Economy

Oakland sends BART board back to the drawing board

The BART board listened last Thursday as Oakland residents made some corrections and additions to the draft model for a Citizen Oversight Committee presented by BART. The draft the board presented on Monday called for a Citizen Oversight Committee and an independent auditor. The committee would be made up of 11 members.and  an independent auditor who would have subpoena power to talk to any BART police officer and “unfettered” access to police personnel records and police reports once a complaint…

City Council may call emergency meeting over fees

Only nine of 50 local businesses participated in Thursday’s General Strike to protest the hike in parking fees, but some 100 local business owners and residents attended the meeting Thursday night at the Grand Lake Theater and District 2 Councilmember Pat Kernighan said the City Council should meet soon to reconsider the fee hikes. Kernighan said at the meeting that she had received more than 200 e-mails during the last several weeks, complaining about the hikes in parking-related fees. “The…

General Strike for Lakeshore on Thursday

The merchants on Lakeshore plan to hold a General Strike Thursday to protest the city’s parking fee hikes, which they said, are chasing away customers. “If we do not act now, many businesses will fail and our city will be much worse off,” wrote Allen Michaan, the owner of the Grand Lake Theater in a flyer calling for the strike. It’s unclear how many of the businesses on Lakeshore will participate. Bob Jaffe sighed at the sight of the parking…

Despite tough restrictions, youth find Oakland jobs from stimulus

Non-profit organizations were ready to hand out pay-checks to underprivileged youth in Oakland this summer but were unprepared for the reality checks that went with them. President Barack Obama’s stimulus package last February made it possible for Oakland to hire 1,000 youth this summer, but some agencies said the stringent qualifications narrowed the applicant pool to much.  Applicants had to be at risk, which meant being a school dropout, homeless, an offender, pregnant or someone who “requires additional assistance to…

Lakeshore businesses protest parking hikes and talk of a general strike

Cyprus Pishdad was excited two months ago when his new T-shirt business, Pure510 on busy Lakeshore appeared to be doing well despite the economy. Then in July, his business started to decline. “The sales were worse than the first week I opened the business. I realized that it coincide with the raise in parking meter,” said the 46-year old business owner, who said his business has dropped 30 percent. Now Pishdad and other angry business owners are talking about the…