Remembering the surgery inside the freeway collapse

When the Cypress Freeway collapsed twenty years ago, one child survived because a Children’s Hospital surgeon climbed into the wreckage, got down on his stomach amid the other emergency workers, and performed an amputation on the spot. The doctor, James Betts, tells the story.

N.O. Now: those meters make strange bedfellows

What does it take to bring Allen Michaan, the owner of the Grand Lake Theater and one Oakland’s most public and outspoken liberal voices, to the same table with some of Oakland’s more conventional capitalists – the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and small business owners? In Oakland these days, it all comes down to parking. Michaan, of course, is well-known around town for the anti-Republican messages that regularly grace the Grand Lake’s marquee. Lately, however, those messages have been directed…

The UC walkout–A note to our readers

The Oakland North newsroom is a smaller-scale version of many classic modern-day newsrooms–computers, printers, a fax machine, a long conference table usually littered with coffee cups and reporters’ notebooks–except that it’s inside North Gate Hall, on the UC Berkeley campus. By Cynthia Gorney/Oakland North.

North Oakland Now: The wages of improvement

A dispatch from last night’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting, at Oakland City Hall:  First, where the sidewalk ends, to quote the late Shel Silverstein, might be closer to home than you think. At the intersection of 29th Avenue and Ford Street in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, along the Nimitz   freeway, a half-mile from the Fruitvale Bart Station, and a mere four blocks from Lazear Elementary School, the sidewalk, literally, ends.  A pedestrian walkway comes to a stop,…

Avast! Talk Like a Pirate Day draws nigh.

Avast me, hearties! It’d be the 19 o’ September, and ye know what that be bringin’? Aye, it’d be International Talk Like a Pirate Day. September 19th is a holiday you won’t see marked on your calendar. International Talk Like a Pirate Day (hereafter referred to as ITLAPD) is a day when the pirate-enthusiastic community is encouraged to greet its respective self with “Ahoy!”, refer to people as “scurvy dogs” or “wenches,” and of course, express discontent/joy/agreement/and a multitude of other…

Sign up now for walk against domestic violence

Passing on word of a lakewalk for a good cause:  the eighth annual Walk Against Domestic Violence, Saturday, October 3.  Walkers meet at the  Lake Merrit Boat House in Oakland for a Walk Against Domestic Violence.  This is a collaborative effort by Communities-N-Concert, and Progressive Transitions, with support from the Alameda County Domestic Violence Coalition.  The signup deadline is Sept. 19, so for  go to, or call Carolyn Russell at (510)  986-8600 x315.

No charges against Hassani foster dad

Authorities have declined to charge either of the foster parents jailed last week on suspicion of murdering five-year-old Hassani Campbell, and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office canceled a scheduled afternoon arraignment of the boy’s foster father today. The Fremont boy’s foster parents, his biological aunt Jennifer Campbell and her fiance Louis Ross, had been arrested and held last week on suspicion of murder.  But Jennifer Campbell was released Monday. This afternoon, after police said there was insufficient evidence to…

$10K reward for Hassani Info

Oakland police offered a $10,000 reward earlier this week in their search for Hassani Campbell, the 5-year-old Fremont boy reported missing last week in Rockridge.  Anyone with information that might help police find the boy is asked to call (510) 777-8572 or (510) 777-3211.

O.N. opines! On politics, on creepy comedy, on Xma$…

In these commentaries, Oakland North writers weigh in on 1) keeping Black Friday in perspective; 2) keeping certain kinds of humor in the back room, where maybe it ought to stay; and 3) how the new secretary of state selection looks through the eyes of a journalist raised in West Africa.

AIDS day events offer Oakland sobering reminders

by CLARE MAJOR, MAGGIE FAZELI FARD, and SAMSON REINY Dec. 1 — It was still dark when Josh and Jessica woke up this morning, and there was a damp chill in the air. By 7 a.m., the couple stood outside the MacArthur BART station, each holding a sign printed with an AIDS statistic. Morning commuters streamed past them. “Who makes eye contact — that’s when you go for the card,” said Josh, informational postcards in hand. “Even if they just…

Now 80, marathon runner plans to keep running

by BAGASSI KOURA In a ritual that started years ago, Richmond resident George French wakes up every other morning at 2:30 and runs 3 to 6 miles from his home toward El Cerrito BART, mainly along San Pablo Avenue. “At this hour, it is safe to run,” he says. “The streets are empty. There is no traffic. The only people I meet are the streetwalkers.” French is a restaurant manager, which is why he likes getting to work before dawn….