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News you don't want to miss for June 26:

1. After seven hours of debate and acrimony between some councilmembers and city administration, the Oakland City Council approved a two-year budget early Tuesday morning, the East Bay Times reports.…
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Portrait of the Nobel Prize-winning author, ‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces That I Am,’ tells it like it is. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am is more than just an intimate documentary profile of the Nobel Prize-winning author. The film connects the literary dots in Morrison's nearly-50-year career as a remarkably perceptive voice for African-American freedom — but it's Morrison's penetrating, unwavering campaign to define her Blackness, in a social context as well as through her influential fictions, that places her in the forefront of this country's discussion of race.…
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Aya de Leon's "Justice Hustlers" series pairs crime with social activism. Berkeley writer Aya de Leon has more than a few authorial tricks up her sleeve. The director of UC Berkeley's Poetry for the People program, she has written a new novel set in post-Maria Puerto Rico.…
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How does a shy guy embrace his inner kinkster? I'm a single gay guy in my late 30s. I'm quite introverted and a bit shy, yet I have a big sexual drive and a rich libido.…
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Even though population trends lie at the very heart of our national politics, the topic is oddly absent from our contemporary conversations. Images of wildfires engulfing trees, often with fleeing residents cast in silhouette, have become one the most ubiquitous illustrations of how global warming is affecting the West, especially California. But in a recent analysis, fire ecologist Jon Keeley saw a remarkable pattern that he feels has been overlooked by media, activists, and politicians.…
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The private medical provider in Santa Rita Jail is reducing its staff despite serious concerns about the quality of its care. As Alameda County's jail system faces persistent allegations of poor medical care, the workers who provide its healthcare are facing layoffs following the recent closure of Oakland's Glenn Dyer Jail, according to a copy of an agreement between the jail's union and its medical provider. In a cost-cutting move, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office closed the Oakland jail on June 1.…
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Plus, council rejects server farm, and get ready for 341. Two Alameda councilmembers violated the city's charter by interfering in the city manager's duties to independently hire a new fire chief, the Alameda County civil grand jury concluded in a report released Monday. "The Grand Jury's investigation revealed a pattern of conduct by two councilmembers that, taken together, amounted to inappropriate interference in the fire chief hiring process and resulted in lasting damage to the city," the grand jury reported.…
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Inquiry convened in response to Ghost Ship fire reveals that Berkeley Fire Department is not living up to its inspection guidelines. An official audit has found that the Berkeley Fire Department is not completing required fire inspections of some city buildings and not following up on the inspections that it does perform to ensure that recommended safety improvements are being made. "When properties go uninspected and open violations remain unresolved by property owners, the City exposes the public to fire risks that could have devastating effects," the audit said.…
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It’s in the kababs, the stews, the desserts, and even the tea. Ever since I watched Samin Nosrat's Salt Fat Acid Heat, I've been on the lookout for tahdig, the crispy, golden brown layer that, with careful toasting in plenty of melted butter, forms at the bottom of a pot of parboiled rice. That crunchy layer is beloved in a lot of cultures, whether it's the nurungji at the bottom of a Korean stone pot of rice or the prized soccarat hiding in a pan of Spanish paella.…
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How the round of gunfire that almost took his life inspired the Oakland musician to rededicate himself to hip-hop. Although he'd been making music since his early teens, Oakland rapper Brookfield Duece was literally born in a hail of bullets. "After a seven-year break from music — after I got shot at — I felt like I'd been spending all this time doing something that I shouldn't be doing and I should focus on doing what I should be doing," he recalls.…
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