Friday night comes alive in West Oakland

Despite funding issues that have forced the West Oakland Youth Center to remain closed for now, last week the center’s staff kicked off Friday Night Live, a new series of community events that will run through August.

City council votes not to censure Councilwoman Brooks

The Oakland City Council has voted not to censure District 6 councilmember Desley Brooks for allegedly interfering with the construction and operation of two recreation center projects in East Oakland. Angry community members attended the meeting Thursday night to defend Brooks. In a recent report the Alameda County Grand Jury accused Brooks of violating city rules in contracting, purchasing and hiring for the Rainbow Teen Center at 58th and International Boulevard and Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center on Krause Avenue. City…

American Indian Model Schools to remain open

Despite facing an FBI probe and losing its accreditation, American Indian Model Schools (AIMS), a nationally lauded charter school, will remain open at least until the end of the 2014 school year. On Friday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo granted the school a preliminary injunction, ruling that the Oakland Unified School District made an error by not acknowledging the school’s academic success before revoking its charter. AIMS has three campuses in Oakland, and the ruling by Judge Grillo…

“First Friday,” picture of a changing Oakland

A monthly art walk is an unlikely place for a shooting, but in Oakland last February, that wasn’t the case. After a man’s death at First Friday, where art lovers crowd the sidewalks and often enjoy food and wine at local galleries, two filmmakers decided to make a movie about the gathering in hopes of starting a dialogue about Oakland’s many facets.

BART riders brace for possible strike

Update: Wednesday’s morning results show that BART workers decided to allow union leaders to call a strike if a contract agreement isn’t reached by July 1.  Bay Area Rapid Transit riders braced themselves Tuesday for a possible strike that could tremendously slow down their commute as soon as next Monday. Labor unions gathered at Metro Center in San Francisco on Tuesday to vote to authorize a strike. Results of the votes are expected to be announced Wednesday morning. More than 400,000…

Alameda County school board faces decision on American Indian Model Schools

The Alameda County Board of Education will rule on Tuesday whether to reverse a decision that revoked the academic accreditation of a nationally lauded charter school system. American Indian Model Schools operates three schools in Oakland, spanning kindergarten through high school. It lost its status in March after a 4-3 vote by the Oakland Unified School District.

Condemned project housing reopens as art gallery

Chipped paint, metal bars and boarded windows and doors are all that’s left of Greenside, a notorious housing complex in East Oakland that was condemned and shuttered 10 years ago. Now, Oakland native and internationally- renowned artist Ise Lyfe has returned to his hometown to convert the dilapidated buildings into a work of art.

A church-run soul food restaurant offers jobs for ex-offenders

With over 65 million Americans reported to have an arrest or conviction on their record, it seems nearly impossible for an employer to hire a person that does not have a criminal history. But Soul’s Restaurant in East Oakland has one goal: to provide jobs to those men and women struggling to transition back into non-institutionalized society.

A father remembers his daughter, who was shot after a tattoo party

When Roger Kiel allowed his daughter Shanice, 19, to attend a tattoo party in San Leandro this October, he did not expect the early morning call telling him that his daughter had been killed after two gunmen opened fire on her vehicle.  Three of the six passengers were killed, including Shanice, who died almost instantly from a gunshot wound to the heart. One suspect has yet to be identified but the other gunman was arrested  in Oakland days after the shooting….