On randomly-selected afternoons a couple hundred people gather in a big brick building on Martin Luther King Jr. Way to shop, browse and taste ready-made food from top chefs from all over the Bay Area. It’s not a farmers market, food fair or co-op—it’s the Pop-Up General Store, a place where people can buy pre-made food that can’t normally be found outside of an expensive restaurant.
What do you get when you mix an outdoor market, workshops on healthy eating and food justice? A Phat Beets farmers’ market. This new North Oakland weekly farmers’ market, which debuted on Saturday, is more than just buying food locally—it’s about education, health and the community.
North Oakland homeowners may soon have incentives to insulate their walls, upgrade windows and install solar panels, thanks to a countywide program set to launch this fall. Through the Alameda County Energy Efficiency and Green Retrofit Program, owners of residential property in the county can get rebates and loans for making energy-saving improvements to their property.
One or two days a week, a little before noon, a crowd of people begins to line up in downtown Oakland, right off Broadway near City Hall. It’s unclear what they’re waiting for though, because there’s nothing there. Shortly, a big white truck painted with colorful polka dots rounds the corner. Stenciled on the side of the truck, it says “Cupkates—a mobile cupcakery.”
The Oakland City Council voted Thursday night to lay off 80 police officers to help close the city’s $30.5 million budget gap. Various city government departments—including the City Administrator’s office, City Council, the Fire Department, and Information Technology Department also had their budgets cut, by a total of $18.7 million, as part of the fix.
Imagine a city with blue skies and clear roads, populated by healthy people commuting on quiet, non-polluting buses. That’s how the business magazine Fast Company envisions the perfect city, and it’s borrowing some ideas from Oakland.
With the Oakland City Council set to start deliberating its fiscal year 2010-11 budget during a special meeting Thursday night, Mayor Ron Dellums called a press conference Tuesday morning to introduce his latest version of the budget for the council to consider. But instead of focusing all his time on the budget, thanks to a story that ran on a local television station Monday night, Dellums spent a good portion of the conference defending his record as mayor and his involvement in the budget process.
On Monday morning, Oakland police officers and community leaders gathered at the site of a recent murder in West Oakland to warn of what could follow if Oakland’s police force is drastically cut to help close the city’s $31.5 million budget gap. “This is a dangerous city,” Dominique Arotzarena, president of the Oakland Police Officer’s Association, told a small group composed mostly of journalists. Laying off one quarter of the police staff, he said, “sends the wrong message.”