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Libby Leyden

At “Fiber Florist,” a local artist creates everlasting bouquets

In the window display of Vivian Truong’s studio there are rose petals as soft as a newborn’s hair, tulips as vibrantly colored as wild birds, and daffodils as bright as the early morning sun. It may appear that Truong has finally found the trick for keeping fresh-cut plants alive longer than a week. But a closer look reveals that these flowers are actually carefully handcrafted out of felt and fabric—Truong is a “fiber florist.”

Artist’s love for driftwood anchors Gneiss Wood in Oakland

Adam Hubenig grew up in Quebec and Ontario, Canada, surrounded by lush forest, hidden brooks and rivers, with access to a secluded cabin where he could completely escape into nature. He moved to Oakland in 2001 for a technology job, but, more importantly, he wanted to be just a few hours a way from Yosemite National Park to rock climb, his favorite past-time. “Being three hours away from Yosemite allowed me to go rock climbing in the world’s best rock…

Historic deli faces closure from increased rent

The Genova Delicatessen, located at 5095 Telegraph Avenue, has been part of the famous Temescal Plaza since 1926. When it first opened it sold mostly just pastas and sauces but in the late 1960s the deli began to focus on making and selling sandwiches and has since become a staple place for many locals to get their lunches. This spring the deli will close due to an increase in rent from the landlords, Temescal Plaza, LLC.

“Steep Jeep” is bringing a modern take on tea

Revamping an ice cream truck into a mobile tea business is just one part of Molly Gaylord and Karina Vlastnik’s vision for Steep Tea Company, based in West Oakland. They are renovating the “Steep Jeep,” a 1967 Jeep named Belle, so they can use it to serve hot tea, iced tea, tea lattes, tea soda, tea flavored soft-serve ice cream, as well as loose tea to take home. Fueled by a Kickstarter campaign, Gaylord and Vlastnik reached their fundraising goal…

Tales of Two Cities 1: Sports

We’re excited to bring you our first episode of Tales of Two Cities: Radio Stories from Oakland and Richmond. From the Super Bowl to chess champions, this week’s episode features stories on the great wide world of sports. Listen in to hear the turmoil of Oakland Raiders fans watching one of their rivals in the Super Bowl, and check in with local tennis and chess players in Richmond. Stay tuned for our next episode in two weeks. This week’s episode is hosted by Brad Bailey.

Local boutique owner designs clothing with sustainable materials

Field Day and Friends is a local boutique that is part workshop, part brick and mortar store. Trinity Cross, owner and designer, creates her own patterns for women’s clothing using reused and sustainable fabrics. Cross searches for a variety of different fabrics, which means many of her designs are one-of-a kind.

Oakland Public Library main branch

The smell of old and worn paper wafts through the door as you step into the first floor of the public library main branch in downtown Oakland. Faint whispers come from two librarians sitting promptly at their desks. Stacks of bookshelves flank both sides of the building, covered in stories waiting to be read. Smaller desks are occupied by students who are consumed by their projects. You can find a sense of relaxation in the silence that overcomes the library. Wandering the long…

High number of hit and runs in Oakland prompts new state funding

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, a government agency that provides grants to local and state public agencies for programs to help them enforce traffic laws, Oakland has consistently had the highest rate of hit-and-run crashes of any large city in the state. “In 2014, there were 7,000 traffic collisions, of which 4,000 were hit and runs,” said Officer Glenn Hara, who works in the traffic investigation unit at the Oakland Police Department. Out of those cases, which include incidents with injuries and fatalities as well as more minor cases, such as damage to a parked car, OPD has solved fewer than 2 percent.

FBI, OPD joint task force increases homicide cases solved in Oakland

The Oakland Police Department and the FBI have been partnered together since June 2014 to tackle the large amount of homicide active and cold cases still under investigation. Almost a year later, a physical new joint workspace in the OPD administration building is now near completion and a new billboard campaign has been launched, resulting in a staggering significant amount of cases that are being solved.

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