Tag Archives: EBMUD

Tonight’s Council Meeting: World Cup, billboards, and performance measure tracking

3 Nov

Remember about a month and a half ago when I asked you if you wanted more City Council coverage and promised I would provide it? Well, things got busy for me after that, and then I took a couple week break from blogging, so I’ve yet to follow through on my promise to cover some Council items in-depth before the Council meeting.

I’ve thought about it a lot and last night started working on a post for tonight’s Council meeting, and I realized that this is going to be harder than I thought, especially since I haven’t watched most of the committee meetings for the past month. I looked at the agenda and realized that I didn’t even know where to begin, since few of the items stood out as particularly controversial and many of them are very important.

I slept on it, and this morning I woke up and decided that I was just going to dive in. I’m picking a few agenda items and will cover them in some detail. If I don’t pick the most important items, oh well. If I miss some nuances of an item, hopefully a reader will catch that and weigh in. So as you read this, remember that it is a work in progress, and as I do these more regularly, they’ll get better with your input.

Item 16: World Cup Host City

Council meetings have been overall pretty depressing this year, as the budget crisis has hung over so many decisions. But sometimes the Council discusses exciting new projects, and tonight is one of those times. The City is applying to be one of the US cities to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022.

I’m not going to cover this item in too much detail because V Smoothe already did such a thorough job of it at In Oakland, and you should really read her post. But the short story is that Oakland is one of the 27 finalists chose by the USA Bid Committee, and the committee will ultimately choose 18 host cities. Even if Oakland is chosen as one of the 18 though, the US would still need to be chosen over several other countries to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. V Smoothe thinks that’s likely, “based on our large stadium capacities and the tremendous success of the US-hosted 1994 World Cup, which set financial and attendance records for the event that still stand today.”

The great thing about this opportunity is that it costs the City very little to apply (about $20,000) and we could reap huge benefits if chosen. The staff report, citing another study, states that “the total economic impact projected for any one Host City range from approximately $300-$500 million using 2009 dollars. It is also expected that between 5,000 and 8,000 new jobs would be created by the preparation and operation of the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup.”

Oakland, if chosen, would also have to host a “Fanfest” event to show all 64 World Cup games on large screens. This would be done at Jack London Square or Lake Merritt and could be incredibly fun. I was lucky enough to be in Salvador, Brazil in 2002 when Brazil won the World Cup, and the City showed the game on large screens in the center of the city. It was a phenomenal experience that I will never forget, and the thought of having a similar experience here in Oakland is enough to convince me that Oakland should do whatever it can to become a Host City.

Tonight, the Council will be voting on entering into a Host City Agreement. Assuming that vote passes, the USA Bid Committee will choose the 18 cities in December 2009, and FIFA will decide on Host Nations for 2018 and 2022 in December 2010.

Item 18: Clear Channel Outdoor – Billboard Agreement

Normally this item wouldn’t be of much interest to me, but I looked into it because at first I thought it was the billboard agreement that had been proposed to close the budget gap that was opened up by rolling the meter times back from 8pm to 6pm. At the time, it had been proposed that nearly half a million in revenue, which was half of the missing revenue left by the meter roll back, would be gained through future billboard agreements, and if I remember correctly, a billboard was supposed to be built on our side of the Bay Bridge.

Well, this item does involve a billboard at the toll plaza, but it’s a different billboard and doesn’t bring the City of Oakland any revenue. But it does bring revenue to the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), and it doesn’t hurt Oakland financially. In exchange for approving this agreement, Clear Channel will remove 16 billboards throughout the city (the full list can be found in the staff report). Apparently, it is fairly common for Clear Channel to get new billboard space in exchange for getting rid of other billboards, as this was done in 2003 and 2007, though the City did receive revenue out of both of those agreements.

If only the City could make its approval of this agreement contingent upon EBMUD not building a new dam and instead forcing suburban customers to conserve water or pay their fair share…

Item 20: Citywide Performance Measures Tracking

I think we can all agree that the City, overall, could do better. The City could improve on its interactions with constituents, on communication between departments, on data collection… ugh, the City could do better on pretty much everything. Tonight, the Council will not discuss how to improve on actual performance but how to improve the tracking of performance because it’s pretty difficult to know what or how to improve if you don’t know how you’re doing in the first place.

Via the staff report, here are some of the ideas for improving performance measure tracking that will be presented tonight:

  • Strengthening the focus on continuous improvement by following the cycle of planning, measuring, monitoring/managing and reporting on progress internally and externally;
  • Convening a Task Force representing departments and elected offices to review and further define departmental performance measures and select indicators for Council and community reporting;
  • Re-launching systematic citywide data gathering and reporting of the performance measures in an online system;
  • Implementing OakStat, a performance-based leadership strategy that involves monthly reviews of departmental performance by management to focus attention on improving operational effectiveness and efficiency and delivering outcomes of importance to policy makers and the public; and
  • Re-launching an annual citizen survey to assess resident satisfaction with government service provision and provide input for program and process improvement.

These improvements, if fully implemented, sound like they could make a difference, and the price tag on them, at less than $20,000 is already included in the 2009-11 budget. But some of the stuff in the staff report sounds so basic that it’s frightening that it hasn’t already been implemented, like a monthly meeting between department heads to review performance data.

I guess it’s better late than never though and data from the internal reviews and the citizen survey could make the City much more effective and efficient if changes are made based on this data. Unfortunately, I’m a bit skeptical of that, though I hope for the best.

If I was on the task force, my first recommendation would be to stop printing out every damn staff report and then scanning it in to put on the website! It’s a huge waste of time and paper and makes the files less useful because you can’t search them or copy and paste (which made writing this blog post take nearly twice as long). I’m sure there are many other simple inefficiencies like this that could be easily fixed and the above plans could be a good start for finding them.

The Rest of the Agenda…

There’s no way I can get to everything else, but the rest of the agenda includes park improvement projects, the Oakland Community Land Trust, and amending the CalPERS firefighter contract. Watch the Council meeting tonight to see what happens. And for the next Council meeting, email me at oaklandbecks at gmail dot com if you have an input on what I should cover.

October 12-18 Oakland Political & Community Events

11 Oct

Tuesday, October 13th – Final Vote on EBMUD Water Supply Management Plan 2040

Via EBMUD Director Andy Katz: “The EBMUD Board of Directors will consider adopting the Water Supply Management Plan 2040 to meet our water needs over the next 30 years on Tuesday afternoon, October 13.  While the Plan includes increased water conservation programs, recycled water projects, rationing during worst-case droughts, securing water transfers and groundwater storage, it also includes desalination, and expanding Pardee reservoir with a new dam. The proposal to expand Pardee Reservior would flood 1200 acres, including nearly three miles of riparian and scenic stretch of the Mokelumne River that is used for whitewater recreation and fishing.  I support managing our water supply relying on groundwater storage, recycled water, rationing at 15% in severe worst-case droughts, and increased investment in conservation programs to avoid the environmental impacts of a new dam that would destroy our natural resources. Public involvement is essential to achieving an environmentally responsible water plan that reflects the values of our community.” The Board of Directors meeting will be held at 1:15pm on the 2nd floor of 375 11th St., Oakland. For additional info, visit EBMUD’s website.

POSTPONED – Tuesday, October 13th 20th – Taste of Temescal

This event has been postponed until next week due to expected heavy rain and wind.

Twenty-one of Temescal’s best restaurants are offering a taste from their menus. Visit Dona Tomas, Pizzaiolo, Barlata, Burma Superstar, Mixing Bowl, Bakesale Betty, Lanesplitters and many more all while supporting Good Cents for Oakland, Emerson Elementary School, Claremont Middle School and Women’s Cancer Resource Center. Tickets are $25 for adults and children 12 and over. The event will be held from 6-8:30pm on Telegraph between 40th and 51st Streets. For details and tickets, visit the Temescal District website.

Wednesday, October 14th – AC Transit Board Meeting on Service Cuts & BRT Funding Swap

Ugh, I really wish i could make it to this meeting because it’s incredibly important. The AC Transit Board will be discussing the delay of service cuts and will be receiving an update on discussions with MTC regarding potential the shift of capital BRT funds to operating funds. If you haven’t been following this issue, check out V Smoothe’s two thorough posts about it. The Board will also be voting on a resolution to buy American (I’m sure this will make Joyce Roy and the rest of the Van Hool haters happy) and a resolution approving a collective bargaining agreement with the Amalgamated Transit Union 192. This meeting will take place at 6pm in the 2nd floor board room, 1600 Franklin Street. You can read the agenda and see the relevant memos here. If you plan to attend and would like to write a guest post about the meeting, please contact me at oaklandbecks at gmail dot com.Wednesday, October 14th – East Bay Democracy for America Meetup

At their October meeting, Democracy for America will be focusing on water issues and update the group on the public option. From DFA: “Get an update on the status of the Delta’s water. While an effort to hand control over Governor Schwarzenegger and his cronies was thwarted, there is still a possibility of it happening while broader issues regarding the water in the state of California could be impacted during the on going budget crisis. Assemblyperson Nancy Skinner, chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, will talk about how she views water resources in California and what role her committee should play in making decisions about those resources. We’ll also hear about EBMUD’s efforts to meet our water needs in increasingly dry years. There are dam issues, water allocations and conservation measures that face EBMUD this year.” The meeting will be held at 6:30 at the Rockridge Library, 5366 College Avenue. RSVP here.

Thursday, October 15th – Women of the Black Panther Party and Beyond

The Main Library will put on a one-day exhibit, Women of the Black Panther Party and Beyond. This exhibit will celebrate the women of the Black Panther Party with photos, art and a short film honoring their service to the community, leadership, and vision. Hear the experiences of women fighting to uplift the community. The exhibit will be up from 2 to 8 pm, with the program starting at 5:30 pm. The Main Library is at 125 14th St. The event will take place downstairs in the West Auditorium.

Thursday, October 15th – Oakland Sierra Club Mixer & Activist Social Event

Join local members of the Sierra Club’s Northern Alameda County (NAC) Group for a fun evening in the Fruitvale transit center. They will be socializing and introducing some of our priority campaigns. Connect with other folks in the environmental community, including CBE, Transform, and other organizations. Find out how you can get active in your community! The event will be held from 6:30-8:30 at Mar Y Tierra Restaurant at the Fruitvale Village, 3411 E. 12th St. (ground floor). Directions: Take BART to Fruitvale station, exit and walk into the Transit Village. The restaurant should be on your left (downtown Oakland side). Look for signs. Contact: Kent Lewandowski, (510) 625-5831, or kentlewan [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Thursday, October 15th – Oakland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Meeting

Oakland’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meets monthly to discusses bicycle and pedestrian issues. This month’s agenda covers updated criteria for prioritizing stair and pathway remediation, the 38th & 40th Street bikeways, and new bicycle parking rack guidelines. The BPAC is extremely inclusive – any Oakland resident who attends three consecutive meetings becomes a voting member of the committee – so if you’re interested in bike and ped issues, you should consider attending. The BPAC will be meeting from 5:30-7:30pm in Hearing Room 4 of City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Friday, October 16th – Pacific Coast Brewery 21st Anniversary Block Party

Celebrate Pacific Coast Brewery’s 21st anniversary with beer and music in the street. This event takes place from 5-11pm on Washington Street between 9th and 10th in Old Oakland. Find out more info at Pacific Coast Brewery’s website.

Saturday, October 17 – Oakland Kidical Mass

Walk Oakland Bike Oakland invites you to participate in a social ride for anyone interested in a kid-friendly, mellow bike ride, where you’ll get to know others who move their families around Oakland by bike. Children under 18 should be accompanied by an adult to participate. Ride meets at Frog Park (Hardy St. & Claremont Ave) from 10-10:30am with expected departure about 10:45am. Destination is Lake Shore Park. Ride is about 3 miles – expect a leisurely pace and relaxed atmosphere.

Saturday, October 17th – Linden Street Brewery Brats & Beer

Via Oaklandish: “Join us at Linden Street Brewery for a great party that benefits the Rotary Club of Oakland and Bay Area Community Services (B.A.C.S.) Come through to eat and drink for a cause! This event is Saturday, October 17th, 12:00-5:00pm at Linden St. Brewery (#8 Linden St. @ 3rd St.). There is no cover charge, and this is a family-friendly event. There will be a free shuttle from West Oakland BART and valet bicycle parking.” For more information, visit Linden Street’s website.

Saturday, October 17th – The Black Panther Film Fest

The West Oakland Branch of the library and It’s about Time presents the Black Panther Film Fest. Three films will be screened: Legacy of Torture: The War Against The Black Liberation Movement; Merritt College: Home of the Black Panthers; and Lord of the Revolution. Films screen from 1 to 5 pm at the West Oakland Branch, 1801 Adeline Street.

Saturday, October 17th – Reflect. Honor. Prepare – Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake

Via Jean Quan’s newsletter: “Our office will be joining many other organizations at an emergency preparedness fair and commemoration of the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989. Free raffle for 100 earthquake preparedness kits. Free blood pressure checks. Remembrance ceremony at 5:04 pm honoring those who lost their lives in the collapse of the Cypress Freeway during the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17, 1989.” This event will be held from 3-5:30 pm at Cypress Freeway Memorial Park, Mandela Parkway at 14th Street.

Sunday, October 18th – Reviving Oakland’s Main Street: Greenbelt Alliance and Sierra Club Urban Walk

Stroll along Broadway with members of Greenbelt Alliance and the Northern Alameda County Group of the Sierra Club. They’ll look at the area along Broadway St. between 23rd Street and I-580. The city hopes to attract more retail here, creating a thriving new shopping district for Oakland residents and others. During the event, they’ll discuss the opportunities and constraints in welcoming sustainable development to the area, share news about the Project Alternatives, and provide ways to get involved. The walk will take place from 1-3pm – meet at 27th & Broadway, near the First Presbyterian Church (meet in front of the church). Contact: Joanna Winchester, (202) 725-6513, or joannawinchester [at] gmail [dot] com.

October 5-11 Oakland Political & Community Events

4 Oct
Monday, October 5th – Commercial/Corridors Technical Advisory Group Meeting

Thus far, the TAG has reviewed a framework for ten new zoning districts for the City’s corridors and commercial. The TAG has also reviewed detailed activity tables and design regulations for each of the proposed zones and a framework for appropriate height limits. At this TAG meeting, staff will present a conceptual map showing the proposed location of these new zones and a methodology for determining the location of the different height areas. The next meeting will be devoted to a discussion of a proposed map of height areas. The meeting will be held from 6-8 p.m. in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, in Hearing Room 4 (this is on the 2nd floor). For more information, visit the Zoning Update website.
Monday, October 5th – Title IX: Gender Equity in Sports & Educational Programs 37 Years Later, We Still Have a Way to Go

Diane Milutinovich had served as a coach and athletics administrator at California State University Fresno for 22 years when she was told her position was being eliminated due to budgetary reasons.  Yet in the next 2 years, the university’s athletics budget went up $2 million, and they added 17 new positions.  Spending per male athlete went up $17,000; for female athletes, $8! It took 5 years, but she won her gender discrimination lawsuit.  Diane will share her experience and paint a broad picture of the state of compliance today.  While she will focus mainly on sports programs, she will also discuss the other areas Title IX covers including admission to universities, sexual harassment, and discrimination due to pregnancy or marital status. This event takes place from6-7:30pm at Buttercup Grill, 229 Broadway at 3rd Street. The event is sponsored by the National Women’s Political Caucus.

Tuesday, October 6th – Oakland City Council Meeting

After the last Council meeting, I posted a poll asking if you’d like to see more in depth coverage of Council meetings either before or after them. More than half of you said you’d like to see coverage before, so I’m going to start that feature tomorrow or Tuesday and will cover the full Council agenda in depth. But so you can plan, the two most contentious items of the night are the rollback of parking meter hours to 6pm and a resolution opposing the Oakland Airport Connector. It should be a very long night again for the Council. 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.

Wednesday, October 7 – Alameda County Democratic Central Committee Meeting

Every month, the Central Committee meets to discuss party business and to make plans for the future of the Democratic Party in Alameda County. This month’s program sounds extremely interesting and informative – “Eye on Alameda County Water Boards” featuring Andy Katz from EBMUD and Marty Koller from Alameda County Water District. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Democratic Party, this is a great way to do so. The meeting will be held from 7-9pm in the San Leandro Main Library, Dave Karp Room, 300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro, CA 94577.

Thursday, October 8th – Rebecca Kaplan’s Birthday Party

Celebrate Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan’s birthday! Join us for a “happy hour’ reception (with great food and birthday cake) to celebrate Rebecca’s 39th birthday!   Socializing, fun people, and time to share in the events of the past year, and hear about Rebecca’s plans for the coming year. The party takes place from 5pm – 7pm atJoyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th Street (Next to Geoffrey’s Inner Circle), near the corner of Broadway and 14th st in downtown Oakland. Suggested contribution, sliding scale $390 – $39. Visit Rebecca’s website to contribute, or to RSVP, contact Earp Events & Fundraising at 510-839-3100 or laurie@earpevents.com.

Thursday, October 8th – Mix It Up East Bay

Join us for a monthly happy hour bringing together young activists, organizers and leaders in the East Bay. The challenges of foster and former foster youth impact communities across the Bay Area. Come out and hear (brief) presentations on the range of local work supporting foster and former foster youth by:

  • Letitia Henderson-Souza, Casey Family Programs
  • Kevin Bristow, Renaissance Scholars Program, Cal State University East Bay
  • Reed Connell, Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance

Mix It Up East Bay is held every 2nd Thursday of the month from 6-9pm at Shashamane at 2507 Broadway. It’s accessible by 19th Street BART station or by AC Transit lines 1/1R, 51, 59.

Thursday-Sunday, October 8th-11th – Big Sale at Bookmark Bookstore

The Bookmark Bookstore, operated by the Friends of the Oakland Public Library, will have its 30% off fall sale October 8 – 11, 2009 (Thursday – Sunday). The Bookmark will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day this sale is happening. The Bookmark is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Bookmark is located at 721 Washington St in Old Oakland. When you shop the Bookmark, you are supporting the Oakland Public Library! Call 510-444-0473 for more information, or visit the Friends online.

Friday, October 9th – Special Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board Meeting

LPAB is holding a special meeting this Friday to discuss a proposal to “Develop more restrictive Demolition Findings based on Historic Preservation Element.” This is the first step to address demolition findings that along with view corridors were omitted from the recent passage of the downtown Oakland Zoning Update rules. The meeting will be held at 5pm in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 2.

Friday, October 9th – Estuary Art Attack

First Fridays are not the only day of the month to check out art galleries. Jingle Town and Alameda artists have joined together to start the Estuary Art Attack, a monthly event held on second Fridays to showcase the area’s galleries, restaurants, and bars. The Art Attack will be held from 6-9 pm throughout Jingle Town and Alameda. Check out their website for more details.

Saturday, October 10th – Oaktoberfest

Oakland’s Dimond District hosts this one-of-a-kind Fall Festival, welcoming thousands with entertainment, arts, and ecology. The Dimond continues a tradition as an entertainment destination, begun in the early 1900’s when Beer Gardens and German vacation resorts lined the boulevard. Oaktoberfest will bring world-class beer to the giant tented beer hall, serving steins of traditional German flavors regional brew pub favorites. Highlighting this years festival will be a traditional Biergarten, the Eco Fair, a Kid’s Area with Root Biergarten, a homebrew competition, and vendors from around the Bay. Celebrate Oktoberfest, Oakland style, in the Dimond at Fruitvale and MacArthur. The festival takes place from 11am-6pm on MacArthur Blvd. at Fruitvale Avenue. Visit the Oaktoberfest website for more information.

Saturday, October 10th – Life is Living Festival & 3rd Annual Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle

Life is Living is a FREE concert and caucus to affirm urban life through hip hop, intergenerational health, and environmental action. Activities will include a concert featuring Phroahe Monch, Kev Choice and Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, Mighty 4 B-Boy Battle,the 3rd Annual Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle, youth town hall on health care sponsored by President Obama’s non-profit wing, Organizing for America, the Official opening of Town Park featuring Hood Games, a Skate and Bike competition, environmental Service Learning project with The Natural Builders, writing, visual Art and fashion Workshops, health screening for elders, healthy food/ healthy planet models presented by the Oakland Food Connection, City Slicker Farms, Food and Water Watch, and The People’s Grocery, and much, much more. The festival takes place from 11am-5pm at deFremery Park, 1651 Adeline St. For more info and to RSVP, see the event’s Facebook page.

Saturday, October 10th – Jane Brunner’s October Community Advisory Meeting: Meet Oakland’s New Chief of Police

This Saturday, Council President Jane Brunner will be introducing Oakland’s new police chief, Anthony Batts, to Oaklanders and he will be there to answer your questions. This meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon at Peralta Elementary School, 460 63rd Street. To learn more, call 238-7001.

Sunday, October 11th – Sundays in the Redwoods – Ledisi

This free concert features Ledisi. 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.

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.

August 10-16 Oakland Political & Community Events

10 Aug

Monday, August 10th – East Bay Young Dems Confab & Endorsement Meeting

Join East Bay Young Dems to review the U.S. Congressional District 10 candidates’ questionnaire responses, engage in lively debate (we always do!), and vote to back one lucky political player with our club endorsement. A 60% threshold among voting, current dues-paying members is needed to earn EBYD’s endorsement. The following Democratic candidates are eligible for EBYD’s endorsement: Ms. Tiffany Attwood, Assemblymember Joan Buchanan, State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Lt. Governor John Garamendi, Mr. Adriel Hampton, and Captain Anthony Woods. We’re coming full circle after our successful Summertime in the East Bay Mixer, where EBYDs got to mix and mingle with the candidates over a beer at The Grand Tavern. The meeting will be held from 6:30-8:30pm at Shashamane at 2507 Broadway. It’s accessible by 19th Street BART station or by AC Transit lines 1/1R, 51, 59. You can find more info about our endorsement process and candidate questionnaires at the EBYD website.

Tuesday, August 11th – EBMUD Water Supply Management Plan 2040 Update

East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) is planning for the future with an update to the Water Supply Management Plan for 2040.  The Board of Directors developed a “preferred portfolio” for meeting our water needs over the next 30 years.  The portfolio includes increased water conservation programs, recycled water projects, rationing during worst-case droughts, securing water transfers and groundwater storage, desalination, and expanding Pardee reservoir with a new dam. The Board of Directors Workshop on this plan will be held from 8:30am – 11am at 375 11th St., Oakland. For additional info, visit EBMUD’s website.

Thursday, August 13th – Mix It Up East Bay

Join us for a monthly happy hour bringing together young activists, organizers and leaders in the East Bay. The East Bay has many assets, and access to high quality, fresh, organic food is definitely high on the list! Come out and hear (brief) presentations on the range of work on food justice, food security, and local urban agriculture by:

  • Gail Myers, Farms to Grow
  • Jason Harvey, Oakland Food Connection
  • Susan Coss, Eat Real Festival

Mix It Up East Bay is held every 2nd Thursday of the month from 6-9pm at Shashamane at 2507 Broadway. It’s accessible by 19th Street BART station or by AC Transit lines 1/1R, 51, 59.

Friday, August 14th – Estuary Art Attack

First Fridays are not the only day of the month to check out art galleries. Jingle Town and Alameda artists have joined together to start the Estuary Art Attack, a monthly event held on second Fridays to showcase the area’s galleries, restaurants, and bars. The Art Attack will be held from 6-9 pm throughout Jingle Town and Alameda. Check out their website for more details.

Friday, August 14th – 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 Salsa.

Saturday-Sunday, August 15th-16th – Art & Soul Festival

Art & Soul, which has historicall been held on Labor Day weekend, has been moved to this weekend. Though I’m not too excited about the lineup, I love the thought of so much of downtown Oakland being closed to car traffic. Via the event’s Facebook page: “A new date, but the same great entertainment value condensed into two music-packed days with Jazz, Rock, Gospel, Latin, R&B, Smooth Jazz and Blues. Youngsters will love the kid-friendly carnival rides, interactive art projects, face painting and roaming costumed characters. Stroll through the Artisan Marketplace, sample exotic foods and tasty treats from a multicultural menu, watch exciting dance performances, and view and create art.” The festival will be held from noon-6pm on Saturday and Sunday. It costs $10 for adults, $5 for youth and seniors, and is free for children 12 and under. Entrances are at 14th Street & Broadway, 16th Street & San Pablo Avenue, and Promenade beside City Center West Garage. There will be free attended bike parking and it’s easy to get to by AC Transit or BART.

Saturday, August 15th – Walking The Key System’s C Line

The Oakland Heritage Alliance (OHA) holds regular walking tours, and this one sounded particularly interesting. Follow early day Key System commuters on their way to the Key ferries. Walk past the train yard, through the Key System 40th Street Cut, and over to the old Key System station and mural at Piedmont Avenue. Learn about the Key System’s plan to build a line though Piedmont and Oakland to San Jose. Tour ends on Piedmont Avenue, walk or bus back to BART. *Optional extension after lunch. A level walk.  The walk runs from 10 am–1:30 pm at the meeting point is at MacArthur BART Station underpass on 40th Street. Tour does not loop. OHA tours cost $10 for members or $15 for non-members. Meet 15 minutes before listed time for registration. Comfortable walking shoes and sunscreen are recommended. Bring water. In case of rain, the tour will be canceled. For more info and OHA’s full schedule of tours, visit their website.