Monthly Archives: December 2009

A warm welcome to this year’s new Oakland bloggers. You guys rock!

I suppose it makes me sound like a crotchety old lady that every time I write something meta about the blogoaksphere, I go on and on about how there used to be, like, no Oakland blogs way back when I started doing this almost four years ago (yikes!). It’s boring and repetitive, I know. But I just cannot seem to get over how different the online Oakland landscape is now than it was in 2006.

2008 was a pretty awesome year for Oakland blogs, but I have to say, 2009 was even better. As we near the dawn of a new decade, I wanted to take a little time to look at what the blogoaksphere gained (and lost) this year. Let’s start with the sad stuff first.

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Bruce Nye: This Place Is A Mess: Now What Do We Do About It?

Bruce Nye is Board Chair of Make Oakland Better Now!The opinions in this post, however, are his, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the organization. Make Oakland Better Now! will be holding an emergency city budget meeting to vote on the organization’s position on the city budget on Monday, January 11, 2010 at 6:30 p.m., at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 4.

My guest post last week used about 1400 words to say the following: the city really is in dire financial straits, there’s no place to hide, there is no possibility of an immediate miracle and the problem won’t be fixed without political courage and leadership. The post drew more than 50 on-line comments. Other MOBN! Board members and I heard just as many comments off-line. A lot of people are angry at city government —as they should be — and responses ranged from the highly macro (e.g., this is the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it) to the policy-based (e.g., the relative values of parks vs. police, parcel taxes, bonds, etc.) to the very micro (elimination of living wage initiatives, furloughs vs. pay reductions, etc.). Many citizens are apoplectic over the very thought of another parcel tax, and some seem even to welcome a municipal bankruptcy.

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Bruce Nye: Does Oakland have a budget crisis? Sure enough it does.

Bruce Nye is Board Chair of Make Oakland Better Now! The opinions in this post, however, are his, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the organization. Make Oakland Better Now! will be holding an emergency city budget meeting to vote on the organization’s position on the city budget on Monday, January 11, 2010 at 6:30 p.m., at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 4.

For some time, we’ve been hearing Oakland’s politicians talk about a budget crisis. And everybody should be forgiven if they’re numb to this whole discussion. But guess what? There really, really is a crisis, and it’s going to have a huge impact on all of us, particularly if we, as a city, don’t take action.

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League of Women Voters: What is Records Management – and Why Should You Care About it?

Records management is the practice of maintaining the records of an organization — in this case, the City of Oakland — from the time they are created up to their eventual disposal. This may include the classification, storage, securing, and destruction of records.1 Capability for timely record retrieval is also a key part of a modern records management system.

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John Klein: Project CX3 – The Great Grand Avenue Dig of 2009

I know a lot of people are following the progress of Measure DD, but what is all that work in the middle of Grand Avenue? I did some checking and it turns out that PG&E is making really important infrastructure changes there. The name of the project is the “New Oakland C-X #2 115kV Underground Cable Project,” or “CX3″ for short. That is, three new electrical lines are being installed from 2nd & Castro Street near Jack London Square (sub-station C) to Grosvenor & Park Blvd. (sub-station X); this is where the name CX3 comes from. The new lines will carry 115,000 volts to sub-station X, which is a transmission and distribution sub-station.

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Estuary Specific Plan Photo Tour: West Subarea

If you managed to read my whole monster post yesterday about the Central Estuary Specific Plan, good for you. You deserve some sort of prize. If not, that’s okay. We’ll get you caught up anyway.

For the purposes of the Central Estuary Specific Plan, the specific plan area has been divided into four subareas, creatively named West Subarea, Central-West Subarea, Central-East Subarea, and East Subarea. Talking about the whole plan area at once is very difficult because it’s so big, so I’m going to follow this division and do separate posts over the next week about each subarea.

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Catching up on the Central Estuary Specifc Plan

I always wish more activists, policy wonks, and planning geeks would start blogs about Oakland. There’s just so many fascinating things going on with the City and I just do not have time to write about them all. One of these completely fascinating things that I have completely dropped the ball on covering is the Central Estuary Specific Plan. I’m hoping to remedy that a little bit over the next week or so. Better late than never, right?

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Doing it right the second time around: parking returns to Council

It was a great pleasure watching the City Council’s Public Works Committee’s discussion of parking issues last Tuesday.

As most of you probably remember, the City Council voted to raise the hourly parking meter price to $2 and extend the operating hours of parking meters from 6 to 8 PM as part of this summer’s budget process. The changes, coupled with a widespread perception of increased aggressiveness in parking enforcement and one very angry business owner with a very large billboard, created significant outcry among both residents and business groups. In response to the vocal opposition, the Council agreed to revisit the parking issue.

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Remember This: Champions for wasting money

This afternoon, the Oakland City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee will be asked to grant $182,000 of redevelopment funds (PDF) to the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help them pay the costs of building a house-sized monstrosity and plopping in on top of downtown Oakland’s newest park.

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