Street DUI checks will hit North Oakland next

by HENRY JONES Nov. 16–International Boulevard and 68th Street was a big spectacle Friday night. Orange cones, squad cars, and floodlights took over the southbound side of International. Tow trucks idled around the corner. Cops waved traffic through with big red flashlights, looking like authoritarian movie theater ushers, stopping every fifth car to check for driver’s licenses and any signs of intoxication. An audience of at least fifty people from the neighborhood watched from across the street, most dressed in…

Safeway and Rockridge butt heads once again

by HENRY JONES Nov. 13–Rockridge residents met for the fifth time in three months last night to discuss with Safeway representatives the supermarket’s planned reconstruction on College Avenue.  It was not a cheerful evening.  

Veterans Day tribute amid hillside protest crosses

by HENRY JONES Nov. 12–The white crosses of Lafayette have been assaulting the consciousnesses of commuters along westbound Highway 24 for some years now. What started in 2003 with just 19 crosses protesting the Iraq war has grown into a controversial project bigger than anybody—supporters and detractors—would have liked. This evening, as the creators of the memorial led a Veterans Day vigil at the base of the hill, a billboard-sized sign above them displayed the latest tally of American soldiers…

Local hearing addresses imperiled retirement plans

By SAMSON REINY Oct. 22– Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) were back home this morning, listening to Bay Area citizens and economic experts about the future of American’s retirement plans in light of the growing financial crisis. The hearing, held in San Francisco City Hall as part of a series by the Education and Labor Committee, featured a panel that advocated both new approaches to retirement planning, and more clarity and honesty in 401(k) investment policies….

Farmer’s market both hurt & helped by money crisis

By BAGASSI KOURA At first it looked like a great Sunday for Samuel Lunes. Just after 9am, when the Temescal Farmers Market opened, customers lined up by the dozen before his produce stand. For hours, working with his son and his son’s friend, Lunes was busy selling organic fruits and vegetables. But by the end of the day, Lunes said the sales could have been better.

Grim city budget faces City Council approval tonight

By MAGGIE FAZELI FARD OCT. 21 — Three months after discovering that Oakland is facing a $42.5 million shortfall, the city council is slated to vote tonight on a budget that could cut a hundred city jobs, close several city parks, and shut down official city business over the holiday season.

Bus corridor plan would pull traffic lanes from Telegraph

By HENRY JONES As AC Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit plan grinds through the bureaucracies of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro, North Oakland residents and merchants are trying to grasp just what their civic leaders are getting them all into. Take an already bustling avenue like Telegraph, devote the two middle lanes to public buses, and run it all the way from Berkeley to San Leandro, and you have yourself either a transportational triumph or an unmitigated disaster. No one’s quite…

Educators against teachers’ salary measure

By HENRY JONES OCT. 9 — Oakland education leaders are joining in what some would consider a surprising fight: one against raising teacher salaries. They joined labor leaders and Assemblyman Sandré Swanson at a news conference today outside the state building in downtown Oakland to voice their opposition to Measure N, a parcel tax that would generate roughly $10 million a year for local schools.

Pumpkin patch helps Oakland get into Halloween spirit

story, photos and video by KRISTINE WONG At the Piedmont Pumpkin Patch, Halloween is serious business.  Patch owner Jon Goldstein has stocked his grounds,  near the corner of Piedmont and Pleasant Valley Avenues, with 15 types of pumpkins and an eclectic assortment of decorations and paraphernalia — and created a haunted house to boot.