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USDA policy changes threaten SNAP eligibility

About one quarter of Californians who use Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits would lose or decrease their benefits if the USDA Food and Nutrition Service enacts a proposed rule change to the program.

Cambodian refugee community in Oakland targeted in rising ICE sweeps

They are the 1.5 generation. That’s how Rhummanee Hang, an outreach coordinator with the Center for Empowering Refugees & Immigrants (CERI), a mental health services nonprofit for Southeast Asian refugees in Oakland, refers to the generation of Cambodians who were born in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge, the brutal communist regime that held power in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. During those four years, an estimated 2 million people died. Many were executed or worked to death by the…

New study reveals extreme levels of microplastics in San Francisco Bay

A study carried out over three years in the San Francisco Bay revealed high levels of microplastics in stormwater, treated wastewater, surface water, and sediment. The report discovered an important previously unknown source of pollution: degrading tires. It also found that stormwater has particularly high microplastic levels, suggesting the need for better infrastructure to filter stormwater.

Arrest of former Oakland councilmember sparks outrage at committee meeting

Tuesday night’s Oakland Public Safety Committee meeting’s main agenda item—reviewing a report about holding a special election to amend the regulations that govern the Oakland Police Commission—was initially upstaged by jarring testimony from former Councilmember Wilson Riles Jr. about his arrest last week.  Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan introduced the issue for the committee to address. “Our colleague, former Councilmember Wilson Riles, was arrested—” Kaplan began, but was interrupted by members of the crowd yelling, “brutalized!” “And brutalized, and improperly treated,…

Oaklanders celebrate local talent at SwayFest

Amidst pounding basslines, Oaklanders gathered downtown last Friday on the streets below Pandora’s Oakland headquarters to celebrate SwayFest. The event was held to commemorate the new partnership between SiriusXM, a satellite radio company, and Pandora, an automated music streaming service, and it was an opportunity for Sway Calloway, a musician, journalist, and radio host, to come back to his hometown. The block party featured performances from Bay Area legends like percussionist and singer Sheila E. to rappers Mistah Fab, Kamaiyah and…

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