On Wednesday afternoon, students from McClymonds High presented ancestral research projects as part of an event entitled “Remembering Our Past, Moving Toward Our Futures.” For three months, students had conducted ancestral research on their families by interviewing relatives and using genealogical search tools with help from volunteers from the African American Geological Society of California (AAGSC). Students even took a DNA test to find out about where their lineage originated.

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A variety of programs that the state once funded—focusing on, among other things, criminal justice, mental health and social services—will now be the responsibility of local jurisdictions, usually the county, because of state budget cuts. Just how these cuts will play out in Alameda County, and what to do about the “financial tsunami that is coming our way,” as County Supervisor Keith Carson called it, was the topic of a budget forum hosted by the county supervisors on Tuesday morning in downtown Oakland.

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Most people may not know that the carpets in Alameda County’s General Services Agency’s office in downtown Oakland are partially made from shredded recycled plastic bottles. They also may not know that over 25 percent the power used at the Santa Rita jail comes from solar panels. These, along with other energy efficient and recycled materials projects, are part of Alameda County’s green purchasing policy. The idea is for the county to buy and use as many green products as possible in order to save water and energy and reduce waste.

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