Splash Pad News – February 2021

Editor’s Note: We’re so pleased with this month’s edition of the Splash Pad News, it is deserving of a wider audience. Please consider forwarding our blast email or links to individual posts to friends, family and neighbors who may be interested and encourage them to subscribe. Many thanks!

Murals of Time and Place
by C.J. Hirschfield – In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, the nation is grappling with both implicit biases and overt images of white supremacy in public places. At the first of the year, Virginia Judge David Bernhard refused to try a Black man in a courtroom lined with portraits of white people. “A powerful message, and a show of independence and strong character,” is how Oakland-based muralist Daniel Galvez sees it. He is currently creating a set of murals for the Washington Supreme Court building in Olympia, working with justices who gave him incredible latitude … CONTINUE READING

From China to the US – Achieving a Dream
by EG Yang – In 1980, the US government opened the door to allow Chinese students to come to the US to learn Western culture, democracy, economics and technology. I was very fortunate to come to the US as a student in 1982. I did not know English and had no money. But I firmly believed that life here would be better. I have two older brothers and a younger sister but I was the first one in my family to come here from China. I knew there would be a big responsibility for me in the future.I went to a Language school in Berkeley, shared a small room with a bunk bed. Soon … CONTINUE READING

A Nation of Immigrants
by Ken Katz – E.G. Yang’s account of his journey to the United States and what it took for him to realize the “American Dream” is the third in an ongoing series of Splash Pad News stories about Grand Lake district business and property owners who came here as immigrants. This effort is motivated, in large part, by the five-year-long attack on immigrants that began when Donald Trump launched his campaign in 2015 with a tirade focused on “drugs, criminals and rapists” coming across the border from Mexico. Shortly after taking office, he banned immigrants from Muslim countries and then notoriously … CONTINUE READING

Lakeshore BID: Welcome to February 2021
by Kira Pascoe – Welcome to February 2021! This month we are delighted to introduce Neil Mehta, the new owner of Buckingham Wine and Spirits. We are relieved to be in the purple tier which means hair salons can be open and outdoor dining is back! We are lucky to have such amazing businesses on Lakeshore and it is getting easier to (prudently) enjoy them even more just before Valentine’s Day. As Shakewell says, after the last year, our small businesses are “too small to fail.” Let’s prove them right with an outpouring of support for February, Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, and more so Lakeshore businesses can not only survive but thrive. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner … CONTINUE READING 

Grand Avenue Merchant News
by Ken Katz – We were disappointed this past week to learn that two additional businesses on Grand had closed permanently as a direct result of the Corona Virus. Oak Common had been a popular destination since its opening circa 2013. Aisle 5, on the other hand, was a relative newbie with an in-house brewery just coming into its own while Sandy Graves (Michael’s mother) was busily perfecting pretzels made from beer mash. Both businesses, their owners and their staff will be sorely missed. Happily, there’s quite a bit of good news to report on Grand as well. Gerry Mogg, the owner of Modigliani Cafe, tells us that business is as good as ever … CONTINUE READING

Farmers Market Update
by Dan Foster – Free Covid testing and PPE through March 27 and Coming soon:
Bowl’d Acai Food Truck – juice, smoothies, acai bowls, and poke bowls.
Pound Bizness – small local business who makes mouth-watering pound cakes
Vacos – local pop-up with unique vegan tacos
Moi Eat – local Vietnamese pop-up with refined spring rolls, banh mi, and pho – CONTINUE READING

Odds and Ends
Like lots of folks all across this country, we were transfixed as we listened to Amanda Gorman recite her fabulous poem at the Biden inauguration. After the fact, what came to mind was Oakland’s annual Youth Poet Laureate contest that we’ve been extolling for the past couple of years – always astonished by the substance of the poetry and the poise of the participants.  The deadline to apply for this year’s contest is TODAY, February 1. On a closely related topic, last week Pamela Erickson told us about an HBO series titled, We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest that is available on demand through February 12.  CONTINUE READING

Cleveland Heights Neighborhood Council Update
by Ashley Ragus – This month, the CHNC Emergency Readiness Committee hosted Doug Mosher of Oakland Community Preparedness and Response for a meeting on how to get our neighborhood organized and safe! Amidst the recent storms and outages, neighbors were informed of OCP&R’s many readiness guides, including basic strategies to avoid and minimize damages due to natural disasters, such as keeping a fireproof 5-foot perimeter around the home and building our own Go-Bags and Stay-Boxes. Neighbors in attendance signed up for the AC Alert System, the county-wide text and email alerts system, and signed up to receive …  CONTINUE READING 

February 1- Last day to turn in applications for the Oakland Library’s Youth Poet Laureate competition.

February 5 – The Rotary Nature Center Friends’ Lakeside Chat #3 with Carl Anthony from the Earth Island Institute and Dr. Pavel from the Earth House Center – 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

February 11 – Jazz Artist Terrence Brewer is the featured speaker/performer at the Oakland Rotary Club weekly meeting via Zoom at 12:30 pm.

February 17 – Grand Lake Neighbors Zoom meeting 7 – 8:30 pm




3 responses to “Splash Pad News – February 2021”

  1. Steve R. Avatar

    The email mentioned news about Starbucks, but I couldn’t find any info in the links.

    1. Ken Katz Avatar


      It’s one of the last items in the Odds & Ends post. Technically, since this block of Lake Park Avenue is part of the Lakeshore BID, it should be in Kira Pascoe’s monthly Lakeshore update but since I was involved in a poll of the neighbors on Walker and took the photo, I posted it on the Splash Pad page. Kira will likely include it in her summary next month once it opens.

      1. Thanks!