I would like to share my experiences with one of the most fascinating people I have ever met. For the purposes of this story, I will call her Emerald. And if you believe in the powers that gemstones and crystals contain, her name is very appropriate.
Big Pink was finished 23 years before the civil war began in America. Big Pink was made from local cypress trees, impervious to the rot and insidious decay that time brings to most things, the living, the dead, and all those things in between and beyond.
The town of Berkeley is full of so many ghosts for me. This building on the corner of Shattuck and University is one of these ghosts. In 1986 it was the office of the Daily Californian, the campus newspaper. And every semester the staff voted on what comic strips they’d run for the semester. In 1986 I won the election. And it turned out to be a big break for me.
On August 13, 2012, I was at home in my tent at the Albany Bulb, taking pictures of my clothing after I finally sorted all of it. Being a perfectionist, I took two pictures from each angle. I figured that I would review the pictures after I was done, keep the best ones from each angle and delete the other ones.
Science has now proven that trauma can be passed down intergenerationally; that rats whose mothers were exposed to stressors like water can epigenetically inherit a special fear of water. Before we had this science, nearly every culture on Earth had ghost stories.
I must start off by saying I laughed when I heard that Alameda County agreed to lease the City of Oakland use of the Old North County Jail for $1.00 a year. Would the officials who had this idea stay in North County? Exactly how it is that this is an option just because someone else feels like, “well it’s better than where you are now so this is what I have to offer you, take it or leave it”?
All throughout my incarceration, I have never called my cell a home. Moreover, I consider the bars that cage me disrespectful, even to animals. So, I think Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf let down some very vulnerable people when she told the San Francisco Chronicle that a vacant jail is an “obvious” option for a homeless shelter.
The 2019 one-night homeless count found 201 families (612 people), a count similar to the 2017 one-night count of 190 families (601 persons). That means 8 percent of the total counted homeless population is made up of families. The Coalition on Homelessness says the count is actually much higher, pointing out that the school district—using its own definition of homelessness—lists more than 2,000 students as being homeless.