Career Center popular with Oakland’s unemployed

Across the street from the City Center where professionals work purposefully on laptops and Blackberries, a different scramble unfolds inside the Old Oakland Bank building. There, a portion of Alameda County’s 80,100 who are unemployed—10.3 percent, in April compared to 5 percent at the same time last year—shuffle through literature on how to sharpen resumes and and interviewing skills.

Marriage is only a matter of time say those at nation’s oldest gay bar

Gilbert De Jesus remembers where he was when he heard last week’s news that  the California Supreme Court upheld the proposition that changed the state constitution to outlaw gay marriage. The general manager of the White Horse Inn – established in 1932 and serving as one of the oldest gay and lesbian bars in the United States—was in the back office. “I’m really disgusted,” said De Jesus, who is among the 18,000 couples married after the California court upheld gay…

I scream, you scream, we all scream on College Avenue

At the age of eight, Adrienne Wander is already a food connoisseur. “As far as quality goes, Ici is the best, Tara’s vanilla is great,” said the elementary school foodie licking her favorite Dreyer’s Fudge Track. She knows her ice cream, in part a result of living near creamery row on College Avenue. The commercial corridor is home to Dreyer’s, which created Rocky Road in 1929 after the stock market crash,  Ici Ice Cream, the hip and gourmet  parlor, which …

Salsa by the lake

Salsa lovers in the Bay Area on Sunday gathered in at the Splash Pad Park for the 3rd annual Salsa by the Lake. More than 250 people, from toddlers to elderly enjoyed salsa and the hot rhythm played by Rumbache.  

A master of delicate and gruff

Dominic De Vincenzi remembers early mornings in the 1950s, when the intersection of 51st Street and Telegraph Avenue was the heart of Oakland’s Italian community. Long lines of customers formed as soon as 7 a.m. at Genova Deli—then a cramped, 600-square-foot store owned by his father-in-law—as workers poured in to buy their lunches or treat themselves after working the graveyard shift. Appetites were beastly and it was common for customers to bicker over their place in line, so in the…

Not your average bike shop

The Wheels of Justice cyclery, nestled in the foothills of Montclair, is a community-oriented bike shop whose aim is to create a welcoming atmosphere for families and give back to the children of the bay area. Daniel Watson and Justice Baxter (from whom the store draws its name) opened the store in 2003 because they wanted kids in the area to have opportunities that they lacked when they were young.

Libraries, seniors, feel the bite of recession

Several fat books stacked on Deborah Cunningham’s lap spilled over the edges of her wheelchair.  As an aide wheeled her away, the dark-haired, elderly woman, a retired English professor in her mid-eighties, grasped them tightly.  She is one of ten or eleven repeat customers at Mercy Retirement and Care Center that look forward to the monthly Bookmobile visits from the Oakland Library system. The Bookmobile, a large, multicolored bus that traverses Oakland streets two days a week to visit under-served…

Temescal Library thinking outside the tool box

Books?  No, give me a wrench, ask many Oakland residents who use the Temescal Library. The branch holds 29,000 books, and rents out 4,000 books, CDs and movies a month.  Its Tool Lending Program, started in 2001,  checks out 3,000 tools a month and that number is growing.