downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Posts from — July 2008

Vote for name of Lake Merritt monster!

July 12, 2008

The Oakland Tribune is conducting an online poll to name the monster living in Lake Merritt. Over at A Better Oakland, V Smoothe points out out that the currently leading name, Merrittzilla, is terrible. She suggests Sammie. I suggest the reader vote in this poll!

Go to and scroll down a little bit – the poll is next to the Sports stories.

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New DeLauer's owners to change, close newsstand

July 10, 2008

After all the excitement downtown about DeLauer’s staying open, the Chronicle and Tribune report that it has been sold. The new owners are excited to receive government assistance, but their aim does not appear to be to maintain the business as a twenty-four-hour newsstand, according to the Trib.

The new owners said they intend to convert the newsstand at 1310 Broadway into a coffee cafe. “We’ll have Internet wireless, the whole thing.” (DeLauer’s clerk and new partner Fasil) Lemma said…┬áThe biggest change will be to end DeLauer’s 24-hour operation. “I used to work graveyard and downtown Oakland is very tough after midnight,” Lemma said. “We think that closing from midnight to 5 a.m. will reduce the crime problem.”

As I explained before, downtown residents disagree with the idea that closing DeLauer’s at night will “reduce the crime problem.” To the contrary, it would make crime much worse without a late-night presence near the all-night bus and taxi stands, and a BART station that operates until after 1am. So now the question is, why should city subsidies and community groups help DeLauer’s, at 13th and Broadway, become just another coffeeshop, when Peet’s, Tully’s and the Awaken Cafe are all within a block?