers.” June 29, “Sully.” July 6, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” July 13, “Doctor Strange.” July 20, “The Princess Bride.” July 27, “Moana.” Aug. 3, “La La Land.” Aug. 10, “Finding Dory.” Aug. 17, “Rogue One.” Aug. 24, “Dirty Dancing.” Aug. 31, Redwood City Fire presents “Ladder 49.” Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. Free. 650-780-7311 or http://www.redwoodcity.org/movies


Classical Music on the Square. 7 p.m. June 24, Redwood Symphony. 6 p.m. July 9, Opera San Jose’. 5 p.m. Sept. 10, Bay Shore Lyric Opera. Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. Free. 650-780-7311 or http://redwoodcity.org/classical
Kidchella: A Kids’ Rock Series. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays. June 11, Purple Fox and the Heebie Jeebies. July 9, The Hipwaders. Aug. 13, Alison Faith Levy’s Big Time Tot Rock. Sept. 10, Andy Z and the Andyland Band. Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. Free. 650-780-7311 or http://ww.redwoodcity.org/kidchella
Music at Kohl Mansion Chamber Concert Series. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. Pre-concert talks by musicologist Kai Christiansen at 6 p.m. Dec. 18: Holiday Gala, Aulos Ensemble with Julianne Baird. 650-762-1130 or http://musicatkohl.org/buy-tickets
Music on the Square. 6-8 p.m. Fridays. June 2, Pop Rocks. June 9, Caravanserai. June 16, Encourage the Band. June 23, Mitch Woods and His Rockin 88s. June 30, Neon Velvet. July 7, Paperback Writer. July 14, Long Train Runnin’. July 21, Lara Price. July 28, Rafa. Aug. 4, Mustache Harbor. Aug. 11 Steel ‘n’ Chicago. Aug. 18, Whiskey Dawn. Aug. 25, Foreverland. Sept. 1, Pride and Joy. Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. Free.
650-780-7311 or http://redwoodcity.org/musiconthesquare
Ticket To Rock package. June 22, Korn / Stone Sour. July 28, Avenged Sevenfold. Aug. 16, Incubus with Jimmy Eat World . Sept. 27, Sublime with Rome & The Offspring. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $65 lawn for four shows, limited availability. www.livenation.com


West Bay Opera. “Salome,” by Richard Strauss. 8 p.m. May 26 and June 3; 2 p.m. May 28 and June 4. Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. $40 to $83 (group discounts available); 650-424-9999 (preferred) or www.WBOpera.org
Lady Antebellum, with Kelsea Ballerini, Brett Young.
6 p.m. May 27. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $32-$66.25. livenation.com
Nick Williams. 8:30 p.m. May 27. Angelica’s, 863 Main St., Redwood City. $22 advance, $30 door. http://angelicaswm.tunestub.com/event.cfm?cart&id=260473
Albany Consort. Aci, Galatea, e Polifemo by G.F. Handel. 3 p.m. May. 28. Los Altos Lutheran, 460 S El Monte, Los Altos. $30. www.albanyconsort.org or 408-480-0182
Bay Choral Guild. “400 Years of Shakespeare.” 8 p.m. June 3. Sonnets and quotes put to music by various composers. All Saints Episcopal Church, 555 Waverly St., Palo Alto. $5-$25. http://baychoralguild.org/tickets/
Dead & Company. June 3 and 4. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $40-$149.50. http://www.deadandcompany.com/
New Millennium Chamber Orchestra. “Women Composers: A Celebration.” 7:30 p.m. June 3, Transfiguration Episcopal Church, 3900 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo; 4 p.m. June 4, First Presbyterian Church, 1140 Cowper St., Palo Alto. $8-$23. http://nmchamberorchestra.org/
Peninsula Girls Chorus. “The Song Speaks,” spring concert. 3 p.m. June 3 and 4. Texts from American poets such as Emily Dickinson, Sara Teasdale, Emma Lazarus, Langston Hughes, and others. Aragon Performing Arts Center, 900 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. $10-$25, www.brownpapertickets.org. Information: http://www.peninsulagirlschorus.org
Ragazzi Continuo. The Great American Songbook. 7:30 p.m. June 3. American songs from colonial composer William Billings’ “Lamentation Over Boston,” to Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies,” and more. First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Road, Palo Alto. www.ragazzicontinuo.org
Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show. With Brothers Osborne and Lucie Silvas. June 2. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $30.75-$70.75. livenation.com
Live 105’s BFD. June 10. More than 30 bands on four stages, including Phoenix, Franz Ferdinand, Cold War Kids, Milky Chance, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $37.50-$125. livenation.com
Ragazzi Boys Chorus. “From Sea to Shining Sea.” 5 p.m. June 11. Showcasing the Ragazzi’s touring repertoire before they leave for Arizona and the Baltics. Latvian folks song, Estonian compositions and American music. Aragon High School Performing Arts Center, 900 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. Advance: $29 reserved, $17 general, $10 students; Door: $33 reserved, $20 general, $12 students. www.ragazzi.org or 650-342-8785
Future, with Migos, Tory Lanez. 6 p.m. June 13. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $29.50-$125. livenation.com
Boston, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. June 14. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $30-$134.50. livenation.com
Future, with Migos, Tory Lanez, Kodak Black, Zoey Dollaz. 6 p.m. June 15. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $26-$99.50. livenation.com
Korn, Stone Sour, Baby Metal, Yelawolf, Islander. June 22. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $25-$89.50. livenation.com
ID10T Music Festival and Comic Conival. June 24, 25. Created and hosted by Chris Hardwick. Tank And The Bangas, Greg Proops, Brent Weinbach, Dan Mintz, comic-book artists, cosplay tent and more. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $65-$99. ID10TFest.com
Hershey Felder’s Great American Songbook Sing-Along. 7:30 p.m. June 27. 100 years of American music, from the Gershwins, Jerome Kern, Berlin, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, through Bernstein, Sondheim, and more. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. $75-$100 plus $5 handling fee currently available only to TheatreWorks subscribers; on May 31 will become available to those who buy tickets to “Hershey Felder, Beethoven.” The remainder, if any, go on sale to the general public on June 1.650-463-1960 or boxoffice@theatreworks.org
San Francisco Symphony. Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular. 8 p.m. July 4. Includes tribute to 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love by Nicole Lizee with vocalist Storm Large; also, music by John Williams and patriotic music. Conductor Edwin Outwater. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on April 28. livenation.com
Goo Goo Dolls, Phillip Phillips. July 14. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $29.50-$99.50. googoodolls.com/tour and livenation.com
Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows. “A Brief History of Everything Tour 2017.” July 21. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $29.50-$125.50. livenation.com
Avenged Sevenfold. July 28. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $25-$69.50. www.livenation.com
Vans Warped Tour. 11 a.m. Aug. 4. Sick Of It All, CKY, GWAR, The Adolescents, Strung Out, T.S.O.L, Hatebreed, Emmure, Andy Black, American Authors, Beartooth, Dance Gavin Dance, Jule Vera, I Prevail, Neck Deep, New Years Day, Memphis May Fire, War On Women and more. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $29 (early bird)-$42.50. www.livenation.com
Sam Hunt. 6 p.m. Aug. 11. With Maren Morris, Chris Janson, Ryan Follese. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $26-$65.50. livenation.com
Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, guest to be named later. Aug. 12. KFOX Summer Send Off. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $30-$125.50. www.livenation.com
Kings of Leon. 5:30 p.m. Aug. 24. With Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $32.50-$89.50; on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 4. livenation.com
OneRepublic. Aug. 26. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $33.50-$156. livenation.com
Bone Bash XVII. Foreigner, Cheap Trick, others. Sept. 2. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $30. livenation.com
Nickelback. Sept. 3. “Feed the Machine Tour.” With Daughtry, Shaman’s Harvest. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $25-$125. livenation.com
Muse & Thirty Seconds to Mars, with Pvris. 5:30 p.m. Sept. 15. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $35-$125. www.livenation.com
Sublime With Rome and The Offspring. Sept. 27. Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. $49.50-$79.50. www.livenation.com


Broadway By The Bay. “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.” June 2 through June 18. Songs of Lieber and Stoller. Directed by Brandon Jackson. Featuring Chris Aceves (Michael), Jessica Coker (BJ), Anthone Jackson (Adrian), Janelle LaSalle (Brenda), Cadarious Mayberry (Victor), Montel Nord (Ken), Anthony Rollins-Mullens (Fred), Majesty Scott (Pattie), Cheyenne Wells (DeLee), with Sean Kana (conductor/piano), Danny Min (bass), Steve Cassinelli (guitar) Ken Bergmann (drums), and Larry DeLaCruz (saxophone). Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City. $44-$66. 650-369-7770 or broadwaybythebay.org
Dragon Theatre. “The Charitable Sisterhood of the Second Trinity Victory Church.” Through June 4. By Bo Wilson. Directed by Cindy Powell. Featuring Lisa Burton, Stephanie Crowley, Ambera De Lash, Caley Suliak and Jennifer Tipton. Dragon Theatre, 2120 Broadway St., Redwood City. $15-$35; $175 for VIP box (seats four). 650-493-2006, ext. 2, or http://www.dragonproductions.net
Foothill College Theatre Arts. “Suburban Undertow.” 8 p.m. May 26, 2 and 8 p.m. May 27, 2 p.m. May 28. Written and directed by Tom Gough. Lohman Theatre, Foothill College, Interstate 280 and El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. $10-$20. 650-949-7360 or https://foothill.edu/theatre
Foothill College Theatre Arts. “The Odd Couple.” Female version. 7:30 p.m. June 1 and 8; 8 p.m. June 2, 3, 10, 11; 2 p.m. June 4, 11. By Neil Simon. Lohman Theatre, Foothill College, Interstate 280 and El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. $10-$20. 650-949-7360 or https://foothill.edu/theatre
Los Altos Stage Company. “[title of show].” Through June 24. Directed by Doug Brook. Featuring Caroline Clark, Derek DeMarcho, Jocelyn Pickett and Nick Rodrigues. Bus Barn Theatre, Los Altos Stage Company, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos. $18-$36. http://www.losaltosstage.org or 650-941-0551
Pear Theatre. “Pear Slices.” Through May 28. Eight short plays by members of the Pear Playwrights Guild, performed by a cast of seven. Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View. $10-$35. www.thepear.org or 650-254-1148

THEATER upcoming

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. “Hershey Felder, Beethoven.” June 7 through July 9. “Felder will bring a compelling Ludwig van Beethoven to life through the eyes of a Viennese doctor who spent his boyhood by the Maestro’s side.” Featuring works from “Moonlight Sonata” to the “Ninth Symphony.” Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. $45-$105. theatreworks.org or 650-463-1960
A Theatre Near U. “Like, Like, Like?” June 16 through July 1. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. “This hilarious romp, filled with mistaken identities, lying liars and clean-cut anarchists, follows the rigging of a Homecoming Queen election.” Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts Second Stage, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. $17-$22; $31 for opening night and reception, June 16. 650-903-6000 or mvcpa.com

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Jason Green

SAN JOSE — A former doctor who ran a pain management clinic out of Los Gatos has been sentenced to four years in prison for operating a pill mill and the involuntary manslaughter of a patient fresh out of rehab, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Dr. Jasna Mrdjen, 69, of Mountain ViewCourtesy of Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office
Dr. Jasna Mrdjen, 74, of Mountain View 

Jasna Mrdjen, 74, of Mountain View, pleaded no contest in September to nine counts of prescribing a controlled substance to persons without a legitimate medical purpose, two counts of dispensing a controlled substance to an addict, one count of conspiracy and one count of involuntary manslaughter for the death of 29-year-old Steven English.

Handed down late last week, the prison sentence caps what is believed to be the Bay Area’s first case in decades in which prosecutors were seeking to convict a physician of manslaughter for prescribing narcotics to a struggling addict who overdosed and died.

Authorities launched an investigation in 2011 after a patient was arrested for selling drugs prescribed by Mrdjen.

The investigation showed Mrdjen was writing excessive prescriptions for Oxycodone and Percocet, prosecutors said. In one case, she authorized high doses of drugs for an undercover officer posing as a patient with foot pain without even asking her to remove her shoe.

Other patients also were arrested for reselling drugs prescribed by Mrdjen for a profit, prosecutors said.

On Jan. 3, 2012, Mrdjen prescribed Oxycodone, Flexeril and Clonazepam to English, who had recently returned from rehab, prosecutors said. He was found dead by his parents two weeks later at their home in Truckee. The cause of death was ruled as “multiple drug ingestion.”

Mrdjen also altered English’s patient file and forged his signature after his death, prosecutors said.

“I hope this tragedy serves to warn others of the depth and danger of the prescription drug abuse epidemic and reminds those who are tempted to overprescribe powerful narcotics to value their patients’ lives over profits,” Deputy District Attorney Dana Veazey said in a statement.

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_tv_feed

Posted by Chuck Barney

“I can’t believe I’m out. I thought I was going to die in prison.”

So says the pensive title subject in “The Trials of Marvin Mutch,” a full-length digital documentary from KQED News about a man who served 41 years behind bars for a crime he swears he didn’t commit.

In 1974, Mutch, then 18, was arrested in Sunol for the murder of 13-year-old Cassie Riley, whose body was found along Alameda Creek in Union City. Mutch always insisted he was innocent, and supporters have claimed the arrest was solely based on circumstantial evidence. Last February, he was released from the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, thanks largely to a massive change in the state’s prison and parole systems.

KQED reporters Adam Grossberg and Alex Emslie spent a year investigating Mutch’s case. Their film, which can be viewed at www.trialsofmarvinmutch.org, sheds light on California’s deeply flawed parole system and the recent efforts to fix it. It also follows Mutch through his first six months of freedom — from the excitement of renting his first-ever apartment to his wedding day — as he re-enters a society vastly different from the one he knew.

“We wanted to tell the amazing story of Marvin’s life, with all of its twists and turns, not only because it exposes some real flaws in the criminal justice system, but because it puts a human face on a very complicated set of issues,” Grossberg said in a statement. “And in spite of everything he has endured, Marvin has emerged as a symbol of reform and rehabilitation.”

In addition to its presence online, “The Trials of Marvin Mutch” will get a free public screening at 6 p.m. June 1 at the Oakland Museum of California. The screening will be preceded by a reception beginning at 5 p.m. and followed by a conversation with the filmmakers (Registration for the event is being conducted at https://trialsofmm.eventbrite.com).

Mutch’s story is also the subject of a six-part “Q’ed Up” podcast series with new episodes available each Wednesday through June 21.

STAR CHEF: Speaking of KQED, San Francisco’s public television station makes its first national contribution to the “American Masters” documentary series on Friday with the airing of  “Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft” (9 p.m. Friday, PBS).

Produced and directed by Peter L. Stein, the film recalls Pépin’s upbringing in France, his bold move to America and his rise to celebrity status as a television chef who elevated kitchen techniques to an art form. KQED was Pépin’s TV home for many years — producing 11 of his popular cooking shows.

PBS is pairing the film with an encore presentation of an “American Masters” profile of another Bay Area culinary icon. “Alice Waters and Her Delicious Revolution” will air immediately afterward at 10 p.m.

BUSTING SOME MOVES: The Posse Dance Company, a team of seven girls from San Jose’s Nor Cal Dance Arts, will compete on the premiere episode of Jennifer Lopez’s new TV talent show, “World of Dance” (10 p.m. May 30, NBC).

Coached and choreographed by Tawnya Kuzia, the company is comprised of dancers from San Jose, Cupertino and Fremont between 10 and 15 years old. The members are: Sydney Centeno, Jadyn Hernandez, Priscilla Tom, Kina Siu, Jana Tsai, Emily Joe and Janette Solorzano.

Kuzia, a graduate of San Jose State University, founded Nor Cal Dance Arts 10 years ago.

Lopez is an executive producer of “World of Dance” and also serves as a judge on the show.

Contact Chuck Barney at cbarney@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/chuckbarney and Facebook.com/bayareanewsgroup.chuckbarney.

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_tv_feed

Posted by Chuck Barney

Apparently, they didn’t have the time of their life.

TV critics were bashing ABC’s remake of “Dirty Dancing” even before it aired (Entertainment Weekly gave it a C-). And, as it turned out, many viewers agreed.

They took to social media in droves Wednesday night, mocking and trashing the new production starring Abigail Breslin and Colt Prattes –and not in a fun, “Sharknado” kind of way.

Among the snarky, hate-watching adjectives attached to the reboot were “shameful,” “terrible, “gross” and “horrid.” On the other hand, many of the comments and GIFs on Twitter were downright hilarious. In fact, this was one case where the tweets were the best part of the viewing experience.

We’ve rounded up a few for you to peruse. Enjoy.

Some viewers tried to dissect what made the 1987 original with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey so magical in their eyes — and why the reboot didn’t measure up. And another likened it to her Election Night experience …

One fan felt she was being unfaithful to the original …

Another worried about incurring physical harm …

And anger was everywhere …

Contact Chuck Barney at cbarney@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/chuckbarney and Facebook.com/bayareanewsgroup.chuckbarney.

Okay so

May. 24th, 2017 06:00 pm
[syndicated profile] goodstuffhappenedtod_feed



I am a musician with the Canadian armed forces, and I’ve been on contract with the Ceremonial Guard all summer. It’s a pretty cool job, playing on parliament hill, but it can be a little stressful for those of us who have family and pets at home that we haven’t seen in a while.

We have a seamstress who makes sure all of our uniforms are tailored to fit us, and she does an incredible amount of work to make us look great all summer

One day she brought a kitten to work. She had found him abandoned on the side of the road and brought him in the hopes that someone would adopt him and take him home with them at the end of their contract

We dubbed him the CG Mascot and would drop in to visit him all the time. It’s great stress relief!

Well one day we show up to see him and the seamstress has made him a little ceremonial outfit to match the rest of us. So without further ado, please enjoy this ceremonial kitten

One of the musicians has adopted him and named him Artemis. 

There are still good, sweet people in the world, and there will always be kittens. 

Oh my god why is this not being PRed all over the place. 

[syndicated profile] karolynprg_tumblr_feed

#HospitalGlam examines the role image plays in our medical treatment. “Glam” references the poses and their similarity to fashion photography, the fact that chronic illness does not fit the traditional visual conception of sickness, and that we live in a place where healthcare is a luxury good. #hospitalglam is political. Enjoy.
#disabled #chronicillness #ehlersdanlos #invisibleillness #whatishospitalglam #disabilityfashion #healthcare [#imagedescription: self portrait in a well appointed doctors’ office, with a wall of windows overlooking Los Angeles. I’m posing in front of a padded medical bed, with a plant that is taller than me to the right of the frame. My doctor provided excellent care.]
Dress gifted by @loveablan, from her vast travels.

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by John Orr

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, after years of complaints from many Peninsula municipalities, including Atherton, is expected to consider noise-abatement measures for San Carlos Airport in July.

The county might restrict the number of flights and make them stop earlier in the evening.

“It’s a step forward, in trying to cut back the noise at that airport,” Atherton Mayor Michael Lempres said Monday regarding the possible curfew, “as are the flight restrictions to target the loudest planes.

“It’s not a panacea, but it’s a step in the right direction, if the board approves.”

A meeting was held last week in Redwood City to take comments on proposals, and Lempres was among the “100 or 150 people who were there.” Not present, said Lempres, were any members of the Board of Supervisors.

Noise from airplanes using San Carlos Airport became an issue in 2013, when Surf Air began flying noisy turboprop airplanes to Los Angeles and back. The airline started with a few flights per day, but by August 2016 was making 22 flights a day out, and 22 flights in, every day.

There have been thousands of complaints from Atherton, Menlo Park, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto and elsewhere, citing annoyances such as ruined phone calls, woken babies (and adults) and glassware shaking on shelves caused by low-flying aircraft.

The county and the Federal Aviation Administration have undertaken various studies and experiments to mitigate the noise, including flying more over the Bay.

The Board of Supervisors “will likely consider noise abatement solutions, including the potential restrictions, in July,” according to a statement from the county.

Lempres, who has been engaged in the noise-abatement fight for years, said he had also spoken with the FAA, as well as with county officials.

“The FAA says it takes its lead from the county,” which manages the airport, Lempres said. “They’re doing a two-step, each pointing their fingers at the other. I don’t buy this ‘We can’t do anything’ stance.

“Clearly, they could do something, they could step forward … I think they can do more, and I hope they will do more.”

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by John Orr

Work is underway in Atherton to improve roads in five locations, with the jobs to be completed by August.

Two inches of asphalt is to be removed and inspected on Marymont Avenue, between Polhemus and Stockbridge avenues; on Austin Avenue, between Almendral and Stockbridge avenues; Park Lane, from Valparaiso Avenue to Park Lane; Encinal Avenue, from about Felton Drive to Middlefield Road; and Heather Drive, from James Avenue to Irving Avenue.

Once the milling has been completed, the contractor and a town engineer are to identify any pavement failures for increased fixes, then the roads will be ground to a four-inch depth and the streets will be repaved.

Interstate Grading and Paving Inc., of South San Francisco, is the company doing the work, on a $305,460 contract awarded by the city council on April 19.

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Posted by John Orr

The Atherton Library on May 19 tweeted that it had to close early, but manager Francisco Varga on Tuesday explained that only 90 minutes of open time was lost.

“One of our staff called in sick, leaving only one person, and we need two to stay open,” Varga explained.

Usually, he said, he or someone else would have been available to fill in, but he and other library staff were at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, where the library’s Book Bike won an award.

Also, “We’re nearing the end of our fiscal year, so everybody is maxed out for hours. … Part-timers can only work so many hours a year. We were bumping up against that maximum.”

Varga, who also manages the Brisbane Library, said the one worker kept the doors open till the last patron left, then locked the doors and shelved books for the rest of his shift.

“If somebody had come, he would have opened,” said Varga.

The library’s Book Bike, which won the Maker Faire’s Editor Award, has proven popular, especially in beach cities. Pedaled by one person, the Book Bike carries free books and magazines for distribution.

When Atherton Library closes for its razing and reconstruction as part of the Town Center project, Varga said, Book Bikes will serve Holbrook-Palmer Park and other areas.

Atherton Library usually closes at 8 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 6 p.m. on Thursdays, and 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Atherton Library Book Bike won the Maker Faire's Editor's Choice award on May 18, 2017. (Francisco Varga / Atherton Library)
The Atherton Library Book Bike won the Maker Faire’s Editor’s Choice award on May 18, 2017. (Francisco Varga / Atherton Library) 
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Posted by Vytas Mazeika

The Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach is somewhat of a Mecca for golfers.

Next week, Menlo School junior Max Ting will tee off for the first time at the par-71 course after qualifying for the CIF state boys golf championships.

“I’m super excited to play at states,” the 17-year-old said. “I haven’t played Poppy Hills before, so I’m going to go down there and get a couple of practice rounds in. But having it at such a nice course, it makes it even more special.”

Ting earned a trip to Pebble Beach by shooting a 2-under 70 on Monday for third place at the NorCal championships held at Sierra View Country Club in Roseville.

It was another course he had never played, with no practice rounds allowed prior to the competition. Still, he stopped by for a visit on Sunday along with Menlo coach Tom Hitchcock.

“We just looked around and figured out what clubs I was going to hit out on the course,” Ting said.

“He didn’t need to hit a lot of drivers on the course because he’s long,” Hitchcock said. “So he was able to hit a lot of fairways, and that really set it up for him. … His dad helped set up the plan and he only went off plan on the 16th hole. He was supposed to use a hybrid, or an iron, and he hit the 3 wood. And that’s what he pulled into the trees.”

Forced to punch out of the trees on the 16th hole — a 332-yard par 4 — Ting settled for a bogey, which left him in a tie for third place.

The tiebreaker, which is a USGA recommendation, turned out to be the score for the back nine. With birdies on holes 10, 12 and 13, that allowed Ting to claim the bronze medal.

“I didn’t make too many mistakes off the tee and I hit a lot of greens,” Ting said. “And those couple of holes I just happened to put a few good strokes on putts and drain a couple of birdies.”

“I was so proud of the kid,” Hitchcock said. “He was bombing in putts all over.”

Aaron Chen of Mission-San Jose won with a 5-under 67, while Matt Lloyd of Mitty finished as the runner-up one stroke behind.

Harker won the team title by six strokes, with Mitty claiming the third and last spot into the state championships, one shot ahead of Bellarmine.

“Making it as an individual is great,” Ting said. “But the goal next year is to make it as a team. It would be so much sweeter if the whole team could make it next year.”

Ting teed off at 8:50 a.m.

He promptly birdied the first hole, then gave back a stroke with a bogey on the next hole.

“Usually I get practice rounds in before I play a course,” Ting said. “It was the first time for me playing the course, but it was in great shape and my game felt good going in. I had a good warm-up session before the round and my ball striking was pretty good, so I put myself in good positions.

“After the first couple of holes, I was getting a feel for everything and I finished the front nine with a lot of pars.”

After making the turn, not only did Ting catch fire with the string of three birdies in four holes to move to 3 under, the temperature on the course spiked on a sweltering day.

“It got really hot on the back nine,” Ting said. “It was up to 100 degrees, so the heat definitely was a factor. Drink a lot of water, stay hydrated.”

The heat will be on for the best golfers in the state next Wednesday at Poppy Hills, which underwent a 13-month renovation completed in April 2014.

“I haven’t played it since they’ve redone it, but Poppy Hills was always one of my favorite courses,” Hitchcock said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the new one, and Max is going to get a practice round sometime between now and next Wednesday. So we’ll come up with a plan for him.

“I’m excited. I think he’s going to do really well.”

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Posted by Bay Area News Group

SANTA ROSA — Michael Bennett, a former first-round draft pick who finished his NFL career with the Raiders in 2010, was sentenced Wednesday in Sonoma County Court to five years in state prison.

Bennett, 38, had pleaded guilty in March to felonies that included ​burglary, identity theft, and attempted theft from an elder adult in an amount exceeding $100,000.

Bennett was arrested in 2015 after the parents of his then-girlfriend discovered a loan had been taken out against their home. Bennett ​had obtained a $225,000 loan by stealing personal information from the parents and then forging documents. He was on parole at the time for a 2012 conviction of wire fraud.

A running back drafted in 2001 (27th overall) by the Minnesota Vikings, Bennett made the Pro Bowl in his second season when he rushed for 1,296 yards. He never came close to duplicating that success and bounced around the league, playing for five teams between 2005-2010. In seven games for the Raiders in 2010, he carried the ball twice for 11 yards.

Weeds, potty problems beset Alum Rock

May. 25th, 2017 12:44 am
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Posted by Sharon Noguchi

Amid the infrastructure woes dogging the Alum Rock Union School District, weeds might seem like a small thing.  But the profusion of knee-high greenery on playing fields and vigorous volunteers erupting through playgrounds irk a number of people, including Fischer Middle School music teacher Randy Barber.

He’s been chronicling the growth of a weed spurting up Jack-and-the-beanstalk style through a crack in the quad. “Kids see this every day upon leaving the cafeteria,” he said, noting there are many other examples on campuses. “It has to affect how the kids feel about their situation here in the East Side.”

On Tuesday, Fischer held an open house to recruit incoming sixth-graders, part of Alum Rock middle schools’ competition for students during open enrollment.The weed, partly trampled, was still bursting through the crack.

Barber had expected a crew might spiff up the campus before visitors arrived.

Not. The weed he had tracked and many others, including some that had sprouted from debris on roofs, were untouched. “You would think district would be embarrassed,” he said.

Yes, Barber is the same teacher who complained about a regularly overflowing urinal in the men faculty bathroom. Last month, the district replaced the urinal — but didn’t address the underlying problem. The fixture still overflows, and the bathroom retains its familiar stench.





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Posted by John Orr

The Mountain View City Council on Tuesday agreed to share a million gallons of water a day with East Palo Alto for a one-time payment of $5 million.

Arrived at after almost two years of discussions, the agreement will benefit both municipalities.

East Palo Alto declared a moratorium on development in June because of its inability to provide enough water for new users. Its deal with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the main water supplier on the Peninsula, is for only 1.9 million gallons a day.

Mountain View was faced with being fined for not using enough water every day to satisfy the SFPUC.

Michael A. Fuller, Mountain View’s public works director, explained to the city council that the city’s deal with the SFPUC is to use at least 8.93 million gallons of water a day, and that it must pay for at least that much, even if it doesn’t use it.

Fuller’s report said that “water use has decreased as a result of changes in industry, plumbing efficiencies, conservation programs, and recycled water use with the lowest consumption in the last several years due to additional conservation in response to the drought.”

The city only used 6.78 million gallons per day in fiscal 2015-16, but the SFPUC had waived the penalty for low water use in response to the drought. Now that Northern California is out of the drought, the SFPUC plans to continue exacting the low-use penalty.

While Mountain View expects to use more water in coming years, thanks largely to development, city staff still don’t expect to reach the city’s allowable maximum use of 13.46 million gallons per day any time soon.

The million gallons a day going to East Palo Alto should reduce the danger of low-use penalties for Mountain View, and the $5 million will go into a fund to pay any such penalties in the future.

The city council approved the deal by a 6-1 vote. John McAlister was the lone nay because he said he wasn’t sure it was the best deal for Mountain View.

The agreement still has to be approved by the SFPUC.

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Posted by Yasemin Saplakoglu

SAN JOSE — Robert Paylor has always been a determined sort — and it’s a trait that’s served him well.

His determination was evident when he would sneak out after rugby practice to get in a few more hours of practice. It worked. He landed the position of “starter” on the rugby team as a sophomore at UC Berkeley.

Now the 20-year-old is using every bit of that grit to recover after a life-changing accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down during the first moments of a national rugby championship game at Santa Clara University on May 6.

“I think that that spirit and that grit to really get through this and reach his potential is going to serve him well,” said Stephen McKenna, chief of the Rehabilitation Trauma Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Paylor’s story has touched his family, friends, teammates and even strangers.

“We’ve literally heard from people all over the world. There’s been an outpouring of love and support,” said his father, Jeff Paylor. The GoFundMe page to raise money for Paylor’s healing and rehab has raised over $600,000 dollars so far and sparked nearly 100 comments from friends and strangers.

At Jesuit High School in Sacramento where Paylor graduated, players dedicated their recent championship rugby game to Paylor as they sported their “Robert Paylor Strong” wristbands.

“Hes a very good rugby player and he’s a better teammate. … His teamship qualities are extraordinary,” said Jack Clark, head coach of CalBear’s rugby.

Doctors are hopeful that he may eventually recover some feeling in his body.  He was fortunate that the accident happened within a few miles of the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center — which specializes in spinal cord injury — and was able to receive early, appropriate intervention.

His next milestone will be moving from the critical care unit to rehabilitation, where a team of doctors and nurses will guide him in exercises to build up his strength, McKenna said. A move he expects to happen this week, even as early as Wednesday.

Paylor suffered the injury to two vertebrae near the base of his neck during a derby move called a “maul.” It caused the disc in between the vertebrae to push against the spinal cord. Doctors loosely define spinal cord injuries as “incomplete” and “complete.” Paylor’s is incomplete because he has sensation in his spinal cord that can still send signals to the brain.

“We would like to have those signals to also be able to go down from his brain to all of his muscles,” McKenna said.  “He’s not at that point right now. People who have sensation that go all the way to the bottom of their spinal cord have a better chance of having recovery of those types of strength in their hands and eventually in their feet.”

He has already undergone decompression surgery in which doctors took out the moved disc and replaced it with a bone matrix that allows bone in that area to heal.

“Each person who has that injury has their own journey to recover and that journey is going to be a long one,” said McKenna. “I know that the effort that he’s going to bring to that process of recovery is going to be extraordinary.”

Paylor has some strength in his biceps, can move his wrists slightly and feel down to his toes.
“With the type of injury that he has we would expect him to have some degree of recovery naturally over the next year that could include some recovery of his hand function,” McKenna said.

Paylor’s spinal cord injury also caused weakened abdominal and lung muscles, which made it difficult for him to cough and get rid of secretions like mucus. Respiratory weakness led to pneumonia, a common complication following spinal cord injuries, according to Dr. Edward Chaw, the associate chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Valley Medical Center.

“Our nervous system does an extraordinary amount to keep our body in a state of balance, and we can’t really appreciate that until we have a dysfunction on our nerves,” said Chaw.

When Paylor contracted pneumonia following the accident, McKenna asked him if he’d be willing to do an uncomfortable, difficult breathing treatment that involves hours of pumping under his rib cage. True to form, Paylor looked at him and said “I’ve done harder things.”

“Lying there, they would be pumping on him for hours, but he just said ‘bring it on’” said Paylor’s father. “He’ll take whatever pain he needs to endure to get better.”

Paylor’s father said that his son gives him hope: “I’m just hoping for baby steps, small incremental steps. The littlest thing is the biggest thing.”

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Posted by Ramona Giwargis

SAN JOSE — For nearly 60 years, it was the downtown hub for intercity bus trippers, but soon it will be a pair of new high-rises that thousands of people will call home.

The City Council Tuesday unanimously approved permits and environmental studies for a project that will replace the former Greyhound Lines station at 70 S. Almaden Avenue with two residential towers. The 23- and 24-story towers will include 708 condominiums and 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail in a project city leaders say will boost tax revenue and downtown activity.

“We look forward to the extraordinary opportunity that this project offers San Jose,” Mayor Sam Liccardo wrote in a memorandum co-signed by Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco and council members Raul Peralez and Sylvia Arenas.

Greyhound vacated the 24,427-square-foot station last May when it relocated to the Diridon transit station. The twin towers project is expected to break ground by July 2018 and be completed by 2020 in order to qualify for fee reductions under San Jose’s Downtown High-Rise Incentive Program.

City officials said the project will generate $15 million in city revenue for parks, $22 million for affordable housing programs and potentially $3 million in annual property taxes, substantially more than the $20,000 now paid on the land.

“We cannot overlook the many fiscal benefits that this project brings to the city,” the mayor and council members said in their memorandum. The project also won support from business groups and the San Jose Downtown Association.

City leaders hope the project stimulates other development — high-rise projects often carry more cost and risk, and no new ones have broken ground downtown since 2015.

The council’s approval came amid demands from dozens of unions employees that the council require KT Urban to ensure hiring of local union workers. Electrician Will Smith, 37, said he was able to buy a home in the city and that hiring local workers means they can invest in San Jose.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, KT Urban’s senior vice president, Mark Tersini, said local workers would have an opportunity to bid for work on the project once the general contractor is chosen.

“No general contractor has been selected,” Tersini said at the meeting. “That suggests the plumbers union will have an opportunity to work on this project. We’re open to both union and nonunion contractors on any job. … But if it’s not finance-able, they won’t be working, and that’s hundreds of jobs that will not be going forward.”

The mayor and council members noted in their memo that “the city cannot require that the investor use specific contractors or require the payment of prevailing wages.” But Tersini did agree to their request to sign an affidavit stating the project won’t use contractors or subcontractors that have a “history of wage theft violations in the past five years.”

San Jose labor leaders said they are considering a potential 2018 ballot measure that could force developers to hire a certain percentage of local workers on big projects.

“We have polled likely voters, and they’re very supportive of these concepts,” said union spokesman Tom Saggau.


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Posted by Julia Baum

Red poppy flowers have symbolized the sacrifices of soldiers ever since the end of World War 1.

The blossom’s vibrant imagery in the wartime poem “In Flanders Field” helped make it a globally recognized symbol of lives lost in battle.

And so, the women of American Legion Auxiliary Willow Glen Post 318 are raising donations this month through the sale of red crepe paper flowers made by American veterans.

The red poppy fundraiser has been held for decades, but May 26 marks the inaugural National Poppy Day, when Americans are encouraged to wear the flower on the Friday before Memorial Day as a symbol of remembrance and hope. Every year, with the help of auxiliary members, veterans at local veterans hospitals and rest homes craft and distribute red crepe poppies in exchange for donations. The donations go to help disabled and hospitalized veterans in the area.

“One of the things I know that I like about it is all the poppies are veteran made,” Post 318 president Pat McCleod said in an interview.

“They’re actually paid for the poppies,” she added—18 cents per sale.

The flowers are mostly handed out at events such as this year’s Memorial Day ceremony at Oak Hill Memorial Park, where World War II and Korean War veteran Joe Pacheco will be in attendance. Pacheco is the last person at the Willow Glen Post to have served in World War II and is a regular beneficiary of the auxiliary’s generosity.

“They take me whenever something’s going on,” Pacheco said.

He is often invited to school assemblies, where students listen to his eyewitness accounts of fighting in the Philippines and Pacific. Although the war ended more than 70 years ago, the memories of what he experienced sometimes seep out through bouts of post traumatic stress disorder.

“You wake up, if you hear a banging, you damn near jump out of your chair,” Pacheco said. “You sweat; it’s something you never get relief from.”

Wars are fought differently now than when Pacheco served, but the aftereffects are still the same, he said.

“It’s a different war; it’s not going to be hand to hand,” Pacheco said. “What they’re doing right now, and if you notice on the television…it’s entirely different. It’s very hard, and I feel sorry for the poor guys.”

Firsthand experience in fighting in two brutal wars left a mark on Pacheco, but he doesn’t regret living through it at all.

“In the 90 years that I am, I got to see all the things that happened in the world that nobody else could see,” Pacheco said. “I’ve been through it all. I’m lucky to see that I could see it. You will never, ever see some of the things that I’ve seen. I’m proud because I fought for my country. I love my country.”

To learn more about the Memorial Day Red Poppies, call 408-926-9946 or email alaunit318@gmail.com.

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Posted by George F. Will

ATLANTA — By the time Georgia’s 6th District votes in the June 20 special congressional election, $40 million — perhaps more than $130 per ballot — will have been spent to pick one-435th of one-half of one of the three branches of one of America’s governments. This is an expensive funeral for Tip O’Neill’s incessantly quoted and increasingly inapplicable axiom that “All politics is local.”

If the slender shoulders of the Democratic candidate, Jon Ossoff, occasionally sag, this is not just from understandable fatigue — on a recent morning he had just deplaned from an 18-hour fundraising sprint to New York. They bear the weight of his party’s hopes of recapturing a portion of national power — control of the House of Representatives — almost 18 months from now.

Democrats’ shoulders should slump if they cannot win at this propitious moment and in this congenial place. Republicans are tethered to the serial pratfalls of a president who preens as Zarathustra but emulates Buster Keaton. Last November, while Hillary Clinton was losing Georgia by 5.1 points, she lost this district by just 1.5 points. (Sixty percent of Americans live in districts that Clinton or Donald Trump carried by at least 20 points.) Ten times this district made Newt Gingrich its gift to the nation, and seven times it elected Tom Price — twice unopposed — with an average of 76.1 percent. (His departure to be secretary of health and human services occasioned this election.)

It is, however, the sort of place Democrats must win — affluent, more than 70 percent white — if they are to achieve the net gain of 24 seats necessary to retake the House. Republicans represent 23 districts that Clinton won. Nationally, the generic congressional poll — asking: Would you prefer Congress controlled by Democrats or Republicans? — favors Democrats, 46.2 to 39.2 percent.

Ossoff began his campaign with a vinegary slogan — “Make Trump Furious” — but has become militantly vanilla, standing foursquare against government waste and for (herewith a smattering of anodyne rhetoric from his conversation) being “calm,” “dignified,” “level-headed,” and “not just another rock thrower,” and advancing “core values,” “fiscal responsibility” and “unity.” Apparently, Democrats’ learning curve is not quite flat: They have learned from Clinton’s debacle that the cohort of people who are undecided about Trump is vanishingly small, so talk about something else.

Ossoff, who someday will look his current age (30) and is proud that he owns only two suits, moved four miles from undergraduate life at Georgetown University to a congressional staff job. His Republican opponent, Karen Handel, 55, is what a pro-Ossoff ad stigmatizes her as, and what he might aspire to be, a “career politician.” She has lost as many elections as she has won, but has been elected statewide as secretary of state.

The average voter turnout in the last six presidential elections (1996-2016) was 58.6 percent, and it was 39.1 percent in the last five midterm elections (1998-2014). But because dissatisfaction is a more powerful motivator than contentment, the party not holding the presidency usually sees improved turnout. Trump might resemble Barack Obama in one way: Many of his voters might not show up when his name is not on the ballot.

Last month, in the 18-candidate jungle primary, Ossoff received 48.1 percent, just 1.9 percent short of the 50 percent that would have given him the seat. He won more votes (92,390) than the Democratic candidate received in the 2014 general election (71,400). Handel endorsed the House bill to replace Obamacare, a bill that helped to make Obamacare more popular than Obama’s campaigning for it did. Neither candidate is dwelling on health care, probably because, as a certain savant has said, “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”

Handel finished second in the primary with 19.8 percent. Ossoff captured 64 percent of early and absentee voters — those who could not wait to express their dismay about things. What Clinton largely failed to do last year, her 2016 opponent has done this year — energize Democrats.

And Democrats, who are situational ethicists regarding money in politics, provided Ossoff enough to enable him to provide free Lyft rides for some primary voters. If he wins on June 20, Democrats probably will benefit in fundraising and candidate recruitment, giving them high hopes for big gains in 2018. The last time a party holding the White House and both houses of Congress did not lose seats in a midterm election, Dizzy Dean and his brother Paul each won two games for the Cardinals in the 1934 World Series.

Thursday: Unemployment Claims

May. 24th, 2017 07:14 pm
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Posted by Bill McBride

Some interesting analysis from Josh Lehner at the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis: States at Full Employment, A Prime-Age EPOP Story
The key economic question economists are trying to answer today is whether or not the U.S. economy is at full employment. Given it is more a concept then a hard calculation, you look for signs in the data that suggest the economy is there. In terms of jobs and the unemployment rate, there is no question the data do suggest this. However, at least nationally, wage growth is still relatively slow, albeit picking up some, and inflation remains consistently below target.

Here in Oregon we’re checking more of the boxes than the U.S. overall. Not only have we seen stronger wage gains, but we got the labor force response in terms of rising participation rates. Furthermore, now that the labor market is tight, we are seeing slower job growth which is also expected. Again, I don’t think we’re quite there just yet, but in looking across the nation it’s clear that Oregon is closer than most states.
Specifically, when it comes the share of the prime working-age population that actually has a job, those between 25 and 54 years old, just two — two! — states are back to where they were last decade, let alone the late 1990s.
The decline in the prime working age EPOP is a long term trend, and I suspect that after adjusted for the long term trend, and maybe a little for population (the 50 to 54 age cohort has a lower participation rate than most other prime cohorts), more states would be back to the levels of a decade ago.

• At 8:30 AM ET, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for 237 thousand initial claims, up from 232 thousand the previous week.

• At 11:00 AM, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for May.
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Posted by Dan Goodin

Enlarge (credit: Guido Sorarù)

Maintainers of the Samba networking utility just patched a critical code-execution vulnerability that could pose a severe threat to users until the fix is widely installed.

The seven-year-old flaw, indexed as CVE-2017-7494, can be reliably exploited with just one line of code to execute malicious code, as long as a few conditions are met. Those requirements include vulnerable computers that (a) make file- and printer-sharing port 445 reachable on the Internet, (b) configure shared files to have write privileges, and (c) use known or guessable server paths for those files. When those conditions are satisfied, remote attackers can upload any code of their choosing and cause the server to execute it, possibly with unfettered root privileges depending on the vulnerable platform.

"All versions of Samba from 3.5.0 onwards are vulnerable to a remote code execution vulnerability, allowing a malicious client to upload a shared library to a writable share, and then cause the server to load and execute it," Samba maintainers wrote in an advisory published Wednesday. They urged anyone using a vulnerable version to install a patch as soon as possible.

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Posted by Peter Bright

Enlarge / It was either this or yet another picture of some lightning. (credit: Airwolfhound)

We're big fans of Thunderbolt 3 here at Ars, attracted by its enormous versatility, high performance, and the promise of being a single port and a single cable that can do it all. While the technology is becoming increasingly common on high-end portables, it's still far from ubiquitous. Intel has announced a couple of measures that should go a long way toward boosting Thunderbolt 3's adoption.

The first step is straightforward and, in our view, a long time coming: the company is going to finally integrate Thunderbolt 3 into its processors. Although the first Thunderbolt 3 chips, codenamed "Alpine Ridge," were released in the third quarter of 2015, last year's Kaby Lake chipsets, including the high-end Z270, didn't include any native Thunderbolt 3 support. Instead, vendors had to add Alpine Ridge chips separately, with many of them opting not to do so, preferring to avoid both the extra expense and extra complexity.

Alpine Ridge also includes support for USB 3.1 generation 2, which offers speeds of 10 gigabits per second, doubling generation 1's 5 gigabits per second, but while many desktop motherboards do include generation 2 support, they've almost invariably done so using chipsets other than Alpine Ridge, again to avoid that expense and complexity.

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But scapegoating poor whites keeps the conversation away from fascism’s real base: the petite bourgeoisie. This is a piece of jargon used mostly by Marxists to denote small-property owners, whose nearest equivalents these days may be the “upper middle class” or “small-business owners.” FiveThirtyEight reported last May that “the median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000,” or roughly 130 percent of the national median. Trump’s real base, the actual backbone of fascism, isn’t poor and working-class voters, but middle-class and affluent whites. Often self-employed, possessed of a retirement account and a home as a nest egg, this is the stratum taken in by Horatio Alger stories. They can envision playing the market well enough to become the next Trump. They haven’t won “big-league,” but they’ve won enough to be invested in the hierarchy they aspire to climb. If only America were made great again, they could become the haute 
bourgeoisie—the storied “1 percent.”

Trump’s most institutionally entrenched middle-class base includes police and Border Patrol unions, whom he promptly unleashed after his inauguration by allowing them free rein in enforcing his vague but terrifying immigration orders, and by appointing an attorney general who would call off investigations into troubled police departments. As wanton as their human-rights atrocities in the years leading up to the Trump era have been, law-enforcement agents are already making their earlier conduct look like a model of restraint. They are Trump’s most passionate supporters and make concrete his contempt for anyone not white, male, and rich.

Always and everywhere, this sort of petit bourgeois constitutes the core of fascism. In The Mass Psychology of Fascism, his look at the German economy and ideology in the five years preceding Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, Wilhelm Reich argued that this was largely because of the petite bourgeoisie’s dependence on the patriarchal family unit, which he called the “central reactionary germ cell” of “the authoritarian state.” As the “heads” of their families, small-business-owning men often exploited their wives and children and enforced a patriarchal morality on them in the interest of protecting their somewhat vulnerable enterprises. This oriented the petite bourgeoisie structurally toward reactionary politics.

If the petit-bourgeois American suburbs embody a sexist hierarchy, they exist in order to enforce a racist one. In the mid-20th century, white northern and western urbanites faced a choice: Stay in the cities where Jim Crow was driving a “Great Migration” of millions of black people, or flee to the new suburban residential developments, complete with racist exclusionary charters. The Federal Housing Administration made the choice easy: Its policy redlined neighborhoods where black people were settling as having low “residential security,” thus making financial services inaccessible. In white-only suburban communities, however, the FHA was pleased to guarantee home mortgages. “There goes the neighborhood,” said millions, and fled.

Their material security bound up in the value of their real-estate assets, suburban white people had powerful incentives to keep their neighborhoods white. Just by their very proximity, black people would make their neighborhoods less desirable to future white home-buyers, thereby depreciating the value of the location. Location being the first rule of real estate, suburban homeowners nurtured racist attitudes, while deluding themselves that they weren’t excluding black people for reasons beyond their pocketbooks.

In recent decades, rising urban rents have been pushing lower-income people to more peripheral locations. As suburbia has grown poorer, the more affluent homeowners have fled for the even greener pastures of exurbia. Everywhere they turn, their economic anxiety 
follows them.

And yet, “among people I talk to, ‘economic anxiety’ has become kind of a joke slogan,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, by way of explaining Trump’s rise. “I mean, there is real economic hardship. West Virginia is not a happy place. But…it’s really mostly about race.” Krugman and Amanpour’s seamless transition from “anxiety” to “hardship” betrays the assumption that haunted the entire discussion: that the only form of economic anxiety is deprivation. To the contrary, the form of economic anxiety propelling the racism of devoted Trump supporters is associated with paying taxes; with jealously guarding their modest savings; with stopping black people from moving nearby and diminishing the value of their property and thus the quality of their kids’ schools; and with preserving the patriarchal family structure that facilitates it all.

-  Trumpism: It’s Coming From the Suburbs by Jesse A. Myerson
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read, digest, read again, and share.

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Everybody reblog this and tell me what the first thing/fandom u loved uncontrollably was

Like what made yr small child heart explode with happiness what universe did u play make believe in I need to know

Kimba the White Lion

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the James Bond books are public domain in Canada though!  that’s right: america’s neighbour to the north has socialized health care, paid maternity leave, and LEGAL JAMES BOND FANFIC

The new gods and heroes of the public domain

Book Review: The End of Ownership

May. 24th, 2017 09:56 pm
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Posted by kerry.sheehan

In the digital age, a lot depends on whether we actually own our stuff, and who gets to decide that in the first place.

In The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Age, Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz walk us through a detailed and highly readable explanation of exactly how we’re losing our rights to own and control our media and devices, and what’s at stake for us individually and as a society. The authors carefully trace the technological changes and legal changes that have, they argue, eroded our rights to do as we please with our stuff. Among these changes are the shift towards cloud distribution and subscription models, expanding copyright and patent laws, Digital Rights Management (DRM), and use of End User License Agreements (EULAs) to assert all content is “licensed” rather than “owned.” And Perzanowski and Schultz present compelling evidence that many of us are unaware of what we’re giving up when we “buy” digital goods.

Ownership, as the authors explain, provides a lot of benefits. Most importantly, ownership of our stuff supports our individual autonomy, defined by the authors as our “sense of self-direction, that our behavior reflects our own preferences and choices rather than the dictates of some external authority.” It lets us choose what we do with the stuff that we buy – we can keep it, lend it, resell it, repair it, give it away, or modify it, without seeking anyone’s permission. Those rights have broader implications for society as a whole – when we can resell our stuff, we enable secondary and resale markets that help disseminate knowledge and technology, support intellectual privacy, and promote competition and user innovation. And they’re critical to the ability of libraries and archives to serve their missions – when a library owns the books or media in its collection, it can lend those books and media almost without restriction, and it generally will do so in a way that safeguards the intellectual privacy of its users.

These rights, long established for personal property, are safeguarded in part by copyright law’s “exhaustion doctrine.” As the authors make clear, that doctrine, which holds that some of a copyright holders’ rights to control what happens to a copy are “exhausted” when they sell the copy, is a necessary feature in copyright law’s effort to limit the powers granted to copyright holders so that overbroad copyright restrictions do not undermine the intended benefit to the public as a whole.

Enjoyably, throughout the book, Perzanowski and Schultz present a historical account of rights holder attempts to overcome exhaustion and exert more control over what people do with their media and devices. The authors describe book publishers’ hostile, “fearful” response to lending libraries in the 1930’s:

…a group of publishers hired PR pioneer Edward Bernays….to fight against used “dollar books” and the practice of book lending. Bernays decided to run a contest to “look for a pejorative word for the book borrower, the wretch who raised hell with book sales and deprived authors of earned royalties.”…Suggested names included “bookweevil,”…”libracide,” “booklooter,” “bookbum,” “culture vulture,” … with the winning entry being “booksneak.”

Publishers weren’t alone, the authors show that both record labels and Hollywood studios fought against the rise of secondary markets for music and home video rental, respectively. Hollywood fought a particularly aggressive battle against the VCR. In the end, the authors note, Hollywood continued to “resist[] the home video market,” at least until they gained more control over the distribution technology.

But while historically, overzealous rights holders may have been stymied to some extent by the law’s limitation of their rights, the authors note that recent technological changes have made their quest a lot easier.

“In a little more than the decade,” the authors explain, we’ve seen dramatic changes in content distribution, from tangible copies, to digital downloads, to the cloud, and now, increasingly, to subscription services. These technological changes have precipitated corresponding changes in our abilities to own the works in our libraries. While, as the authors explain, copyright law has long relied on the existence of a physical copy to draw the lines between rights holders’ and copy owners’ respective rights, “[e]ach of these shifts in distribution technology has taken us another step away from the copy-centric vision at the heart of copyright law.” Unfortunately, the law hasn’t kept up: Even as copies escape our possession and disappear from our experience, copyright law continues to insist that without them, we only have the rights copyright holders are kind enough to grant us.”

Perzanowski and Schultz point to End User License Agreements (EULAs), with their excessive length, one-sided, take-it-or-leave-it nature, complicated legalese, and relentless insistence that what you buy is only “licensed” to you (not “owned”), as a main culprit behind the decline of ownership.  They provide some pretty standout examples – including EULAs that exceed the lengths of classic works of literature, and those that claim to prevent a startling array of activity. For the authors, these EULAs

. . . create private regulatory schemes that impose all manner of obligations and restrictions, often without meaningful notice, much less assent. And in the process, licenses effectively rewrite the balance between creators and the public that our IP laws are meant to maintain. They are an effort to redefine sales, which transfer ownership to the buyer, as something more like conditional grants of access.

And unfortunately, despite their departure from some of contract law’s core principles, some courts have permitted their enforcement, “so long as the license recites the proper incantations.”

The authors are at their most poetic in their criticism of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Section 1201 of the DMCA, perhaps the worst scourges of ownership in the book. As they point out, even in the absence of restrictive EULA terms, DRM embeds rights holders’ control directly into our technologies themselves – in our cars, our toys, our insulin pumps and heart monitors. Comparing it to Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451, they explain:

While not nearly as dramatic as flamethrowers and fighting robot dogs, the unilateral right to enforce such restrictions through DRM exerts many of the types of social control Bradbury feared. Reading, listening, and watching become contingent and surveilled. That system dramatically shifts power and autonomy away from individuals in favor of retailers and rights holders, allowing for enforcement without anything approaching due process.

As Perzanowski and Schultz explain, these shifts aren’t just about our relationship to our stuff. They recalibrate the relationship between rights holders and consumers on a broad scale:

When we say that personal property rights are being eroded or eliminated in the digital marketplace, we mean that rights to use, to control, to keep, and to transfer purchases – physical and digital – are being plucked from the bundle of rights purchasers have historically enjoyed and given instead to IP rights holders. That in turn means that those rights holders are given greater control over how each of us consume media, use our devices, interact with our friends and family, spend our money, and live our lives. Cast in these terms, it is clear that there is a looming conflict between the respective rights of consumers and IP rights holders.

The authors repeatedly remind us that who makes the decision between what is owned and what is licensed is crucial – both on the individual and societal scale. When we allow companies to define when we can own our stuff, through EULAs or Digital Rights Management, we shift crucially important decisions about how our society should work away from legislatures, courts, and public processes, to private entities with little incentive to serve our interests. And, when we don’t know exactly what we give up when we “buy” digital goods, we’re not making an informed choice. Further, when we opt for mere access over ownership, our choices have broader societal effects. The more we shift to licensing and subscription models, the more it may become harder for those who would rather own their stuff to exercise that option – stores close, companies shift distribution models, and some works disappear from the market.

In the end, Perzanowski and Shultz leave us with a thread of hope that we still might see a future for ownership of digital goods. They believe that at least some courts and policy makers, and “[p]erhaps more importantly, readers, listeners, and tinkerers – ordinary people – are expressing their own reluctance to accept ownership as an artifact of some bygone predigital era.” And they provide a set of arguments and reform proposals to martial in the fight to save ownership before it’s too late. They lay out an array of technological and legal strategies to reduce deceptive practices, curb abusive EULAs, and, reform copyright law. The most thoroughly developed of these proposes a legislative restructuring of copyright exhaustion in a flexible, multi-factor format, in part modeled on the United States’ fair use doctrine. It’s a good idea, and it would probably work.  But (and the authors acknowledge this) even modest attempts at reform have failed to garner the necessary support in Congress to move forward. A more ambitious proposal, like this one, seems at least unlikely in the near term.

Overall, the End of Ownership is a deeply concerning exposition of how we’re losing valuable rights. The questions it raises about whether and how we can preserve the benefits of ownership in the digital age will likely continue to be relevant even as technology, and the law, evolve. Most critically, it asks us to rethink who we want making the decisions that shape how we live our lives. While the book tackles complex issues in the relationship between law and technology, it does so in a way that’s accessible and interesting both for lawyers and laypersons alike. The book’s ample real world examples of everything from disappearing e-book libraries, to tractors, dolls, and medical devices resistant to their owners’ control bring home both the impact of abstract legal doctrines and the urgency of their reform.

 To learn about some of EFF’s efforts to protect your rights of ownership and autonomy, you can:

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Posted by Linda Zavoral

If you, like us, had become weary of classic French-Continental restaurant closings in the Bay Area, here’s heartening news:

Philippe Chevalier, who owned Chevalier restaurant in Lafayette for seven years, has become executive chef of MoMo’s Walnut Creek.

For Francophiles, that means menu upgrades including Duck a l’Orange, Steak Frites, Duck Liver Mousse and Apple Tarte Tatin. Those dishes, and others, will be incorporated into the existing MoMo’s menu in the coming weeks, co-owner Peter Osborne said.

“The chance to elevate our food program without having to completely re-invent our menus was too valuable to pass up,”  Osborne said Wednesday. “I was looking for more sizzle and pop. Philippe’s food and technique are are perfect complements to our American Bistro Comfort Food program.”

MoMo’s Walnut Creek, which opened in February, is the first East Bay project for the Golden Bear Restaurant Group, which owns MoMo’s San Francisco and Mission Rock Resort.

Chevalier had closed his restaurant in December 2015, opting to focus on private events and cooking classes. That news came just weeks after Michelin International had honored him with a sixth consecutive Bib Gourmand award for affordable dining.

A native of Vendee, France, he worked in several Michelin one- and two-star Parisian establishments, as well as restaurants in St. Tropez and St. Barts, before moving to the Bay Area and cooking at Danville’s La Salamandre, Pleasanton’s Claude & Dominique’s and San Francisco’s Chez Papa Bistrot.


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Posted by Rex Crum

Top of the Order:  

That’s a Lot of Waymo: When it became known that Google was getting into the self-driving car market, there was no doubt that the company was going to do something notable. The first notable thing was naming the technology venture Waymo. Maybe it’s supposed to mean, “Way More than what anyone else is doing?”

What it might mean, however, is, “Way More than what anyone else is worth.” Because according to analysts from Morgan Stanley, Waymo could be worth $70 billion.

The Morgan analysts, Brian Nowak and Adam Jonas, said in a research note this week that Waymo’s new deal with ride-sharing company Lyft could provide the impetus for Waymo’s big potential valuation. Of course, that $70 billion figure won’t be attainable overnight. Nowak and Jonas said Waymo could get there if it ends up being responsible for 1 percent of all the miles driven worldwide in 2030.

That’s a lot of miles to go. Just to put things in a bit of perspective, the U.S. Department of Transportation said that in 2016, American drivers alone put 3.2 trillion miles on the road. So, it’s safe to say that the number of miles Americans drive will increase substantially in another 13 years. And by then, Waymo could be big enough for Google to spin out on its own.

Waymo is considered one of Google’s “other bets.” If it manages to reach that $70 billion valuation, or anything close to it, Waymo may turn out to be a bet that was worth placing.

Middle Innings:

Diversifying Apple: For all its history of developing products that change industries and create fiercely loyal customers, Apple has, at times, been a little slow on the draw regarding some matters. For example, Steve Jobs was never big on Apple paying out dividends during his time running Apple. In fact, Apple went from 1995 until 2012 without paying any dividends at all. Granted, part of that period included when many weren’t sure how long Apple would even be around.

And for a company that touts its commitment to diversity, Apple hadn’t been in a rush to hire someone to oversee its diversification efforts. Until now, that is. Apple said it has named Denise Young Smith as its first vice president for inclusion and diversity. Smith is a 20-year Apple employee and is moving into her new job from her position as Apple’s vice president of worldwide human relations.

Workman’s Comp?: Tesla has been a leader in the advancement of electric cars gaining popularity among consumers — at least among those who can afford one of Tesla’s vehicles. All those cars don’t get built without the workers at Tesla’s assembly plant in Fremont.

And with all those workers doing their thing, accidents are bound to happen. But, a new study by the workplace group Worksafe found that work-related accidents involving Tesla employees were almost one-third higher than those at other automakers. The study, commissioned by Tesla, has the potential to add to employee efforts to unionize at the electric carmaker.

Bottom of the Lineup:

It was another upbeat day for investors as all the major stock indexes ended the day with respectable gains.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.4 percent to 6,163.02.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average also added 0.4 percent to finish the session at 21,012.42.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 0.3 percent to 2,404.39.

Quote of the Day: “There is a severe affordability problem in the Bay Area.” — Andrew LePage, a research analyst with real estate information service CoreLogic. LePage was speaking about a CoreLogic report that showed median prices for Bay Area homes have hit an all-time high.

Sign up for the 60-Second Business Break newsletter at www.siliconvalley.com.

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Posted by Jacqueline Lee

A Palo Alto indecent exposure suspect, whose photo was snapped by what police called a “quick-thinking victim,” is now in custody.

Police served Jonathan Dane Chestnutt, 28, of Palo Alto, with an arrest warrant Tuesday that charges him with one count of misdemeanor indecent exposure, Palo Alto police said in a news release Wednesday.

Chestnutt already was in custody at the Santa Clara County Main Jail on an unrelated theft charge, police said.

Palo Alto detectives used the photo taken by the victim in the Feb. 27 incident and eventually identified the suspect as Chestnutt.

The victim, a woman in her 20s, was standing in a parking lot near the corner of Park Avenue and El Camino Real about 11:04 a.m. in February when a man walked by while “masturbating his exposed penis.”

“The victim cursed at the suspect as he walked away eastbound on the Park Avenue sidewalk, and then used her phone to take a picture of the suspect from a safe distance as he left,” according to police.

Detectives have not connected the suspect to any additional indecent exposure cases in Palo Alto or surrounding cities, police said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the city’s 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.

Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org, sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984, or submitted through the Palo Alto Police Department’s free mobile app, which can be downloaded at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.

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Posted by Kevin Kelly

An undercover operation led to the arrest of a man selling marijuana in downtown Menlo Park, according to police.

Menlo Park Police Department’s special investigations unit on Tuesday was alerted through community complaints that people were selling marijuana in the 600 block of Santa Cruz, according to a news release. That same day, an undercover officer posed as a prospective buyer and made contact with Victor Hugo Marin, 41, a Menlo Park resident, who facilitated a deal. Marin was arrested at the scene.

During a search of his home, officers discovered marijuana being grown outdoors, 3 pounds of cultivated marijuana, concentrated cannabis, packaging material and numerous illegal pills, police said. Marin was booked into county jail on charges of possession of marijuana for sale, unlawful transportation for sales of marijuana and possession of a narcotic substance.

The Menlo Park Police Department is asking anyone who might have information regarding the case to call Sgt. Ed Soares at 650-330-6360 or the anonymous tip line at 650-330-6395.

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Posted by elliot

In 2011, Colombian graduate student Diego Gomez shared another student’s Master’s thesis with colleagues over the Internet. After a long legal battle, Diego was able to breathe a sigh of relief today as he was cleared of the criminal charges that he faced for this harmless act of sharing scholarly research.

Since Diego was first brought to trial, thousands of you have shown your support for him via our online petition. The petition’s message is simple: open access should be the international default for scholarly publication.

That’s true, but Diego’s story also demonstrates what can go wrong when nations enact severe penalties for copyright infringement. Even if all academic research were published freely and openly, researchers would still need to use and share copyrighted materials for educational purposes. With severe prison sentences on the line for copyright infringement, freedom of expression and intellectual freedom suffer.

Diego’s story demonstrates what can go wrong when nations enact severe penalties for copyright infringement.

Diego’s story also serves as a cautionary tale of what can happen when copyright law is broadened through international agreements. The law Diego was prosecuted under was enacted as part of a trade agreement with the United States. But as is often the case when trade agreements are used to expand copyright law, the agreement only exported the U.S.’ extreme criminal penalties; it didn’t export our broad fair use provisions. When copyright law becomes more restrictive with no account for freedom of expression, people like Diego suffer.

Diego was lucky to have the tireless support of local NGO Fundación Karisma, and allies around the world such as EFF, who brought global attention to the injustice of the criminal accusations against him. However, the prosecutor in the case has appealed the verdict, leaving Diego with possible liability continuing to hang over his head for an undetermined time to come.

There are also many other silent victims of overzealous copyright enforcement, including those who are constrained from performing useful research, who shut down websites that come under unfair attack, and who shy away from sharing with colleagues for fear of being targetted with civil or criminal charges.

Please join us today in standing up for open access, standing up for fair copyright law, and standing with Diego.

Take Action

Support Open Access Worldwide

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Posted by Julia Baum

Most kids get a top grade or award for their winning science projects, but 10 lucky students at Cambrian Park’s Stratford Middle School get the honor of launching theirs into outer space.

The seventh- and eighth-graders taking part in the select Stratford International Space Station Beta Program have built a robotic arm and test platform for an out-of-this-world experiment with NASA and the bragging rights that come with it.

“We’re sending it into space, so that is a huge accomplishment,” said team mechanical engineer Anousha Athreya.

Their project will take off June 1 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket headed for the International Space Station. It will help NASA scientists measure how heat and humidity behave in a microgravity climate like space.

Last year Valley Christian Schools invited Stratford and nine other schools to participate in the one-year program it developed with the Quest Institute, which promotes STEM education and gives students across the country the chance to learn new mechanical and electrical engineering skills by working on real-life projects with NASA researchers. Science teacher Ben Guansing picked out team members based on recommendations from other Stratford teachers.

The teams were given several experiment templates to choose from; the Stratford kids decided to test convection in microgravity and the spreading of heat. It hypothesized that both sensors would gather equalized heat in microgravity since heat cannot rise without gravity. Starting last fall, the students met up after school several times a week to develop and perform their experiment.

“How we built our experiment was using the bread board and having a ceramic resistor which produced the heat, then we had two heat sensors on opposite sides and we would test how the heat spread,” said team project manager Meghan Bedi.

After running several test trials, they sent the program and data to the Quest Institute for uploading to a test platform that will be on the space station. NASA will transmit the data back to Earth once the trials are done using the test platform with a special Windows operating system.

“NASA’s going to use that data and then re-create the same experiment in space so it can be seen in microgravity,” said project communicator Nikhita Vaddineni.

Because heat and humidity are a common factor in all kinds of manufacturing, their project could eventually help by looking at the possible benefits of manufacturing in a state of microgravity.

“Knowing how convection works and knowing how different pressurized points of heat and humidity work in space, we can kind of gather that information and hopefully one day maybe NASA can use that as an advantageous point in manufacturing,” Bedi said.

The kids say they are grateful for an opportunity many people don’t get until they’re much older, if ever.

“Many kids imagine they won’t be able to do this unless they’re a NASA engineer or they’re working in NASA, but the fact that we were able to do this at such a young age is amazing,” Athreya said.

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Posted by Anne Gelhaus

Covering the Great American Songbook in one concert is no small feat, but the a cappella group Ragazzi Continuo has put together a program for its upcoming performances that starts with the Revolutionary War and ends with Woodstock.

With songs by Irving Berlin and David Crosby, the program gives the 11-voice men’s ensemble an opportunity to branch out from the classical works it usually performs.

“We’re trying to give a representative sampler of American musical history,” says Continuo president Collin Lee. “I’m really enjoying some of the more jazzy pieces. They have crunchy harmonies that aren’t normally part of our repertoire.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Lee is also enjoying singing “Lamentation Over Boston” by William Billings. First published in 1778, the text of the piece is based on events in the American Revolution.

“It’s a story we don’t often think about,” Lee says.

Lee has been singing with Continuo for three years. The group is made up of adult alumni of the Redwood City-based Ragazzi Boys Chorus.

“I sang with the boys chorus all the way through high school, ages 8 to 18,” says Lee. “When I first started, it was definitely (my parents saying), ‘Here’s an extracurricular you should try.’ At some point it went from my parents bugging me not to be late to rehearsal to me bugging them not to be late to rehearsal.”

Lee was ahead of the trend with his love of a cappella; he notes that contemporary groups like Pentatonix are “bringing the unaccompanied voice into popular culture.”

“People are seeing there are amazing things you can do with just your voice,” he says. “It’s good to see vocal music coming back into the mainstream.”

Lee, who’s working on his PhD in computer science at Stanford University, says most members of Continuo have day jobs outside the musical realm. He’s grateful to be able to keep up his chops with his fellow boys chorus alumni.

“I really got to know the guys I was singing with,” he adds. “We liken it to a team sport. You have to work together and be in sync to accomplish your goal.”

Lee says the camaraderie of group members is just as important as the music they make together.

“At some point when you’re doing this every week, you realize, ‘It’s not just for me; it’s for the other guys.’ It’s definitely more than a hobby.

“Those moments when everything clicks, I describe as magical.”

Ragazzi Continuo performs works from the Great American Songbook June 3 at 7:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Road, Palo Alto. Tickets are $15-$25 at ragazzicontinuo.org.

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Posted by Kathy Bennett


  • Get Outside: Lindsay Wildlife Experience is currently offering nature and conservation-themed events and activities, including “Nature Play,” a children’s favorite on Member Tuesdays. Details.
  • Canine Capers Walk: Monthly adventure with your pet to explore and learn about the natural world. 9-11 a.m. May 27. Garin/Dry Creek Regional Park, 1320 Garin Ave., Hayward. Free.
  • Zoom in on Animals and Planets: Visit Contra Loma reservoir to get a new perspective on nature through telescopes, binoculars, magnifiers and microscopes. Meet near the Redwing Picnic Area. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. May 27. Contra Loma Regional Park, 1200 Frederickson Lane, Antioch. Free. $5 parking. 
  • Gorgeous Goats: Little ones can lend a hand with giving goats some exercise and grooming attention. 11 a.m.-noon May 27. Ardenwood Historical Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont.
  • Snake Feedings: Meet resident gopher snake, Julius Squeezer, for an up-close and personal visit and feed him lunch if he’s hungry. 11-11:30 a.m. Sundays, beginning May 28. Del Valle, 7000 Del Valle Road, Livermore. Free.
  • “Animals Homes:The Nest”: The Mt. Diablo Audubon Society will hold its annual potluck dinner and movie night. The PBS documentary “Animal Homes: The Nest” will be screened following dinner. 6 p.m. June 1. Camellia Room, The Gardens at Heather Farm, 1540 Marchbanks, Walnut Creek. Free and open to all. www.diabloaudubon.org.
  • Markham Regional Arboretum Society: Tour a honey bee farm; purchase plants selected for our dry climate. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 3. Markham Nature Park and Arboretum, 1202 La Vista Ave., Concord.
  • Off-Leash Dog Recall and Safety: Learn the skills to train your dog to hike off-leash and how you can be a more conscientious trail user. Practice as a group during a short hike. Suitable only for social dogs that are good with dogs and people, and do not hunt. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. June 3.  Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, 5755 McBryde Ave., Richmond. $35-$39. Registration required.
  • Bird Walk: New and experienced birders discover patterns of behavior, migration, and habitat. For ages 8 and older. 8-10 a.m. June 3. Dry Creek, 1320 Garin Ave., Hayward. Details.
  • Birds in the Garden: Look for warblers and hummingbirds around the fountain in the Victorian garden as well as other birds of field and farm. 8-9:30 a.m. June 3. Ardenwood Historical Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. No admission fee.
  • Levee Top Stroll: Take a relaxing one-mile walk through the willows and wetlands. 2-3 p.m. June 3. Big Break Regional Park, 69 Big Break Road, Oakley.
  • D. Ross Cameron STAFF 4/25/02 Tribune CUEA pair of Cardinal Meadowhawk dragonflies hover over the waters of a pond behind the Sebastopol home of Kathy Biggs, a dragonfly expert.
    Delve into the world of dragonflies at this free class. Bay Area News Group archives

    Dragons and Damsels: Delve into the world of dragonflies. 3-4:30 p.m. June 4. Tilden Nature Area, Environmental Education Center, at Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley. Free.

  • Ghost Cat: My World: Lindsay Wildlife Experience hosts “Ghost Cat: My World featuring graphite drawings from artist Michelle Friend. The preservation-themed exhibit brings you up-close to mountain lions in captivity, in the wild and in the pet trade. Artist statements are written from the cats’ point of view, and describe the hunting and human effects on the cat’s population. The exhibit is on display through June 4. Cost of admission for nonmembers. Lindsay Wildlife Experience, 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. 925-935-1978.
  • Scat Track Fever: What animals roam the wetlands? Catch “scat track fever” and find out through the clues they leave behind. 2-3 p.m. June 3. Big Break Regional Shoreline, 69 Big Break Road, Oakley.
  • Animal Tracking: Using fun activities, learn how to decode the secret language of animal tracks. 1-2:30 p.m. June 3. Coyote Hills, 8000 Patterson Ranch Road, Fremont. Free.
  • Pet Safety: Learn pet CPR, rescue breathing, bandaging, splinting and other steps needed to comfort your pet in the case of an emergency. All students get a pet first aid and CPR reference manual, and certification card. 4 p.m. June 12. Robert Livermore Community Center, 4444 East Ave., Livermore. $69.30.  http://bit.ly/2rntWsY.
  • Early Morning Birding: Begin the weekend by listening to the morning songs of Contra Loma’s many birds. Beginning birders welcome. Meet at the main parking area. 7-9 a.m. June 13. Contra Loma Regional Park, 1200 Frederickson Lane, Antioch.
  • Member Movie Night: Lindsay Wildlife Experience members are invited to watch a screening of “The Rescuers Down Under.” 5:30-8 p.m. June 14. 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek.
  • Return of the Terns: View a slide show and learn about the California least tern, an endangered species. At 3:30 p.m., join a naturalist to watch these acrobats hunt in the Bay. (binoculars available for loan). Reservations required for bus ride to the colony. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 17. Crab Cove, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. $7-$11. Details.
  • Walk With a Goat: Explore the farmyard with Maisie the goat.  Find out what tastes good to her as you greet the rest of the livestock. 10:30-11 a.m. June 17. Ardenwood Historical Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont.
  • Arachnid Adventures: Drop by Big Break to learn about spiders and join in fun arachnid activities. 2-3 p.m. June 17. Big Break Regional Shoreline, 69 Big Break Road, Oakley.
  • Has the Eagle Landed: The bald eagle has made a comeback in the East Bay. Hike through the campground to see if the eagles are nesting again. Bring binoculars, spotting scopes, and field guides. 8:30-10:30 a.m.  June 17. Del Valle, 7000 Del Valle Road, Livermore.
  • Paddling With the Birds: Paddle around the lake in a kayak in search of shorebirds and other feathered friends. 9-11:30 a.m. June 18. Del Valle, 7000 Del Valle Road, Livermore. $35-$39. Registration required.
  • World Giraffe Day: Feed a giraffe and help support giraffes in Africa. Guests will be given one piece of food which they will hand to a giraffe from a feeding platform. No petting or touching of the giraffe is allowed. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 21, Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road. $15. Zoo admission not included.
  • Diablo Ballet PAWS de Tutu Dog Festival: Highlights include demonstrations by the Concord and Oakland K-9 Police units, dog yoga demonstration, dog costume and pet tricks competition, adoptable dogs from ARF and Rocket Dog Rescue, free photos with your dog, goodie bags and more. 9 a.m.-noon June 24. Lafayette Reservoir, 3849 Mt. Diablo Blvd. $5. $10-$20 competition fee, includes admission.
  • Community Concern for Cats: CC4C, an all volunteer cat rescue organization serving Contra Costa County for 30 years, holds kitten and cat adoption events on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. at three locations: Pet Food Express, 3610 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, Pet Food Express, 2158 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill, and Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek.
  • All Ears Reading: Free program for children in first through fifth grade is offered year-round at several Contra Costa County library locations. Young readers are paired with a Pet Hug Pack therapy dog to help improve skills, instill confidence, and develop a love of reading. Preregistration required. Lafayette Library: 3-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 925-385-2280. Moraga Library: 4-5 p.m. fourth Thursdays monthly, 1500 St. Mary’s Road. 925-376-6852. Ygnacio Valley Library: 3-4 p.m. fourth Tuesdays monthly, 2661 Oak Grove Road. 925-938-1481. http://bit.ly/2fPhmiR.
  • Maine Coon Cat Adoptions: Cat adoptions held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. first weekends monthly at Pet Food Express, 3868 Piedmont Ave., Oakland.
  • Kitty Corner: Contra Costa Humane Society’s Kitty Corner is an onsite, free-roam shelter where potential adopters can spend time with cats in a relaxed, living room type environment and find a pet that best suits their lifestyle. All  cats are spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and FeLV/FIV tested (over 6 months of age). Hours: Noon-7 p.m. Monday, 2-7 p.m. Tuesday, noon-3 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 171 Mayhew Way, Pleasant Hill, Suite 101.
  • Pet Ambassadors Club: This monthly pet education series for kids of all ages offers activities like teach how to be respectful with animals, how to read animal emotions, and making animal-themed crafts to take home. 1-2 p.m. third Saturday of the month. Alameda See Spot Run, 2510 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda. 510-523-7768.
  • Animal Feeding at Ardenwood: Check for eggs, bring hay to the livestock and learn the animals’ favorite foods. 3 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays. Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 510-544-2797.
  • Fish Feeding Time: Get close to crabs and see flounder, perch and pipefish. 3-3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Crab Cove, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. 510-544-3187. Reservations.
  • Women on Common Ground: Series of naturalist-led programs for women who love the outdoors but whose concern for personal safety keeps them from enjoying local parks. For a schedule of events, call 510-544-3243 or kcolbert@ebparks.org.
  • Free Fridays: Lindsay Wildlife Experience will offer free general admission from noon to 5 p.m. on the third Friday of the month. Lindsay Wildlife Experience is located at 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek.
  • Rabbit adoptions: Contra Costa Rabbit Rescue holds adoption events from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, at Pet Food Express, 1388 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek.
  • Delta Discoveries: Discover the wonders of the Delta through hands-on arts and crafts activities. Explore a different wetland wonder each week. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Big Break, 69 Big Break Road, Oakley.
  • Animeals: The Valley Humane Society operates a pet food pantry that provides regular free meals for dogs and cats of seniors and low-income families. Donations of wet or dry dog and cat food are always accepted, even if opened or recently expired and can be dropped off during open hours at Valley Humane Society, 3670 Nevada St., Pleasanton. Pet-related items such as litter, treats, and toys are also needed. Pet food distribution takes places through partnerships with local food banks: Pleasanton: Valley Bible Church, first Thursdays monthly, 7106 Johnson Drive. Livermore: Tri-Valley Haven, third Wednesdays monthly, 3663 Pacific Ave.


  • Vaccination and Microchip Clinics: Low-cost clinics provide vaccinations for rabies, FVRCP and DHPP, as well as microchips — a permanent form of companion animal identification. 6-8 p.m. first Wednesday of each month, Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA’s Coyote Point Shelter Auditorium, 12 Airport Blvd, San Mateo. 650-340-7022, ext. 665.
  • Obedience Classes: PHS/SPCA offers year-round obedience classes (except in December). Classes are six or eight one-hour sessions and limited to 12 dogs. Discounts available. To register, email training@phs/spca.org and provide your full name, mailing address and phone number.
  • Pick of the Litter: The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA operate a resale store featuring second-hand items including clothing, household items, furniture, art, jewelry, electronics, books, vintage and costume clothing and a children’s department. The Pick is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. All proceeds benefit shelter animals. .
  • Dog Day Mornings: Dogs romp and play off-leash in a supervised atmosphere every Saturday, rain or shine. All dogs must be current on their vaccinations and have attended a basic obedience class. Dogs six months and older must be altered. Two sessions: 9:30-10:30 a.m. is for dogs of all shapes and sizes; 10:30-11:30 a.m. is for small dogs only. Peninsula Humane Society, 12 Airport Blvd., San Mateo. Preregistration required; no drop-ins. 650-340-7022, ext. 184.
  • Pet Loss Support Group: Facilitated by experienced grief counselors. Meets 7 p.m. second Thursdays, monthly. Lantos Center of Compassion, 1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame. 650-340-7022, ext. 344.


  • Ceramics and Cats: Interested in creating a one-of-a-kind ceramic piece with your cat on it? Local artist Anita Bora  provides the tools, the bisque piece, colors and support. Bring a reference image or photograph. Your creation will be fired offsite and be ready for pick up in approximately three weeks after the workshop. For ages 15 and older. 6-8 p.m. (arrive by 5:45 p.m.)  June 9. The Dancing Cat, 702 East Julian St., San Jose. $40.
  • Watercolor with Cats: Paint among the cats at this hands-on workshop lead by illustrator Frances Marin. Bring a photo of your cat or other pets. All levels of painters are welcome. For ages 18 and older. 10 a.m.-noon June 3 (arrive by 9:45 a.m.), The Dancing Cat, 702 East Julian St., San Jose. $40 includes materials.
  • Beginning Manners and Obedience for Dogs: Humane Society Silicon Valley offers a six-week, first training class for new canine companions five months or older. The class provides a safe and fun learning environment that provides the knowledge and skills needed to successfully work with your dog to get the kind of behavior you like, at home and in public. 7:30-8:20 p.m. Mondays, beginning June 26. HSSV Training Room, 901 Ames Ave., Milpitas $125-$150.
  • Puppy Socials: In a trainer-supervised setting,  puppies learn important play skills and bite inhibition and are exposed to environmental stimulus to help build confidence, assist in development and prevent fearful behavior in adulthood. Sundays: 10-10:45 a.m. Attend at this time if your puppy is still a bit shy or fearful of new settings. 11-11:45 a.m. For more playful, outgoing dogs. Fridays: 7-7:45 p.m. All puppies welcome. Humane Society Silicon Valley Training Room, 901 Ames Ave., Milpitas. $10 cash at the door.
  • Silicon Valley Dog Walking Academy: An intensive four-day workshop leading to professional dog walking certification. Expand your knowledge of canine behavior, learn new pack-management techniques and fight protocols, and go through the A-Z of running and marketing a dog walking business. 5:30-9:30 p.m. July 27-28 and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. July 29-30. Humane Society Silicon Valley, 901 Ames, Milpitas.
  • Kiddies 2 Kitties Reading Program: Kids in first through fifth grade practice reading aloud to adoptable cats, honing their skills while also getting  cuddle time with the animals. The program is held in conjunction with the Palo Alto Humane Society, who facilitate the program at SVACA.  3:30-5 p.m. first and third Wednesdays, 3370 Thomas Road, Santa Clara. 408-764-0344.
  • Companion Animal Loss Support Group: Meetings help grieving pet owners work through their feelings of loss, anger and depression. Participants may attend an unlimited number of meetings and are encouraged to return to help others work through their grief. 6:30-7:30 p.m. first Tuesdays monthly. Humane Society Silicon Valley, 901 Ames Ave., Milpitas. Donations accepted.
  • Vets for Healthy Pets: This veterinary clinic for pets of the homeless offers access to preventative veterinary care including vaccines, parasite treatment, microchipping, flea medication, nail trims, medications and any extra medical procedures the animals may need. Clinics also offer free pet supplies and pet food. Clinics are held on one day of the last weekend of the month at HomeFirst, 2011 Little Orchard St., San Jose. 408-794-7245.
  • Volunteers opportunity: Guadalupe River Park Conservancy is seeking volunteers interested in a long-term commitment of caring for its educational animal ambassadors. Duties include but are not limited to: cleaning animal enclosures, feeding/providing water to animals, exercise/time outside, filling in log books and other duties as they are assigned. Experience with animals is .
  • Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic: The City of San Jose is offering a low-cost spay/neuter clinic at the San Jose Animal Care Center, 2750 Monterey Road. For a limited time the City is partnering with HSSV to offer free dog and cat spay/neuter for residents of zip codes: 95111, 95112, 95116, 95122 and 95127. Low-cost spay/neuter services will still be available for local Chihuahuas, Pit Bulls and cats outside of these zip codes.
  • Dog Training: The Mission City Dog Training School, in cooperation with the Santa Clara Parks & Recreation Department, offers dog obedience and puppy training classes on Saturdays at Maywood Park. The program is held throughout the year, and is open to residents and non-residents. For complete information on classes, contact Walt at 831-465-1491 or wenagle@yahoo.com.
  • Low-Cost Vaccine Clinics: San Jose Animal Care Center: 9 -11 a.m. first and third Saturday’s of the month, 2750 Monterey Road, San Jose. Andy’s Pet Store: 2-4 p.m. third Saturday of the month, January-November, 51 Notre Dame Ave., San Jose. Canine Corral: 2-4 p.m. first Saturday of the month, 2045 Woodard Road, San Jose. Details.
  • Outdoor Environmental Science Home School Program: Guadalupe River Park Conservancy leads hands-on, outdoor programs that focus on the Guadalupe River watershed and the cultural and natural history of Santa Clara County, integrating scientific learning with an intimate experience of nature and place. For ages 5-12. 1:30-3 p.m. Thursdays, Guadalupe Visitor & Education Center, 438 Coleman Ave., San Jose. Drop ins welcome but preregistration is preferred. $15 per student, per class. 408-298-7657.
  • The Dancing Cat: Silicon Valley’s first cat adoption lounge offers a place for cat lovers and potential adopters to socialize with friends, read, study, or just lounge with adoptable cats in a comfortable, open room. Guests are invited to bring their own food and beverages. A small selection of drinks and cookies are available for purchase. Wi-fi and catnip are on the house. Through November. Details.
  • Rabbit Haven foster positions: The Rabbit Haven operates exclusively with Foster homes to care for more than 90 rabbits at any given time. Foster’s usually have 1-2 foster rabbits in their home. Minimum foster period is three months. The Haven provides the pen, floor covering, food and water dishes, a toy and littler box. Foster families provide an indoor home and daily care. To apply, email Director@therabbithaven.org. 831-600-7479.
  • Rabbit Advocates: The Rabbit Haven is seeking Haven shelter advocates 18 and older in the San Jose area to help with exercising, cleaning, and grooming bunnies. Transport assistance is also needed on occasion. For an application, email Director@therabbitHaven.org or call Sarah, 415-531-7138 or Heather, 831-600-7479.
  • Walk-in Vaccinations/Microchipping: Humane Society Silicon Valley offers vaccinations, deworming and microchipping services on a walk-in basis at its Medical Center, 901 Ames Ave, Milpitas. Walk-in hours: 9 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. For fees and information, call 408-262-2133, ext. 108.
  • Free Chihuahua Spay/Neuter: The San Jose Animal and Care Shelter in partnership with Humane Society Silicon Valley is offering free spay/neuter surgeries for Chihuahua/Chihuahua mixes to residents who live in ZIP codes with high Chihuahua population. Owners must live in one of the following ZIP codes: 95111, 95112, 95116, 95122 or 95127. Dogs must be between 4 months and 7 years old and be a Chihuahua or Chihuahua mix under 25 pounds. For complete details, go here and click on spay/neuter information.
  • Dog Book Reading Club: Do you love dogs? Want to learn more about their behavior, training, learning, body language, and using positive training methods? The Humane Society Silicon Valley Dog Book Reading Club meets from 2-4 p.m. fourth Sundays monthly to discuss a different book. 901 Ames Ave., Milpitas. Free. 408-262-2133.


  • Tarantula Exhibit: This special exhibit focuses on the diverse and natural beauty of these giants of the spider world. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. beginning May 27 at the San Francisco Zoo, Sloat Blvd. at the Great Highway. Exhibit is included with general admission.
  • Best in Show: Pet-inspired art show featuring local artists is on display through May 31, at Art Attack SF Gallery, 2358 Market St. Free.


  • Animal Film Festival on Tour: Films that explore aspects of animal welfare, animal rights, the human/animal bond or programs demonstrating ways to improve the lives of animals will be screened.  Presented by the Center for Animal Protection & Education and the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. Proceeds benefit both organizations. 7-10 p.m. May 24. Del Mar Theatre, 1124 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10-$15. Tickets.
  • Dog Enrichment: Learn to prepare safe, fun, engaging enrichment for shelter pups with hands-on practice. Led by Carla Braden. 2-3 p.m. June 4. Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, 1001 Rodriguez St.
  • Meow Luau: Visit Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter to meet cats and kittens available for adoption. During the event, all kitten and cat adoption fees are $50. All adoptions include spay/neuter, microchip, age appropriate vaccinations, routine treatment for fleas/worms and a free pet wellness exam. There will also be educational seminars on feline health care, refreshments, and entertainment. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 10. 1001 Rodriguez St., Santa Cruz.
  • Mike Uy's dog, Abbie, rides a wave as Homer Henard, with his dog, Skyler, looks on during the World Championships for Dog Surfing at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica, Calif., Saturday, Sept.10, 2016. The event brought together dog surfers to raise money for charity, and to bring home the gold. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)
    The World Championships for Dog Surfing returns again to Linda Mar Beach on Aug. 5. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group Archives) 

    World Dog Surfing Championships: Highlights include dog surfing competition, dog beach fashion contest, dog adoptions, vendors, activities, and ongoing interviews on TasteTV. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 5. Linda Mar Beach, Pacifica.

  • Dog Walking Academy: An intensive three-day workshop leading to professional dog walking certification. Expand your knowledge of canine behavior, learn new pack-management techniques and fight protocols, and go through the A-Z of running and marketing a dog walking business. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. August 25-27. Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd., Building C, San Francisco.

  • Training Discussion Group: The Santa Cruz SPCA offers a free training discussion group once a month with a local trainer to help dog owners with behavioral issues or training questions. The small-group setting is perfect for people who have newly adopted their first animal or those who have adopted and are experiencing problems they’ve never dealt with before. These sessions are for people only. 6:30-7:30 p.m. first Mondays monthly, Santa Cruz SPCA Capitola Mall Adoption Center and Gift Shop, 1855 41st Ave., Capitola. Reservations required.


  • Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Guided Wetlands Tours: A wildlife naturalist will lead a group (minimum of 18 people) through the diverse wetlands of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. Learn wildlife identification and behavior patterns, conservation efforts and more. The experience can be customized to include requested information, along a half-mile walking route. For information and scheduling, call 530-846-7505 or email ldieter@dfg.ca.gov. Details.
  • Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve docent-led walks: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Binoculars and bird books available to borrow at no cost. Visitor Center and main overlook are fully accessible. Day use is $4.32 per person, ages 16 and older. Groups of 10 or more should schedule a separate tour.


Animal Rescue Recon, Inc.

  • Saturdays: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. PetFood Express, Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5829 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; dogs only. 925-392-7654, web.

Contra Costa County Animal Services

  • First Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. Pet Food Express, 1388 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; dogs and cats.
  • Second Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Pet Food Express, 2158 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill; dogs only. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. Petco, 170 Arnold Drive, Suite 115, Martinez; rabbits only.
  • Third Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. PetSmart, 5879 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; rabbits only.
  • Fourth Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only.
  • Sundays: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Petco, 1170 Arnold Drive, Martinez; rabbits only.
  • Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Contra Costa Animal Services, 4800 Imhoff Place, Martinez; dogs. 925-335-8330.
  • Second Sundays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Sports Basement, 1881 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek; dogs only.
  • Last Sunday of the month: Noon-3 p.m. Molly’s Pup Purree, 425 Hartz Ave., Danville; dogs only.

Homeless Animals Response Program (HARP)

  • Saturdays: Noon-3 p.m. Petsmart, 4655 Century Plaza Blvd., Pittsburg; cats only.
  • Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Petsmart, Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5879 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; dogs only.
  • Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Pet Food Express, Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5829 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; dogs and cats.
[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Erin Baldassari

OAKLAND — Unable to determine how two train cars jumped the tracks near Daly City on Saturday, BART has hired a Colorado consulting firm to help solve the mystery, a BART spokesman said Wednesday.

Pueblo, Colorado-based Transportation Technology Center, Inc., will look into what factors contributed to the puzzling derailment, which somehow affected only two cars in the middle of a nine-car train, BART spokesman Jim Allison said.

The train was carrying two dozen people just before 3 p.m. Saturday, when somehow, the two middle cars landed several feet from the tracks. All the passengers and employees disembarked without injury, BART officials said.

On Monday, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said workers had been able to pinpoint the location of the derailment: a rail-joint, which mechanically joins two sections of track, placed some 400 feet from the Daly City station.

That may explain the “how” but not the “why,” and for that, Allison said Transportation Technology Center will examine other contributing causes to the crash, such as the wheels.

“Given the fact that multiple trains had made the exact same crossover move and successfully passed over the same section of track on Saturday prior to the derailment, (the consultant) will also look at the wheels of the car,” he said. “Early indications are that multiple factors were involved in the derailment.”

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Marni Jameson

When DC and I blended our households, it was like Noah filling his ark: We brought two of almost everything — his and hers toasters, blenders, TVs, even two chocolate fountains, which reassured me that he had his priorities straight.

But, somehow, we’d left ashore the outdoor grills.

DC sold his charcoal grill with his home. I had left my gas grill cemented in stone when I moved out of the last house I owned. We had been limping by with an indoor George Foreman grill.

“I can’t face another summer like that,” I said to DC, as I began my pitch for an outdoor grill. Turned out, he was thinking the same thing.

“What kind were you thinking about?” he asked.

“Something sleek, rectangular and stainless.” I said, picturing a transformed patio space.

“No, I mean do you want gas, charcoal, or electric wood pellet?”

My screwed-up face told DC I hadn’t the foggiest notion. He started showing me grills on his iPad.

“This one’s great,” he pointed to a picture of a bright green egg-shaped grill that looked as if it fell from the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. “I used to have one like this.”

“You did?” I asked, working to keep the incredulity from my voice. “I kind of want one that looks good.”

“How about this one?” He shows me a grill that looks like the Sputnik. I wrinkle my nose.

“Is there something clean-lined, and cool-looking that you like that doesn’t look like a UFO crash?”

“You’re focusing on the wrong thing,” he said. “What matters is how the food tastes.”

In that instant, I discovered a fundamental difference between DC and me, at least in the universe of outdoor cooking: He likes function. I like form. I want a grill that looks great in the yard. He wants one that fires up his inner caveman.

Then I did something highly uncharacteristic. I shut up. See, part of my motivation for getting an outdoor grill is so I can hand over the tongs more often. If DC is going to be doing the outdoor grilling — and I know there are outstanding women grill chefs; I am just not one of them — he needs to get a grill he likes.

After some research, here’s what we learned about choosing an outdoor grill:

Where will it go? Make sure you have a level spot near connections to gas or electricity, as needed, said Russ Faulk, chief designer and head of product for Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet. Also place your grill close to your indoor kitchen, for access, but also away from the door, so smoke doesn’t blow inside.

What fuel do you want to use? Here are the pros and cons of today’s options:

Gas: Fueled by natural gas or propane, gas grills are easiest to cook with because they heat up instantly, and the flame is easy to manage, said Dan Parrilli, senior merchant of grills for the Home Depot. The downside: You don’t get that charcoal or wood flavor. (You can add smoker boxes with wood chips, but that only gives a hint of smoke flavor.) Also, propane tanks need to be refilled, and are notorious for running out in the middle of your barbecue party.

Charcoal: These grills give food the flavor that grill enthusiasts love. They also can get hotter than gas grills, up to 700 degrees, said Parrilli. Their downside: charcoal (whether lump, which is preferred, or briquettes) takes time to heat up and requires new fuel each time you cook.

Electric: A good option for those in apartments or condos where gas or charcoal grilling isn’t allowed, electric grills heat up fast, are easy to clean, and you don’t need any fuel, just a nearby outlet. But they don’t get as hot as gas or charcoal, and don’t provide the flame or flavor.

Wood pellets: Though still a small player in the grill market, electric wood-pellet grills are by far the fastest-growing segment today, experts agree. “Although Traeger first brought these wood-pellet grills to market in 1987, in the last few years they have hit the mainstream market in a big way,” Parrilli said. “They make cooking simple and less messy; you get better temperature control and great wood flavor.”

How big? Grill surfaces are measured in square inches, and also in terms of burger count: Four square inches equals one patty. Consider how many people you will likely be cooking for, as well as how much space you have outside. When debating between two sizes, round up.  “Buy a grill not for the cook you are now, but for the cook you aspire to be,” Faulk said.

DC and I chose the Traeger wood-pellet grill. Though not sleek and stainless, I think it will ignite DC’s inner caveman. And that’s something to get fired up about.

Join me next week when we try out the new grill, and find out what else is hot in the grill market. Contact Jameson via www.marnijameson.com.

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_local_feed

Posted by Steven Wayne Yvaska

Having been cooped up much of the rainy season, I found the recent weeks a great time to get out and explore shops and shows. I’m far from done, but I want to share some tips today with fellow hobbyists.

Up north first: I heartily recommend you journey to the Antique Trove in Roseville — a collective I had not visited in years.

Every dealer space — a whopping 250 — is replete with nicely displayed wares of a high caliber. The variety is amazing, from architectural antiques and automobile memorabilia to vintage toys and Western collectibles. The staff is friendly and eager to help. There’s even a nook to relax with free tea or coffee. Do not skip the outdoor garden area.

I indulged in some purchases — Easter and Halloween holiday décor, an old Snicker’s candy box and some postcards. The pals I were with bought several items. We will return.

The Antique Trove (236 Harding Blvd.) is about 20 miles north of Sacramento off I-80 at Douglas Blvd. exit. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Plenty of free parking. Details: 916-786-2777.

On to the East Bay: Another spot I revisited was the town of Martinez, which boasts seven shops.

Lovers of bling will be astonished by the selection at Bad Girls Antiques, 810 Main St. (925-957-9660). I almost had to keep my sunglasses on due to the sparkle factor. They specialize in fine jewelry and costume jewelry but also sell vintage buttons, militaria and more.

My favorite showroom, though, is Crane’s Antiques at 605 Main St.  Proprietor Mel Crane offers lovely art pottery, Victorian furniture and lighting. I bought a cast iron bank shaped like a rhino, and my buddies bought a mirror. Details: 925-229-2775.

We stumbled across Main Street Candies at 815 Main St., with its terrific selection of treats, ice cream and old-fashioned “penny candy.” Details: 925-229-9677.

Over to S.F.: One spot I’ve been told about and have high hopes of visiting soon is The Butler & The Chef French Antiques. 

The 5,000-square-foot emporium, located at 1118 Harrison St. in the South of Market portion of San Francisco, is known for its bar and bistro furniture, kitchen funk, Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles of bars and bar racks and home décor of all sorts.

Owner Laurent Philippe scours Parisian flea markets for the select array of useful objects from the 19th and 20th century.  Take a peek at Facebook.com/thebutlerandthechef/. And let me know if you get there before I do! Details: 415-626-9600.

Gorgeous glass: Bay Area glass artist Annie Morhauser will be at the Butter Paddle in Los Gatos on June 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. It’s a chance to hobnob with this dynamic and leading contemporary glassmaker.

A graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, Morhauser has created her pieces — fittingly called Annieglass — since the early 1980s. Her works can be found in museums, used at at choice hotels, retailed at upscale stores and enjoyed at home by media giant Oprah Winfrey and bestselling author John Grisham.

The Butter Paddle boutique, at 33 N. Santa Cruz Ave. in Los Gatos, is open daily. Details: 408-395-1678. The shop is an arm of EMQ Families First, a group offering mental health and social services.

A passing: Helen Foerster, one of two women who co-founded the Federated Woman’s Club of Los Altos in 1957, has died at age 96. I first met this gracious lady, an indomitable spirit, about 12 years ago when she invited me to give a program at “the Club.” It was the first of several lectures I presented there. I admired the truthful way Helen spoke, her interest in community causes, along with an unwavering, deep care for family and friends. She’ll be sorely missed.

Contact Yvaska at steve.yvaska@sbcglobal.net.


[syndicated profile] henryjenkins_feed

Posted by Henry Jenkins

Samantha Close: So, thank you all so much for coming. This is really interesting. So, we’ve talked a lot about what we may call it primary texts and primary authors and originators. But one of the things that’s always interested me a lot about the science fiction and fantasy genres is the fandoms and the way that readers become writers and start to interact. And there’s been a lot of conversation in fandom recently about, you know, issues of what does it mean if you take a character and change their race, what does it mean, you know, to reimagine worlds this way, why is this something that hasn’t been done. If we can imagine alien biology, why not a character of a different skin color? And so, I was wondering about the fandoms around these kinds of works.

Nalo: And what specifically about the fandoms are you wondering?

Sam: I guess, we talked a certain amount about this being kind of more underground and more, you know, artistically focused. And so, is that kind of more the mode of fandom where people are reading text and analyzing them or are people kind of transforming, is there interchange between the artists and with the writers and the readers?

Nalo: Some of them, some of them not. They’re not, as far as I have found a lot of people in fandom doing fan writing based in my work. I have found people doing illustrations. And that’s always cool to see how somebody else imagines your work. But it’s also a bit of a shock. What I like about fandom in the science fiction is the ways that it can — they don’t have to have breaks. So, saying earlier that they can imagine stories into places that we might feel we might not want to or might not be able to get published or — and when I first discovered what the term slash came from, which was a fan writing Kirk/Spock fiction where Kirk and Spock were lovers. It made so much sense, I almost stopped breathing. It was, oh my God, of course, I’ve never seen it that way. Of course, that’s what’s going on.

So, I value that. I have to say for myself there is also the reaction of often there isn’t the type of craft I would — that I prefer.

I like the energy of the discussion that happens because they don’t have to deal with the kinds of considerations a published author does. I remember when the last Bordertown anthology came out, it’s a shared world anthology. The world is established and writers are invited to write stories in it. The creative board of talents specifically says, you can write fan fiction, listen, I have no problem with that, you’re not allowed to publish it. And finding a fan discussion board where they’re saying, well, why not, what’s the difference. The writers we’ve invited are writing fan fiction. And they’re getting paid for it.

William: I think the indigenous film and literature sci-fi genre is already so marginal that there’s not a lot, I think, that might be categorized exactly as fan fiction. But I think going back to the idea of imagining and the image, there’s a lot of parody through art. So, if anyone knows Bunky Echo-Hawk, he’s an incredible artist and he’s got a lot of takes on Star Wars. He has this image of Yoda which is titled “If Yoda was an Indian he’d be chief.”

He also engages Darth Vader as Custer, and the mustache works right with his mask. The imperials are the Americans, are the Europeans. So, he plays on that imagery to take it one step further than metaphor. And Walking the Clouds is just great compendium of lots of indigenous science fiction literature. It’s not fan fiction, it’s the canon.

And then there are some things that are parodies, like we watched earlier, the Star Blaks which is from the show Black Comedy in Australia, which is a parody of Star Trek. I think you have more fandom when there is a center to be marginal from.

Muhammad: There’s a lot of re-imaging of familiar western sci-fi. Many things like that are going on in the Muslim world. So, one that I would highly recommend is — there’s a series of paintings by this Turkish artist, Murat Palta. He reimages a lot of western movies like Star Wars, Scarface, Inception, but done in the style of Persian or Ottoman miniature paintings. And those are really amazing. You should — I highly recommend checking them out.

And also in Turkey, I’m not sure if that was intentional, but Turkey — in the 1970s and 1980s, Turkey has this tradition of — reimaging is, I guess reimaging not necessarily the right word, but they re-made some of the western movies like Star Trek and Star Trek, and they have this quality of it’s so bad that it’s good. Those are really interesting to watch.

More recently, there’s a — they just came out just a few months ago. There’s a British-Pakistani artist who reimages Superman but the difference is that his pod lands in Pakistan instead of Kansas. And he actually takes, one could argue that Superman closer to his original looks as compared to what we have been seeing in Superman lately. So, for example, the one thing that — it becomes a political commentary on the Pakistani society as a whole.

So, one thing that Superman — this version of Superman does is that — he does not actively use violence, for example. But during the drone attacks on Afgan-Pakistani border, he actively destroys those bombs which are going to hit civilians, for example. So, it becomes interesting commentary in its own right.

Audience 2: Yeah. I had a question actually for William. And it kind of jumps off a little with Professor Jenkins’ asking regarding the colonizing of genres. And it has to do with whether you could talk a little bit about the circulation of skills like production skills in one of your book that you’re working. And I was wondering about kind of the emergence not only of stories or scripts for the films that people are making but whether they are also envisioning kind of aesthetically a different way of telling them or whether they’re kind of like quality and patterns and it’s like western aesthetics or — basically whether the idea of creating science fiction is also — does it come with kind of like a visual kind of reimagining also of how to tell the stories or is it just —

William: Yeah. It’s a good question. This gets into my dissertations, which followed the social life of film projects in indigenous organizations in Australia. There were two outlets, one outwardly focused on production values and end products, and one by, for, and about remote Aboriginal communities.

And so, there’s a long answer. But to quickly answer, when people are making sci-fi films, they’re high budget productions. They usually come out of a Sundance or an imagineNATIVE initiative. But these are unsual and sleek productions. And so it’s not necessarily that people are making anything they want. It has to be discernibly science fiction, perhaps as utopian, dystopian, alien—recognizably in that genre even if it’s radically departing from it as well. So, in the sort of world of indigenous media, these are anomalies in that they’re highly funded and that’s a reason that most of them are very short.

These programs have been very successful in general. People who made these shorts tend to go on to make features, and not necessarily more sci-fi films. At the very least it’s a great career launch pad because people love sci-fi. And I think that they end up having the more freedom after they do these projects to make other media. I can’t think of anyone whose career hasn’t been significantly furthered after producing one of these sci-fi films.

Audience 3: I’m a film director. I just finished a feature-length animated film called Birds Like Us. And it’s inspired by a 11th century Persian poet Farid al-Din Mohammad ‘Attar — and the book that it’s based on is called Conference of the Birds. And I come from Bosnia, from Sarajevo. And I’m raised as a Muslim. I was also growing up in a multicultural society, multi-religious place. I actually had been exposed to all kinds of religions. And my actually first comic books was a comic version of The Bible.

And for me, growing up in a religious environment, I always have felt that the ultimate science fiction actually comes from the holy books where you have a creature who is reaching out to you and saying here I am, your all-seeing, omnipotent creator of everything, every living thing and you can be like me and this is how. And then, in these books, there are set examples of King Solomon who ruled everywhere and there are — where I’m going with this, there is so much of inspiring fiction, and beyond physical evidence of ideas in the holy books, in religious writings.

But somehow we have the communities, the human mankind actually colonized the race color that — and created actually these smaller parts while the higher idea is actually a very inspiring and moving form from — between asking yourself what is actually science fiction and what’s the difference between the fiction, science fiction and the fantasy and all that. Well, it’s purpose is to inspire and move forward and explain, provide a better living inside of your senses, with your perception of the world.

And do you think that your role as writers and contributors to this vision, is it possible to set yourself free from the boundaries of being Islamic science fiction or Jamaican or native Aboriginal or — can you maybe, I don’t know —

Nalo: I do have an answer and that’s that it does — whatever we identify — whatever particular cultural, ethnic or racial version of science which we’re interested in has no boundaries. It’s talking to things that we all care about. So, I don’t feel like I’m boundaried. I mean, I can write whatever I want and do. But I think it’s not as boundaried as you’re fearing that there’s — I want so — Sherman Alexie was at a literary event and somebody in the audience asked him if he ever felt limited. The wrong thing to ask Sherman Alexie. He blasted her. But his basic answer was any great story you can imagine is happening in my community, I can write it.

And that’s been useful for me to think about. So, no, I don’t feel that there is a boundary. I feel that there is this particular set of interest in philosophies and aesthetics, but it’s all over.

Muhammad: Right. And then to that I’ll add that — continuing on same line of thought that there are certain modes of thoughts, philosophies, aspirations, fears that all human cultures and religions throughout space and time that they share. It’s just that in the concept one must include who indigenous people, are Muslims, are Christians, are atheists. It’s through their life experiences, their histories that that’s the metaphors that they use on their cultures to describe those ideas. So, that’s not necessarily the limiting factor. It just shows where they come from.

So, just may we take the example of Farid al-Din ‘Attar’s Conference of the Birds. Although at one level it’s the cultural product of newly Islamized Persia, and the method to express was using metaphors. But that’s a product of its times but at the same time, it also speaks to universal human feelings of, for example, longing for the divine, for example, which regardless of whatever culture we are in, we can share and appreciate.

William: I think that radical assumptions provides a good definition for science fiction in this realm. I’m thinking of my own family not that many generations back, subjected to genocide in German gas chambers—radical assumptions are sometimes as simple as making it to the next year. It’s very relative and science fiction helps you define what radical is by giving the filmmaker the power to normalize things strategically.

But also, driving from the airport and seeing those Hollywood signs was exciting to me. It made me think about how there’s all of this money in Hollywood. There’s endless money and more that I can imagine. And while I like being on production teams with large projects, the biggest film anyone I ever worked on had a $100,000 budget, and that’s just a rounding error in Hollywood.

Yet, despite the endless money in Hollywood, somehow that can’t find a good script. They’re making the same movie a thousand times, with some notable exceptions. But in Aboriginal communities like the one I was working in, there are endless incredible stories to tell, though there’s very little funding.

It’s interesting just how different what the limited resource is in different places. And I think in a lot of Indigenous communities around the world, people have such complicated histories, and very difficult but incredible lives that it is no surprising just how many stories there are to tell. The problem is that there are not enough hours in the day because there’s so much. And while at the genre level there are sybolic boundaries, when people are making things on the ground, I don’t think that many worry about those boundaries and just follow the story.

Nalo: One more thing to add to that in that as somebody creating it, one of the things that science fiction fantasy teach you is if that place that you’re thinking you don’t dare to go, that’s where you should be going. So, if you think there’s a boundary there, what happens if you break it? And see what happens.

Henry: That’s a perfect note to end this session on. So, go on and break some boundaries.

[syndicated profile] sjmerc_ca_feed

Posted by The Associated Press


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Playboy centerfold was ordered to clean up graffiti Wednesday for secretly snapping a photo of a naked 71-year-old woman in a locker room and posting it online with a mocking comment.

Dani Mathers pleaded no contest to misdemeanor invasion of privacy in Los Angeles County Superior Court for the case that sparked outrage over the incident of so-called body shaming.

Former Playboy playmate Dani Mathers.
Former Playboy playmate Dani Mathers. Getty Images

Mathers, 30, had previously apologized for taking the photo at an LA Fitness club in July and posting it on Snapchat with the caption: “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.”

The posting was accompanied by a selfie of Mathers in a tank top with her hand over her mouth as if she’s gasping in horror.

The 2015 Playmate of the Year contended she intended to send the photo privately to a friend and accidentally posted it publicly.

Mathers was relieved to put the case behind her and was grateful to be spared a jail term, defense attorney Thomas Mesereau said outside court.

“She really apologizes from the bottom of her heart for what happened,” he said. “She never thought this would come out like this. Never intended to hurt anyone.”

Under terms of the plea, Mathers will be on probation for three years and must not take photos of people or post them online without their permission.

She was ordered to either serve 45 days in jail or 30 days of graffiti removal. She chose the latter.

Defense lawyer Dana Cole earlier argued unsuccessfully that the charge should be dismissed because the woman in the photo can’t easily be identified.

The victim, who has not been named, had been expected to testify if the case went to trial, according to Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney.

Defendants who plead no contest do not admit guilt but do not dispute the charges and are convicted.


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