Making it

Gabriel De Jesus is bent over a laptop, eyes moving back and forth between the screen and the stack of forms on the desk next to him, jotting occasional notes. An older man knocks on the door and says he’s there to pick something up; De Jesus has him sign in on the sheet outside while he looks for his file. The phone rings; he answers, “Citizens for Education, this is Gabriel.” De Jesus works four days a week here…

Youth Speak Up, Curfew Shot Down

Diana Montaño/OaklandNorth Last month, a youth curfew ordinance was voted down by the City Council’s Public Safety Committee. And while the ordinance failed to become law, it did succeed in rousing the voice of Oakland’s youth.

Anxiety and rumors at armed robbers’ apparent shopping center of choice

  About a month ago, the North Oakland branch of the San Leandro-based chain Pet Food Express was hit by an armed robber. Two weeks later, it happened again, this time at the Pet Food Express Rockridge store, located in the Safeway shopping center at 51st and Broadway. According to employees, it was the same guy. It was then that the vice president of Pet Food Express, Mark Witirol, started hearing of other armed robberies at the Rockridge shopping center….

Arts criticism: Anti-police brutality art show at Mama Buzz

By Madeleine Bair/Special to Oakland North Lisa Calderon, the curator of Mama Buzz gallery, spent a recent Friday tacking labels to a wall in last-minute preparation of her latest show: an artistic response to the killing of Oscar Grant, a 22-year old from Hayward who was fatally shot by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle on New Years day.

In Oakland, prisoner release already the norm

By Casey Miner/Oakland North Dr. Barry Krisberg is an expert on released prisoners in a city that’s full of them. Of the 12,000 people on parole or probation in Alameda County, roughly half live in Oakland, though the city is home to only a third of the county’s residents. Given those numbers, Krisberg, president of the Oakland-based National Council on Crime and Delinquency, says a few more released inmates—which is what the city may get if the state is forced…

Door-breakdown burglaries subject of meeting tonight

by ISABEL ESTERMAN Nov. 13–Nanci, 50, a teacher living in Montclair, hardly ever uses her front door.  She and her family just go in through the carport.  But one bright Tuesday  afternoon in September, a burglar came right through it.  “They just broke the door,” says Nanci, who asked her last name be withheld because of the recent burglary.  The deadbolt was locked, she and her husband say, but their hollow-core door barely slowed the burglar down.  It gave way…