Development

Want a lush garden that needs little watering? East Bay utility has a rebate for that.

Even in a drought, you don’t have to resign yourself to a brown lawn or a drab garden. A Bay Area utility recently started a “super rebate” program to encourage people to convert their wilted shrubbery into a lush garden of not-too-thirsty native plants.  The East Bay Municipal Utility District, which provides water and wastewater service to many communities in the East Bay, is offering customers $1.50 per square foot of converted turf lawn. The rebate comes as a credit…

Voting rights restored for Californians on parole

After over four decades of disenfranchisement, Californians on parole now have the right to vote. Because the U.S. invests heavily in mass incarceration, the number of people who have lost their right to vote because of their parole status has risen from 1.7 million Americans in 1976 to 6.1 million in 2016. This act would start to reverse those numbers.  In Alameda County, an overwhelming majority of residents voted to make this possible. 74% of the population voted to restore…

Alameda County approves purchase of hotel to house the homeless

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously accepted a state grant to purchase property to house the homeless population, as part of California’s efforts to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic among vulnerable groups. Even though the recommendations passed, some supervisors voiced concerns about the process. The board’s Vice President and District 5 Supervisor Keith Carson said he felt like a “gun was held in his head” just before voting. Some supervisors said they were not happy about voting…

How are Oakland schools responding to Prop. 16 failing?

California voters have decided not to restore affirmative action in schools. Proposition 16, which failed by a margin of 12 percentage points, would have reversed a 1996 ban on considering race, gender or ethnicity in public education systems and public contracting.  State lawmakers—motivated by high-profile racial injustices, such as the police killing of George Floyd—voted to put this proposition on the November ballot. The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) had already begun discussions on how they would take advantage of…

South Bay residents to decide the future of neighbors who live in RVs

In recent years, Oakland city officials have struggled to address the growing number of residents who have begun living in RVs on the city’s streets. One nearby community in the South Bay is grappling with a similar issue ahead of tomorrow’s election.  Headquarters to Google and home to branches of companies like Microsoft and LinkedIn,  Mountain View has some of the most sought-after real estate in Silicon Valley. A stroll past its manicured yards offers a glimpse of a high-tech idyll…

Oakland North’s 2019 year in review — our top stories

2019 brought a new group of student reporters to Oakland North from across the country and the globe. We covered a city that is always changing, but where tensions about city finances, policing, housing and the fate of the public schools run deep. We also produced three new episodes of our Tales of Two Cities podcast, which covers audio stories from Oakland and Richmond in collaboration with our sister site, Richmond Confidential. Click here to check out all episodes of the Tales of…

Donated and forgotten: The problem with second-hand clothes

The Goodwill’s Greater East Bay headquarters on International Boulevard is a clothing reseller’s dream and a garbage system nightmare. This block-long facility is, despite its size, an inconspicuous treasure trove for resellers sifting for secondhand goods they will leave with by the cartload. The white cinderblock interior has an almost clinical feel: Clothes lie sprawled in plastic carts the size of operating tables, pushed together in a maze that only the regulars know how to navigate. This kind of retail…