The house scene in Oakland isn't just alive, it's thriving. And not just downtown, but lakeside, too. Beloved family-owned Mexican restaurant La Estrellita Cafe (446 E. 12th St.), which boasts an impressive entertainment calendar for such a small venue -- including salsa nights, spoken word, and the monthly Hella Gay comedy showcase -- recently brought soulful dance music into the fold. Fans of long-running events "Brothers and Sisters" and "The People Party" have a new place to convene, albeit a slightly smaller one. The event happens every second Saturday, with a rotating lineup of DJs and special guests. 9:30 p.m., free. Fusicology.com/event/deepersideofsoulfree
Restorative justice programs may offer the best new hope for reducing violence in Oakland schools and the city overall, but their future funding is uncertain.