Splash Pad News – November 2021

Editor’s Note: C. J. Hirschfield, one of our all-time favorite contributors, has moved out of the neighborhood and won’t be writing for us on a monthly basis but she is willing do so occasionally if you, dear readers, come up with storyline too good for her to pass up on. Suggestions should be emailed to info@splashpad.org or posted as a comment on the bottom of this page. 
Grand Avenue Merchant News – November 2021

by Ken Katz – In the May 2021 Grand Avenue Business report we happily reported that “the reopening of Knimble earlier this week was the very best news on the retail front.” Six months later, we are regrettably reporting that the big news on the retail front this month is their upcoming closure in January 2022. According to Shop Manager Liz Lord, their original San Rafael location will continue in operation, but due to the pandemic, the Oakland shop is bringing in half of what they need to survive. In the past year, we’ve marveled that the majority of local businesses have managed to survive and how, miraculously, most of the spaces that became vacant have already been filled. This is such a wonderful building in a prime location, here’s hoping that it’s leased fairly quickly and that the new tenants are equally good neighbors. Speaking of vacancies that were filled almost immediately, Michael’s Chocolates (the shop now owned and operated by Michael Benner) had their Grand Opening on October 2. We were otherwise occupied that morning but were told that there was a big turnout and a warm …            Continue Reading

Lakeshore BID – November 2021
by Kira Pascoe – A quick recap on a festive Halloween: Lakeshore businesses came through with Halloween spirit and treats! Though there was no parade this year due to public health reasons, there was plenty to enjoy on Lakeshore for everyone! Halloween previews and temptations all month long from the fantastic windows of Silver Moon Kids and Urban IndigoCana created a spookily fun patio before their Halloween Sunday Funday. Cookies galore at Arizmendi with shortbread cookies of sugar skulls, pumpkins, ghosts, and Pan de Muerto. Bay-Made carries spooky Craft Chocolate, a woman-owned company based in Alameda. Plenty of fun Halloween activities and stories at Adventure Toys. Need a Halloween costume? Silver Moon Kids has all kinds of Halloween Costumes for every trick-or-treater from lizards to superheroes. Want Halloween events for adults? Cana had Halloween Sunday Funday with DJ’s and drinks (masks required). Later in the day and into the night, Heart and Dagger Saloon had their Halloween Bash! We are looking forward to (hopefully) having the Lakeshore Halloween parade resume again next year! Fall is here and the holidays are around the corner! These past few weeks have seen unprecedented…             Continue Reading

What Happened to Norman Needn’t Be Normal: Part Two 
by Ken Katz – While writing last month’s article about Norman Allen and the other mentally ill homeless individuals who continue to frequent the Grand Lake neighborhood, I couldn’t help but think back to 1968 when I moved to Oakland to work as the Resident Counselor in Oakland’s first psychiatric halfway house. It was opened as an alternative to forced hospitalization and was part of a nationwide, deinstitutionalization process launched by JFK shortly before his assassination. In addition, community-based group housing had become more of a necessity due to the 1967 passage of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act that, among other measures, made involuntary commitment of mentally disordered persons illegal–except under specific circumstances. Although these decisions were well intentioned and good in theory, things didn’t always turn out well in practice due to inadequate state and/or federal funding. That and lax management is …                Continue Reading

Farmers Market Updates – November 2021
by Dan Foster – Market Participant Updates: 
Pimpin’ Chkn (fried chicken, salad and sandwiches) started October 26
Forest and Flour (gluten free and vegan bakery) started October 30
Soul (green juice, wilted greens, and flatbread) will start November 6
County Line Harvest returns November 6
Western Sun Floral is retiring from farming after many, many years. They are a beloved staple of the market, and we are incredibly sad to see them go.
More Market Updates:  The Christmas tree lot will be sharing the park beginning November 20. Many participants…                               Continue Reading 

Odds and Ends – November 2021
One of the wonderful benefits of living in Oakland is that you never know what or whom you’re going to meet up with when you venture outside. Last week, like an apparition, a brightly colored school bus materialized in front of the vacant Footlocker. The Hoop Bus has been traveling all over the U.S. for the past several years helping to Get Out the Vote, supporting the Black Lives Movement, and improving existing basketball courts by repairing them and then turning them into works of art (as they did at the FM Recreation Center back in 2019). Inside the bus, we introduced ourselves to Nico Ansom, the guy behind the wheel who is also the founder of the organization. Leading that week’s tour of the Eastbay was Meaghan Maples, an Oakland resident and accomplished singer who it turns out was a top contender for last year’s “Tiny Desk Music Award.” She didn’t win, but she did score an interview on NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday” which you can listen to at this link.  By the way, we should be pitching a new TV weekly called, “Oakland’s Got Talent”–especially since another Oakland resident, Fantastic Negrito, won the Tiny Desk Award in 2015…                           Continue Reading 

Splash Pad Calendar
by Sheila McCormick

November 5, Friday, 7:00-800 pm – Rotary Nature Center Friends
Lakeside Chat #12: Taxidermy! A Dead Science? Or Art?

Do you remember the stuffed birds at the Rotary Nature Center? Many of those specimens were local to Lake Merritt and served as a “3-D Field Guide” for people interested in identifying birds they saw on the lake or around Lakeside Park. Collections of specimens represent a bygone era of scientific investigation, and at the same time have now become a treasure trove for scientists looking to piece together California’s heritage. James Covel, Monterey Bay Aquarium (ret), and Alicia Goode, Taxidermist and Natural History Exhibit Specialist at the Oakland Museum, will share some stories behind the taxidermy housed at the nature center and the Oakland Museum, as well as look at the future of taxidermy and museum scientific collections.

Register here (free)

November 10, Wednesday, 6:30-8:00 pm  – Oakland Library
Virtual Book Release Party with Local Mystery Authors.

Live event via Zoom. Log in here. 

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Thursday, November 11th, 12:30-1:30 pm – Oakland Rotary Civic Thursday in person in the ballroom or via Zoom and Facebook Live
Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong: “The State of the Oakland Police Department”

LeRonne Armstrong is a 22-year veteran of the Oakland Police Department. In February 2021, he became the department’s Chief of Police. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the Chief’s take on the department’s issues and opportunities including the state of the federal receivership, the rising murder rate, and the City Council’s reduction of the department’s operating budget. He’ll also discuss the challenges around hiring and training new officers, the increasing rate of officer retirements, and the tenuous relationship between police and the community.

Log-in via their Facebook page 

November 16, Tuesday, 6:30-7:30 pm – Lakeview Branch Book Club
Discussion of Cadillac Jukebox by James Lee Burke

Online Zoom meeting. Sign in here.

November 17, Wednesday, 7:00-8:30 pm – Grand Lake Neighbors
Online Zoom meeting – Meeting ID: 831 1651 9441 – Passcode: 266988

here.

November 18, Thursday, 7:00 pm – Oakland Heritage Alliance
Allen Michaan: Tales of the Grand Lake

OHA will interview Allen Michaan, owner and operator of the Grand Lake Theater for over 40 years. Michaan moved to Berkeley in 1970 and supported himself by showing classic films in rented auditoriums. He built the Rialto Theater in Berkeley out of salvaged items rescued from other theaters. In the late 70s, he acquired the ground lease for the Grand Lake and has been operating and restoring it ever since. He purchased the theater in 2018 and also founded the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire and Michaan’s Auctions.

Register here (free)

Thursday, November 18th, 12:30-1:30 pm – Oakland Rotary Civic Thursday in person in the ballroom or via Zoom and Facebook Live
Fania Davis – Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth

She is the creator of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) and the author of The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice. If you will please read the two attached paragraphs of her book , I hope you will feel as I do that her very consciously balanced view that restorative justice is “a justice that seeks not to punish, but to heal” is very wise and loving way to enhance every relationship Oakland Rotarians have with one another and with every person we serve. I can even imagine the progressive possibility that an Oakland Rotary Committee could serve by offering to facilitate interpersonal or organizational Restorative Justice.”

Log-in via their Facebook page 

November 27, Saturday, 11:00 am-4:00 pm
Open House at Camron-Stanford House

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.