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Julie Chang

Muralist Dave Young Kim uses art to tap into his Korean roots

Oakland is known for its lively art scene. From murals, to sculptures, to street tagging, art is ubiquitous in this East Bay city. One artist is using his art to tap into his native Korean roots. Dave Young Kim channels into his work a dilemma often faced by children of immigrant families–how to make sense of images that feel both so familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time. Click on the video above to learn about his murals.

Kaiser Permanente gets into new negotiations with workers’ unions

Representatives from health giant Kaiser Permanente and unions representing its workers returned to the bargaining table late last week to resume contract talks with over 80,000 union members across the nation. Some 63,800 of those members are from California, and they are asking their employer for a renewal of their national agreement, which expired last September. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Union (CKPU) represents 11 labor unions in various states. Five of those unions represent California workers—the International Federation of…

Tales of Two Cities: Locked Up

Welcome back to the Tales of Two Cities podcast!  This episode is about being locked up. This week we’ll meet formerly incarcerated people who share their experiences behind bars and also learn about the ways they’re getting their lives back on track after their release. We’ll also look at a different kind of lock up as we hear about animals who are affected by isolation and confinement. We will follow rodent-trapping researchers in an effort to study mammals and also…

Brewers try to diversify the craft beer industry

Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter, a dynamic duo who are hoping to diversify the craft beer industry, stopped by Temescal Brewery in Oakland as part of a crowdfunding crawl to launch their new beer called Hella Halftones. Ashburn and Hunter founded Crowns & Hops, one of the few black-owned craft beer companies in the nation. Listen to the audio piece below to learn more about efforts to diversify the world of craft beer.

During the teachers strike, “solidarity sites” provided safe places for students

When the Oakland teachers’ strike began, many volunteers joined forces to create “solidarity sites” across the city to support the teachers by giving students a safe place to stay while classes were cancelled. Bushrod Recreation Center was one of the fifteen recreation centers open for parents to drop off their kids so they wouldn’t have to cross the picket lines. Here, children got to play basketball, make crafts, and enjoy free meals provided by Bread for Ed, a food fund…

An Oakland teacher explains why he’s going on strike

Today is the first day of the Oakland teachers’ strike. Public school teachers and staff gathered outside their schools to form picket lines, chanting and rallying support in their quest for smaller class sizes, higher wages, more student support services and a promise from the district that there will be no more school closures. Earlier this week, we followed Alejandro Estrada, a 4th grade teacher at International Community School and the union representative for his school, as he prepared to…

A Lunar New Year museum experience

Kids ran around relentlessly, and parents did their best to keep up. This was the scene at the Oakland Museum of California’s Lunar New Year Celebration, an annual event that drew residents from across the Bay Area. A line of traffic formed on Oak St. just for museum parking. As attendees continuously flooded through the museum entrance, the sight of walls adorned with red decorations and multi-colored lanterns welcomed them. The festivities focused on how members of the Asian diaspora…

Oakland Hills Fire Memorial

Built in memory of the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire, which claimed the lives of 25 people and destroyed over 37 hundred homes, the memorial features a fire-gutted home next to a rocky garden to educate the public about the importance of emergency preparedness in case of disasters. But signs of visitors over the years are visible. Both the exhibit and garden have been graffitied, and cigarette butts along with other common trash are strewn about. Click the audio piece to…

As early returns trickle in, Oakland voters and candidates wait

In a packed home in the Grand Lake neighborhood, supporters of Mayor Libby Schaaf and her campaign’s volunteers nibbled on quesadillas and checked back and forth between CNN and the front door to see when the candidate would arrive. Everyone from Jon Sarriugarte, the artist who designed the now-famous snail car, to city hall officials like District 3 Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, waited under orange and blue streamers. Schaaf’s older sister, Chris Schaaf, even drove in from Castro Valley to…

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