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Katie Bernstein

Never mind Reefer Madness, seniors are the next big cannabis consumers

It’s a quiet Monday afternoon at Magnolia Oakland, a cannabis dispensary on the industrial end of Adeline Street. From the outside, the blocky, concrete building looks like the kind of place you might go to get a package shipped or a document notarized. Inside, as a guy working security chats with a front desk employee checking IDs, a skunky whiff of weed floats by, indicating that this is, in fact, a place to legally buy a bewildering number of cannabis…

Labor unions at odds over West Oakland hotel development

Every theater seat was occupied in Oakland’s city council chamber on Tuesday night, with more community members spilling into the hallway, as members of two of the city’s biggest unions turned out to take opposite sides on a proposal to build a hotel in West Oakland. In November 2016, Architectural Dimensions, an Oakland architecture and planning firm, filed an application to build a six-story 220-room hotel on what is currently an empty lot on Mandela Parkway along Oakland’s border with…

Controversial property tax is tabled after public outcry at city council meeting

Oakland City Hall was packed Tuesday night, with nearly every seat filled by a resident who had something to say. As the meeting crept towards the midnight hour, people trickled out and one man left huffing in exasperation. Most of the people were there to talk about the last agenda item of the evening, the impending Vacant Property Tax Act authored by Council President Rebecca Kaplan, Dan Kalb (District 1), and Abel Guillén (District 2). The tax, on the ballot…

Oaklanders get ready to face PG&E power cuts

On Wednesday afternoon, Oakland residents prepared for the power to go out, anticipating cuts that were initially expected to begin in Alameda County at noon. Parts of the Oakland hills and East Oakland are the most likely to be affected by the outages, which Pacific Gas and Electric estimates will affect 32,680 county residents. PG&E officials plan to cut power to parts of more than 30 Northern California counties as a wildfire prevention measure. This decision followed the last two…

Ghost Ship jury deadlocks on Derick Almena verdict; acquits Max Harris

The jury considering allegations against two men connected with the 2016 Ghost Ship fire reached a verdict on Thursday afternoon, acquitting Max Harris, a former tenant and creative director of the Ghost Ship, of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. But after the jury deadlocked, Judge Trina Thompson declared a mistrial regarding identical charges against Derick Almena, the Ghost Ship’s primary leaseholder, who now faces a possible second trial.  The fire broke out on December 2, 2016, at a party at the…

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