February 2012 E-News
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In This Issue
February & Early March Events
My Vote on the Resolution to Keep the Port Open
Free SeeClickFix Application for Reporting Non-Emergency Problems
Update on Lakeshore Complete Streets - Landscape Design
Invitation to Apply to Become Councilmember Kernighan's Appointee to Measure Y/Violence Prevention and Public Safety Oversight Commitee, the Community Policing Advisory Board, & Measure Z/Cannabis Regulatory Commission
The Chinese New Year Salvation Army Giveaway
Oakland Residents and Civic Leaders United for "Stop the Violence" Event at Regeneration Church
"The Spot" Teen Center's Open House


Dear Neighbors,

 

In addition to my monthly newsletter, you may want to check out the Mayor's newsletter, click here, and the City Administrator's newsletter, click here. Both of these come out weekly and are comprehensive sources of information about what is happening in City government as well as neighborhoods throughout the city. The City Administrator's newsletter is also posted on the home page of www.oaklandnet.com regularly. The City's home page also now posts a lot of current updates about City affairs.


 

 
PK sig

District 2 Councilmember

 

February Events       

 

 
City Holidays and Furlough Days for February:  February 10, 13, and 20 due to holidays and furlough closures.  All branch libraries will also be closed February 11 and 21.
  
 
Tuesday, February 14: Public Works Committee considers Process and Schedule for Zero Waste Service Contracts - Sgt. Mark Dunakin Room (Hearing Room 1) - 10:30 am
 
On January 17, the City Council adopted a Zero Waste System Design that will provide a framework for developing new waste collection contracts that are scheduled to go out for competitive bid in May 2012. Staff has been working on the System Design phase since the City Council adopted the Zero Waste Strategic Plan in 2006. The major new design elements include:

 

  • One exclusive city-wide provider for residential garbage and organic collection capable of maximizing diversion of organics and minimizing landfill disposal of garbage, also would provide non-exclusive recycling for businesses;
  • One exclusive city-wide residential recycling provider focused on maximizing recycling, particularly in multi-unit buildings;
  • Separation of the City's landfill disposal contract from its collection and processing franchise to attract the broadest pool of applicants for garbage and recycling services by eliminating the landfill ownership requirement on those applicants;
  • Permit system to regulate commercial recycling; and
  • Creation of a non-exclusive franchise to regulate construction and demolition debris hauling activities.

 

For details about the Zero Waste Plan and why the new design provides a means to reach the City's waste reduction goals and remain highly cost-competitive, please read the prior reports for details.

 

The next step is to design a process that will create specifications for contracts and allow the City to conduct a competitive Request for Proposals from companies that want to bid on this work. This is an incredibly important process because the waste and recycling contracts are one of the City's largest procurements, with an estimated total value of over $60 million/year for a term of 20-30 years, including possible contract extensions. To give you some context, Waste Management, Inc. has been the City's exclusive franchisee for garbage collection since 1995. California Waste Solutions has handled residential recycling in the northern half of Oakland since 1993. Because these contracts are in effect for decades and deal with direct services provided to citizens, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that they are designed to achieve the waste reduction goals and service outcomes that the City and all residents expect.

 

The design of the contracts will be discussed at the next Public Works Committee on Tuesday, February 14 at 10:30 a.m. in Sgt. Mark Dunakin Room (Hearing Rm. 1)  For detailed information on the contract design process and schedule of future discussions prior to the Request for Proposals, please read this report. The Public Works Committee will hear additional detail and review sample contracts that will include social equity and community benefit elements on February 28th. If you have comments or concerns about the garbage, recycling or organics collection services or issues that you hope will be addressed by the future contracts, please sign up to speak at one of the upcoming meetings. You can fill out an speaker's card online here or in-person at the Committee Meeting prior to the item being called for discussion.

 

 

 

Wednesday, February 15: Planning Commission to decide Major Conditional Use Permit and Variance related to Chipotle at  3271 Lakeshore Avenue Serving Beer and Wine

 

On February 15 at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall, Sgt. Mark Dunakin Room (Hearing Room 1), the Planning Commission will decide whether to grant Chipotle, which is opening a new restaurant at 3271 Lakeshore Avenue, a variance and Major Conditional Use Permit to serve beer and wine. The variance and MCUP are required because they are seeking to serve alcohol in an "over-concentrated" area, within 1000 ft. of another location serving alcohol and a civic use, such as park or school. The City's Planning/Zoning staff will issue a report that can be found online in advance of the meeting (click here). We have been informed by staff that Planning/Zoning will support Chipotle's application, as it recently did with the similar application initiated by WingStop, a new restaurant planning to open on Lake Park Avenue.

 

If you have concerns or comments regarding Chipotle's application you should submit them in writing to Aubrey Rose, Planning/Zoning, arose@oaklandnet.com, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

 

 

 

Monday, February 27: AC Transit Meeting Regarding the Proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on International Blvd. - Eastside Arts Alliance - 2227 International Blvd. - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

 

Councilmember Kernighan will be present at this meeting, along with AC Transit staff, to  hear concerns and questions from constitutents.

 

6:00 pm Open House

6:30 pm Presentations

7:00 pm Resume Open House

8:00 pm Adjourn

 

AC Transit proposes to implement the East Bay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project, a 14.38-mile BRT line connecting Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro along International Blvd, Broadway and Telegraph Aves. AC Transit and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have released a Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/R) on the proposed East Bay BRT for public review and comment. AC Transit is hosting a series of community meetings to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the project and comment on the FEIS/R. The proposed project intends to significantly improve the speed, reliability and quality of public transportation service in the Berkeley-Oakland-San Leandro corridor. Each meeting will feature exhibits of the BRT route close to the meeting location. AC Transit staff will be at exhibits to answer questions. Exhibits will show what Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is, key changes since the initial round of meetings relating to areas of community interest, and areas of impact, which are addressed in the FEIS/R.

 

 

Coming in March....

 

 

Monday, March 5: AC Transit Meeting Regarding the Proposed Bus Rapid Transit through Chinatown and Downtown Oakland - Oakland City Hall - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

 

6:00 pm Open House

6:30 pm Presentations

7:00 pm Resume Open House

8:00 pm Adjourn

 

AC Transit proposes to implement the East Bay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project, a 14.38-mile BRT line connecting Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro along International Blvd, Broadway and Telegraph Aves. AC Transit and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have released a Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/R) on the proposed East Bay BRT for public review and comment. AC Transit is hosting a series of community meetings to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the project and comment on the FEIS/R. The proposed project intends to significantly improve the speed, reliability and quality of public transportation service in the Berkeley-Oakland-San Leandro corridor. Each meeting will feature exhibits of the BRT route close to the meeting location. AC Transit staff will be at exhibits to answer questions. Exhibits will show what Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is, key changes since the initial round of meetings relating to areas of community interest, and areas of impact, which are addressed in the FEIS/R. See below flyer for information:

 


 

 

 

 

March to December 2012: Oakland Fire Department's Community First Aid Training

 

The Oakland Fire Department is offering free First Aid Classes for the rest of the year.  If you would like to participate, you can call 510.238.6957 or sadillard@oaklandnet.com. For disability accomodations, you can call Sean Gillis at 510.238.5236 or email sgillis@oaklandnet.com at least three business days in advance. Pre-registration is required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REPORTS
My Vote on the Resolution to Keep the Port Open

 

My vote on the Resolution to Keep the Port Open, which was heard at the Council meeting this past Tuesday, puzzled some people and angered others.* Here is why I did not support it: 


If the Resolution had offered anything to assist in stopping the disruptive activities of Occupy Oakland, I would have voted for it.  However, the Resolution offered nothing, no new ideas, tools or resources to help the Police or otherwise reduce harm to the community.  All there was was a bald statement that the Police should keep the Port open and enforce all existing laws on protest activities. The Police don't need the City Council to tell them to enforce the law. They are already doing everything they can to enforce laws broken by Occupy protesters and anyone else.  I thought the Resolution misled the public to think there is a simple solution to a very difficult problem.

  

I am very much in favor of strong law enforcement against the illegal activities of Occupy Oakland that disrupt the lives and livelihoods of Oakland citizens. I and most of the Council have consistently supported that approach for three months, which is why our Police Department has been devoting enormous resources to enforce the law at the OO marches and demonstrations. On January 28, 150 Oakland Police officers, aided by 350 from outside jurisdictions, stopped the protesters from breaking into the Kaiser Arena and several other buildings, arresting over 400 people in the process. That seems like quite robust enforcement of the law to me.

 

There are two more reasons why I did not support the Resolution.  The author failed to consult the Police Chief and the Port of Oakland before he put the item on the Council agenda. Neither one of these important stakeholders had asked for the resolution, and in fact, both thought it was counter-productive. Instead of helping the Port, this resolution just put a target on its back for another protest. There was no Occupy protest planned for the Port and this Resolution just resuscitated the issue.

 

Lastly, I objected to the resolution because it was micro-managing the Police Chief. We already lost one Police Chief by doing that. The Chief doesn't need the City Council to be giving him ultimatums about how and when to deploy his troops. He knows we need to protect citizens from harm that occurs at protest marches and he should be the one to decide the best tactics for doing it.

 

I wish that ending the disruptions of Occupy Oakland was as simple as passing a Resolution saying we are going to get tough.  But the notion that we as a City Council can simply puff out our chests and tell the Occupy protesters to knock it off, and that they will, is wishful thinking.

 

I think the best policy is twofold:  1) Keep up the current practice of police enforcing the law. This approach, directed by the City Administrator and Police Chief, has caused the numbers of protesters to dwindle substantially since January 28.  2) Encourage members of the broader community to publicly voice what they have been saying in their kitchens and front yards:  that they are fed up with this unconstructive nonsense and that it is harming our community. OO is not interested in what anyone in government has to say.  Maybe they will be listen to the people they claim to be helping.

 

welcome further ideas and conversations with both my colleagues on the Council as well as you, the residents of Oakland.  

 

---------------------------------------------------- 

 

If you would like to hear what I said at the Council meeting last night, you can view the video on the City website, http://oakland.legistar.com/calendar.aspx Council meeting of 2/7/12, Item 10, fast forward to hour 3:29:00.

 

* I abstained on this vote, not because I was afraid to state a position, nor because I was intimidated by the roomful of protesters yelling at us, but to avoid a tie, which would have continued this debate until the next meeting. Otherwise, I would have voted No for the reasons stated above.

 

Free SeeClickFix Application for Reporting Non-Emergency Problems

 

The City of Oakland is offering a new tool that streamlines reporting of a Public Works type problem. The City has unveiled the portal into the mobile app called SeeClickFix for reporting non-emergency problems such as illegal dumping, graffiti, broken street lights and other infrastructure issues. Smartphone users of mobile web, web, iPhone, Android and Blackberry apps can use GPS to enter the address of a problem and take a photo. Oakland Public Works crews benefit by having the photo to clearly document the area of concern.  All of the data goes into the City's existing Public Works system. Go here for the online application form. To download the free mobile app, go to http://seeclickfix.com/apps or visit the iPhone App Store or Android Market.

 

Don't have a smart phone? You can still report a problem by phoning (510) 615-5566, emailing pwacallcenter@oaklandnet.com or going here.

 

 

Update on Lakeshore Complete Streets - Landscape Design 

  

Last October, the Grand Lake Traffic Calming Committee suggested that the small ground marker element be eliminated from the final design of the pedestrian plaza that will be built as part of the Lakeshore Complete Streets Project. The City's Transportation Services Division attended the January meeting of the Grand Lake Neighbors (GLN) to solicit final community input on whether the ground marker feature should be included or eliminated from the final landscape design of the project. The approved base bid only included a small ground marker, of approximately 4-5' in height with a lighting element at the top. Had there been sufficient funding for the "add-alternate" option that was envisioned, a larger marker/monument, approximately 20-25' also with lighting on top, would have been included in the pedestrian plaza area near the north west corner of Lakeshore and Lake Park Avenues. Because the lowest bid already exceeded the engineer's estimate for the project, no "add-alternates" will be included in the project.

 

The attendees at the GLN meeting were evenly divided on the topic of whether to include the smaller marker, but ultimately a consensus was reached that the ground marker should be eliminated from the landscape design at this time, however, TSD should run the electricity to the area and cap it, so that a larger marker could be contemplated in the future if private funds were ever raised.

 

Construction on this project is scheduled to begin in Spring/Summer 2012.

 

Invitation to Apply to Become Councilmember Kernighan's Appointee to Measure Y/Violence Prevention & Public Safety Oversight Committee, the Community Policing Advisory Board or the Measure Z/Cannabis Regulatory Commission

 

Councilmember Kernighan wishes to make appointments of constituents to three City commissions: one to the Community Policing Advisory Board, a second to the MeasureY/Violence Prevention & Public Safety Oversight Committee, and a third to the Measure Z/Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Following is a brief description of the perspective/qualifications she is looking for in applicants:

 

Community Policing Advisory Board - The CPAB provides oversight of Oakland's community policing program. Those interested in and with experience in community policing, such as through participation in a Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council or Neighborhood Watch group, are encouraged to apply. Go here for the City's approach to community policing.

 

Measure Y/Violence Prevention & Public Safety Oversight Committee- Those with experience in administration or evaluation of social services, violence prevention programs, or policing are encouraged to apply, though such experience is not necessary.

 

Measure Z/Cannabis Regulatory Commission - The Measure Y Commission's current membership is made up almost exclusively of cannabis advocates. It would be beneficial to have a range of viewpoints on the Commission. I'm looking to appoint a commissioner who provides an "average person's" perspective on the public safety policy and implementation issues associated with making cannabis available, according to the citizen-driven Measure Z legislation. Go here for more on the Commission's role in the City's approach to cannabis.

 

If you are interested in being considered for any of these appointments, please forward a brief statement of your interest and qualifications, including resume, to Jennie Gerard at jgerard@oaklandnet.com or call her at 510.238.7023.

 

 

The Chinese New Year Salvation Army Giveaway
(Left to Right): Councilmember Kernighan, Assistant, Sarah Lin, Equal Access Director, Monique Tsang, Fire Department CORE Trainer, Ann Li, Major Grace Tse, long-term supporters, Laura Chung and Robert Mui.  

 

On January 20, the Salvation Army Chinatown Corp., under the leadership of Major Grace Tse, distributed over 1,500 gift bags to low-income seniors in the area. Those with children at home received toys for their Chinese New Year. Major Tse stated, "This is our 13th year passing out Chinese New Year gift bags with the help of the City of Oakland staff from the Oakland Fire Department and Police, Council office, community leaders, and our loyal supporters and sponsors." Major Tse continued, "Many seniors expressed gratitude that despite economic hard times and difficulties experienced at the City of Oakland, staff still showed up and cheerfully distributed bags for hours. This really helped us feel connected to a loving community during very hard times."

 

Those participating were Oakland Fire Department's Chief Sheppard and Chief Towner, Chief Financial Officer Donna Hom, Lieutenant Troy, Engineer Fraser, Fire Fighter Paramedic Petersen, Fire Fighter Mancuso, CORE Trainer, Ann Li, Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Carl Chan, District 2 Councilmember Kernighan and staff, Sarah Lin, Equal Access Director, Monique Tsang, and community volunteer leaders. Thank you to Bay Area businesses and individuals for their generous donations to make this event possible.

 

Oakland Residents and Civic Leaders United for "Stop the Violence" Event at Regeneration Church


 

 

On Martin Luther King Day, Regeneration Church and Reverend Harry Louis Williams II, hosted the "Stop the Gunfire 2012" event. The purpose of this event was to find solutions towards reducing violent crimes in Oakland neighborhoods. Over 100 civic leaders, activists and residents attended. Families of slain children spoke, sang, and recited poetry to express ideas on how to make our city a safer and better place to raise our families.  Others spoke of ways to change the culture of violence from the grassroots level, such as  addressing the psychological and emotional causes of misdirected anger, and engaging more adults to mentor young men. There were beautiful and inspirational music performances throughout. The evening ended with community organizations sharing about their work and programs.

  

To view a YouTube video of the special event, click here.

 

The Regeneration Gym has started a "Homework & Reading Club"
every Tuesday from 5:00 pm - 5:30 pm. The location is 215 E. 15th Street. It is a free program and all ages are welcome.

 

 

"The Spot" Teen Center's Open House
Photo: Councilmember Kernighan, Council-At-Large Kaplan's Staff, Andre Jones Celebrated The Spot Youth Center's Open House
 

Last Thursday, the Spot teen center celebrated their Open House at their new permanent location at the corner of 13th Street and Harrison. The center supports comprehensive positive youth development to prevent violence and foster health transitions into adulthood. The theme of the youth center is "Ready for the Future," offering mentorship, leadership training, internships, college readiness and job training programs to hone young people's talents and skills for their future. Congratulations to The Spot on their new home and their great work in our community.

 

The Spot needs financial support to keep their programs running. To make a donation or give support to The Spot, click here for more information.

 

Special thanks to Commercial Energy, for their generous financial contribution!