They Were Cleaning Up One Of America’s Most Polluted Neighborhoods. Then Came COVID-19.

Margaret Gordon takes a deep breath of fresh air. After decades of working to improve the air quality in West Oakland, California, one of the country’s most polluted neighborhoods, she welcomes the reprieve. The exhaust fumes from the highways surrounding her neighborhood have finally let up, and Gordon hears fewer trucks leaving the nearby Port of Oakland each day as the coronavirus pandemic reduces traffic. Within the first seven weeks of the shelter-in-place rules, which were imposed in March, CO₂ levels dropped about 50% in West Oakland, compared to seven weeks prior.

‘An induced coma’: How COVID-19 is impacting the buying and selling of homes in the East Bay

While the local housing market slumbers, some buyers will try to land a better deal. But the whole process of buying, and selling, has been transformed. Indhira Rojas had been preparing to put her Oakland home on the market for months. She managed to finish most of the remodeling by March, including the kitchen and the bathrooms. Selling a mid-century modern Joseph Eichler home, she was hopeful she would turn a profit — and fast. Then, COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders went into effect, and conf

Need money? Exasperated by the pace of government help? Person-to-person mutual aid funds fill a gap in Berkeley

Individuals and communities are raising money to give directly to those struggling because of COVID-19. The cancellations at Roshonda Walker’s massage studio in Berkeley had already begun trickling in, and then the shelter-in-place order took effect. When Walker was forced to close her small business — Royal Touch Massage Therapy — she found herself among the more than 3.1 million Californians who lost their jobs in the last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost as quickly as the pandemic

The Least Lonely People Right Now

For most, social distancing has meant isolation. With interactions limited to partners or immediate family, loneliness is settling in single-family homes throughout the country. Elsewhere, dance parties, campfires, and group yoga sessions abound. In the Bay Area, people living in cooperatives (co-ops) are sheltering in place in households ranging in size from five to 41 people. “We’re probably the least lonely people right now,” says Stephanie Pakrul, who lives in a 41-bedroom warehouse turned

Schools must quickly find ways to offer remote learning

Though schools closed Monday, March 16, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus, one of the special education teachers at Lighthouse Community High, an East Oakland charter school where I also teach, had geared up for a busier-than-usual school week. His schedule was packed with one-on-one virtual check-ins and writing conferences to support his 11th- and 12th-graders. Despite these efforts, he is concerned about his students falling behind. “I’m worried that we’re going to see students come

As more Ukrainians choose Kyiv Patriarchate, push intensifies for unified national Orthodox church - Jun. 23, 2016

Archbishop Yevstratiy Zoria’s long red hair is tied back, and a gold chain is draped over his black robe. At the end of the chain hangs an oval, jeweled medallion with an icon bearing an image of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus in the center. Zoria says his medallion, called a Panagia, was a gift from Metropolitan Volodymyr, the late former head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Russian television not so prevalent in eastern Ukraine, study finds

Less than six percent of residents in unoccupied eastern Ukraine watch programs about politics on Russian television every day, a new study by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology finds. The study, which was conducted from May 20 to June 2, 2016, found that Ukrainian national television channels were the dominant source of political news in eastern Ukrainian, as well as throughout the country.

​For pro-democracy Russians, EmigRussia offers a solution: emigration - Jun. 06, 2016

Russians overwhelmingly approve of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to polls inside Russia. But for those who aren’t so supportive, Gregory Frolov has a solution: emigration. On May 31, Frolov, a Russian who left his homeland for the United States, helped launch EmigRussia, an organization that aids Russians looking to emigrate to Ukraine. EmigRussia was started in response to growing numbers of Russians looking to flee from a country that has clamped down on civil liberties in recen
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