Oakland City Council weighs budget cuts, police officer layoffs

In a preview of what is likely to be a contentious budget meeting June 24, the Oakland City Council Tuesday night heard residents’ complaints about potentially laying off up to 200 police officers and staff in an attempt to balance the city’s fiscal year 2010 – 11 budget, which starts July 1.

The New Parish joins the Oakland music scene

Off of 19th and San Pablo in downtown Oakland lies an unassuming two-story building; if it’s a quiet night, the only giveaway that something is going on inside is a big bouncer with an ear-piece standing out front and a small black and white sign that says “The New Parish.” But inside, the New Parish is Oakland’s newest music venue.

Forgotten Trains of the Bay Area: The Key System

Before there was AC Transit or BART, there was the Key System. A privately-owned mass transit company that operated electric railcars, street cars, and ferries, the Key System linked ten East Bay cities and San Francisco, and it shaped the development of this area.

Jon’s Street Eats brings gourmet grub to street dining

Jon’s Street Eats is one of a new series of food trucks popping up all over the East Bay serving innovative street food — in this case, gourmet grub like grilled asparagus, butterscotch pudding and panko-coated mac and cheese. As Oakland-based chef Jon Kosorek puts it: “There’s not a lot of places where you can get hand-pulled mozzarella. I would never be able to do a hot dog cart with just boiled hot dogs. I’d go crazy.”

Oakland walks to end poverty

In Oakland, 76,000 people—that’s 19 percent of the city’s population—live at or below the federal poverty level. This is a statistic that the City of Oakland wants to lower.

Oakland youth bring spirit to South Berkeley

Something has recently changed in South Berkeley—big colorful paintings are popping up in formerly vacant storefront windows. They were all made by low-income youth, mostly from Oakland, paid to paint by an organization called Youth Spirit Artworks — an organization that hires teens to beautify local neighborhoods.