Economy

Kaiser Permanente gets into new negotiations with workers’ unions

Representatives from health giant Kaiser Permanente and unions representing its workers returned to the bargaining table late last week to resume contract talks with over 80,000 union members across the nation. Some 63,800 of those members are from California, and they are asking their employer for a renewal of their national agreement, which expired last September. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Union (CKPU) represents 11 labor unions in various states. Five of those unions represent California workers—the International Federation of…

New measure extends the working hours of Oakland’s Public Libraries

A man sat on a bench in the Oakland Main Library branch on a recent overcast Monday and asked for the time. It was 5:34 p.m. “What time do they close?” he asked. The branch used to close at 5:30 p.m on Mondays—but as of April 1, it closes at 8 p.m. The man settled into the bench and said he might stick around longer. For the first time in 15 years, Oakland Public Library staffers have extended their hours…

Brewers try to diversify the craft beer industry

Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter, a dynamic duo who are hoping to diversify the craft beer industry, stopped by Temescal Brewery in Oakland as part of a crowdfunding crawl to launch their new beer called Hella Halftones. Ashburn and Hunter founded Crowns & Hops, one of the few black-owned craft beer companies in the nation. Listen to the audio piece below to learn more about efforts to diversify the world of craft beer.

Following Oakland’s failed ban on coal transport, Richmond officials will consider their own

The Richmond City Council will soon consider an ordinance that would restrict the handling of coal and petcoke, a byproduct of oil refining, on port terminals in Richmond. A draft of the ordinance, introduced in December, has been approved by the city attorney, and it is expected to go to the council for a vote, although according to that office, a date has not been set yet.  The ordinance, authored by Councilmember Eduardo Martinez, calls for “the prohibition on the…

Is lab-grown cheese more environmentally friendly than traditional cheese? Oakland biohackers want to find out

Based out of Counter Culture Labs, a community-owned lab in Oakland, Real Vegan Cheese is working on making a cheese that would have less of an environmental effect than making traditional cheese, which requires collecting milk from cows. They are using yeast and E. Coli to create the cheese proteins. In this video, scientists at UC Berkeley discuss whether or not the lab-grown cheese will be sustainable and if people will want to eat it.

Port of Oakland,o​fficial​s work to resolve air quality in West Oakland

The Port of Oakland is the fifth busiest in the United States, and one of the biggest contributors to the poor air quality in West Oakland, which is among the worst in the Bay Area. According to Michael Murphy, an advanced project advisor for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), “The port represents at this time 30 percent of the contributing factors of the bad air quality in West Oakland.” But over the past 10 years, officials at…