Economy

Oaklanders remedy the housing crisis one home at a time

On a quiet fall day, Noni Session parked next to a two-story apartment building in North Oakland. It was a simple, white mid-century structure with a turquoise door and grey trim on the windows. Across the street, a BART train whizzed by on its way to MacArthur Station. Session is the executive director of a nonprofit called East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, or EBPREC. Several months ago, the organization purchased this building in a bid to protect tenants after…

Small batch composters are digging deep to find big waste solutions

At Bishop O’Dowd High School in the Oakland hills, gardener Ned Lange is making small-batch vermicompost from the school’s food scraps. He takes scraps like leafy greens, peels, and stems that won’t make it into the cooked lunch, and blends them into a smoothie that he feeds into an 8-by-4-foot corrugated steel bin that is home to 100 pounds of worms. He lifts the roof off and carefully peels back pages of damp newspaper that are beginning to disintegrate. Underneath,…

Labor unions at odds over West Oakland hotel development

Every theater seat was occupied in Oakland’s city council chamber on Tuesday night, with more community members spilling into the hallway, as members of two of the city’s biggest unions turned out to take opposite sides on a proposal to build a hotel in West Oakland. In November 2016, Architectural Dimensions, an Oakland architecture and planning firm, filed an application to build a six-story 220-room hotel on what is currently an empty lot on Mandela Parkway along Oakland’s border with…