Splash Pad News – December 2023

Good News from the Splash Pad News
by Ken Katz – For the past couple of weeks I’d been mulling over what to say about the imminent demise of this newsletter  when, five days ago, a comment appeared in our mailbox that read: “I think we might have a team to keep this wonderful blog going. I can write, edit, and post (online and on the web).” Beginning with the February 2024 edition, Debra Chaplan, whose work experience includes editing and publishing half a dozen other newsletters, will be in charge of the Splash Pad News and I’ll continue, at least temporarily, reporting on Grand Avenue businesses and other subjects that I hold dear. Asked to provide an introduction, Debra wrote this: 

I’ve lived in the Grand Lake area since 1995 and thoroughly love this neighborhood for its wonderful storefronts, restaurants, movie theater, book store, and of course, the lake. I spent much of my career working for unions—producing newspapers, newsletters, and videos, along with developing educational programs and planning events.  I love to travel, have two wonderful but distant cats, learned to line dance on the streets of Walker Avenue during the pandemic, and am now studying the clarinet. I look forward to building a team to keep this magnificent community resource going and vibrant. 

Grand Avenue Merchant News
by Ken Katz – The Sanctuary at 3344 Grand celebrated their Grand Opening on November 13. Owners Stephanie and Etecia Burrell describe their shop as an “apothecary, apparel and home decor boutique,” but a visit to their website (which I highly recommend) tells a much larger story that includes classes and workshops, a community gathering space, and a line of products that are “ethically sourced and sustainably made to support wellness for not just the consumer but the community and earth at large.” The artist currently featured is Kristen Stain  who is also doing two workshops…   CONTINUE READING 

Remembrances of Oakland’s Past: Chapter Two 
by Virginia Brown Keyder – Last month, the first chapter of my remembrances was limited to the immediate neighborhood surrounding Charlie’s Smoke Shop and the Grand Lake Theatre. Of course, there were times when we neighborhood kids ventured elsewhere. For example, there were the tedious Sunday drives to exotic places like San Leandro or San Lorenzo (always somewhere in the East Bay – we knew San Jose was a miserable place and Marin was just too far afield geographically and economically) to see the neighborhoods where people lived without a hill or even a stair in sight. These new subdivisions were envied by many urban Oaklanders…   CONTINUE READING

Odds and Ends 
by Ken Katz – 1. Walter Hood to memorialize black family driven from Piedmont home in 1925
2. Splash Pad volunteer work day December 24. Linzer cookies for dessert.
Oakland preparing to plants thousands of trees but lack staff to maintain what we have now.
4. Grand Lake LGBTQ Cultural Zone unanimously approved.
5. Why We Need Small Farms: Free AIM webinar December 12   CONTINUE READING 

Grand Lake Neighbors November 2023 Meeting Minutes
 by Eric Hughes – 1. Comprehensive OPD Crime Report including traffic enforcement and auto burglaries
Joe Hawkins and Jeff Myers LGBTQ Community Center report including creation of Grand Lake LGBTQ Cultural District
3. Lakeshore Avenue Business Report
4. Neighborhood Cleanups.  CONTINUE READING 

Lakeshore BID Update
In an April 2023 article titled, “Starbucks Closure Adds to a Long List of Vacancies,” we reported that thirteen storefronts on Lakeshore were unoccupied — one of which had actually already reopened as the vegan offspring of Rico Rico Taco. It’s safe to say that the situation has improved remarkably since the spring. This past week, Dumpling Hours opened in the space that Rolling Dunes vacated at the start of the pandemic. According to the owner/manager, they have another location in Walnut Creek and a Google search turned up still others in San Francisco. The interior is bright and nicely…  CONTINUE READING 

December 2023 Calendar
by Sheila McCormick – Sheila’s Top Picks:
Friday, 12/1, 7-8pm – Rotary Nature Center Friends – Birding our Nation’s 1st Wildlife Refuge with Naturalist Clay Anderson
Wednesday, 12/6, 7pm – UCLA – Happy Holidays with The Tuba and Euphonium Studio!
Tuesday, 12/12, 6pm – LA Times – California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick in Conversation
For the full month’s calendar, please click on this link.



3 responses to “Splash Pad News – December 2023”

  1. Wonderful newsletter and website. Found you all from today’s Oaklandside story. I would love to help in any way I can and will be at your January volunteer event!

  2. Terrific news and huzzah to Debra for volunteering to take the torch from you, Ken. She’s got big shoes to fill, but I love that you’ll be working in tandem for a bit to help ensure a smooth transition. Your work is so much appreciated!

  3. Fantastic news about the new editor, Ken. There is no way to thank you enough for your years and years of service keeping the neighborhood informed, your community activism is a beacon to others.