April 6, 2012
Vol 2, Issue 13

Take A Fresh Look  

at Oakland
News from

Mayor Jean Quan 


Hundreds of students and their parents from Life Academy marched to Peralta Hacienda in honor of Cesar Chavez Day and ending their fast for peace.  More photos from the event make up the banner above.

   This has been a hard week, leaving us much to think about.  There were two events over the weekend before the OIKOS event that gave me real hope; that deserved more coverage than they got.   About 200 students and supporters of Life Academy have been fasting one day each since MLK Day in January in the tradition of Cesar Chavez.  At the rally students talked about the school's discussions and listened to parents and relatives of young victims of violence.  They organized petitions to ask their friends and communities to pledge peaceful behavior.  Their thoughtful and well-organized work left me inspired.

Anthony Chavez, grandson of Cesar, address the students.

   On Saturday almost 300 members of the Cambodian community came together to discuss recent violence in their community.  See the article on the right.  They are concerned about disputes within their community that have recently resulted in violence.  Recently promoted Oakland Police Sgt. Sen will be working with the community.  Led by several monks, Cambodians of all ages marched calling for peace in their community.

   On Monday we were at my weekly staff meeting talking about a new trend in the City.  While the homicide rate was about the same as last year,  8 of 25 were the result of family violence.  Street homicides were trending down.  In a typical year we have 3-5 family or domestic violence related homicides.  We have had 8 in three months this year.  Ironically, we were talking about how we could get more mental health resources, family counseling assistance and awareness when we received a call about the shootings at OIKOS.

   This tragedy that left seven dead and three injured continues to weigh heavy on our hearts. Our police and fire teams, along with other agencies that provided mutual aide, responded quickly to a very tense situation and apprehended the suspect within an hour and a half.

      I want to thank our law enforcement officers who risked their safety to retrieve and rescue students in the school.  We also thank the many community agencies--especially the Alameda County Mental Health Services and the American Red Cross of the Bay Area--for quickly organizing counseling and support services to the families, friends and greater community.  When the Korean Churches asked for assistance in locating a larger location for a memorial service, Rev. J. Alfred Smith, Sr. stepped forward immediately  and offered Allen Temple in East Oakland. Ministers from Pastors of Oakland, the Baptist Alliance, and Oakland Community Organizations stood side by side with Korean American ministers from all over Northern California.  The hundreds of friends and families who attended the memorial service thanked the city for coming together in support. The generosity of community has been overwhelming. 

The victims were immigrants from Korea, India, the Philippines, Nigeria, Guyana, and Tibet.  Many of the victims leave behind young families. Memorial funds have been set up as follows: 
  • Katleen Ping Memorial fund through Wells Fargo 
  • Grace Kim Memorial Fund through Bank of America  

Alameda County Mental Health Services is providing counseling to anyone in the community--call their crisis counseling line at (510) 567-8109.


At the Oakland A's home opener tonight against the Seattle Mariners there will be a moment of silence for the shooting victims.  



Young Cambodian resident joins the Mayor in choosing our signs before the march.  



     For many of us this is a week of spiritual renewal; it is also a week to celebrate spring. And it is a week packed with art and community Easter Egg hunts.  It's a good time to go out and enjoy our neighborhoods and cultural venues.  Tonight is the opening of the Baseball Season and it is FIRST FRIDAY  If you haven't ever experienced this monthly celebration of art, music, food and Oakland pride, come by after 5 pm and see what people are talking about.

    I wish you all peace, in every sense of the word.


Mayor Jean Quan
This publication is not produced at public expense.

Want to follow events as they happen?

During the week, I also post to my Facebook page: Facebook.com/jeanquan.

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In This Issue
1. Discover Oakland This Week
2. Easter Egg Hunts Galore!
3. City News
4. Safe and Healthy Oakland
5. More City News
6. Greening Oakland
7. The 25% Shopping Solution
8. Library, School & Youth News
9. Upcoming Events
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  • Official Oakland Website 
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    View our press briefings,  meetings & community events  

    In the News
    Just One Damn Thing
    After Another

    Cassie Harwood, East Bay Express
    April 4, 2012

    Oakland's Cambodian Community Holds Anti-violence March

    Alan Lopez, Oakland Tribune
    April 1, 2012

    Oakland Goes Veg
    Kathleen Richards, East Bay Express
    March 30, 2012

    Oakland students find 10 pounds of sunken treasure at Lake Merritt
    Kristin Bender, Oakland Tribune
    March 30, 2012
    Discover Oakland

    Help Send Off 11-12 Round the World Clipper Race on it's next leg
    Saturday, April 14
    11 am

    Talk to crew members about what it is like to spend a year sailing 40,000 miles around the world during the Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show at Jack London Square
    April 12-15




    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or for some other time.   

    We are the ones we have been waiting for.


    Barack Obama  

    1. Discover Oakland This Week:  First Friday, Oakland Film Festival
    IT'S FIRST FRIDAY, ART MURMUR EXPANDS TO JACK LONDON SQUARE TONIGHT:  While the official Art Murmur has been located between 17th and 27th Streets on Broadway and Telegraph, for many regular fans the events have spread up to Temescal galleries and increasingly to Old Oakland and Jack London.  Tonight the Art Murmur officially extends to Jack London and welcomes:  Pro Arts (150 Frank Ogawa Plaza), Hive (301 Jefferson), and Swarm (560 2nd St). New mixed-use art venues in the area include Oaklandish (1444 Broadway), Marion & Rose's Workshop (461 9th), Crown Nine (461A 9th) and Urban Legend Cellars (621 4th St).
    • For more new galleries in other areas.
    • Saturday Stroll:  If the crowds or schedule of Friday nights are not your scene,  Saturday Stroll is quieter and more focused on the art in the galleries. It will run every Saturday afternoon, from 1 to 5 pm.   

      The City DarkFriday, April 67:15 - 8:15pm, a feature documentary about light pollution and the disappearing night sky.   This is a series of night events highlighting citizen science, stargazing, energy conservation, impacts of light pollution and our amazing forest at night.  Free with General Admission  


      SheRose of our Time, A Tribute to Michelle Obama, Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th Street, March 2-April 19:

    A special tribute to the First Lady, Michelle Obama through art, performances and workshops:
    • Saturday, April 7, 1-3 pm, Babayin Script Workshop with Christine Blaza  
    • Saturday, April 7, 3-4 pm, Language Reclamation with L. Frank
    • Judy Stone enamel workshop at The Crucible   

    All events at Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th Street, unless otherwise noted.   



    Friends of Oakland Public Library/Bookmark Book Sale, April 5-8, 10:30- 5 pm, The Bookmark Book Store, 721 Washington Street: Most of their 17,000 books are $2-$6. 30% off Friday, April 6, 40% off Saturday, April 7 and 50% off Sunday, April 8!  When you shop The Bookmark you're support Oakland Public Library's Children's reading programs, Second Start adult literacy program, new branch library, cultural events, after-school youth programs, collection development.  For details, call (510) 444-0473 or visit www.fopl.org.  


    10th Oakland International Film Festival, Friday, April 6-Sunday, April 8, James Moore and Lecture Hall Theaters, Oakland Museum, 1000 Oak Street: This year's film festival features several films by Oakland Filmmakers or by people in Oakland. Some of these stories are told in short documentaries some in narratives.  The Festival supports young/new filmmakers with telling their stories, increases awareness of the many careers related to filmmaking, enhances the image of Oakland and showcases Independent films made by Oakland film makers and filmmakers from around the world. Details and tickets at  www.oiff.org/films.html.  


    Across the Universe, Skyline High School,   Saturday, 2 pm Matinee and 7:30 pm, April 7: "Across the Universe" is the story of a group of young people who "Come Together" In New York City during the turbulent time of the late sixties, in search of freedom from the gripping social climate. Set to the music of the Beatles, they travel down, "The long and winding road" to experience the happiness and pains that life during war time has to offer, only to realize, that, in the end, "All you Need is Love."---J Robinson. Tickets are $10 at the door for adults, $8 for children 11 and under and seniors over 65. Advance sale tickets are available for $8. Advance purchase tickets are available between 11:44 and 12:17, call 879-3060 ext 250 or  between 1 and 3 pm, call 879-3060. Check out the  YouTube video here.   

    Great Wall of Oakland Presents "Keep It Beautiful", Friday, April 6, 6:30 pm, faces West Grand Avenue between Broadway and Valley Street: This 45-min screening of short videos and films about planet earth includes several pieces with breathtaking cinematography of far-flung corners of the earth but also films with harsh critiques of how humans are taking advantage of our planet. For over three years, the Great Wall of Oakland has been curating shows of various types of video art including animation, computer-generated art, live-action film, documentary-style video and other innovative forms of art from artists worldwide.   Check out Corner of the Sky by Les Lovino.  


    Citizen Science Workshop--Sudden Oak Death: The Current State of Understanding & Strategies for Facing the Pathogen, Garber Park, near 144 Evergreen Lane, Berkeley,  Saturday, April 7, 9 am-Noon: This 3-hour workshop, led by Lech Naumovich,
    Golden Hour Restoration Institute, will lead participants through Garber Park, a location with confirmed Sudden Oak Death. In this portion of Claremont Canyon, the impact on oaks can be catastrophic. This workshop will talk about how to recognize infected oak trees, possible treatment, and typical losses in the whole community.

    Gleaning the Gardens at Lake Merritt, Saturday, April 7, 10 am-3 pm: Join Eddie Dunbar of the Insect Sciences Museum of California (ISMC) and Tora Rocha, Park Maintenance Supervisor, at the Gardens at Lake Merritt. ISMC staff and guests will observe and conduct a photographic survey of insects in the Gardens at Lake Merritt. We want to see what has sprung up this Spring! The Gardens at Lake Merritt is part of Lakeside Park, North America's oldest wildlife refuge (2 years older than Yellowstone). Children are invited to attend beginning at 11 am. Photographers are reminded to bring cables and adapters for sharing photos.


    Spring Open House at The Crucible,"The Science of Art", Saturday, April 7, Noon - 4 pm, 1260 7th Street. This event highlights the scientific principals, enquiry and exploration behind the fine and industrial arts processes taught and practiced here at the Crucible!  The event will bring together Crucible faculty, guest artists, a curated gallery of exhibits and demonstrations, projects from local schools, as well as special performances, food, and the participation of a number of other local art and science related organizations and university programs.  Also, see the Summer Camp preview show!    




    Extended Hours at Chabot Science Center for Spring Break:  April 1-14th

    MON - THU: 10am - 8pm
    FRI & SAT: 10am - 10pm
    SUN*: 10am - 8pm  


    *Easter Sunday, April 8: 10am - 5pm






    What Does Justice Look Like?  

    Townhall & Speakout

    Sunday, April 15, 2-4pm  
    EastSide Cultural Center, 2277 International Blvd 



    2. Easter Egg Hunts Galore!
    The City's Park and Recreation Department in partnership with community groups and business sponsors offer many Easter Egg Hunts throughout the city.  They start promptly.  (A smart parent will keep a few eggs in their pockets for the smaller, slower children! )

    Friday, April 6
    Manzanita Recreation Center, 4-6 pm
                                             2701 22nd Avenue


    Willie Keyes/Poplar Park, 4-6 pm 

    3131 Union Street  


    Saturday, April 7           Lake Chabot Golf Course, green garden projects and free golf clinics  

    9:30 am over 6 years; 

    9:45 am under 6 years

    11450 Golf Links Rd


    25th Annual Lakeshore Easter Parade & Derby, 10 am 

    Decorating Contest/4th Annual Lakeshore Baptist Church Spring Children's Festival, 3534 Lakeshore


    Bushrod Recreation Center, 11 am-1 pm  

    560 59th Street


    Carmen Flores at Josie De La Cruz Park, 11 am-2 pm   

           1637 Fruitvale Avenue  



    Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate 

    Arts & crafts, snacks and more (left)

    Noon-3 pm   

    2960 Peralta Oaks Court



    Mosswood Recreation Center, 11:30-4 pm 

    3612 Webster Street   






         Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center, 10 am-2 pm

                         7701 Krause Avenue  


         Willie Wilkins Park, Noon-3 pm  

         98th Avenue between B & C Streets  


    Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church, Noon- 3 pm

    1188 12th Street, West Oakland 





    Easter Sunday, April 8        


    Lincoln Recreation Center Pancake Breakfast, Egg Hunts, Performances in partnership with WaSung Service Club  

    8:30 - 11:30 am  

    250 E 10th Street



     Franklin Recreation Center 

     Egg hunt and crafts 

    12 pm - 4pm

    1010 E. 15th Street  




     Montclair Recreation Center, 8:30 am - 10 am

     (in partnership with the Montclair Lions Club)

     Easter Egg Hunt separated by ages

     6300 Moraga Avenue 








    ALTERNATIVE TO AN EGG HUNT? FAIRYLAND BUNNY WEEKEND, APRIL 7-8:  Tap Dancing Easter Bunnies on April 7 at 11am.  See the new puppet show, "Peter and the Wolf."  The music of Serge Prokofiev comes to life in this classic tale that teaches children about safety as well as the instruments of the orchestra. Peter wishes for adventure and sets out into the Russian forest to capture a troublesome wolf with his toy popgun. Thank goodness he also has his good friends Sasha the bird, Ivan the cat and Sonia the duck.

    Resident bunny and Dori, the pony, with visitors at Fairyland. 
    3. City News: Strictly Sail Pacific, Mother of the Year, Mayor's Summer Jobs

    Late last Friday, I had to honor of welcoming the Australian Gold Coast into Oakland. 
    They were the winner of this leg from Tsingtao, China, to Oakland in the around the world clipper ship race. While I handed them a bottle of California champagne for the winner's ritual of spraying the whole crew, they did get to drink our local Linden beer (thanks to the owner) and pizza.  The 10 ships braved the Pacific storms, their website gives you an idea of how brave these amateur crews are.  Spending close to a month at sea, racing across 6,000 miles and daily facing waves the size of buildings is a challenge and they will be holding open house as they participate in the Strictly Sail Pacific Show from April 12-15. (See box right).  These events are part of our effort working with local businesses to promote our boating facilities and to attract some of the tourism that will be associated with the America's Cup in September 2013.

    Congresswoman Lee and Mayor Quan welcome Michelle Obama on board the USCGC Stratton.  Dorothy Stratton in the center with the Coast Guard SPAR's.

    USCGC Stratton to be based on Coast Guard Island: 
    Despite the rain it seemed a fitting way to end March, Women's Month, by greeting the First Lady at the commissioning of the first Coast Guard Ship to named after a woman.  Dorothy Stratton was an amazing woman.  Already a successful educator, she joined the WAVES (Navy) during World War II. In late 1942, she was ordered to Washington to organize the Coast Guard Women's Reserve which she named SPARS.  After the war she became the national director of the Girls Scouts. I enjoyed this historical news clip. 
    If you get a chance to tour the ship, there are many of her artifacts and publications throughout the ship.

    Nominations for Mother of the Year Due by Noon on April 12
    - We invite local businesses, professional associations, governmental agencies, services-related organizations and non-profit community groups to nominate candidates for this coveted award.
    Deadline to submit nominations is noon, Thursday, April 12. Oakland's Mother of the Year program was initiated in 1954 to publicly honor an Oakland citizen whose contributions to the community symbolize the finest traditions of motherhood. For more information, visit www.oaklandnet.com/parks.

    1000 Summer Jobs for Oakland Youth: Last year with only two months' notice Congress cut the Mayors Summer Jobs Programs. For decades Oakland received funding to employ about 500 low income youth each summer. The President doubled the number in 2010 because of the recession, then Congress brought it to zero in 2011.  We scrambled last year  and between the City and County came up with about 400 internships focusing on foster youth and private employers answered my call with about 200 more.  This year we are aiming for 1000 jobs. I hope to hire at least half from the 100 block area.  We need your help.  A summer internship costs $1500-2000 per student to underwrite.  If you can hire a student or are willing to take student for the Mayor's Summer Jobs Program, contact John Bailey, Executive Director of the Workforce Investment Board, at (510) 238-6440.

    The Alameda County Registrar of Voters is preparing for the Tuesday, June 5, 2012 Presidential Primary Election and is now accepting applications for Bilingual Poll Workers as well as their High School Student Poll Worker Program.  If you are fluent in Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog or Vietnamese, as well as in English, or a high school student (Age 16+) you could earn some extra money while serving your community! Applications can be found online  http://www.acgov.org/rov/  


    Free Tax Preparation Assistance Available at 3 Oakland Senior Centers Through April 12: Free State and Federal income tax preparation assistance is available for low- and moderate-income seniors.  The assistance program, sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), is staffed by trained professionals. Appointments are required:  


    • Downtown Senior Center, 200 Grand Avenue (510) 238-3284
    • North Oakland Senior Center, 6714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way  (510) 597-5085
    • West Oakland Senior Center, 1724 Adeline Street  (510) 238-7016   

    Oakland Public Library Offers Free Tax Help Through April 16: Trained volunteers will be on hand at several library locations to help residents file their taxes. This free assistance is made possible thanks to a long-standing partnership between the Oakland Public Library and AARP:

    • Main Library, 125 14th Street  (510) 238-3134  
    • Cesar Chavez Branch, 3301 East 12th Street (510) 535-5620  
    • Dimond Branch, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue (510) 482-7844 
    • Eastmont Branch, Eastmont Town Ctr, 7200 Bancroft, Suite 211  (510) 615-5726  
    • Golden Gate Branch, 5606 San Pablo Avenue (510) 597-5023 

    Most locations require advance appointments (call ahead) but walk-ins are accepted at the Main Library and Eastmont on a first-come, first-served basis. For a complete schedule and additional information, please click here.    


    Current Openings on Boards and Commissions:  The Mayor is considering candidates for 3 openings on the Planning Commission, particularly those with land use, architectural or transportation/transit experience. For persons interested, please contact Richard Cowan at rcowan@oaklandnet.com for more information.     

    4. Safe and Healthy Oakland
    Save-a-Life Saturday, April 14,  9 am, 11 am and 2 pm, Acts Full Gospel Church of God in Christ, 1034 66th Avenue: Are you prepared to respond in an emergency? Do you want to receive a FREE disaster preparedness kit and 20% off an American Red Cross CPR/AED course? This free presentation will empower you to save lives in the event of a disaster or emergency. Each free session lasts approximately 90 minutes. Sessions will be offered in English and Spanish. To guarantee your spot and your free disaster preparedness kit, register online today at www.redcrossbyarea.org/savealife or call (415) 427-8148.

    Measure Y Street Outreach Team Training: On March 22, Chicago CeaseFIRE technical Assistance providers visited Oakland to provide training for the City's Measure Y Street Outreach Teams. The teams learned how to improve their conflict mediation techniques and how to formulate a game plan for the street outreach target areas. This training was made possible by a two-year grant of $2.2 million that was awarded to the City's Department of Human Services in 2010. The funding from this competitive grant helps the City implement components of Chicago's CeaseFire violence prevention model, one of the strategies used in our 100 Block Initiative. For more information on Measure Y and/or to sign up for their newsletter, please go to www.measurey.org.  

    Next Community Compstat Meeting for Beats 6,7,8,10. 11 & 12X, Thursday, April 19, 6:30 pm, North Oakland Senior Center, 5714 Martin Luther King Way: On March 22, approximately 100 community members attended the Police Department's first Community Compstat Meeting at Acts Full Gospel Church in East Oakland. Compstat is a multidimensional approach to crime reduction and resource management. This technique maps and analyzes crime trends in areas for the specific purpose of developing crime reduction strategies through a wide array of methods and involvement. During the meeting, a variety of issues were examined in the Police Department's Bureau of Field Operations. In addition, the meeting provided an opportunity for community members to observe the analytical and detailed approach Commanders and Officers take to address crime citywide. For additional information, contact the OPD Media Relations Office at (510) 238-7230.

    Oakland Police Administration Building Open House, Friday, May 4, 5-7:30 pm, 455 7th Street:  During the first ever Open House event at the Oakland Police Administration Building, you will have an opportunity to meet members of the organization, learn all about the different services we have to offer, get to know other members of the community, and meet the Chief of Police and his executive team.

    CORE Boot Camp--July 21, 28 and 29: Too busy during the week to take part in the typical five-week series? CORE basic training is now available in a condensed three-day weekend format.CORE classes educate and empower citizens through lessons on personal preparedness, neighborhood organization and by providing hands-on tools for emergency response. CORE Boot Camp participants receive a certificate of completion, CORE ID card, hardhat and vest. Each session takes place at the Oakland Fire Department Training Division at 250 Victory Court. Saturday, July 21, 9 am-2:30 pm, CORE I and CORE II; Saturday, July 28 9 am-5 pm; CORE III (Emergency Response Hands-on Training- Day 1); Sunday, July 29, 9 am-5 pm, Emergency Response Hands-on Training - Day 2). Advance registration is required. Sign up early--class size is limited. Contact core@oaklandnet.com or call (510) 238-6351.

    Take a Survey
    : Chief Howard Jordan has invited the community to take part in a survey designed to gain feedback on what the Police Department can dot o improve its service to the community. The community is asked to provide suggestions, recommendations, and ideas that will grow into something that other cities will look to model. You can view the video here or take the online survey at www.oaklandpolice.com.    



    City Launches Gun Tip Hotline (510) 517-8739.  All Calls Considered Confidential if Caller Wishes to Remain Anonymous: In collaboration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Oakland Police Department has established a gun tip line. Citizens are asked to place calls to address the illegal possession and use of firearms within our community.  Calls made to the tip line will be considered confidential if the caller wishes to remain anonymous. ATF will make available up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for firearm related homicides or other violence.

    5. More City News
    Oakland Running Festival Generates $3.5 Million in Economic Impact; More Than $300,000 Raised for Charities: The third annual Oakland Running Festival (ORF) contributed an estimated $3.5 million to the city's and state's economy according to a recent study by the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI), an economic research and consulting firm located at Towson University in Towson, MD. Despite gloomy forecasted weather conditions for race day this year's event attracted a record 8,211 runners, marking the second consecutive year of at least 10% growth. ORF also generated more than $300,000 for local charities including the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Running for a Better Oakland, Oakland Rising, the Child Abuse Listening, Interviewing and Coordination Center, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and Team in Training. Close to $800,000 has been raised for charities since the event's inaugural year.

    New wpd logoCheck out what's new at the Wildfire Prevention Assessment District Website: Fire season is just around the corner. Learn about the work of the Wildfire Prevention Assessment District and check out the new video explaining vegetation management codes & requirements. Go to their webpage.


    6. Greening Oakland

    We showcased our sprucing up the Plaza with native plants with the media on Thursday to celebrate the return of Spring and the upcoming Earth Day and the City's 160th Birthday on May 4.  

    New Facebook App Lets PG&E Customers Share, Compare Energy Use with Friends:PG&E customers can now share and compare their energy use with friends around the nation on Facebook with a new social energy application. The app, created by Opower in partnership with Facebook and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), provides insight into individual energy use while fostering friendly competition. PG&E is one of 15 utilities participating in the program. In all, 19.4 million households will have the ability to participate in this program. Sign up at social.opower.com or search for the Opower app on Facebook and connect your utility account.

    Earth Day, Saturday, April 21! 

    Take your pick of places to show your love for Mother Earth on Saturday, April 21, 9 am-Noon:.
    • Frog Park, at the end of Hardy Street
    • Morcom Rose Garden, 700 Jean Street
    • DeFremery Park, DeFre mery Recreation Center, 1651 Adeline Street
    • Lake Merritt Sailboat House, 568 Bellevue Avenue
    • Dimond Park, Dimond Recreation Center, 3860 Hanely Road
    • Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, 2465 34th Avenue
    • Arroyo Viejo Park, 7701 Krause Avenue
    • East Oakland Boxing Association, 816 98th Avenue.

    For a complete list of sites visit www.oaklandearthday.org or call (510) 238-7611. 


    Oakland Veg Week, April 15-21:For one week this spring, you can improve your health, prevent animal cruelty, and protect the environment by participating in Oakland Veg Week. Organizers make it easy! You'll receive email updates with free nutritional information, delicious recipes, tips and motivational advice to helpyou succeed in your week-long pledge. Join the movement by signing the pledge at OaklandVeg.com. Local restaurants will be offering Oakland Veg Week Specials, and there will also be talks on the benefits of a plant-based diet, a film screening, and a free grand finale celebration where you can sample some of Oakland's finest vegetarian offerings.

    Great American Cleanup-Oakland, East Oakland, Saturday, April 28, 9-1 pm:
    Each year, Keep Oakland Beautiful participates in the Great American Cleanup, a national event promoting beautification in the nation's communities. This April, volunteers are needed to help clean the Bancroft Median, as well as to work with efforts at East Oakland Pride Elementary School. Meet at Verdese Carter Park, 900 Sunnyside Street, at 9 am. For details, contact
    Keep Oakland Beautiful or call (510) 434-5126.

    Help Track Sudden Oak Death:
    The pathogen that causes Sudden Oak Death,
    first observed in the Bay Area in 1995, threatens the beautiful Coast Live Oaks that are a vital part of the East Bay's ecosystem. Hundreds of native plants and animals depend on them, and they are important to watersheds and water cycling. Besides ecological damage, dead and dying trees increase fire hazard, and weakened limbs and trees can fall suddenly, harming people or property.  To track the spread of Sudden Oak Death, Dr. Matteo Garbelotto, professor of plant pathology at UC Extension, organizes annual "bioblitz" surveys.Volunteers gather Bay leaves (carriers of Phytopthera ramorum) that appear infected. After laboratory analysis, results are made public on the web and at public meetings, along with training in what to do. This year's East Bay survey will be Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29.
    On Saturday, volunteers attend a one-hour training and get materials at 10 am at the Orinda Community Center, or 1 pm at 159 Mulford Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. Volunteers survey when and where they choose -- organizers can advise on likely areas, but your own back yard is fine. Samples are turned in at a drop box at the training site by Sunday evening. To sign up for the Orinda training, contact Bill Hudson at wllhh@ymail.com
    To sign up for the UC Berkeley training, click here or contact Susan Schwartz, for information. Sponsoring organizations including Friends of Five Creeks, Friends of Sausal Creek andGarber Park Stewards


    Renewable Energy Education Class, Every Saturday, 10 am-2 pm, through Early May, Tassafaronga Recreation Center, 975 85th Avenue: Funded by a US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant, the classes for youth and young adults 11 to 18 years old expose, enlighten, empower and encourage youth to excel in education through recreational experiences in technology, electronics and green energy. Register in advance online at www.oaklandnet.com/parks or just show up. Contact Cynthia Armstrong, Center Director, at (510) 615-5764.  


    Bay Friendly Garden Tour, Sunday, April 29, 10 am-4 pm, Alameda and Santa Clara Counties: This year's host gardens represent the many different styles of Bay-Friendly. You will find urban homesteads with orchards, chickens and bees, greywater installations by local experts, and drought tolerant replacements for water thirsty lawns. The host gardeners themselves are a diverse group that includes permaculturists, native plant enthusiasts, do-it-yourselfers and landscape professionals. Registration is required to receive a Tour Guidebook which contains directions and garden descriptions. Cost is $10 for a Tour Guide book alone, or $35 for Guidebook, plus Bay-Friend Membership.  


    Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, Saturday,  May 6: A free tour of showcase native plant gardens in the East Bay. This is a great way to see what might work in your own garden. Download the free tour flyer and information about the 2012 Native Plant Sale Extravaganza.  


    18th Annual Bike to Work Day,Thursday, May 10, 9 am, Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 14th Street at Broadway: Enjoy a pancake breakfast, all-day valet bike parking and bike safety checks. Free Admission.  


    Bike Away from Work, Thursday, May 10, 5-8:30 pm, Old Oakland, Washington Street at 9th: Celebration of all things bike related. Free Admission.    




    7. The 25% Shopping Solution-- How Does Your Garden Grow?
     As the saying goes, April Showers bring May flowers. Our recent rains are a perfect time to bring color to your garden. Here's a list of local nurseries:

    Broadway Terrace Nursery

    4340 Clarewood Drive
    Oakland, 94618
    (510) 658-3729



    While they specialize in orchids, they offer a great selection of succulents, orchids, bromeliads, household plants, annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs and vegetables.


    Thornhill Nursery

    6250 Thornhill Drive

    Oakland, CA 94611 

    510 339-1311



    Thornhill Nursery is a full service nursery located under the redwoods in Montclair. They have hundreds of ornamental plants, pottery and garden supplies for every garden challenge.

    They offer quality evergreen and deciduous trees, Japanese maples, fruit trees, ornamental shrubs, ground cover, bedding plants, pottery, trellis, statuary and fountains, houseplants, custom container planting, espalier trees, succulents and cacti.


    Friends of Sausal Creek Native Plant Nursery

    On Sanborn Drive in Joaquin Miller Park

    (510) 325-9006 



    The Friends of Sausal Creek nurture native plants found in the Sausal Creek Watershed at their nursery in the heart of Joaquin Miller Park. Plants are available for sweat equity or during their annual plant sales. For details about upcoming nursery work days, visit their website or call Megan Hess at field@sausalcreek.org.   



    Lake Merritt Garden Center

    666 Bellevue Ave
    Oakland, CA 94610

    (510) 238-6877



    Many of the East Bay's garden clubs meet here each month-- a great way to learn about growing specific types of plants. Members, many of whom are hybridizers, offer free or low cost deals on plants at their plant sales. You can also see many of the plants at The Gardens at Lake Merritt, maintained by the Friends of The Gardens at Lake Merritt.  



    The Dry Garden

    6556 Shattuck Avenue

    Oakland, CA 94609

    (510) 547-3564



    Since opening in 1987, The Dry Garden offers beautiful plants which are completely sustainable in our glorious Bay Area climate(s). Specializing in low water and drought tolerant plants from Mediteranian-like and arid regions of the world, we focus on succulents and cacti, rare, bizarre, and very unusual plants, along with a few monstrose, caudiciforms, and crests.   



    Kitazawa Seed Company

    PO Box 13220

    Oakland, CA 94661-3200

    (510) 595-1188


    Kitazawa Seed Company is the oldest seed company in America specializing in Asian vegetable seeds. Since 1917 they have been the source for oriental vegetable seeds for home gardeners, retailers, and commercial growers.



    Check out other local stores. Every time you shop in Oakland you are supporting local business and local sales tax revenue.


    Visit the Oakland Grown website for referrals to independent and locally owned retail stores. 


    8.  Library, School & Youth News

    Oakland Public Library's E-Government Literacy Program, Main Branch, 125 14th Street,  Friday, April 20, 10-11:30 am :Have you been wondering where to look for help when starting a business or searching for a job? Do you need more information about funding your education? Whether you're searching for job, education, or health information or had a dispute with your landlord and need help finding resources, this hands-on course will provide you with the tools you need. The course provides an overview of the many e-government resources available on a variety of topics and will teach you how to navigate government websites. Meet in the computer lab of the Oakland Public Library's Main Branch. Please contact Rebekah Eppley to RSVP or call (510) 238-3138 for more information.   


    Parents: Download the 2012-2013 OUSD Calendar for future reference. It is available on the OUSD website.  

    Help 44 Frick 8th Graders Tour LA-area Colleges:
    For 44 8th-graders, visiting UCLA, USC, Loyola Marymount, and CSU Los Angeles will be the real-world culmination of a school year spent immersed in Frick Middle School's college-prep AVID program.  They have secured all of their transportation funding, but remain $6,000 shy of what they need to cover lodging and other costs.  Donate online here to help them reach their $7,000 goal by April 15th!  When donating online, be sure to choose "Frick Middle School" in the Pick Your School drop-down list. You can also send a check to: "OSF/Frick," PO Box 20238, Oakland, CA 94620. All donations are tax-deductible.

    First Annual Youth Poet Laureate Competitions: The Oakland Public Library and San Francisco Public Library, i partnership with Youth Speaks (the country's leading nonprofit presenter of spoken word performance, education and youth development programs based in Oakland) are staging competitions that will result in two Youth Poet Laureates, one from each city. The winners will each be honored with $5,000 in scholarships and the opportunity to officially represent their communities through poetry, media and public appearances. The search for talented young writers (age 13-18) begins Sunday, April 1--just in time for National Poetry Month-- when judges will begin accepting submissions. The deadline for all submissions is May 15. Finalists will be announced in early July and the winners will be announced in September. For rules and to apply online, go to  www.youthspeaks.org/2012poetlaurete.

    Get Ready for SuperSATurday 2012 at Laney College, Saturday, April 28, 1-5:  Choose College Educational Foundation, Inc. sponsors the SAT/College Rally and Resource Fair with Rap, Art and Spoken Word contests for Contest participants eligible for scholarships, prizes. Their goal is to increase the number of Oakland high school students who take and prepare for the SAT exams. They are currently seeking volunteers to assist with outreach. For details, call (510) 614-3000.  


    9. Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Events


    Free Tax Preparation to Qualified Residents:  If your household income is less than $50,000, you are eligible for FREE tax preparation at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site near you in Oakland. People's Credit Union has been doing taxes for 10 years, and invites families and individuals to make an appointment TODAY for daytime, evening, or weekend hours. Please call (510) 267-0450, ext. 305. People's will electronically file (e-file) your return and direct deposit your refund so that you get ALL of your refund within 7-10 days.  Last year they helped 600 people get about $775,000 in refunds. Se habla espanol.    



    5th Annual We Love Old Oakland Community Fundraiser & Mixer,  Wednesday, April 18, 6 pm, Caffe 817 & Ratto's:  Founded in 2006, Old Oakland Neighbors (OON) is a volunteer-based community group comprised of folks who live and/or work in Old Oakland. We invite area residents, businesses, and Old Oakland neighbors to join our grassroots community group.


    Alameda Labor Council, Unionist of the Year Dinner 2012, Friday, April 20, 6 pm, Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland: Save the date for the annual  Unionist of the Year Dinner, honoring Dave Connolly, Sailors Union of the Pacific; Tony Alexander, UFCW, 5; Bob Britton, IFPTE 21; Marty Freitas, IBT 70; Bill Sokol of Weinberg Rosenfield; California Nurses Association; SEIU 1021; East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Contact Elizabeth Ortega at (510) 632-4242x 224 for more information. 


    Celebrate the Cambodian New Year at Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, Saturday, April 21, 10 am-3 pm, 2465 34th Avenue: Dancing, Food/BBQ for sale, live music, entertainment, kid friendly, safety training, Cambodian Exhibit, Classical Dance, Traditional Khmer Music, Youth Performances, Hip Hop Performances, Spoken Word. Bring your picnic blanket, family and enjoy this free event! 


    Pedals, Pipes & Pizza: Peter and the Wolf at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison Street,  Saturday, April 21, 10:30 am -12:30 pm:  A thrilling opportunity for children of all ages to experience the wonderful sounds of the pipe organ at the Cathedral. This performance will feature Sergei Prokoviev's version of the children's story Peter and the Wolf  transcribed for organ, percussion and narrator.  Enjoy pizza outside on the Cathedral Plaza after the performance. Parents will enjoy this as much as their children! $5 donation. Tickets available at www.ctlcathedral.org



    Chaos or Community-Where do we go from here? Congressman John Lewis will be the Final Speaker in the Barbara Lee & Elihu Harris Lecture Series, Saturday, April 21, 7 pm, Beebe Memorial Cathedral, 3900 Telegraph Avenue: Co-produced by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center and Merritt College. Limited seating. Call (510) 434-3988. 










    Montclair Village Restaurant Walk, Tuesday, April 24, 6-8:30 pm, Montclair Village: Co-sponsored by the Lions Club, this event showcases village restaurants and food and beverage outlets.  Proceeds go to local charities. Book of tickets available from Lions Club and  local businesses. Check MontclairVillage.com for details.    


    1st Annual "I am for the Child" Breakfast Fundraiser for CASA, Thursday, April 26, 8 - 9 am. Scott's Seafood Restaurant, 2 Broadway, Jack London Square: Since 1987,the mission of the Alameda County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program has been to promote and support quality volunteer advocates to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the juvenile court and foster care system. Please support this important lifeline for some of Oakland's most vulnerable youth. Please RSVP by April 10 to Carol Trotter at (510) 618-1961.  


    Notes & Words: Musicians & Writers on State Together For Children's Hospital & Research Center, Oakland, Saturday, April 28, Fox Theater, Oakland: Pulitzer Prize Winner Michael Chabon, bestselling authors Anne Lamott and Kelly Corrigan, Author, Actor,Humorist John Hodgman and Cake and other musical talents. For tickets and information, please visit www.notesandwords.org. 


    League of Women Voters 21st Annual All-City Luncheon, Wednesday, May 2,  11:30-1:30, Scott's Pavilion:  Guest speaker is Alex Briscoe, Director of the Alameda County Health Care Agency. This year, the League presents Making Democracy Work awards to the Street Level Health Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved urban immigrant communities, and to John Sutter, Vice President of the Board of Directors of East Bay Regional Park District, retired judge, and former Oakland City Council member.  You can buy tickets from their Web site  or call (510) 834-7640 to have an invitation mailed to you.  Proceeds support LWV Smart Voter and other voter educational efforts.


    Friends of Oakland Parks' 9th Annual "A Taste of Spring" Fundraiser, Wednesday, May 2, 5:30-8 pm, The Rotunda Building, 300 Frank Ogawa Plaza: Swing away the evening with Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Enjoy fine wine and gourmet fare. Support youth scholarships, grants, and other projects of the Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation. Members $65 in advance, $75 at the door. Non members: $75 in advance, $85 at the door. Purchase tickets at www.oaklandparks.org.    


    Old Roots/New Growth, Cultivating Communities Oakland, 37th Annual California Preservation Conference, May 3-6, Oakland Marriott City Center: The 37th Annual California Preservation Conference returns to its early roots in Oakland. Hundreds of preservationists from around the state will learn current and best practices by leading professionals and attend exclusive tours and events. Oakland is home to many firsts--including Lake Merritt, the first wildlife refuge in the country. Here's a great way to learn more about our city and what others are doing to preserve historic buildings, parks and more throughout the state. Tours are open to the public and range in price from $15 (Necklace of Lights) to $65 (Behind the Scenes tour of Oakland's Food Industries-with lunch!). Space is limited. For details, go to www.californiapreservation.org  or call (415) 495-0349. 


    Oakland: Heart of the MegaRegion, Friday, May 4, Noon - 6 pm, Jack London Market Building, 55 Harrison Street: Now in its third year, the MegaRegion Summit will gather business leaders, labor representatives, industry experts, technology innovators, government leaders, educators, development planners, and community partners to brainstorm solutions, identify obstacles, and develop strategies to keep the Northern California region competitive. Tickets are $75. Click here for details.



    Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Friday, May 4, Noon - 1 pm, Oakland City Center, Broadway at 13th: Celebrate South-of-the-Border style with a live Mariachi band.


    KONO Beautification Celebration, Friday, May 4, 4-6 pm, Telegraph Avenue between 20th and 35th Streets: Celebrating the beautification and rebranding of the KONO district--including the planting of 83 street trees--with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, art walk to view 12 utility boxes to be painted by Oakland artists, and new district banners. Free Admission.  


    Oakland Ballet Company Spring Gala 2012, Saturday, May 5, 7-9:30 pm, Kaiser Center Auditorium, 300 Lakeside Drive: Please join me celebrating dance in Oakland for over 45 years at this fund raiser for our Oakland Ballet Company. Gala tickets are $125 per person. Visit www.oaklandballet.org to purchase tickets securely online.    


    Cinco de Mayo Festival & Parade, Saturday, May 6, 11 am-5 pm, International Boulevard from 35th to Fruitvale. Thousands of people from all over the Bay Area enjoy this first-rate celebration of authentic Mexican Culture through food, art and live entertainment. Free Admission.

    Experience Corps 2nd Annual Generations of Success Fund Raiser, Sunday, May 6, 1:30-4 pm, Fisk House, 700 Hayes Street, San Francisco: All proceeds support Experience Corps of the Bay Area, a unique intergenerational literacy program serving low income youth in Oakland and San Francisco. Last year, volunteers provided over 34,000 hours serving more than 2,800 underserved children in the Oakland and San Francisco public schools. Tickets are $100.
    Support Oakland Arts at Flourish Oakland, An Evening of Fine Food, Wine, Music and Art to Support Oakland Art Murmur Gallery, Sunday, May 6, 6-9 pm, Mua Restaurant, 2442 Webster Street:  Bid in the silent auction, watch artists in action, listen to live jazz by Torch singer Tara Linda, win prizes in the raffle, enjoy fine food, wine and other entertainment. Tickets $150. Info and tickets at www.flourishoakland.org.


    2 Performances only --You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, May 6, 10 am and 12:30 pm, Woodminster Amphitheater, Joaquin Miller Park: Preview Show to benefit Kids Come Free at Woodminster Amphitheater summer performances. This comic strip musical is a wonderful show for all ages, and we hope that the early performances will allow our youngest audience members to stay awake for the whole show! Bring the whole family, and come hungry because we're planning special breakfast and lunch concessions. But get your tickets early -- there are only 300 seats per performance.  Tickets $15 adults;Children & teens $10. If you purchase 2012 season tickets, get a special on this performance@ $10 adults, $ 5 children & Teens.  Call (510) 339-0241 or download the mail in form. <<Photo by Kathy Kahn. 


    World Courts of Women on Poverty in the US, Thursday, May 10 - Sunday, May 13, Laney College: Women's Economic Agenda Project (WEAP) and Allies sponsor 4 days of events that will unearth viable solutions to eliminate poverty at its roots. Tribunal Sessions, Round Table Discussions, Art, Music and More.  Click here for details.  


    Miss Representation Documents Main Stream Media's Contribution to Under-representation of Women in Positions of Power and Influence in America, Friday, May 11, 7-9 pm, St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1658 Excelsior Avenue: This important documentary, written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. It challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself. Donations to defray the cost of the screening. Any additional monies collected above $500 will go to A Friendly Place a women's homeless shelter.   RSVP here. For more information, check out www.misrepresentation.org. 


    Oakland East Bay Symphony Season Finale: Do That Voodoo: Friday, May 18,  8 pm, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway:  Daniel Bernard Roumain blends his Haitian roots with classical and techno textures. Bay Area native and musical prodigy Taylor Eigsti returns home to present the World Premier of a work he's writing for jazz piano and orchestra. And jazz vocalist Paula West will delight us with a set backed by the orchestra. Admission fee.   


    Festival of Greece, Friday-Sunday, May 18-20, Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Ascension, 4700 Lincoln Avenue: Celebrate Greek culture through food, live entertainment and arts & crafts. Admission fee. For details, www.oaklandgreekfestival.com


    Save the Date for the 7th Annual Walk to End Poverty, Saturday, May 19, 9 am-1 pm, Lake Merritt Bandstand, 666 Bellevue Avenue:
    Now's the time to start training for the Alameda County-Oakland Community Action Partnership's 7thn Annual Walk to End Poverty. The first 500 people will receive free lunch and a free t-shirt. Come enjoy a free community fair, children's activities and live entertainment. For more information, call (510) 238-232 or visit OaklandCAP.org.     




    Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival, Saturday, May 19, 11 am-7 pm, San Antonio Park, 18th Avenue and Foothill Blvd.: Celebrating Jazz with live performances, dance, food and art. Free Admission. For details, go to www.eastsideartsalliance.com. 


    60th Anniversary Celebration for East Bay Agency for Children, Saturday, May 19, 6:30 pm. Uptown Body & Fender, 401 26th Street, Oakland: Grab a poodle skirt or James Dean leather jacket and travel back to the 1950's when EBAC began. Enjoy a fun and lively party including yummy food, delicious drinks, silent and live auction and special recognition of their special 60th Anniversary Honorees: Marlis Branaka, the Hughes Family, David La Piana, and Kaiser Permanente. VIP Reception at 5 pm across the street at Warehouse 416. Click here for ticket and sponsorship information.