Occupy Oakland. A school shooting. The federal raid of Oaksterdam. A police chief’s surprising resignation. A stormy first year in office for the new mayor. The past year has been eventful and memorable for Oakland, and I feel lucky to have been able to cover this city at such an incredible time.
Many of the 20,000 people from Ethiopia and Eritrea living in the Bay Area call Oakland home. Oakland North is taking a look at the culture and history of the Ethiopian or Eritrean communities in Oakland with “East Africans in Oakland” a series of profiles on everyday people living in the city.
Oakland’s dispensary ordinance, which has been on the books since 2004, is lauded by city officials—a staff report from the City Administrator’s Office published in July, 2011, calls it “a role model for the nation”—and is generally well-respected among local dispensary owners who consider it fair to them and the city. It requires that dispensary operators follow certain rules: sharing annual financial audits and personnel records with the city, making sure there’s proper security and safe access for patients, and making sure clients aren’t a nuisance to the neighborhood.
But there could be major changes brewing for how Oakland’s dispensaries are regulated.
Waves of incense wafts out of Ancient Ways, a metaphysical and pagan store on Telegraph Avenue and 41st Street, and the sweet smell mixes with the aroma of Eritrean food simmering at the Café Eritrea D’Afrique restaurant next door. Much of the window space of the shop is covered up by white posters from Occupy Oakland, advertising the general strike in November and Move-in Day in the spring. The inside of Ancient Ways is still visible through white metal bars, though—rows of wooden bookshelves with spell books and books relating to Celtic, Qabalah and tarot. There’s a long counter where different varieties of spice are stacked, and a rotating display of incense near the door, with a lit stick usually nearby.
Oakland North is continuing with our feature. Every week, Oakland Animal Services will spotlight an “Animal of the Week” that’s up for adoption at their facility. This week it’s Dave.
The People’s School for Public Education is nearly a week old.
Protesters, including parents of students at Lakeview Elementary and members of Occupy Oakland, continued to occupy the Oakland Unified School District elementary school across from the Grand Lake Theater on Thursday, holding classes like gardening, art and social justice for the dozen or so adolescents present.
With the looming deadline for a $242 million state grant, and after more than a decade of false starts, a $1 billion development project at the former Oakland Army Base got the OK from the Oakland City Council to move forward on Tuesday night.
Oakland North is continuing with our feature. Every week, Oakland Animal Services will spotlight an “Animal of the Week” that’s up for adoption at their facility. This week it’s Kristen.
Jorge Salinas woke up shortly after 2 am Thursday to what sounded like something exploding. He then looked outside and down Mandela Parkway from his house on 3rd Street, toward the West Oakland BART station where he saw a huge fire which he estimated to be at least four stories tall.
The second-to-last Oakland Unified School District board meeting before the summer recess began Wednesday night with members of the teachers’ union demanding a new contract on the steps outside the district’s office, and ended with those same teachers becoming angry, tired and frustrated at having to wait six hours to present their proposal to the board.
Oakland North is continuing with our feature. Every week, we will publish a photo submitted by one of our readers. This week’s photo is by Kirstyn Russell.
The Port of Oakland is facing “significant financial challenges” according to Pamela Calloway, the president of the port board of directors of the fifth busiest container port in the country, and as a result the Port has asked the union for concessions in talks for a new contract. The union representing port workers who do maintenance, janitorial and security work at the port disagrees, and for the last year the two sides have negotiated but been unable to come to an agreement.
Residents, city employees and anyone interested in the future of the Broadway-Valdez district, which is located just north of downtown, gathered to ask questions of a panel of local experts at Temple Sinai on Monday night for an event called “Catalyzing Change: Revitalizing the Broadway-Valdez District in a Post-Redevelopment Era.”
Oakland North is continuing with our feature. Every week, Oakland Animal Services will spotlight an “Animal of the Week” that’s up for adoption at their facility. This week it’s Amelia.
With two councilmembers absent, Tuesday night’s Oakland City Council meeting was brief, and much of the agenda was postponed.