Council approves $162K to increase CHP patrols

The California Highway Patrol will stay in Oakland, adding two extra months to their policing presence that started in November 2012. That’s the decision the City Council made Tuesday night, when the approved a memorandum of understanding for $162,000.

Oakland, Richmond leaders supporting proposed state regulation of ammunition sales

In the wake of recent mass shootings—including one in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which took 26 lives, and one in late July at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, which left 12 dead—an East Bay politician is pushing for new state restrictions on the sale of ammunition in California. The move has received widespread support from city and school officials in cities like Oakland and Richmond, which struggle with high rates of violent crime.

Oaklanders who started California’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day want to make it a month-long event

Former Oakland Tech teacher Tay McArthur, along with his former student Karen Kennedy Freeman, were looking thoughtfully at the lamp posts that line Lake Merritt. “Wouldn’t it be great if we had banners put up all over Oakland that commemorate the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?” McArthur said as he wrapped his arm around Freeman. “They’d be put up in the beginning of January—a month of remembrance for Dr. King in celebration of his spirit of nonviolence.” Freeman…

Newly sworn-in Oakland City Council says resources should be shifted to public safety

Oakland’s new city council members, who were inaugurated at a ceremony at City Hall Monday, set the stage for the elected body’s biggest policy focus of the next four years—public safety. While it’s no secret that crime is Oakland’s number one problem, with the city’s homicide rate reaching 131 on the last day of 2012, councilmembers old and new declared Monday that the council should formally proclaim that combating crime the city’s first priority. That means more than just acknowledging…

As new members join the Oakland City Council, three long-serving politicians move on

This week will end the tenure of three of the longest-standing members on the Oakland City Council, each of whom has served for nearly two decades. On January 7, three new members who won in the November 2012 election will take over for District 5 Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente, who gave up his position to unsuccessfully run against Rebecca Kaplan for the at-large seat and District 1 councilmember Jane Brunner, who lost her race for City Attorney to Barbara…

Oakland’s Municipal ID, debit card program to launch February 1

Oakland officials have announced a launch date for the city’s new Municipal ID program, which would allow Oakland residents to apply for a city-issued identification card that can also be used as a debit card. Oakland studied other cities that have implemented similar programs, including New Haven, Connecticut, and San Francisco, said Mayor Jean Quan, speaking to a room of reporters gathered at City Hall late Wednesday. But unlike the programs in those cities, Oakland’s identification cards will also include…

OPD, mayor bring in Los Angeles’ former top cop, announce new policing strategies, to battle crime

Police Chief Howard Jordan announced Thursday afternoon that Oakland is hiring police consultant William Bratton, a former Los Angeles police chief who also served as police commissioner in both New York and Boston, to combat what Jordan called an “unacceptable” crime rate under his watch. As the city’s new police consultant, Bratton is charged with helping Oakland develop programs to target gang activity, work with the community to build trust, and reduce violence, including using statistical data to prevent crimes….

Businesses, city leaders say in Oakland, economy is rebounding

Sarah Kirnon and her business associate were putting the finishing touches on their new restaurant in Old Oakland—Miss Ollie’s, specializing in Afro-Caribbean fare—days before it was scheduled to open. In the kitchen, spices were still in their packaging: cardamom, cumin, dried and smoked habanero peppers.  Tables were stacked in front. The grill shone brand new. But Kirnon, 43, who has worked as a chef since she was 19, said she wasn’t nervous about the opening. This location, on Washington Street…

Oakland’s Depot for Creative Reuse has supplies for school, crafts and much more

On an average day, the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, an Oakland thrift store, is chock full of school supplies, furniture and even quirky items like ET postcards and baskets full of doll heads. The shop buzzes with teachers, students, parents and passers-by, either in search of something specific like pencils for the classroom or just hoping for a unique find.

Roughly 20,000 ballots left to count in November 2012 election

With the apparent victories of District 1 city council candidate Dan Kalb and at-large councilmember Rebecca Kaplan still not technically complete, voting officials said Tuesday—a week after the polls closed—that there are still roughly 20,000 ballots left to count.