After the raid: One year after federal agents raided Oaksterdam, what’s changed?

Federal agents surround Oaksterdam during the raid on April 2, 2012. Photo by Ryan Phillips.

One year ago, federal agents raided Oaksterdam University, a move that sent ripples throughout Oakland’s well-established cannabis industry and raised questions about the complex and often conflicting web of state and federal regulations surrounding medical marijuana use and patient rights. In this four-part series, Oakland North will examine what’s changed since last year’s raid, who was affected the most, and what may lie in store for medical marijuana use here in Oakland.

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Women and hip-hop: A discussion in downtown Oakland

Betti Ono art.

On Friday, the Betti Ono art gallery in downtown Oakland hosted a panel discussion about women and Hip-Hop. The “My Art, My Culture: Women, media, and Hip-Hop” three-part discussion was the product of the combined efforts of a number of Bay Area arts organizations including Beats, Rhymes, and Life, which uses Hip-Hop to empower young people, and the Daughters of Dilla Project, which offers media arts programs for girls.

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Reggie Bailey’s Barbershop

Bailey's barbershop

“My last trip in the penitentiary, I had to make a decision on what I wanted to do with my life,” said Reggie Bailey, sitting in the swiveling barber chair in his small shop in the heart of downtown Oakland. “I just decided to go to barber college.”

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East Bay BRT project rolls closer to reality

The BRT is planned to run from Oakland to San Leandro.

The finish line is near for Alameda-Contra Costa County Transit’s proposed “Rapid Bus Transit” line, which would have its own new fleet of buses, new stations and a dedicated traffic lane running 9.5 miles between the Uptown Transit Center on 20th Street near Telegraph in downtown Oakland and the San Leandro Bart station, following International Boulevard most of the way.

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200 Yards project asks photographers to focus on downtown Oakland

Genevieve Brazelton, co-founder of 200 Yards, wants photographers to take a closer look at North Oakland. The premise of the project is simple: Draw a 200-yard radius around an alternative gallery or other landmark and invite photographers to cover that area with a hyperlocal focus and submit their work. The cream of the crop from the show’s Oakland version, which has the majestic oak tree as the center of its radius, will be displayed in a show at Oakland City Hall during the Art & Soul festival.

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Girls Inc. headquarters moving to Oakland, rehabbing downtown building

Last June, Girls Inc. of Alameda County purchased a five-story building as the site for their new headquarters located in downtown Oakland. The 34,000 square foot structure is strikingly different from their current headquarters in a 1950s warehouse in San Leandro, and it will include staff and administrative offices, a mental health clinic, fitness center, teaching kitchen, and other amenities for the 145 teenage girls who are served by the organization.

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City kicks off new energy program, targeting downtown businesses

Oakland launched a new energy efficiency program called Oakland Shines Wednesday, with the goal of reducing energy costs for business owners in the downtown area. “The goal is to get 80 percent of the 4,000 businesses to participate, and to reduce their energy consumption by 20 percent, ” said Derrick Rebello, the CEO of Quantum Energy Services and Technology, at the program’s kick-off event. Berkeley-based QuEST and PG&E are the city’s main partners in Oakland Shines, which is funded by a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission.

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Free prizes galore during “Try BART Week”

For East Bay residents who don’t already ride BART, today may be the day to start. In a bid to win back the riders it has lost during the slumping economy of the last several years, BART has declared this week “Try BART Week,” and is offering a wide array of valuable prizes to lure riders to their trains—starting right here in Oakland.

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