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Oakland North’s 2016 year in review — our top stories

on December 16, 2016

2016 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 election of a new president and the protests that followed, the legalization of recreational pot use in California and the passing of a controversial city soda tax, the sex scandal that continued to plague the Oakland Police Department, street level efforts to help stem the rising tide of opioid addictions, and the Ghost Ship fire, which claimed the lives of 36 people.

But they also dug deep into stories about the people, places and ideas that make Oakland unique, like the Castlemont High School football players who joined Colin Kaepernick in his protest, the expansion of the Oakland Music Festival and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party. And in early 2016 we launched our new Tales of Two Cities podcast, which covers audio stories from Oakland and Richmond in collaboration with our sister site, Richmond Confidential.

Here are some of our favorite and most-read stories from 2016. Thanks for reading (and listening!) — we’ll be back on the beat again in late January!

All episodes of the Tales of Two Cities podcast reported by the Oakland North team and produced by Matt Beagle and Katherine Rose

The classroom, the ballot and the big bad wall — Oakland’s children tackle the Trump effect by Rosa Furneaux

Krip Hop Nation gives disabled artists a network to share music, poetry by Cameron Clark

Oaklanders tackle illegal dumping in their neighborhoods by Briana Flin and Katie Parish

John Burris and Michael Rains: Justice is in the eye of the beholder by Rachel Loyd

An RV, needles, Narcan: Street level services in an opioid epidemic by Brian Frans

During an opioid epidemic, can cannabis be an alternative pain treatment? by Margaret Katcher

Formerly incarcerated rebound into job market by Andrew Beale and Khaled Sayed

Sandra Johnson needs a job: Finding work after incarceration by Katie Parish

Video rental, antiques, shoe repair: Old-fashioned shops struggle to hang on by Yesica Prado

Some Bay Area workers commute for hours for the sake of affordable rent by Mary Newman, Pablo De La Hoya and Nate Sheidlower

#TriviaSoWhite: Exploring trivia culture in Oakland through the eyes of women of color by Ryan Lindsay

Ghost Ship mourners gather at lakeside vigil to mourn those lost by Rachel Cassandra, Alan Toth and Khaled Sayed

Cannabis industry in limbo as California ends pot prohibition by Nate Sheidlower with graphics by Pablo De La Hoya

Oakland reacts to the election of Donald Trump by Oakland North team coverage

Protesters in Oakland express frustration over Trump’s victory by Oakland North team coverage

Women react to Trump presidency: “Sexism and racism won last night” by Cassady Rosenblum, Mary Newman and Katie Parish

“Peaceful Trump Response” surrounds Lake Merritt by Andrew Beale

How much did Oakland’s city council campaigns spend to win each vote? by Tian Chenwei

Critics say a predictive policing system could amplify racial bias by Rachel Loyd

The Black Panther Party’s 10 Point Program, 50 years later by Andrew Beale, Cassady Rosenblum, Rachel Loyd, Tian Chenwei, Khaled Sayed and Ryan Lindsay

At historic Black Panthers’ school, Black teachers were a key to student success by Cassady Rosenblum

Soda, income, race, health: The issues behind Oakland’s Measure HH by Brian Krans

Oakland pushes for Ellis Act reform by Tian Chenwei

Alameda County organization demonstrates safe injection site for drug users by Margaret Katcher

Rock Paper Scissors collective seeks out alternative venue after leaving old space by Briana Flin

Bigger than ever, the Oakland Music Festival is back for nine days by Ryan Lindsay

Castlemont players find their voice through football by Cassady Rosenblum

BOSS graduates celebrate changing their own lives by Rosa Furneaux

In blue California, Trump supporters focus on other states by Khaled Sayed

Rodent problem? Feral cats touted as eco-friendly pest control in Oakland by Cameron Clark

Kaiser reunion celebrates premature birth success stories by Yesica Prado

Oakland community discusses what they want in a new police chief by Rachel Loyd

Key witness in police scandal returns to Bay Area, ready to sue, her lawyers say by Rachel Loyd and Andrew Beale

New oral history map shows Oakland eviction data by Cameron Clark

Effort to recall Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf faces uphill battle by Andrew Beale

Community members celebrate the Ella Baker Center’s 20th anniversary by Ryan Lindsay

Oakland heart study subjects want another 30 years by Brian Krans

Audubon Society rescues heron and egret chicks in downtown Oakland by Nailah Morgan

Bridging linguistic barriers for parents in Oakland schools by Erika Alvero

With laws changing, tiny homes may have a big effect on housing by Sam-Omar Hall

For refugees, resetting in the Bay Area comes at a high price by Atia Musazay

Despite loss of thrash metal scene, Bay Area musicians find a reason to keep playing by Libby Leyden

As the marijuana industry heats up, street dealers think about going legal by Nailah Morgan

East Bay politicians and businesses react to new state minimum wage by Matt Beagle and Serla Rusli

Cephus Johnson and the men of Black Lives Matter by Teresa Cotsirilos

Oakland Tribune to be folded into new multi-city publication by Katherine Wei

Oakland native documents forgotten communities by Angelica Casas and Brad Bailey

Anti-violence organization serves deaf survivors by Erika Alvero

Men Creating Peace works to reduce domestic violence in Alameda County by Nailah Morgan


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Oakland North

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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