On the eve of Make Oakland Better Now!’s kick-off meeting, we are starting to run across much curiosity about who we are and what we are up to. There’s apparently been speculation that V.Smoothe of A Better Oakland is behind the group. And there was a comment at SFGate yesterday that “this smells like a faux grassroots organizing campaign for some Oakland mayoral candidate.”
People keep asking me the same questions over e-mail. I figured it would be easier to just answer them here.
ABX3 14 passed the California State Senate Thursday night with a yes vote from Oakland’s only representative in the State Senate, Loni Hancock, but it is now in the assembly, where a vote may be held as early as this Monday (August 24th). Contact information for your assembly members are at the end of this article.
The Boat House Rededication went off without a hitch earlier this month. The Mayor and several council members (including former council member) were present as was the media and numerous individuals and groups involved with Lake Merritt, the Boat House, and the Lake Chalet restaurant. Continue reading
Hi folks. My name is Vivek B, and for about 2 years now i’ve been doing monthly graphs & analysis of the OPD crime stats. I load up the data from CrimeSpotting.Org into an access database, and look at it 16 ways from Sunday. I live in Rockridge, so I started off focusimg on Area 1 & our beats, mainly as I wanted to make sure the #s jived up with the feeling around the ‘hood. About 9 months ago I started doing this for all Areas, but kept a detailed analysis on the neighboring beats. My theory is that if crime moves due to higher enforcement, the bad guys are more apt to only move 1-2 beats away, rather than clear across the city to an unknown neighborhood.
Okay, good news first. I am thrilled to welcome Coolhand Luke, author of the stellar blog 38th Notes, back to Oakland. Even while living on the East Coast for the past several months, Luke has been serving up a steady stream of music videos and song clips from Oakland artists, peppered with occassional insightful commentary about Oakland and its challenges. With his return (for good, we hope) to Oakland, we can hopefully look forward to even more frequent local writing from one of my favorite Oakland voices.
Want to talk about something I haven’t covered? Do it here. You can find the previous open thread here.
If you’ve walked around the south end of Lake Merritt lately, you may have noticed construction equipment and big pieces of concrete sewer pipe stacked in the median area of the busy 12th Street Dam. Your heart may have jumped, like mine did, as you thought perhaps this is the start of the long-awaited destruction and rebuilding of that crumbling bit of infrastructure.
On Thursday, Grand Lake Theater proprietor Allen Michaan hosted a meeting at the theater to protest recent increases in Oakland’s parking fees and fines. I attended the meeting, and frankly, there was so much bluster and vitriol in the theater that afternoon that the one or two accurate criticisms I heard were completely lost in a sea of loopy rhetoric. Mr. Michaan’s ideas about Oakland politics are reckless, grandstanding and naive.