Cynthia Gorney

Prop 8 challenged in court, questions abound

By HENRY JONES and SAMSON REINY Nov. 6–The passage of Proposition 8 has set off statewide legal confusion as same-sex marriage advocates filed petitions before the California Supreme Court yesterday, calling for the suspension of the gay marriage ban until the court decides if the amendment is unconstitutional. Californians voted on Tuesday by a 52 to 48 percent margin in favor of the ballot measure, which amended the state’s constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman….

And at an Oakland AME church: “Hallelujah!”

By MARTIN RICARD Nov. 4 — When Steve Kirkendoll was 4 years old, in 1960, he remembers sitting on his mother’s lap and watching on TV as black people in the South got hosed down and bitten by police dogs just for trying to register to vote. Kirkendall is 52 now. And after what he saw tonight, he said, he can now sit his 4-year-old granddaughter on his lap and tell her what happened on Nov. 4, 2008, when the…

Cheers, honking, weeping as city reacts

By OAKLAND NORTH STAFF Nov. 4 – Cheering, honking, weeping mobs overtook the streets of North Oakland tonight when Barack Obama became the next president-elect of the United States.  When the news hit at 8 p.m., the city went wild. From the Democratic Election party held at the Oakland Marriott, to neighborhood block parties, the excitement spilled out into the streets.

I-house foreign students cheer the new president

by BAGASSI KOURA Hundred of foreign students at Berkeley International house who gathered around big TV screens cheered and hugged each other to celebrate Barack Obama’s victory. Some of the students watched the elections results at the I-House, a residential house for international students at UC Berkeley. Dozen of others took part in a panel discussion on the election that took place at the IHouse’s auditorium.

Excitement still in air as voting slows midday

By ANNA BLOOM Nov. 4 — It seemed more like a sporting event than Election Day to Lewis McCutcheon, who had a front row seat as voters flocked to the Church of the Good Shepherd Baptist. McCutcheon, who works at the Children’s Hospital and Research Center valet parking lot that abuts the church on 52nd and West Street, said this morning’s crowd was clapping as they came out of the polling place.

From porch, euphoric, the Wests cheer and hope

By MAGGIE FAZELI FARD Nov. 4 — When Clara West woke up this morning, she really wanted to wear blue jeans and a denim shirt, complete with fringe hanging off the sides and arms — her “protest clothes,” she calls them. A Berkeley baby, West says protest is in her blood; if there were ever a day to demonstrate, today, Election Day is it.

Get out vote effort starts before dawn

By MELANIE MASON Nov. 4 – It is 6 am, and most of the storefronts on Broadway are dark and shuttered.  The sun has yet to rise.  But the lights are on at the Oakland Democratic Party headquarters, and the people streaming in are awake and attentive.  This is no day for early morning grogginess.  It is Election Day, and the activists and volunteers are ready to get down to business. 

New project urging more women of color to vote

By KRISTINE WONG Oct. 30 – Decades ago, Barbara Lee—now the outspoken Democratic congresswoman from the East Bay–deliberately chose not to register to vote. As a Mills College student in 1972, Lee was required to work for one of the presidential campaigns, or risk failing a class. “For the first time, I said ‘I’m going to flunk this course,’ because I’m not going to get involved in politics,” she recalled. “ ‘These guys aren’t speaking to the issues that I…

Lawyers gearing up for election day polls watch

By MELANIE MASON Oct. 28–In less than a week, the combined efforts of local and national candidates, political parties, activists, and energized citizens could result in a record Election Day turnout.  Alameda County has added more than 60,000 voters to the registration rolls since 2004; in all, over 800,000 people could be casting their vote.  The challenge of Election Day will be to harness all of this energy and enthusiasm into an orderly, manageable civic exercise.  Enter the lawyers. 

After night of pleas, council passes cut-down budget

By MAGGIE FAZELI FARD Oct. 22 — After five hours of heated discussion–including pleas, arguments, and even musical performances by more than 200 Oaklanders begging city council members to reconsider layoffs and spending cuts–last night’s budget discussion ended somewhat anti-climactically.

Dispatch From a Red County

By LINNEA EDMEIER In this photo and audio essay from her hometown in northern California’s Amador County, where life-size John McCain and Sarah Palin cutouts decorate shop entrances, Oakland North reporter and former fire captain Linnea Edmeier listens to friends and neighbors who live a long, long way from the Democratic strongholds of the Bay Area.

Cyclists on sidewalk face tickets, complaints

by SAMSON REINY Lined with coffeehouses and bookstores, bakeries and flower shops, College Avenue is one of North Oakland’s busiest streets. Sidewalks are frequently jammed as couples stroll idly side by side, dogs mosey around testing the length of their owners’ leashes, and friends sip café lattes while chatting on the outside tables. Large trees, planted every several yards, make up for their hoggish use of walkway space with plentiful shade. What is not as easily reconciled are the occasional…

Competing chefs sweat out Crabby Chef cookoff

by MAGGIE FAZELI FARD Oct. 12–If crab legs and butter sauce are a match made in heaven, consider the annual Crabby Chef competition the ultimate home-wrecker. Hosted every year by Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto in Berkeley, the Iron Chef-style fundraiser has paired King Crab’s sweet, succulent legs with surprising mistresses like papaya and pumpkin for the past eight years. This year was no different, as Spenger’s drew a large crowd today, eager to ring in the start of California’s crab…

Oakland considers controversial municipal ID cards

by CLARE MAJOR The cards would look much like any other ID card—driver’s license, student or employee ID—that people use in Oakland every day. The new cards would display a photo, name, and address; a magnetic strip would run across the back. And these cards, issued by the City of Oakland, would be available to illegal immigrants—and could cause the kind of controversy that has erupted over similar programs in San Francisco and New Haven, Conn. The proposed municipal ID…

School board at Tech tonight to make room for all

By LINNEA EDMEIER Oct. 8—Money is the focus of this evening’s Board of Education (BOE) meeting—both how to save it and how to spend it. While the District looks for ways to secure its financial future through cuts and possible school closures, it must also approve current funding needs for student programs and teacher training. From the looks of the published agenda, which includes both objectives, the upcoming meeting is shaping up to be contentious and long.