A community news source for residents of the HarriOak neighborhood in Oakland, CA.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

SFGate on Oakland's Parking Brouhaha

Reporter Matthai Kurvila weighs in with a story about about protests being organized in Montclair, Temescal and Old Oakland.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Neighbor's Report on Budget Meeting: "Cuts Not Too Bad"

Naomi Schiff, an awesome graphic designer and owner of Seventeenth Street Studios, attended the budget meeting last night and brought back this report:

"City Council members proposed an alternate menu of budget cuts. They preserved library, parks & rec, and neighborhood services, which is great. No major cuts to these things. City is getting 41 police officers courtesy of the federal govt. And the police union has made some concessions.

On the bad side, but not yet needing action before the council, the state plans to grab $41 million dollars of our redevelopment money. There's a little more time for them to fight that one, in cooperation with other cities and counties being plundered.

Some cuts are worrisome, but we don't know quite what effects will be: There were cuts to the zoning budget, in the midst of a citywide zoning update, a cut to the auditor's office, and some freezing of library positions which are vacant.

The other bad news is that we may see more of this kind of discussion in September after the break, and after the city and state revenue numbers are known better.

But, for the moment, dodged a bullet. Enjoy your libraries and parks, and volunteer to help them out if you have any time and energy available!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Neighborhood Strike Called to Protest Parking Crackdown

Alan Michaan of the Grand Lake Theater is calling for a neighborhood strike to protest a parking crisis that has been precipitated by the City Council and, he says, is threatening the viability of local businesses. On Thursday, July 30 at 3:30 p.m., Michaan will host an open house at the Grand Lake Theater to brainstorm additional solutions.
In a recent letter to fellow merchants, Michaan wrote that "the city council has declared war on our businesses, our customers and Oakland residents." Along with "an avalanche of parking tickets," people are no longer able to park for free after 6 p.m. because the hours of parking meters have been extended, he noted. As many HarriOak residents have discovered there has also been a steep increase in the cost of fines for parking violations. "In an effort to raise funds, the Oakland City Council has placed a higher priority on generating short-term funds via an aggressive, unreasonable and punitive parking policy over the long term viability of our shopping districts," Michaan wrote.
Michaan said all business should close on Thursday August 6 in order to bring national media attention to Oakland's disasterous local government. In addition he is suggesting gathering signatures to petition the City Council to change the policy or face a citywide recall campaign.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As Dto510 points out in the comments: "The Grand Lake Theater has for years enjoyed city-subsidized free parking, and Lakeshore has a city lot that's not metered, while Montclair and Piedmont's city lots are metered. Seems like somebody's gotten spoiled..."
If you want informative Oakland Tweets, follow Dto510 on Twitter.

grand lake parking meeting -

Budget Meeting Today

A Better Oakland has a very good summary of the budgets cuts being considered by the City Council today. All council members, except for Nancy Nadel who represents HarriOak, are expected to be there. Accoring to A Better Oakland, Nadel is dialing in from Jamaica. Must be nice to get paid to deal with the public's business while sipping rum drinks on a beach, especially when you barely squeaked by your re-election. (Nadel was relected June 3, 2008 by 51.3 percent of the voters or 4,503 votes.)

Here is the budget proposal.

Call for Police Transparency

Thomas Peele, the lone investigative reporter left in the East Bay for the Media News newspaper conglomerate, wrote a column this week calling for more police transparency in the tragic killing of four Oakland police officers in March.
Peele requested -- and was denied -- the 911 tapes and dispatcher broadcasts about the shootings. These are public records and in police shootings in other areas of the country they have revealed horrible errors and needless mistakes -- made by the police themselves.
As Peele points out, the public deserves to know how it was possible for two highly trained SWAT sergeants to be killed while arresting a gunman known to be extremely dangerous. It's a good question, and one that was lost in outpouring of grief surrounding the deaths.
Acting Police Chief Howard Jordan, wants his officers to view the "media" -- the handful of reporters and bloggers who care about accountable government in Oakland -- as the enemy.
In a written message, Jordan said officers should "seek the confidence of those who are willing to help and guide us as opposed to those — the media — who seek to hurt us and discredit us to the public we are sworn to serve."
The problem with that approach is that it puts the officers, who already risk getting killed on the streets, in even greater danger due to the possible incompetence of their own department.
If everyone acted appropriately, Jordan should release the tapes. And if, as it is more likely, an error, a miscalculation, a miscommunication or negligence contributed to the killings, OPD owes it to its officers to disclose that fact publicly.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Hawk

Monday, July 27, 2009

LAKEFEST Street Festival - August 1 & 2

It’s About that TIME…LAKEFEST ‘09 August 1-2

Lakefest ‘09, the second annual Lakeshore Avenue street festival, will take place on August 1-2 (Sat. & Sun) from 10am to 6pm. Lakeshore Ave will be turned into a pedestrian zone from Lake Park to Mandana to host this free community event featuring live music, artisans, merchant sidewalk sale, art installations, “green” businesses and non-profits, street performers, children’s fun zone.

Date: August 1st & 2nd (Sat. & Sun)
Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: Lakeshore Avenue Business District, Lakeshore Ave exit off of 580 Freeway
(near Grand Ave and Lake Merritt)
Information: www.oaklandlakefest.com

Lakefest ‘09 is a free community event brought to you by Oakland Events, LLC and sponsored in part by the Lakeshore/Lake Park BID.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Save the Date: Neighborhood Event on Aug 4

Hi everyone,

We're hosting a Neighborhood Night Out at 338 Fairmount Ave (green house on the corner of Frisbie St. and Fairmount - home of Marla and her roommate Liz) from 6:00 to 10:00 pm on Tuesday, August 4th. Hope you can join us!

Come meet your neighbors. Bring something to share if you'd like or just stop by to say hello. We look forward to seeing you.

:) Lanell

Art, Music & Dance - Sunday, July 26

Art, Music & Dance - the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

There's no need to figure out what you are going to do next Sunday. Come make some art at Frisbie St. and then head over to Splash Pad Park (across from Grand Lake Theatre) for the Oaklandish Salsa Party. See you there!

Frisbie St. Art Day

Frisbie St. Art Day! Next Sunday, July 26 from 1 to 5 p.m.
at 204 Frisbie St. (cross streets are Harrison Ave. & Fairmount)

Create your own Mandala or bring a pre-made design to life by adding your own colors and unique flair. Supplies will be provided. This is a free event led by Elka Vera and Lanell Dike.

For more information on the event click here. Fun for kids and adults. We’ll be outside in the backyard, join us!

Frisbie St. Art Day

Oaklandish Salsa by the Lake!

Oaklandish Salsa by the Lake

Sunday, July 26th from 2:00-7:00 pm
Splash Pad Park, across from the Grand Lake Theater (the location of the Grand Lake Farmers' Market).

A FREE annual event put on by Oaklandish. They had one in May that was so popular they're hosting another, their 'second' third annual Salsa by the Lake. Featuring LIVE Salsa by local group Pasion Habanera and FREE Salsa dance lessons!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Neighborhood Design Workshop Next Thursday

The third workshop for the Harrison Street/Oakland Avenue Community Transportation Plan is a week from today, Thursday July 23, 2009, at the Westlake Middle School, Cafeteria; located at 2629 Harrison Street @ 27th Street.

The third workshop is an opportunity for the design team to receive feedback on the developed draft preferred alternative and prioritize elements of the designs. The team said it has lot of information to share with us are and they are hoping this will be a productive meeting. Please come early, if possible, to review the alternatives prior to a presentation that starts at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Crucible Fire Arts Festival - July 15 - 18

The schedule is jam packed with exciting activities and the hottest art and artists! For all the details and to buy tickets: The Crucible’s Fire Arts Festival.

About The Fire Arts Festival

“The Crucible’s Fire Arts Festival celebrates creativity through fire and light with a spectacular open-air exhibition of interactive fire art, performance and the largest collection of outdoor fire sculpture on the West Coast.

You’ll be dwarfed by gigantic sculptures, get hands-on with interactive installations, and experience an eye-popping array of cutting edge fire sculpture and art from the all over the country. Each evening, fire performers will awe and amaze the most discerning pyrophile and you’ll be dazzled by incredible music and dance performances.

It’s the must-see event of the summer.”

Thursday, July 2, 2009

How to Choose?

Wow. If you're not headed out of town for the 4th - there is a fantastic new line up of Art show openings (and a few closing) for Art Murmur Friday night. I've listed a few options below - but there are a ton more. Just get out and walk around, see what you find. Here's the map. Enjoy!

Our World, Through Our Eyes
by Digital Storytelling Photography Students, College Track Oakland
414 14th St. at Broadway
(with music & hors d'oeurves)
5 to 8 pm

Help Me Remember How Beautiful the World Is
YaChin Bonny You
a series of drawings that serve as a visual aid to hep us notice the small and the beautiful in everyday life
6602 San Pablo Ave.
7 to 9 pm

"just because there are questions,
does not mean there are answers"

Joy Fritz, Sam Lopes, Matthew Momchilov, Matthew Pawlowski, Erik Scollon
The drawings and mixed media artifacts in the exhibition are a result of the artists' use of games to stay inspired and connected to their queer histories and futures.
6608 San Pablo Ave.

Bay Area Currents 2009
Selections by Kevin B. Chen, Intersection for the Arts
Pro Arts at Oakland Art Gallery
150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland
(Entrance on Kahn's Alley, Off Broadway at 15th St.)
Open till 9pm

Fascination: Revealing Women
Photographs by Myles Boisen
A solo gallery show at Cricket Engine Project Space
499 Embarcadero Bldg #3 in Oakland, CA
(5th Avenue and Embarcadero by the 880 freeway)
Closing reception: 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.