Archive for the ‘Montclarion Columns’ Category

MONTCLARION: April 10, 2014

The year was 1985. I was a young, brash reporter for the number-one morning radio show in the Bay Area — KSFO.

One of my early assignments was to cover a story involving the Oakland Zoo. They’d just been named one of the top 10 worst zoos in the country. At the time, it was pretty shocking, and a rap they probably didn’t deserve. (more…)

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MONTCLARION: April 4, 2014

It was a mother and child reunion — one of those sweet, fleeting moments where two generations meld into one.

And while most women bond over shopping, we take a different tack. We love country music.

My 24-year-old daughter and I drove to San Jose, the other day, to see Jennifer Nettles in concert. She was playing at an intimate downtown venue — City National Civic Auditorium. (more…)

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MONTCLARION: March 28, 2014

Jerry Brown was a great mayor for Oakland — and word has it he may run again when he leaves Sacramento.

This was the news that lit up the house at Yoshi’s last week. Brown’s brainchild, the Oakland School for the Arts, was having a musical fundraiser when OSA’s director — Donn Harris — brought up the possibility of Brown’s return.


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MONTCLARION: March 21, 2014

Happy 25th anniversary to the World Wide Web. When it’s good, it’s very very good — and when it’s bad, it’s horrid. Here’s an Oakland-based story that celebrates the good that can come from the Internet.


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MONTCLARION: March 14, 2014

Our cup runneth over in Oakland these days. Not only are we drawing some of the best chefs in California, our love affair with food is spilling over to the wine industry.


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MONTCLARION: February 21, 2014

There’s a lot of air travel into Oakland these days, and I don’t mean passenger flights. It turns out our town is a winter resort for birds coming down from Alaska, Canada and other northern environs. (more…)

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When Dorothy Lee started teaching in 1974, the world was a much different place. Richard Nixon was resigning in the wake of Watergate; high gas prices were spawning the 55 mph speed limit and a hot new electronic device was hitting the shelves — the pocket calculator. (more…)

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MONTCLARION: January 31, 2014

This is the stuff dreams are made of. An East Bay big band has won its first Grammy for “Best Tropical Latin Album.”

Pacific Mambo Orchestra — or PMO — beat out a field of heavy hitters Sunday night to bring home the gilded gramophone. What makes this story even sweeter is that several of the musicians are from Oakland and two even help run the Bay Area-based school music program — M.U.S.E. (more…)

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MONTCLARION: January 17, 2014

Have you noticed how many topics are taboo, these days? Race, religion, politics — the list goes on. But mention food, and tongues start wagging. It’s a guaranteed conversation starter. That’s why Restaurant Week is so important in Oakland. For the next 10 days you can try primo prix fixe meals at more than 50 top eateries — so you can be in the know about Oakland’s hot restaurant scene. (more…)

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Happy holidays, everyone! Let’s start with a musical mystery that came via email last week.

“Sometimes we all need to stop and have a good laugh,” wrote Visit Oakland’s Kim Bardakian. Attached to her missive was an old novelty folk song someone had sent her — promoting Oakland. (more…)

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