Archive | November, 2008

New Crime Fighter – CrimeReports.com

BY DANIEL MCGLYNN //

If you took 24 crimes that happened in El Cerrito in the past two weeks – broke them into categories like theft, burglary, sexual offense, etc., then color coded those crimes and stuck them on a map – you would start to see some patterns in the recent criminal activity. Read the full story

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Fresh, Cold-Pressed Activism

BY ALEXIA UNDERWOOD //

The olive oil shipment is late.

At 10 a.m., a single volunteer, Henry Norr, arrives on a beat-up red bicycle and waits outside the headquarters of the International Solidarity Movement Support Group (ISM) in Berkeley.   A sign identifying the building as “The Grassroots House” hangs outside.  There is some trash strewn about the yard.

Norr wears a bright magenta shirt and suspenders. A former San Francisco Chronicle business reporter, Norr has visited Palestine three times with ISM. After he returned in 2002, he attended anti-war rallies and gave an informal talk on his experiences in the Middle East.  “I’d had this regular weekly column for four years by then,” he says. Read the full story

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A Little Bit of Karachi in El Cerrito

BY// SWETA VOHRA

Ordering his chai tea latte in the El Cerrito Barnes and Nobles, Nabeel Awan sports a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie as he checks text messages on his phone from his friends. On this rainy Saturday evening, Awan could be mistaken for any other typical American single 27-year old man relaxing on a weekend.

But the texts that he exchanges are not about the night’s parties, girls or the next NFL football game. Instead, Awan and his Pakistani friends are talking about the great non-American pastime. They are furiously commenting on the day’s heated cricket tournament played in Fremont. Awan, captain of his team, explains that their opponents had to forfeit because of late players but still forced Awan’s team to play a match.

Read the full story

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VIDEO: School Board Discusses School Closures

BY N’JERI EATON//

The West Contra Costa Unified School District met with the community Wednesday night to discuss school closures at DeJean Middle School in Richmond. Read the full story

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Copper Thieves & Laser Beams: Strange Event Connects Two Early Morning Crimes in El Cerrito

BY MATT DURNING //

Two men were arrested early Monday morning in El Cerrito when their unrelated crimes coincided in a bizarre set of circumstances allowing a third suspect to escape. Read the full story

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Gauchos Fall to Kennedy High 34-9 in First Round of Playoffs

BY FERNANDO GALLO//

The first year for Kenny Kahn as head coach at El Cerrito High was marked by comebacks: The Gauchos stormed back from an 0-3 start by winning six of their final seven regular season games, and came from behind in two of those wins with late touchdowns.  But the No. 8 Gauchos could not muster another rally on Friday night, losing to the No. 9 Titans of Kennedy High 34-9 in El Cerrito. With the loss, the Gauchos were eliminated from the NCS Division III playoffs.

Gaucho player Malcolm Carson watches the final minutes of El Cerrito's loss to Kennedy from the sidelines.

Gaucho player Malcolm Carson watches the final minutes of El Cerrito

“When you get to playoffs, you can’t play from behind,” Kahn said. “JFK of Fremont was able to show up and play with intensity, play with tenacity, play aggressively, where there were times where we looked timid.”

Read the full story

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PLANT NATIVES ON CERRITO CREEK with Friends of Five Creeks, 10 am – 1 pm

Meet at Creekside Park, south end of Santa Clara Ave., El Cerrito (south of Central Ave., between San Pablo Ave. and I-880; Internet maps 3499 Santa Clara Ave.; AC Transit 51L to Pacific East Mall, 3288 Pierce St., walk east along south edge of parking lot to park). Wear closed-toed shoes with good traction. We provide, tools, gloves, and snacks!

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Local Author – Dave Weinstein – To Speak

BY DANIEL MCGLYNN //

Author, historian and El Cerrito resident Dave Weinstein spent months of digging through piles of archived historical information – newspaper clippings from the turn of the last century, personal papers and images of what life used to be like in Berkeley – to create his recently released book, “It Came From Berkeley: How Berkeley Changed the World. Read the full story

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Local Non-Profit Reports Human Rights Observers Abducted

BY ALEXIA UNDERWOOD //

A non-profit organization working for Palestinian human rights with local headquarters in El Cerrito reported that three of its human rights observers were abducted early Tuesday morning by the Israeli Navy. Paul Larudee, a human rights activist with the northern California chapter of the International Solidarity Movement, said that one of the international observers was from San Jose. Read the full story

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VIDEO: Day Laborers Facing Economic Struggles

BY FERNANDO GALLO AND DANIEL MCGLYNN//

The economic downturn is having a devastating effect on companies and employees alike – news of layoffs comes almost daily. But at a local level, one group also dealing with the downturn is seldom mentioned: day laborers. These workers, the majority of which are undocumented Latinos, have little choice but to stand and wait for jobs that are never guaranteed. El Cerrito Focus visited the Home Depot parking lot on San Pablo Avenue twice recently to talk to laborers and find out how they are dealing with these tough times. Listen in on how they’re dealing with today’s economic crisis. Read the full story

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