Economy

Bucking the myth: There is no upside to the downturn

In tough economic times, you’d think 99-cent stores, pawnshops and thrift stores would be thriving. They’re not. Behind the counter of 41st Discount, a 99-cent store on 41st and Telegraph, stands store owner Omar Alrahimee, surrounded by phone cards, incense oils, microwave popcorn, “God Bless the USA” bumper stickers, and cigarettes (his best selling item). He holds up a stack of bills he hasn’t yet paid. “Today is the 12th, I have not paid the rent, I used to pay…

No golden parachute for stores on Piedmont Avenue

Loren Partridge has until February 28 to vacate Cunningham Partridge Gallery and Framing, the Piedmont Avenue business she has run for seven years. “I’ve seen it coming for months,” Partridge said last Saturday afternoon. “Then January came, and boom.”

Off with their heads

By Samson Reiny/Oakland North It was off with their heads-the parking meter heads-that is.  At the end of 2007, the City of Oakland replaced its traditional coin-eating car meters with automated payment kiosks in the most congested parking areas, allowing people the convenience of paying for parking time by credit card and cash rather than change.  In order not to confuse motorists, most of the old meters’ heads were removed.  But for many bicyclists, especially on busy College Avenue, that…

Oakland home values a block-by-block prospect

  By Elise Craig and Melanie Mason/Oakland North On the corner of 34th Street and Market Street in Oakland, a Coldwell Banker sign is attached to a chain link fence in front of a house with graffiti-covered boarded windows. Beside it, a black arrow on a yellow plastic sign points to a real estate auction up the street. A few doors down, Alain Pinel Realtors is selling the house with the red steps, where plastic toys in primary colors lie…

After night of pleas, council passes cut-down budget

By MAGGIE FAZELI FARD Oct. 22 — After five hours of heated discussion–including pleas, arguments, and even musical performances by more than 200 Oaklanders begging city council members to reconsider layoffs and spending cuts–last night’s budget discussion ended somewhat anti-climactically.