Sara Ost

Fur, Last and Deposit: Appeals judge issues decision in controversial pet rent case

In a landmark lawsuit that has gripped the region and pitted the pet-haves against the pet-have-nots, U.S. circuit Judge Pete S. Cockburn decided in favor of the defendant, child social worker and homeless volunteer Mia Cordero, 31, bringing to a close a lengthy Bernal Heights renter-landlord dispute. The case, which has played out breathlessly in worldwide media coverage since March 2020, centered on whether or not the landlord, a t-shirt entrepreneur, aspiring rapper and Jamaican food truck company chief executive who self-styles as Trés but whose legal name is Joey Chad Ryan Jr., had the legal right to charge Cordero’s pets rent, and to subsequently attempt to evict them for failure to pay their pet rent. The matter, which appeared at first blush as a simple misunderstanding between a l...

Does a Bird Not Tweet? An interview with Katie Jo Goldin, the creator of the wildly popular parody Twitter account, ProBirdRights.

Pass the Dortitos ann stay IN UR LANE, human!! Or so might go a typical avian remonstration from the internet’s most insanely addictive Twitter parody account, @probirdrights. ProBirdRights feathers its digital nest with a disarmingly straightforward profile description: “Hello yes this is a bird i am a birdsrightsactivist and I fight against antibird sentiment.” That’s true of the wildly inventive, brutally astute European robin known as Bird. (Bird often self-styles as Birb, in keeping with its ungrammatical—and also somehow perfect—Birdglish.) It’s also only part of the story. A day in the life of Bird according to Bird may involve everything from the usual—getting stuck yet again inside a “Dortitos” chip bag or a menace vending machine; bestowing excremental blessings on cars; you know...

The Story of Plastic: The evolution of an eco pirate on capitalism’s amoral seas

  Activist and filmmaker Stiv Wilson isn’t fighting to end plastic pollution. He’s fighting to end a system dependent on plastic. Can decades of work and a noteworthy cache of film awards make a drop of difference in an ocean of disposable everything? A Ticket to the Show. If you’ve ever been to the sagging Skates on the Bay restaurant in Berkeley, you know it’s a writer’s dream of a watering hole: A classic cocktail joint (of types both liquid and crustacean) on the waterfront, where the prices are Chicago-steakhouse comical, the service is more nostalgic than competent and the hipsters are in mercifully short supply. A few pebble skips away is the Berkeley Yacht Club and its members-only honor bar, reliably populated with colorful old salts downing rum drinks long after the barkeep ...