Sad news, happy news

ROV has finally updated the returns, and Nadel is now 137 votes ahead of a run-off. This doesn’t make me any more or less sad that I was before, and according to the Express today, final tallies may not even be completed this week. Anyway, no point in sitting around depressed and mopey. Besides, there are lots of things in the news to be happy about. Below are a few I’d like to share.

  • The Oakbook has a really sweet story about the Urban Youth Harvest program, where teenagers ride bicycles around collecting fruit from trees in yards and then delivering it to senior centers.
  • I really enjoyed this video, which I found via Oakland News, about a rooftop gardening project at the EC Reems Academy in East Oakland, supported by the Oakland Food Connection.
  • I desperately wanted to go to the groundbreaking for the new 81st Avenue library last week, but unfortunately, I just couldn’t find a way to swing it. The library, paid for with a combination of Proposition 14 funds and redevelopment funds (have I mentioned recently how I think Central City East is totally the best PAC?), will jointly serve as a neighborhood branch public library as well as the school library for EnCompass Academy and Acorn Woodland School. Anyway, this project has been a long time coming, and I’m thrilled that it’s finally happening.
  • I found this story about an AC Transit driver who stopped the bus and saved a little baby’s life incredibly heartwarming.
  • And, the best comes last. The Oakland Police Department is finally providing daily crime reports online! I can’t say enough how awesome I think this is. It’s not like they were hard to get before if you wanted them, but transparency in government isn’t just about making information available, it’s about making it as accessible as possible. This is a huge step towards that, although like one of my favorite writers, Peter Moreville, says, findability precedes usability, and I’d really like to see a more intuitive and clear path from the OPD and City of Oakland homepages to the reports. But still, this is a great first move, so huge kudos!

4 thoughts on “Sad news, happy news

  1. Ralph

    an ac transit driver stoppingto save a baby’s life. that seems so inconsistent with their unstated mission of kill as many pedestrians and drivers as possible.

    am i the only one who has noticed how each and every ac transit driver ignores the red light and pedestrian signal at 20th and Broadway

  2. Jim Ratliff

    I found the daily crime report a little disappointing because it’s at such a summary level. It doesn’t, for example, break these down to the “beat” level. I find the weekly summaries (not, unfortunately, available online) to be much more helpful, because they actually provide not only the beat but, in many cases, the actual addresses for the reported crimes.

  3. V Smoothe Post author

    I like both, Jim. The daily crime reports are useful in that they provide comparative YTD data. The weekly crimes reported by beat are useful for people who want to track trends in their neighborhood. Or any neighborhood, I guess. I’d love to see those go up online, too.

  4. artemis

    I have to disagree with Ralph–I’m a regular AC rider and in my experience there are some pretty damn awesome drivers out there. I’m sure there are some who run lights and disregard pedestrians to try to make their schedules, but there are also many others who are looking out for you. Once, trying to bike across Shattuck at 59th during rush hour (where drivers *hate* stopping for bikes or peds), I had an AC Transit driver stop for me to cross. Then, when the cross traffic didn’t even slow up, he actually pulled out widely into the street to force them to stop before he waved me across–and I wasn’t even getting on/off his bus! And just this morning, a diabetic driver lapsed into a coma and crashed into a 1R stop in Temescal, and the driver stopped to make sure 911 had been called and an ambulance was en route. So, props to AC Transit’s crew.