Halloween fun and fund-raising at Children’s Hospital

video by CLARE MAJOR Oct. 14 — Scary was fun at Children’s Hospital Oakland this afternoon. At a costume party, sponsored by national retailer Spirit Halloween, the kids decorated pumpkins and played games. Donations collected at Spirit Halloween stores will be presented to hospitals around the country, including Children’s Hospital Oakland, in early December.

Playground’s “4-square” goes grownup in BART lot

Video by MARTIN RICARD Every week, young adults and the young at heart gather at the Rockridge BART station to play one of the most hallowed of playground games: four-square. With cars and trains zooming by above, the group — known as 4 Square of the East Bay — takes over a row of parking spaces, sharing the lot with medieval sword fighters and bike polo players, to compete for fun and for camaraderie.

Educators against teachers’ salary measure

By HENRY JONES OCT. 9 — Oakland education leaders are joining in what some would consider a surprising fight: one against raising teacher salaries. They joined labor leaders and Assemblyman Sandré Swanson at a news conference today outside the state building in downtown Oakland to voice their opposition to Measure N, a parcel tax that would generate roughly $10 million a year for local schools.

School board to parents: No closures for now

By LINNEA EDMEIER Oct. 8 — The anxiety over the possibility of some school shutdowns played out in tonight’s Oakland Board of Education meeting as individuals and groups took the microphone to passionately say, “Don’t close our small schools.” In the wake of announcing a plan to study closing certain schools in order to increase fiscal stability, the Board found itself on stage tonight—literally and figuratively. Under spotlights, seated in a row behind a blue-skirted table lined with microphones, the…

School board at Tech tonight to make room for all

By LINNEA EDMEIER Oct. 8—Money is the focus of this evening’s Board of Education (BOE) meeting—both how to save it and how to spend it. While the District looks for ways to secure its financial future through cuts and possible school closures, it must also approve current funding needs for student programs and teacher training. From the looks of the published agenda, which includes both objectives, the upcoming meeting is shaping up to be contentious and long.

Girls’ rowing team puts oars within reach

story by MARTIN RICARD audio slides by ISABEL ESTERMAN Sept. 7—About a dozen girls huddled in front of the boathouse at the Jack London Aquatic Center Sunday afternoon giggling and chatting away as though they’d known one another for years. Who’s the cute new crew instructor? Who’s afraid of the water? Is rowing really that hard? they asked one another. Above them, on the second floor of the center, the girls’ parents were hammering away with questions of their own…

Official pleads for fall immunizations, despite “misinformation”

By MAGGIE FAZELI FARD   Renee Cheney-Cohen, the coordinator of Alameda County’s immunization program, says the words with conviction. The phrase is her mantra as she reaches out to community groups, organizes free immunization clinics and works through the busy back-to-school vaccination season, insisting to parents that just because a disease isn’t common doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. Cheney-Cohen’s assertion is echoed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics, which placed incidences of vaccine-preventable diseases at all-time…