At Manzanita, you really are what you eat

video by MARTIN RICARD If you’re vegan and you live in North Oakland, this is the place to be. Even if you’re not,  1050 40th St., is the place to get a good meal that is both organic and macrobiotic.

Mail thieves suspected in missing deliveries

story and video by MARTIN RICARD One week last August, Carlos Martinez, a civil engineer who lives in the Temescal district, was expecting a special envelope in the mail. It was his 37th birthday, and his sister from Dallas had told him she was sending him a gift card. She said she was going to send it through the postal service, as most people do. Only the gift card never arrived.

Newly-elected Kaplan: “I know we can do it”

By MARTIN RICARD The 100 people who funneled last Thursday into the former downtown campaign office of newly elected at-large city councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan were welcomed by jazz music, food, and a number of familiar faces. They chatted, exchanged hugs and shared laughter during a post-election celebration of her victory. And then about half an hour into the event, here came Kaplan—striding toward a makeshift podium in the darkened room, blowing one long blast toward the ceiling with her signature…

With development looming, old Burley’s hangs on

By MARTIN RICARD  There’s an invisible line on West MacArthur Boulevard that divides it these days into two different worlds. On one side of Telegraph Avenue, in the up-and-coming Temescal district, the corridor is full of activity. Up near Broadway and Piedmont Avenue, a new Kaiser facility is being erected, which once built, will literally become a beacon of light for that part of North Oakland.  On the other side, a lone church shares another two blocks with a dilapidated…

UCB black students sober, charged, expectant

By MARTIN RICARD Nov. 6 — The mood was more subdued than celebratory in the room where a group of black graduate students from the University of California-Berkeley met to reflect the day after Tuesday’s historic presidential election. They shared their joy and ambivalence over having the first black president elected to office. They snacked on food. Most of all they concluded that, with Barack Obama in the country’s highest office, black people now have to continue to uplift themselves–that…

“Madness” registers thousands before deadline

Story by MARTIN RICARD Video by CHRISTINA SALERNO Oct. 21—Twelve dedicated staff. Four extra-long tables. Floodlights. A decked-out AC Transit bus playing “God Bless America” and other patriotic songs. And a whole lot of coffee, hot chocolate and cookies. That’s what it took for the Alameda County Registrar of Voters’ office to pull off its “Midnight Madness” voter registration drive Monday night, braving the cold from 5 p.m. to midnight to allow as many people as possible to get registered…

Crucial young voters are targets in weekend push

By MARTIN RICARD Oct. 17 — On most days, you can usually find 19-year-old Lajon Collins at the Bushrod Recreation Center, playing basketball, lifting weights or just hanging out with friends. But come Nov. 4, there is one place you probably won’t find him: at the polls. Collins isn’t registered to vote. And he doesn’t plan on voting in the upcoming election either.

Playground’s “4-square” goes grownup in BART lot

Video by MARTIN RICARD Every week, young adults and the young at heart gather at the Rockridge BART station to play one of the most hallowed of playground games: four-square. With cars and trains zooming by above, the group — known as 4 Square of the East Bay — takes over a row of parking spaces, sharing the lot with medieval sword fighters and bike polo players, to compete for fun and for camaraderie.

New owners struggling to resurrect Eli’s Mile High

Story and audio slides by MARTIN RICARD It was a little after 7 p.m. on a recent Monday night at Eli’s Mile High Club, and a slow, celestial song by the British space rock group The Telescopes was blasting over the speakers to an empty room. Jason Herbers, the assistant to Eli’s owner, who manages the day-to-day operations of the club, was visibly frustrated by the lack of customers as he strolled back and forth throughout the place.

Your crisis questions: an economist answers

By MELANIE MASON, MARTIN RICARD and KRISTINE WONG Oct. 6–Bailouts, credit crunches, bank buyouts. In these shaky economic times, it seems like every day there’s a new phrase to learn and another concept to wrap our heads around.  For a breakdown of what is going on in our faltering economy, we turned to Martha Olney, an adjunct professor of economics at UC Berkeley.  Olney, who won the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003, sat down with us on Monday to…

Girls’ rowing team puts oars within reach

story by MARTIN RICARD audio slides by ISABEL ESTERMAN Sept. 7—About a dozen girls huddled in front of the boathouse at the Jack London Aquatic Center Sunday afternoon giggling and chatting away as though they’d known one another for years. Who’s the cute new crew instructor? Who’s afraid of the water? Is rowing really that hard? they asked one another. Above them, on the second floor of the center, the girls’ parents were hammering away with questions of their own…

Cyclists’ pack rides Oakland to press for better routes

Story and slideshow by MARTIN RICARD SEPT. 29 — As anyone who has traveled on two wheels along some of the city’s busiest streets knows, bicycling through Oakland can be a challenge. There are already more than 85 miles of designated bike routes for cyclists. But some of the bike lanes are confusing, not all the roads are paved and there are some areas that are just plain not safe to ride on. That’s where Walk Oakland Bike Oakland thinks…