The E’ville Eye Year in Review: Top 5 Stories of 2015
Happy New Year E’villains!
It was another year of solid growth for The E’ville Eye that saw us double our previous year’s traffic again thanks to loyal readers like yourself. We formed a LLC and became a tax-paying member of the community. We rolled out a line of tees to instill some pride in our small but mighty town (with more designs in the works). We continued to advocate for those without a voice in our community and draw light to issues that might not otherwise get noticed or discussed. We used the revenue from advertisers & donations to support neighborhood causes like ECAP and Love our Neighborhood Day.
We saw the emergence of new voices in our city including Bobby Lee who elevated his game with a series of important transit pieces to go with his retail coverage. Leslie Kurland represented North Oakland, Jaime Alfaro made some important contributions and resident Leo Peak covered the local real estate market (and let’s not forget about “seasoned” contributors Jacqueline Hampton and William He). Park Avenue neighbor Mauvis Ledford dedicated his own time and technical brilliance to migrating The E’ville Eye to a Virtual Private Server that has improved speed and security (and on his own dime!). Please inquire if you’re interested in being a regular or guest contributor.
It was also a year that saw more advertisers and readers see the value of our hyperlocal news efforts and support us through their generous contributions. Advertisers like Dogtown Athletic, Cal Performances, The Broken Rack, Victory Burger, Pacific Landscapes Gallery & Scott Ward Real Estate have stepped up to partner with us (and let’s not forgot about Farley’s on 65th, All East Bay Properties and Webpass). We hope they’ve earned your loyalty by supporting our community. Make a one-time or recurring contribution today to keep us working for you!
It will also be a huge year for me personally as me and my wife are expecting our first little E’villain (gotta start following the EUSD drama closer I suppose!).
Thank you again for your readership, your loyalty and most of all, the community you’re helping us build.
The top five posts of 2015 according to our readers:
5). The Wolfhound looking to revitalize Oakland’s San Pablo Avenue Bar Scene
Back in April 2014, we reported that the San Pablo Avenue Bar “The Wolfhound” was targeting opening later that year. After some delays, the WWII era, subway-tiled bar that once served drinks as “The Streamline Lounge” is finally set to open its doors, just in time for the Spring Golden Gate Neighborhood’s Second Saturday events. Proprietors Peadar Kelleher, Chris Southgate and Keith Mulligan are ready to unveil the results of their hard labor to the public. After patiently awaiting word from The State of California Board of Equalization for the last several weeks (apparently someone was on vacation!), the Wolfhound’s license is now active and they will open to the public on Saturday April 4th (and a soft-opening a few days prior). As seems to be the case with opening new establishments, permitting, zoning and approval of their liquor license took longer than expected.
4). Fifty Shades of … E’ville? “The Gates” is Emeryville’s BDSM secret
The 2011 erotic romance novel by British Author E.L. James and subsequent movie release touched off a phenomenon and mainstream curiosity in the underground practice of BDSM. BDSM is a “catch-all” acronym for any combination of the practices of Bondage, Discipline Domination, Submission, Sadism & Masochism. In our city, the practice has been going on underground at a mysterious place called “The Gates”. A place I was made aware of through an innocuous “Emeryville” Google Alert.
3). Grand Opening: Commonwealth Micropub comes to the Triangle Neighborhood
Ahna & Ross Adair took a chance by opening Commonwealth in an underserved area of KONO (Koreatown/Northgate) along Telegraph, now they’re looking to repeat this formula with “Commonwealth Micropub” in an underserved area of Emeryville that looks poised for growth. It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride for the duo, but the establishment is set to finally open its doors to the public today. If the traffic we receive on posts for new restaurants are any indication, E’villians are thirsty for more!
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2). KGB Kiteboarding proprietor killed in tragic vehicular homicide
The Bay Area News Group is reporting the tragic death of KGB Kiteboarding proprietor Royce V. Vaughn who was deliberately struck and killed by a vehicle in West Oakland. Vaughn operated KGB out of the Emeryville Marina and was well-respected in the Kiteboarding Community.
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1). Horrifying Accident on 40th Street leaves one dead
A horrifying accident on 40th street at approximately 9:16 a.m claimed the life of a 61-year-old Elinor Carpenter of Oakland. A witness described the vehicle traveling westbound on 40th as “moving faster than she’d seen a car ever travel on a city street”.
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And a few other highly trafficked posts that deserve another read:
Cries for Rent Control/Tenant Protections growing louder amid Affordability Crisis
Two year resident Matt Davis represents the type of family that Emeryville would like to keep. A young professional who participates in civic activities with a young family on track to go to Emeryville public schools. This might never happen after being served with a 40% rent increase recently. “I expected some kind of increase after two years without one. One neighbor had a 3% increase, another had a $100 increase, but none of my neighbors received as dramatic of increase as this. We aren’t sure why that is.”
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Death of Homeless woman Hayok Kay Emeryville’s first Homicide since 2012
A homeless woman who was a fixture of Emeryville and West Oakland passed away from her injuries sustained from an assault back on July 6th. Hayok Kay was reportedly removed from life support at Highland Hospital on August 18th after over a month in a comatose state from severe brain injuries. The beating occurred in front of the CVS Pharmacy where Kay often resided.
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“Jerry” the Emeryville Wild Turkey succumbs to injuries
Some sad news reported by EPD Chief Tejada at Tuesday’s Council Meeting as one of our famous Emeryville Wild Turkeys has passed. It had nothing to do with Thanksgiving though, the jaywalking bird had apparently suffered an injury and then expired while in Police custody. EPD Officers had affectionately named him “Jerry”.
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Tiny Houses: Artist Gregory Kloen’s Big Idea to impact Homelessness
In 2009 Oakland artist Gregory Kloehn kicked off the Dumpster Home project—an exercise in making small housing structures out of large garbage containers and other illegally-dumped materials. Now, Gregory’s eye for improvised architecture has led to the creation of dozens of small, sturdy units for homeless people previously living in encampments in West Oakland and parts of San Francisco. His new initiative, called The Homeless Homes Project (HHP), began after Greg received an outpour of requests from people who’d heard about his Dumpster Home project and wanted to help take it to the next level.
Mayor Atkin addresses Minimum Wage questions. Councilmember Asher dodges Media
In our attempt to cover as many perspectives of the $14.42/hr. living wage discussion as possible, we’ve reached out to a variety of stakeholders including the small businesses themselves who will be most directly impacted by this. We’re even working on an employee perspective with the help of the social justice advocacy organization EBASE (East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy). Probably the most important perspectives are the policymakers that are initiating this.