Here in Oakland, a lot of us like some crazy fun with our education, or some social value with our recreation. We can have it both ways here, and this week we do: readings of really interesting books filled with political and personal tension, fun public events at educational venues, serious classes, awesome storytelling, you name it. Enjoy!

Friday, November 8

“Biketopia” Celebration and Fundraiser
5:30 – 9:30 p.m.

420 14th Street

Named after the East Bay Bicycle Coalition’s vision of a vibrant, bike-friendly East Bay, Biketopia is the occasion to socialize with friends old and new around the theme of building a better place for bicycling in the East Bay. Ring in the new year a bit early with fellow members and energetic EBBC supporters as we revel in this year’s accomplishments and look forward to 2014. Between the new Bay Bridge bike path, the Bikes on BART pilot, new green bike lanes and miles of new bikeways throughout the East Bay, we have plenty of thanks to hand out. New Belgium will be pouring tasty brews, bike-friendly Kamdesh Afghan Restaurant on 14th Street will serve delicious food, and wine from Beaune Imports will be on hand. Plan to browse the impressive silent auction for holiday presents for that special someone, and come for great deals on some of your favorite East Bay businesses. For more information, visit www.ebbc.org/biketopia.

Peace ‘n’ Justice Walk: North Oakland
6 p.m.

Bethany Baptist Church parking lot, 5400 Adeline

Join Rev. Leggett of Bethany Baptist Church, Members of St. Columba Church, Phat Beets Produce, and the PLACE for Sustainable Living “Peace Partnership” for this monthly peace ‘n’ justice walk in North Oakland. We will be walking from Bethany Baptist Church to St. Columba Church (64th and Adeline) and we will return to Bethany Baptist Church via Alcatraz. RSVP here.

Oakland East Bay Symphony Opens 25th Season
8 p.m.

Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway

Top-of-the-charts Romanticism meets a contemporary fusion of symphony, electronic music and improvisation in a tour-de-force concert. Music Director Michael Morgan has programmed the kind of musical range, interest and innovation for the opening that dynamically demonstrates the orchestra’s long-established reputation for audience-captivating and imaginative music. The program celebrates Verdi and Wagner bicentennials, contemporary American composer Mason Bates and the debut of soprano Othalie Graham. For more information, visit www.oebs.org.

57th Street Gallery Presents Daria Nile and her Trio
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)

5701 Telegraph Avenue

Daria Nile is a jazz performer whose versatility frees her listeners and carries them to a place beyond the here and now. Born in New York, now hailing from Oakland, Nile has inspired thousands around the world, weaving African- and Latin-influenced sounds, singing soul, jazz, blues, samba, house, and world music at venues around the Bay Area and around the world. Musicians are Daria Nile, vocals; Spencer Allen, keyboards; Michael Jones, bass; and Ranzel Merritt, drums. Admission is $15. For more information and to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thstreetgallery.com.

Saturday, November 9

Three Corners Neighborhood Group Saturday Neighborhood Cleanup
9 – 10 a.m.

The corner of 66th and San Pablo

It’s the second Saturday of the month: time for a Saturday Neighborhood cleanup! Join neighbors to walk the block and pick up the trash that’s accumulated. Bring a pair of gloves and a trash bag and meet up. It’s a great way to meet neighbors and make things cleaner, too! For more information, click here.

Phat Beets’ Free Food ‘n’ Justice Workshop: “Greenwashing and Gentrification from Oakland to Palestine”
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

North Oakland Farmers’ Market, 942 Stanford Avenue

Join Phat Beets Produce for this world cafe-style workshop that explores how tree plantings in Oakland, Detroit, and Occupied Palestine function to displace low-income people of color and marginalized groups from their neighborhoods and land for the purposes of redevelopment and profit-making. We will explore the commonalities of the techniques and methods used by WOGI (West Oakland Greening Initiative), Hantz Farms in Detroit (largest proposed urban tree farm in the US), and the Jewish National Fund’s “Plant a Tree in Israel” campaign to understand how non-profit organizations, private companies and local governments use greenwashing as a tool for displacement and gentrification. For more information, visit http://www.phatbeetsproduce.org/events.

“Un-Earthed” Opening Event
11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard

The exhibits team delved into the Chabot basement and unearthed some unusual and mysterious objects. Join their journey of discovery during our grand unveiling. Become an investigator and use your senses to find out what’s inside our veiled mystery boxes. Discover new life forms like our resident alien, Klutron. Fact or Fiction? You decide! What will you discover when you dare to dig? For more information, click here.

Jack of All Trades Market
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Jack London Square, Broadway and Embarcadero

The Jack of All Trades Market features a curated mix of local makers, indie designers, antiquers, collectors, artists, start-ups and more brought together by the Treasure Island Flea. Locals and visitors are invited to shop the market for one-of-a-kind items, enjoy live music, and learn a trade at several free DIY workshops for all ages. For more information, visit www.jackofalltradesoakland.com.

OMCA Showcase Series: Days of the Dead
1 – 2:30 p.m.

Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street

This exciting new series features artists from the 19th Annual Days of the Dead exhibition, The Tree of Life and Death: Dias de los Muertos 2013, presenting their work in the brief and illuminating format known as a lightning talk. Artists will share examples of their work and discuss the fusion of Mesoamerican traditions with themes in the Gallery of California Natural Sciences including indigenous knowledge, empathy, habitat and species loss, and accountability for preventing such losses through conservation and action. The showcase lecture will be followed by a brief artist- and curator-led tour.

Self-Defense Workshop for Middle and High School Girls
1 – 4 p.m.

5680 San Pablo Avenue

Girls will learn tools they can use to defend their emotional and physical boundaries in everyday situations in this 3-hour free workshop (donations accepted). Verbal and physical strategies will be practiced so girls understand ways to assess potentially unsafe situations. Register at www.handtohandkajukenbo.com.

Reception for Santos Shelton’s “Big Things Have Small Beginnings”
6 – 9 p.m.

Betti Ono Gallery, 1427 Broadway

Betti Ono is pleased to present “Big Things Have Small Beginnings,” a new solo show by Oakland-based artist Santos Shelton. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition at Betti Ono after being featured in recent exhibitions, “Neu Folk Revival” at Le Que Vive Gallery and “Quadrants” at Faultline Art Space. For more information, visit bettiono.com.

Daniel Alarcon discusses and signs At Night We Walk in Circles
7 p.m.

Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue

Nelson’s life is a mess. He can’t seem to get his acting career off the ground. His girlfriend is sleeping with another man. His brother has left the country, abandoning Nelson to care for their widowed mother. But in a stroke of fortune, Nelson lands the starring role in a touring revival of The Idiot President, a play by Nelson’s hero, the legendary Henry Nunez, leader of the storied guerrilla theater troupe Diciembre. The tour takes Nelson out of the shelter of the city and across a landscape still bearing the scars of civil war. With each performance, he grows closer to his fellow actors, becoming hopelessly entangled in their complicated lives, until, during one memorable performance, a long-buried betrayal surfaces to force the troupe into chaos. Nelson’s fate is slowly revealed through the investigation of the narrator, a young man obsessed with Nelson’s story — and perhaps closer to it than he lets on. For more information, visit http://www.dieselbookstore.com.

“Un-Earthed” Cocktail Party
8 p.m.

Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard

There’s more to uncover! Help us lift the curtain on one of our newly unearthed exhibit components… literally! We need your help to add a helium-filled balloon onto our veil launcher to uncover the mystery object hidden beneath. Enjoy wine, music and stay for a live planetarium show. Click here for tickets.

57th Street Gallery Presents the Muziki Roberson Quartet
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)

5701 Telegraph Avenue

Muziki Roberson is a gifted, inspired jazz pianist and composer who for the last two decades has thrived in some of the most challenging and creative environments the Bay Area jazz scene has to offer. For years, he was the keyboardist for the brilliant jazz/funk/Latin/poetry group, Mingus Amungus, and for 12 years, Roberson was keyboard player and music director for the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Musicians are Muziki Roberson, piano; Mark “Heshima” Williams, bass; Dave Ellis, saxophone; and Peppe Merolla, drums. Admission is $15. For more information and to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thstreetgallery.com.

Sunday, November 10

Self-Defense Workshop for Women
2 – 5 p.m.

5680 San Pablo Avenue

Hand to Hand is offering a free (donations accepted) women’s self-defense workshop in which practical self-defense strategies through verbal, physical, and emotional exercises in a safe and supportive environment will be practiced. Register at www.handtohandkajukenbo.com.

Poetry Flash with Amber Flora Thomas and Sholeh Wolpé
3 p.m.

Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue

Amber Flora Thomas’s new book of poems is The Rabbits Could Sing. Her first book of poems is Eye of Water: Poems, which won the Cave Canem Prize. Among her other honors are the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize, the Richard Peterson Prize, and the Ann Stanford Prize. Sholeh Wolpé’s new book of poems is Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths. Her first book of poems is Rooftops of Tehran. Born in Iran and based in southern California, she is the editor of two recent anthologies, The Forbidden: Poems from Iran and Its Exiles, as well as Breaking the Jaws of Silence: Sixty American Poets Speak to the World. Her translations include Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad and a Persian edition of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, which she co-translated. For more information, visit http://www.dieselbookstore.com.

Monday, November 11

Veteran’s Day Cruise: A Salute to Veterans, Past and Present
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Presidential Yacht U.S.S. Potomac, 540 Water Street

Hop on board the Presidential Yacht U.S.S. Potomac for this special salute to all of America’s veterans on this narrated two-hour cruise on the San Francisco Bay. Enjoy intimate viewing of the U.S.S. Hornet, S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien and the U.S.S. Pampanito. For more information, visit www.usspotomac.org.

Oakland Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board Meeting
6 – 8 p.m.

Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

For additional information, call (510) 238-3941 or visit http://www.oaklandheritage.org. It is recommended to confirm the date and location at: www.oaklandnet.com.

Tuesday, November 12

Oakland City Council Committee Meetings
times listed below

Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

The City Council is the governing body of the City of Oakland, and consists of eight members who are elected directly by the citizens of Oakland: one representative from each of seven districts, and one at-large representative. The Council sets goals and priorities for the City, as well as approving the city budget, adopting ordinances to help the City serve its citizens, and appointing members to various boards and commissions. Most of the Committees of the City Council (such as these) usually meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month (although it is recommended to confirm the day and time, as this is subject to change). A downloadable agenda is available at http://clerkwebsvr1.oaklandnet.com/calendar. For more information, visit http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CityCouncil or call (510) 238-7370.

10:30 a.m. – noon: Public Works Committee

noon – 2 p.m.: Finance & Management Committee

2 – 4 p.m.: Community & Economic Development Committee

4 – 5:30 p.m.: Life Enrichment Committee

5:30 p.m.: Public Safety Committee

CORE I Class
6 – 8:30 p.m.

Cleveland Elementary School, 745 Cleveland Street

Oakland Fire Dept’s CORE (Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies) program is offering a free class on Home and Family Emergency Preparedness. If you have not taken the CORE I class or if it has been a while since you took it, please try to attend! It provides great information on how to be prepared before a disaster strikes and what to do during and after a disaster. To register, visit https://solar.oaklandnet.com/core.

F. M. Smith Park Advisory Council Meeting
6:30 – 8 p.m.

F. M. Smith Park, 1969 Park Boulevard

Have questions or want more information? Contact Lisa at lisamhire@yahoo.com or Center Director Lois Gomes at lgomes@oaklandnet.com, or visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/15X_NCPC/cal.

Wednesday, November 13

AC Transit Board of Directors Meetings
times listed below

Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, 1600 Franklin Street, 10th Floor

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District is the third-largest public bus system in California, serving 13 cities and adjacent unincorporated areas in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. AC Transit has been serving the East Bay since 1960, taking over from the Key System and its predecessors, which carried passengers via buses, horse-drawn rail, electric streetcars, and ferries over the previous 100 years. AC Transit’s mission is to provide safe, convenient, courteous, and reliable transit service. For more information, visit http://www2.actransit.org/main.wu.

3 p.m.: Operations Committee

3:30 p.m.: External Affairs

6 p.m.: Board of Directors

Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission Meeting
4:30 p.m.

Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Avenue

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission reports and makes recommendations to the Oakland City Council on Office of Parks and Recreation policies. It consists of 11 seats, appointed by the Mayor and Council to represent the citizens of Oakland. The public is welcome to attend the Commission’s monthly meetings, which are held on the second Wednesday of every month except for August. Please call the Director’s office at (510) 238-7532 to confirm meetings in case of cancellation or change of venue. For more information, visit http://www.oaklandnet.com/parks/news/prac.asp.

Oakland Board of Education General Meeting
5 – 9 p.m.

Paul Robeson Building, 1025 2nd Avenue, Board Room

The Governing Board, commonly called the Board of Education, is the elected policy-making body of the public education system within the City of Oakland. The Governing Board’s primary responsibility is to ensure that every student served by the District is well educated and demonstrates high academic achievement. For more information, visit http://bex.ousd.k12.ca.us.

Cecile Pineda Reads from Her Novel, Face
6 p.m.

Oakland Public Library, Main Branch, 125 14th Street

Face, Cecile Pineda’s debut novel, was met with glowing reviews when it was first published in 1985. That year, the novel was nominated for the American Book Award, and it is still considered a major literary achievement. Based on a true story, Face is a tale of catastrophe and redemption. The novel’s hero is a Brazilian man who recovers and ultimately triumphs after suffering an accident in which his face is horribly disfigured. Ms. Pineda was recently nominated for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. For more information, click here.

Manzanita 18Y NCPC Meeting
6:45 – 8:15 p.m.

Salvation Army, 2794 Garden Street

For more information, please contact NSC Edith Guillen at (510) 238-7159 or eguillen@oaklandnet.com.

Thursday, November 14

Local Clean Energy Alliance Meeting
Call for meeting time: (510) 834-0420

Central Historic Building, 436 14th Street

The LCEA has open meetings on the second Thursday of every month, featuring informative speakers on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and related efforts. For more information, and for meeting times, please visit http://www.localcleanenergy.org.

Oakland City Council Rules & Legislation Committee Meeting
10:45 a.m.

Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 1

The Rules and Legislation Committee usually meets at this time (although it is recommended to confirm the day and time, as this is subject to change). A downloadable agenda is available at http://clerkwebsvr1.oaklandnet.com/calendar. For more information, visit http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CityCouncil or call (510) 238-7370.

East Oakland Building Healthy Communities’ Neighbor Night
5 – 7 p.m.

Allen Temple Baptist Church, 8501 International Boulevard

East Oakland Building Healthy Communities invites East Oaklanders of all ages to attend Neighbor Night. Neighbor Night is an opportunity for residents to connect with one another through storytelling, dance and other activities designed to promote peaceful relationships and healthy lifestyles. Information will also be provided on how residents can get involved with East Oakland Building Healthy Communities’ health-related projects. Food, child care and Spanish translation provided. For more information, visit www.eobhc.com.

Temescal NCPC Meeting
7 – 8:30 p.m.

Faith Presbyterian Church, 49th and Webster

Everyone is welcome at the monthly Steering Committee meetings of the Temescal Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council. For more information, please visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TemescalNeighborhood or email temescalfamilies@yahoogroups.com.

Rockridge NCPC Meeting
7 – 9 p.m.

Rockridge Library, 5366 College Avenue

The Greater Rockridge Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council was officially established in April 2002 to respond to the newly-reorganized Community Policing Program of the City of Oakland Police Department. It combines beats 12Y and 13X under a single NCPC and operates under its own by-laws. Monthly steering committee meetings consist of officers, committee chairpersons and volunteers, a Neighborhood Services Coordinator (NSC) from OPD, and our Problem-Solving Officer (PSO): a specifically-designated OPD patrol officer. Any resident community member who wishes to attend regularly and participate in meetings is also welcome to join. For more information, visit http://www.rockridgencpc.com or email chair@rockridgencpc.com.

StorySlam: “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time”
7 – 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)

Sweet Bar Bakery, 2355 Broadway

StorySlam is a free open-mic event where people come to tell true 5-minute stories about their lives around a theme. There are always some laughs, some shared moments and fun. You never know what you’re going to hear. Come early if you want to sign up to tell a story. Prizes awarded for best two stories! For more information, visit www.facebook.com/storyslamoak.

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