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Alexa Hornbeck

Alameda County gets ready to promote PrEP, a drug that prevents HIV infection

The Alameda County Public Health Department is preparing to launch a marketing campaign this summer to promote PrEP, a drug that prevents HIV infection, targeted specifically to communities which are most affected by HIV. PrEP, short for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, was approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in 2012, and although it has had a national effect on lowering HIV rates, it isn’t reaching the communities in Alameda County it needs to. Although African American males make up only…

Nurses union, Oakland City Council push for single payer health bill

Most healthcare bills have a hefty price tag attached, but Senate Bill 562 may have one larger than some Californians are willing to take on—an estimated $400 billion a year, according to an analysis from the California Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill, commonly called a “single payer plan,” is being pushed by members of the California Nurses Association, which is headquartered in Oakland. Should it pass, all healthcare costs would be covered under the expansive umbrella provided by the state…

The Tale of Two Cities podcast: Hooked

Kava, kratom and caffeine — the stories in this episode of our podcast dive into obsession, addiction and habits. We follow reporters Susie Neilson ad Padmini Parasarathy as they goes to Melo Melo Kava Bar where people consume Kava, a Polynesian root-brewed tea, helping people with their anxiety and overcome addiction. Alexa Hornbeck takes us to Sacramento as she speaks with a mother fighting to keep kratom, a controversial herbal supplement, from being made an illegal substance in the United States….

Climate change and land subsidence pose threat for coastal Bay Area

The Bay Area is sinking and climate change is speeding things up, according to a new study published in Science Advances this month. The study was conducted over the span of two years by researchers Manoocher Shirzaei and Roland Burgmann, who used satellite images to evaluate regions of the Bay Area, such as Treasure Island, which are experiencing sea level rise because of the accelerated melting of polar ice. Shirzaei is a former UC Berkeley post-doctoral student, and Burgmann is…

Original Site of Merritt College in Oakland

The BART train whirrs by, leaving MacArthur station as cars exit the freeway. Nobody notices the bit of history below. Under the train tracks at the speedway intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and 58th Street in North Oakland is a salmon-colored building spanning the length of five blocks. It is the original site of Merritt College, where the Black Panthers met for the first time. Prominent leaders like Bobby Seale and Huey Newton met while organizing the Soul…

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