abloom

Pedicab driver stays true to vision for a better Oakland

Ken Ott and his wife, Lulu Lin-Ott, are part of a generation of young Oaklanders who are trying to change one of the Bay Area’s most troubled and dangerous cities on their own terms. Lulu wants to sell organic ice cream; Ken wants to drive electric pedicabs.

Bake Sale Betty II’s No. 1 Customer!

Willie Acklin, Uptown resident, was Bake Sale Betty II’s number one customer this morning, he says. Bake Sale Betty’s original location is in Oakland’s Temescal Neighborhood. The opening of a second shop on Broadway and West Grand Ave. was highly anticipated. Acklin said he woke up at 6:30 a.m. to be the first to get his grub. But he didn’t have to travel far: Acklin lives accross the street. He was hoping for chicken, but alas, Acklin says he will…

Oakland’s pushcart organizers fight illegal street vending

Pushcart vendors from Anna Bloom on Vimeo. By Anna Bloom/Special to Oakland North Emilia Otero, and her daughter, Shelly Garza, longtime organizers of food vendors in East Oakland, say they are seeing a marked increase in illegal street vending.

WELL presents Gajillionaire show

Join us for the Artist Reception March 6th• 6-10p show runs March 3 – 31st Amos Gajillionaire’s work is highly decorative and extremely colorful, he combines hand painted optical art with silkscreening to create one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. Amos is dedicated to making pieces accessible to a wide audience; his vision is to completely eradicate mass-produced posters and homogenized blandness from the walls of astute, urbane inhabitants. Amos is out to prove that there is no reason discerning collectors of…

Temescal sets up holiday ice rink–without ice

by ANNA BLOOM Dec. 20–Snow on Mt. Diablo was one thing, but ice skating in Temescal… without ice? The Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District is making no small plans to attract holiday shoppers to their neck of North Oakland this weekend. Beyond the usual good cheer, Santa and Christmas carols, the district’s first annual Holiday Skate and Stroll will feature an ersatz ice rink at 49th and Telegraph. Saturday and Sunday, as many as 30 will be able to glide,…

Oakland recognizes local leaders in AIDS prevention

by ANNA BLOOM DEC. 1—Guests at a City Hall World AIDS Day Community Awards Ceremony got an early glimpse tonight of a 50-foot long bronze monument planned for a new city park in downtown Oakland.  “We are here as a testament of what is truly important and that is us, the livelihood and survival of our community,” Vashone Huff, deputy of intergovernmental affairs for the city of Oakland, said before a scale version of the statue, less than one-tenth the…

“Problem-solvers” try a different kind of policing

By ANNA BLOOM Once officers receive badges from the Oakland Police academy, they usually begin to gravitate to an area of expertise. “When you come on patrol, you specialize,” Oakland Police Sgt. Bernard Ortiz says. “Some guys become motor-men, they love giving tickets. Some guys are dope guys.” For a long time, Ortiz was a dope guy. For ten years, he negotiated streets in high-speed chases, responded to shootouts and participated in drug busts in East and West Oakland. There,…