Ruth Dusseault

Five years after Ghost Ship: How local organizations are fighting artist displacement

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Oakland’s industrial zone bustled with canneries, metal works and warehouses. As the global economy changed, industries moved out and artists moved in. The low-rent buildings, with their vaulted interiors, were suitable for live-work studios.  Over the years, landlords looked the other way as tenants nested in spaces that were never coded for housing. On Dec. 2, 2016, the deadliest fire in Oakland history broke out in the Ghost Ship, a former warehouse in Fruitvale…

Alameda board appoints Chan’s chief of staff to fill seat

On Tuesday, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors held its first meeting without Wilma Chan, the beloved District 3 representative who was fatally struck by a car Nov. 3 near her Oakland home.   A bouquet of flowers adorned her empty seat. Tearful laments were followed by a strenuous debate over who should fill that seat. Three of the four supervisors voted to appoint Dave Brown, Chan’s chief of staff, to serve in a caretaker role for the remainder of her…

Oakland looks to make Chinatown’s streets safer by redesigning them

From horses to highways, the streets of Oakland’s Chinatown have been shaped by every form of traffic since its founding in 1850. Soon it will be reshaped again. With a $500,000 Caltrans Sustainable Communities grant, Oakland’s Department of Transportation will fund a multilingual community outreach program to collect input from the neighborhood and redesign the streets of Chinatown. The public’s opinion will be solicited beginning early 2022. The project’s goal is to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety and reduce carbon…

Soul On a Roll food truck serves second chance for new business partners

With a baby boy on her hip, GaQuayla Lagrone arrived in Oakland in 2014 looking for a fresh start. She had served a year and a half in federal prison in San Diego for a nonviolent crime.  “I came up here not knowing my left from my right,” she said.   Today, Lagrone, 37, is one of four people with similar stories who were chosen as future co-owners of the food truck business Soul On A Roll, which opened Friday with…