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This Week’s News from the Bay and Beyond

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We have locals kicking gentrification arse, the shakeup of a landmark publication, the best possible outcome in the Permit Patty situation and a president that just went balls-deep in diplomacy destruction. Let’s go.

Around the Bay

Hasta Muerte Puts Down Oakland Roots

The building Hasta Muerte Coffee leased from was put on the market a couple months ago, striking eviction fears. But the seven-member co-op announced Friday they had strung together a few loans, $50,000 in crowdfunding and some big help from the Oakland Community Land Trust to successfully buy the building at 2701 Fruitvale Ave for good. The OCLT will legally hold title for the building for a period of time and will later transfer ownership to the worker-owners. However, OCLT will maintain ownership of the land itself for 99 years to guarantee the property remains under market value and accessible to the people of Oakland. The muraled, nonprofit, coffee collective will continue to operate on the first story of the 4014-square foot building and two month-to-month, low-income apartments will split the upper floor.  

TGIF WE BOUGHT A BUILDING. after 45 or so days of fundraising, fundraisers, loan negotiations, generous donations of all kinds, bombarding you on social media, meetings, and meetings we are excited, anxious, nervous and *happy* to share that on july 11th the sale closed and was recorded at the county clerks office. we have collectively secured the cafe and 2 residential units at 2701 fruitvale ave. with @oakclt. THANK YOU. THIS COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT THE MANY COMMUNITIES THAT SUPPORT THIS PROJECT AND SPACE. never forget that you were & are a part of making this happen. when you talk about this years from now, tell your younger ones that you helped this happen with so many people near & far and that in one instance we were able to forge a little bit of the world we dream of. abrazos, hugs, high-fives, salud, NO BOSSES NO MASTERS we did it y’all. ✊??❤️

A post shared by Hasta Muerte Coffee (@hastamuertecoffee) on


ICYM: This is the same establishment that made news for refusing to serve uniformed police in what the East Bay Express reported was “an effort to keep the cafe a sanctuary space for people of color, low-income residents, and immigrants.”

Coup at the East Bay Express

Stephen Buel walked away from his job as publisher of the East Bay Express Saturday, after posting an apology Friday. He and his wife will look to sell the organization to someone who will uphold the tradition of one of the last-standing local, print alt-weeklies. The pressure mounted after a series of incidents involving Buel’s use of racial slurs during a meeting and arbitrary decision to take down three published stories, and things got worse in the comments section of the apology itself, where Buel was further accused of sexual assault. The editorial decisions and offensive language caused some employees to quit in protest, including Editor-in-chief Kathleen Richards. Richards has since agreed to stay on under Robert Gammon, a seasoned Express writer and editor who inherits the role as publisher.

Kathleen Richards and Robert Gammon, the “news” EIC and publisher team tasked with saving the East Bay Express. Photo courtesy of AAN

Both Gammon and Richards published statements with commitments to readers and path-forward sentiments, clearly efforts to re-establish credibility with writing and editing staff, readers and advertisers. They’ll need to succeed on all fronts in order to weather the storm of a sale. The Oakland-based alt-weekly has been in circulation since 1978. Wishing you all the best of luck over there…seriously.

Thanks #PermitPatty!

Who knew one bitchy woman calling the cops on an 8-year-old girl could do so much good? To recap, Alison Ettel became incensed when she walked by 8-year-old Jordan who had the nerve to sell $2 water bottles outside the Giants game, without a permit. The permit thing really pissed Ettel off, so severely she insisted on calling police to report the super scary case of a young, black, elementary school-aged entrepreneur.

It turned out Ettel was the CEO of a popular veterinary CBD product by the name of Treatwell Health, which was promptly removed from local dispensary shelves by compassionate professionals with a conscience. Ettel later stepped down as CEO of Treatwell and was removed from an upcoming documentary highlighting women in the cannabis industry. Cannabis culture has always been social, friendly and giving, which explains why Ettel’s actions didn’t sit well with dispensaries such as The Apothecarium, Magnolia Oakland, and Kind Culture. As reported right here, all three joined forces to throw Jordan a party and present her with approximately $8,000 in pledges toward a college fund.

Not only did Permit Patty get called out for being a petty and generally bad human being, but little Jordan is getting a kick start to her future…because cannabis. You can’t make this shit up.


Treason without tact

Oh, where to start? The impact of Trump’s little European tour will be felt for generations to come – it’s the stuff your grandchildren will read about in history textbooks. Here’s our simplified version of the whole mess.

How the U.S. destroyed diplomacy in six easy steps:

  1. Trump arrived late to just about every event during the NATO summit, demanded each country double their contributions and basically berated the alliance forged from the fire of WWII.
  2. Trump visited London where he made tense appearances with British Prime Minister Theresa May and declared the EU a trade “foe” in an interview with The Sun.
  3. The U.S. president ventured on to a tea date with Queen Elizabeth and basically made every faux pas possible. He made her wait, walked ahead of her and later leaked his version of some their private conversation to the press.
  4. After a weekend pit stop to play golf at one of his own courses in Scotland, he moved onto the last and “easiest” leg of his trip: Russia
  5. While buddying it up at the Kremlin, just days after the U.S. indicted 12 Russians in connection with the 2016 election meddling, Trump and Putin carried out a two-hour private conversation behind closed doors, without aides and advisors present. Nobody knows what was said or agreed upon between the two leaders.
  6. Trump and Putin really made a splash during the press conference following their private chat. Good news: we got a soccer ball. Bad news: Trump basically committed treason when he publicly sided with Putin and dismissed U.S. intelligence findings, on Russian soil.

Headlines following Trump-Putiin summit. Photo courtesy of Ad Age

Paul Ryan and the Woodchuck

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck…Paul Ryan’s car?  At an event in Washington D.C., the speaker of the House told the crowd that a family of rodents ate his Chevy Suburban and now “it’s just dead.” This story has absolutely zero relevance or importance, but come on, a family of woodchucks ate Ryan’s car – that’s just gold.  


I think France won some sort of game. Did you hear that?

World Cup winning French soccer team. Photo courtesy of USA Today

France took home the FIFA World Cup in the final match against Croatia Sunday: 4-2. Of course the French rejoiced, as did people from Africa, because as it turns out a good chunk of the team are from African immigrant families. That in no way diminishes their French-ness or national pride, but it does highlight benefits that come from diversity and immigration at a time when migrants are drawing heavy scrutiny and discrimination globally. I doubt the French will balk at the melanin variety when they’re shining up their pretty cup. Congrats.

Weird shit to do on your day off

Who doesn’t need a little rest and a laugh? How about doing both at the same time? You can have yourself a “Chillarious” time checking out a comedy show in Berkeley Friday night and the best part is that you can do so while lounging on some comfy, top-of-the-line mattresses. Admission to the event at Savvy Rest Natural Bedroom is free and you can even BYOB, but they ask that you hold back on the dark juice – red wine and new mattresses just don’t mix. So go bust out that cow onesie – you know you want to.

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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.

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