An advocate for children teaches kids and parents how to spot abuse

Twenty-five years ago, Norma Rodriguez went to a training session for the Child Assault Prevention Training Center. When she agreed to participate in the session, she didn’t realize that two weeks of learning how to prevent and recognize child abuse would change her life. She didn’t know that intense training would soon become her career.

Tech girls fall in first round of NorCal basketball playoffs

The Oakland Tech girls basketball team couldn’t pull through on Wednesday night, losing 52-46 to visiting Heritage High School of Brentwood in the first round of the Northern California playoffs. The loss ended Tech’s season and eliminates the Lady Bulldogs from the state tournament.

A church helps members transfer money from big banks to a minority-owned credit union

On Tuesday, members of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in North Oakland participated in a bank “transfer day” in conjunction with Occupy the Dream, a campaign for economic justice inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The church asked people throughout the Oakland community to move at least $30 from a conventional banking institution to a minority-owned bank or credit union.

As parking enforcement transfers to OPD oversight, workers will have to pass new background checks

City officials are preparing to transfer Oakland’s parking enforcement unit to the Oakland Police Department. The transfer will allow the parking enforcement staff to be trained to write tickets and accident reports. But the move may create problems for some parking enforcement technicians, critics say, because they will now have to pass a more intensive background check than the one required for their initial hire.

Arrests, tear gas as Occupy Oakland protesters attempt to seize a building

On Saturday afternoon, Occupy Oakland protesters gathered in Frank Ogawa Plaza with a goal: To occupy a building and convert it into a social center to be used for the planned Oakland Rise Up Festival this weekend. But what began as a march with several hundred people quickly turned into yet another turf battle between protesters and the Oakland Police Department.

Alameda County approves mandatory recycling, plastic bag ban

On Wednesday afternoon, members of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority voted for two ordinances that will require mandatory recycling for businesses and multi-family properties and prohibit stores that sell packaged food from giving out single-use bags. Both ordinances are supposed to help reduce waste in Alameda County.

Attendance boundaries will change after OUSD vote for school closures

This week, OUSD officials are hosting community input meetings on boundary changes that are scheduled to go on until Wednesday. The boundary changes come after the OUSD school board voted in October to close five schools — Marshall, Lakeview, Lazear, Maxwell Park, and Santa Fe. OUSD officials now have to restructure attendance boundary areas for families who live near the schools slated for closure.

Oakland cathedral joins churches worldwide in adopting changes to Catholic mass

On Sunday morning at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, the sounds of high-pitched singing, a ringing organ and a mumbling congregation filled the huge cathedral as people tried to catch on to the new version of the Catholic Mass. Sunday, also the first day of Advent, was the first time the updated Mass text was used at English-speaking Catholic churches across the world.

Attorneys, victims speak out against OPD after Occupy Oakland car accident

The attorneys representing the two people who were hit by a car during the Occupy Oakland strike march on November 2 held a press conference Friday at the Waterfront Hotel downtown, calling for the arrest of the man and woman who were in the vehicle during the accident. The attorneys also criticized the Oakland Police Department for not making any arrests and for the way officers have been conducting the investigation.

Scraper bikes out in East Oakland for Halloween

On Monday evening, the Oakland Scraper Bike Team rolled through East Oakland for their 5th Annual Scraper Bike Halloween Ride. A scraper bike is a custom designed bike that includes flashy wheels, a spray-painted frame and a unique design. Some scraper bikes even have sound systems installed.

Volunteers transform slab of concrete in East Oakland into playground

On Friday, parents, kids, and community leaders came out to Youth Uprising, a youth center in East Oakland, to help build a community playground.  In six hours, the play area at Youth Uprising transformed from a slab of concrete to a playground that includes swings, monkey bars and artwork made by the kids who volunteered. “If you would have showed up here at 7:00 this morning, you would have seen an empty lot with a bunch of concrete,” said Manuel…

The Oakland Museum of California hosts 17th annual Day of the Dead celebrations

The Oakland Museum of California was adorned with vibrant colors, packed with people wearing morbid costumes and smelled like fresh marigolds on Sunday afternoon for the museum’s 17th annual Dia de Muertos community celebration and exhibition.

Kids and adults with painted faces wandered around the museum’s lawn, buying handmade tortillas and jewelry, and dancing to Mexican music as they celebrated Día de Muertos, Spanish for “day of the dead.” The theme for the exhibition, which started October 12, is “Love & Loss.” The Dia de Muertos holiday is traditionally celebrated November 1 and 2.