Oakland at work: A day in the life of a Bay Bridge toll collector

For Gutierrez, weekdays start the same. At work by 4 am, Gutierrez punches in and heads to his locker. He reaches for his uniform: black slacks, a navy blue hat, a bright yellow reflective vest, and a light blue collared shirt with a badge on the sleeves that says he’s an employee of the state of California. He grabs a coin bag, a currency bag, and his black AM/FM radio, which he uses to listen to Journey, Motown or the news. By 4:30 am, he’s at work in one of the seventeen yellow boxed tollbooths on the cement island overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

As the economy sinks, homeless people move onto abandoned boats

As the number of homeless and illegal boat dwellers has increased, they say, so has a chronic wave of thefts that has kept marinas on both sides of the Oakland estuary under siege. Meanwhile, they complain, the illegal estuary dwellers are causing a host of environmental problems by disposing of sewage in the water or abandoning their boats, which can leach toxic substances as they disintegrate.

In the rain, police rout Occupy campers from their latest downtown site

Despite the rain and cold, scores of Occupy Oakland protesters gathered Sunday morning around what remained of the group’s latest makeshift campsite, a vacant lot at 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue. Once again, earlier in the morning, police had cleared away tents and told Occupy protesters they could not camp in the city overnight.

Unions urge support for Occupy Oakland day of action

Since Occupy Oakland protesters announced they would hold a general strike on November 2, unions from across the city and the state have sent a flurry of endorsements in support of what they are referring to as a “day of action,” rather than a strike. In the final moments before Wednesday’s events, union organizers have been working to encourage members to participate.

Occupy Oakland “tent city” faces eviction

It’s been 11 days since Occupy Oakland took over Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza, and now the tent city is bigger than ever and facing eviction. Over 550 people occupy Oakland’s plaza, even after they received an evacuation notice from the City Administrator’s Office on Thursday evening. Among the concerns listed on the notice are graffiti, vandalism to plaza infrastructure and “the historic tree,” and the disruption of the plaza for public use by groups who had to relocate events which had previously been scheduled at the plaza.

At safety summit, Mayor Jean Quan presents new crime reduction plan

More than 700 people filled the gymnasium at Laney College on Saturday for the Neighborhood Safety Summit, a day of discussions about crime and violence in Oakland hosted by Mayor Jean Quan, who presented a new crime reduction plan that she said will focus on the city’s most violent streets.

Crowd in downtown Oakland protests execution of Troy Davis

Carrying signs that read, “Execute Justice not People,” and hoisting a large peace sign embellished with yellow, pink, and white flowers, about 40 people gathered Friday at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland to protest the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia.

OPD release name of shooting victim

The 31-year-old Oakland resident who died in Wednesday’s shooting on 52nd Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way was identified as Remilio Myers, Oakland police said Thursday.

Rally the Troupes drag show comes to Mills College

A man dressed in jeans and a t-shirt kneels on the ground, his hands held at an awkward angle by the chains that bind him to a drag king who is standing behind him wearing a sharp suit. Like a marionette, he is forced to bring his trembling hands to his face and smoke. The scene unfolds next to a 4-foot cardboard replica of a cigarette, as Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe” blares from the speakers.