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Foreclosed homes draw illegal dumpers

March 4, 2011
Foreclosed homes draw illegal dumpers

They come in trucks, on foot, in the middle of the night or the middle of the day, slipping into the alleyway running behind 7th St. in the Iron Triangle section of Richmond, and leaving behind bags of garbage, construction debris, and just about anything too big to fit into an average trash can.

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From Foreclosures to Affordable Housing

February 26, 2011
From Foreclosures to Affordable Housing

“Hello!” Anne Griffith called out as she unlocked the front door of a recently purchased home in the Elmhurst neighborhood of East Oakland. Though the house was purchased in foreclosure, and has stood empty for months, Griffith expected an answer to her call. She got one.

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Immigrant Latinas get course in leadership

February 23, 2011
Immigrant Latinas get course in leadership

Walking into the classroom of Richmond’s Latina Center intimidated Maria Lourdes Sanchez. The other Spanish-speaking women in the room, who also came to develop their leadership skills, were welcoming. But Sanchez was still afraid.

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A struggle to be heard

December 17, 2010

This video podcast from Public Health Law and Policy features local residents recalling the controversial history of redevelopment in west Oakland, where eminent domain abuse by public agencies in the 1950s and 60s resulted in the demolition of entire neighborhoods. The podcast also showcases a recent effort in Oakland in which the local redevelopment agency supported a community-led project to bring healthy food to the neighborhood.

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A slow park in Richmond

December 8, 2010

Toody Maher’s charge to renovate the Elm play lot in Richmond is a testament to perseverance. The small park sits on a corner in the Iron Triangle neighborhood, a low-income area that sees much of Richmond’s street violence. The play structure is a primary-colored island surrounded by grass and sidewalks with no pedestrians. On a recent sunny fall afternoon, the yellow and blue slide, built to beckon children, stood empty, the swings hung still. The only sign of life was an ice cream truck that drove by slowly, with a song playing hopefully from its loudspeaker. Maher has fought for two years to change this small corner of a poor city’s poorest neighborhood through an organization she founded, Pogo Park. She’s learned to embrace the series of never-ending challenges involved in making a play space for the youngest residents of Richmond’s Iron Triangle.

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Will Haynes’ pledge to keep giving

December 3, 2010

Will Haynes a rising young media star in Richmond. He is posting short, snappy commentaries about his community on YouTube and working through OurStateofHealth.org to gain a wider audience. Check out his latest below on the reason he intends to give what he can to the needy during this holiday season and beyond.

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Stanford Med students organize ‘Vote and Vax’ flu vaccine clinics

October 29, 2010

Three Stanford Medical School students have helped organize a local effort to offer flu vaccinations at two polling places in Santa Clara County Tuesday. Jessica W. Tsai, one of the organizers, explains why they got involved and how the clinics will work in this blog post.

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Cycles of Addiction in ‘City of Dope’

October 8, 2010

“Addiction? Truthfully, I’ve become numb to it,” says Safiya, 23-year-old West Oakland resident who was also born here. “It’s everywhere; it’s part of life. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I feel like there’s nothing I can really do about it. So, I’m really just numb to it.” The disease of addiction is at the intersection of virtually every major crisis in West Oakland. Violence, poverty and marginalization are often issues that crisscross and overlap with the epidemic of addiction to substances including alcohol, heroin and, most of all, crack cocaine. In 1988, Too $hort (Oakland’s unofficial rap historian) called his hometown the “City of Dope,” and the nickname has stuck ever since. Xan West gives her thoughts in this post at Our State of Health.

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Violence and Faith in East Oakland

September 20, 2010

In the past three years, two bullets shattered the front window, a teenager was shot just outside and the downstairs neighbor was mugged. Before that, a woman’s lifeless body was unearthed from a dumpster less than a block away. But this area of East Oakland — where the neighborhoods of Fruitvale and San Antonio meet — is where Dr. Joan Jie-eun Jeung chooses to live with her husband and their six-year-old son. Hilary Abramson profiles this Harvard-educated pediatrician and her family.

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Eating across a social divide

September 10, 2010

Driving across the commuter bridge that connects Marin County to the city of Richmond is not just a trip across the bay. It’s also a trip across a social divide. On one side of the bridge, Marin’s rolling green hills and roadside bird sanctuaries are laced with trails and encourage biking, walking and running. Fresh produce abounds in Marin. Drive over the Richmond Bridge, and you’ll find a very different environment. In poorer neighborhoods in Richmond, people are often afraid to walk outside or take their children to the park. Healthy food is harder to find. And these differences are reflected in the health of the residents on each side of the bridge. Heather Tirado Gilligan has the story.

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