Upcoming forums, new DTO restaurant, and other odds and ends

Oakland’s busy election season continues this week with a calendar chock full of candidate forums. Here are a few upcoming events that may be of interest to readers:

  • League of Women Voters Fall Kick-Off Meeting, with presentations on Ranked Choice Voting and the November 2010 Ballot Measures: Tonight, Tuesday, October 5th from 6 to 8 PM, Oakland City Hall Hearing Room 3, One Frank Ogawa Plaza:

    There are nine state propositions on the ballot for November 2, dealing with issues as varied as suspending air pollution control laws (Prop. 23) and requiring a simple majority vote for the state budget (Prop. 25) to legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana (Prop. 19). There are also six local measures on the Oakland ballot, and, for the first time, Oakland will use Ranked-Choice Voting to elect the Mayor, City Council members, City Auditor, and School Board representatives from Districts 2, 4, and 6.

    Come hear Dave Macdonald, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, give a short presentation on Ranked-Choice Voting, followed by a neutral review of the Pros and Cons of the many ballot measures we will be voting on in November. The Pros and Cons will be presented by representatives of the League of Women Voters. This will be a very informative and informal meeting with time afterward for Q&A. Light refreshments will be served.

  • Candidate Forum for City Council District 2: Wednesday, October 6th, 7-9 PM, Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, 3524 Lakeshore Avenue, co-sponsored by the Grand Lake Neighbors Association and the League of Women Voters Oakland
  • Candidate Forum for Oakland Mayor: Thursday, October 7th, 6-8 PM, Oakland City Hall Hearing Room 1, One Frank Ogawa Plaza, co-sponsored by the Oakland Cultural Trust and the League of Women Voters Oakland

You can find a list of all the League’s upcoming candidate forums on their website.

New DTO restaurant: Disco Volante

Meanwhile, SFGate’s Inside Scoop reports yet another new restaurant on the way in downtown Oakland:

Disco Volante has been a few years in the making, with Cook and his partners batting around the original idea of a bar/live music venue for a while. But with the Uptown neighborhood growing as a dining destination, the idea of a restaurant grew on them. Then, when a space in the tiled Art Deco commercial block on 14th Street became available — with an existing kitchen and equipment — they pulled the trigger.

The name means “flying saucer” in Italian, but there will only be hints of Italian on the menu. The chef is Douglas Bernstein, last seen as the Bacar executive chef; he’s also worked at Eccolo and Farallon. He’s going to put out a local/seasonal California-ized menu (think braised octopus terrine, house-ground burger, smoked sausage, etc.), with nothing over $20. I can’t wait for the opening!

I was fortunate to attend a small pre-opening event for Disco Volante a couple of weeks ago. At the time, the space was still very rough, but you could already tell that it will look fabulous when complete. The food options on offer were quite limited, since it was just a preview event, but everything I tasted was absolutely delicious.

Speaking Truth to Power

Mark from Back to Oakland returns to blogging after a brief hiatus to update us on his new job teaching at Edna Brewer Middle School and makes a sweet pitch for donations to help buy video cameras and flash drives for a classroom project called “Speaking Truth to Power”. From the project page:

Six exceptional 6th and 7th graders are learning what it takes to become the next Martin Luther King Jr. In our Speaking Truth to Power unit they will develop public presentations to persuade, to invigorate, and to embolden their classmates to stand up and speak with passion and conviction.

These students are enrolled in a middle school reading intervention program. We were inspired by the Chevron Classroom Challenge to raise the stakes for our Speaking Truth to Power unit and incorporate a video presentation that will accompany each student’s oral presentation. Because these students commit two periods each day to their English Language Arts studies, they give up an elective course in favor of building power as readers and writers. One of the foundational skills that helps students with comprehension and fluency is oral communication. Our Speaking Truth to Power unit will focus on helping students develop a powerful academic vocabulary, and put that vocabulary to work in both their oral presentation and in an accompanying video project that will expand on a topic of their choosing.

Some of these students are struggling to read at grade level, but by engaging them in a project that inspires their passions and their creativity, and building on the state standards for language arts, we will open a door that inspires them to read and communicate using the vocabulary of power. (Academic language, and the languages of business and the arts.) Be part of this transformational experience!

Can you chip in a few bucks to help out? Click here to donate.

Another Mayoral forum video

Finally, for those of you who haven’t had enough of candidate forums yet, I’ve finally gotten around to uploading my recording of a Mayoral forum I attended back in July at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church that focused on public safety issues. The candidate pool has changed since then, but Terence Candell, Jean Quan, Rebecca Kaplan, Joe Tuman, Greg Harland, and Don Macleay were all there. So perhaps some people will find it useful. I didn’t arrive early enough to get a seat where I could videotape this one, so it’s an audio recording with pictures of whatever candidate is speaking at the time. Enjoy!

Keep Oakland Safe campaign

The campaign for ballot measures BB and W is becoming somewhat more visible with a new (to me, at least) website, Keep Oakland Safe. Measure BB is also known as the “Measure Y fix” and Measure W is the telephone tax.

5 thoughts on “Upcoming forums, new DTO restaurant, and other odds and ends

  1. Daniel Schulman

    Hey V, thanks for the wrap-up. Do you know the format of Thursday’s Mayoral Forum. I don’t think I can take another one where every candidate answers every question. I much preferred the format of specific questions directed at specific candidates of the Chamber/LOWV forum.

    Also, is this the one on the arts?

  2. V Smoothe Post author

    Dan -

    Yes, this is the arts-related forum, but I do not know the details of the format or if it will be exclusively about arts issues. Here is the description of the forum from the ProArts website:

    Confirmed Participants: Jean Quan, Senator Don Perata, Rebecca Kaplan, Larry Lionel Young Jr., Don MacLeay, Marcie Hodge,and Greg Harland

    Voters have an opportunity to address candidates for the office of Mayor on creating and sustaining vibrant, safe, inclusive communities through community and cultural development.

    Find out where candidates stand on the issue of public funding for the arts, arts education, and arts as a major component for economic growth in Oakland.

  3. MarleenLee

    And just to keep things balanced, I’ve created a “No on Measure BB” website at http://noonmeasurebb.blogspot.com

    The official address for the Pro BB people is Jane Brunner’s campgaign headquarters on Telegraph Ave. She – I mean they – list Metropolitan Greater Oakland Democratic Club as endorsing a “Pro BB” stance. In fact, that’s false. I spoke at the MGO endorsement meeting and made a pitch contra, and in the end the club officially took no position on the measure. We notified Jane that the website needed to be modified (last week) and nobody has bothered to correct it. Expect mucho misinformation from the Pro-BB folks, just like the misinformation (lies) we were told with Measure Y.

  4. RdwithCypress

    I think it is very intersting that the Mayor forum with the LWV was supposed to be about Oakland Arts and Housing opportunities. I didn’t stay for the whole event, however I did stay for the Arts questions. The thing is, none of the candidates addressed the real issues facing Oakland’s Artists. The real issues are:
    1)More live work spaces in East and West Oakland. Easier legalization of artists work spaces.
    2)Easier access to the permits required for artist shows and gallery parties.

    These are the real issues for Oakland’s struggling artist and no one but Candel ever broached these issues.

    Strange, who is handling these people? They should be ashamed of not doing the research to figure out what people actually need…..

  5. livegreen

    Part of the reason it’s tricky is in the past developers have put live-work buildings mostly in industrial zones, and the planning commission has made many variances for it. Many of those developments turn into regular developments, as there’s no way to control who’s an artist and who just wants a beautiful big space for cheap.

    My understanding was the revised zoning regulations would use live-work as a buffer between industrial & residential. Don’t know if that was finalized and how successful that is working out…