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Susan Cohen

Where do all those rotting jack-o-lanterns go?

Right now, somewhere on your block, a pumpkin is rotting. If you’re lucky, that somewhere is in a Waste Management-sanctioned green bin, where it can safely decay with other compostable trash, and not on your front porch. It is mid-November, after all. This time of year, pumpkins become a major player in the composting program run by Waste Management, the North American company in charge of trash in Alameda County. In Oakland, all degenerate Jack-o-lanterns — as long as they…

Families remember loved ones on All Souls Day

In a black-and-white photograph, John Caybut stands in front of Oakland’s Saint Augustine Catholic Church with his mother, father, sister, and brother. The picture was taken in 1965. Caybut passed away in February. Today, his sister is the photograph’s only surviving subject. Caybut’s widow, Sabina, has placed the picture on a colorful altarcito in the nave of the church on Alcatraz Avenue. There, John and his family join others who have passed on but survive in pictures, placed among bright…

Gourd hoard at Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch

In the pumpkin trade, it all comes down to stem size. To capture the ideal Jack-o-lantern aesthetic, a thick stem is key. That’s what Jon Goldstein, co-owner of the Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch at 4414 Piedmont Ave., thinks. So stay away from the ones up for sale at chain stores, he says. Their stems are too wimpy, or even non-existent. Instead, the ones he sells have the impressive girth fit for a front porch or sidewalk. According to the United…

Temescal store celebrates a quarter century of spells and service

In its 25 years, Ancient Ways has grown beyond a metaphysical supermarket of crystals, candles and Tarot readings, into an anchor of its Temescal neighborhood. Owner Glenn Turner celebrates her durable store’s quarter century in business, and credits her ability to “outlast most people.”

In the face of criticism, OPD’s Ceasefire strives to move forward

Pastor Billy Dixon Jr. leaned forward in his seat. “Do you know what 26 seconds of solid gunfire sounds like?” he asked. He placed his cell phone on the table, and started a timer. “Bang bang bang … !” he cried repeatedly, as a table full of Oakland North reporters, students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, looked on in silence. Dixon wasn’t joking. As co-chair of the Oakland Ceasefire program and a longtime resident of Oakland, he…

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