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Small batch composters are digging deep to find big waste solutions

At Bishop O’Dowd High School in the Oakland hills, gardener Ned Lange is making small-batch vermicompost from the school’s food scraps. He takes scraps like leafy greens, peels, and stems that won’t make it into the cooked lunch, and blends them into a smoothie that he feeds into an 8-by-4-foot corrugated steel bin that is home to 100 pounds of worms. He lifts the roof off and carefully peels back pages of damp newspaper that are beginning to disintegrate. Underneath,…

Labor unions at odds over West Oakland hotel development

Every theater seat was occupied in Oakland’s city council chamber on Tuesday night, with more community members spilling into the hallway, as members of two of the city’s biggest unions turned out to take opposite sides on a proposal to build a hotel in West Oakland. In November 2016, Architectural Dimensions, an Oakland architecture and planning firm, filed an application to build a six-story 220-room hotel on what is currently an empty lot on Mandela Parkway along Oakland’s border with…

Oakland group connects youths with disabilities to internships

On Tuesday evening, about 15 new high school graduates with various developmental and intellectual disabilities gathered in an echoey elementary school auditorium in Oakland for an event called Ramping Up Independence. For many, it was the first time meeting staff from the organizations that would help them transition out of special education classes and into the next phase of their lives. The event was organized by East Bay Innovations (EBI), a nonprofit that helps disabled adults work and live independently….

New community hub aims to bring non-profit services under one roof

It was a record shop. Then it sat empty. Now it’s a community hub for non-profits. And at its housewarming party on Friday night, a crowd of roughly 250 people crammed into the space belonging to Restore Oakland, Inc. to learn about how it would be available for Fruitvale residents to use. Before making their way into the space, guests and curious onlookers watched a powerful and colorful performance from Danza Azteca Cuauhtonal, a group that practices indigenous cultural rites….

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