New air quality guidelines get mixed response

When it comes to the interests of low-income people, affordable housing and clean air advocates usually work side by side in Oakland and the Bay Area. However, the issue of impending air quality guidelines for new or renovated affordable housing sites has caused disagreement between the two groups.

Council approves $3.1 million in matching funds for Army Base project

In a low-fuss meeting on Tuesday, the Oakland City Council voted to match a federal grant with city money to fund a study about developing the Oakland Army Base. With a unanimous vote, the council committed over $3 million to the study, to be matched by $1.6 million out of a larger grant from the federal government.

Council reconsiders pot farm permits, discusses redevelopment funds

Without voting on a single ordinance, members of a beleaguered Oakland City Council spent Tuesday night’s meeting discussing their two most pressing concerns: threats of prosecution by the state and federal government over the city’s plan to permit industrial cannabis cultivation, and dramatic budget cuts from the governor.

Volunteer tax preparers spread the word on earned income tax credit

When it comes to groups that fight poverty, the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t immediately come to mind. But the CEO of Alameda County’s First 5 program, which funds efforts to support families with young children, says the IRS provides an overlooked service to low-income families, boosting their incomes substantially with a tax credit.

The new 81st Avenue Library opens its doors Saturday

At a time when local governments talk more about cutting public services than providing new ones, Oakland’s newest library branch bucks the trend. No modest affair, the new 81st Avenue Library opens its doors Saturday in one of the city’s most troubled areas.

Mushroom lovers enjoy East Bay’s fungal offerings

Holding an oversized, fleshy mushroom in one hand, an excited Steven Cochrane says, “Let’s key this out!” Cochrane is an amateur mycologist, and he’s holding an item irresistible to mushroom enthusiasts: an unidentified fungus.

Quan takes crime prevention message to East Oakland’s doorsteps

Still reeling from a shooting on the night of January 4, residents of an East Oakland neighborhood received surprise visitors on Saturday—Mayor Jean Quan and a retinue of volunteers. The mayor spent the morning going door to door through East Oakland’s police beat 33, talking with residents about new services and programs in the neighborhood, including the reinstatement of the neighborhood’s crime prevention council.

Judge waits on conflict of interest decision in Fruitvale gang injunction

An Alameda County judge decided Friday to put off a decision about whether attorneys from Oakland law firm Siegel and Yee can represent a man who was named on a pending gang injunction. Lawyers from the Oakland City Attorney’s Office had brought up concerns regarding a conflict of interest within the law firm, where City Councilmember Jane Brunner practices, arguing that Brunner’s role in the firm could expose Siegel and Yee lawyers to the city’s confidential information.

Oakland officials ask for last minute help in toy drive

Santa’s little helpers are fewer and farther between this year in Oakland, as the mayor’s toy drive is coming up short on donations. This morning mayor-elect Jean Quan sent out an email blast asking people to bring a new toy or a check to City Hall.

Crèches light up the scene at Catholic Christmas festival

For Christmas this year, Leo Keegan set out to create a nativity spectacle at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, the seat of the Catholic Diocese of Oakland. The result was the Starlight Festival: seventeen unique displays of the crèche, or nativity scene, each an interpretation of the biblical story of Jesus’ birth

BAMN protests death of Derrick Jones at Oakland City Council meeting

On paper, Tuesday night’s city council meeting was scheduled to be a quiet evening spent tying up loose legislative ends. But the meeting that took place was anything but quiet. With yells and chants, protesters from local activist group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) brought the meeting to a halt during the open forum segment in an effort to call attention to the recent shooting death of Derrick Jones.

How will Jerry Brown’s time in Oakland influence him as governor?

In January, Jerry Brown will return to Sacramento as California’s governor. How did his eight years in Oakland influence his thinking about housing, arts, education and leadership, and can the criticism, praise and ambivalence he drew from Oakland residents shed light on what’s store for California?