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Community disquiet about school closures erupts at school board meeting

At the auditorium of La Escuelita Elementary school Wednesday evening, Oakland Unified School District police officers were notably absent. So, too, were the barricades that had been set up to block protestors during a previous school board meeting on October 23, which had ended with the arrest of several protesters who oppose school closures and charter schools. Instead, camera crews from multiple media outlets were present, along with a predictably large crowd of protestors.   Several people in the audience…

Oakland naturalization ceremony welcomes new Americans

Over 1,100 people from 86 different countries took the oath to become United States citizens at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland on Wednesday.   In a warm and thunderous atmosphere, with friends and family whistling and singing, California Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), the keynote speaker, said, “I am so grateful to welcome all of you, my fellow Americans. I am one of you. Look at me, I made it. To those of you who say you can’t, I say you can.” …

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…

“Intelligent Lives” documentary screening highlights educational needs of students with intellectual disabilities

On Monday evening, parents, students and providers of special needs education in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) gathered at the Cole Campus to watch the premiere of Intelligent Lives, a documentary by filmmaker Dan Habib. “This movie is a tool to transform and change the label of intellectual disability from a life sentence of isolation,” he said as he spoke from New York in a recorded message to the viewing audience. Parents and educators watched attentively as the documentary…

Vigil in front of PG&E headquarters in Oakland protests power cuts

On the otherwise quiet and dimly-lit Clay Street, a group of roughly 50 people gathered for a candlelit vigil in front of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Oakland headquarters on Thursday evening. Protestors held tea light candles as they gathered around speakers, who led the crowd through moments of somber observance, followed by chanting: “PG&E is a convicted felon!” referring to a ruling by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) that PG&E was responsible for the…

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