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Laura Hautala

West Oakland’s only credit union tries to break even in a tough economy

More than two years after a recession-induced merger, People’s Federal Credit Union is striving to break even. To sustain the cost of providing financial services for West Oakland’s low income residents, People’s must revive its sluggish loan income, says Self-Help Federal Credit Union of North Carolina, the parent company helping West Oakland’s only thrift back to health.

Council hears two differing appeals for police tactics in Fruitvale

Two public safety debates dominated the Oakland City Council meeting on Tuesday: local merchants pleaded for increased policing and other neighbors turned out to oppose the planned Fruitvale gang injunction. The two discussions bookended a lengthy examination of plans to remodel the Telegraph Avenue McDonald’s.

Council approves transit village plans, addresses possible parcel tax

Nothing brings people out to a city council meeting quite like the prospect of losing business—or gaining property taxes. With Oakland city contracts, development deals, and the prospect of a new parcel tax up for vote, scores of people packed the chambers on Tuesday night to give the Oakland city council a piece of their mind.

Iconic urban farm at risk of city fines

Oakland urban homesteading celebrity Novella Carpenter could face fines from the city for unpermitted agricultural activities and lose the animals she keeps at Ghost Town Farm, a West Oakland garden that helped make local, sustainable food popular in the East Bay.

Beating back Oakland’s blight

In Oakland’s Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, building inspector Ed Labayog walks past a line of nearly a hundred people waiting to apply for a job with the city on his way to the street where his car is parked. Wearing a black button-up City of Oakland shirt and carrying a bag containing case files, a camera, and his lunch, he’s setting out to find blighted properties. For Labayog, seeking out trash, graffiti and signs of crumbling structures on private property is his job.

Oakland students don pajamas in honor of Dr. Seuss on Read Across America Day

On Wednesday, the International Community School put on a Dr. Seuss pajama party—with the help of local PBS affiliate KQED—during the time when their after school program normally meets. The party started out with an appearance by a costumed avatar of the Cat in the Hat (the real deal if you ask any of the students) and branched off into story time in each of the Kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms.

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