Economy

Oakland students give old computers a new home

On a hot day in West Oakland, children and parents sat at rows of desks in a warehouse classroom. It was dark, the fan hummed and people chattered in low voices. A sense of expectation filled the room. In three hours, every child would get a voucher for a free computer

Bread Garden (not them, too!) considers shutdown

After 33 years, the owner of the Bread Garden bakery is considering closing down his shop. The bakery that in the 1970s helped ignite the Bay Area artisan bread trend is now in danger of becoming a victim of its own success.

This year’s Labor Day picnic set amid tough times

Nearly ten percent of US workers were jobless this Labor Day. That’s a five percent increase in unemployment since December 2007, according to the Department of Labor. In the midst of global economic turmoil, the Alameda County Labor Council of the AFL-CIO held its annual barbeque at Shoreline Park in Oakland. Union officials, members and community groups gathered to celebrate and drum up support for what some say are major political battles to come: health care reform, passing a federal…

“Incredible teamwork” opens Bay Bridge Tuesday

Bay Area drivers breathed a sigh of relief as the Bay Bridge reopened this morning just before 7 a.m. The region coped without this major thoroughfare for four and a half days, but commuters improvised and managed to avoid worst-case scenarios. Caltrans shut the bridge for a special construction project over Labor Day weekend. During safety inspections unrelated to the construction project, however, workers discovered a crack in an eyebar, a vertical steel structure with loops or “eyes” on either…

Migrants invited to church pulpits for Labor Day

Romana was seven months pregnant, she told the congregation at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church on Sunday, when she walked for six hours from Mexico to the United States -– mostly without water, sometimes without shoes. She crossed through brush where sticks ripped at her skin, she said. Her brother and grandmother dragged her when she felt too tired to walk.  When Romana and her family arrived at a tunnel where they thought they could rest, she said, US immigration workers…

Video: Shipping out to watch the Bay Bridge retrofit

On Saturday, approximately 95 passengers attended a seismic retrofit cruise to watch the construction on the Bay Bridge. Private cruise company Celebrations on the Bay hosted the cruise. Four attendees told Oakland North why they set to sea to witness the retrofit first-hand.

Update: Crack in the Bay Bridge may delay reopening

Updated Sept. 7, 9 a.m. At an 8 a.m. press conference on Monday, Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney announced that the Bay Bridge may not reopen tomorrow at 5 a.m. as scheduled. Ney cited unanticipated repair work on a cracked eyebar as the main source of uncertainty. “It will be a monumental challenge to have it finished by 5 a.m.,” Ney said. “This is going to take what it takes. As soon as it’s done, we’ll open the bridge.” Ney will…

Video: Inside the Oakland Art Murmur

The Art Murmur, Oakland’s monthly gallery walk, drew hundreds to the streets of downtown Oakland Friday despite the Labor Day holiday weekend and the closing of the Bay Bridge. New measures were undertaken by the Murmur this month to ensure safety and civility toward gallery walkers and neighborhood residents. Incidents involving disrespect toward artists and neighbors in recent months have precipitated the changes, which include a vendor check-in fee and the addition of patrolling security guards. These occurrences have raised…

Bay Bridge workday closure goes smoothly

Updated at 6:20 p.m. For the first time in 73 years, the boss let the Bay Bridge take a day off during the workweek. Even without the bridge, Friday’s morning commute went relatively smoothly, and no major messes were apparent by early evening. Caltrans closed the bridge at 8 p.m. last night and initiated a five-night, four-day special construction project to replace a 300-foot section of the span near Yerba Buena Island. Despite the loss of a bridge that carries…