12/18/09 Law and order

Residents of North Oakland gathered last night to discuss a November crime surge, including three shootings in Bushrod and Golden Gate. City Council Member Jane Brunner discussed the city’s response, including the possibility of a bound measure to fund Oakland’s police force during challenging budgetary times. Oakland North’s Richard Parks filed this report. Close to one year after one of BART’s police officers killed Oscar Grant in the Fruitvale station, the transit agency is searching for a new police chief….

Moving forward on bike lanes near MacArthur BART

After receiving a $242,500 grant to improve bicycle access around North Oakland’s MacArthur BART station, the city is moving ahead on a series of measures. New bicycle signs are being added to to 40th Street, 41st Street, West Street, Webster Street, and Shafter Avenue

12/17/09 Are we there yet?

In describing Oakland, or at least a part of it, the author Gertrude Stein once famously said, “There is no there there.” The quote has a checkered past. Scholars have pointed out that Stein meant she could not find her childhood home in Oakland when returning to the city in 1930s after decades of living in Paris. Yet it’s often been taken out of context since she said it, to mean Oakland is a place with no character. For the…

12/16/09 Moving Beyond Violence in Oakland

During the past two months, three Oakland North reporters have interviewed five teens at Castlemont High School on MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. This neighborhood is at center of some of the city’s worst violence, and it’s a violence that does not spare young people. During the last three years, one in every two homicide victims in Oakland has been between the ages of 12 and 24. Even amid this tragedy, the five teens that met with Oakland North have,…

12/15/09 Politics at Year’s End

2009 is drawing to a close, but there’s still unfinished business in Oakland politics before year’s end. Oakland North’s Richard Parks is investigating the city’s parking permit renewal system, which has come under scrutiny for inefficiency and excessive cost. The City Council has promised action. Look for a story later in the week. The Oakland Unified School District may try to close its budget deficit by closing certain schools. If final decisions are made at OUSD’s meeting tomorrow, Oakland North’s…

12/14/09 Keeping the Home Fires Burning

UC Berkeley’s fall semester has reached an end, which means most of Oakland North’s reporters have scattered to the four corners of the globe. Well, scattered to Los Angeles, Texas, Wisconsin and Burma, at least. That feels like the four corners of the globe after close to four months we’ve spent between San Pablo, Claremont, Alcatraz and Grand Lake avenues. A reduced staff of two or three reporters will keep the site going during the next five weeks until we…

Construction site at Broadway and West MacArthur

At Broadway and West MacArthur, car engines whir and belch, stopping and starting according to a choreography determined by an orange-vested flagman. A street sweeper circles the intersection, picking up dust and debris from a massive construction site at the southeast corner. A yellow bulldozer, perched on Broadway’s asphalt median south of MacArthur, looks ready to pounce. Kaiser Permanente, Oakland’s largest hospital, is extending its vast reach south across this intersection. Kaiser already has several buildings on the north side…

Oakland wants to join U.S. bid for World Cup

Imagine a series of summer afternoons at the Oakland Coliseum a few years in the future. The sun-dappled parking lot has become a Tower of Babel—English, Spanish and a smattering of Scandinavian tongues—but all are mutually intelligible in their passion for one sport: soccer. It might just happen, since Oakland is bidding to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

A ride into the hills

For Bay Area cyclists, November is the cruelest month. Night falls earlier and earlier, and winter winds and rains prompt many of us to place our two-wheeled conveyances into hibernation for the next few months.

O’Malley looks to maintain “superior tradition” at Alameda County DA office

Newly appointed Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, who comes from a Bay Area family of judges and prosecutors, steps into the job at a time of budget cuts and high-profile homicide cases. “It’s still looked at as one of the best D.A. offices in the country,” she said during an extensive interview last week. “I take the job very, very seriously.”