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This Week’s News: Pulitzers, Weed, and Snow…in Oakland

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This week is all about the cool, the cunning and the cannabis. We’re diverging from the national news update in order to leave your stomach in tact for California’s first legal 420. You can thank me later.

Trees here, trees there, trees everywhere

In case you live under a rock, we’re here to inform you that Friday is indeed 420 and for those ready to wake and bake, and then bake and maybe bake some more, San Francisco is ready to host the red-eyed masses.

ABC 7 reports that organizers are expecting record numbers of attendees and sales at the Golden Gate Park Hippie Hill (a.k.a. Robin Williams Meadow) celebration. That should come as no surprise as this is the first year it’s actually legal to smoke (eat, vape, rub, whatever) recreationally. Merchants have the city down $200,000 to help pay for necessities like port-a-potties, security and cleanup. If you’re over 18 (sorry, kiddos), you can check out the official site for details on how to get there and how to act.

2017 Hippie Hill 420 celebration. Photo courtesy of SF Gate

Although the East Bay is lacking in sanctioned celebration spots, retailers and dispensaries are taking up the slack at places like Harborside and Magnolia. After you’ve procured your stock, hit up one of the many 420-themed show offerings like Next Level Friday, featuring Staqweed, Jah Mikey One and Big Ganja Bizness. Tickets are still available at Eventbrite.

After you blow trees Friday, get your lazy ass up and plant some Saturday, which is Earth Day. Every city imaginable is sponsoring events but if you feel like the rogue route, go ahead and make yourself useful any way you can – pick up some garbage, clean up a creek, plant a garden for kids – the possibilities are endless. But if you do nothing else, just don’t leave the planet worse than you found it. Capiche?

DAMN…that Pulitzer looks good on Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar, arguably one of the most prolific voices in recent years, just won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. His 2017 release of DAMN. stirred up a lot of response and resonance, and apparently the prize board was paying attention. As Billboard reports, Lamar’s “raw and powerful” album is not only the first hip-hop contribution to be selected, it’s also the first non-classical or non-jazz prize winner, ever. As the board put it, the “virtuosic song collection” captures “the modern African American life.”

Kendrick Lamar, 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner. Photo courtesy of Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Clara Lionel Foundation

All Hail Oakland

Monday brought an unusual sight to the streets of Oakland: snow, in April. Well, not exactly snow, but enough hail to coat the streets and cause mass problems for commuters in vehicles and on foot. Students at Skyline High School declared their own ‘Hail Day’ when they tired of slipping as they attempted to walk to campus, according to ABC7 News. What was treacherous for some spelled pure joy for others, especially for those quick enough to grab cardboard and sled the temporarily icy slopes.

Sledding in Oakland. Photo courtesy of @mediagrunt via Twitter

Kudos to that kid!

Winning Warriors, even without Curry

The Golden State Warriors won the first two games against the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of playoffs on Saturday (113-92) and Monday (116-101). Winning Thursday night’s Game 3 could give the Dubs momentum to sweep the series and build confidence for Round 2. Although Steph Curry, coined “Most Valuable Pepster” by the San Francisco Chronicle, is still out on the sidelines with an injury, he found his way back to courtside in Game 2, where his child-like antics really shine. He may not be out shooting 3’s for a few more weeks, but we’ll take him as the cheerleader until then. As Steve Kerr says, “He just makes everybody happy.” True that.

Golden State Warriors. Happy is as happy does. Photo courtesy of USA Today

Catch them play (and playing around) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Berkeleyside got game

It’s impressive when any news outlet survives the changing media landscape, but it’s even more dope when it’s a local publisher with acute focus on a city that really matters to us. Since its inception in 2009, Berkeleyside has been killing it with relentless award-winning journalism in the traditional vein. That’s right, real beat news that keeps its community informed. And it’s working! The community has answered back with incredible appreciation and support. The hard working folks over there reported April 12 that they received $1 million from 355 readers, “making it the first news site in the country to do a successful Direct Public Offering”. Their success brings a little more hope to an industry struggling with paywall concepts and lagging advertising revenue. Their DPO model may be the wave of the future, if other outlets are willing to grind the way they do.


We’ll catch up on national news, of which there is plenty, next week. Figured we could all use a little break from the bullshit. Have a safe and happy holiday!!

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.