Parents and educators occupy Lakeview Elementary; independent workers seek communal workspaces; as the need for court interpreters grows, who pays?; a jazz pianist is back in town; and local band Blue River.
This past Saturday, over 100 people gathered outside Lakeview Elementary School in Oakland for a rally in support of a sit-in staged by parents, students, and community members. They’re protesting the district’s decision to close five neighborhood elementary schools.
Instead of working alone, independent workers—freelancers, contractors, independent consultants and temps—are increasingly joining co-working spaces. These are collaborative work environments where independents can rent desk and meeting space down to the hour. Roughly like a gym membership, at co-working spaces, you pack your laptop instead of your sweats.
In Oakland, 2012 is the boom year for formally expanding the prevailing cubicle-centered notions of work and worker archetypes. By the end of the year, Oakland will have at least four formal co-working spaces.
Like many of the people waiting to turn in paperwork at Clark County’s family court, truck driver Ruben Vargas is here because of a custody battle. Whenever his ex doesn’t let him see their 6-year-old boy, he takes her to court.
But since Vargas only speaks Spanish, he’s had to pay for his own interpreter every time.
“I didn’t expect that I would have to pay,” Vargas said. “I thought it would be free. I thought there were people in the court to help people. But there isn’t.”
Pianist George Cables has an intensely rhythmic style and always comes out swinging. He first became famous as a sideman in the 1970s, playing with such luminaries as Art Blakey and Dexter Gordon.
Some of Cables’ best work in those years came as a sideman with saxophonist Art Pepper. It seems that Cables’ was fond of Pepper. “Art Pepper was a bit eccentric,” says Cables. “He was a great alto player and very warm.”