Like a lot of middle schools, Bret Harte’s hallways carry with them the faint scent of Axe Body Spray and the sounds of kids shuffling to class. The school sits in the middle of Oakland, nestled below the big Mormon Temple. Outside, backpacks dangle from a tall, chain-link fence encircling a busy baseball diamond.
This is a story about one of my very first teachers, Janet Daijogo. She’s the one who taught me how to tie my shoes and how to read my first book. I’m just one of hundreds of kids who’ve passed through her kindergarten classroom in the fifty-five years she’s taught.
Park Elementary School in Hayward is a cheerful place. The halls are dotted with murals of tiny green handprints and scribbled-on schoolwork, and the principal makes her rounds through the halls helping kids tie their shoes.
A gaggle of middle school girls are running around a soccer field in East Oakland. The scene is a blur of ponytails and mismatched cleats. Some of the girls wear a yellow chalky sunscreen in stripes across their face. It’s called thanaka, a powdered root that’s popular in Burma.
The Book Report is a series where we talk to local authors about the books they love. Today we hear about Katherine Dunn's Geek Love from Charlie Jane Anders, a writer living in San Francisco. Anders is the editor-in-chief of io9.com and runs the Writers with Drinks series. She's also the author of the novel All the Birds in the Sky.
The Point Reyes Light, a weekly newspaper in West Marin, is known for a lot of things. It won a Pulitzer Prize, it’s done muckraking reporting on a local cult, and riled up residents with its change in ownership. But these days, one of its most popular features is a police log that transforms people’s worries into something close to literature.
An excerpt from The Point Reyes Light Sheriff's Calls: An oak tree was reportedly dying, its debris crumbling into the roadway
Two young trombone players are performing a duet inside a shipping container in a emptied lot in Hayes Valley. The musicians, Harry Gonzalez and Brett Wyatt, are from the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and they address their audience through the screen in front of them.
Two sisters, Kathryn Sibley and Madelyn Blair, walk into the Dragonfly Ink Studio to get a touch-up on their matching tattoos. You can sense their excitement—they’re not scared of the needle and they’re not scared of the pain.
When I first started working at The Booksmith, the local independent bookstore a couple blocks from my apartment, it was a lot like what I expected it to be. Book lovers browsed, regulars came in for their daily newspaper, and authors gave intimate readings. So it came as a surprise when one night all the shelves in the back were pushed aside, two hundred or so people filed in, and Baruch Porras-Hernandez welcomed the crowd enthusiastically with: “Are you guys ready for some porn? Let’s dive in!”
Back in April, a 48 foot-long sperm whale was found on a beach in Pacifica called Mori Point. A lot of people had gathered around the whale to bear witness to its death. They inspected the animal’s internal organs, nervously poked its cracked flesh when no one was looking, and took a few selfies in the process. Mostly though? People want to know how this animal died - and if we had anything to do with it.
The Book Report is a series where we talk to local authors about the books they love. Today we hear from Adam Johnson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer living in San Francisco, who is discussing Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings. Johnson's latest collection of stories, Fortune Smiles, was released August 18th.
"San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr on Tuesday said the city’s entire backlog of old rape kits has been counted by hand and will be tested by the end of the year with money already in the department’s budget.
On January 28th, a fire consumed a mixed-use apartment building on 22nd and Mission. The conflagration destroyed more than 30 local businesses, and displaced over sixty people. Mauricio Orellana, a resident in the building, lost his life.
California eighth graders are ranked 45th in the country in math, according to the most recent scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Meanwhile, the pool of jobs requiring math, science, and engineering experience is growing, especially in the Bay Area. For people with the right skills, these jobs have become the latest iteration of the American dream -- steady, livable wages, and plenty of demand.