Spring has sprung. The scent of jasmine, citrus blossoms and barbecue ride on salty east bay breezes and the sun hovers low and festive late into the evening. Maybe it’s that Spring thaw and that equinox energy that explains why all the latest big stories have been sort of feel-good, sort of triumphant. It seems now is the time to make stuff happen. This is what Oakland has been up to:

The women at Holy Names High School got a lot of love for the Walk Out they staged last week. OL broke the story and after it was shared over 3,000 times, the Channel 2 news picked it up. One teacher has already been suspended for the rest of the year; it remains to be seen if the protest will yield any changes the students would consider constructive. Stay tuned for OL updates.

Laura McCamy’s coverage of the city council hearings over Proposed Tenant Protection Laws made the negotiations lucid and urgently personal for us. Since the publication of her article most of the proposals passed at a March 18th hearing. The new rule caps yearly rent increases at 10%, and limits increases to 30% over a five-year period. The law also lengthens the period during which landlords can recoup the costs for more expensive upgrades. Landlords can also no longer pass the total cost of building upgrades onto tenants. Landlords are now responsible for 30% of expenditures – not the proposed 50%, but an improvement nonetheless.

Cecil Brown’s Community Voices piece, An evening with Dave Chapelle was an affectionate portrait of the humorist from an insider, as well as a critical reflection on humor’s role in black culture.

Our new series, Heading East, spotlights the side of town that doesn’t show up in publications like the Bold Italic’s “Oakland for Beginners,” or KQED’s “A San Franciscan living in Oakland.” Those of you who live in the North of 14th ave. should definitely check out these East Oakland gems. Those of you in the East, you already know.

Kheven LaGhrone weighs in on the gentrification problem with a Community Voices piece advocating a preservationist, “Love it or Leave it,” stance. What are your thoughts? How do we move the conversation forward?

Check out beautiful images of the West Oakland murals commissioned by the Super Heroes Project, as well as some artist testimonials and back stories about the fantastic project. Damn, why does public art feel so good?

Lastly, news of the potential Downtown Ball Park has excited many of us. Stay posted; the city’s role in these decisions could be one of the major issues in the developing mayoral race.

All that said, if you can afford to help us do what we do, think about making a tax deductible donation. Find out about advertising with us here.

Keep in touch on Facebook and on Tumblr (even if you don’t have a tumblr, check it out – we curate the most gorgeous Oakland photography for you to feast your eyes upon).

Send ideas and comments to editor@oaklandlocal.com


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