Environment

A new farmer’s market grows at Children’s Hospital

Patients and doctors at Children’s Hospital are now meeting Tuesdays at the new farmer’s market that takes place from 2 to 7 in the parking lot. Jen Cook, a pediatrician there, teamed up with Brett Bennner from Phat Beets, on Mandela Parkway, to establish the market. Cook was inspired after seeing the market at Kaiser in Oakland. “A light bulb went off. It makes total sense,” said Cook. “A hospital is a place of healing and health. A lot of…

SBA loan program swamped

President Obama’s stimulus package meant little to Linda Russell until she went to borrow money at OneCalifornia Bank in Oakland for her school photography business, Mugshot. But when her $300,000 loan was quickly approved she discovered what the stimulus is all about. “I think the Recovery Act is working,” said the San Rafael based photographer and business entrepreneur who plans to expand with an online presence and possibly franchise the idea to other parts of the country. Russell is not…

Rockridge residents contemplate going solar

Renewable energy was the topic of the Rockridge Community Planning Council Town Hall meeting on Thursday night; namely, how and why to go solar. After two short power point presentations, Eric Nyman of Berkeley-based Sun Light and Power and Evan Raymond of Renewable Artistry (both of whom install photovoltaic solar energy panels on roofs as well as solar thermal equipment) fielded questions from the 16 Rockridge residents in attendance. Some reasons to install solar equipment that Nyman listed included reducing…

A produce store grows in West Oakland

Among the dilapidated housing, the abandoned, weed covered lots and graffiti marked walls of West Oakland sits the Mandela Foods Cooperative, an organic grocery store. It’s an ideal place to start an organic grocery store and nutritional education center, said Stephanie Camus.  “There hasn’t been a real grocery store here for 30 years.” Camus is one of eight workers and owners of the cooperative that opened at 1430 7th Street earlier this month. “We’re trying to provide healthier food for…

Local parks will suffer from proposed budget cuts

In the murky darkness underneath the 24 Freeway in Rockridge is a little slice of doggie heaven. On a recent Thursday afternoon, five or six pooches – it’s difficult to keep track – romp inside a large, caged doggie run while their owners chat. The dark, mulched run is not pretty to look at, but it’s convenient. Not far away, in a much more verdant spot, several children climb on small rocks in a shallow, plant-fringed pond or play on…

Celebrating Earth Day, Oakland-style

In easy view of crisscrossing highways and towering industrial parks, dozens of people marched through East Oakland’s flatlands wearing white surgical masks on Saturday. Families pushing strollers, men in suits, and kids with skateboards walked from Tassafaronga Recreation Center to Acorn Woodland Elementary School to celebrate ‘Love Yo Mama’ Earth Day and to call attention to environmental degradation in inner city neighborhoods.

Oakland Animal Shelter has a full house

At the intersection of Fruitvale Blvd. and the railway tracks, despite the traffic noise, there’s another noise that stands out —the barking of dogs in the big fenced back yard of the Oakland Animal Shelter. The dogs bark over the sounds of trucks, cars, and freeway, over the railway track’s light signals, and are an early, outside indication that the shelter is totally packed.