Washio brings on-demand laundry service to Oakland—by phone app

Before the sun is even up, Mehdi Shokouhi, 34, is wide awake, checking the trunk and backseat of his Hyundai Sonata for the black laundry bags he will be bringing to customers, either handing off an early-morning delivery of clean and pressed clothes or picking up a load of dirty laundry. By 6:30 a.m., Shokouhi had already left his Berkeley home, driven into San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood and returned to the East Bay, part of his job working…

Oaklanders prevent flooding by adopting storm drains

You can adopt a cat, dog or rabbit anywhere. Now in Oakland you can adopt a drain. In early 2014, the city of Oakland launched its Adopt a Drain program. Oakland has over 10,000 storm drains, spread over the city on every street. When clogged with trash, water in the drains overflow, flooding streets and sidewalks. This happens particularly often during fall and winter, due to storm season and massive amounts of fallen leaves. Creeks, storm drains and sanitary sewer…

District demos new Dell laptops for Oakland schools

Taking math class online, designing video games, working with NASA scientists to launch experiments in space—these are things students at the Urban Promise Academy (UPA) can do with the 210 laptops the Oakland Unified School District provided for the school this year.

Artist James Gayles fuses watercolor paintings with poetry

When several art forms, disciplines and cultural backgrounds blend, there comes reflection, innovation and imagination. James Gayles, an Oakland-­based Emmy Award-­winning artist and musician, is striving to draw out the aesthetic value hidden in the intersection between painting and literature through a collaborative book he’s titled Reflection. He juxtaposes his own watercolor paintings of iconic cultural and historic figures, such as Nelson Mandela, Miles Davis, Celia Cruz, Nina Simone and James Baldwin, with poems written by people he knows personally….