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Bay News: Legends, rallies, scandals, infernos and rolling fish

Locals lost a legend this week, fires ripped through the Golden State, Pelosi takes aim the Navy and EPA, some rally may or may not be happening and we’ve some got ideas for your leisure time (fish and basketball anyone?). Let’s go…

Rally rollback and rules, just in case

It was supposed to be a jam-packed weekend of rallies, with things kicking off in Portland Saturday and wrapping up in Berkeley Sunday. Berkeley City Council and police were frantically preparing for yet another protest at Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park (a.k.a. Provo Park) on Sunday where it was expected that members of far-right organizations would face off against concerned citizens, activists and Antifa. However both the Proud Boys and the Patriot Prayer group have both backed out of the Aug. 5 Berkeley event. Unfortunately, the event scheduled in Portland for Saturday is still on and may be edging toward more even more violence than has been recently seen.

Following the death of 18-year-old Nia Wilson in Oakland July 22 and tension that followed, representatives of the Proud Boys and Joey Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer, have made public statements denouncing Berkeley’s rally. It seems they were worried it would framed as “some kind of Nazi riot” or as resistance to the mourning of Nia Wilson. Gibson told the Williamette Week that cancellation was partly due some unwanted guests, as he’d become aware that American Guard, a white supremacist group “founded by a known Klansman,” had been invited. City council met Tuesday to set rules for the protest, which allow for the use of face masks but prohibit any items that could be used as weapons. It is still expected that people will show up, from both sides of the ideological argument, although it will be absent the more public faces of past events.

The event scheduled for Saturday in Portland is one to watch, as the location has been moved to a city waterfront that allows for open carry and guarantees that some will be armed.

Scandal at Hunters Point Shipyard

Nancy Pelosi is demanding a broadening of the investigation into falsified environmental cleanup results at Hunters Point Shipyard. The Department of the Navy and the Environmental Protection Agency may share some of the spotlight with the scrutinized contractor Tetra Tech EM, Inc. as the focus widens under a federal probe, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle. The probe could look as far back to the 1990s to identify decision-making and responsibility for work performed at the shipyard, and if they look closely enough, they may find these issues extend to other Navy bases as well. But that’s just my hunch.

Photo courtesy of Indybay

Made in Berkeley: Ron Dellums

Ron Dellums began his political career on the Berkeley City Council in 1967 and went on to serve his East Bay community in Congress. He was always a fighter, originally a civil rights and anti-war activist, Dellums was drawn to the world of policy amid tumult and sought to heal the country’s problems with legislation. However, the activist in him was never far beneath the surface, earning him the title of an “out-and-out radical” by former Vice President Spiro Agnew, as Berkeleyside reports. In his older age, he would return to the streets and stand in solidarity with the people. He was a young man when he graduated from University of California, Berkeley as a social worker, but the work itself was a lifetime of dedication until the end. Dellums died Monday at the age of 82 as an inspiration to many and as a legend to all locals. Rest in Power, Ron.

Too. Much. Fire.

Fires are ripping through the state of California at an alarming and highly destructive rate. Northern California alone has been pummeled with nonstop blazes and smoke over the past week as the larger Carr, Ferguson and Mendocino Complex fires have raged out of control. We calculated that by Monday, over 230,000 acres had been destroyed in nine active fires above the Fresno line. At least five lives, civilian and first responder, have been lost in the process. At the time, another eight fires were active in Southern California as well. The Carr Fire in Shasta County has drawn support and resources from at least 16 other states as the inferno continues to grow, now claiming over 121,000 acres and at least 1,000 homes, in what Vox is calling the “seventh most destructive fire in state history.” That blaze is still only 35 percent contained and has caused mass evacuations in the area.

Carr Fire. Photo courtesy of ABC 7 News

Our thoughts and support pour out to the first responders, displaced residents and those that have already lost their lives to tires tormenting the Golden State. And for those of you in surrounding areas, keep an eye on the air quality and take precautions if you’re subject to respiratory problems.

National Rapid Roundup

Hip hip, hooray for the judge that put the smack down on administering psychotropic drugs to migrant children without consent! Paul Manafort is speeding through the rocket docket in defense of tax evasion and fraud charges, while his buddy in the Oval Office takes to Twitter to libel the Special Counsel and commit obstruction of justice in the broad and unforgetting daylight of social media. Facebook publicly announced the removal of accounts identified as part of a probably Russian attempt to sow discord prior to the midterm elections.

Weird shit to do on your day off

Thursday: There will be a large, rolling aquarium parked at Dimon Park in Oakland until 3 p.m. Thursday. The 26-foot fish tank will be on display at the basketball court for all to come and peek at for free.

Friday: Kick off Oakland’s First Friday festivities with a little bump-n-grind at the Stork Club at 6 p.m.. The free burlesque show features “dancing girls, sometimes a creepy little puppet show from Shadow Circus Creature Theater and strange guest performances,” according to SF Fun Cheap.

All weekend: Bank of America customers finally get something back from the big bank this weekend with free museum admission to four museums in San Francisco and Oakland. Get details here and then go get your culture on.

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Happy Fogust, folks! Have a better week!

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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.