Sam Laird

O.N. Blogwalk: College Ave, Friday dusk

Every week this fall, Oakland North is taking a blogwalk.  Usually on weekends, but maybe not. Sometimes we’ll have cameras, audiorecorders, or both; sometimes we’ll just tell you about what we heard and saw.   If you want to send us someplace in particular, let us know. It’s a balmy early Friday evening in North Oakland.  The stretch of College Avenue between Broadway and Claremont slowly comes more and more alive as the sun descends. The 51 and 7 AC…

In Parkway Theater’s lingering absence, the fragility of an urban neighborhood

“It’s a sad memory, looking at that, especially at nighttime,” says an Oakland cafe owner whose business view takes in the padlocked, empty theater building that used to be the Parkway. A look at the loss of the popular neighborhood hub and the challenges hampering efforts to bring it back to life. by Sam Laird/Oakland North

Parks fire prevention plan makes headway

As flames continued to rage elsewhere in the state, a local voter-approved wildfire prevention project for the East Bay hills moved toward implementation in Oakland last night.  In the fifth in a series of six public hearings on the brush-clearing, wood-chopping Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan, three dozen citizens listened without major objection as a draft plan of the project and an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) draft were discussed. Voters in western Alameda and Contra Costa counties originally…