Getting Oakland’s customary DIY tattoo: The stick-and-poke

Stretched out on my oversized couch in my apartment in downtown Oakland, my friend Devin Miller—an Oakland artist, with short, choppy bleached hair, and an eclectic, thrift store wardrobe—and I watch The Daily Show on my laptop, laughing about Rush Limbaugh’s latest antics. It feels like any other night, relaxing after a long day at work with a friend at home, though she and I both know that tonight isn’t typical. I am serving ginger and honey tea when she pulls out a green, pink, and yellow vertically striped make-up bag with little handles on the top—the kind you can buy from the dollar bins at Target—and says, “Are you ready?”

Salmon are coming back to the bay

There is great news for fishermen and salmon lovers. This year’s projected salmon count in watersheds around the bay is higher than it has been in years. Last year only about 115,000 salmon were counted swimming from the bay up the Sacramento River. This year the projected count is over 800,000.

New background check process not required for city parking enforcement employees

At the beginning of the year, the Oakland City Council started preparing to merge parking enforcement services with the Oakland Police Department to save the city money.

Under the policy at the time, each parking enforcement employee would have been subject to the lowest level of background checks that all OPD employees are subject to, which stirred controversy.

End of the Mama Buzz era, new cafe Telegraph to open soon

While Oakland’s Uptown residents search for a place to pretend to do work while chain-smoking and listening to obscure punk, John Mardikian is busy scrubbing, painting, fixing plumbing, and doing general repairs on the space where Mama Buzz—and before that, Papa Buzz—had been in some form or another for over a decade.