Welcome to Video Lab, stories from the Bay Area and beyond

Video Lab covers current stories from the Bay Area and beyond. In this edition of Video Lab. learn about the controversy surrounding the Hollywood sign, a nonpartisan news app covering the battle over free speech in Berkeley, Oakland’s soon-to-be only remaining professional sports team, and an Oakland studio that’s transforming dance. Produced and reported by Angeline Bernabe, Cameron Clark, Katie Woodruff and Marian Davidson. Footage contributed by Andy Beale and Abner Hauge.

Sandra Johnson needs a job: Finding work after incarceration

Sandra Johnson needs a job, desperately. The formerly incarcerated 59-year-old Oakland woman is now a City College of San Francisco student, but needs to find work as well.

In June, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of establishing a new re-entry hiring program that aims to create 1,400 county job opportunities for the formerly incarcerated.

Climbing stairs at Joaquin Miller Park

A 30-something, slightly overweight woman clad in yoga pants, Adidas and an electric blue athletic pullover, as if she frequents an overpriced workout class, stares begrudgingly at the stairs before her. She waits, looking at those stairs, like they have done something personally to her. Finally, after what feels like 30 minutes, she lets out a long “huff” before taking her first step on the gray cracked stairs at Joaquin Miller Park. It’s a wonder she hasn’t fallen on the…

Women react to Trump presidency: “Sexism and racism won last night.”

Betsy Butler, Catherine Hooper and Alison Knowles all thought they would turn on the TV this morning to see Hillary Clinton become President-elect of the United States. Instead they woke up to the reality of a Donald Trump presidency, and have spent the day grappling with feelings of shock and disappointment as they pondered how Tuesday night’s results will affect them as women. Butler, who is executive director of the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) and campaigned for Clinton in…

Oakland students debate proposed tax on sugary beverages

Two weeks before November’s national election, two Bay Area Urban Debate League members debated a hot local ballot measure in downtown Oakland. Megan Ma and Aiden Koontz, both Oakland Tech High School students, took the podium to present and argue opposing sides of Measure HH, a proposed tax on soda. Measure HH has become one of the Bay Area’s most widely debated issues on this year’s ballot. It would impose a 1-cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages, such as…

City Council votes on parking changes, opposes closure of Alta Bates

At the Oakland City Council meeting on Tuesday night, the council approved major reductions in parking requirements for new building construction, while nurses clad in scrubs gave a passionate plea to the council, asking them to oppose the closure of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. In a unanimous vote, with Councilmember Larry Reid (District 7) absent, the council approved an ordinance to Oakland’s planning code that would drastically change off-street parking and loading regulations. The new requirements aim to provide…

Oakland grocers raise concerns about soda tax Measure HH

Thirty-five years ago, Abdul Talev’s grandfather opened a small grocery store in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. Today, with the family business in his care, Talev is worried a new soda tax will cause him to lose business, or even worse, force him to close his doors.  The controversial tax Talev is referring to is Measure HH on Oakland’s November ballot. Measure HH would impose a one cent per ounce tax on the distribution of sodas and other sugary beverages….