Before we talk about political combat and daily strife, can we talk about how we are now a few weeks into spring bloom, and yet the new colors and smells against the same old pavement landscape are shocking as ever? Every time I smell the purple roses on my block, I’m surprised to not be instantly transported to a fairy tale. Why does the light in the morning look so crisp, like we’ve been looking through dusty windows until today’s dew rinsed them clear? The plum trees look like weddings, the eucalyptus groves smell like the apothecaries of ancient healers, and sour grass flowers crowd up on chain link fences and parking strips like some kid took a highlighter to a very important document while no one was looking. You know? I know you do.

Now for the news. Last week you guys had a lot to say about Chris Kavanagh’s expert opinion regarding how to improve Oakland’s Rent Ordinance. His piece identifies critical and actionable solutions in the fight against displacement.

Laura McCamy’s elegy for the non-profit, Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, lamented the loss of a vital service provider. Is there a viable successor? What happens to the women who were relying on the organization?

Last week the New School Superintendent of OUSD was selected. Our education know-it-all, Barbara Grady, takes us through challenges and opportunities that await him.

The community voices contribution, Violence Against Women is Everybody’s Problem also struck a chord with readers. How can the City best dignify the women we lose to violence? What is the most humane response we can take to honor victims in the wake of tragedy? What’s stopping us from doing that?

Lastly, the Gentrification Report from a couple of weeks back continued to top charts. As a kind of compliment to the data-laden report, we went out and talked to a bunch of these so-called gentrifiers. The article, Why Techies Want to Live in Oakland, took a wild ride on Facebook and Twitter.

Also, if you haven’t seen the super positive NYTimes video on Oakland Style, check it out.

That about sums it up! Check out the beautiful #oakland photography we curate on our tumblr page.

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