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Showing posts from December, 2005

Knowing What To Fix -- A Black or Latino Mayor in Oakland Would Do Better - From The Pacific News Service

These blog entries are from Oakland kids between 15 and 16 years old, and written very recently. It gives a great view to how Oakland's young people look at its politics, who can make a difference, and why. JJovan Parnam,
YO! Youth Outlook, Nov 04, 2005 It would make a big difference if the new mayor of Oakland is either African American or Latino because they might understand where our people are coming from, how our situation is. I live in Oakland on 35th and Foothill aka 'Tha Dirty Thirties." My neighborhood is like a mini Mexico because a lot of Latinos live there and all the Mexican stores are out there too. There's only a few Asians on my block, only four houses are owned by blacks -- the rest is Latino. Since I live in a diverse neighborhood I know a lot of different people. One of my Latino friends I kick it with is Ernesto, 15, he lives on the same block that I do. I met him outside when I was little because I used to go outside and play, and he did too. One

Oakland's Old Chinatown was called "Uptown"

Yep! This website reports that: "Oaklanders have recently been rediscovering one of Oakland’s earliest Chinatowns was actually along San Pablo Avenue. Does your family have any stories from this old Uptown Chinatown? So far we've found names from the 1870 and 1880 census of Upper Chinatown residents, and names of the major property holders next to or in the Chinatowns. The 1880 census also provides the names of men who ran a laundry near the corner of 19th and San Pablo. Do you have memories or photos related to any of the names below?" Go to to enter any information or stories you have.

Oakland, CA City Councilmembers Contact Info

Wonder who your councilmembers are? Looking to make a call? Want to point a finger? Here you go! Oakland City Hall Council Chambers designed by Michael Willis Architects Mailing address: #1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, City Council 2nd Floor, Oakland, CA 94612 Order of information: Councilmember District Telephone (510) Jane Brunner 1 238-7001 Fax: 238-6910 Pat Kernighan 2 238-7002 Fax: 238-2296 Nancy J. Nadel 3 238-7003 Fax: 23-6129 Jean Quan 4 238-7004 Fax: 238-6129 Ignacio DeLa Fuente 5 238-7005 Fax: 238-6910 Desley Brooks 6 238-7006 Fax: 238-6910 Larry Reid 7 238-7007 Fax: 986-2735 Henry Chang Jr. (at large) 238-7008 Fax: 238-6938

GreenDay star a resident of Oakland's Rockridge District

From the Rockridge News and by Claire Isaacs Wahrhaftig I saw this article, and thought I'd grab a part of on just for FYI. The rest is at Rockridge News It’s all Gravy’s fault. For three years this kitty with the tinkling name tag has been prowling my home and purring my lap. The grey furball has attached himself to me like Velcro in the absence of his master, my neighbor. But Gravy turned out to be my own personal gravy train, a ticket to the stars. Actually, Gravy’s master IS a star. He is Mike Dirnt, bass guitar player for the numero uno rock group, “Oakland’s own” Green Day. From garage group to Grammy Rock Album and Rock Single of the year to eight MTV awards, Green Day is on top these days. I’ve never actually met my neighbor Mike. My beloved late husband Bill once described him as “tatooed, punctured, thin, polite, and quiet, really quite nice.”

Oakland's Rockridge District hit by crime wave

From The Rockridge News For some reason this is suddenly happening in an area of Oakland better known for good food, not bad crime. by Janet Somers Rockridge, North Oakland and the city as whole are in the midst of a robbery wave, according to North Oakland police commander Lt. Lawrence Green. Green said that as of mid-November (the last date for which statistics were available) year-to-date robberies were up 31% in North Oakland and 27% in Oakland. (He said overall crime was down 77% here and 2% in the city, with a reduction in car break-ins accounting for much of the decline.) In Rockridge, there were 11 street and inhabited-home robberies during the first two weeks of November, up from only one incident during the last two weeks of October, according to crime reports available on Green’s public website, Recent incidents have included armed and strongarmed robberies of pedestrians on College Avenue and side streets including Taft Avenue and 62nd Street, so

PG&E's failure: power outage blanks Oakland's Adams Point / Lake Merritt

"Welcome to Pacific Gas and Electric Company. If you're calling about billing, press one or say 'billing.' If you're calling about outages, press or say two, or 'outage.'" On Tuesday and early Wednesday residents of Oakland's Adams Point neighborhood -- 32,000 strong including this blogger -- had to hear that recording three times. The power went out along a massive area that made the entire district look the darkest it's been since the lights were deliberately turned out during World War Two. The cause of this -- according to what PG&E told me -- was damaged equipment. But what bothers me is that the company has no automatic system to alert them to the problem. They have to wait until someone calls the company. Moreover, the person taking the call isn't even in Oakland or the Bay Area, indeed, after a certain time, they're out of state! What also irks me is that the company apparently didn't fix the problem because it

Ignacio De La Fuente's Big Mistake

Peggy Stinnett explains it well here: WHEN the slick, full-color mailer arrived with City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente's photo, I thought, "Oh, the latest political mailer." In his campaign for mayor, he has been sending us these cheery cards for several months telling of his "accomplishments." But this one was different. It promised something that made my heart leap with joy. He declared unequivocally he wants to remove all parking meters in the city. Not so fast, I thought, being a cautious sort. Can this be true? I read on to learn De La Fuente wants to replace the meters with a "new system." Now moving from cautious to suspicious, I thought, "Now, what is the new system?" What's really strange about this mailer? It's not his idea; it's one the city staff has been working on for some time. In fact, the city has been testingnew meters on 12th Street for several months. Later I learned the city wants to replace existing

Progress! Oakland Planning Commission approves two high rise towers

This is a sign that the future development of downtown Oakland will include more housing and even higher densities with more traffic. But it's also a step in the right direction, decades overdue. Here's the Tribune account Builders reach for the sky in downtown Planning Commission approves two 22-story apartment buildings near Lake Merritt By Cecily Burt, STAFF WRITER OAKLAND — After years of low-rise residential construction, Oakland's push for higher density building downtown is finally paying off. A practically giddy Planning Commission last week approved plans for two 22-story apartment buildings — one at 11th and Jackson streets and the other at 23rd and Webster streets. The commissioners gushed over the designs, but more than anything, over the height and the density of the projects. "After four years of approving four-over-two projects, this is a nice change," said Commissioner Mark McClure, referring to the glut of low-rise wood or metal-framed resident

Laurel merchants decry new trash fees. (I don't blame them)

Oakland Councilmember (District 1- North Oakland) Jane Brunner pictured here This fee -- reported by Oakland Tribune Columnist Peggy Stinnett -- was Oakland Councilmember Jane Brunner's idea, and a bad one. It's amazing that a city with almost 10,000 acres of land giving tax money to its redevelopment agency, that a part of that can't be used for trash collection rather than burdening business people. Here's part of the Stinnett column: ENOUGH is enough, says Maureen Dorsey of the Laurel District Business Investment District. The ink is barely dry on a city agreement with Laurel merchants to form a BID, following in the footsteps of other Oakland business districts such as Lakeshore, Montclair and Rockridge. Now the city wants to add another charge to pay for trash collectors. "This is ridiculous," says Dorsey, and you can hear a chorus behind her calling "Yeah, yeah."Opponents are planning to speak their minds when the City Council Community and Ec

Oakland Chamber of Commerce has Lost It's Juice; A Voice in The Wilderness

At a recent Christmas Party, someone remarked that the Oakland Chamber of Commerce supported a particular political candidate. My response was "The Oakland Chamber has no juice." Really, who listens to the chamber? The newspapers? People don't read those anymore, at least not much in the Bay Area -- except the New York Times which isn't a local paper. What about television? Well, the Chamber doesn't have a TV show, so there. So just how many people are really influenced by the Chamber's opinion? I would say the number is probably somewhere in the area of 100. In a city where several hundred thousand people will come out to vote next year, that's nothing. The Oakland Chamber has no juice.