Alexia Underwood

Local films hit the walls of North Oakland

About 200 people braved the chilly summer evening and brought their lawn chairs, dogs and sleeping bags to 49th and Telegraph on Thursday night, for the kick-off of the second annual opening of the Temescal Street Cinema series. The event started off small.  At 8 p.m. several empty plastic chairs were set up facing a brick wall and the popcorn popper wasn’t working properly.  A couple, draped in blankets, ate take-out Mexican food and waited patiently for the sky to…

Local Parks Will Suffer From Proposed Budget Cuts

In the murky darkness underneath the 24 Freeway in Rockridge is a little slice of doggie heaven. On a recent Thursday afternoon, five or six pooches – it’s difficult to keep track – romp inside a large, caged doggie run while their owners chat. The dark, mulched run is not pretty to look at, but it’s convenient. Not far away, in a much more verdant spot, several children climb on small rocks in a shallow, plant-fringed pond or play on…

Churches of Oakland

By: ALEXIA UNDERWOOD Oakland North joined one of the city’s walking tours to learn about the history of some of the oldest (and newest) churches in the area, including the Cathedral of Christ the Light, First Congregational United, St. Paul’s, Temple Sinai (a synagogue) and the First Presbyterian Church. Oakland’s historical walking tours are offered every Wednesday and Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. from May till October.  Click on the slide show below to see some of the highlights.

Budget Diaries: Just your Average Meeting Or the End of Oakland As We Know It?

By ALEXIA UNDERWOOD The apocalypse seems near on Thursday.  The Oakland City Council will meet for six hours to grill various department heads about their proposed cuts to balance the city budget.  This is, many will say, the worst fiscal situation they have ever seen.  Ever. Thanks to a declining economy the general fund, which is the city’s annual income for almost half of its budget, is at least $83 million short of the $500 million it needs to pay…

North Oakland Now 06.01.09

Welcome to June, Oakland, and take heart – the Parkway theater may get a second chance at life. Check out the Trib article to learn more and fill out a survey at the Parkway website to give feedback about what you would want to see.  The most popular things so far are beer and couches. (Surprise, surprise.) And speaking of beer – and food items – check out this list of new and upcoming restaurants, including a few in North…

Lanesplitting

By ALEXIA UNDERWOOD Cuts, plans, master plans—what does it all mean?  Instead of attending another meeting on the Bicycle Master Plan, Oakland North decided to hop on a bike and see what the city’s routes had to offer. After checking out the city bicycling website, this bicycling novice found a map of bikeway networks and routes and chose Route 35 down Telegraph Ave. Granted, this was the street with the second highest collision rate for bicyclists between 2000 and 2004,…

North Oakland Now 05.31.09

Art famously flourishes when times are tough.  And times, according to Oakland’s city council on Thursday, are tough indeed.  A Better Oakland blogged today about how to volunteer as a park steward – a service we’ll be more in need of soon – and read about how the city is planning to fund local artists, despite the budget crisis. If you’re living in the Temescal district and are sick of all your tried-and-true hang-out spots, check out this new restaurant…

North Oakland Now 05.30.09

Hey, North Oakland, here are some ideas for your weekend: First, put down that laptop, get off the couch and enjoy the cool summer weather by taking a leisurely walk through Rockridge to Lake Temescal. Or, if that’s not your style, forget what I just said, nestle a little deeper into that couch, brew yourself a cup of coffee and catch up on local news: find out what residents said about the latest chapter in the Safeway/Rockridge discussion last week,…

North Oakland Now 05.28.09

In an exhaustive attempt to review the impact of the proposed budget cuts, the Oakland City Council meets today for an extended session of six – that’s right, six – hours.  Oakland North will be chugging coffee and covering it if we can manage to stay awake. Also, check out our recent story on the Temescal Tool Lending Library, where business is booming thanks to the recession. Meanwhile, as the city council deliberates, the Communications Workers of America are rallying…

Libraries, seniors, feel the bite of recession

Several fat books stacked on Deborah Cunningham’s lap spilled over the edges of her wheelchair.  As an aide wheeled her away, the dark-haired, elderly woman, a retired English professor in her mid-eighties, grasped them tightly.  She is one of ten or eleven repeat customers at Mercy Retirement and Care Center that look forward to the monthly Bookmobile visits from the Oakland Library system. The Bookmobile, a large, multicolored bus that traverses Oakland streets two days a week to visit under-served…

North Oakland Now: 05.27.09

Oaklanders: If you haven’t been, and even if you have, today would be a perfect day to stop by Fenton’s on Piedmont, a 114-year-old ice creamery/restaurant generating some local buzz because of a prominent shout-out in Pixar’s new film ‘Up’ – coming to theaters Friday.  Nothing says summer like vats of home-made ice cream and movies.  Make an evening of it. Speaking of eating, for those of you who make the trek to Berkeley for the produce and end up…

Oakland North Now: 05.26.09

The big news of the day: after a bitter fight, some California residents shed tears while others rejoiced at the California Supreme Court decision to uphold Prop 8. Gay and lesbian couples that married before Nov. 4 remain married, however .  Read the Chronicle story here. There are two protests scheduled tonight in Oakland, as well. Other events of interest include a meeting about Oakland’s bicycle master plan tonight from 6:30-8:30 and a free mortgage relief foreclosure prevention clinic. For…