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Oakland remembers earthquake, Cypress collapse

Ruthann Liu-Johnston brought her red high-heeled shoes to the anniversary ceremony yesterday—not on her feet, but as remembrances. Liu-Johnston was wearing those the day the Cypress Freeway collapsed out from under her. Johnston joined city officials at Cypress Freeway Memorial Park as part of a city-sponsored commemoration called “Reflect. Honor. Prepare: Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake.” She can no longer wear her red shoes, due to severe ankle and spinal injuries she sustained during the earthquake,…

Young stars audition for roles of a lifetime

For talented 7-12 year olds in Oakland, October 5th was a big day. Fifteen of them were chosen from a group of thirty to become part of a hip-hop, dance and spoken word Junior theater company created through Destiny Arts Center, a North Oakland based non-profit that teaches hip-hop, kung fu and conflict resolution to youth.

Choir competes for gospel gold

Eight choirs. One night. Fifteen thousand fans. Watch the singers of Oakland’s Genesis Worship Center as they take the stage in the “Best Choir in America” competition.

Busking for ballet lessons: Meet the Hoffman four-kid string quartet

Grand/Lake traffic bustled by on a recent sunny Saturday.  Parents pushed children in strollers; women carrying yoga mats chatted as they headed home from class; the coffee shops and cafes did a brisk business in iced beverages.  But in front of the Lakeshore Ave Peet’s Coffee, there was a small crowd of stillness as passersby stopped to listen to the Hoffman children, a four-sibling string quartet, who were busking to raise money for ballet lessons. Their mother, Jodi Hoffman, hovered…

J school dean discusses $5m Bay Area News Project

The Bay Area News Project, a nonprofit media venture that will start with a $5 million grant from Bay Area financier Warren Hellman,  will bridge gaps in coverage of local news issues while guiding reporters through an era of shrinking job opportunities and technological change, a leader of the project said Tuesday. Neil Henry, dean of U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, made the remarks about the recently-announced endeavor at an afternoon meeting held on the UC Berkeley campus.  The plan,…