Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends – December 2021

Way back in the 70s or early 80s, the area under 580 between Lakeshore and Grand was dirt and a hangout for kids on mountain bikes. The parking lot that was subsequently constructed was heavily used and provided a major boost for shoppers on Grand and to a lesser extent on Lakeshore, which had its own parking garage. That changed dramatically when the parking rate was upped to $2.00 per hour in 2009. According to an unofficial survey conducted in 2014 by me and Jennie Gerard (then Councilmember Pat Kernighan’s Chief of Staff), the lot was consistently 85% empty, and many of the cars parked there weren’t paying the hourly rate as they had monthly permits. Lobbying for implementation of Variable Parking Rates (already in effect as a pilot program in Montclair) finally came to fruition this past month. Here’s a press release we received from the City’s Department of Transportation:

At Lake Park Lot next to Splashpad Park, parking prices are now only $1/hour on weekdays. Rates remain $2/hour on Saturdays. On any day of the week, parkers can now stay at the lot for up to 10 hours. (Formerly, rates were $2/hour with a 5-hour time limit.)

We made this change in response to business owners’ requests in Grand Lake to have more long-term parking options and after studying both on-street and off-street parking occupancy in Grand Lake, we found that Lake Park Lot was very under-utilized, particularly when compared to the parking demand for on-street spaces. We’re now looking to publicize the new rates at the lot (see attached flyer) so that parkers can take advantage of the discounted rate and enjoy Grand Lake without having to worry about parking.

By the way, the current monthly rate for parking in the Lake Park lot is only $90–still a bargain compared to the hourly rate.

Last month’s calendar included a November 18th Oakland Heritage Alliance interview with Grand Lake Theatre owner Allen Michaan that was live on Zoom. If you missed it, all is not lost since it’s now available online and well worth watching for the history of the theater and for anecdotes, including one in which Allen explains how and why he was rudely escorted out of the premises. The broadcast is available for free at this link, but please note that eight other YouTube OHA videos are also available on diverse topics such as Oakland’s historic contribution to the ranks of professional basketball players, Borax Smith, and “Oakland’s Candy Makers.”

Well over a decade ago, I had the best garage sale ever. The sales didn’t amount to much, but I did strike up a conversation with a young man who lived nearby. Turned out that Raul Audelo was the Senior Web Manager for Earthjustice, and when he heard my frustration over the lack of  a decent Splash Pad website, he built one free of charge. More importantly, he also taught me how to use it–a nearly impossible task. In 2012, he built the current website using WordPress and later updated it. This is the platform that we also use for the Splash Pad News. Although Raul and his family moved to the Sierra foothills a couple of years ago, we still keep in touch, and I was delighted to see this announcement on his Facebook page last week.

I am super excited and honored to announce that I have recently accepted the position of Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at National Recreation and Park Association and officially start today! I am looking forward to working with a talented group of professionals and furthering the vision of NRPA: building strong, healthy, and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. I love Parks and Rec and recall summers playing ball at the Carrillo Gym, swimming at the Plunge, field trips to the Channel Islands, and of course, all those amazing “Carne Asadas” at Oak Park with the fam. I know firsthand that parks are so vital to our health and the connection to our community and loved ones. I’m looking forward to contributing to this amazing organization and I couldn’t be more excited to join the team!

The tragic death of County Supervisor Wilma Chan came as a shock to everyone but was especially hard for all who had worked alongside her during her twenty-seven year political career as a County Supervisor and member of the State Assembly. Her focus was primarily on health care, senior services, early childhood education, environmental health, jobs, and economic development. A community memorial in tribute to her life and legacy is scheduled for December 8 at 2 pm. You can join this tribute via this Eventbrite link

For sixty years, a See’s Candies was in the small storefront that now houses Bay-Made. Much to the chagrin of devotees from around the East Bay, it closed in 2008. Two weeks ago, the New York Time reported on the company’s 100th Anniversary. If you were a regular at the Lakeshore shop, we’d love to hear your memories via the Comment tab below. You may also want to check out this 2008 article about See’s in the East Bay Times by Cecily Burt.

Just as we were about to wrap up this month’s News, we received the above photo from Eric Hughes. The mural, which is funded apparently by the property owner or property manager, is still a work in progress as of this afternoon.

Last month, we shared a photo of two plein air artists, Jirsa and Selina Lee ,doing their thing in Splash Pad Park. Above are photos courtesy of Selina that show the completed artwork.