Golden Gate

3rd graders hear their President urge them on

Fifteen pairs of eyes in Muslimah Mohammed’s class at Santa Fe Elementary School were fixed on the television screen this morning, watching President Obama address the nation’s students. “I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school,” the President began, drawing cautious nods from the attentive third-graders, who had actually started school eight days earlier. “Some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer…

Oakland Home Values a Block-by-Block Prospect

By Elise Craig and Melanie Mason/Oakland North On the corner of 34th Street and Market Street in Oakland, a Coldwell Banker sign is attached to a chain link fence in front of a house with graffiti-covered boarded windows. Beside it, a black arrow on a yellow plastic sign points to a real estate auction up the street. A few doors down, Alain Pinel Realtors is selling the house with the red steps, where plastic toys in primary colors lie in…

“Problem-solvers” try a different kind of policing

By ANNA BLOOM Once officers receive badges from the Oakland Police academy, they usually begin to gravitate to an area of expertise. “When you come on patrol, you specialize,” Oakland Police Sgt. Bernard Ortiz says. “Some guys become motor-men, they love giving tickets. Some guys are dope guys.” For a long time, Ortiz was a dope guy. For ten years, he negotiated streets in high-speed chases, responded to shootouts and participated in drug busts in East and West Oakland. There,…

New owners struggling to resurrect Eli’s Mile High

Story and audio slides by MARTIN RICARD It was a little after 7 p.m. on a recent Monday night at Eli’s Mile High Club, and a slow, celestial song by the British space rock group The Telescopes was blasting over the speakers to an empty room. Jason Herbers, the assistant to Eli’s owner, who manages the day-to-day operations of the club, was visibly frustrated by the lack of customers as he strolled back and forth throughout the place.