December 2012
Upcoming Events
Warm Wishes for the Holiday Season and Shop Oakland!
Parking Holiday for Holiday Shopping!
Upcoming Holiday Closures at the City of Oakland
21st Annual Thanksgiving Holiday Meal
Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Lake Merritt United Methodist Church
Parks and Recreation's District 2 Community Focus Group
Zoo Lights at the Oakland Zoo
Oakland Holiday Parade
Chinatown Holiday Safety Fair at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Dog Park Appeal Scheduled for Dec. 4 City Council Meeting
CityCamp Technology Demo
Songs for Starry Night
Holiday at the Dunsmir-Hellman Historic Estate
Mayor's Community Toy Drive
Mayor's Town Hall Meeting in District 2
Menorah Lighting with Chabad Oakland
Winter Holiday Safety Tips
PG&E Accepting Applications from College Students for Financial Assistance
Public Works Prepare for the Wet Weather
Residential Recycling Program Guide
Mandatory Recycling and the Reusable Bag Ordinance
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Warm wishes for the Holiday Season and Shop Oakland!


As we head into the busy holiday season, my staff and I wish all of you a wonderful season of festivities and family time.


We hope you will partake in some of the holiday events listed here.  As well, there are two City-sponsored community meetings that we hope you can attend: The Mayor's Town Hall, to be held in District 2 on December 5, and the Office of Parks and Recreation focus group on Nov. 26 at Franklin Rec Center. (See Article, "Parks and Recreation's Community Focus Group" for other dates in different locations).  The focus groups are looking for feedback on issues including policy about dogs in parks.


The festivities kick off with the annual Holiday Parade in Downtown Oakland on Saturday, December 1.  This is a great afternoon event for kids.


While you are shopping for gifts, please remember to Shop Oakland! There are great shops in our neighborhood retail areas, from our own Lakeshore, Grand and Chinatown, to College Avenue, Piedmont Avenue, Montclair and downtown.  And parking is Free on Saturdays between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, plus "Plaid Friday" on Friday, Nov. 23. (See details below).   


Your dollars spent in Oakland keep our local merchants thriving and the sales tax helps fund City services! See below for more details about shopping Oakland with the special Oakland Grown card. 

In the event you do need to shop in a mall somewhere else, please know that it benefits Oakland if you choose stores in Alameda County, rather than SF or Walnut Creek. Part of the sales tax goes to County services, many of which serve Oakland residents, so shopping in San Leandro or Emeryville has a local benefit too.


Best wishes to you and your family for a Joyful and Peaceful Holiday season.

Voicemail: 510.516.0653


Oakland Grown
620 3rd St.
Oakland, CA 94607


Parking "Holiday" for Holiday Shopping!


Oakland Announces Parking "Holiday" in support of local holiday shopping!


The City of Oakland will offer free parking at meters and City-owned garages every Saturday between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, plus "Plaid Friday" on November 23. 



The free parking will help stimulate shopping in Oakland's commercial districts in support of local merchants. 


Parking at all City-metered spaces throughout Oakland will be free for the time period posted on the meter or kiosk (30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours or 4 hours). The free parking "holidays" apply to both standard meters and the multi-space parking kiosks in commercial districts. The free holiday parking also applies to the following City-owned lots equipped with meters:

  • Grand Avenue Lot in the 3200 block of Grand Avenue
  • LakePark Lot under I-580 between Grand and Lakeshore avenues
  • Piedmont Avenue Lot on Howe Street between 40th and 41st streets
  • Parkway Lot on Wayne Avenue near Park Boulevard and E. 18th Street.

The free holiday parking program will also offer two hours of free parking on the designated Saturdays and Plaid Friday at the following City-owned garages:

  • Franklin Street Garage, 1719 Franklin Street
  • Montclair Parking Garage, 6235 LaSalle Avenue
  • Frank G. Mar Garage, 12th & Harrison streets

Standard parking rules and time limits apply.


If shoppers need additional parking time, they will need to move their car across the street on a two-way street or park around the block if it is a one-way street. 


The City will be monitoring parked cars on a regular basis. 


The following days are considered Enforcement Holidays and there is no enforcement:

  • New Year's Day (January 1 st)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • President's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day (July 4 th)
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day (December 25 th)

The following days are NOT considered Enforcement Holidays and all violations are enforced:

  • New Year's Eve
  • Lincoln Birthday
  • Admission Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Day After Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Eve 

For more information, please visit


Upcoming Holiday Closures at the City of Oakland 


The City of Oakland's administrative offices will be closed this Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22 and 23, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.


While the City's administrative employees are out of the office, if a situation arises that requires more staffing, the City has a plan in place to call in additional resources. Police, fire and emergency services are not affected during holidays or business closures.


Specific Service Impacts for Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 23:


Parking Enforcement

 Thanksgiving Day is a parking holiday during which motorists do not need to pay for parking at City meters.

 Friday, November 23, is a designated parking holiday as part of the "Shop Oakland Grown" campaign. Motorists can park for free, up to time limits posted, at City meters and multi-space parking kiosks. Select City-owned lots and garages are also offering free parking. Restrictions apply. Visit for details.


Public Works

 No street sweeping will occur.

 Serious emergencies - such as sewer overflows, traffic signal outages, objects completely blocking the street to vehicle traffic and major flooding conditions - will be responded to. Please call Public Works Hotline 510.615.5566 to report issues 24/7, including referring emergency issues.


Oakland Public Library

 All libraries will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 23.

 All branch libraries will be closed Saturday, November 24, but the Main Library will be open.


Office of Parks and Recreation

 On Thanksgiving Day, visitors will have access to parks; however gates and restrooms will be closed and staff will not be on site.

 On Friday, November 23, visitors will have access to parks; however gates and restrooms will be closed and staff will not be on site. Fee-based programs will continue at participating sites.


Oakland Animal Shelter

 The shelter will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.People who find stray animals and can not hold them when the shelter is closed, should call 510.777.3333 between the hours of 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to be put in touch with a Shelter representative.

 The shelter will be open for normal business hours of 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday, November 23.


Human Services


Senior Centers

 All senior centers will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 23.


Head Start/Early Head Start Programs

 All Head Start and Early Head Start sites will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 23.


Broadway Shuttle

 The shuttle will not operate on Thanksgiving Day.

● The shuttle will have a normal operation schedule of 7:00 am to 1:00 am on Friday, November 23.


A calendar of City holidays and business closure days for fiscal year 2012-13 can be found on the home page of the City's web site at: 


Media Contact:

Sean Maher




21st Annual Thanksgiving Holiday Meal


Tuesday, November 20, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland


The City of Oakland's Department of Human Services, Communities United Committee, Community Action Partnership and the Emergency Food Providers Committee is hosting their annual city-wide event to feed seniors and those who are homeless and/or low income.


There will be a free turkey feast and entertainment to more than 2,000 low-income families, seniors and homeless individuals. A winter coat or jacket will also be given to those who need it. 


Donations are greatly appreciated, as this event is entirely supported by gifts from agencies and individual donors. Consider giving generously or volunteer your time and resources to make this annual event a success. 


To volunteer or make a donation please call the Department of Human Services' Hunger and Homeless Program at 510.238.2077. Your donations are tax deductible and the tax identification number is 94-6000384.


Thank you for your contribution to help combat hunger and homelessness in our city.


See below for free bus transportation sites and event details:


Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner at the Lake Merritt United Methodist Church


Thursday, November 22, from Noon - 2:00 pm at the Lake Merritt United Methodist Church on 1330 Lakeshore Avenue


Join the Lake Merritt United Methodist Church for a complete Thanksgiving dinner served at the church's Stark Room. 

Event open to everyone!
No reservations required. 
Call 510.465.4793 for more information.


Oakland Parks and Recreation's Community Focus Group


Monday, November 26, from 6:30 - 8:00 pm at the Franklin Recreation Center on 1010 East 15th Street 


The Office of Parks and Recreation will host a series of focus groups to gather community input on OPR facilities and programming.


Plans for the New Year, upcoming park programs, dog play areas, park use hours, improvements and public safety concerns will be addressed. For more information, please contact Karis Griffin, Recreation Supervisor at 510.597.5027.



Zoo Lights at the Oakland Zoo



The Oakland Zoo morphs into a magical wonderland filled with lights, sights, and sounds of the holiday season. Hundreds of thousands of LED lights brighten Oakland's night sky. 


This family friendly event is filled with familiar festive music, a meadow light show orchestrated by Impact Lighting and an atmosphere that will bring you and yours holiday cheer. It's an Oakland tradition you do not want to miss. Visit for more information or call 510.632.9525 x 100.



Member Fees: $5.00 per child / $7.00 per adult. 

Non-Member Fees: $6.00 per child / $8.00 per adult.
Parking Fee: FREE

Please park in the Upper Parking Lot and proceed to the Main Entrance. The Lower Entrance will be closed during ZooLights hours.

Registration is not required.



Oakland Holiday Parade








Saturday, December 1, from 2:00 pm from Broadway/14th to 20th streets.


A parade of dancing trees, giant balloons, marching bands, drill teams and clowns will be celebrating with you! Come check out Santa riding his sleigh along the parade route. 




For more information, please visit


Chinatown Holiday Safety Fair at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center


Saturday, December 1 at 11:00 am - 5:00 pm at Oakland Asian Cultural Center at Pacific Renaissance Plaza, 388 Ninth Street, Suite 290


The Chinatown Chamber will host the Holiday Safety Event at OACC for all who are interested in attending. Resource booths and public safety staff will be there to give updates and answer questions. 


The Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) and Oakland Chinatown Chamber (OCCC) will be hosting it's first ever Oakland Holiday Bazaar.


This event will feature new, old, unique, collectible or special handcrafted items by local artisans, craftmakers, and designers.


This event is open to the public and admission is free.


If you are a vendor and would like to participate in this event, please contact or or download the registration form here and follow the instructions. 




Deadline to register is November 26, 2012!



Dog Park Appeal Scheduled for Dec. 4 City Council Meeting


The off-leash dog play area that has been proposed for the open space near Lakeview Library, also known as Astro Park, is set for its final hearing, this time before the City Council on December 4.  As many of you know, this proposal went before the Planning Commission last summer, seeking approval for a Conditional Use Permit in order to establish the fenced dog park in the Lakeview open space. The application was denied by the Planning Commission.  The proponents of the dog play area appealled the Planning Commission decision to the City Council.  That appeal will be heard at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 4, at City Hall.  The decision of the City Council will be final.  I encourage all interested parties to attend and speak at the City Council meeting.   
CityCamp Technology Demo


Saturday, December 1, from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza


CityCamp will bring will bring together City employee, business, neighborhood, non-profit and academic communities to re-imagine the ways in which open source collaboration and technology will shape the future of our city. Of particular interest is the use of social/participatory media, mobile devices, linked open data and the idea of the "Web as a platform." Hosted by the Oakland Code for America Brigade, CityCamp is sponsored by Accela. 


The free event will include breakfast and lunch. To register for CityCamp, please visit For more information, please contact Nicole Neditch, Online Engagement Manager at 510.238.2105 or  


Songs for Starry Night


Saturday, December 1 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, December 2, 5:00 p.m at Odell Johnson Theater at Laney College, 900 Fallon Street 


The Oakland-East Bay Gay Men's Chorus presents its holiday concerts with a mix of seasonal songs representing the diversity of the East Bay. For more information, please visit



Holiday at the Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate


Saturdays & Sundays from December 1 through December 16, 11:00 am - 4:30 pm at the Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court



Tour the 37-room mansion, featuring turn-of-the-20th-century holiday decorations and holiday teas. Rid the horse-drawn carriage while being entertained by holiday performers. The mansion gift shop or the Carriage House crafters will be opened. It will also feature a Kids' Zone with pony rides, holiday face-painting, crafts and breakfast with Santa. The Oakland Ballet will perform an excerpt of The Nutcracker. 


For more information, please visit or call 510.238.3052.



The Mayor's Community Toy Drive




There are two ways you can help us meet our goals in helping provide toys to the children in need:
  1. Donate money! You can make a safe online tax-deductible donation by clicking here.
  2. Donate new, unwrapped toys in one of the many collection bins that will be in place by December 1 or drop them off at the Oaklanders Assistance Center located at City Hall, Room 123. Please do not donate toys of a violent nature E.g., guns, daggers, etc.
For more information, contact 777-TOYS or email


Mayor's Town Hall Meeting in District 2

English TH 

Spanish TH 

Chinese TH  

Menorah Lighting with Chabad Oakland


Save the Dates for the Annual Oakland Menorah Lighting: 

December 9 at the Splash Pad Park




Other nearby Menorah Lighting with Oakland Chabad: 


Tuesday, December 11: Jewish Piedmont Menorah Lighting and Candyland Party at the Piedmont Community Hall


For information, visit or for a Menorah Lighting in your area.


Winter Holiday Safety Tips



PG & E Accepting Applications from College Students for Financial Assistance




Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that its Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are now accepting applications from aspiring and continuing college students for financial assistance through the ERGs' scholarship funds. At least 100 students will receive $1,000 to $5,000 each for exemplary scholastic achievement and community leadership.


All college-bound students living within PG&E's Northern and Central California service area are eligible to apply. In 2012, the utility's ERGs awarded $302,000 in scholarships to help 163 students with their college expenses. 


To apply for a scholarship, students need to submit a basic and supplemental application. Complete scholarship information, including award criteria and applications, are posted on the PG&E scholarship website at


Public Works' Crews Prepare for Wet Weather 


News from: Oakland Public Works Agency




Sandbags Available to Residents & Businesses - Volunteers Needed


In preparation for the start of the rainy season, the Oakland Public Works Agency is taking proactive measures to prepare for wet weather. Annually, Public Works crews remove debris from storm drains, inlets, culverts, creeks and drainage structures in preparation for the winter months. Crews are also prepared to address other storm-related issues. In addition, there are opportunities available for volunteers to assist during the rainy season (see below).


A maximum of 20 sandbags and 50 feet of plastic sheeting (per household/business) will be available for pickup at the City's Municipal Service Center and the Public Works Drainage Division facility. See addresses and hours below. Proof of Oakland residency is required to obtain sandbags and sheeting.


Oakland Fire Stations will join in storm preparations for our community by distributing sandbags to residents. A limit of five sandbags (per household) will be available for pickup at the Fire Stations. Please see below for addresses and distribution hours.


During the winter months, just before an expected rain event, Public Works may extend service hours to make sandbags and plastic sheeting available to residents and businesses to help them protect their properties from weather-related damage.


How Residents Can Help

  • Check & clean your private drainage systems, including roof gutters & downspouts.
  • Keep your curb & gutters free of leaves & debris.
  • Do not place leaves, debris or lawn clippings near storm drains.
  • Place leaves & green trimmings in your green cart for weekly pickup.
  • Keep natural waterways such as creeks & ditches free from obstructions.
  • Do not obstruct access to storm drain inlets with your vehicle(s).
  • Report flooding problems to Public Works Call Center at 510.615.5566.

Volunteer Opportunities


Public Works is renewing its call for volunteers to join the Oakland Adopt a Spot program and keep a storm drain in their neighborhood free of debris. By keeping storm drains clean, volunteers can help prevent flooding of streets and sidewalks while allowing the City to focus storm-response activities on the most critical problems. Public Works will support volunteer adopters with supplies and debris bags, should they need them, to get the job done. Remember, "if it is plugged, it will flood." To adopt a storm drain, visit or call 510.238.7630.


Sandbags (up to 20) & plastic sheeting (up to 50 feet) can be picked up at the following locations & times when inclement weather is forecasted:


Municipal Service Center, 7101 Edgewater Drive

Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

After Hours (in front of entry gate) 4:30 p.m. - 8:00 a.m.

Drainage Division Facility, 5921 Shepherd Canyon Road

Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

After Hours (in front of entry gate) 4:30 p.m. - 8:00 a.m. (before inclement weather)

Sandbags can be picked up at these Fire Stations when inclement weather is forecasted:



Fire Station Hours:

Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Fire Station # 3, 1445 -14th St.

Fire Station # 6, 7080 Colton Blvd.

Fire Station # 7, 1006 Amito Ave.

Fire Station # 8, 463 - 51st St.

Fire Station # 10, 172 Santa Clara Ave.

Fire Station # 16, 3608 -13th Ave.

Fire Station # 17, 3344 High St.

Fire Station # 20, 1408 - 98th Ave.

Fire Station # 21, 13150 Skyline Blvd.

Fire Station # 26, 2611 - 98th Ave.

Fire Station # 28, 4615 Grass Valley Rd.


In an emergency or to report storm damage, Oakland residents should call the Public Works Agency Call Center at 510.615-5566.



Residential Recycling Program Guide 

By adopting recycling and waste reduction habits, you can reduce pollution and fight climate change. Help Oakland recycle more by making a habit of recycling paper, cardboard, cans and bottles and batteries, and by eliminating wasteful habits. The Recycling Program oversees garbage and recycling services provided by Waste Management of Alameda County and California Waste Solutions and works to ensure that recycling is widely available.



Mandatory Recycling and the Reusable Bag Ordinance


Waste Management of Alameda County (WMAC) is distributing a notice to 6,780 Oakland businesses, reminding them about the Mandatory Recycling and the Reusable Bag Ordinances passed by the Alameda County Waste Management Authority in January this year.


Under the Ordinance, businesses in Alameda County generating four or more cubic-yards of waste per week are required to have recycling service. The Reusable Bag Ordinance takes effect on Jaunary 1, 2013 and grocery, pharmacies and drug stores will no longer distribute single-use plastic bags at check-out, and they will charge ten cents or more for each paper bag they provide.


Please call 510.238.SAVE (7283) If you have any questions, contact Wanda Redic at 510.238.6808 or email