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Oakland's holiday tree at Jack London Square. Photo by Peter Bittner.

Oakland North’s 2015 year in review — our top stories

on December 21, 2015

2015 brought another group of student reporters to Oakland North, and they covered the daily news of a changing city: The rising cost of rent and concerns about gentrification, the debate over raising the minimum wage, a controversial plan to ship coal through the Port of Oakland, efforts to stem crime and the lives of those lost to gun violence, the fate of refugees who have resettled here. But they also dug deep into stories about the people, places and ideas that make Oakland unique, like the team behind the first comic book to star a Sikh superhero, a unique twist on day care, two special programs that aid grieving mothers, the efforts to unionize the pot industry, and what it’s like to exit rehab at age 60. Here are some of our favorite and most-read stories from 2015. Thanks for reading — we’ll be back on the beat again in late January!

Sixty, sober and starting over
by Melissa Batchelor Warnke

Grieving their “little angels:” Latina women in Oakland process the loss of their children, together
by Luisa Conlon

As rents rise, tenants confront Oakland’s perfect housing storm
by Lucas Waldron

Will unionizing the cannabis industry bud in Oakland?
by Chris Harland-Dunaway

LGBT glossary bridges linguistic gap across cultures
by Mariela Patron

Searching for the middle: The disappearance of the black middle class
by Nailah Morgan and Mahlia Posey

After her own tragic loss, Lorrain Taylor charts a path for mothers who have lost children to gun violence
by Libby Leyden

Commuting presents challenges for some Oakland students
by Katherine Rose

Vocal Rush blurs the line between a cappella and activism
by Akira Olivia Kumamoto

Oakland trans man endures fraught process for surgery
by Jason Hanasik

Refugees reflect on past lives and new beginnings
by Waringa Kamau and Kyle Ludowitz

Oakland school district approves new kitchen to create fresher meals
by Erika Alvero and Katherine Rose

Alameda County becomes first in state to regulate cellphone surveillance tool
by Christian Stork

One year after Proposition 47’s passage, is it working in the Bay Area?
by Libby Leyden

Will a controversial FEMA plan to cut eucalyptus reduce the danger of another hills firestorm?
by Jim Rossi

Oakland Tech celebrates its centennial
by Erika Alvero

Controversy continues as Oakland city council considers joining coal route
by Chris Harland-Dunaway

Raider Nation pleads to NFL executives to keep their team in Oakland
by Lucas Waldron

Community mourns loss of Oakland artist, shot dead while painting a peace mural
by Melissa Batchelor Warnke and Luisa Conlon

Cops and community search for trust in Oakland’s most violent neighborhoods
by Nailah Morgan

New report: Women pay price for incarcerated family members
by Kyle Ludowitz

A new college class offers young Oaklanders and people of color a career path to law enforcement
by Teresa Cotsirilos

Oakland residents have mixed reactions to their new neighbor: Uber
By Emily Snyder and Jennifer Glenfield

Increased minimum wage creates tough choices for Oakland restaurant owners
by Lucas Waldron

Oakland says goodbye to Peter Van Kleef
by Akira Olivia Kumamoto

For Tiny Desk Concert winners Fantastic Negrito, the journey began in Oakland
by Melina Tupa

Hundreds of workers rally across the East Bay in the “Fight for $15”
by Bonnie Chan

Protesters campaign against the use of solitary confinement in California prisons
by Gabriel Sanchez

The “Run and Only” basketball league gives the NBA a run for its money
by Melina Tupa

Thousands rally in Oakland to call for an end to fracking
by Bonnie Chan

With increased demand for solar power, green job opportunities return
by Fabian Graber

Made in Oakland: Four “maker city” stories in four objects
by Alissa Greenberg, Lena Dakessian, Jacqueline Ipp and Alicia Vargas

Meet the new superhero on the block: Super Sikh
by Melina Tupa

In East Oakland, a couple offers 24-hour, two parent day care
by Tom Goulding and Hannah Lawson

Thinking outside the box means living inside one for some Oaklanders
by Daniela Anaya

Billy Beane: The math, money and mastermind behind the A’s “Moneyball” success
by Juan Martinez


  1. Matthew Haley on December 21, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks Oakland north. No one reports the hood as effectively as you. All the kids get As.

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Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to:

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