East Oakland

 

Surveillance and privacy issues have been in the news a lot in the past few years. Perhaps the biggest news was made by by Edward Snowden, who leaked information about the NSA’s massive collection of American citizens' cell phone data. But the privacy debate has also hit closer to home. You may remember last spring, when the Oakland City Council debated a controversial surveillance hub called the Domain Awareness Center, or DAC.

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mar 24, 2015

Here’s what’s happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

Oakland Mural Artists Create a Mural Project to Honor Women Affected By Violence // Oakland North

Living wage fight explodes in East Oakland

Mar 16, 2015

If you want to hire a worker in Oakland, you’re going to have to pay a little bit more these days. At the beginning of the month, Measure FF, overwhelming approved by voters last November, finally became law. It raises Oakland’s minimum wage to $12.25 an hour.

But Oakland is a little bit different from Seattle, San Francisco, and dozens of other cities that passed minimum wage hikes last year. It already has a living wage ordinance on the books that requires employers benefitting from city subsidies to pay $14.10 an hour.

Tacos and Banh Mi: A match made in heaven

Mar 2, 2015
Olivia Cueva


On the corner of 14th Avenue and International Boulevard in East Oakland, there's a strip mall with a mini-mart, a laundromat, and then there is Saigon Deli.   

"Welcome! Welcome home," co-owner Tony Torres calls out as people walk in the door. He greets all of his customers this way. 

Behind the counter, his partner, Dieu Ngo, takes orders. 

"Here we have the taco. And the sandwich. Vietnamese sandwich," she tells a first time customer. 

StoryCorps

From time to time, the StoryCorps team goes mobile, and collects interviews at different sites around the Bay Area. One of the places they visited was Highland Hospital in East Oakland. The public hospital has been around since 1927, and has since served thousands of patients from all walks of life.

The debate over more charter schools in Oakland

Oct 22, 2014

Betsy Rubio is seven years old, and lives on MacArthur and 77th in the Castlemont neighborhood of East Oakland. But she attends Urban Montessori school, about 30 minutes away by bus. She told me about her first week of second grade. "First we go to morning circle, to figure out some rules. And then something called read aloud, where the teacher reads and we draw."

Oakland youth grow a taste for fruits and veggies

Sep 29, 2014
Kelly Carlisle

I’m walking across an old baseball diamond at Tassafaronga Park in Oakland with four very qualified agriculture experts. We’re approaching a new vegetable garden that they helped create.

“First we picked our seeds, and then we got to get our hands all dirty with the soil,” says eight-year old gardener Jordan Sanders. He’s a member of Acta Non Verba, an urban farming program for local, low-income youth.

Sukey Lewis

We all throw stuff away—about four and a half pounds of garbage a day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

We’ve gotten used to hearing the three commandments of waste management: recycle, reduce, and reuse. But recently, the term “up-cycle” has come into vogue. That’s the idea that you can take waste materials and turn them into something valuable and even beautiful.

Mosaic artist Daud Abdullah up-cycles pieces of trashed pottery, tile, mirror, and glass to make public art on garbage cans in Oakland and Richmond.

Audrey Dilling

At the end of a narrow alley off of International Boulevard, through the open doorway of El ColectíVelo bike shop, I’m greeted by a young boy.

“R.B.! It’s the lady here for you!” he shouts.

“R.B.” are initials I’ll hear shouted out a lot of today. They stand for Reggie Burnett. He’s the leader here.

Jeannette King-Harris grew up in Oakland and says she’s tired of all the difficulties young people face there today. So, she’s launching an organization called Planting Special Seeds to change that. It’s a youth empowerment program that offers job training, educational advising, and emotional support to young people from around Oakland.

 

When it comes to sending a message to the community, one way to do it is to simply stand together. That’s what one Oakland organization is doing by organizing a walk every Friday evening in some of the city’s most crime-heavy areas. Since 2012, Oakland has averaged around 860 aggravated assaults each year, with many of the incidents concentrated in East Oakland. Although these walks are organized by churches, they’ve attracted hundreds of secular participants.

Eric Hannan was only supposed to work as the 81st Avenue Library's Teen Service Director for a few weeks. He ended up staying two years.

For about a year and a half now, KALW has been popping into the 81st Avenue East Oakland library to record the stories of the people who live and work in the neighborhood. Michael Lefall spoke with us about the importance of role models.

Oakland high school confronts daily violence

Jan 7, 2014
Brett Myers/Youth Radio

Castlemont High in East Oakland, looks like many other California schools – colorful box-style buildings with big windows – but inside, teacher Demetria Huntsman and several students are deconstructing a shooting that happened out front just 30 minutes before I got there.

Hear Here: Meet Anthony Propernick

Nov 19, 2013
Audrey DIlling

For about a year and a half now, KALW has been popping into the 81st Avenue East Oakland library to record the stories of the people who live and work in the neighborhood. Today we meet the man who helps make the library a safe and valuable place for the community, Anthony Propernick.

Click the audio player above to listen to the story.

Erica Mu

Pamela Alston was raised in Emeryville along with her eight brothers and sisters. She noticed something particular about the place where she was growing up.

“In my neighborhood, it seems to me the most prevalent health problem was bad teeth. Missing teeth, rotten teeth. And I felt like if there was anything I could do help my community, it would be to treat their teeth,” Alston says.

Kyung Jin Lee

West Oakland’s Alex Miller-Cole has decided that he can’t depend on the police for help.

“Mead Avenue was the second worst street in all of Oakland,” he says. “All the neighbors have been mulching. We planted 75 trees. Now it’s the cleanest street ever. Nothing happens here now.”

A One-Stop Shop for Social Services

For many, the Eastmont Town Center in East Oakland is the go-to place to apply for food stamps, get medical coverage, find childcare, and get job assistance. It was once the Eastmont Mall, but as income dropped and crime rose in the surrounding area, Planned Parenthood and the Oakland Public Library moved in, Mervyn’s became the Oakland Police Department, and JC Penney’s became the social service agency.

Libraries are where many people go to exercise their brains, and now there’s at least one where you can exercise your body. The 81st Avenue Branch Library in East Oakland is finding that what people want in their neighborhood is to work out. And, they didn’t have to go far to find the right instructor.

Today's Local Music: Versatile

Aug 5, 2013

The song you can listen to above is being played by Solomon Munghia. Patrons of the 81st Avenue East Oakland library might occasionally hear Munghia practicing in one of the study rooms there. That’s where our community storytelling project, Hear Here, found him one day, getting ready to make some music with his friend Giovanni Gaines. Hear Here producer Audrey Dilling asked Munghia how he first learned to play guitar. 

Before artist and performer Ise Lyfe became Ise Lyfe, he was Isaac Brown, growing up in East Oakland, probably playing Nintendo games like he is right now. We’re in a bedroom in an apartment with these old video games, hat boxes, and vintage clothes – all carefully placed to capture what public housing units like the one we’re standing in must have looked like back in the day.

A year ago, KALW’s Ali Budner met Sharena Thomas and her friend Lesley Phillips, two women from East Oakland who say the 911 emergency response system in their neighborhood is broken.

In trying to find a possible solution, they co-founded group called The People’s Community Medics. Its goal is to train citizens in basic first aid so they can help people as they wait for emergency responders.

Last night, Bishop Robert Jackson spoke at the Oakland City Council meeting. He and other Oakland ministers came together to demand more aggressive action from Mayor Jean Quan in response to a recent spike in violence. They asked her to call for a state of emergency. KALW’s Holly Kernan spoke with the Bishop to ask him what that would mean for the city.