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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…

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…

New study reveals extreme levels of microplastics in San Francisco Bay

A study carried out over three years in the San Francisco Bay revealed high levels of microplastics in stormwater, treated wastewater, surface water, and sediment. The report discovered an important previously unknown source of pollution: degrading tires. It also found that stormwater has particularly high microplastic levels, suggesting the need for better infrastructure to filter stormwater.

Homesteading organization shows Oaklanders the rewards of urban gardening

It’s chock full of collard greens. And figs. And chickens. On Saturday, visitors meandered through the bushy rows of produce in the community garden at the corner of 33rd and West Streets, in the expansive lot belonging to Hoover Elementary School. Between the vegetation, visitors could see pops of color from mosaics and decorative wooden poles with glittery streamers floating in the soft breeze. Volunteers picked at a ten-foot-high mulch pile, filling loads into a wheelbarrow before spreading them across…

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