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Nursery rhymes from outer space (Community Voices)

 Last week, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti broke the world record for the most time a woman spent in space on a single mission: 200 days. From her post on the International Space Station she...
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Recap of Fairyland’s gala last week (Community Voices)

We’ve come to expect the unexpected at Children’s Fairyland. Still, a whole new standard was set last week on the night of our annual fundraising extravaganza. We expected more than 400 people at our...
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SeaWorld animals visit the state capitol (Community Voices)

Peter and Penny Penguin flew from San Diego to Sacramento last week. For real. On Southwest Airlines. Their boarding passes listed their names. Each had an assigned seat. And the pilot allowed them to walk the...
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Fairyland thanks LMBC on its birthday (Community Voices)

The Lake Merritt Breakfast Club was created “to promote activities and call attention to Lake Merritt.” (The members admitted that in going by the lake every day, they had lost their awareness of its...
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Chalk artists perform at Fairyland this weekend (Community Voices)

I met the delightful Chalk Twins a couple of years ago at a convention in Orlando, and I vowed I’d figure out a way to get them to Oakland and to Children’s Fairyland. It took a while, but as I write this,...
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Alameda’s “Smithsonian of Pinball” (Community Voices)

It could be argued that the modern pinball industry was launched in California in 1929, when a young Stanford engineering graduate named Harry Williams became one of the industry’s first game designers. To...
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22 young professionals hack and help the hood (Community Voices)

Last week a graduation ceremony here in Oakland celebrated the accomplishments of 22 young people from low-income backgrounds. All 22 had completed Hack the Hood’s six-week boot-camp program in computer...
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Michael Chabon’s mysterious 8-year wait (hint: novel involved) (Community Voices)

I really didn’t want to hear this from someone I’d just met: “I spent $500 on an impulse buy at Children’s Fairyland’s live auction years ago, and I don’t know if I ever received what I...
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Fairyland attends Greenleaf’s career day (Community Voices)

Had I known the guy from the SPCA was going to bring a dog, I would have brought an alpaca. Career day at Greenleaf School career days are often the subject of SNL skits and commercials: adults trying...
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Fairyland fundraiser this Friday (Community Voices)

Bryan Parker wasn’t successful in his recent bid to become mayor of Oakland, but he was the popular favorite at a “Candidates and Cocktails” celebrity bartending event last year. “He was definitely...