Business

UPDATE: Kaiser Permanente meets with striking engineers and mediators

As the strike of stationary and biomedical engineers stretched into a 36th day, the union and employer Kaiser Permanente engaged in mediation Friday that ended without an agreement. The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 39 told members around 5:30 p.m. that the session had ended with little headway made. While the sides agreed to continue with the federal mediator, a new session has not yet been scheduled. A day earlier, outside Kaiser Permanente headquarters in Oakland, striking hospital employees…

Artists paint murals on boards that Chinatown shopowners put over smashed windows

On a recent Sunday afternoon, Callan Porter-Romero dragged her little red trolley to a restaurant in Chinatown. She unloaded her ladder, placed paint cans and brushes on the ground, then mixed purple and pink on her palette. Atop the spattered ladder, she drew orchids on the restaurant window. The flowers surrounded a sketched hand holding a pair of green chopsticks.  “We need more art in the community to show that people who grew up here are still here, and their…

As Black farmers dwindle, grower at Temescal market wants public to know ‘we are here.’

Every Saturday morning, Will Scott Jr. wakes at 4 a.m. and drives from Fresno to Oakland to sell his fruits and vegetables at the Freedom Farmers Market in Temescal. Among the Black small business owners at the market this day, he is the only farmer.  At 81, Scott is part of a diminishing group — one of just 429 Black farmers in California. He said he travels 175 miles each week to make a point. As president of African American…

Six at-home restaurants open in Oakland, dozens more planned.

When Akshay Prabhu’s plans for a steamed-bun cart were thwarted in 2014 by stringent restaurant standards that he couldn’t meet, frustration pushed him to change the system and the laws.  Prabhu lobbied for the Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation bill, which passed statewide in 2018 and was adopted in Alameda County in May. Now Oakland residents can prepare and sell food directly from their homes, or offer sit-down dining. “With prices soaring to actually get a brick and mortar, home restaurants…

First Fridays finally returns with food, music, fun in KONO

At his family-owned halal market Thursday morning, Temur Khwaja cut and marinated chicken and lamb for kebab at Marwa Market & Grill. “We need to prepare for First Friday tomorrow,” said Khwaja, anticipation in his voice, sweat on his brow. Local businesses and restaurants in the Koreatown Northgate (KONO) neighborhood are preparing for the relaunching of the Oakland First Fridays festival tonight. First Fridays is a monthly street festival held by KONO Community Benefit District. Eighteen months after the pandemic…