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Celebrating Earth Day, Oakland-style

In easy view of crisscrossing highways and towering industrial parks, dozens of people marched through East Oakland’s flatlands wearing white surgical masks on Saturday. Families pushing strollers, men in suits, and kids with skateboards walked from Tassafaronga Recreation Center to Acorn Woodland Elementary School to celebrate ‘Love Yo Mama’ Earth Day and to call attention to environmental degradation in inner city neighborhoods.

Rebuilding Together Oakland revamps homes for the elderly

By Brittney Johnson/Oakland North Funded by various local organizations and staffed by local volunteers, Rebuilding Together Oakland (RTO) offers free home make-overs to the city’s elderly. Watch as volunteers rehabilitate 92-year-old Oakland resident Henry Buford’s home of 54 years.

The Parkway’s last hurrah

By Casey Miner and Tasneem Paghdiwala Raja/Oakland North For twelve years, Oakland’s Parkway Speakeasy Theater was a community mainstay: a place to grab a beer, park yourself on a couch, watch a cheap movie and catch up with friends. But like many other small businesses, the Parkway has had a hard time weathering the recession. Last Wednesday, owners Kyle and Catherine Fischer announced that a combination of money troubles and landlord issues meant the theater had to close. Within 24…

A tribute to Kasper’s: History, in hot dogs

Her water broke.  They grabbed what they needed, scrambled out of the house and hit the road.  The couple finally arrived, and it wasn’t a minute too soon.  The husband jumped out of the car and rushed inside to the counter.  “I’ll take two hot dogs please—to go!” he said. “I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened, how many pregnant women wanted Kasper’s hot dogs before they went to the hospital,” said a smiling Harry Yaglijian, third generation…

Manifesto: Not your everyday bike shop

The bike store Manifesto has a Flickr photo account, “Our customers rock,” which is full of photos of people posing with their bicycles. People smiling standing next to their bikes, slowly riding by, triumphantly raising the bike over their heads — all photos of Manifesto’s customers with their new bikes. Each photo is captioned with lines like, “Austin sealed the deal on a red Schwinn that many were coveting on opening day,” “This beautiful Mercier, nicknamed Pierre, is now Casey’s…

Storytellers bring civil rights tales to high school

Elise Craig and Dara Kerr/Oakland North Storytellers from Stagebridge, the nation’s oldest senior theater company, tell stories about their personal involvement in the Civil Rights Movement as part of their Living History program.

Art Quest along the 40th Street Corridor

North Oaklanders came out Saturday, Feb 21, for the first ever 40th Street corridor Art Quest. There were raffle prizes, great art, and a fun night exploring the neighborhood for everyone who came out. By Lauren Rudser/Oakland North http://www.oaklandnorth.net/wp-content/uploads/artquest.flv http://www.oaklandnorth.net/wp-content/uploads/artquest.flv

East Bay refugees have a new safe haven but with different challenges

By Huda Ahmed/Oakland North When I knocked on the door of an apartment building in East Oakland, a woman’s voice nervously asked who I was. The voice belonged to a 45-year-old woman who wishes to be identified only as S. Mohamad because she fears prosecution in her native Iraq; she is a former radiologist who came here as a refugee three months ago along with her husband and their three children. She hid behind the door because she was without…

Everything Old is New Again: Dec-O-Win at The Paramount Theatre

During the Great Depression, lavish movie palaces New York to San Francisco suffered serious financial setbacks. The theaters that didn’t shut down altogether came up with new tricks to lure customers and fill seats. Thus, the Dec-O-Win was born, a spin-wheel raffle game played onstage before the movie feature.

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