Health

Will Oakland get federal rescue dollars for anti-violence measures?

City officials and community leaders want to pump newly available federal money into addressing the gun violence that has claimed more than 100 lives this year and the health inequities that enabled COVID-19 to devastate communities of color.  Both Oakland and Alameda County declared gun violence a public health crisis in the hopes of speeding up the process of securing money from the American Rescue Plan, which passed in March. But the money is still tied up in red tape…

Health workers urge people to return to HIV testing centers after covid kept many away

As the COVID-19 pandemic closed the doors of free clinics and primary care providers, LifeLong Medical Care HIV/AIDS program Manager Keshia Lynch was faced with a problem: how to test patients and care for them without seeing them in person. Doctors recommend an HIV test at least every three to six months for sexually active gay and bisexual men to keep them and their partners safe, but shelter-in-place orders interrupted regular testing patterns in the Bay Area and nationwide. HIV…

UPDATE: Kaiser Permanente meets with striking engineers and mediators

As the strike of stationary and biomedical engineers stretched into a 36th day, the union and employer Kaiser Permanente engaged in mediation Friday that ended without an agreement. The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 39 told members around 5:30 p.m. that the session had ended with little headway made. While the sides agreed to continue with the federal mediator, a new session has not yet been scheduled. A day earlier, outside Kaiser Permanente headquarters in Oakland, striking hospital employees…

Vaccine plan for Oakland workers irks unions, who say they were left out

Oakland’s labor unions say they should have been involved in a draft mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy that would apply to the city’s 4,500 or so employees as a condition of employment. “Unions aren’t against vaccines at all,” said Elizabeth Ortega, executive director of the Alameda Labor Council. “But we do want to stay at the table.” Ortega said that the 135 unions that ALC represents received notice of the mandate only a few hours before the draft was released. She…

Oakland school children must get COVID-19 vaccination, school board mandates

As the clock approached midnight on Wednesday, Oakland Unified School District board directors voted to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for students 12 and up.  Directors Sam Davis, Gary Yee, and Cliff Thompson introduced the resolution on Sept. 8, and Wednesday’s discussion about it prompted support and criticism from community members in attendance.  The board voted 5-1-1 in favor of the resolution, though the district won’t strictly enforce it until January. In the next few months, the emphasis will be on educating…

Group honors the “Muffin Man” for delivering food to people in Oakland who need it

Out of the back of a green Dodge pickup, the Muffin Man has been feeding underserved communities in Oakland for almost two decades. His truck is loaded with crates of canned food, baked goods, pet food; jars of spices, fruits, vegetables, dairy products; various meats, sweets, bread, and even flowers. Jack Dice distributes the bounty in Oakland neighborhoods, where he is known as the “Muffin Man” because he leads a group of volunteers called The Muffin People. They collect food…

VIDEO: Teen weightlifting champion from Oakland talks about Olympic dreams

Seth Evans, an Oakland middle-school student, won four gold medals this summer at the USA Weightlifting National Youth Championships in Detroit. Oakland North caught up with Seth and his father, Dion, during a weekly training session at SPS Gym in August. Seth talks about competition, his training regimen and his dream of competing in the 2028 summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Oakland’s illegal trash dumping crisis is worse than ever. Here’s why.

At one hot spot for illegal dumping in East Oakland, someone rolled by in a stolen dump truck, lifting the bed and emptying the full load without stopping.  During another incident not far away, a dumper who had piled garbage onto a tarp in the back of a pickup fastened the tarp to a pole, then slammed on the gas pedal. Oakland, a city long plagued by illegal dumping, has been especially trashed over the past year, thanks to a…