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Alyssa Jeong Perry

After 12 years, music fills McClymonds High School’s halls

The sounds of piano notes, falsettos, and string instruments echo through the empty hallways at McClymonds High School in West Oakland. The campus that once housed over 800 students has had a steady and rapid decline in enrollment in the past few years. Currently, one-fourth of the original population attends the school—putting the enrollment at around 250 students, the majority of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds. This school year, 2014-2015, is the first time in 12 years that a music…

Oakland North spotlight: Sacred Wheel

Sacred Wheel, an unpretentious cheese shop in Temescal, offers a funky menu featuring Pabst Blue Ribbon tomato soup, pickled eggs, and a Sriracha-infused sloppy Joe on what the menu calls “the trashiest bun we could find.” The eclectic menu is mirrored in the décor (a toy dinosaur with a chunk of cheese in its jaws presides over the cheese counter), and the staff (nearly all employees have a caricature of themselves on the wall, and the staff are decorated with…

Nuisance Eviction Ordinance changes regarding sex workers upset advocacy groups

Sex worker advocacy groups in the Bay Area have taken to social media and traditional media methods to express their outrage over Oakland’s recent updates to an existing “nuisance eviction ordinance” for housing. Advocates believe that the newest addition will allow landlords to unfairly evict those who are voluntarily working as sex workers in commercial and residential spaces. Oakland’s city council unanimously voted on October 21 to amend an existing eviction ordinance—originally instated in 2004—to allow landlords and/or the city…

Oakland reacts to grand jury decision in Ferguson shooting with protests, freeway shutdown

A crowd of protesters filled downtown Oakland Monday night in reaction to the decision by a grand jury in St. Louis, Missouri, not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. By 5:50 pm, a crowd of several hundred had gathered in the intersection of Broadway and 14th Street in downtown Oakland. A group of people briefly tried to enter the 880 freeway at the Jackson Street entrance, but were turned away by police officers without incident. The crowd…

Voters say yes to boosting the minimum wage, higher sales tax and reclassifying some felonies

As election results rolled in after the polls closed last night, advocates for several major policy changes celebrated victories at the state, county and local levels, including a statewide initiative that reduced penalties for certain non-violent offenses, an increase in Alameda County’s sales tax and a raise for Oakland’s minimum wage. Alameda County residents agreed to double a transit-funding sales tax to one percent last night by passing Measure BB. (Voters defeated the similar Measure B two years ago.) The…

After Ferguson shooting, groups OPEN and 100 Black Men host discussion on policing and race

OPEN Conversation and 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, hosted an event last Wednesday evening to facilitate a discussion about the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager. 100 Black Men of the Bay Area is the local chapter of 100 Black Men of America. The members are professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and businessmen. They mentor young people, and provide scholarships as well as a professional network for the Bay Area. OPEN Conversations is part of the larger non-profit, OPEN. Also aimed at professionals of color, the group holds events to discuss topics important to people in that community.

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