If You Hella Love Oakland, You'll Hella Love 'Black Panther'

7 min
Oakland's Grand Lake Theater is currently showing the new Black Panther movie. Those who saw it on opening night on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2017, got a surprise appearance by director and Oakland native Ryan Coogler. (Barbara Lilie)

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It's been a week: plenty of Olympic excitement in South Korea, more inaction from Congress on immigration and another horrific school shooting.

So what else happened?

1. The new 'Black Panther' movie has all the Oakland feels

I saw 'Black Panther' on Thursday night in Redwood City, and I'm more than a little jealous of the folks who saw it across the bay at Oakland's Grand Lake Theater who got a surprise appearance by director and Oakland native Ryan Coogler.

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I was already hyped for 'Black Panther,' but I got even more jazzed after hearing this amazing piece from KQED's Sandhya Dirks about the connection between the Black Panther superhero and the Black Panther Party, which was founded in Oakland just months after the first Black Panther comic came out.

I am not an Oakland native or resident, but I definitely felt a well of pride and emotion when the film's first scene opened on the streets of Oakland.

2. Your country needs YOU... to go to the Olympics

United States Bobsled team member Nick Cunningham, of Monterey.
United States Bobsled team member Nick Cunningham, of Monterey. (Marianna Massey/Getty Images)

How many of us have told ourselves we need to push ourselves out of our comfort zones? How many of us actually do it?

Nick Cunningham did it. The Monterey native always wanted to go to the Olympics, so when he graduated college, he decided to try out for the U.S. bobsled team.

“I figured it would be a graduation gift for myself to kind of do something outside the box, outside my comfort zone. Just try something none of my friends could ever say that they tried out for and so I went and tried out. And 18 months later, I went to my first Olympics,” said Cunningham.

Now he's in the U.S. Army as part of the World Class Athlete Program, which literally pays elite soldier-athletes to train for the Olympics. Not a bad gig.

3. Tips from the police and a pro: How to protect your car from a break-in

A car parked in the Temescal Neighborhood of Oakland, Calif. with a sign asking for a car thief to return a sweater.
A car parked in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, Calif. with a sign asking for a car thief to return a dog sweater. (Sarah Craig/KQED)

This week's Bay Curious podcast dives into the car break-in epidemic that is gripping San Francisco. Car break-ins in the city are up about 300 percent since 2010.

What I loved about this story is we get to see both sides of the coin: reporter Sarah Craig goes on a ride-along with an undercover cop on patrol for car break-ins, and she talks to a 30-year veteran car burglar who gives her tips on how to avoid coming back to a broken window with all your stuff gone.

4. Apparently there's a new candidate for governor?

Amanda Renteria discusses her campaign for Congress with 23 ABC News in May 2014. (23 ABC News via YouTube)

I instinctively thought it was weird when I saw that Amanda Renteria, a former top Hillary Clinton aide, had filed to run for governor this week. But it only became more strange when I read this piece from KQED's politics maestro Scott Shafer.

  • Renteria ditched her current boss, California Attorney General Xavier Becerrea, to run for the job above him.
  • She had no video announcement or big event to get attention for her candidacy.
  • The state Democratic convention is literally next week, and she won't have a spot there because she filed so late.
  • Four months out from the June primary, she's got no money, little to no name recognition with voters, no endorsements and no clear path to victory.

Politics is a strange world.

5. Want your city to have a balanced budget? Why don't you do it?

A screen shot from a website set up by San Jose using the Balancing Act program to allow residents to try and balance the city's budget. There is also a mechanism for residents to provide input to the city on how they want city funds spent.
A screen shot from a website set up by San Jose using the Balancing Act program to allow residents to try and balance the city's budget. There is also a mechanism for residents to provide input to the city on how they want city funds spent. (Balancing Act)

I am terrible at sticking to budgets. Every few months, I sit down and make a list of all my expenses and tell myself I'm going to keep track of what I spend. And then I don't.

So I was doomed to fail when I tried San Jose's new budgeting website where residents (and bored journalists) can try their hand at balancing the budget of the Bay Area's largest city. Spoiler: it's really freaking hard.

But I think it's a fascinating tool for both understanding the difficult decisions city leaders have to make to balance their budgets and for residents to be able to tell city leaders how they want the city's money spent.

Before you go... 

Fifty years ago, students at what is now San Francisco State University staged a 115-day campus strike that led to the creation of San Francisco State’s College of Ethnic Studies and sparked a nationwide movement to increase minority access and representation on college campuses.

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