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Venture to the East Bay: Trader Joe's, Smug Storm Approaching

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[Battening down the hatches at Trader Joe's; Image courtesy Oakland Tribune]

Friday field trip! Intrepid readers, why don't we venture across the bridge for a moment? We haven't checked in with the East Bay in a good, long while. . .

1) Rockridge & Lakeshore— We're always slightly puzzled by the public hoopla that accompanies the opening of new grocery stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. Rockridge/ Lakeshore residents now have another place to tie up and abandon their Golden Retrievers and Collies: Two Trader Joe's outposts opens today with a barrage of free samples and stickers for the kids— in other words, the same schmorgasboard they lay out everyday. [Oakland Tribune]

2) Oakland— Oakland's Blue Ribbon Commission, the committee that has been "studying" Affordable housing issues for months (happy code name for Section 8), is at a standstill. Why? They're waiting for a weigh in from Mayor Ron Dellums, whose proposal is set to drop down sometime in November. Why? Multiple reasons likely, one of which may be that Dullums doesn't check email. At all. "I am not a technological expert," Dellums said. "That whole thing passed my generation, I want you to know." Confidence: not boosted. [Oakland Tribune]

3) Berkeley— Solar power! Berkeley residents will be the nation's first to receive financial backing from the city in order to go green. Funded by a low-interest loan that must be paid back within 20 years (financial aid all over again!) homeowners may install solar heating in their homes using a city-approved contractor. The measure, to be voted on by city council on November 6th, will place Berkeley one step closer to achieving even greater moral superiority the mandates of Measure G, which demands that the city slash its greenhouse emissions by 80% before 2050 (should global warming fail to take us all out by then, that is).