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Brett Marsh

Slow but steady change to design bike and walk friendly cities

Ambitious questions about mobility, equity, housing, and safe streets in Oakland were heavily featured during a panel talk at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) on Monday evening. Around 100 mostly young professionals and design enthusiasts attended the event, held at SPUR’s downtown Oakland meeting space, across the street from a recently-renovated plaza. Staff from the urban planning policy think tank, with offices serving San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco, organized the event in partnership with Citylab,…

Community disquiet about school closures erupts at school board meeting

At the auditorium of La Escuelita Elementary school Wednesday evening, Oakland Unified School District police officers were notably absent. So, too, were the barricades that had been set up to block protestors during a previous school board meeting on October 23, which had ended with the arrest of several protesters who oppose school closures and charter schools. Instead, camera crews from multiple media outlets were present, along with a predictably large crowd of protestors.   Several people in the audience…

West Oakland students prepare for chilly weather with coats from Operation Warm

On a suitably chilly and foggy Friday morning, streams of children entered the heated auditorium at Martin Luther King Elementary School on 10th Street in West Oakland and were received with an equally warm welcome by dozens of FedEx employees who were distributing winter coats. The volunteers, wearing purple Santa hats and t-shirts emblazoned with the words “FedEx Cares” guided the boisterous children to rows of tables stacked with fleece-lined and hooded coats in a dizzying array of colors in…

Police arrest protesters at Oakland school board meeting

For the last three Oakland school board meetings, protesters from the newly-formed Oakland Is Not for Sale Coalition have tried to prevent the meetings from taking place, chanting, raising banners and attempting to take over the stage where board members are seated in order to hold what they call a “people’s board meeting.” The group is protesting the “The Blueprint for Quality Schools,” a district-run plan that supports the closure and merger of under-enrolled and underperforming schools. The protests coalesced…

Oaklanders get ready to face PG&E power cuts

On Wednesday afternoon, Oakland residents prepared for the power to go out, anticipating cuts that were initially expected to begin in Alameda County at noon. Parts of the Oakland hills and East Oakland are the most likely to be affected by the outages, which Pacific Gas and Electric estimates will affect 32,680 county residents. PG&E officials plan to cut power to parts of more than 30 Northern California counties as a wildfire prevention measure. This decision followed the last two…

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