Come Tuesday, you’ll have to think twice before picking up that cell phone in your car. California law will require a hands-free device for all phone calls. Hey, there’s still texting, right?

Also, let your little bro or sis know that they can’t even talk at all if they’re under 18. Taunting is permitted.

Drivers found in violation of the new law will find themselves smacked with a $20 fine ( which is actually more like $76 with all the fees figured in). Our question? Does this apply to cyclists as well and when will they ever start stopping at stop signs and red lights?

Image Source: Mike “Dakinewavamon” Kline under Creative Commons
Time to leave your phone alone while driving [SF Chron]


Image by Mr. Wright

In case you missed it, we’ve pulled together snaps of Pride weekend in a scrapbook, if you will. Next time you’ll know better than the sit on your duff at home. Above, some pinky dykes on bikes start us off on our queer journey.

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While this Clogger always enjoys the food and fireworks in Oakland’s Jack London Square, some might find other East Bay locations preferable for this year’s Most American Holiday.

Berkeley

This year, the city will start Marina celebrations at noon, which will include a city-sponsored fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. Other goodies to look forward to are a complete ban on fireworks, which probably includes snakes (we all saw that South Park episode) due to fire hazard, absolutely no alcohol and a 10 p.m. ending.

But on the bright side, there will also be arts-and-crafts as well as free sailboat and dragonboat rides. Whee!

Oakland

Here you will find such celebrations as the Patriotic Picnic and Stereopticon Ice Cream Social (how classy!), the Oakland Municipal Band will perform at Lakeside Park, and this Clogger’s favorite–the Jack London Square 4th of July Fireworks Festival.

Image Source: erikogan under Creative Commons
Grab your flag: July Fourth events slated all around Bay Area [Contra Costa Times]


It appears that Bay Areans (Areites? Areish?) might have pissed off the sky gods one time too many–I guess this is what we get for the end of the Spare the Air program’s free public transportation.

It’s no joke that the air this past week was chock-full of all sorts of nasty invisible (we hope) particles that limited visibility so much that the tops of the eastern hills were missing from a Campanile viewpoint.

Good news, though. It looks like whatever the mist was–be it from lightning-sparked fires, foggy water vapor, or good old car exhaust–will leave soon, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. You can come outside now.

Image Source: telethon under Creative Commons
Indoor activities, irritated eyes, asthma inhalers as smoke lingers in Bay Area [San Jose Mercury News]


The Clog managed to squeeze through the crowds and traffic at the Berkeley International Food Festival this Sunday for another great day of culture, demonstrations and … food.

We went in with an empty stomach and came out with significantly more than that–including knowledge of how to not cut yourself in the kitchen (Pro Tip: keep the blade away from the flesh).

A few of the events the Clog attempted to attend were the Capoeira demonstration (sadly, we missed it), a cooking exhibition by Kitchen on Fire chef/instructor Mike C (what does the C stand for, we wonder?), and a crowd so large and in tune with their Indian dancing that we had to spill into the street just to get across.

For more information on the annual festival, you can read its website.

Image Source: jaycross under Creative Commons
A Pentathlon of Summer Events [Daily Cal]
Berkeley International Food Festival [Website]


A few weeks ago, the Daily Cal reported that this year’s incoming students will be the largest group yet, but the post-apocalyptic classes will be damned if they don’t continue Cal’s 10-year tradition of breaking enrollment records. read more »


Do we see a light at the end of the tunnel … already? Could it be? Yes, yes it is. At least according to the dears at California Golden Blogs–writer oaktownmario, to be exact. On Friday, the university filed a response to the ruling, which he read in its entirety. He also determined that it “kicks ass.”

The Clog read through his summary, which could still be a little dense for the average reader who doesn’t really care all that much about the tree-sit. Nevertheless, it sounds like good stuff. The university basically modified their athletic center blueprints and could possibly start building fairly soon. This line of the filing in particular seems to emanate the sound of trumpets and choirs of golden angels: “This Court has now ruled that neither CEQA nor any other law prohibits the University from removing trees to make room for the [Student Athlete High Performance Center].”

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Right when we started to think the oak grove tree-sitters would be up there forever, one of the sitters’ addictions got the best of him. Thanks in part due to the lack of supplies being transported into the tree-sitters’ humble oak space, two squatters decided to come down on Wednesday.

One of the fallen treewoks is named Bradley Costello, who goes by Squirtle. He needed a cigarette–which he received upon his descent, along with some food. The other former tree-sitter, Matthew Marks, simply wanted to deliver stuff to tree-sit supporters.

Both were “arrested for trespassing and for violating a judge’s court order that makes it illegal to be in the trees,” according to the San Jose Mercury News, and now reside in Berkeley City Jail.

Two down, seven to go.

Image Source: Shamim Pakzad, Daily Cal
Two more Berkeley tree sitters come down [Mercury News]


The East Bay Express’s Best Of issue came out recently, and we wanted to show some Berkeley pride for all the wondrous food and services our crazy town has to offer. Also, we wanted to throw our own two bits into the mix. Figures.

Ecstatic seat-wiggling and tummy-grumbling awarded to:

* Best Salads: Chez Panisse
Salads with homemade mozzarella and golden beets! Can Intermezzo top that? We’ll answer that for you: no.

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If Boy George isn’t the greatest entertainer on the planet, then damn, we must be in another galaxy. Here’s a list of players and singers who’ll heat things up just as the summer fog rolls into the bay.

Friday, July 18

* Boy George, Grand Ballroom at the Regency Center in San Francisco, 9 p.m.
* Jimmy Eat World, Fillmore, 9 p.m.

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