Tag Archives: Measure DD

Josh Sonnenfeld: After 143 years, Oakland’s Lake Merritt Reunites with the Bay

20 Sep Lake_Merritt_Circa_1800_Map

This guest blog post was written by Josh Sonnenfeld, Campaign Manager for Save the Bay. This post is cross-posted from Save the Bay’s blog, one of the handful of environmental blogs I read regularly. If you care about the Bay, you should be reading it too.

A gem at the heart of Oakland, Lake Merritt has been many things – the nation’s first wildlife refuge, beloved waterway, sewage-filled cesspool, and even the rumored home to a lake monster. There’s one thing that Lake Merritt has never been, however – and that’s a lake.

What we now call Lake Merritt has for most of the past ten thousand years been a tidal lagoon where the waters of several East Bay creeks met the brackish tides of the Bay. Ringed with mudflats and tidal marsh, this lagoon was home to an abundance of native wildlife, including hundreds of species of birds.

This changed dramatically in 1869 as Oakland Mayor Samuel Merritt dammed the channel connecting the lagoon to the Bay. Later becoming the 12th Street Bridge, the lagoon’s water was forced through narrow culverts on its way in and out of the Bay, significantly reducing circulation and largely disconnecting the waterway from the rest of our great estuary. Continue reading

September 21-27 Oakland Political & Community Events

21 Sep
Tuesday, September 22nd – Oakland City Council Meeting

After a two month long recess, the Council is back in action this week and this first meeting is full of important and contentious issues. Among many other items, the Council will discuss and vote on an emergency moratorium on nail salons and laundromats, the Public Works Agency performance audit, the City Auditor’s whistleblower program report, and the authorization of incoming Chief of Police Anthony Batts’s salary. That is, they’ll be discussing all of those items if they can get past the most contentious topic of the night – parking. Pat Kernighan, after being targeted by a pro-parking mob, has proposed rolling back meter hour to 6pm from 8pm. The problem is that this would blow a $1.3 million hole in the city’s incredibly tight budget. Kernighan’s solution is to crack down on disabled placard parking fraud, but staff recommends not rolling back the meter times and Rebecca Kaplan sent the Council a copy of Donald Shoup’s presentation on “The High Cost of Free Parking.” See the full meeting agenda and check out my post about how to watch and understand City Council meetings if you need some guidance on how or where to view the meeting. The non-ceremonial parts of the meeting start at 7pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Tuesday, September 22nd – Walk Oakland Bike Oakland Meeting

Since attendees of past Volunteer Meetings have asked for more speakers on local bike/ped issues, expect to see more “special guests” at WOBO’s monthly meetings. We’re kicking things off with speaker Joel Peter, the Measure DD Coordinator, who will get us up to date on the Measure DD projects. We’ll also talk about the status of WOBO campaigns in progress and leave time for announcements from attendees (just let us know before the meeting that you’ve got an event or info to share). As always, there will be snacks and lots of bike parking.This meeting will be held from 6:30-8:30 pm at Bay Area Wilderness Training, 2301 Broadway, Suite B – enter on 23rd Street. For more info, visit WOBO’s website.

Wednesday, September 23rd – Public Hearings on AC Transit’s Proposed Service Changes

AC Transit will hold public hearings to present its proposed Service Adjustments Plan and gather feedback from the public. If you’re concerned about losing your bus line or just want to hear more about the extensive service adjustments, these will be important hearings to attend. In October, the Board will likely make its final decision on the service adjustments, taking into consideration all public comments received. The Board could accept, modify, reject, or defer each of the proposed changes. If service adjustments are adopted, they likely would be implemented in January 2010. Take the bus: All lines serving downtown Oakland (also BART to 19th Street). The workshops will be held from 2-5pm AND 6-8pm at the AC Transit offices, 1600 Franklin Street, 2nd Floor Board Room. Find further info at AC Transit’s website.

Wednesday, September 23rd – League of Women Voters State Budget Forum

From the League’s website: “At the kick-off meeting on September 15 we will have heard about budget issues from a local perspective. What is the state perspective? We will have a resource person from Assemblymember Sandré Swanson’s office to bring us up to date on the latest information on the state budget. Come learn and talk about what you can be doing to make things happen both here in Oakland and in Sacramento.” The forum will be held from 6:30-8 PM at Lincoln Court Senior Housing, 2400 MacArthur Blvd. (corner of Lincoln and MacArthur).

Thursday, September 24thSpecial Meeting of the Public Ethics Commission

The Public Ethics Commission will be holding a special meeting to discuss proposed amendments to Oakland’s lobbyist registration act. The commission will discuss 1) whether registration and reporting requirements should be limited to paid, professional representatives of an organization or include volunteer representatives as well; 2) should persons who lobby City officials have to communicate a minimum number of times or devote a certain amount of their time to lobbying before triggering a registration requirement; and 3) should people be except from registering if the communications they make are a) made in writing or at a public meeting or, b) made on behalf of certain non-profit groups that operate on City property and provide a public service.These proposals sprang from a commission hearing in May at which John Klein had launched a complaint against Carlos Plazola for not registering with the City for certain lobbying activities. For background, you should read the account by Max Allstadt of the initial hearing and the lengthy discussion that followed it. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm in Hearing Room 2, City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza. You can read the meeting agenda here.

Thursday, September 24thWellstone Democratic Club Meeting

The Bay Area Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club will present and discuss”Americans and the Climate Crisis: Attitudes and Social Change” featuring Aaron Pope, Director of Sustainability Programs, California Academy of Sciences. The meeting will be held from 6-9pm at the Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street in Oakland. For more information, visit the club’s website.

Friday, September 25th – Dancing Under the Stars at Jack London Square

Due to the success of Dancing Under the Stars, Jack London Square will offer an additional four-event series of free outdoor dance classes on select Friday nights through the end of September. Singles and couples alike can practice their sizzling salsa moves, learn new Latin dances like the Cha Cha, or do the Hustle while listening to disco. Live bands will add a new level of entertainment to the program. Novices and experienced dancers are all welcome to spend the evening dancing outdoors on Oakland’s celebrated waterfront.  No reservation is required, and all ages are welcome. Dancing Under the Stars will begin at 7:30 PM for professional dance lessons and 8:30 PM for open dance  at the foot of Broadway. This Friday, they’ll be teaching Rumba and Cha Cha.

Friday, September 25th – Fourth Friday Summer Nights: A Little Princess

This summer, the Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate is hosting free movies on the fourth Friday of each month. This month, they’ll be showing Finding Neverland. Via V Smoothe, “The grounds open at 6 PM for picnicking and wandering. Music is provided before the movies, which begin around 8:30, once the sun sets. And if you don’t have a car, no problem! AC Transit line 45 drops you off maybe a 10 minute walk (or less, depending on how fast you walk, I guess) from the Estate and runs until midnight.” The estate is located at 2960 Peralta Oaks Ct.

Saturday, September 26th - Love Your Parks Day

Each year, in the fall, Oakland Parks Coalition (OPC) conducts a city-wide survey of Oakland parks to determine their condition. This year the survey is more important than ever due to the maintenance cutbacks. We need lots of volunteers to ensure that all parks are surveyed. The data from our annual surveys is used as a basis for an OPC annual report, 2007 Community Report Card on the Maintenance of Oakland Parks, which is presented early each year to the Life Enrichment Committee of City Council. The written report and a Power Point Presentation are tools used by OPC to advocate for improved and enhanced maintenance services in Oakland Parks. Meet at 8:30am at the Lakeside Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland. After a continental breakfast you’ll be sent out in teams to survey 3-5 Oakland parks. To find out more information and RSVP, visit OPC’s website.

Saturday, September 26th - Democratic Unity Dinner

The Democratic Unity Dinner is the county’s largest party fundraiser. This year, speakers include Attorney General Jerry Brown, Lt. Governor John Garamendi, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, and Board of Equalization Chair Betty Yee. The Party will be honoring ACDCC long-time member Maggie Gee for all her hard work on behalf of the Democratic Party over the years. The Oakland United Democratic Campaign (UDC) will receive the 2009 Democratic Club/UDC award recognizing co-chairs Elizabeth Echols and Rodney Brooks in particular for their success. The monies raised for this event helps support our six county UDCs for 2010. Cocktails at 6 pm and dinner at 7:30 pm at the Oakland Airport Hilton, One Hegenberger Road. Find more info and purchase tickets on ActBlue.

Sunday, September 27th - Rockridge Out and About

The Rockridge District Association organizes its annual street festival to attract residents, visitors and new businesses to College Avenue.  For one magical afternoon, 10 blocks are transformed into a street fair featuring live music, cooking demonstrations, artisans and food booths, arts, crafts and kids activities. I’ve always enjoyed this street festival, but this year they’re adding an awesome new feature – a Cookbook Exchange! Bring a used cookbook and exchange it for another (remaining books will go to the Rockridge Public Library). The festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on College Avenue from Claremont to the Rockridge Library, in the Rockridge shopping district. Find more info at the festival’s website.

Sunday, September 27th - Sundays in the Redwoods – The Oakland Symphony

This free concert features the The Oakland Symphony & John Handy. Bring sunscreen, hats and water– it can get very hot in the sun. Gates open at 1:30– concerts start at Woodminster Amphitheater in Joaquin Miller Park, 3300 Joaquin Miller Road. To reserve a picnic table, contact Renee Tucker at 238-4720. Find more info at the Sundays in the Redwoods website.

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