Few know what lurks the depths of the murky, brackish, crustacean-filled Lake Merritt. Few know what beastly beast, what cryptid, what leviathan, what man-eating monster could be swimming below, slithering through those fetid waters. Few know… but many have seen.

Summer treat series: Refreshing drinks

Throughout the month of June, Oakland North is featuring a weekly food and drink series of summer treats that can be found in Oakland. This fourth installment focuses on cool beverages that can be found all over the city and includes watermelon slushy with boba pearls, minty lemonade, Vietnamese sugar cane juice and a traditional Mexican drink made from sweet fermented corn poured over shaved ice.

Summer treat series: Latin treats in Fruitvale

Throughout the month of June, Oakland North is featuring a weekly food series of summer treats that can be found in Oakland. This third installment focuses on Latin treats that can be found in Fruitvale and includes nopal cactus quesadillas filled with sautéed squash blossoms, corn ice cream, tamarind lollypops and fresh corn in a cup topped with lime, salt, chili, mayo and parmesan cheese.

Oakland airport to offer direct charter flights to Cuba

Just six months ago, because of travel sanctions against Cuba, a U.S. citizen could have faced up to a $55,000 fine and possibly served jail time if they traveled Cuba without going through a restrictive licensing process that allowed only specific groups of people to travel to the country. And even if they did attempt to get a license, most U.S. citizens didn’t qualify for it. Now, after an easing of travel restrictions by the federal government, many people will be able to easily get a license and catch a direct flight to Cuba straight from the Oakland International Airport.

Bites on Broadway kicks off weekly summer mobile food fest

Like one giant neighborhood picnic, “Bites on Broadway” officially launched its weekly food extravaganza last Friday. People laid down blankets on the grassy lawn of Oakland Tech High School in Temescal and sampled food from a handful of a different food trucks and tents, including El Taco Bike, Fist of Flour Pizza Company, Sue’s Sassy Pies, Go Streatery and Tina Tamale.

Children’s Hospital and Clorox partner up to fight against life-threatening disease

In 2005, Elijah Adams, a 10-year-old North Oakland boy, died from meningococcal disease, an often-deadly form of bacterial meningitis. Just a year earlier, 20-year-old UC Berkeley women’s basketball player Alisa Marie Lewis had gone to the emergency room early in the morning complaining of a severe headache, rash and flu-like symptoms. By the afternoon she was dead from the same disease.

Summer treat series: Middle Eastern corridor on Telegraph

Over the next month, Oakland North is featuring a food series on summer treats in Oakland. This second installment in the series focuses on Middle Eastern treats that can be found along Telegraph Avenue around 30th Street, which includes everything from Syrian rose watered pistachio baklava to Afghani cornmeal-coated fried chicken to clarified butter spiced with both black and white cumin.

166 animal adoptions from Oakland Animal Services during adoptathon

Oakland Animal Services was able to raise $102,500 with 71 cat and 95 dog adoptions during last weekend’s second annual Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon. The adoptathon lasted two days, involved dozens of animal shelters and rescue organizations in the East Bay and all dog and cat adoptions were free.

Dan Fontes paints murals on city buildings, warehouses and under highways

Nearly 30 years ago, in 1983, Dan Fontes was under Highway 580 at Harrison Street in North Oakland painting on a massive round concrete highway support beam. With cars speeding by, he diligently worked on his piece of art: a realistic depiction of a 30-foot tall giraffe craning its neck up toward the freeway. As Fontes painted, a police car pulled up…

Free animal adoptions at Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon

Miss Twiggy is an overweight Rottweiler with hyperthyroidism and an affectionate personality. She’s 4 years old, fairly slow moving and loves to cuddle. And she lives in Oakland’s animal shelter. If Miss Twiggy is adopted this weekend, not only is her adoption free but she’ll also earn the shelter, Oakland Animal Services, $1,000.

Alameda County uses its dollars to go green

Most people may not know that the carpets in Alameda County’s General Services Agency’s office in downtown Oakland are partially made from shredded recycled plastic bottles. They also may not know that over 25 percent the power used at the Santa Rita jail comes from solar panels. These, along with other energy efficient and recycled materials projects, are part of Alameda County’s green purchasing policy. The idea is for the county to buy and use as many green products as possible in order to save water and energy and reduce waste.

Cargo ship plugs in at the Port of Oakland to reduce diesel emissions

Gigantic 10-story tall ships that stretch three football fields long line the wharf at the Port of Oakland. There’s constant movement as big white cranes load and unload colorful shipping containers on and off the boats. Most of the ships look pretty much the same, equipped with lifeboats, pulley systems and flags hoisted on the decks. But one vessel has something different: two thick cables, which look like over-sized extension cords, that hang off the side of the boat and connect to the dock.

Summer treat series: Oakland Chinatown

Over the next month, Oakland North is featuring a food series on summer treats in Oakland. Chinatown is the first installment in the series. One day last week, two Oakland North reporters wandered around Oakland’s Chinatown sampling all sorts of different Asian treats, from lotus seed buns to basil seed jello to pork meat cookies–these are their top ten.

The Gathering Place offers a new way for youth in foster care to visit their parents

Across from Highway 880, a non-descript five-story beige building with few windows sits on a corner in downtown Oakland. For years, this was the place where many foster children and their biological parents would have to meet if they wanted to visit each other. Now, there’s a new visitation center in Alameda County–called the Gathering Place–and it had its grand opening on Wednesday.

Despite criticism, Harold Camping remains adamant the world is ending

Harold Camping predicted that on May 21 a colossal global earthquake—the likes of which no one has ever felt before—would tear across the Earth, catalyzing the end of the world. But May 21 came and went. Now he’s saying that despite the lack of earthquakes, the world’s demise has indeed begun.

Oakland’s first pedal-powered food cart hits the streets

What do you get when you have a taco truck but take away the gasoline and one wheel? El TacoBike! This new meal on wheels hit town last week serving up fresh and authentic Mexican taqueria food like tacos de canasta (steamed tacos) and tortas diabolicas (meatball sandwiches) via a three-wheeled bicycle.