Archive for February, 2009

Enroute to a post SF Chronicle

February 26, 2009

It looks like the Chronicle is bleeding red ink and might cease operations if they can’t make “significant” cuts!

In a statement, Hearst said that if the savings cannot be accomplished “quickly,” the company will seek a buyer, and if none comes forward, it will close The Chronicle. The Chronicle lost more than $50 million in 2008 and is on a pace to lose more than that this year, Hearst said.

A couple of writers from are proposing a mashup to replace the paper.

Imagine what you could do with a daily news organization if you subtract the paper and assume the Internet (and iPhones and Twitter and…). That’s what we said to ourselves around our dinner table the night that the Chronicle news broke. What could San Francisco look like post-Chronicle? We made a wiki, wrote down some thoughts, and released it into the world as the San Francisco Post Chronicle.


Webster House

February 22, 2009

In today’s Chronicle:

Known as the Webster House – named after its original owner, Forty-Niner John Nelson Webster – the 155-year-old dwelling is the oldest structure in the city. Designed and fabricated in New York in the early 1850s by the architect Andrew Jackson Downing, it was disassembled, loaded aboard a sailing vessel and shipped around Cape Horn to San Francisco in 1854.

And … it is for sale 🙂

The 17-room Webster House at 1238 Versailles Ave., now a bed and breakfast with second-floor quarters for the owners, is on the market at $1,795,000, offered by brokers Ellen Anderson and Linda Harrison of Sotheby’s International Realty in San Francisco.

Spare a fruit or two?

February 18, 2009

From the Oakland magazine:

Forage Oakland, a neighborhood produce networking effort, makes it so easy. Started in mid-April by Asiya Wadud, 26, of Oakland, the project harvests and exchanges crops from local neighborhoods. Folks with too many ripening peaches, avocados, blackberries or pluots, for instance, can e-mail or call Wadud, telling her what they have to give and what they’d like in return for their edibles. Wadud then schedules a time to pedal her basketed bike over with a buddy or two, picker in hand, to retrieve the perishables that will be bartered, and she later delivers the requested foodstuff, identified with a Forage Oakland card. The model allows gardeners with ready-to-harvest goods to trade for later-producing herbs, fruits or vegetables.

The Chronicle reported on another venture, with a different goal.


Go veggie young man!

February 16, 2009

A 2006 United Nations report states that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined! And according to the Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than a half-million cars off U.S. roads.

I suppose it is easier for me (as a vegetarian) to pontificate on the demerits of a meat laden diet. I do recognize that it is simply impossible for almost anybody to make such drastic changes to their diet overnight. Perhaps with these constraints in mind, an Oakland based group called “Compassionate Cooks” is offering a wide variety of resources (including cooking classes) for people interested in making the switch.

Compassionate Cooks is dedicated to empowering people to make informed food choices and to debunking myths about vegetarianism and animal rights through cooking classes, recipes and resources, workshops and lectures, articles and essays …

Check them out … the Earth will thank you 🙂

Stimulus watch: Alameda

February 10, 2009

Here’s the list of potential projects that Alameda has requested funding under the federal stimulus. Interesting to note that only two projects in the entire list (out of the approx 50 in the entire list) have a positive vote score at this time! But then again, I am not sure about the accuracy of the vote tally (as with most internet voting, there is nothing to prevent a small group of people from influencing the results). It is also unclear what (if any) relevance these scores will have on the final list of projects that do get funding from the stimulus package!

In the meanwhile, click away!

Consequences of campaign disclosure laws

February 8, 2009

Not directly related to Alameda (or maybe it is …). Today’s NYT, reporting on the unintended consequences of the campaign disclosure laws!

For the backers of Proposition 8,victory has been soured by the ugly specter of intimidation.  A Web site takes names and ZIP codes of donors supporting the measure and overlays data on a map. The targets of this harassment blame a controversial and provocative Web site,

Urban outings: Bay Farm Island

February 5, 2009

This week’s  96hours section in the Chronicle features our very own Bay Farm Island.

Bay Farm Island canal walk: Don’t let the Oakland Airport scare you off — the views and bird life are fantastic.

Bay Farm Island, also called Harbor Bay, is part of the city of Alameda, once separated from it by an estuary. The estuary has been filled, and today Bay Farm Island is connected to the Oakland Airport. Before being developed, the community was mostly farmland for asparagus growers, often called Asparagus Island. Nearby oyster beds were harvested to supply San Francisco restaurants. In his youth, author Jack London gathered oysters from these beds.

Alameda theater photo tour

February 4, 2009


Stunning photographs of the Alameda theater!