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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…

Controversial property tax is tabled after public outcry at city council meeting

Oakland City Hall was packed Tuesday night, with nearly every seat filled by a resident who had something to say. As the meeting crept towards the midnight hour, people trickled out and one man left huffing in exasperation. Most of the people were there to talk about the last agenda item of the evening, the impending Vacant Property Tax Act authored by Council President Rebecca Kaplan, Dan Kalb (District 1), and Abel Guillén (District 2). The tax, on the ballot…

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