Habitat build-a-thon hammers out new homes

Volunteers from all over the Bay Area kicked off Earth Day weekend by participating in a Habitat for Humanity East Bay Build-a-thon. By the end of the four-day event, eight new homes in the Tassafaronga Village on 81st Avenue in East Oakland will be framed.

Chinese music program unites cultures, educates youth

Judging by the audience’s loud cheers, fifteen-year old Tyler Thompson’s opera rendition of Justice Bao, a Chinese judge who fought government corruption, was spot-on. He hit all the notes, his Mandarin flawless, and the cheers he received from the nearly-packed Rawley Farnsworth Theater at Skyline High School Saturday evening were the loudest of the night at a performance to raise money for the Purple Silk Music Education Foundation.

A’s fans eagerly await 2011 season

The Oakland Athletics will open their 2011 season Friday at the Coliseum with a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners. Despite an offseason loss Tuesday, many predict 2011 could be the team’s best season yet. But Oakland fans are still anxious that they may lose the A’s to San Jose, where owner Lew Wolff continues to try to move the team.

Red Cross teaches emergency medical skills on Save-A-Life Saturday

The American Red Cross Bay Area chapter participated in a national Save-A-Life event Saturday, offering four free classes in Oakland and San Jose aimed at teaching local residents essential life-saving techniques in honor of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of January’s shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

For an Oakland school garden program, it’s harvest time

The Oakland Based Urban Gardens organization — or O.B.U.G.S. — provides healthy food options for Oakland youth ages two to fourteen in six local school gardens. Reporter Lauren Callahan joined West Oakland Middle School students as they harvested greens and learned to make kale salad.

A garden tour raises funds for healthy food education

In the shade of large, leafy lettuce and kale and tall stalks of beans, approximately 150 Bay Area residents met Saturday at the Saint Martin de Porres Elementary School garden to show their support for the nonprofit organization that planted it to give Oakland students a chance to learn about nutrition.

With fewer officers, Oakland’s policing strategy changes

Since the layoff of 80 police officers, Oakland’s policing strategy has changed, and neighborhood safety groups are grappling with how to react. The Oakland Police Department plans to focus more on emergencies and less on community problem-solving and the investigation of non-violent crimes.

Kaplan gathers signatures for fall ballot

As the fog burned away into sunshine Saturday morning, campaign volunteers manned a table on the Lakeview Branch Library lawn and gathered signatures to officially put Rebecca Kaplan on the ballot for this fall’s mayoral election.