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Ayako Mie

Oakland sends sound of hope to Haiti

On Sunday evening in Oakland, approximately 3,700 miles away from devastated Haiti, more than 180 Bay Area musicians got together to deliver the sound of hope to the Haitian people.

City Council may call emergency meeting over fees

Only nine of 50 local businesses participated in Thursday’s General Strike to protest the hike in parking fees, but some 100 local business owners and residents attended the meeting Thursday night at the Grand Lake Theater and District 2 Councilmember Pat Kernighan said the City Council should meet soon to reconsider the fee hikes. Kernighan said at the meeting that she had received more than 200 e-mails during the last several weeks, complaining about the hikes in parking-related fees. “The…

General Strike for Lakeshore on Thursday

The merchants on Lakeshore plan to hold a General Strike Thursday to protest the city’s parking fee hikes, which they said, are chasing away customers. “If we do not act now, many businesses will fail and our city will be much worse off,” wrote Allen Michaan, the owner of the Grand Lake Theater in a flyer calling for the strike. It’s unclear how many of the businesses on Lakeshore will participate. Bob Jaffe sighed at the sight of the parking…

Lakeshore businesses protest parking hikes and talk of a general strike

Cyprus Pishdad was excited two months ago when his new T-shirt business, Pure510 on busy Lakeshore appeared to be doing well despite the economy. Then in July, his business started to decline. “The sales were worse than the first week I opened the business. I realized that it coincide with the raise in parking meter,” said the 46-year old business owner, who said his business has dropped 30 percent. Now Pishdad and other angry business owners are talking about the…

Oakland North Now 07.24.09

Thank God, it is Friday. But the sky is gloomy for the residents in the sunshine state. California State Senate passed bills to close a $25.3 billion gap after grueling session that ended at 6:27 a.m. this morning. Here are some pain we will feel soon. ・$5.7 billion cut  from elementary and high schools and community colleges ・$2.8 billion cut from state colleges and universities; $2 billion from health program ・$1.2 billion cut from social services; and $1.2 billion from…

Oakland North Now 7.23.09

Mark Twain once said “The coldest winter I spent was summer in San Francisco.” In Oakland, as well, one cannot go without layers at night and morning. To spice the summer up, the New York Times has a collection of neat 101 salad recipes for the summer. But watch out when you eat lettuce. A Salinas based lettuce grower recalled its romaine lettuce over a concern that their product maybe tainted with salmonella. Or you would rather eat out, Oakland…

Oakland North Now 7.22.09

The city of Oakland got a $7 million boost from yesterday’s Special Election. Voters approved increasing the business tax of pot clubs in Oakland, and they also said yes to raising hotel tax by 3 points to fund the zoo and the Oakland Museum. However, even $7 million might not help the city’s dire situation. The bankrupt state of California wants  $4.3 billion diverted from the local municipalities, and the state can take as much as $6.4 million from Oakland’s…

Oakland North Now 7.21.09

California is going to cut $15.6 billion. Can’t imagine how much that is?  If you were to take that in one dollar bills and stack them up in piles, it would build  approximately 3468 Empire State buildings.  Here’s   another headache  for the cash strapped city of Oakland. The state is planning to borrow $2 billion from the local government, and Oakland could be stripped of $6.4 million. Bracing for the worst to come, the city is doing everything to rake in…

A journey of Afro-Mexicans in Mexico

Each country has missing pieces in its history.  Japan, my country, for example, never admits that the Nanking Massacre  happened, or that residents in Okinawa, near the end of World War II, were forced to kill themselves rather than being taken POWs by U.S. forces. The African Presence in México: From Yanga to the Present, the current exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California, helps illuminate a missing piece in Mexico’s Afro-Mexican history. The exhibit concentrates on the history of…

Oakland North Now 7.19.09

While California state parks are deemed to close to save money, the City of Oakland’s Office of Park and Recreation is celebrating its 100th anniversary. There are events throughout July and August for you to check them out. Oakland Tribune has a future looking story on Oakland Based Urban Gardens. It opened the garden to the public yesterday to promote its youth and organic food programs for healthy eating. But do not spend nice Sunday just to relax. We have…

Safeway silent as some residents criticize building plan

Safeway supermarkets plans to demolish its Pleasant Valley shopping mall  — which at 185,000 square feet is about half the area of the Great Pyramid at Giza — and replace it with one almost two-thirds larger. The new mall would be 304,000 square feet with 1,066 parking spaces, or 50 percent more spaces. Neighborhood critics say the new mall, which would include Long’s Drug and other retailers, would be too big, attract too much traffic and therefore endanger pedestrians accustomed…

Oakland North Now 7.18.09

More  gloomy news for Californians.The employment rate remained 11.6 percent in June.  However, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday that 66,500 Californians lost jobs in June. It was the largest drop in the country. For those who are looking for a way recession friendly way of being fashionable, there is a clothing swap at Rock  Paper Scissors today from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Be aware when you are shopping! Rockridge is experiencing robberies and break-ins this week. And do…

A day with AC Transit

  Ever since I moved to Berkeley from Japan a year ago, my friend, Josh Allen keeps asking. “How can you survive without a car?” Allen,  an associate movie producer, who drives his three-year old Mercedes convertible everywhere he goes, will never understand. But those who ride the buses and need the buses do. AC Transit serves more than 230,000 of us a day. When Privately owned Key System started its streetcar and bus services in East Bay in 1903,…

Safeway talks bigger, Piedmont wonders if it’s better

Residents gathered Thursday at the Chapel of the Chimes Mortuary on Piedmont Avenue for a second meeting  called by Safeway officials to talk  about the store’s plan to redo the shopping center in Pleasant Valley. “Obviously, it is a corporate sponsored meeting,” said Eric Edwards, a resident of the Rockridge Manor condominium next to the shopping center, referring to the Safeway brand foods and beverages offered those who attended. Safeway, which also has a development plan underway at its College…

MIXED MEDIA: Oakland Pride at San Francisco Pride

By AYAKO MIE and SHILANDA WOOLRIDGE Oakland residents were out in full force at the San Francisco Pride Parade. They shared their thoughts on pride and what it would mean to have a city wide pride celebration in Oakland.

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