Economy

I scream, you scream, we all scream on College Avenue

At the age of eight, Adrienne Wander is already a food connoisseur. “As far as quality goes, Ici is the best, Tara’s vanilla is great,” said the elementary school foodie licking her favorite Dreyer’s Fudge Track. She knows her ice cream, in part a result of living near creamery row on College Avenue. The commercial corridor is home to Dreyer’s, which created Rocky Road in 1929 after the stock market crash,  Ici Ice Cream, the hip and gourmet  parlor, which …

Budget Diaries: Just your average meeting, or the end of Oakland as we know it?

The apocalypse seems near on Thursday.  The Oakland City Council will meet for six hours to grill various department heads about their proposed cuts to balance the city budget.  This is, many will say, the worst fiscal situation they have ever seen.  Ever. Thanks to a declining economy the general fund, which is the city’s annual income for almost half of its budget, is at least $83 million short of the $500 million it needs to pay for such services…

Lanesplitting

Cuts, plans, master plans—what does it all mean?  Instead of attending another meeting on the Bicycle Master Plan, Oakland North decided to hop on a bike and see what the city’s routes had to offer. After checking out the city bicycling website, this bicycling novice found a map of bikeway networks and routes and chose Route 35 down Telegraph Ave. Granted, this was the street with the second highest collision rate for bicyclists between 2000 and 2004, with most collisions…

Oakland artists eye $$ for community projects

More than 50 local artists envisioning sunflower murals, films and other projects attended an orientation Thursday at City Hall to find out about the Oakland Open Proposals program in which the city will give out $100,000 for art projects. “We still have money to fund art, even though the budget is cut across the board,” Steven Huss, the Cultural Arts Program Coordinator at Oakland’s Cultural Art and Marketing Department, told the artists. “I would like to detox some parts of…

Libraries, seniors, feel the bite of recession

Several fat books stacked on Deborah Cunningham’s lap spilled over the edges of her wheelchair.  As an aide wheeled her away, the dark-haired, elderly woman, a retired English professor in her mid-eighties, grasped them tightly.  She is one of ten or eleven repeat customers at Mercy Retirement and Care Center that look forward to the monthly Bookmobile visits from the Oakland Library system. The Bookmobile, a large, multicolored bus that traverses Oakland streets two days a week to visit under-served…

Temescal Library thinking outside the tool box

Books?  No, give me a wrench, ask many Oakland residents who use the Temescal Library. The branch holds 29,000 books, and rents out 4,000 books, CDs and movies a month.  Its Tool Lending Program, started in 2001,  checks out 3,000 tools a month and that number is growing.