Dollars & Change: a special report tracking Obama donations

by RHYEN COOMBS, LISA PICKOFF-WHITE and ELIZABETH SHEMARIA.  Bay Area residents gave over $26 million to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, making our region one of the nation’s most concentrated centers of donation to Obama’s candidacy. This multi-media close-up, produced by reporters in the U.C. Berkeley School of Journalism’s advanced multi-media program, invites you to track the buildup of money, compare Obama donations to those for previous campaigns, and hear the voices of people who chose to contribute to the 2008…

Prop. 2 passes, farm animals get more room to stretch

By MAGGIE FAZELI FARD Nov. 5 — After months of debate that shoe the spotlight of controversy on the incredible, edible egg for the first time since cholesterol-free diets came into fashion, California voters passed a ballot measure to give confined chickens and other farm animals a little more breathing room. Prop. 2, known as the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, won by a margin of 63 percent to 37 percent. Prop. 2 will prohibit the “cruel confinement” of California’s…

WW seeking big new money for East Bay Parks

by BAGASSI KOURA After its first approval 20 years ago, a local park development measure running out of money is back on the ballot this fall. The East Bay Regional Park District is asking residents of Alameda and Contra Costa counties to vote for Measure WW, which would raise up to $500 million through government bonds.

New card-swipe bike lockers unveiled at MacArthur BART

By SAMSON REINY Oct. 29–With grandeur befitting the opening ceremony of the Tour de France, BART officials and employees staged a decorous introduction to the new BikeLink Bicycle Locker System this morning near the front entrance of the MacArthur BART station.  With the new system, bicyclists can now store their bikes and gear in large lockers at various BART locations in the East Bay. Members of BART’s board of directors and Bicycle Task Force representatives commenced the event by pedaling…

Red flag warning lifted, but hills still in danger

By ISABEL ESTERMAN OCT. 14 — The red flag fire warning for the Oakland hills was lifted this morning, but officials urge residents to remain vigilant. The area is no longer being whipped by the 35 mph gusts that raised concerns over the weekend, but conditions in the drought-stricken hills are reminiscent of the weeks before the devastating 1991 Oakland firestorm.

No letup on rationing, EBMUD warns

by MAGGIE FAZELI FARD Oct. 2 — In the five months since a drought was declared in the East Bay, Oakland residents have been warned against washing cars in their driveways, running half-empty washing machines, and asking for too much tap water at restaurants. This morning, officials had one thing to say in response: Thanks for your effort, but we’re still in trouble.

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…

Vaccinations, as recommended by the CDC

By MAGGIE FAZELI FARD Measles, mumps and polio may sound like plagues of days long past, but they are among the infections that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aims to hold at bay to this day through required and recommended immunizations, for children and adults alike. 

Cyclists’ pack rides Oakland to press for better routes

Story and slideshow by MARTIN RICARD SEPT. 29 — As anyone who has traveled on two wheels along some of the city’s busiest streets knows, bicycling through Oakland can be a challenge. There are already more than 85 miles of designated bike routes for cyclists. But some of the bike lanes are confusing, not all the roads are paved and there are some areas that are just plain not safe to ride on. That’s where Walk Oakland Bike Oakland thinks…