At the Oakland City Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday at City Hall, the commission voted against conditional use permits requested by Beverages and More (BevMo!) which has leased space on Piedmont Avenue at Montell Street to open a specialty liquor store. Approximately 60 residents and merchants from Piedmont Avenue attended the meeting, urging the commission to decline BevMo’s permit applications, which were submitted in June. A smaller group of BevMo! employees and neighbors urged them to approve the permits. In…
With less than 60 days before Americans vote for President, Oakland North reporters Theresa Adams and Aaron Mendelson asked small business owners on Broadway to deliver a message to the presidential candidates. Click on the video above to hear business owners at Downtown coffee shops, clothing stores, cannabis dispensaires and news stands deliver a message to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Owners reactions ranged from supportive to critical of the President, but business owners were eager to make their voices heard.
Ever since the Blockbuster on Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue went out of business in April, the building that housed the video rental store has remained empty. Recently, though, a prospective new tenant appeared: a sign on the door notified passersby that the liquor franchise Beverages and More (BevMo!) has applied for a permit to move into the former movie rental store.
Whether it is visual art, music, crafts, film or writing, the Rock Paper Scissors Collective in Oakland encourages community members to teach, sell, exhibit and learn about art. The shop on Grand and Telegraph Avenues offers a collection of hats, sketches, mixed media art, sewing equipment and jewelry as well as a large collection of zines—magazines, cartoons and books self-published by the writers.
Kayoko Akabori and Yoko Kumano, friends since college, recently opened a new store called Umami Mart in the heart of Oakland’s historical district, where they offer unique merchandise as well as their insight about cocktails and Japanese cuisine.
More than 600 Oakland areas hosted community events inspiring residents to come out of their homes, discuss safety issues, and meet their neighbors during Oakland’s annual National Night Out event on Tuesday.
In the last few years, the Temescal District has been heralded as one of the most culturally diverse communities in the city. Its growing popularity has resulted in increased interest from business owners and residents who are vying for a space within the community. But over the last few months, the number of robberies and thefts that have been reported to the Temescal Telegraph Avenue Community Association and the Temescal Merchants’ Association has shown an increase, the members of those associations say, leaving local merchants frustrated and asking for more help from the police and the city.
On the second floor of the Alameda County Clerk-Recorder’s office in downtown Oakland is the wedding room. It’s a little bit like a chapel, except there are no crosses or candles. More than 50 couples walk through its doors every week prepared to say, “I do.”
On Saturday, residents gathered at the African American Museum and Library (AAMLO) in downtown Oakland to hear the story of a former slave who spied on the Confederate government during the Civil War. Award-winning author Lois Leveen read from her book The Secrets of Mary Bowser, a novel that combines historical information about Bowser while weaving those facts into a work of historical fiction about the life of a spy in the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the time when “freedom” was new concept for blacks in America.
It’s about dedication, focus, bravery, heart and a willingness to leave it all on the stage for the audience to absorb and learn from—that is what the young poets who participated in the 15th Annual Brave New Voices Grand Slam Finals said about the competition that took place on Saturday night at the Fox Theater in Oakland.
It was the final meeting before the council adjourned for its summer break. The agenda was packed, and so was the room as representatives came out to support or oppose two particular items on the agenda: Mayor Jean Quan’s proposed appointees for the Board of Port Commissioners, and a Bus Rapid Transit project that would extend 10 miles from San Leandro to Oakland and improve traffic conditions that will result in less wait time and more efficient passenger service throughout the area.
Quan has asked the council to confirm the reappointment of James Head and the appointment of Bryan Parker and Cestra “Ces” Butner to the board.
Each year the Oakland Heritage Alliance selects a variety of neighborhoods to visit when it offers its summer walking tours through the city. This year visitors will have the opportunity to visit 16 areas over eight weekends on tours such as the Mountain View Cemetery, Montclair Village and Oakland Walkways and Streetcar Heritage tours. Each trip is led by volunteers for the alliance, who include local history buffs, residents of the neighborhoods, as well as professors and business professionals familiar with the area.
Extending as far as the eye could were white tents against bright sunny skies—along with Kettle Corn stands, giants slides and stages for acrobats—as Telegraph Avenue welcomed visitors during the ninth annual Temescal Street Fair on Sunday.
Residents and people from neighboring cities strolled the ten blocks to participate in rides on mini Ferris wheels, watch martial arts demonstrations, buy T-shirts from Oaklandish and eat chocolates from Hoopers and Korean barbeque made by community business owners.
Now that the finalists in Oakland’s first Youth Poet Laureate competition have been announced, the poets have until September to hear the final results after the last panel of judges make their decision. While waiting to find out who will be named the first Youth Poet Laureate, the finalists are preparing for the first group performance at the Art & Soul Festival this summer in Oakland.