Annie Berman

Alameda County supervisors vote to to scale back, shift focus of Urban Shield

After more than five hours of public comment and heated debate, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to approve nearly all of an ad hoc committee’s recommendations to demilitarize the county’s controversial Urban Shield annual training program. They voted 4-0 to eliminate SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) deployment exercises and the event’s weaponry and military gadget show, shifting the focus of the training event to natural disaster preparedness. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office launched the annual Urban…

Oakland teachers strike for higher wages, smaller classes

Early Thursday morning, Oakland teachers went on strike, calling for a pay raise and a reduction in class sizes. As early as 6 am, teachers gathered—equipped with coffee, jackets, and beanies to withstand the chilly morning weather—and started to picket in front of their schools. The strike follows two years of failed negotiations between the Oakland Education Association, which represents teachers as well as school nurses, counselors and other staff, and the Oakland Unified School District. The teachers have been working…

As early returns trickle in, Oakland voters and candidates wait

In a packed home in the Grand Lake neighborhood, supporters of Mayor Libby Schaaf and her campaign’s volunteers nibbled on quesadillas and checked back and forth between CNN and the front door to see when the candidate would arrive. Everyone from Jon Sarriugarte, the artist who designed the now-famous snail car, to city hall officials like District 3 Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, waited under orange and blue streamers. Schaaf’s older sister, Chris Schaaf, even drove in from Castro Valley to…

Tales of Two Cities Podcast: Remembering and Forgetting

In this episode of “Tale of Two Cities,” we explore forgotten areas of the Easy Bay and how people are working to keep their traditions and memories alive. From reporter Cecilia Lei, we hear about how volunteers are helping to save neglected, stray dogs in Richmond. Next, reporter Betty Marquez Rosales and sound engineer Rosa Amanda Tuiran take us to Corazón del Pueblo, a non-profit center in Oakland where visitors remember Dia de los Muertos during sugar skull workshops. Lastly,…