Oakland

Housejacked: a homeowner held hostage

Mar 3, 2014

Three years ago, two tenants took over Opal Palmer Adisa’s Oakland home, which she had rented to them during her academic year abroad. When she tried to move back in after the lease was up, they refused to get out or pay the rent. She shared this commentary with us back in 2011.

Jen Chien

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

Todd Whitney

 

City Hall isn’t the only place you will find Oakland’s namesake, the oak tree. Step foot in the East Bay and you will quickly come across t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and stickers that brandish an image of the iconic tree. This wave of Oakland-themed apparel reaches back to the year 2000 when Oaklandish, a civic pride apparel brand, popped up.

Kyung Jin Lee


Giving teens the space they need, at the library

Jan 22, 2014

For many teens in Alameda County, the library isn’t just a place to study, it’s become a space for them to get away from mounting pressures from school and their social lives and a place where they can just relax and be themselves. For example, Oakland teenagers can come to the Asian Branch once a week, for game day.

Anna Xu is a teen advisory member at the library. She and the teen advisory group brainstorm ways the library can help meet the teens’ needs.

Library serves more than just books

Jan 22, 2014
Oakland Public Library

The 81st Avenue Library is the newest public library in Oakland. It has a sleek, modern exterior - unexpected angles and large green-tinted windows. Inside, it is just as modern - not just in its architecture or amenities, but in the programs it provides for the community.  The 81st Avenue Library hosts unexpected events like “Game Nights,” for teenagers (substituting Play Station 3s for Monopoly), and offers Zumba classes every Saturday. It is also the school library for the two charter schools next door—ACORN Woodland and EnCompass Academy. Plus, it's the only public library in Oakland that can boast a café.

Oakland librarians add biking to job description

Jan 22, 2014
Oakland Public Library TeenZone Facebook page

Mana Tominaga is part of the Oakland Library Main Branch's unique outreach program, the Mobile Bike Library. When patrons can't make it to the library, the library comes to them by bicycle.

Oakland kids find confidence reading to Fido

Jan 21, 2014

At almost any given library, you will find parents and librarians sharing books with children. At Oakland’s Lakeview branch, it isn't the adults who are reading out loud, it’s the kids — and to an audience you might not expect. 

A library reaches outside its stacks

Jan 21, 2014
Friends of the Elmhurst Library

 

If you head southeast from the Lakeview Library, way down to the 80s blocks of International Boulevard, be sure to take a turn at 88th to visit the Elmhurst branch of the Oakland Library. You'll have to look closely—this library is in a small converted house. Elmhurst operates like any other public library: books to check out, computers to use, and a children's program. But it's got a problem: most kids can’t get to it very easily. The Elmhurst branch is trying to fix that. 

I’m walking alongside the mural called “Beautiful Struggle” in front of Oakland High School. Frida Kahlo, Che Guevara, and Malcolm X are just a few of many social activists portrayed here. This mural also reflects a student body made up predominantly of students of color. Oakland High is 51 percent Asian, 29 percent Black, 16 percent Latino, and one percent white.

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.

 

Near dusk, you can often find Shirley Doell at Oakland Civic Center, staring at the tops of skyscrapers through her big telescope. But she isn’t spying on anyone – at least not any people. She’s on the lookout for Peregrine Falcons. They were on the brink of extinction a few decades ago, when there were only two breeding pairs left in California. But there are about 300 nests in the state now and they’ve started moving into cities.

One man’s trash is another's recycling

Oct 29, 2013
Judy Silber

Californians are pretty good about thinking twice before throwing things away—we divert more than 60 percent of our waste away from landfills. But what about that remaining 40 percent?

Creative Commons

WEB EXTRA: A brief history of 9-1-1

Oct 8, 2013

The coordinated 9-1-1 system has grown up in fits and starts in different parts of the country.

Up until the late 1960s, you had to dial “0” or a 7-digit number to reach an emergency switchboard, and those numbers varied city to city.

If you’ve ever picked up the phone to call 9-1-1, you or someone else probably needed help. Badly. And you probably assumed that after dialing those three numbers, help would come screeching around the corner, lights and sirens blaring.

Jen Chien

 

The pulse of drums spills out onto the street from an upper window of the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts, a big Art Deco building in the Lakeside district of Oakland. Up on the third floor, a battery of eight drummers is lined up against one wall of a large dance studio, vibrating the air with their music.

David Wakely

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

For the better part of two decades, Oakland residents have often objected to the city's process for taking complaints about police officers. Under the city's system, residents who want to make a complaint against a particular officer must make that complaint to a uniformed cop working for OPD's Internal Affairs Division. For some, the setup was intimidating, and it also bred cynicism because internal affairs routinely dismissed most of the complaints.

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.”

Youth Radio: Staying off probation, and teaching others how

Aug 22, 2013

In 2008, Reinaldi Gilder promised himself that he would never go back to jail. Since his release in December of that year, he’s not only managed to keep his word, he has also shown others that they can do the same.

On the afternoon of June 29, 1998, Trina Gomez and Maximilian Patlan were closing a branch of Fidelity Financial Services in Fullerton, California, when two men knocked on the door. They asked if they could make a payment, so Patlan let them into the bank. Once inside, one of the men punched Patlan in the face and ordered him to lie on the ground. The other man pulled out a shotgun and forced Gomez to collect all of the available cash. Minutes later, the two thieves walked out of Fidelity with more than $5,400 in cash and personal checks. The armed robbery and assault happened so quickly that Gomez and Patlan later had difficulty identifying the perpetrators.

The real value of a free haircut

Jul 23, 2013
Under CC license from Flickr user Mr T. in DC

About 3,000 homeless people live in Oakland. Their challenges include finding places to stay, food to eat, and something else that many people take for granted: self-care. Simple things like a shower or a haircut. If you don’t have a home, where do you go to clean up?  Sometimes, a sink in a public bathroom is the best you can find.

Kyung Jin Lee

 

Over the past few days, protesters on both sides of the Bay have joined thousands nationally in expressing outrage over George Zimmerman’s acquittal in Florida. Over the weekend, more than 500 people gathered at Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza.

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.

Under CC license from Flickr user allaboutgeorge

The top brass of the Oakland Police department looks a lot different than it did a month ago. In just one week in May, two police chiefs resigned: former chief Howard Jordan, then his successor, Anthony Toribio.

The departures followed several highly critical reports: one by an independent consultant, the other by the department’s court-appointed overseer. Both find that years after the landmark police abuse scandal known as the Riders case, the department is still struggling with leadership, accountability, and transparency.

Photo by Julie Caine

This story is part of The Audiophiles series, our award-winning series of conversations with the most creative people working with sound around the Bay.

A communal approach to neighborhood improvement

Jun 5, 2013
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/jalisco-restaurant/ / East Bay Express

Antonio Vasquez is chopping up a slab of pork right off a pig's leg. The whole place smells like roasted pork and corn tortillas. According to Vasquez, Jalisco’s owner, the resaturant is one of the oldest in the neighborhood. In January 1967, his dad opened the doors to Jalisco Restaurant. Vasquez has worked at Jalisco all of his life with his five sisters and two brothers.

Growing up on International Boulevard

Jun 5, 2013

Chicken salad and tostadas are the first things you smell stepping into the Lopez family apartment. Several people are sitting around a coffee table sharing a meal. Each of the tiny studio apartments houses one family. With 24 families in the building, the space is at full capacity. In the Lopez apartment, food is in the kitchen, on a makeshift table on wheels.

The Lopez family has lived in this studio apartment for thirteen years. The family moved here from Mexico. Edgar Lopez and his two brothers grew up in this apartment. 

http://www.oakarts.org/

In 2002, Oakland Mayor, now governor, Jerry Brown started Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) with the hope that students would have an outlet to express themselves through art forms like dance, theater, and visual illustrations.

Pages