Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glen Campbell Alzheimer's Disease, Memento, And You

Famed Country Music Singer Glen Campbell has Alzheimer's Disease, it was announced today. The sad news was communicated during an exclusive interview with People Magazine and with his wife Kim by his side.

Campbell told People Magazine that he wanted fans to be aware of his condition and that he plans a farewell tour around America.

What a sad bit of news, but here's praying for Mr Campbell. Even if you're not a fan of country music, at least give some of his works an ear, particularly my favorite "Rhinestone Cowboy."

And let's hope we find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.

On that note, Alzheimer's is more than just "memory loss," and People Magazine's webpage has a link to the 25 symptoms that go with it.

Just because you, or your parents, may forget something doesn't mean they have Alzheimer's. But if they forget the same thing several times a day, indicating no short-term memory, that's a sure sign of a problem of this magnitude.

One pop-culture representation of extreme memory loss was shown in Christopher Nolan's 2001 classic Memento. In that movie, Guy Pierce plays a man who's short term memory is non-existent. That does not stop him from trying to find the killer of his wife - a journey that leads him to one person. Himself.

Also, losing any idea of the correct time or place is another symptom.

If you see these problems start to develop with your loved ones, work to get help for them as soon as possible.

A Memory Question

In the video, I ask this question: do you remember being born?

I will explain the reason for this query later.

Stay tuned.

San Francisco News: Transbay Transit Center Meetings Today

This important San Francisco News update is about an today's Transbay Transit Center-related meetings. As you may know, the San Francisco Transbay Transit Center is currently under construction, replacing the demolished Transbay Terminal.

Part of the new development, with a 1000-foot skyscraper at its center, includes a giant, dramatic rooftop park. The park has always been a focus of discussion and debate, shown in my video, below, from the design competition:

On today, Wednesday, June 22nd there will be not one but two meetings on the design vision for the rooftop park. In this community meeting, you can meet the renowned landscape architects Peter Walker and Partners. The first of the two meetings was held at 12 noon, and the second will be at 6:30 PM this evening, and at the offices of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, at 201 Mission Street, in San Francisco, in Suite 2100.

And to RSVP to this event, please email Stephanie Reichin at

A reminder folks, that there will be a six-acre park, and have the overall design presented, is a done deal. The best time to issue objections was when my video was created. To get some idea of what the finished product will look like, take time to review this video, below, narrated by Peter Coyote:

Whatever your view, please attend this evening's meeting!

Oakland Broadway Shuttle To Run Until 1 AM Starting In July

Oakland Broadway Shuttle extends operating hours!

That's the Twitter tweet from @BroadwayShuttle I just saw, and was posted about 15 minutes ago. Here it is:

@BroadwayShuttle Broadway Shuttle
It's official! Broadway Shuttle will run Fri & Sat nights until 1am beginnning in early July. Stay tuned for more details.
19 minutes ago via web

This is GREAT news for Oaklanders, like this blogger, who have asked for a service like this for some time, if only to have a real inexpensive alternative to the car after a night out bar-hopping (I use the cabs).

Back in September 9th of 2009, I called for a late night shuttle service that would ideally ring around Lake Merritt. While the Broadway Shuttle doesn't do that - it stops at Webster and Grand Avenue, just two blocks from the Lake - at least the 1 AM time stop is a massive move in the right direction.

What would it take to extend it? Money.

I know the owners of The Lake Chalet would welcome such a move to extend the Broadway Shuttle around the Lake, and help pay for it in some way.

In fact, if we count merchant heads, of those businesses that may be interested in helping pay a percentage of their sales toward such a shuttle extension, we have The Lake Chalet, The Ruby Room (not far from the Chalet), Disco Violante, Baggy's Bar on East 18th, Room 389 on Grand, Round Table Pizza on Grand, Heart and Dagger and Kwik Way on Lake Park, Gold's Gym (which is open until midnight) The Grand Lake Theater (it's owner, Alan Michaan's got to want this), Lanesplitters Pizza, Easy Bar on Lakeshore, Colonial Donuts on Lakeshore (open all night), and The Alley on Grand Avenue, as well as Smitty's Bar, Kingman's Lounge, The Boot and Shoe Restaurant.

That's 17 establishments in total, and just paying for what realistically should be a weekend route extension, for Friday and Saturday. I don't know what that cost would be as of this writing, but what if each business contributed four percent of their monthly gross income to that shuttle service?

If that came to $600 per month per establishment, a low guess, that would be $10,200 per month, or $222,400 per year. That should be enough, perhaps more than needed, just to run a two-night route extension.

Indeed, looking at the original operating grant that called for $997,000 for a two-year shuttle program, it's more than doable.

Now What About The Lake Merritt Library?

Some Oaklanders reading this will be livid that part of the money could not go to save the local library, and they would be correct. So, why not have a program where any money raised over a ceiling of need would go directly to the operation of the library on El Embarcadero, next to the Lake.

Just throwing out some ideas, just showing what's possible to do.

Got off track, but the good news is the Broadway Shuttle hours are extended. That's a great first start!