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Category Archives: Oakland

Support street improvements on Park Boulevard!

The East Bay Bicycle Coalition is campaigning for street improvements on Park Boulevard, including the addition of bike lanes and possibly a reduction in car lanes. I wholeheartedly support this effort. In the first month of this blog’s existence, I wrote a post about why Park Blvd is such an awful street for a densely […]

Just Say “No!” (or at the very least, “Not Yet!”) to Drones

When word came in October that the Alameda County Sheriff, Gregory Ahern, planned to purchase a surveillance drone—or, in the antiseptic language of bureaucratic juggernauts, an “Unmanned Aerial System”—with little public scrutiny or discussion, the negative reaction was swift from privacy watchdogs such as the ACLU of Northern California, the Electonic Frontier Foundation, and Alameda […]

Oakland’s painted gnomes get some national press

Oakland’s painted gnomes, which I wrote about in March, were mentioned in a column on “DIY Urbanism” in the October issue of Governing magazine, accompanied by a photo I took of one of the little dudes: The full column (sans photo, I’m sad to say) can be read at Governing’s website.

Short history of Oakland’s Miller Avenue Library

The following is a short history of Oakland’s Miller Avenue Library written in 1996, excerpted from the registration form for the National Register of Historic Places (available in PDF form at the National Park Service website). The vacant, city-owned building is currently the site of the Biblioteca Popular Victor Martinez, or the People’s Library, where […]

Parkway Theater quiet, but front wall full of sound and fury

Two new murals on the still-dormant Parkway Theater, thanks to the Community Rejuvenation Project. One calls for Justice for Trayvon and Shaima: And an homage to recently deceased Oakland jazzman Khalil Shaheed:

Oakland May Revisit Contract with Wells Fargo

Many Oakland residents watched with envy in the past few months as Berkeley’s city council began to explore divesting from Wells Fargo and moving the city’s money and banking services to a smaller, more community-oriented bank. Peralta Community College District has also begun making moves to divest from large banks. San Jose, San Francisco, and […]

The Painted Gnomes of Oakland

Miniature paintings of gnomes have been appearing at the base of telephone poles on the sidewalks of Oakland, east of Lake Merritt: There are dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of these crude but adorable little artworks, none of them taller than about 6 inches. They began their occupation a few months ago, but seem to have […]

Open Letter to Oakland elected officials

Dear Mayor Quan, Councilmember Kernighan and Councilmember Kaplan I am a 9-year resident of City Council District 2. I am writing to express my deep concern over the actions of the Oakland Police Department toward Occupy Oakland protesters, and my disappointment at your apparent inability—or unwillingness—to demand any accountability from a police force which systematically […]

What a Difference a Day Makes

The “Oakland Commune” banner flies above Occupy Oakland again.

Public Works…Works!

If you’ve read some of my old posts here, then you may have noticed that the only things which can cause me to swoon or to find religionĀ are bike lanes. So it may not come as a shock that a bike lane is what has roused me from my blogging slumber. I commute back and […]

Safer Streets By Any Means Necessary?

I’d never noticed this sign at Market and 55th Street in Oakland until last week: Additional safety improvements to Market Street have occurred since 1967, including bike lanes in each direction, but a reminder that even stop lights and bike lanes don’t eliminate the danger from reckless and absent-minded drivers is three blocks away at […]

Nailed Again

I suppose that if you’re going to get a nail through your tire, Easter weekend is an appropriate time to do it. Kevlar-reinforced tires do a decent job of handling all the broken glass on Oakland’s streets, but even Kevlar is no match for the nails and other debris which lines the gutters around town. […]