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Friday, November 11, 2011

Bukowski's Gone & Emeryville's Now "Legitimate"

After 24 Years, Post Bukowski Era Begins-
New Staid Council: Emeryville's Now Just Like Every Other City

News Feature
We're living now in an Emeryville that most people have never seen; an Emeryville without Ken Bukowski on the city council. Tuesday's referendum brought to an end the era of Bukowski; for better or worse, the most colorful elected official here in more than a generation.
The last time there was a Emeryville city council sans Bukowski, Long Playing albums reigned supreme, yuppies, mullets and Fabio were de rigueur.

As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder and we may yet mourn the days when one could see our council's dirty laundry splashed on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle or watch with amazement, a mayor run a council meeting eyes closed, head bobbing.  Gone are the days of didactic whispering disapproval at Emeryville's representative at regional government agencies.

Now it's post populist Emeryville; city council members will be neatly filed into left right and center niches with drama and unpredictability expunged from the public realm.  We're all grown up now and we're ready to be seen in public.  Emeryville's elected government joins the greater Bay Area elected governments, now all professional, clean and smelling good with not a spoiler to be seen.

As the era of Ken Bukowski recedes into history and joins another vanquished bygone Emeryville era, the notorious John LaCoste era, we're going to cease being embarrassed.  We're going to be just like the rest of them (alas, still more conservative than the neighbors though).
As our town grows beyond 10,000 residents, most are obviously pleased at these post Bukowski prospects but some too, may come to wax about the loss of populism coming as a consequence of the inevitable rise of professionalism in the council chambers at City Hall.  After more than 100 years of iconic characters on center stage here in Emeryville, we're just replaced Route 66 with Interstate 10.

The last time this was in anybody's mailbox, the Iran/Contra 
scandal was raging, Mikhail Gorbachev was General Secretary 
of the Soviet Union and gas cost .89 cents a gallon.


  1. Nice essay. Poignant and witty at the same time.

  2. US highway 66 was replaced by Interstate Highway 40, not 10.

    Another clear distortion of facts to ridicule gun owners?