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Lillian R. Mongeau

Sparks, flames and dreams: A day at the Crucible

The Crucible, an industrial and creative arts center in the heart of West Oakland, opened its doors and welcomed the public to its open house demonstrations and workshops Saturday. Starting September 26, the Crucible will offer a wide variety of fall classes, covering everything from glassblowing to blacksmithing. The open house gave the curious a chance to sample the Crucible’s creative and educational offerings, and visit the booths of two dozen community groups, including People’s Grocery, Bay Area Classical Harmonies,…

The Crucible invites visitors for flames, fun and fixing bikes

The Crucible, where students do everything from fixing bikes to giving live performances with flaming batons, is having an open house this Saturday, September 12.  “We’re best known for the fire,” says Ismael Plasencia, the Crucible’s Youth and Community Program Manager. “Everyone knows about that, but we’re a school too.  We’re a school first.” Twenty-four Oakland community  outreach organizations will set up information tables in and around the Crucible’s industrial workspace.  The open house will be punctuated by live performances,…

Labor Day potluck pushes better school meals

Michelle Mapp and Rachel Carroll, of Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood, took their 8-year-old daughter Lauren to Labor Day lunch yesterday, taking their seats at a white-cloth-covered table in the middle of Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Civic Center Park.    The menu, on their plates, at least, was enchiladas, red grapes, and freshly squeezed lemonade.  It was a community potluck–with a purpose. The three gathered at the end of one of five long tables lined with bright red apples. As Lauren alternated between…

Oakland Tech kicks off new Green Academy

Five years ago, Oakland Technical High School  teacher Deirdre Snyder wrote some notes at a teacher meeting where the teachers were imagining a new kind of academy within Tech–a program that might help teach students how to make careers out of protecting the environment. At the kickoff celebration last night for Tech’s new Green Technology Academy, Snyder–who teaches Spanish and Environmental Studies, and who will now help head the new Tech program–said, “We need to do this, because without it…

A bike, a kid, and a welding gun

If you like this story, check out the slideshow here: http://oaklandnorth.net/2009/09/10/the-crucible-invites-visitors-for-flames-fun/ Ismael Plasencia is one of those lucky people who considers his job, “a dream come true.”  Among his other responsibilities at West Oakland’s The Crucible, Plasencia manages the incredibly popular bike program.  The bike program offers eight bike fix-a-thons a year, where anyone can bring their bike to get fixed, as well as youth classes in bike mechanics, Earn-a-Bike, and frame alteration, Hyphy Bikes. The Crucible, an industrial arts…

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