San Antonio neighborhood enjoys a great day at Malcolm X Jazz Arts festival

Community Meetings on the City Budget for FY '10-'11

Wednesday, June 9Community Meeting on the City Budget at Glenview Elementary School, 4215 LaCresta Avenue
Monday, June 14Community Meeting on the City Budget at Eastmont Sub-Station, 2651 73rd Ave
Thursday, June 17Community Meeting on the City Budget at Peralta Elementary School, 460 63rd St
Thursday, June 24
City Council Budget Meeting: First Reading of the FY '10 -'11 Budget
Tuesday, June 29City Council Budget Meeting: Second Reading of the FY '10 -'11 Budget


Thursday, June 3Meeting to Set Priorities for FY '11 - '13 District 2 Community Development Block Grant Funds
Tuesday, June 8Councilmember Kernighan's Proposal to Reduce Parking Subsidy for Employees and Elected Officials
Tuesday, June 8Election Day


Friday, June 4Friday Night Life at Bella Vista Park
Friday, June 4
Galleries of the Oakland Art Murmur Present Art Exhibits, Music, Food
Friday June 4Art Reception Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts Annex, formerly known as The Alice Arts Center
Saturday, June 5Town Funk Block Party on Park Blvd near the Parkway
Saturday, June 5Lake Merritt Rowing Club's "Learn To Row Day"
Saturday, June 5San Antonio Getting Things Done: Neighbors Working Together Can Make a Difference!
Saturday, June 5, 12, 19 and 26Free Alcohol Policy Network Workshop (repeated four times in June)
Sunday, June 6Music in the Gardens: A Celebration In the Gardens at Lake Merritt
Sunday, June 6Mine Okubo: Citizen 13660 - an Exhibition of an Oakland Japanese Artist's Odyssey During World War II
Saturday, June 26Saturday Splash Day at Bella Vista Park
Sunday, June 27Oakland Fiber and Textile Festival
Sunday, June 27Oaklavia: Oakland's Own Sunday Streets
Throughout JuneUpcoming Events at Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Oakland's Budget Crisis
"My Idea" Grants Program for Youth - Deadline June 11
New Parking Citation Data System Is Designed to Enhance Customer Service and Speed Response Time
Prohibition Removed Against Parking on the West Side of Lakeshore Avenue on Weekend and Holiday Afternoons; Consistent Time Limitations Approved
Look for Bicyclists Behind you Before Opening Car Doors
False Alarm Reduction Programs Summary
Planning Summer Activities for Children in Oakland and Beyond: A Resources Guide for Families
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Oakland's Budget Crisis
Dear Neighbors,

You have no doubt heard that Oakland city government is facing a huge budget deficit. The City has a $43 million gap between our projected income and our cost of providing services. The City Council must pass a balanced budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. In order to do that, we need to make deep cuts to all City departments, and it is very likely that those cuts will include laying off many police officers. I know that this sounds unthinkable given Oakland's public safety challenges, but it may be unavoidable because of the lack of funds.

My colleagues and I are working to craft alternatives to cutting police because we realize that public safety is critical to our residents. The alternatives involve sales of City property and other one-time infusions of cash that would stave off cuts to the police department for another 12 months. Normally, it is not prudent policy to use one-time money to balance a budget, but given the great detriment to our city that would be caused by losing up to 200 police officers, I am embracing all possibilities.

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"My Idea" Grants Program for Youth - Deadline June 11

With one in three students failing to graduate on time, America's Promise Alliance and AT&T are looking for the energy, enthusiasm, creativity and commitment of youth to help mobilize Americans to end the dropout crisis through the My Idea grants program. "My Idea" will empower high school-aged young people to examine the dropout crisis and take action to help more of their peers to graduate on time.

National grants of $10,000-$20,000 will be awarded to 20 - 25 youth for the best ideas submitted to help increase their community's graduation rate. Opportunities are available for young people living in Oakland and Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Jackson, Louisville, Nashville, New York, New Orleans and Washington, D.C with grants of $500-$1500 to support targeted local projects.

Help young people make a lasting difference in their community by sharing this message and spreading the word. To apply or find more information, visit here or go here. My Idea applications must be submitted by June 11, 2010.

New Parking Citation Data System Is Designed to Enhance Customer Service and Speed Response Time 
Finally, there is an end in sight to the lengthy wait times trying to reach someone in the Parking Management Division. The current arrangement is old and overtaxed, on-hold waiting times to speak to a customer service representative are unacceptably long, and the data entry backlog results in a delay between when citations are issued and when they can be paid online. A new parking citation data management system is coming to Oakland. The City has hired ACS State and Local Solutions to implement a new citation data management system. The new system will replace the City's current phone system that handles citation requests, and will provide online payment options.  
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Prohibition Removed Against Parking on the West Side of Lakeshore Avenue on Weekend and Holiday Afternoons; Consistent Time Limitations Approved

In March Councilmember Nadel and I asked our respective e-mail contacts whether the no parking restrictions applying to Lakeshore Avenue's west side (lake side) on weekend and holiday afternoons should stay in place or be removed. We heard from 390 of you, 310 of whom (79 percent) said to remove the signs. For more on that, go here (a story in our April E-News).

We heard you loud and clear, and this week the City Council approved our resolution to remove the no parking restriction that has applied for years on Saturday, Sunday and holiday afternoons from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the west side of Lakeshore. Now you can disregard the signs with those restrictions. However, there are various other signs indicating parking restrictions that continue in force.

Later in the summer, all the signage will be replaced with one consistent restriction on the west side of Lakeshore. Parking will be limited to three hours from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm everyday, Monday through Sunday, except holidays.

Look for Bicyclists Behind you Before Opening Car Doors
Do you know the definition of "doored", as in "I've been doored"? It's what happens to a bicyclist when a car door opens unexpectedly in the path of a bicycle, causing the bicyclist to crash sometimes fatally. Bicycle riders are vulnerable to careless drivers and their passengers who fail to check for overtaking bicyclists before opening their doors. The riders can be thrown when they crash into the door. This is not a simple spill with a bit of road rash. Recently, an Oakland bicyclist was thrown under a bus and killed.

Because of these dangers, dooring is illegal: "No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers" (California Vehicle Code 22517).

This is a plea to drivers to be cautious of bicyclists, whether they are in bike lanes or sharing the lane with motor vehicles. They need your full attention. Look for bicyclists before opening car doors, And when passing bicyclists, do so with care, understanding that their safety depends upon riding far enough away from parked cars to stay out of the "door zone."

And, here is a second plea to bicyclists who choose to share the streets with cars but don't observe the rules of the road. It's time to learn how to safely share the streets. The East Bay Bicycle Coalition is offering classes in June (go here). Don't put off becoming a more responsible bicyclist.

False Alarm Reduction Program Summary
False alarms cost the City of Oakland and its citizens thousands of dollars per year and can take officers away from actual emergencies. To prevent unnecessary emergency response to false alarms, an ordinance was adopted to encourage all alarm users to properly use their alarm system and maintain its mechanical reliability. The Oakland City Council approved a revised alarm ordinance, which became effective August 2009.
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Planning Summer Activities for Children in Oakland and Beyond: A Resources Guide for Families

The Oakland Unified School District has prepared a dandy Oakland Summer Resources: A Guide for Families. The guide provides information on a wide variety of summer programs for children and teens. Programs are geared to enrichment, academics, sports and physical activities, or a combination. There are programs for children with special needs. There are some internships, volunteer opportunities and jobs for youth. The Resources Guide gives a brief description of the program, where it is located, and contact information in order to find out more The Guide encourages readers to not be put off if there is a charge noted for the program as many organizations provide financial assistance, if needed. To apply, use the contact information in the Guide to find out more about enrollment procedures and cost. To review the guide, go here. For OUSD's summer academics program, go here.

As an example of what is available in the Resources Guide, each of the District 2 recreation centers - FM Smith, Franklin, Lincoln and San Antonio - offers summer programs. To see the programs offered by one of these recreation center, Franklin, go here.