Splash Pad News – August 2021

Living the Life of Gary 
by C. J. Hirschfield – Gary had lived in his home by Lake Merritt for over 15 years. Between the pandemic and a fire that destroyed part of his living quarters, Gary was forced to find a temporary home, and it wasn’t so easy. Gary is somewhat elderly, requires a specific diet, and has many special needs. But his new place? Gary has really been digging it—literally. Gary is Oakland’s Junior Center for Arts and Science’s star attraction—a California desert tortoise who has been charming both young and old at the Center for over 15 years, inspiring kids to appreciate the diverse world of nature that surrounds them.  Continue Reading

Lakeshore BID – August 2021
by Kira Pascoe – Like most of 2021, August is a busy month full of changes on Lakeshore. There are new happenings, such as new comedy shows, yoga classes, and classes for kids. There is always fabulous shopping and new dishes to explore. However, with the ever-changing public health environment, businesses are going to great lengths to have excellent customer service and also keep their staff and customers healthy. Currently, Alameda County recommends everyone wear masks indoors in public places and many businesses have face mask requirements and are asking customers to respectfully comply. In community news, there is… Continue Reading

Grand Avenue Merchant News – August 2021
by Ken Katz – We’re predicting that Bake Sum, the bakery slated to move into the Wild Rabbit space at 3249 Grand in the next couple of weeks is going to be a huge success based on the awards (“Named the Bay’s Best Pop-Up Bakery for Its Vibrant Pastries” by the BoldItalic) and all the rave reviews in the local press that it has garnered since its founding just over a year ago. Here’s how the Bake Sum website describes what they bake and why: Joyce (Tang) started Bake Sum in 2020 just in time for the pandemic making pastries and sweets that represent their upbringings. We love all things leavened…  Continue Reading

Farmers Market Updates – August 2021
by Dan Foster – Market Participant Updates: * Koda Farms is leaving the market. If you are looking for their rice, you can find it at Rainbow Market and Berkeley Bowl or at our Sunday Marin Civic Center Farmers Market. * Moi Eats Vietnamese street food is leaving the market. Their owner loves being a part of the market, but their current schedule is not sustainable with their full-time job. We wish them the best and hope they reapply in the future. * Pang Yang and Xanda Thao Farms have joined the market. They have a variety of row crops, including Asian Heritage vegetables from Fresno. You can find them under the overpass…  Continue Reading

Farmers Market Has a New Lease on Life
by Jerry Barclay – If you wandered through the Farmers Market on the Saturday before last, you may have wondered why a small group of people adjacent to the Information Booth had their arms held high with red plastic cups in hand. They were there to celebrate an announcement AIM CEO Andy Naja-Riese had made in an email on July 9: “I’m excited to share that this morning, we received our fully executed license agreement for the Farmers Market signed by the City Attorney and Real Property Asset Manager. The agreement has a baseline year plus five one-year extensions for a total of six years.  Continue Reading

AIM Launches its Racial Equity Fund
For National Farmers Market Week this year (Aug 1–8), AIM is excited to announce that we’re launching our new Racial Equity Fund! Next week, we’ll be raising $20,000 for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-led farms and small businesses joining our farmers markets. Farmers of color like Adrian Mondragan, in the photo to the left, are vital to the success of our farmers markets. Farm owner Adrian proudly launched his Watsonville-based farm “Urban Organics” in 2009. He grows a variety of organic berries, vegetables, and leafy greens on 22 acres of land and sells his produce at…   Continue Reading

The Vegan Mob Wing Had Good Bones
by Ken Katz – Last month, when we reported that a wing of the Vegan Mob/Kwik Way building had been heavily damaged to the extent that it needed to be removed, it didn’t seem like a big deal since it would have been torn down along with the rest of the building once construction started on EAH’s affordable housing project. The reality is that, under that scenario, the wing would have been demolished using a bulldozer in a very few hours but temporary repairs that made the building watertight and looking whole took several painstaking days. EAH was fortunate to have a marvelous contractor…   Continue Reading

Odds and Ends August 2021
In this May 2020 Splash Pad News article, Gehry Oatey shared his vision for a food court on the vacant southeast corner of Lakeshore and MacArthur. Fourteen months later, he has good news and bad news to report. The bad news is that the project is going to be delayed by about 6–9 months. The good news is that Chevron has now agreed to remove all the contaminated soils before he takes possession of the site. We’ve been reporting regularly on the impact that global warming and the ongoing drought will have on the vendors that bring produce, meats…  Continue Reading

Calendar in Brief
For details including links, click here.

by Sheila McCormick

August 4, 6pm
Oakland Public Library – Birds of Lake Merritt book launch event with author-illustrator Alex Harris

August 5, 12:30–1:30 pm
Oakland Rotary Club  Civic Thursday – Stephen Menendian on Roots of Structural Racism

August 5, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
First Thursdays Art Exhibition at Alchemy Restorative Medicine Featuring Original Art by 5 Artists

August 5, 5:30–6:30pm
Camron-Stanford House – Virtual History Happy Hour – Arresting Dress

August 6, 7:00 – 8:00 pm on Zoom
Rotary Nature Center Friends – Lakeside Chat #9 featuring Susan Schwartzenberg, Director of the Bay Observatory, and Shawn Lani, Director of the Studio for Public Spaces, at the SF Exploratorium.

August 12, 12:30–1:30 pm
Oakland Rotary Club Civic Thursday – Liz Ortega, Secretary Treasurer of the Alameda County Labor Council

She will address the Rotary Club on the topic of Organized Labor in Alameda County 2021.

August 12, 7:00pm
Oakland Heritage Alliance – John & Sara Lemmon: Early California Botanists

August 17, 6:30pm  
Oakland Public Library – Naturalist Talks with East Bay Regional Park: The Fascinating World of Flies!

August 18, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Grand Lake Neighbors Meeting via Zoom

October 16 – 18
Gardens at Lake Merritt Autumn Lights Festival 2021