Oakland

Flickr user mk30

It’s the last day of February. That means tomorrow people will gather in the streets to celebrate arts and culture at Oakland Art Murmur’s public event, First Friday. The day carries extra weight this time around, because of what happened at the last First Friday. Things were going well until about ten minutes before 11pm, when a shooting resulted in one death and three injuries, and the incident shocked people who have been patronizing the event since its beginning seven years ago. 

Flickr user Genista

All week long we've been playing you this sound, and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

http://www.silentfilm.org/press/images/my-best-girl-images

Whether it makes you weak in the knees or weak in the stomach, Valentine’s Day weekend is inescapably upon us. Highlights include cinematic love letters to the May-December romance, 80s power ballads for jilted lovers, and one of the biggest record swaps around. When that’s all said and done, film festivals, Lunar New Year celebrations and music abounds.

Welcome to your Arts/Culture/Weekend:

THURSDAY

Courtesy of EastBayExpress.com

For all everyone's been talking about the tragic shooting at First Friday, it's worth noting that there's still a lot we don't know. We can't yet tell the extent to which this was related to First Friday itself — that is, we don't, and may never, know whether something about the event's general melee facilitated this, or whether the suspect would have killed Campbell anywhere, and that intersection and that moment just happened to be the time and place.

Lessons for inside and outside the classroom

Feb 6, 2013
http://www.aimschools.org/aiphs_welcome.shtml

American Indian Public Charter School II in Oakland might be closing, despite its high achieving students. School administrators were found to have improperly used millions of dollars in school funds – and recently, its charter designation was revoked. 

A discussion of Oakland's fiscal health and looming pension costs.  Oakland is being challenged to find ways honor its pension and retirement obligations while providing essential city services.  How realistic is the city's Five-Year Financial Plan?  What lessons can be learned from Oakland's approach to its unfunded liabilities?

All-male PTA "Knights" seek to improve Oakland school

Feb 4, 2013

A group of enthusiastic men just finished discussing typical PTA issues at the Claremont Middle school in Oakland: issues like what their next fundraising event will be and where to hold their next meeting. What sets this group apart is the fact that it's composed of men. They call themselves ‘The Knights of the Roundtable."

Changing the lives of Oakland teens "Ever Forward"

Feb 4, 2013
everforwardclub.org

“The Ever Forward Club honestly saved my life, to sum it up,” says Oakland high school student Omar Bernall.

Peter Liu, Boxcar Theater

Do you smell something funny in the air? It must be that time of year again—time for SF Sketchfest, the comedy festival that mixes national headliners, local favorites and the best up-and-coming groups for a month of sketch, improv, stand-up and alternative comedy. Besides comedic characters, this week the Bay Area offers multiple chances to boogie down with international groovers, comic artists, and a hip-hop dance party that also gives back to the community.

Fighting foreclosure in East Oakland

Nov 28, 2012

Bruce Mirken is conducting what seems like a high-profile auction in New York City.

“As you can see,” he says to the gathered crowd, “we’re auctioning this lovely Manhattan luxury condo that was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Blankfein back in 2008 for $26 million. I wish you could see the lobby of this building. It’s bigger than some small countries!”

Step inside a Fruitvale corner store

Nov 22, 2012

Corner stores in Oakland are predominantly run by immigrants from the Middle East. Most of the merchants are originally from Yemen. Some estimates report that 80 percent of Bay Area convenience stores are operated by Yemenese.

One of those stores is Foothill Market on 19th and  Foothill in Oakland’s Fruitvale district. The Hassan family runs it. Ali Farrad Hassan is a first generation Yemeni-American, and has been working in his uncle’s store for a few years now.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/v63/

Oakland Unified School District has the largest enrollment of any district in Alameda County, with 136 schools and over 46,000 students. Within OUSD, about 25 percent are charter schools and this number keeps growing.

Arise High School, a charter, is inside the Fruitvale Transit Village in Oakland. The plaza looks hip and newly built. There’s a bank, senior center and a dentist’s office – not the typical setting for a high school with over 200 students. G. Reyes, one of the school’s co-principals, says Arise created a unique approach to learning.

Street Level celebrates 10 years of feeding the hungry

Nov 20, 2012

Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood has a history of welcoming new immigrants. At the turn of the 20th century, the area was full of orchards and beer gardens that served as an attraction to San Francisco residents. Today, you can see colorful markets full of produce and piñatas or eat delicious tacos at one of the area’s many food trucks. Many day laborers will wait on street corners eagerly looking for any type of work. And that’s why a center called Street Level Health Project was created a decade ago.

Chew on This: Community service on the street level

Oct 2, 2012
Ella Baker Center

Many of us wonder what we can do for the communities we live in. Sometimes we feel alienated, even from our neighbors, and just want to connect. Other times, we come together for the sake of safety. We join a neighborhood watch, or pay a visit to city hall. In this next story, we meet three residents of West Oakland who are finding new ways to clean up their communities -- literally. Reporter Charlie Mintz has the story from “Chew on This,” a new project coming to KALW this fall.

Do you ever wonder how to make great ideas a reality, right where you live or work?  

That’s the goal of Chew on This – a new program being launched by KALW and hosted by independent producer Lisa Rothman.

As public schools face repeated budget cuts, many people focus on the effects on teachers, academics, and extracurricular activities. While these are undoubtedly pressing issues, there is another part of the school day that is often overlooked: nutrition. Over the past few years, Berkeley’s school district has made national news with its school lunch improvements. Now, Berkeley’s neighbor Oakland is trying to get a food revolution going, too. The Oakland Unified School District serves about 6 and a half million meals per year.

EastBayExpress.com

In January of 2011, 38-year-old Lamar Deshea Moore walked into the Detroit Police Department's sixth precinct and opened fire. Two officers were hit in the head with shrapnel, a commander was shot in the back, and a fourth officer was shot in the chest, although a bulletproof vest saved her from serious injury. "As you can imagine, utter chaos and pandemonium took place," Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said at the time.


Berigan Taylor dropped by KALW to tell Executive Editor (and fellow Jazz fan) Ben Trefny the story behind Berigan’s, a little record shop in Oakland. Berigan’s was the inspiration for Michael Chabon’s new novel, Telegraph Avenue.  Taylor is a life-long record collector and still one of the Bay Area’s biggest jazz enthusiasts. As in, he could probably name every musician on every jazz recording you have ever heard.

Kyung-Jin Lee

Book lending and community gardening continues in front of an abandoned library in Oakland’s San Antonio district despite a police raid earlier this month. The historic building, a gift from Andrew Carnegie to the city back in 1918, was a branch library until 1976. Two other ventures have come and gone, but the building’s been vacant since 2001. The city says it’s not safe to use.

The blighted property has since attracted drug use, prostitution, and violence. So when activists moved in to reclaim it, local residents enthusiastically joined the effort.

Maybe you've just seen The Bourne Legacy and have nagging feeling that you're being watched at all times. Maybe you related a little too much to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. So if you see low-flying helicopters crisscrossing the skies this week, you might think the government is after you, or that the aliens have finally arrived. But the more likely explanation is that you've caught a glimpse of the federal effort to measure "naturally occurring background radiation."

Genealogy is becoming an easier field to navigate these days, with websites and organizations encouraging people to discover their family heritage.

That’s what Oakland’s Regina Mason did, but on her own. In the upcoming film Gina’s Journey, Mason chronicles her adventure in searching for her family history. Being an African American, that meant she would surely encounter slavery, which she did.

Hear Here: Meet Archie Johnson

Aug 23, 2012

Driving a bus can be a stressful, thankless job – just ask AC Transit driver Robert Hawkins, who told us in this recent Crosscurrents story: “It's like a switch turns on in your head because you know that you're getting ready to deal with a bunch of mess. Or the potential for a bunch of mess out here.”

Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan is again calling for a youth curfew as a way to reduce crime in the city. The idea is backed by council President Larry Reid and Ignacio de la Fuente. But, the East Bay Express has published reports showing that youth curfews don’t work. The most recent data available from the California Department of Justice shows that felony youth crime has dropped substantially in Oakland, plummeting 26.4 percent from 2001 through 2010.

Youth Radio: "When did violence become so normal?"

Aug 8, 2012
Flickr user ControlArms, under CC License / http://www.flickr.com/photos/controlarms/7685194436/

Since the Aurora, Colorado shooting, I keep asking myself: when did violence became so normal? It pops up everywhere in American culture. We feel excited it by it when we see it on a screen. We feel proud of it when we see it in uniform, and angered by it when we see it near our children.

Ali Winston

Of the 2,000 people who initially applied for the 55 new positions on the Oakland Police force, most were from outside the city. In fact, more than 90% of the current police force does not live in Oakland, something that activists say strains community police relations and affects city resources. Oakland spends about 40% of its general fund on police – that compares with 26% spent on police in San Jose, 17% in Sacramento and 7% in Long Beach. 

Courtesy of The Spot

More of a police presence and better police community relations are good ways to prevent violence, but a group of young men in Oakland are trying a different approach. They call themselves "Warriors for Peace,” and they are part of a violence prevention program that equips and trains teens to make films about Oakland. The hope is that from behind a lens, they will see their city, and themselves, a little differently. 

Kyung Jin Lee

When the Oakland Police Department put out a call for new recruits earlier this year, more than 2,000 people applied – mostly from outside of Oakland. The applicants live in cities in the outer East Bay and in San Francisco, but they also hail from as far away as Illinois and Florida.

On the next Your Call, we’ll speak with two Occupy Wall Street activists, Jen Waller and Tom Hintze, who have been traveling across the country with their project, Less Wall, More Street -- talking to people about how to fight state repression of protest.  Close to a year after it began, has Occupy changed the conversations we’re having about the economy and our democracy?  Join us at 10am PST or post a comment here.  As the presidential election approaches, will the voices of the 99% be heard?  Up next on Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

Guests:

Photo by Jen Chien

Bike culture in the Bay Area runs the gamut, from high performance racing to hipster fixies. Keeping a bike can be an expensive hobby, and as with cars, some people use their bikes as an extension of their personal style.

At ColectíVelo, a community bike shop in East Oakland, bicycles are still seen for their primary purpose: transportation. The shop provides free space and tools, bike repair training in Spanish and English, and access to bicycles for those with low incomes.

http://www.meshell.com/photos/

If you want to connect with huge numbers of people this weekend, you might want to make your way to Oakland’s biggest street celebration -- The Art and Soul Festival is a two-day celebration featuring live jazz, rock, gospel, and many other forms of soul music, along with art installations and film projections on the streets of downtown Oakland.

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