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Yesica Prado

At a mulching party, East Bay residents learn how to convert lawns to gardens

On a warm Saturday morning, people began to slowly stroll into the Memorial Tabernacle in Oakland’s Bushrod neighborhood. They were gathered not for a morning service, but for a special kind of lawn party. Trail mix, cookies, apples, and fresh-cut pieces of banana were laid out on colorful bowls on a table, but nothing smelled more fresh than the two 4-foot piles of compost and wood mulch laid out on the road in front of the church.

StopWaste, a public agency dedicated to reducing waste in Alameda County, hosted the lawn party to revitalize the Memorial Tabernacle’s community garden, using this hands-on project to educate volunteers on how to convert a water-thirsty lawn into a fruitful garden.

Preventing accidental overdoses by taking back old medications

Last weekend was the 12th National Drug Take Back Day, held at locations across the country, including Oakland. The Drug Enforcement Agency and local law enforcement groups collect unused prescription drugs on this day as part of an effort to fight the opioid overdose crisis. The agency encourages those who buy prescription medications to return old and unused drugs to the DEA, which safely disposes of them, instead of storing them at home. This prevents accidental overdoses and poisoning, as well as environmental contamination that…

Oaklanders march through downtown to protest Trump inauguration

Around noontime, as the newly-sworn in President Donald Trump prepared to join the parade that would take him to the White House, a crowd gathered in Frank Ogawa Plaza outside of Oakland City Hall to protest his inauguration. The protest was the second one held downtown on Friday, following a small gathering outside the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building early in the morning. Afterward, demonstrators had migrated over to the plaza, where groups set up tents, handed out literature and offered…

Video rental, antiques, shoe repair: Old-fashioned shops struggle to hang on

A big red house stands in the middle of Telegraph Avenue, two blocks from the Berkeley border with Oakland. It resembles Santa’s workshop: fun, colorful and packed with a massive amount of “stuff.” The building is two stories high and even on a normal day, found objects hang all over the property. From giant drive-thru Jack in the Box signs, to headless mannequins, vintage Victorian furniture or small quirky ceramic figurines, James Cross, the owner of the Antique Centre has it all—hidden somewhere in a corner of his store.

Taking physical education class at Lincoln Square Park

Second grade children come out to the basketball court. They are all coming from the school next door to the Lincoln Square Park in Chinatown, Oakland. Almost all in uniform, they are all dressed in white tops and beige pants. But there’s one little girl who sticks out. She wears her jet-black straight hair in a ponytail, and is wearing a navy blue skirt and black tights that don’t quite match. The kids’ homeroom teacher instructs them to stretch. He…

Business owners take damage done during anti-Trump protests in stride

On election night, protesters gathered in downtown Oakland after midnight yelling angry things like “Not my president!” and “Fuck Trump!” in the quiet streets. Others took it a step further and lashed out against nearby businesses, breaking glass doors and windows and spray-painting graffiti anywhere visible, like on the windows of the Chase bank, the walls of the BART public elevator and the pillars of the Oakland federal building.

Garbage cans were set on fire and worried faces peeked out through doors after the angry crowd passed. Confused bystanders were upset at the damage to their property, and others worried about their safety, while the rest followed the trail of fires left on Broadway, trying to catch up to the mob either by running or riding their bikes. By the next morning, garbage, broken glass and graffiti covered the downtown.

After Trump win, protesters move through downtown Oakland

Late Tuesday night, as president-elect Donald Trump was giving his victory speech, a group of protesters moved through downtown Oakland demonstrating against the results of the election. Shouting “Fuck Trump!” and “Fuck the KKK,” they marched down Broadway. By midnight, the group had about 70 people; the Oakland Police Department (OPD) reported that the group ultimately grew to 250 people before breaking up in the early morning hours. Some members of the group, wearing black bandanas across their faces, smashed…

Bay Area top female chefs cook up $500,000 for local youth

Piles of dishes clatter behind the red big curtains and dozens of waiters, as chefs and their assistants try to move around the small back room, quickly coming in and out of the kitchen. Assembly lines surround three tables, where one by one, each chef adds a piece to the dish. Caramel. Powdered sugar. As they prepare for the finale, they swiftly clean the small white plates. No one hesitates. It’s time for dessert.

Mars Experience Bus brings virtual reality to Oakland youth

On September 9, the Mars Experience Bus made its first California stop on its long national tour at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland to share with children a virtual reality experience of the red planet. The Mars bus stayed on the premises for the weekend, and the Lockheed Martin Center invited the public to enjoy the experience for free. The experience was received with joy by visitors of all ages, as children and parents came down from…

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