Monthly Archives: January 2011

Back in the studio.  Doing some reprints. Planning out some new designs. Coming soon…


Article via
By Cord Jefferson

For the second year in a row, more American soldiers—both enlisted men and women and veterans—committed suicide than were killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Excluding accidents and illness, 462 soldiers died in combat, while 468 committed suicide. A difference of six isn’t vast by any means, but the symbolism is significant and troubling. In 2009, there were 381 suicides by military personnel, a number that also exceeded the number of combat deaths.

Earlier this month, military authorities announced that suicides amongst active-duty soldiers had slowed in 2010, while suicides amongst reservists and people in the National Guard had increased. It was proof, they said, that the frequent psychological screenings active-duty personnel receive were working, and that reservists and guardsmen, who are more removed from the military’s medical bureaucracy, simply need to begin undergoing more health checks. This new data, that American soldiers are now more dangerous to themselves than the insurgents, flies right in the face of any suggestion that things are “working.” Even if something’s working, the system is still very, very broken.
One of the problems hindering the military’s attempt to address soldier suicides is that there’s no real rhyme or reason to what kind of soldier is killing himself. While many suicide victims are indeed afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after facing heavy combat in the Middle East, many more have never even been deployed. Of the 112 guardsmen who committed suicide last year, more than half had never even left American soil.

“If you think you know the one thing that causes people to commit suicide, please let us know,” Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli told the Army Times, “because we don’t know what it is.”

Very sad but true facts.  War is clearly not making anything better.


With the sun shinin’ bright and a slight breeze in the air, everyone needs to take advantage of this ‘springlike’ day in our Winter season.  Tomorrow should be a little warmer, but the weekend forecast is looking pretty cloudy and rainy.  Bay Area folks, take advantage…take advantage.

Here is an Oakland North article on some great bike ride trials.

Original article can be found at

By: Dara Kerr

Oakland is considered a great place to ride bikes—it has temperate weather, flat streets, hills and a diverse array of scenery. After Oakland North did a story on 10 great walks in Oakland, we thought a story on five great bike rides in Oakland would be helpful, too.

All rides we picked originate at City Hall on 14th Street and Broadway, but you don’t necessarily need to start there—they can be taken from anywhere in Oakland. Each route dips in and out of Oakland’s surrounding cities, such as Berkeley, Piedmont, Alameda and Emeryville. We chose a total of three flat rides and two hill rides and several variations can be made for each ride—shortening or combining routes to make an extra long ride. The routes are all based on good scenery, low traffic and using as many designated bikeways as possible. Look at the photo slide-show to see a photo from each route as well as a route map. Below are links to interactive maps for all the routes which show mile markers, distance totals and the exact trails to take to follow each route.


Embarcadero to Martin Luther King, Jr. Shoreline –17 miles

Port of Oakland–8 to 13 miles

Montclair to Skyline–20 miles

Old tunnel road–17 miles

Bay trail through Emeryville–6 to 30 miles

Connect with Oakland North on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

And what would a post about bikes and Oakland be without a scraper bike video. SCCCCRAAAAPPPERRRR BIIIKKKKEEESSSS!!

















article found via

If you believe you have been mistreated by, or witnessed misconduct by, an Oakland police officer or park ranger, you can file a complaint with the Citizens’ Police Review Board. (More about what CPRB does and how it works.)

Here’s everything you need to file a complaint with CPRB, or directly with the Oakland Police Dept…

File a CPRB complaint

1. Fill out and submit this complaint form. Download the complaint form. Or call the CPRB (510- 238-3159) and request that a complaint form be mailed or faxed to you.

Oakland CPRB complaint form

Complete, sign and mail or fax the complaint form to the CPRB:

Citizens’ Police Review Board
City Hall
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, 11th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
Fax: 510-238-7084

If you need help filing a complaint: call the CPRB (510-238-3159 or TTY: 510-238-2007). Ask to speak with an investigator. Or visit the CPRB office (City Hall, 11th floor)
What happens after you file a CPRB complaint

After your complaint is file, a civilian complaint investigator will investigate your complaint and prepare an investigative report for the CPRB.

In some cases, CPRB conducts hearings and may make written recommendations to the City Administrator for discipline of officers or rangers.

Finally, the City Administrator decides whether to implement CPRB’s recommendations (called “tolling” the case), to implement them with modifications, or not to implement them.
Another route to complain about police misconduct: Internal Affairs.

You also can file a complaint of police misconduct with the Internal Affairs Division of the Oakland Police Department. Here is that complaint form:

Oakland, CA Police Dept., Internal Affairs: Complaint form for police misconduct

Alternatively, you can call OPD Internal Affairs (510-238-3161) to request that a complaint form be mailed or faxed to you. Or visit the Internal Affairs office (address below) to pick up the form.

Mail your completed complaint form to:

Oakland Police Department, Internal Affairs Division
250 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Ste. C
Oakland, CA 94612

What happens after you file a complaint with OPD

According to Internal Affairs:

“If you decide to have your complaint investigated by the Police Department, an investigator will contact you to discuss the complaint. The investigation will be conducted by an investigator of the Internal Affairs Division or by the supervisor of the officer or employee against whom the complaint is made.”Occasionally, the problem actually is with an agency other than the police, or it may be possible that the supervisor or an investigator can explain the officer or employee’s actions to your satisfaction. However, if the complaint is not resolved, the investigator will take a recorded statement from you and provide you with a written copy or taped copy for your records.

“You will be contacted by the assigned investigator within 5 calendar days with the case number of your complaint. The investigator will then interview witnesses, collect evidence, and complete a written report.

“You may contact the investigator at any time to determine the status of your investigation. An internal investigation normally takes up to 120 days. When the investigation is completed, it is reviewed by the Chief of Police. In cases where disciplinary action is appropriate, the Discipline Officer will provide the Chief of Police with a recommendation for discipline.

After the investigation has been completed, evaluated, and endorsed by the Chief of Police, you will be notified of the finding and whether appropriate corrective action has been taken. You will not be notified of the exact discipline imposed.”


According to OPD Internal Affairs, citizens have the following rights in making a complaint of misconduct against an Oakland police officer:

  • Members of the public have a legal right to file complaints, and OPD Internal Affairs is required to accept any complaint you wish to file.
  • You have a right to a written description of this procedure.
  • Any attempt to interfere with, discourage, or deter the exercise of your right to file a complaint will not be tolerated.
  • Any act of retaliation by an employee against a complainant for filing a complaint will not be tolerated.
  • Any attempt to contact you regarding the complaint by an employee named in the complaint as a subject is prohibited unless authorized by you or as part of an agreement to participate in an approved mediation.
  • To protect your rights and to facilitate a thorough investigation, internal investigations are by law confidential.

Great reference tool.  Exercise your right to fair treatment. Don’t be bullied.



Article via City Insider at

By Heather Knight












Avid followers of City Insider know we love to see how San Francisco stacks up against other cities in meaningless compilations of random statistics. But sometimes we have to call out these list compilers for being just, well, wrong.

Take the Advocate magazine and its new list, “Gayest Cities in America.” Where would you expect to find San Francisco? We suspect it’s not at No. 11, sandwiched between St. Louis and Cleveland.

But that’s indeed where San Francisco – described as “the gay daddy of American cities” and “gentrifying, but still scrappy” – winds up. The gayest city of all? Minneapolis. Yes, Minneapolis. Followed by Santa Fe, N.M.; Las Vegas; Orlando; and Pittsburgh.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the Castro, isn’t buying the list either. “It’s good to have competition. It’s good to have options,” he said. “But this is pretty much the mother ship.”

We’re no mathematicians (in fact, we barely passed college statistics), but the Advocate’s formula seems a bit suspect. It adds up the city’s number of profiles, gay wedding officiants, openly gay elected officials, Tegan and Sara performances over the past five years, lesbian bars, and Yellow Pages entries with the word “gay” in them. It then divides the total by the city’s population and then multiplies that by 100,000. Got it?

San Francisco winds up with a measly 18.6. First quibble: San Francisco has far more than two gay wedding officiants as the Advocate says. How would two people have married 4,000 same-sex couples within weeks back in 2004? Hmmm? And more to the point, the formula penalizes big cities. After all, New York City and Los Angeles don’t even make the list.

There, we feel better now.

– Heather Knight

I’m not buying this.  I NEED to see the research.  Have these people been to PRIDE?!?!!?!!


By Pamela Mays McDonald

article via


Nonagenarian fitness guru Jack LaLanne died at his home in Morro Bay of complications from pneumonia, it was announced today. He was ninety-six years old at the time of his passing, his longevity not a surprise to the millions who knew him from his years as a television host. As an exercise and nutrition fanatic, he earned the title “the founder of the modern physical fitness movement.” In later years, LaLanne often referred to himself as “The Godfather of Fitness.”

An article in the New York Times refers to the significance of his professional accomplishments. He started working out with weights when they were an oddity, and in 1936 he opened the prototype for the fitness spas to come — a gym, juice bar and health food store — in an old office building in Oakland.

“People thought I was a charlatan and a nut,” he remembered. “The doctors were against me — they said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive.”

So at the young age of 21, in 1936, the middle of the Great Depression, he opened what was later to become known as the first health club in America. It was called the Jack LaLanne Physical Culture Studio on the third floor of a building on the corner of 15th Street and Broadway. According to an article in Business Week, “in order to recruit clients, he visited high schools wearing a tight t-shirt to emphasize his well-defined muscles. He singled out the scrawniest or most overweight students to ask if they wanted to become fit. He would then follow up with a home visit to win over parents and offer a few months of free gym membership.”

That studio eventually grew to include a string of clubs across the United States, and became the centerpiece of a multimillion-dollar enterprise including, health clubs, a television show, health food products, health food preparation products (e.g., his famous juice-making machine), exercise equipment and more. By the 1980s, he had his name on more than 200 health clubs.

His television career lasted from the 1950s to the 1980s, from the early days of the TV medium, thirty years in which the enthusiastic host encouraged a national audience of millions to follow a healthy path of good nutrition and exercise, a radical notion at that time to housewives in everyday America. It was believed that exercise would make men sterile and women into muscle-bound andromorphs, a notion that LaLanne disproved by including his feminine wife in his on-air exercise segments. His career began on Oakland station KTVU-TV, effectively opening up the world of fitness to ordinary Americans.

Jack LaLanne was born Francois Henri LaLanne in San Francisco on September 26, 1914 to French immigrant parents. After running, then abandoning, a sheep farm, the LaLannes moved to Oakland. His father died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 50, leaving young Jack behind to struggle alone with his mother. LaLanne often told the story that his mother spoiled him by giving him sweets. He said he became a “sugarholic” with a violent temper and suicidal thoughts. He was failing in school, his stomach was upset, he wore glasses, he had terrible headaches, he was weak, skinny and he had pimples.

His commitment to healthful living began as an unhappy teenager at the age of fifteen, when he was inspired by a nutritionist’s lecture to abandon junk food. His acne began to clear and he felt increasingly better and better. As his own fitness improved, he overcame his adolescent turmoil and sought converts to healthy living with a missionary’s fervor. He became a strict vegetarian and a dedicated high school athlete, a junk food-phobic who never even had a cup of coffee or tea after that lecture, and his entire world changed forever. “That’s what I wanted! I wanted to be an athlete, I wanted the girls to like me, and I wanted to be able to get good grades in school, and this man said I could do all that,” LaLanne said.

Jack eventually built his own backyard body building gym which he rented out to police and fireman. After graduation from Berkeley High, he attended a chiropractic college on the weekends. To earn money in the Depression, he sold healthy baked goods made by his mother. It was his mother, after all, who, concerned about her teen’s well-being, dragged him to the health and fitness lecture that was later to change his life — and American culture — forever.

Today, other Oaklanders have taken on the mantle of leadership in health, nutrition and the social issues surrounding Oakland’s youth. As he famously said, “The only way you can hurt the body is not use it,” LaLanne said. “Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it’s never too late.”