Anthony Batts, the exit interview: “In Oakland, the police department is seen as a necessary evil”

In his first extended interview since his recent resignation as Oakland’s Chief of Police, Anthony Batts sits down with Oakland North to reflect on his success, his shortfalls, and what lies ahead for the Oakland Police Department.” I could have all the commitment in the world,” he says. “But if I didn’t have the tools to get the job done, it was a waste of time.”

Rockridge’s Out and About festival appeals to kids, adults

Hundreds gathered on College Ave. this Sunday for the Out and About Festival, Rockridge’s annual celebration of food, music, crafts, community organizing, and good-natured neighborhood noise. The festival featured Bay Area musicians such as The Clifford Lamb Trio and The Blue Monday Jazz Jam. Young children had their faces painted, practiced hula hooping, painted small pumpkins, planted seeds, and tried to climb a gigantic rock wall…

City Attorney Barbara Parker sits down with Oakland North

In Oakland, the city attorney represents the city government, advising its departments on legal matters and ensuring that city officials are constitutionally sound in their practices. When former City Attorney John Russo left his position in June before completing his third term to become the city manager of Alameda, Barbara Parker became the woman for the job. Parker had worked in the city attorney’s office for 20 years, serving as  chief assistant city attorney for 10. She is a graduate…

Oakland police bring back the Teddy Bear Patrol

Kindergarten and first grade students gathered in the auditorium of Horace Mann Elementary Wednesday afternoon cheered as Oakland Police officers handed teachers a special community policing accessory—four brown teddy bears, with blue bows tied around their necks.

Ruby Bridges, the girl from the painting, preaches harmony in Oakland

A half decade after the painter Norman Rockwell turned her portrait into a powerful symbol of American public school desegregation, Ruby Bridges-Hall was back in Oakland last weekend, telling a packed church, “At the end of our time, there is not going to be a white heaven and a black heaven. There is only going to be one place.”