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Yirmeyah Beckles

Q&A: Meet new Oakland Education Association president Trish Gorham

With the new school year approaching, Oakland North sits down with the newly hired Oakland Education Association (OEA) president, Trish Gorham. In this wide-ranging interview, the new head of the teachers’ union discusses school closures, the small schools movement, inequity among Oakland schools, the Lakeview protest, the challenges facing Oakland’s teachers and much more.

Oakland celebrates local musicians and artists at Art and Soul festival

Thousands of Oaklanders filled downtown Oakland this weekend to shake a tail feather, boogaloo, rock ‘n’ roll, or do the Harlem Shuffle during the city’s annual Art & Soul festival. The two-day outdoor festival—which closed several busy streets—featured jazz, rock, gospel, punk, honky-tonk, metal, folk and Latin musicians from the Bay Area.

SF Mime Troupe brings a play about Occupy to Oakland

It’s Wednesday night, and just over a hundred people had filed into Lakeside Park—just off of Bellevue Avenue—to see The San Francisco Mime Troupe perform “For The Greater Good, or The Last Election” during it’s annual run through the city. The play transformed the Occupy protests into a melodrama. Its narrative, filled with the tensions of Occupy—protests, an encampment, and death—also played on morality and the nature of fate.

Oakland celebrates groundbreaking for renovation of historic California Hotel

The sound of jazz—a melody, harmony, rhythm, or timbre—hadn’t filled the lobby of the California Hotel, just off San Pablo Avenue, for more than a decade. And as over a hundred people filled into the hotel on Wednesday—Billy Strayhorn numbers setting the mood—for a groundbreaking marking the city’s decision to revitalize the historic hotel, passersby, many of them with iPods, didn’t know the hotel was a venue for the most preeminent figures on their playlists: James Brown, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, Sly Stone, Aretha Franklin and Big Mama Thornton.

Labor council decides not to sanction picket line at Lakeview Elementary

During a closed meeting on Wednesday, the Alameda Central Labor Council—an organization that represents over 100 workers’ unions and helps employers bargain to improve their workplaces—decided against a motion to sanction a workers’ picket line in front of Lakeview Elementary School which would have prevented unionized workers employed by the district from helping to develop the site into administrative offices.

Lakeview Elementary School supporters host concert and rally

Over one hundred people gathered at Splash Pad Park on Sunday for a “Celebration and Convergence for Public Education” concert and rally hosted by the supporters of the Lakeview sit-in and People’s School for Public Education. The park became a home for the People’s School after the volunteer-run program, and the tent city it served, were raided at Lakeview Elementary School in early July.

Lakeview protesters finish up last week of People’s School at Splash Pad Park

Canopies were up for The People’s School For Public Education on Tuesday at Splash Pad Park, where protesters who had previously been camping at Lakeview Elementary School have relocated the volunteer-run summer program to teach kids about social justice issues. Protesters are saying that Thursday will be the last time the People’s School will be held at Splash Pad Park before they choose another location.

Alameda Central Labor Council considers sanctioning Lakeview picket line

On Monday evening the Alameda Central Labor Council—an organization that represents over 100 workers’ unions and helps employers bargain to improve their workplaces—considered a motion to get school workers’ unions behind an effort to form a sanctioned picket line in front of the closed Lakeview Elementary School to prevent district officials from moving into the building to use it as an administrative office, according to Oakland Education Association (OEA) members.

After school camp shut-down, Lakeview supporters march to superintendent’s house

On Wednesday evening, a crowd of nearly 150 people, many of them parents, kids, and Occupy Oakland protesters, gathered on the concrete steps of Lakeview Elementary School hours after their two-week-old tent city was raided by Oakland Unified School District police and other law enforcement officers. The encampment was an effort to protest the district’s decision to close five elementary schools —Lakeview, Lazear, Marshall, Maxwell and Sante Fe—and keep all neighborhood schools open.

Lakeview Elementary encampment shut down; protesters vow to return

The tent city at Lakeview Elementary School has been dismantled. At 4 a.m. Oakland Unified School District police and other law enforcement officers raided the encampment where parents, teachers, and community activist had been sleeping for two weeks in an effort to protest the district’s decision to close five elementary schools.

Lakeview Elementary protesters mark 16 days with film screening, tightened security

After 16 days, the number of tents visible at the encampment at Lakeview Elementary School has doubled and protesters have changed their rules: No one is allowed to know the number of kids or adults who occupy the site in an effort to avoid a police raid. To celebrate the first two weeks of the sit-in protesting the closure of Oakland elementary schools and the launch of the People’s School of Public Education, the tent city residents hosted a community potluck on Sunday, as well as a documentary screening.

Circus Bella brings a traditional outdoor one-ring circus to Oakland

A circus has come to town—a dancer rounds dozens of hula-hoops on her hips, one woman swings from a trapeze, another treads a fine line on the slack rope, and a clown puts up a formidable act for the audience. Meet A circus has come to town—a dancer rounds dozens of hula-hoops on her hips, one woman swings from a trapeze, another treads a fine line on the slack rope and a clown puts up a formidable act for the audience. Meet Circus Bella, a one-ring outdoor circus comprised of 13 troupe members and several live musicians.

A K-9 emergency medical course teaches police officers how to care for their canine partners

An accident that injured his police dog a few years ago convinced Officer Mike Chicas of the importance of learning emergency care skills. “As much as we get first aid and CPR training on humans, this is the first time in my 8 years as a handler that I’ve gotten it for my K-9 partner,” he said. “Why wouldn’t I want to know how to patch him up in an emergency?”

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