Teacher Profile: Artist Debbie Koppman Teaches Kids to Make Something from Nothing

Sequoia Elementary School Artist-in-Residence Debbie Koppman poses with just a few of her many artworks in her home studio in East Oakland
Debora Gordon/Oakland Voices 2012

By Debora Gordon Debbie Koppman, an artist-in-residence at Sequoia Elementary School, teaches art to students in grades 3-5, where students make art out of “trash and scavengeable materials.” “At the beginning it was literally taking garbage and making something beautiful out of it,” Debbie said. “It’s a big thing to see how people make things […]

Oakland’s Oasis: Farmer’s Market Cultivates Positivity in the Fruitvale Village

Farmer's market thrives in Fruitvale Village.

By Katherine Brown With every roar of a bus engine and horn toot from an overhead BART train, waves of people fill the Fruitvale Village. Not just to get to their next destination, but to visit the Fruitvale farmer’s market. On this warm Tuesday evening, the smell of buttery kettle corn fills the air. The […]

Meet the Deep East City Council Candidates at Tonight’s Forum

Larry Reid (far left), Oakland's District 7 City Council incumbent, will appear alongside his challengers at tonight's forum.

  By Howard Dyckoff East Oakland residents – if you’re looking for a City Council member who will best represent your interests, then don’t miss the District 7 Candidate’s Forum tonight  at 6pm at the Allen Temple. Here’s your chance to hear from all 3 candidates – 16-year incumbent Larry Reid, plus challengers Sheryl Walton […]

What if Bay Area Baseball Really Did “Turn Back the Clock”?

Baseball's color line

By Ronald Owens It’s a common marketing ploy among professional sports franchises to figuratively return their teams to a bygone era for a game, with an eye towards reaping enormous profits from the sale of “throwback” uniform jerseys and caps to fans. The Oakland Athletics, who play in East Oakland at the O.co Coliseum, had their throwback event in a […]

Teacher Profile: Boku Kodama Brings ‘Fire,’ Entrepreneurial Spirit to Urban Education

Serial Entrepreneur Boku Kodama in one of the humorous t-shirts he often wears to class

By Debora Gordon Boku Kodama became a teacher at the age of 50. In a way, it was the latest venture in  Boku’s life as a self-described “serial entrepreneur.” His organization Urban Financial Intelligence, Responsible Entrepreneurship (Urban FIRE) targets mostly low-income adults who may have limited education. His main objective is “self-sustainability.” In Boku’s business classes, which […]

The food stamp cash-in: East Bay businesses capitalize on EBT

Blood sugar test kit for diabetics

By Michael Holland Alameda County residents who are receiving food stamps, cash and other forms of public assistance as an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) can now purchase prepared meals at Pizza Hut and Dorsey’s Locker – two establishments that didn’t accept them a month ago. But they have to be elderly, disabled, or homeless. August […]

Hundreds of Oakland communities prep BBQs and block parties for National Night Out


By Howard Dyckoff National Night Out (NNO) is happening tomorrow and Oakland is on track to establish another record for neighborhood get-togethers, according to Mayor Jean Quan and OPD Chief Howard Jordon. There will be 605 BBQs, parties and gatherings this year across the city, up from 554 last year.  At City Hall, during their […]