Ye Tian

Letter carriers will make a special pick-up: food donations

The Alameda County Community Food Bank and local letter carriers will work together to collect food donations for the Stamp Out Hunger program. Summer is a time when many low-income families need food assistance, because fewer kids have access to free lunches at school.

Oakland energy company to sell locally-made biodiesel

Beginning on Earth Day, April 22, Bay Area truck drivers will have a new place to buy locally-made biodiesel. Sirona Fuels, an Oakland-based energy company, has been selling diesel made from recycled cooking oil to retailers and distributors for the past two years. Now it has opened its doors to the public.

Former partners in weGrow marijuana supply store embroiled in legal battle

The front gate at the Oakland branch of weGrow, the country’s first “out of the closet” company that sells indoor marijuana growing equipment, is now locked up and its former owners are embroiled in a series of heated legal battles. The 15,000 square foot warehouse facility, located two miles away from the Oakland International Airport, opened last October with a press conference at which a number of city officials, including Oakland Mayor Jean Quan (a city councilmember at that time), showed up to support the store in front of the national media.

Seniors voice budget concerns to Mayor Quan

More than 300 people convened at the North Oakland Senior Center on Saturday morning to share their concerns – most of them budget-related – with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Councilmember Jane Brunner.

Asian immigrant workers strategize to combat unfair treatment

More than one hundred people, many wearing shirts with union logos printed on them, convened at the Asian Cultural Center in downtown Oakland on Saturday morning to listen to a panel discuss many of the problems encountered by immigrant laborers, particularly those who are undocumented.

A proposed statewide ban on shark fins elicits disapproval in Oakland’s Chinatown

A state bill that would ban the possession and distribution of shark fins in California has led to debate between conservationists and Chinese American leaders, and has its share of critics in Oakland’s Chinatown. The bill would prevent hundreds of restaurants from serving shark-fin soup, a traditional Chinese delicacy that is a mark of prestige at banquets.

County hosts forum on its economic outlook, and the view isn’t pretty

The title of the economic forum held yesterday in downtown Oakland said it all: “The Worst Is Yet to Come.” The forum, a repeat of one hosted by Alameda County in Fremont on Tuesday, aimed to provide an outlook on the county’s economy and illustrate potential impacts of the proposed federal and state budget cuts on the region.

Cisco donates routers to give Oakland students Internet access

Students at Oakland’s ARISE High School will soon have all the equipment they need to access the Internet at home; on Monday they received a donation of 220 wireless routers from Cisco. They’re also eligible to get free computers from Oakland Technology Exchange West (OTX West), a non-profit that offers refurnished PCs and computer training to all Oakland students in grades 6 to 12.

City kicks off new energy program, targeting downtown businesses

Oakland launched a new energy efficiency program called Oakland Shines Wednesday, with the goal of reducing energy costs for business owners in the downtown area. “The goal is to get 80 percent of the 4,000 businesses to participate, and to reduce their energy consumption by 20 percent, ” said Derrick Rebello, the CEO of Quantum Energy Services and Technology, at the program’s kick-off event. Berkeley-based QuEST and PG&E are the city’s main partners in Oakland Shines, which is funded by a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission.

Visit Oakland kicks off annual photo competition

Photographers who find their muse in Oakland can now submit their work to compete in the 2011 Visit Oakland Photo Contest, which began Tuesday. Visit Oakland, formerly the Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau, is dedicated to promoting Oakland as a destination for meetings and travel. This is its fifth photo contest, and so far it has recognized more than 100 photos.

Glynn Washington takes his Oakland-based radio show to the top

Snap Judgment—which began airing weekly last July and is produced in Washington’s studio in Oakland—is now the fastest-growing show on National Public Radio, with more than 100 stations airing it weekly and over 160 having played its specials. All the episodes are available to stream on the show’s website ( and to download as a podcast on iTunes.