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Daily news roundup for Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bert Johnson / East Bay Express
A Hole in Space (Oakland Redux) aims to connect Oakland neighbors across the city

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

Artists Create Two-Way Video Portal for Oaklanders to Meet Their Neighbors // East Bay Express

"Artist Ellen Sebastian Chang satirically suggested in an interview: 'Let's just kill and taxidermy all of the artists, people of color, and low-income people, and make the whole Bay Area into a diorama where people can come and feel safe.' She was commenting on a recent guided tour of Market Hall in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood and reflecting on the plethora of similar tours throughout the East Bay, where she has lived since 1970. 'I call it the Motel 6-ing of culture,' she said. At a Motel 6, no matter where you are, you'll never be surprised, because each location is exactly the same — and that's the intention.

"Chang had been in Rockridge with collaborator Maya Gurantz (who has also lived in Oakland for many years) to install a public art piece called A Hole in Space (Oakland Redux), which created a video chat-like portal between Cole Hardware on College Avenue in Rockridge and Youth Employment Partnership in East Oakland by projecting a screen onto the street-front windows of each and installing mics and speakers. Unlike the minds behind Motel 6, their intention was to intervene in the expected environments of each location by collapsing the distance between them."


Support group for homeless youth trying to find a home of its own // SFGate

"It’s hard to help the homeless when you’re homeless yourself.

"But that’s the frustrating situation the Homeless Youth Alliance has found itself in for the past year after its landlord did not renew the lease on its drop-in center at Haight and Cole streets.

"Mary Howe, director of the alliance, said she’s looked at 37 places in the Haight since losing her lease and has been rejected 37 times. It seems nobody in this booming city wants to rent coveted commercial space so street kids can have somewhere to shower, use a toilet, collect mail, get counseling and just rest."


Last of the old-time Italians in North Beach // SFGate

"A big black SUV drove up on Green Street in North Beach the other afternoon and stopped in front of Sotto Mare, a noted Italian restaurant. The car windows rolled down and two people inside peered out with expectant smiles on their faces, as if they were about to discover something.

"Gigi Fiorucci looked up from his table in front of the restaurant. He’s a fixture there at lunchtime; he used to own the joint. “ Buon giorno!” he called out jauntily. The people in the car, smiled and waved. The windows rolled up and the car drove off."


San Jose's pig-shooting season made permanent // San Jose Mercury News

"Pigs that continue to go hog wild ripping up prized lawns throughout San Jose will have to contend with not just mountain lions and other predatory animals but also humans who have been cleared to shoot and kill them.

"The San Jose City Council on Tuesday night voted 7-3 to establish a permanent law that allows licensed trappers to catch and shoot boars."


Bilingual SF police officers cannot always be found when needed  // SF Examiner

"When an elderly woman was fatally struck by a car in the heart of Chinatown in September, then-Supervisor David Chiu arrived to a disturbing scene.

"Not only had 78-year-old Pui Fong Yim Lee been killed by a hit-and-run driver, but police were having trouble gathering any information from witnesses because no officers spoke Cantonese, the language of most neighborhood residents...

"Nearly half of The City's households do not speak English at home."


Palo Alto: Supervisors put $8 million in pot to save mobile home park // San Jose Mercury News

"They're the clerks and cooks and janitors of an upscale enclave, a city that they could never afford to move to now, and they want to stay.

"On Tuesday, Santa Clara County officials gave the 400 residents of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park a reason for hope in the form of an $8 million pledge toward buying the valuable 4.5 acres on El Camino Real where they've long lived. It's just a start -- the property's value is estimated at between $25 million and $30 million -- but Supervisor Joe Simitian said he wanted to take the first step so that other groups interested in saving Silicon Valley low-income housing might follow...

"Tuesday's vote means that the county will set aside the funds, part of $11 million that Stanford University paid as a condition of its expansion 15 years ago. The criteria for using the funds include that it must be for affordable housing and within six miles of the university, conditions that Simitian said made this use a 'perfect fit.'"