I apologize for not yet being able to get to the parking issue or last week’s lobbying ordinance meeting. After enjoying all sorts of free time during recess, I’m having a little trouble getting back into the swing of things around here and have accumulated somewhat of a backlog of half-written posts. I’ll catch up soon, I’m sure.
For today, I want to take care of a little housekeeping around here, and then highlight a number of cool things going on in Oakland tomorrow night.
First, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to complete my reader survey. I received nearly 300 responses and your feedback really is helpful. A recent computer meltdown unfortunately means the loss of many months of work on the site update. Redoing work that’s already been done is always easier than building things from scratch, so I hope it won’t delay the upgrade for too long, but I think we’re probably looking at the end of October at this point. Sorry. Still, there were a lot of decisions I had been struggling with, and your feedback has been instrumental in guiding the choices I have to make.
A number of people asked if I’d be sharing the results of the survey, and I will. But not just yet. I will, however, give you a taste of some of the answers that I found most surprising. First, I was shocked to see that more of you (80%!) report getting your Oakland news from the San Francisco Chronicle than anywhere else. Are you guys aware that the Chronicle barely covers Oakland? Only 65% of you said you read the Trib. Show some love for the hometown paper, folks! I could (and often have) spend hours talking about my frustrations with the local traditional media, and I agree that the Trib could do any number of things better, but at least they write about Oakland!
I was also floored to discover than even though like 90% of you say you live in Oakland, about 30% reported not voting in the special election. dto510 told me to put that question on, and I thought it was silly (“of course all my readers vote. how could anyone possibly spend time reading something so wonky and not vote”). I know I have at least one reader who isn’t old enough to vote, but the rest of you have no excuse.
Anyway, moving on. I also want to extend my deep appreciation to everyone who stepped up and pulled together a guest post for me while I was on break. I hate the idea of leaving you guys with nothing to read, and thanks to the contributions of Max Allstadt, Steve Brown, Vivek B, John Klein, Bob LaMartin, Bruce Nye, and Rebecca Kaplan, that didn’t happen. You guys are all awesome, thank you so much!
Finally, I want to clear up some confusion. A reader who saw me at one of Jean Quan’s meetings about how she wants to be Mayor last week asked if that meant I was supporting her candidacy. The answer is no. Similarly, someone who saw me at a Don Perata event this Spring had asked if that meant I was supporting his candidacy. The answer to that question is also no.
The Mayoral election is, at a minimum, nine months away, and more likely, thirteen months away. I understand why people running for the seat want to start the race now, but for my part, it’s way too early to even think about. When I make a decision about who I’m supporting, I will say so here. Until then, I will likely attend any number of campaign events – for Jean Quan, for Don Perata, and any any number of other people. If Paulette Hogan (who I miss, does anyone know what happened to her?) had a Mayoral campaign event, I would go to that too. So for now, if anyone sees me at any kind of campaign event, they shouldn’t read anything into my presence there except that I am, just like everyone else, curious about what the candidates have to say.
Now, onto the fun part. Tomorrow night one of those evenings that’s just so lousy with cool events that it makes me wish I had a time turner because I would go to all of them if I could.
First off, I will be spending my evening at the Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center (3301 E. 12th Street) for the fifth community workshop about the Central Estuary Specific Plan. I was hoping to find time to write about the existing conditions report before the meeting, but I’ve up to my ears in a backlog of work, both for the blog and for my actual job, and I another thing for me to cover and getting all caught up is taking a little bit of time.
As you guys might remember from earlier this year, I tragically lost my Estuary beat writer to grad school, and while we all of course wish him the very best in his studies, it’s yet another thing to add to my very full plate. Until further notice, I’ll be covering this process myself, although I really liked having someone who lived in the area doing it. So if any readers out there live in or near the Specific Plan area and would be interested in covering the issue from this point on, please don’t hesitate to contact me about it.
Anyway, at tomorrow’s meeting, attendees will be get to discuss the Specific Plan’s draft alternatives. As you may remember from our little primer on Specific Plans, once the existing conditions have been studied and cataloged, the next step is to evaluate three different possible approaches to future growth in the area. And that’s what going on at this workshop. It’s a large area, and there are a lot of directions it could go, so if you’re interested in this process at all, this particular meeting should be well worth your time. The meeting (PDF) runs from 6:30 to 9.
If transportation is more your thing, you may want to head over to Eastmont Mall for At-large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan’s transportation town hall (PDF). AC Transit Director Joel Young, MTC Minority Citizens Advisory Committee Member Jacquee Castain, and California Senior Leaders Alliance Co-Chair Frank Rose will all be on hand to discuss the issues impacting transit service in East Oakland, including AC Transit and BART service cuts, proposed new transit projects, State budget cuts, and how the City of Oakland can help improve services. The meeting will take place in suite 37 on the first floor of the Eastmont Town Center and run from 6 to 8 PM.
Finally, if you don’t like the idea of spending your evening geeking out over transportation or planning, you should definitely make your way down to Jack London Square for their full moon night market. I’ve found myself spending a lot more time in Jack London recently, and I have to say, it’s just thrilling to see things picking up down there. Every time I go, there’s lots of people strolling the square, the outdoor seating at Heinold’s is nearly full, and there are so many couples making out at all the benches along the water that it is practically impossible to find an out of the way place to go smoke. The new building looks great and Bocanova is always packed (I haven’t been yet. I hear it’s good, but expensive), and The Oakbook’s art gallery is charming.
And what better time to take it all in than when the Square is going to be even more crowded than usual. Along with all the usual street fair type vendors, there will be all sorts of entertainment, including live music, craft demonstrations, and OMG an outdoor ice skating rink! You’ll be able to skate all month long, but the rest of it is just a one night only deal. That’s tomorrow from 5:30 to 9:30.
With all those great options, who would even dream of staying home?