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Casey Miner

Busline Blog: Oakland budget update

Mayor Ron Dellums released his proposed city budget late yesterday, and as predicted, it ain’t pretty. The Mayor proposed, among other things, cutting 140 police officers, rotating library closures, shutting some parks, mandating nearly a month of furlough days and laying off nearly 250 city employees. To the Mayor’s credit, the budget is more or less in line with what was discussed at the three budget town halls, and, as promised, does ask departments to share the pain. We’ll see…

Oakland Bites: Urban garden edition

Hey all, Casey Miner here guest-blogging for Oakland Bites. Elise asked me to write about my experiences with urban farming in Oakland, which is one of my favorite topics, so.

Budget showdown, final installment: Third time’s the charm

By Casey Miner/Oakland North It took three meetings to get there, but Oakland city officials left last night’s final budget town hall with a wealth of creative suggestions, both on ways to close Oakland’s budget gap and on how to make the inevitable cuts less painful. Over the past several weeks, Oakland has been soliciting community input on ways to close a projected $83 million deficit in the city’s general fund. Last night’s meeting was the final community session before…

Busline Blog: Oakland budget miscellany

A few Oakland budget extras, for those of you who follow those sorts of things. First, the city has come up with a nifty interactive game you can play to try to balance the budget yourself, complete with fun budget facts. Check it out here if stepping up to the mic isn’t your style. Second, hear a short radio piece I produced after last week’s meeting over at the J-school radio website, northgateradio.com. Third, come on out to the final…

Budget showdown, part 2: No more pie-in-the-sky; who represents the community?

By Casey Miner/Oakland North It was a night for stark assessments: Oakland’s budget for next year will be “the most difficult ever,” said one city councilmember; “the worst ever,” said another. Officials began last night’s town hall meeting on how to close Oakland’s $83 million budget gap with a plea for the community to come together, choose its priorities, and share the inevitable pain. “Where is the money going to come from?” asked council president Jane Brunner. “It is going…

Budget showdown, part 1: Dellums channels Obama, Oakland counts on federal stimulus money

By Casey Miner/Oakland North Under fluorescent lights, bingo charts and a disco ball, more than 100 people packed into the East Oakland Senior Center last night to throw in their two cents about how to close the city’s projected budget deficit. With $83 million on the table, every city program is fair game. Last night’s meeting in deep East Oakland was the first of three community-input sessions on the budget. The next two will be held in the Glenview and…

North Oakland Now: April 9, 2009

Just a quick hit this morning, as your intrepid headline-gatherer is running late: the state says an Oakland woman embezzled close to $700,000 from the State Bar for clothes and spa treatments. Workers at Fairmont Hospital believe it is unsafe. And three people have been charged in what’s being called a “social-networking” kidnapping case — the three allegedly ambushed a man who had agreed to meet one of them for a date. Today in transit, Oakland and SFO airports are…

North Oakland Now: April 8, 2009

Good morning, all. Your daily dose: At last night’s City Council meeting, a four-member committee voted unanimously in support of a proposal to increase the tax on Oakland’s medical marijuana dispensaries. It’s one way to start increasing what will likely be an $65 million budget deficit in the coming fiscal year. Though they’d see a relatively large jump in their tax rate, from $1.20 per $1,000 in receipts to as much as $24, dispensary owners seem to be on board….

North Oakland Now: April 7, 2009

Happy rainy day, North Oaklanders… and here I bet you thought it was spring. Today’s news: the Women’s Reproductive Health Clinic has closed after more than three decades, citing the recession. Bad news for women’s health, surely, but also a sign of how much the state’s budget crisis is affecting local economies. WCC Executive Director Linci Comy told the Tribune that since the state has frozen all payments for services already provided, the clinic couldn’t make its rent. Budget crisis…

North Oakland Now: April 6, 2009

Hello everyone, and welcome back to North Oakland Now… we’ve been on spring break and sadly remiss in updating, but now we’re back! Some news of note today: The Chronicle reports that the number of homeless people in the Bay Area is climbing, and we may not even know how bad it is yet. For some more context (because I know you’re not sick of reading about it yet), check out this comparison between today’s recession and the Great Depression,…

The Parkway’s last hurrah

By Casey Miner and Tasneem Paghdiwala Raja/Oakland North For twelve years, Oakland’s Parkway Speakeasy Theater was a community mainstay: a place to grab a beer, park yourself on a couch, watch a cheap movie and catch up with friends. But like many other small businesses, the Parkway has had a hard time weathering the recession. Last Wednesday, owners Kyle and Catherine Fischer announced that a combination of money troubles and landlord issues meant the theater had to close. Within 24…

Making it

By Casey Miner/Oakland North  Gabriel De Jesus is bent over a laptop, eyes moving back and forth between the screen and the stack of forms on the desk next to him, jotting occasional notes. An older man knocks on the door and says he’s there to pick something up; De Jesus has him sign in on the sheet outside while he looks for his file. The phone rings; he answers, “Citizens for Education, this is Gabriel.” De Jesus works four…

Busline Blog: Perilous Rides

Yesterday morning a bus was in an accident around 12th and Webster streets in downtown Oakland; a driver ran a red light and barreled straight into the bus. No injuries were reported, though moderate damage was reported to both the bus and the vehicle. The accident follows an incident last weekend in which a man was robbed on a bus at the corner of International and Seminary in East Oakland. Police released stills of the incident yesterday and are still…

Busline Blog: Overheard on the 1R

A thing I love about Bay Area public transport is the consistency with which people treat buses and trains like personal living rooms. This covers everything from personal hygiene—applying makeup, removing makeup, clipping fingernails—to the All Time Most Annoying Thing Anyone Can Do, which is listen, loudly, to every single ring tone on their cell phone while they attempt to choose their favorite. All of that’s fairly benign, though. What to do when you overhear a cell phone conversation like…

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