North Oakland Now: Tech lockdown; Fruitvale gang-injunctions

As we reported Thursday, Oakland Tech went on lock-down briefly in the afternoon when reports came to them from police that an armed robber was suspected of roaming the nearby streets. The man police were chasing had robbed a bank in Livermore earlier in the afternoon and then fled to Oakland. Police quickly sounded the all clear for the blocks surrounding Tech and the lock-down was lifted. As of 7 p.m. Thursday night, police spokeswoman Holly Joshi said, the suspect…

North Oakland Now: Feds tell Oakland pot farms are illegal; California ranks 44 in kids’ health care

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a statement to the Oakland City Council Wednesday notifying council-members that Oakland’s current laws allowing large scale pot farms are illegal. The DOJ letter stated that the department was considering “civil and criminal legal remedies” if Oakland continues with its plans to permit the large farms. Read the whole story by Zusha Ellison on And for our coverage of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting where these issues were discussed at length, read N.O.’s…

North Oakland Now: Cairo protests turn violent; Claremont Hotel declares bankruptcy

Protests in Eygypt turned violent today as those in favor of Egypt’s president clashed with anti-government protesters. President Obama has urged President Mubarak, who has held power for 30 years, to step down. Closer to home, the Claremont Hotel filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday, though the luxury resort will continue to operate for now. The hotel was seized from Morgan Stanley this week along with four other properties like Hawaii’s Grand Wailea Resort. And the Chinese Year of the Rabbit…

North Oakland Now: Ten OPD officers rehired; State of State delivered

Jean Quan announced yesterday that she will rehire 10 Oakland police officers. But, O.N.’s Samantha Bryson reported yesterday that it is still unclear if Police Cheif Anthony Batts will stay in Oakland. Last week, Gregory McConnel wrote an Op-Ed for Oakland North encouraging Batts to stay – what do you think the new police cheif should do? In other news, Jerry Brown gave his first State of the State address last night. The California Report’s John Myers reported this morning…

School board hears grief over shooting, examines budget

Teachers in Oakland can expect a 2 percent raise next year, but that was the only positive budget news from Wednesday night’s school board meeting. The district is expecting to lose more of its state funding this year, is running low on much of its one-time-use federal funding and continues to struggle with low enrollment.

Busy weekend in Oakland’s parks precedes annual meeting

Lots of people were out on Saturday at two of North Oakland’s most popular parks, Bushrod Park and Mosswood Park, enjoying the warm weather. The photo slideshow above gives an idea of the breadth of activities people took part in. “Parks are important,” Norma Herbert, 59, said from a picnic blanket in Mosswood Park. “Kids need somewhere to go and play.”

New texting program lets students tip police anonymously

Public school students in Oakland now have one more way to let authorities know if something is making them feel unsafe on campus: texting. Beginning last Thursday, a new program at the six major high school campuses in town—Oakland Tech, Skyline, McClymonds, Fremont, Castlemont and Oakland High—allows students to send anonymous text messages to Oakland Unified School District police about anything that worries them, from rumors of a fight on campus to concerns that a weapon has been brought to…

Vigil held in downtown Oakland for Arizona shooting victims

Nearly 100 people held candles and listened to speakers at a vigil in downtown Oakland for Arizona congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, and the other victims of Saturday’s shooting. Congresswoman Barbara Lee told the crowd the vigil was for all the victims of Saturday’s shooting, “whether they had a title or not.”

Grants for local non-profit art projects now available

The Alameda County ARTSFUND Grant Program has just announced the release of the guidelines for applying for 2011 grants. ARTSFUND awards grants to non-profits to support arts programming of all kinds from dance to literature and music to visual arts. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2011.

Oakland reacts to Arizona shooting

The shooting of Arizona congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, and 20 innocent bystanders has shocked the nation. We took a video camera downtown Monday morning, where the American flags in front of all the government buildings flew at half mast, and asked passersby for their reactions to the shooting. Did they think the political climate contributed to the shooting, or was it an independent act? Could such a shooting happen here?

Oakland’s options process lets families choose schools, but raises questions

It’s that time of year again—time for school-age kids and their parents to pick which Oakland public school they’d like to attend. Starting on December 6 and running through January 14, Oakland’s “options process” is meant to provide students and parents with greater flexibility and allow them to select the schools that are best suited to their particular needs.

OUSD budget balanced now, but funding outlook bleak

“We did submit a balanced budget,” said Troy Flint, the spokesperson for Oakland Unified School District, of the interim budget report board members approved Tuesday, “but, we’re headed towards potentially the biggest mid-year cuts in the history of California.”