Splash Pad News – January 2021

Editor’s Note: As we turn the calendar page marking the end of the worst year ever, it’s a bit ironic that the December 2020 issue of the Splash Pad News was likely the best ever thanks to C. J. Hirschfield’s article about Oakland’s Lakefest which generated an incredible amount of traffic and also due to the very personal immigration accounts shared by Marcia Lam from Lin Jia and the Patel family from Buckingham and Adventure Toys. In the coming months, we look forward to sharing more such stories that help reaffirm the extent to which Oakland’s immigrant communities enrich our lives. 

Lake Merritt: An Accidental Zoo With a Major Mystery – by C. J. Hirschfield – On December 4, International Wildlife Conservation Day, more than 70 people attended the premiere of a new Lakeside Chats series, offered for free by Rotary Nature Center Friends. The title of the talk was “An Unsolved Mystery: The Enigmatic Beach-Hopper of Lake Merritt,” and the speaker was Dr. Jim Carlton, an internationally renowned expert in invasive marine species whose career began on the shores of Lake Merritt in 1962…

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The Grand Lake District Past and Present – by Ken Katz – I’ve personally witnessed quite a few changes in the make-up of the Grand Lake shopping district since we moved into the neighborhood in the early 1970’s.  Shortly thereafter, a gas station at the intersection of Lakeshore, Lake Park and Rand was torn down and replaced with the complex that includes T-Mobile and the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center. Parenthetically, nextdoor was (and still is) a small apartment building with a later addition…

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That’s a Wrap – 2020 Ends With Community Spirit – by Kira Pascoe – Lakeshore businesses met the challenges of the end of 2020 with the same creativity, determination and community spirit that they have demonstrated throughout the turbulent year. Though December began with most of California in the purple tier, with imaginative holiday ideas and loyal customers, Lakeshore businesses did their very best to serve the community and pull through. Though foot traffic was slower than usual, the vibe was…

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Grand Avenue Merchant News – Despite all the challenges facing local businesses, we’re happy to share a bit of positive news from Grand Avenue beginning with a NextDoor post by Heidi Upton in which she wrote: “Just a shout out to our wonderful friends down at Ace Hardware on Grand Avenue. Their employees and customer service are top notch. I went down there twice today to pick up parts and get advice on how to fix my toilet. The short of it is that I single handedly rebuilt the innards of my toilet tank thanks to the… 

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Farmers Market AIMing For a Five-Year Lease – by Jerry Barclay – After two plus years of on/off negotiations for the operation of the Grand Lake Farmers Market at Splash Pad Park a long-sought agreement between the Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) and the City of Oakland is expected to be completed in early 2021. One last issue has delayed a deal, but that appears to be resolved. More on that later, but first some background. As specified in its mission statement, AIM is a non-profit organization whose… 

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AIM’s Path to Racial Equity by Andy Naja-Riese, AIM CEO – In partnership with AIM’s Board of Directors, we have developed and published our Path to Racial Equity where we can contribute to creating an equitable food and farming system. Racial equity is the fair treatment of people of all races. We will achieve racial equity in the food and farming system when systemic racism does not exist in the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of good food. Racial equity requires that we prioritize the…

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Farmers Market Update by Dan Foster – The Native American Health Center will resume providing Covid testing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) distribution on January 9 and continue to do so through March 27. This is a free service – open to everyone. No appointment or insurance is needed. We have some new folks starting in the near future: Moi Eat – Oakland based Vietnamese food: Pho, Banh Mi, and Spring Rolls and Early Bird Farm & Mill – An incredible mill that grows some of their own grains…

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Odds and Ends – 

  • Walter Hood in an online discussion about his current projects including the Curtain of Courage (above) honoring the 14 victims of the terrorist attack in San Bernardino in 2015.
  • The upcoming Oakland Youth Poet Laureate contest plus a profile of last year’s winner and her predecessors. 
  • Edna Brewer’s Jazz Band were special guests at the premiere of Soul, Pixar’s newest film. 
  • Join Emeryville photographer Xan Blood Walker in a virtual presentation of her new book, Abandoned East Bay San Francisco: Where Graffiti Is King.
  • Grand Lake and Haddon Heights community council meetings.
  • Local Food Adventures is offering a special Inauguration Breakfast Box and Virtual Watch Party

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2 responses to “Splash Pad News – January 2021”

  1. Suzi goldmacher Avatar
    Suzi goldmacher

    Hello

    Can we get the link to the ncpc meeting on 1/20/21?

  2. We’re pleased to report that AIM reached its $50,000 fundraising goal late Friday afternoon and Andy Naja-Riese appeared at the Saturday market dressed as a grape – keeping his promise to do so. Proof in the form of a photo will be included in next month’s News but if you can’t wait, it’s already been published on the Splash Pad News Facebook page.