One year after construction began, has the controversial, $484 million Oakland Airport Connector project created the jobs it promised? “It requires a lot of physical strength and it wears on the body,” said Tiffany West, 31, of her work as a carpenter’s apprentice. Every Monday through Friday, from 7 am to 3:30 pm, West is somewhere along Hegenberger Road between the Oakland Coliseum and the airport shoveling debris, fine-grading sites for paving or building the footings for the connector’s elevated guideway.

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2010 was a tumultuous year for Oakland as both the city and state faced a heated election season, the courts weighed the validity of controversial measures passed during previous elections, and the effects of the 2008 financial collapse continued to reverberate throughout the local economy, but it was also a year of new beginnings. Oakland North presents a guide to the year’s top stories.

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At a crowded meeting, an Oakland City Council committee this week decided to urge the whole council to re-examine its position on the planned BART-to-Oakland-Airport lightrail connector project, targeted for $70 million in federal stimulus money. Story by Thomas Gorman/Oakland North.

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