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Oakland North’s 2019 year in review — our top stories

2019 brought a new group of student reporters to Oakland North from across the country and the globe. We covered a city that is always changing, but where tensions about city finances, policing, housing and the fate of the public schools run deep. We also produced three new episodes of our Tales of Two Cities podcast, which covers audio stories from Oakland and Richmond in collaboration with our sister site, Richmond Confidential. Click here to check out all episodes of the Tales of…

When school’s out, where can Oakland kids go for meals?

In the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), all students have access to school breakfast, lunch and supper through the Community Eligibility Provision, which is a federal program that allows schools in high-poverty areas to serve food to students without collecting money from them or asking them to apply. This robust access to food serves a critical need for students during the school week. According to the OUSD’s website, the school nutrition services provide approximately 7,500 breakfasts, 20,000 lunches, 10,00 snacks…

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,…

Never mind Reefer Madness, seniors are the next big cannabis consumers

It’s a quiet Monday afternoon at Magnolia Oakland, a cannabis dispensary on the industrial end of Adeline Street. From the outside, the blocky, concrete building looks like the kind of place you might go to get a package shipped or a document notarized. Inside, as a guy working security chats with a front desk employee checking IDs, a skunky whiff of weed floats by, indicating that this is, in fact, a place to legally buy a bewildering number of cannabis…

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