Splash Pad News – February 2022

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Meet Your Cultural Curator: Charlie Haas
by C. J. Hirschfield – Grand Lake neighbor Charlie Haas, a former magazine reporter, has written the screenplay for films including Over the EdgeTexGremlins 2, and Matinee. He really is a local celeb, but he doesn’t much like talking about himself. Instead, he relishes playing the role of The Enthusiast, which is, appropriately, the title of his well-received 2009 novel. Talking with Charlie is like listening to the smartest and most curious person you know, whose recommendations for film, books, and music reflect not only vast knowledge but an attitude of pure delight in the sharing. What follows are some of Charlie’s favorites…  CONTINUE READING
Grand Avenue Merchant News – February 2022
by Ken Katz – If you’re already missing the Grand Avenue Knimble, you can ease withdrawal symptoms by popping into the Urban Furniture shop across the street to visit the mannequins that director Tracey Weaver adopted. More importantly, if you’re worried about empty storefronts on Grand, you can take comfort in knowing that several vacancies are about to be filled. We already reported last month that an exercise studio is going into 3241 Grand. We’ve since learned that it’s called Studio FitLife and is owned by Eddy Aguirre. We had the pleasure of meeting him last week and were told that the studio is likely to open sometime in February and should be a good “Fit” for Grand Avenue.   CONTINUE READING.

Lakeshore BID – February 2022
by Kira Pascoe – Foot traffic is picking up, and 2022 is in full swing on Lakeshore! We have a multitude of news this month: honoring the Oakland LBGTQ Center founders, celebrating our Oakland Jeopardy champ, new pizza pop-up, Eats on Lakeshore, February fitness and stretching, Valentine’s Day specials, and sadly Adventure Toys has closed. Read all about it!Lakeshore provides so many choices for Valentine’s Day – for partners, friends, kids or to treat yourself! Bardo Lounge and Supper Club has 4-course Valentine’s Prix Fixe dinner is happening next Saturday February 12th, reservations are limited so you should book ASAP! Beautiful crafts, jewelry and cards at Urban IndigoBay Made and Maribel.     CONTINUE READING.

Splash Pad Park Updates – February 2022
by Ken Katz – C. J. Hirschfield’s December 2020 homage to the early years of the Festival at the Lake is a gift that keeps on giving. For starters, thanks in part to our sharing a link on the Oakland History Facebook page, it’s the best-read and most heavily commented upon article we’ve ever published. More importantly, in the process of searching online for photos, we managed to connect with Don Asher, whose company, Golden Gate Print and Media Services, printed festival posters from 1991 through 1997. This past week, Don emailed us to report that his company was downsizing and he has 174 original posters to donate to us. The timing is exquisite as we’re in the very early stages of planning…   CONTINUE READING

Farmers Market Updates – February 2022
by Dan Foster
Market Manager Picks:
* Sonder’s Pork Sandwich is next level delicious
* Feather River Broccoli is the best broccoli I’ve ever had
* Chaga has some great new chocolates
New & Returning Vendors:
*Tomato Man is back with their amazing greenhouse grown tomatoes
*Happy Quail Farm has joined the market with their specialty peppers…  CONTINUE READING.

Splash Pad Calendar
by Sheila McCormick

February 3, Thursday, 12:30-1:30pm *LIVE EVENT via ZOOM*
Oakland Rotary Club Civic Thursday Meeting

Professor Jean Pfaelzer: The Forgotten War Against Chinese-Americans
As a new professor at Cal State Humboldt, Jean Pfaelzer wondered why so few Chinese-American students attended that campus. Her surprising research — published in Driven Out (UC Press 2007) — reveals how from 1848 to the early 20th century, vigilantes and officials collaborated to ethnically cleanse California of Chinese residents (including from Humboldt County), to deprive them of economic opportunities and to bar their immigration. Professor Pfaelzer, now at the University of Delaware, will share this sobering — and largely forgotten — history with us. The Zoom link will be provided to members via email. Guests may request the link up to  an hour before the meeting by contacting the Executive Director here.  

February 4, Friday, 7:00-8:00pm *LIVE EVENT via ZOOM*
Rotary Nature Center Friends

Lakeside Chat #15: Darwin and the Galapagos: What Darwin Would Like to Have Known
Join us as Dr. Frank Sulloway, psychologist and Darwin scholar, reveals recent scientific discoveries that in his mind would most interest and surprise Charles Darwin if he were alive today and was updating The Origin of Species (1859). The presentation will interweave the latest understandings of the impacts of introduced species in the Galapagos, recent research on sexual selection, mate choice, nesting behavior, and reproductive success in Darwin’s finches, and new evidence that seems to vindicate some of Darwin’s most controversial views on the principle of natural selection. Not everyone knows that Charles Darwin shares his birthday, February 12th, with Abraham Lincoln. And even fewer people know about the Galapagos bears, the subject of Dr. Sulloway’s recent book Darwin and His Bears: How Darwin Bear and His Galápagos Islands Friends Inspired a Scientific Revolution. This website is a good entry into Dr. Sulloway’s writings about Darwin, Evolutionary Biology and the Galapagos. Register here. 

February 10, Thursday, 12:30-1:30pm  *LIVE EVENT via ZOOM*
Oakland Rotary Club Civic Thursday Meeting

The Color of Ballet: American Ballerina Angela Watson
Few Black children have the access or opportunity to pursue a career in ballet. Angela Watson is an exception, and she is committed to setting a standard and blazing the trail for other aspiring Black ballerinas in the art of dance. As a member of San Francisco Ballet Student Trainee Program (their elite group of 12 international ballet students), she was encouraged and mentored and wants to do the same for others. Come hear Angela’s experience firsthand and some history about The Color of Ballet, joined by a panel of experts that include Reginald Ray-Savage (Artistic Director of Savage Jazz Dance Company and chair of the dance department at Oakland School for the Arts) and Karlya Shelton-Benjamin (former principal ballerina of Dance Theatre of Harlem) who will be interviewed by ballerina mom Carolyn Watson. The Zoom link will be provided to members via email. Guests may request the link up to an hour before the meeting by contacting the Executive Director at https://www.oakland-rotary.org/email-contact/node/2627/field_event_email

February 10, Thursday, 3:30-4:30pm   *LIVE EVENT*
Oakland Public Library

Braceros and the U.S. Bracero Program
The presentation is based on Professor’s Kitty Calavita’s book, Inside the State: The Bracero Program, Immigration, and the INS (Routledge 1992; Quid Pro Books 2010). The presentation will include a brief description of the Bracero Program, which brought Mexican farmworkers on short-term contracts to U.S. growers through a series of bilateral agreements between Mexico and the United States. With roots in 1942 wartime labor shortages to its demise in 1964, the program was riddled with growers’ violations of the labor contracts regarding minimum wages and housing. Unsurprisingly, some Braceros left their contracted employers to find jobs elsewhere. The Immigration and Naturalization Service was assigned the task of ensuring that growers had a plentiful supply of Braceros so as to discourage their use of undocumented workers, while also navigating the periodic scandals of growers’ abuse of their Bracero workforce. Zoom link will be listed here on February 7.

February 12, Saturday, 1:00-2:00pm, *LIVE EVENT*
Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Book Talk: Children’s Hats with Terri Wong
Enjoy a colorful, festive virtual talk with multi-talented Chinese American artist Terri Wong. Seven years ago, she started restoring, collecting, and actually wearing antique Chinese clothing. From an estate sale, she purchased 10 Chinese children’s hats and was so enamored with them that she started collecting them. She currently owns 161 of them and recently self-published a book on Chinese Children’s Hats. Terri will be talking about all of her hats and their symbolism. These hats were originally made only as head protection, but they gradually became whimsical and colorful and part of folk art as Chinese mothers started making their children’s hats in the shape of animals, birds and boats. There was a tradition for children to wear these fanciful hats during festivals such as the Lunar New Year and Autumn Moon Festival. This event will be livestreamed on OACC’s YouTube channel. Register here

February 12, Saturday, 2:00-3:00pm *LIVE EVENT*
African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

Reflections of the Past, Celebrating the Present, Anticipating the Future
The African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO) will celebrate its 20th anniversary at the 659 Fourteenth Street location. The occasion will feature reflections on past exhibitions and programs at AAMLO, as well as voices of community stakeholders who have supported the growth and development of the institution. Register here. 

Februrary 13, Sunday, 3:00-4:30pm, *LIVE STREAM*
Eastwind Books/Oakland Asian Cultural Center

We Hereby Refuse: The Bay Area Allies of the Resisters
For this year’s Day of Remembrance, Frank Abe, writer of WE HEREBY REFUSE: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration, will be joined in conversation with Kathleen Purcell, daughter of Mitsuye Endo’s attorney, James Purcell; Wayne Collins, Jr., the son of Hiroshi Kashiwagi’s attorney Wayne Collins; and Sadako Kashiwagi, Hiroshi Kashiwagi’s wife. Our moderator, Darren Murrata of the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, will also engage Frank Abe in conversation about the craft of creating words and drawings around the stories of folks involved in the fight for civil liberties in the midst of wartime fervor. Register here   and View here .

February 15, Tuesday, 2:00-3:30pm  *LIVE EVENT via ZOOM*
UC Berkeley Learning in Retirement

Managing Invasive Species to Reduce fires in Forests, Shrublands, and Grasslands
Species that “don’t belong” are having major impacts on our world. Here we will examine how human activity led to some of these invaders, how they are modifying our environment, and what we can do about the problem.
Speaker: George Roderick, Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management, Faculty Director, UC Gump South Pacific Research Station, UC Berkeley.

Topic Description: California wildlands are experiencing more wildfires and fires of greater intensity, as a result of a perfect storm of interacting factors including past forest management practices, changes in climate and land use, and invasive species. Professor Roderick will discuss how invasive species are in part responsible, and will describe recent efforts to manage invasive species to reduce fire risk in forests, scrublands, and grasslands. The talk is based on a presentation he made recently to the Invasive Species Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. Long-term solutions will require an interdisciplinary effort that includes new forest management practices and a better understanding of the biology of invasive species, coupled with sustainable urban planning. Register here. 

February 16, Wednesday, 6:00-7:00pm *LIVE EVENT via ZOOM*
Contra Costa County Library

Waterfowl Identification with Bob Lewis
Winter is peak viewing time for waterfowl in California. Swans and geese migrate from their northern breeding areas and create spectacular concentrations in the Central Valley. Diving ducks flock in large numbers to San Francisco Bay, and dabbling ducks can be found almost everywhere there is a bit of water. Now is the time to polish up your identification skills. We’ll take a look at our common waterfowl and note what characteristics help to identify them, with special attention to female and eclipse plumages. A few rarities and some confusing but beautiful hybrids will add to the mix. Bob has taught birding classes in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 25 years and is the past chair of Golden Gate Audubon’s Adult Education Committee. His life bird list is over 5,000 species, and he loves to travel. He’s an award-winning photographer, focusing on birds. Register here

February 16, Wednesday, 7:00-8:30pm  *LIVE EVENT via ZOOM*
Grand Lake Neighbors 

February Meeting – Presentation by CalTrans and other topics 
CalTrans will present a talk about the planned demolition of the pedestrian 580 overpass at Grand/580/Santa Clara (there will be time for questions and comments). We’ll also have our regular updates from OPD and the City Council Office, and a presentation by Joyce from Bake Sum. Join Zoom here (you will be placed in a waiting room). Meeting ID, if needed: 858 4751 1346; Passcode, if needed: 578204

February 17, Thursday, 12:30-1:30pm
Oakland Rotary Civic Thursday Meeting

Professor Mitchell Schwarzer, author of Hella Town: Oakland’s History of Development and Destruction
The Zoom link will be provided to members via email. Guests may request the link up to an hour before the meeting by contacting the Executive Director here

February 17, Thursday, 6:00-7:30pm  *LIVE EVENT*
California College of the Arts

Ben Davis
Lecture by Ben Davis, CEO of Illuminate, a non-profit that rallies large groups of people to create impossible works of public art – like the Bay Lights that now adorn the Western span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge – that, through awe, free humanity’s better nature. Register here.

February 22, Tuesday, 2:00-3:30pm  *LIVE EVENT via ZOOM*
UC Berkeley Learning in Retirement

The Intersection of Climate Change, Anthropogenic Pressure, and Emergent Disease
California forests are experiencing a net reduction in area: urbanization, change in land use or logging and fire are relatively well-known contributors to this reduction. Professor Matteo Garbeletto (Environmental Science, Policy and Management) will focus on the effects emergent tree pathogens are having on forests, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Four examples will be presented: 1) invasive exotic pathogens recently introduced in California from other regions of the world; 2) invasive pathogens, exotic and not, long present in California that have recently moved into forests from agricultural or horticultural settings; 3) native pathogens whose impact has increased exponentially because of modern forest management practice; and 4) latent pathogens, i.e., endophytic and beneficial associates of forest trees that are triggered into becoming aggressive deadly pathogens by climate change. Together, these four types of pathogens are capable of reshaping the distribution, composition, and structure of California forests within a single human generation. Some shifts may be impossible to control, while others may possibly be slowed down or halted. Significant data are increasingly needed to assist us in deciding where our conservation efforts may be best spent, and where the inevitable may have to be accepted. Register here

February 22, Tuesday, 4:00-5:00pm *LIVE EVENT*
Oakland Public Library

Afro-Turks: History and Culture with Dr. Nikki Brown 
The Afro-Turks represent a cross-cultural encounter and an emergent history, linking the Near East, Eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Ottoman Empire. As the descendants of enslaved peoples from eastern Africa, Afro-Turks and their ancestors date back to a period of enslavement between 1860 and 1923. Mustafa Olpak, the late leader of the Afro-Turk community in Izmir Turkey, wrote a memoir of his family and of his life as an Afro-Turk, offering an extraordinary perspective on citizenship, identity, and nationality. In this lecture, Dr. Nikki Brown (University of Kentucky) will talk about Olpak’s memoir and the key events in Olpak’s life that formed his identity. Brown will also discuss the project of translating Olpak’s memoir for an American audience. Register here

February 24, Thursday, 12:30-1:30pm *LIVE EVENT via ZOOM*
Oakland Rotary Civic Thursday Meeting

Rotary High School Speech Contest
The Zoom link will be provided to members via email. Guests may request the link up to  an hour before the meeting by contacting the Executive Director here

Sheila McCormick is an Adjunct Professor Emerita in Cal’s Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. Prior to her retirement in January 2016, she had a research lab at the USDA/ARS-UC-Berkeley Plant Gene Expression Center in Albany, studying the molecular biology of plant reproduction. She also helps with editing and is a frequent contributor to the Splash Pad News, beginning with a series of seven neighborhood walks – the first of which was posted in April 2017.






6 responses to “Splash Pad News – February 2022”

  1. Karen Hunt Avatar
    Karen Hunt

    As always, so informative and a joy to read. During these endless months of isolation, your monthly missive brings back a sense community. How lucky we are to live in this neighborhood.

  2. Ken Katz Avatar

    Which event or events are lacking login information?

    1. All of them.

      1. Ken Katz Avatar


        I apologize for initially misunderstanding your question. Typically, we don’t include the Zoom login information. When you register for an event, the organizers will provide it. Meanwhile, Sheila and I have talked about improving the formatting the calendar which we’ve just updated. That includes one-click links to all the events.

  3. Are there links to access these zoom events?

  4. Chuck Johnston Avatar
    Chuck Johnston

    Thanks so much for Splash Pad News. The depth of your coverage and the broad range of issues you raise make it a great resource for our community.