Melissa Batchelor Warnke

Sixty, sober, and starting over

Text by Melissa Batchelor Warnke. Photos by Luisa Conlon. It’s 6 am on a Sunday, and a group of men are sitting in a parking lot in the dark. They’re half of the Teen Challenge Choir—two dozen men and women in treatment for “life controlling issues.” They’re about to get in a big white van and head to the Cavalry Temple Church in Concord, California, about an hour north of the men’s home base in Oakland. It’s always cold this…

Space Burger

Greetings from Space Burger, a red and white striped shrine to fifties kitsch. Official people would call this the 2200 block of Telegraph. Space Burger’s set between two gas stations and sits next to the kind of street sweeping machine a person can sit inside. There’s a church across the street and, from the hours of 11 am to noon on October 22, 2015, none of its bells rang. A few things did happen. A potential customer biked up to the…

Oakland City Council approves police purchase of shotguns and transfer vehicles

The Oakland Police Department’s proposed purchase of shotguns and transfer vehicles were the most hotly contested items discussed at the concurrent Oakland City Council and Oakland Redevelopment Successor meeting Tuesday night. Other business included a year-end presentation by State Assemblymember Rob Bonta (District 18), a presentation of the AC Transit service expansion plan, and an adjustment to parking fees.