Archive for September, 2012

A number of groups marked the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street on Sept. 17, 2012 in San Francisco. Hundreds came out for a rally, march, symbolic debt burning and dinner. Here’s a video I made of the event.

Additionally, here are a number of events I covered over the past year. The day after I was laid off was the Nov. 2 Port of Oakland shutdown organized by the emerging Occupy Oakland, and instead of sitting around bummed I went out to be a reporter no matter who paid me. Later I got hired for awhile by the Communication Workers of America-The Newspaper Guild on a special assignment around the movement where I mostly wrote and took photos. So in the spirit of 1980s sitcom flashback episodes, and an excuse to compile these since I didn’t have a blog back then, enjoy these recycled stories. We can say it’s sustainable or something. Additionally, you can click on the photos on this blog and see more photos through my flickr account.

UPDATE-Some of these links no longer work. I left the headlines up so I could remember being there. If the original copy comes up I’ll find a way to post it.

May Area May Day Protest Action Marred by Pockets of Non-Occupy Violence 

April 26 SF takes to the streets, and inside Wells Fargo

April Fighters Occupy Wells Fargo Shareholders Meeting

April Kick Off 99% Spring Training Sessions

April Church Authorizes Police Eviction of OccupySF

April Occupies Vacant Building Owned by Catholic Church

March Oakland to Host Saturday Neighborhood Barbeques

March 21-Occupy fighters in San Francisco may be getting help from the city for their cause

March Mayor Welcomes Occupy, Education Marchers

March Education March at Richmond

March Education Marching to Sacramento

March Protests Boiling Over as Marchers Head to Sacramento


Job Fair Experience

Posted: September 17, 2012 in Living job fair by eric.louie job fair, a photo by eric.louie on Flickr.

By Eric Louie

SAN FRANCISCO-“We’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel here.”

I was in downtown San Francisco’s historic Hotel Whitcomb for a Wednesday afternoon job fair when a 28-year-old paralegal made the comment to start a conversation. It was a valid point, after 30 minutes I had seen everything I needed to see. There wasn’t anything wrong with those who showed up to the event, held by It was that there was only about a dozen booths, which after taking away jobs you’re not qualified or interested in, can be disappointing.

I take these general recruiting job fairs for what they’re worth; some experience interviewing, seeing jobs I might not have considered and the chance something comes up. I combined it with other trips including going from San Leandro to Saratoga for a catering job the night before, visiting family in San Francisco and picking up a power cord for a TV that a friend gave me earlier in the week. I like the personal interaction of job fairs, and though a general event can be hit or miss, not working means having nothing to lose. Once I even snuck into a room for gourmet sandwiches provided to the recruiters, and ended up talking to one I had met during the fair. It shows initiative. Additionally, having recently received my first unemployment insurance benefit extension, I have a quota of three job searches a week, and figured this would be good in case nothing else came up.

Walking in I told the greeter I’ve been mostly a newspaper reporter, and after thinking a second she said television station ABC7 might have openings. They didn’t have a booth, but sponsored the event.

The lines were short, just a couple deep if any. The longest was a few dozen waiting for a resume review. Booths included a beauty school, a phone book company and mattresses sales. There was also BART police, the Financial Information System for California (an effort by the state known as the FI$Cal Project to change the way finances are handled) and the National Guard. It turns out I’m too old for the guard, as they’ll only take you between 17 and 35. The recruiter said they used to allow older, but not anymore. Others were only looking for people with sales or information technology backgrounds. I did hear about an upcoming marketing writing job.

The paralegal guy pointed out you could also do better finding openings on craigslist, and the police department is not going to hire someone on the spot. There’s tests to take. It made me think about how there’s other ways to learn about the military, like when a Navy recruiter found me walking home from summer school. He later drove me to the recruiting station where I took a test that said I was apparently officer material. But with main selling points being overseas prostitution and retiring in 20 years, which sounded like an eternity to a 17-year-old, I was even more uninterested.

Just like going to the job fair, however, it was an experience I learned from. The paralegal guy told me about juggling various attorney duties and personalities, to the seasonal nature where it’s important for temps to get in before a lull during the holidays. As many times as I’d been in a courtroom news reporting on some criminal or civil case, I never thought about the hoops those behind the scenes jump through. I also learned the Hotel Whitcomb, on Market Street near Civic Center, was temporarily City Hall from 1912 to 1915 following the 1906 earthquake, according to its Web site. Interesting stuff.

Beef stroganoff by eric.louie
Beef stroganoff, a photo by eric.louie on Flickr.

Beef stroganoff over rice

My mom would often make a hamburger stroganoff when I was young. When I asked her about it recently, she thinks it came from a fundraising cookbook from the Square and Circle Club, a longstanding Chinese American women’s service organization started in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

The group was started in 1924 by seven girls, with the initial project to help flood and famine in China, according to its Web site. They have helped provide a van to get seniors to daycare, and raised money for youth and battered women. They also work to integrate immigrants to American life such as programs learning about government. Their name comes from Chinese coins, which are round with a square hole in the middle, with their motto being “In deeds be square, in knowledge be all-round,” according to a San Francisco Chronicle article I found.

My mom said one of the draws to the recipe was its ease after a workday. It can be made in about the time it takes to make rice. If vegetarian you can use lentils, which after a short time using ground turkey, my family now uses to be healthier. I guess that makes this a throwback recipe, though mine is a little different in that it uses beef slices instead of ground.


  • Beef, any inexpensive cut is fine
  • A couple onions
  • Several white mushrooms
  • One can cream of mushroom
  • A cup of plain yogurt
  • Salt
  • Black pepper



  • Start cooking your rice and turn on your pan.
  • Cut onions and put them in.
  • Cut beef and put that in.
  • Cut mushrooms and put them in.
  • Wait a minute for a natural liquid to form, cover it.
  • Put in ground black pepper.
  • Put in cream of mushroom.
  • Put in yogurt. It should all be getting thicker.
  • Put in some salt.
  • Serve when everything is ready.