Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends – February 2023

We’re very sorry to report that, early on the morning of January 15, Ikaros, Neecha Thai, Modigliani, and Qi Dumpling were all burglarized. According to George Adranly, owner of Ikaros, the perpetrator was in and out of his restaurant in less than a minute and walked away with a roll of dimes. Replacement of the front door, which is on order, is going to set them back $3,000. Three weeks earlier, the Grand Ace Nursery was also hit. Over on Lakeshore, Eye Care Optometry was recently burglarized; Lin Jia twice just this past month; and, after four break-ins, Oakanna has reluctantly hired armed, overnight security and installed heavy-duty, roll-down security doors.

This is very unfortunate but, for the time being, it seems to be a fact of life that local businesses are having to face if they were lucky enough to survive a worldwide pandemic. You can help by lobbying the City Council for an increased police presence during evening hours and by continuing to financially support locally-owned independent businesses—especially those that have been negatively impacted by these break-ins. On a happier note, the Oakland City Council has approved hiring 15 beat-walking officers to patrol negatively impacted commercial districts, which should include the Grand Lake district.

Last month, I wrote about the prospects of OpenAI filling the Splash Pad News publishing void when I retire at the end of this year. The consensus was that ChatGPT isn’t yet up to the task. On the other hand, maybe it can tackle the far more complex and significant challenges involved in resolving the plight of unhoused individuals—particularly those who are recalcitrant and/or mentally ill. Here’s my initial and follow-up prompts and ChatGPT’s replies:

One thing AI can’t help with: Splash Pad’s Grand Crew volunteer team is looking for reinforcements to help deal with all the weeds that have flourished thanks to three weeks of rain. The good news is that all the California Native plants have flourished as well. The White Cloud Manzanita is already in full bloom, and more flowers are about to open. The next work day is Sunday, February 26 from 9:00am-noon. Gloves and tools provided.

Residents on the west side of Grand above MacArthur are now in District 1, which is represented by Councilmember Dan Kalb. If you’d like to be on his email list or have concerns you want to share, email  DKalb@oaklandca.gov and stay tuned for an announcement regarding a meet & greet with Dan.