Jewelry designer Laura Bruland turns old book covers into wearable art

Laura Bruland of Yes and Yes Designs makes hand-made, laser cut jewelry … out of old books. Most of the books that she uses tend to be old textbooks, Reader’s Digests, or children’s books. She avoids books with glossy covers, preferring fabric or textile covers, and tries to use books with lots of colors or images. “I don’t cut up classics or first editions,” she said, adding that she always tries to buy books that most people would not want to read.

Oakland then and now: A tour in photos

The location of a city may be permanent, but that which makes up a city—its buildings, streets, houses, etc—is not. Streets might be added; lots might be developed; buildings might be demolished. For over a century the city of Oakland has been in existence, but the question is: how much of the old still exists, or is it all new? Take a look at our “Then and Now” slideshow and decide for yourself.

For local dispensaries after the Oaksterdam raid, business as usual and a low profile

Medical marijuana dispensaries often strive to keep a low profile, but this has been even more the case after federal agents raided Oaksterdam University and the home of founder Richard Lee on Monday. Half a dozen East Bay dispensaries responded with “no comment” when asked about how their organization was reacting to the raid, and others ignored voicemails. To date, there are no known closures of dispensaries in the East Bay as a reaction to Monday’s raid, and for many dispensaries, such as Harborside Health Center and the Berkeley Patient’s Care Collective, it’s business as usual.

Could the newest trend in Bay Area food be … edible insects?

Across the country bugs are popping up on restaurant menus and on Internet cooking shows and blogs. They’re the focus of festivals and a main ingredient in a number of proposed future foods, like granola bars and seasonings. You can definitely find bugs on the menu here in the Bay Area. Fried wax moth larvae tacos are served at the Don Bugito food cart in San Francisco and chocolate-coated fried grasshoppers made a crunchy addition to Oakland’s homemade ice creams at Lush Gelato last summer. East Bay resident Scott Bower, founded a group for like-minded foodies—the Bay Area Bug Eating Society—back in 1999, and the poster-child of edible bug consumption, Daniella Martin, hails from the area as well.

Girls Inc. headquarters moving to Oakland, rehabbing downtown building

Last June, Girls Inc. of Alameda County purchased a five-story building as the site for their new headquarters located in downtown Oakland. The 34,000 square foot structure is strikingly different from their current headquarters in a 1950s warehouse in San Leandro, and it will include staff and administrative offices, a mental health clinic, fitness center, teaching kitchen, and other amenities for the 145 teenage girls who are served by the organization.

Jennifer LeBarre makes sure that Oakland students get a healthy school lunch

The bell rings— a prolonged buzzing signaling the end of class. Attention students: lunch is being served in the cafeteria, announces a female voice over the intercom. Lunch is being served in the cafeteria. There’s chicken wings and fries, pizza and fries, and salad bar. Within moments, hordes of students come rushing into the Oakland Tech cafeteria, sidling up in line in front of the kitchen and dropping their backpacks and jackets off at one of the circular red tables….

It’s almost Christmas, which means it’s time for tamales

Tamales, a Mexican dish of wrapped cornmeal dough filled with meat or vegetables, are a traditional favorite for holidays, especially Christmas. At La Borinquena Mexi-catessen and Specialty Shop, a family-owned business that has been open since 1944, tamales are a regular feature on the menu, but it is during the holidays that they sell out the most.

Community Acupuncture: A new trend in Oakland

Last Monday, the Oakland Acupuncture Project opened up its second clinic across the street from Safeway on Grand Avenue. The original clinic, which opened in 2008 at its current location on Laurel Avenue, was started by two graduates of the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College of Berkeley, Roselle McNeilly and Whitney Thorniley.

City Council meets to discuss Occupy Oakland camp

Hundreds of people attended the Thursday night Occupy Oakland City Council meeting, which lasted over five hours. The meeting was held to discuss recent events pertaining to Occupy Oakland, most notably the vandalism and property damage that occurred late Wednesday night when protesters clashed in the street with police officers. Almost 150 people signed up to speak before the council.

This weekend in Oakland

Community events and activities for the weekend of October 28 – 30. Got an event we didn’t know about? Please add it in the comments!

The Occupy Oakland eviction in photos

Around 4:30 am Tuesday, police raided the Occupy Oakland camp in front of City Hall that was created on October 10 and grew in size to over 100 protesters and tents. This is a slide show of the best photographs that Oakland North reporters took throughout the course of the day as events unfolded.