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Max Levenson

Therapists, role models, spies: An Oakland school trains students to help mediate campus conflict

Peer mediators serve as “Mr. Kyle” McClerkins’ eyes and ears around school. They listen to fellow students, help them take responsibility for their actions and decide on appropriate consequences. McClerkins’ peer mediator program is part of a larger framework called the Restorative Justice Whole School Model, implemented in Oakland since 2005, and existing in various forms around the country, from Chicago to New Orleans.

Bicycle Coalition plans controversial cycling lane for Telegraph Avenue

The East Bay Bike Coalition is currently in the planning stages of a potential bike lane for Telegraph Avenue. As they consider several designs to help keep cyclists safer, however, they are finding themselves running up against opposition from businesses that may have their on-street parking removed to make way for the bike lane.

Antique Naked Soul ensemble creates manifesto music with the human voice

Today Antique is wearing a black skirt over green tights, a boldly-striped tank top over a black long-sleeve shirt, bright earrings that look like ice cream cones you might find in a Dr. Seuss story, an orange and black bandanna in her hair, and black 1950s-style cat’s eye glasses with sparkles in the corners. “I dress in different eras every day,” she says.

The music she creates, however, is naked.

As the lead vocalist of the ensemble Antique Naked Soul, Antique, along with vocal percussionist Tommy Shepherd, also known as Soulati, and vocalists Jayme Brown and N’gala McCoy, composes songs that consist solely of the human voice. The challenge, she and Shepherd say, is managing to create full-bodied “manifestos” within the limitation of such spare instrumentation.

In the face of criticism, OPD’s Ceasefire strives to move forward

Pastor Billy Dixon Jr. leaned forward in his seat. “Do you know what 26 seconds of solid gunfire sounds like?” he asked. He placed his cell phone on the table, and started a timer. “Bang bang bang … !” he cried repeatedly, as a table full of Oakland North reporters, students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, looked on in silence. Dixon wasn’t joking. As co-chair of the Oakland Ceasefire program and a longtime resident of Oakland, he…

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