Neighborhood News

Christmas Social Pictures

posted Dec 11, 2012, 12:10 AM by Ed Carpenter   [ updated Mar 14, 2021, 1:51 PM by Leighton Linton ]

Pictures from the Picardy Drive Christmas tree lighting social are posted. Check them out.

Art and Soul Festival--August 4 and 5

posted Aug 4, 2012, 10:57 AM by Ed Carpenter

Art and Soul Festival--August 4 and 5. Extended hours. Advance tickets online
are $10 and only $5 for Seniors and for teens. 12 and under is free.

Home Security Workshop

posted Aug 3, 2012, 9:49 AM by Ed Carpenter

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
6:30 - 9:00pm
Eastmont Substation
2651 73rd Avenue, Oakland

You are invited to attend this workshop to hear a panel of experts
discuss measures you can take to make your home more secure
from burglary. Topics include:

What are the most secure doors?
Which are the best locks to have?
What type of burglar alarms are available and how well do they
Are security cameras a deterrent?

Representatives scheduled to present are ADT,
Bay Alarm and Reed Brothers Security.

Oakland’s Neighborhood Services Division, and
the Oakland Police Department will be in attendance.

Questions from the audience are encouraged – don’t miss this
opportunity to learn how you can make your home safer!

Please RSVP by calling either Neighborhood Services Coordinator, Araina Richards
at (510) 238-7619 or Karen Harris at (510) 777-8713



Oakland chief of staff: Quan's crime data wrong

posted Jun 30, 2012, 10:04 PM by Ed Carpenter   [ updated Jul 1, 2012, 7:34 AM ]

By Matthai Kuruvila
For eight months, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has talked up her leadership on what she has called the city's top priority: reducing violent crime by concentrating on roughly 100 blocks where 90 percent of shootings and homicides have occurred. >>>Read more...

Mayor Quan responds to Urban Strategies 100 Blocks criticisms

posted Jun 30, 2012, 10:01 PM by Ed Carpenter   [ updated Jul 1, 2012, 7:35 AM ]

—From the Oakland Local Editorial Team —

This just in from the Mayor's Office:

Recent media reports have covered a report from Urban Strategies Council regarding the 100 Blocks Initiative and the data of the Police Department. The Mayor’s office would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that the 100 Blocks Initiative was created 5 months ago, to focus on the neighborhoods and areas of Oakland that are most impacted by gun violence. >>>Read more...

Oakland 100-Block Plan Full of Holes

posted Jun 30, 2012, 9:55 PM by Ed Carpenter   [ updated Jul 1, 2012, 7:36 AM ]

By Chip Johnson—
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan launched her crime initiative last fall and has been criticized for failing to discuss the details in public.

It's true. There is no map that identifies the boundaries of the mayor's 100 blocks plan, a combined effort of law enforcement, city services and community-building programs targeting parts of East and West Oakland. >>>Read more...

Oakland's 100 Most Violent Blocks analysis by InfoAlameda County

posted Jun 30, 2012, 9:46 PM by Ed Carpenter   [ updated Jul 1, 2012, 7:37 AM ]

As a trusted community intermediary and data resource we have received dozens of inquiries regarding which 100 blocks are the focus of the plan and the crime statistics used to support the selection of these 100 blocks. Since the city chose not to release the details of the blocks or their methods and data, we decided to conduct our own analysis to see if we could develop a similar 100 blocks model with available data. >>>Read more...

Picardy Resident Pitch in at Nearby Melrose Leadership Academy

posted May 18, 2012, 9:19 AM by Ed Carpenter   [ updated May 18, 2012, 9:19 AM ]

By Patrick McMahon

In another lifetime I taught public grade school, my community composed of teachers and students. Now I’m a professional gardener and most of my work life I’m knocking around with adults and mainly non-educators. Although I don’t regret the way life moved on, over the years I have felt more and more removed from what I once was so intimately and exclusively a part. I miss being what I regarded as the  the front lines of society, where my daily efforts contributed to the social good, when I never had to stop and question my employment as a Buddhist engaged in the world: the world was my classroom Now, putting in landscapes which few can afford and which  for the most part are secreted away from the community for private use, I’m not always so sure what I'm contributing, and especially since,  driving from one job to another, I hear on the radio more and more dismal reports of our society’s steady withdrawal of attention to  public education. Where am I when  needed more than ever? Where are we, those majority of us not involved directly in education, never setting foot in a classroom, sequestered from our youth?

Fortunately, one of my near neighbors, Moyra Contreres, is the principal of our neighborhood public school, Melrose Leadership Acadamy, and quite naturally, without having to make any resolve out of a crisis of social conscience, I began to respond to her understated invitation for me to go back in through the door I had so long ago walked out of. The moment I crossed that threshold my spirt opened to the smell of floor wax and chalk and I seemed to breathe a little deeper: ahhh, this is what I’ve been missing, the noise of kids, the stir of growing minds and bodies, the company of others whose common goal was the wellbeing of the young. One thing led to another and some months ago I found myself putting my hand to building a sitting-height stone wall around a magnolia, in a cramped space of the schoolyard imprisoned by a chain link fence. The original wood deck had rotted out exposing the uneven grade underneath, and rather than rebuild it the school district had taken the cheaper route, fencing the tree in and the students out, and everyone the poorer for it. As a landscaper, my sympathies went foremost to the tree, standing alone, leaves withered and drooping. It seemed an emblem of how the school itself had been put behind a chain link fence, metaphorically and literally, and how that growing, innocent part of us, our Buddha Nature, was suffering from neglect, serving a cruel  sentence, in sight but out of touch with that makes all beings thrive: the company of others.

Not having much of a budget ($150) to work with turned out to be a boon, provoking us to recycle local materials. A pile of field stone turned up, piled up in a back corner of the schoolyard, and putting that together with pieces of flagstone  left over from a job, we proceeded in small increments, waiting for me to free up time from my business  for the work days during which the school accomplished all manner of tasks that the district no longer had money for. During those months the magnolia remained incarcerated, although it seemed to me that it was perking up for the stir going on at its base.

At the most recent work day I and a crew of handy parents assembled and in short order the fence was down and the area terraced with scrap timbers and wood chips that had been decomposing in an out-of-sight area on the grounds. Top dressed with fresh wood chips contributed by a local landscape supplier, suddenly the area was inviting and safe, setting off the charms of the magnolia. Putting to use the metal poles that had held the chain link prison in place, we cut them up to pin the timbers into place.

Near completion now, the project that had been proceeding so slowly, quietly filtering into the consciousness of the school, came front and center. Children, conservative in their attachment to the way things are, were at first disconcerted—“What are you doing?”—but quickly adjusted, although the full acceptance would wait until they took actual possession of the area and it became a fixture of their minds and bodies. The adults, from principal to parents to  janitor, were one and all thrilled—thrilled not just at the product but at the process, the collaboration of those on the outside (mainly me, and me a neighbor) and those on the inside; between materials on site and materials brought in. For those of us actually having done the work, we’d enjoyed the camaraderie of working together on something that would be seen and used every day, for who knows how many generations of students. I could imagine them perching on the wall watching their buddies arrive in the morning, congregating for lunch and recess. The whole area was ready for skits to be performed, music played, poetry recited, stories read and told, classes taught. In my mind's eye I could see the audience sitting under the magnolia and the entertainers outlined against the schoolyard, no chain link at their back.

Workday over, the last chip raked into place, the last photograph taken, hands shaken and tools bunched up, I gave things one last look. What struck me was twofold. First, the space! It suddenly seemed so much larger now that that it was rejoined with the whole. Second, the tree! Our magnolia now stood wide and tall in all its stunted glory. For all the chopping that had been done on it to keep it in bounds, it  stretched its limbs on all sides. In dignity it stood, its leaves glossier, somehow greener. That trite poem of Joyce Kilmer’s came to mind, the one so many of us memorized when we were in grade school, ending “Only God can make a tree.” Truer words were never spoken, I thought, even as an agnostic. In equal triteness, and in equal truth, an additional line came forth, “But only we can free it.”

Maxx Foods v. Laurel's Lucky

posted Feb 15, 2012, 7:54 PM by Ed Carpenter   [ updated Feb 16, 2012, 8:12 PM ]

Maxx Value Foods to Replace Laurel's Lucky. The store recently release these designs. (Click "Coming Soon")


posted Jan 4, 2012, 10:07 PM by Ed Carpenter   [ updated Feb 16, 2012, 7:45 PM ]

The winter 2011 edition of the Picayune is now available.

1-10 of 13