Community

As A’s pack up, Oakland sells its share of storied stadium

Oakland has agreed to sell its stake in the Coliseum, ending decades of ownership at the storied East Bay event complex, Mayor Sheng Thao said at a news conference Wednesday. Following years of negotiations, Oakland and the African American Sports and Entertainment Group have reached an $105 million agreement for the city’s 50% ownership stake in the stadium site. The deal comes as city officials scramble to address a significant budget deficit while dealing with the loss of the city’s…

Oaklanders share what they love about downtown and what needs to change

On a recent Friday at the Old Oakland Farmers’ Market, one stall kept people lingering for longer than usual among the rows of vendors offering produce and food. At a table decorated with a large zoning map and a wooden outline of Oakland’s skyscrapers, those who stopped weren’t there to buy but to share their opinion about the state of downtown. The Oaklandside is partnering with Oakland North and Oakland Lowdown to examine what’s working well and what isn’t for…

With city services lacking, residents clean up Raimondi Park, future home of B’s baseball

On a rainy Saturday morning in February, Josh Gunter organized the cleanup equipment for the day ahead — buckets and trash-pickers, elastic gloves and trash bags, coffee and water. Then he waited for volunteers from Friends of Raimondi Park to arrive for the monthly cleanup event.  Gunter was among more than a dozen residents who braved the weather that morning to pick up trash, rake and sweep. Friends of Raimondi Park, one of the many groups participating in Oakland’s “Adopt…

Costs shut down Oakland First Fridays for the winter

Oakland First Fridays, a monthly festival on Telegraph Avenue featuring food and crafts, will shut down through March because of financial constraints, organizers say, and may be different when it reopens.  “This year, we’ve been losing money every month and we need to stop the bleeding,” said Shari Godinez, the executive director of Koreatown Northgate Community Benefit District, the nonprofit that runs First Fridays.  On Dec. 1, residents enjoyed “Frosty Friday,” the last First Friday event of the year. They…

In Jingletown: Who needs City Hall when you’ve got Cynthia Elliott?

“I’m a mechanic,” explains Cynthia Elliott, reclining in her chair and propping her feet on her office desk. A TV episode from the 1960s show “Wagon Train” plays in the background and drawings of human anatomy hang on the wall behind her. She continues, “I approach everything as: What’s broken and how do we fix it?”  Elliott is not talking about her day job running an exercise equipment repair service. She is describing the after-hours work that has made her…

Lunch, haircuts, health tests, even pedicures for unhoused residents at Alameda County resource fair

Donnie Martin’s first stop at Alameda County’s Homeless Resources Fair on Thursday was at a stall that offered haircuts, manicures and other grooming services. He got his feet done.  “They needed it,” he said. “They were looking kind of bad.” Martin, a former basketball player and coach, has been living in Crossroads transitional housing for seven months. He is moving into a new apartment in Rockridge this week and came to the event looking for leads on coaching jobs.  “It…

Residents work to bring trick or treat back to an Oakland neighborhood

For the past five years, many residents in East Oakland’s San Antonio neighborhood have been unable to enjoy trick-or-treating because they don’t feel safe going out at night with their children. Issues such as sex trafficking, gunfire, illegal dumping, and one of the largest encampments in Oakland have made life challenging for this community. Katie Schwarz, who lives on East 15th Street and co-chairs the San Antonio Neighborhood Council, said that during the past two years, the community has worked…

As Montclair’s first dispensary prepares to open, some fear it will bring crime

With its inviting grass-green storefront and sleek interior, Element 7 appears to fit in among the well-heeled boutiques lining Montclair Village’s business boulevard. But as the first cannabis dispensary in Montclair, Element 7 is generating controversy just days before its planned opening. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, Montclair Village is a green glade of suburban-style affluence within Oakland. Residents describe it as a good neighborhood and a safe place to raise a family. Some worry that a dispensary will spoil…

Despite rain, Lincoln Elementary students keep walking toward $45,000 goal

Kid-friendly covers of today’s hits echoed through Oakland Chinatown Sunday morning as students walked laps around Lincoln Elementary to raise money for school activities.  “Good job, dragons,” teachers and volunteers chanted, as the children splashed through the rain. “Keep on walking!” The goal was to raise $45,000 in Lincoln Elementary’s 14th annual Walk-a-Thon.  Each student found sponsors who pledged a certain amount per lap of the city-block circuit they completed.  Mukta Sambrani, Lincoln principal, said the fundraiser was started by the…