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North Oakland, a semester in pictures

on December 29, 2009

UC Berkeley unleashed 18 reporters on North Oakland back in late August. The pictures below come from some of the stories they found in the last four months.

You can read the full articles by following the links below:

20 years after quake, how green is the bridge retrofit?
Midway through the Bay Bridge retrofit, what are the environmental consequences of a major construction project in the middle of the bay? Story by Shannon Service.

Slain student, a taunted outsider, was fighting hard to grow up
17-year old Desiree Davis had spent her childhood excluded and taunted for never quite fitting in. “They gave her a real hard time her whole life,” said her mother, Dru Ann Davis, in an interview at her home this weekend. A Hurricane Katrina survivor, born blind in one eye, Desiree was working to find new strength and identity in Oakland before she was killed in a drive-by shooting. Story by S. Howard Bransford.

Jean Quan embraces “underdog” status in mayor’s race: “I’m not intimidated”
Jean Quan will be the first to admit she is not expected to win next year’s Oakland mayor’s race. But she’s also the first to say her chances are better than a lot of people think. “I have, in every race I’ve run in, been outspent and have been the underdog.” Story by Lauren Callahan.

It’s (still) Hammertime at the Fox Theatre
Oakland native Stanley Kirk Burrell, a.k.a. MC Hammer, but now preferring simply Hammer, brought his dance and rap show to the recently reopened Fox Theatre in downtown Oakland Friday night. The scene on the street outside was atwitter with Hammer talk. Oakland North posed this question to the Hammer faithful: What makes the rapper so great? Story by Richard Parks.

“What is justice?” Inside a death penalty trial
In 2001, Christopher Evans murdered two people at 85th Avenue and International Boulevard in East Oakland, setting him up for either the death penalty or a sentence of life without parole. This week, a jury of his peers would return a verdict on his fate. A look at what they considered and what they decided. Story by Sam Laird.

Mehserle trial goes to Los Angeles, judge rules
An Alameda County judge ruled that the murder trial of Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer charged in the January 1 shooting of Oscar Grant, will take place in Los Angeles. Story by Jake Schonecker.

Roller Derby in Oakland is only for the rough and tough
Some families hand down dishware and handmade quilts. Other families hand down aliases, casino luck, and hip-smashing, hard-hitting, skirt-rocking roller sports. Jane Hammer’s family falls into the second category. Hammer is team captain and coach for The Oakland Outlaws roller derby team – a group of women athletes who represent, “tenacity, fire, and drive.” Story by Shannon Service.

Amid century of change, Oakland’s Buddhist Church serves as point of continuity for Japanese-Americans
The Buddhist Church of Oakland is one of the last remaining physical reminders of the Japanese-American community that thrived in Oakland’s Chinatown before World War II. Story by Jun Stinson.

Council bows to protests, rolls back parking hours
Amid calls for civility and compromise, members of the Oakland City Council apologized last night for their handling of unpopular parking hikes and voted to roll back meter hours from 8:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Story by Kate McLean.

Art, live from Death Row
At 23rd and Telegraph, inside a storefront/gallery/craft space called Rock Paper Scissors, neatly hung canvas paintings and framed ink drawings lined the walls. Cards below each piece identified the artist: all are prisoners at San Quentin. Story by Puck Lo.

The rise in gold prices has hurt the business of selling grills
John “JC” Cho sells grills on Broadway near 21st street, and is Oakland’s self-proclaimed “Gold Teeth Master.” But with gold at $1,100 an ounce, business is tough and he’s had to figure out how to deal with the extra expenses while still pleasing his customers. Story by Thomas Gorman.

Auto Row tempers troubled times with visions for the future
On Oakland’s Broadway Auto Row, a storefront at the corner of 28th Street marked “Bay Bridge Kia” doesn’t showcase cars with steel wheels or tinted windows. Instead, a lone mannequin in a wedding dress occupies the display window of the tan, flatiron-style 1920s building. Story by John Grennan.

Never heard of “scraper bikes”? Watch this.
The third annual Scraper Bike Day celebrates yet another Oakland phenom that has gone bigtime. An O.N. video, plus music that will get stuck in your head. Story by Mary Flynn.

Bar loyalists bemoan the rise of the Internet jukebox
Old-fashioned mechanical jukeboxes, loaded with the records or CDs that reflect the soul of their home establishments, are vanishing fast. Their replacement: Internet jukeboxes, which direct users into the online vastness of “SEARCH ALL MUSIC.” They’re modern, they’re lucrative, and they fill some Bay Area bar patrons with despair. Story by Mario Furloni.

Rehearsing your own death: not your typical night in Oakland

“Hi, my name is Becky and I am going to die,” I said as we went round the circle. We were at a three-day workshop run by Chris Zydel and Sharon Pavelda called a “death rehearsal,” a therapeutic workshop designed to help people envision and accept the eventuality of their own deaths. Story by Becky Palmstrom.

Fading Rose Garden pruned by those who love it

Discolored rose petals piled in a corner. Dead rose heads were bending off their stems.“Every time I come here, I get itchy fingers because I want to prune the roses,” said Carol Braves, grasping a pair of clippers as she stared at a limp-looking pink rose bush that was almost as tall as she was. Story by Paige Ricks.

Oil spill contained as clean-up continues
A still-undetermined amount of oil spilled from the Panamanian-flagged tanker ship the Dubai Star into the San Francisco Bay, causing an oil slick two miles long and 220 yards wide. Story by Lindsay Wasserberger.

Lights, camera, SWAT team: NBC films Trauma in downtown Oakland
A showdown at Bayside Mutual Bank blocked traffic Tuesday, while police worked to diffuse a bank robbery gone bad. Police cars piled up and FBI agents swarmed the intersection of 21st and Broadway in downtown Oakland. SWAT teams swiftly moved into position. A rooftop sniper carefully took aim. And then: Reuben “Rabbit” Palchuck arrived on the scene. Story by Jake Schonecker.

The story of a school lunch
In November, we followed one meal served at a West Oakland elementary school from start to finish. We traced the ingredients to their earliest beginnings: a wheat field in North Dakota, a turkey ranch in the Central Valley, a tomato field somewhere south of Oregon and north of Mexico in California. Story by Laurel Moorhead and Lillian Mongeau.

That doesn’t give you the right to pull a gun on me, sir
Five teens talk about living with violence and trying to do something about it. Ivan Brand says no one has the right to pull a gun on him. Bobbe Miller wants a safe environment for her baby nephew. La’Ban Wade gets ready for college. Dionte Williams reflects on loss. Jake Brand talks about the difference between a gang and a family. Story by Kate McLean, Richard Parks and Mario Furloni.

30-foot tree lit up for the holidays in downtown Oakland

The Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bell Ringers and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir performed at Oakland City Center. Story by Laurel Moorhead.

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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