Please give us your feedback. Take the newsletter survey!


  December 23, 2013
Vol 3, Issue 52 

Take A Fresh Look 

at Oakland


News from 

Mayor Jean Quan 

& Friends

Our family on the Lake Chalet pier on Lake Merritt

   From deep in our hearts we hope you and your family are having a joyful holiday season and look forward to great things in Oakland in 2014!




   We hope many of you will join us at our annual holiday party at the Chabot Science Center.  Every year hundreds of people from throughout the City join us at this wonderful facility to enjoy good food and good company.  I cook a good deal of the food but we also get donations from friends and restaurants throughout the City...It is quite a multicultural potluck.  We enjoy bringing folks who are working for the City in so many ways together.



The world class science center is a treat to visit anytime with its free telescope viewing and one of the most sophisticated planetariums in the country.  As a special rate to our guests, planetarium shows will be $5.





Volunteers on Friday's Ceasefire Walk Join Hands to Pray at Thy Word Church in East Oakland.





It was cold last Friday as about 60 volunteers walked the streets in East Oakland where violent crime stays stubbornly high but has leveled off. Cars honked frequently as the volunteers in white coats made their way through the neighborhoods. For about a year I have joined Friday walks at least once a month where local residents and church goers are joined by other churches and volunteers from throughout the city.


We stop along the route to talk to neighbors, especially youth on the streets.  For me the walks are a visible symbol that we are one City and we will not stop until the violence is down and hope is up for all of us.


In the two other areas of town where violence has been historically high, murders are dramatically down.  In West Oakland they are down by nearly 60 percent in the Havenscourt area they are 50 percent down.  Citywide homicides are on track to be down by one third or a drop from over 130 to under 90.  At least 40 less homicides than last year.


Altar from the Fruitvale Day of Dead Festival in November.  Since then homicides continued to decline. 



When I am asked what I credit the decline to, I list 3 strategies that we have put in place:

  • More effective policing:  4 police academies of new officers and the geographic accountability implemented in the Bratton reorganization have been critical combined with the increased partnership with federal, state and county agencies.
  • Focus on the most violent criminals:  This year we were able to near fully fund and staff the Ceasefire Program.  During the last years violent gangs involved in drugs, prostitution and now robberies and credit card thefts are responsible for most of the violent crime. Ceasefire systematically calls in violent offenders and gives them a choice of immediate help to change their lives (job help, drug counseling, education) or increased attention by probation and police.
  • More Jobs and Job Training:  I believe "jobs can stop a bullet." This summer we raised funds for a record number of summer jobs for youth, over 1500. We recruited at least half of the youth from the neighborhoods with the highest unemployment, lowest graduation rates and most crime.   We have also launched a new job center to recruit Oaklanders for the new jobs created by the mega projects we have worked so hard on including the Oakland Army Base/Oakland Global where half the jobs must be filled by Oakland residents.  We expect to also recruit for the Brooklyn Basin housing project of 3100 units and hopefully Coliseum City. The job center holds orientation meetings regularly, including meetings focussed on women and for those on probation.



I believe that 2014 will be Oakland's year with economic growth we have not seen in decades.  We want our youth to be part of this renaissance and this is our opportunity to break the stubborn cycles of poverty.  That is why one of the main areas of work for the Mayor's Office has been to work with Superintendent Gary Yee to link the schools to areas of economic growth.


In addition to construction industry programs mentioned in the earlier section, we are launching a partnership with some Oakland Schools to "grow our own" Oakland Police Officers.  Only 11 percent of Police Academy applicants are from Oakland.  We will be working with high schools to recruit youth Explorers who will work as summer interns and volunteers with OPD.  We hope that some of the Explorers will go onto the Merritt College Law Program and will continue to work with us as Cadets and eventually will join the Police Academy.


V Oakland Bunch HS

Ester Dixon, "Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation" Teacher, Ralph Bunche High School; Alison Best, President & CEO of Visit Oakland; Oakland Mayor Jean Quan; Jumoke Hinton Hodge, Director, District 3, OUSD School Board; Bostyon Johnson, Visitor Services Coordinator, Visit Oakland; Gary Yee, OUSD Superintendent; Kim Bardakian, Director of PR & Partnerships, Visit Oakland.


We are also encouraging other partnerships.  Visit Oakland visited Ralph Bunche High School in Oakland to donate industry textbooks to the "Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation" class. Visit Oakland has officially adopted the class of 11th and 12th graders and will further their hospitality education by providing hands on experiences at Oakland hotels, attractions and restaurants.


In 2014 we expect to expand these school linked program into health care, technology and other government jobs.





Oakland's economic development outlook is improving with increased investment and development interest increasing throughout the city. Major economic development projects, including three $1 billion plus projects, are currently in various stages of planning and construction include: 

  • The Brooklyn Basin waterfront master plan which will add over 3,100 residential units, over 200,000 square feet of office space and 30 new acres of waterfront park. Infrastructure construction will start in 2014. 
  • The "Coliseum City" master development which could provide new sports facilities and residential and retail development in the Coliseum area is underway with its Specific Plan, and the Environmental Impact Report is expected to be released to the public in spring 2014. 
  • The Oakland Global Trade Logistics Center, a full redevelopment of the former Oakland Army Base property into a major logistics center, will start infrastructure development in early 2014. 
  • AC Transit's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project will be built along the length of International Boulevard, supporting commercial revitalization and new mixed-use development opportunities along one of Oakland's major transportation routes. The project is in design development and related construction will begin in summer 2014 with advanced utility work. 

The City is also underway with four specific plans to guide and increase development in various areas of Oakland over the next 25 years. These plans cover Broadway/Valdez, West Oakland, the Lake Merritt BART Station Area, and Coliseum City. In addition, the City Council recently approved the Central Estuary Area Plan to guide the development of Oakland's waterfront. 


For more info on these specific plans, click here





Captain Coleman and Santa join me in a group photo at the Tassafaronga Rec Center Saturday. 
THANK YOU OAKLAND! THIS CITY IS AWESOME IN ITS GENEROSITY AND SPIRIT OF SHARING.  Over 8000 kids received toys from the Mayor's Community Toy Drive and we received a record amount of donations!  Thank you to over 300 volunteers helped make this possible.  Special thanks to Al Lujan and the staff of the Mayor's Assistance Center and their volunteer coordinator Sue Piper.
I only wish every Oaklander could share the joy of season with us.  We met a family of 6 from Afghanistan who had just arrived in America.  We made a last minute delivery to a mother in West Oakland whose toys were stolen.  We delivered bags toys to a group home where young mothers recovering from substance abuse were so grateful to have toys for their children's Christmas visit. We watched the delight of new immigrant Mongolian children when we explained that they could go to the Ice Skating Rink.  We received thanks from more than one grandmother raising their grandchildren on a pension. 
The basement garage of City Hall became Santa's Annex where toys were bagged for each application.
Toys were distributed 4 sites around town, Fire Fighters and Safe Passages helped in the Havenscourt neighborhood above. 
West Oakland distribution at the Mohr Houses.
 Mayor at the Tassafaronga distribution.
When I became Mayor nearly 3 years ago, I learned that the Community Toy Drive typically collected toys for 4-5,000 children in our City.  Recipients had to come to City Hall to sign up creating long lines, so we decided to take applications and distribution into East and West Oakland. That year, with the nation deep in recession, we received over 6,000 applications and last year about 8,000.  This year because of the continued federal cuts in unemployment insurance and food stamps, we feared we might need more despite the overall improvement in the City's economy.  
It looks like we have plateaued off at the same level as last year serving over 8,000 children and the donations went up!  In addition many of the City's wonderful institutions donated tickets for the families to enjoy: Chabot Science Center, Fairyland, Oakland Ice Center, Oakland Museum and the Oakland Zoo.  Many of the families I talked to had never taken their children to these institutions.






Local singer Lisa Bernstein made this simple music video and I posted in my FaceBook page Christmas Eve.  I promise it will make you smile.

"Holiday in Oakland" - Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)

Last Saturday for Free City Holiday Parking


This Saturday is the last free City of Oakland parking holiday. We offer FREE parking at meters, in metered parking lots, and 4 City-owned garages on Saturday, December 29.  Remember Sundays are always free. 


Local merchants make much of their annual profits during the next few weeks. This annual program benefiting our neighborhood shopping districts  and shoppers was sponsored in association with the the Mayor's Office, Oakland Merchants Leadership Forum, and Oakland Grown.

The free parking "holidays" apply to both standard meters and the multi-space parking kiosks located in many commercial districts. To keep the flow of shoppers moving, standard parking rules and time limits will be enforced. If shoppers need more time than a particular meter allows, they will need to move their cars to another available parking space.


These are the City-owned lots equipped with meters:

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

And these are the City-owned garages:

  • Frank Mar Garage - 12th Street & Harrison 
  • Franklin Street Garage - 19th Street & Franklin 
  • Montclair Garage - 6235 La Salle Avenue 
  • Clay Street Garage - 14th Street & Clay


Mayor Jean Quan 




Year In Review: Oakland Tops 20+ Positive Lists Nationwide


(from Visit Oakland) Visit O logo n words


Oakland is making national headlines, garnering positive attention for attracting top restaurants and chefs, emerging technology companies and new residents. By the end of the year, Oakland will have received more than 20 positive accolades in 2013, including "Most Exciting City in America" by Movoto, "6th Best Rising Star Destination" by The Huffington Post, and "5th Hippest City in the U.S." by The Thrillist.


"Oakland has always had a rich and diverse culture, great food and amazing music, and now the world is finally starting to take notice," said Alison Best, president & CEO of Visit Oakland. "We have three professional sports teams, 19 miles of waterfront, over 100,000 acres of parks and trails, a booming restaurant scene - the offerings in Oakland are endless, and there are still so many opportunities to look forward to. The Oakland International Airport will welcome new direct international flights in 2014, as well as the Airport Connector. Oakland is hot and we're thrilled to see the city receive the attention it deserves."


In 2012, the world recognized Oakland's travel appeal when the destination was named the "#5 Place to Go in America" by The New York Times. Multiple outlets followed suit, listing Oakland as one of "America's Best Cities on the Rise," "America's 50 Best Cities," and "America's Coolest Cities." 


According to The Huffington Post, Oakland deserves acclaim as a rising destination due to its "hip" factor, stating that "Brooklyn and Portland had better shuffle over and give Oakland some hipster room." recognized Oakland as the 9th most walkable large city in the U.S., proclaiming "Oakland isn't the Bay Area's second city anymore. With its stunning location on the shores of Lake Merritt and proximity to Silicon Valley employers, it's come into its own." The California Travel Association awarded Oakland chef Tanya Holland "California Chef of the Year" in 2013, based on her success in creating not one, but two, dining establishments that exemplify the best in culinary arts.


Additional accolades for Oakland in 2013 included:

  • 11th Gayest City in America" - The Advocate
  • Greenest City in the U.S. -
  • 3rd Most Likeable City in the U.S. -  Money Journal
  • One of America's Top 12 ArtPlaces -  ArtPlace America
  • 3rd Highest Hotel Room Demand in the U.S. - Travel Weekly
  • 4th Most Diverse City in America - NerdWallet
  • 4th Best Destination For Nature-Lovers - NerdWallet
  • 2nd Best California City for Singles - Movoto
  • Top 10 Best Cities to Own a Dog -  NerdWallet

For up-to-date information on Oakland accolades, see .



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:

Help Us Tell Oakland's Story,
Send This To A Friend



sign up for newsletter circle icon
Looking for Information About My Re-Election Campaign?

In This Issue
2. Discover Oakland This Week
3. Community Policing
6. THe TECH SIde of Oakland
7. VOLUNTEER Opportunities
8. SAFE & HEALTHY Oakland
9. GREENING Oakland
11. RECURRING Events
Quick Links
  • Submit items for the newsletter 
  • Official Mayor's Website  
  • Official Oakland Website 
  • Mayor's YouTube Library 
  • Constituent Problem Solving 
  • Follow the Mayor

    Like us on Facebook


    Subscribe to daily tweets

    You tube


    View our press briefings,  meetings & community events   



    Listen to the Mayor Tuesday mornings at 8:05 am on KGO 810 AM radio 




    Another City By the Bay Comes Into Its Own

    Jose Gose, NYTimes

    Dec 24, 2013


    Massive Housing Development Put on Fast Track in Oakland 

    Robert Gammon, East Bay Express Blog

    Dec 13, 2013 


    More that 200 firearms surrendered at gun buybacks in Oakland, San Francisco

    Bay City News Service via Oakland Tribune

    Dec 17, 2013


     Oakland looks to unsnarl car traffic around new plaza

    Will Kane, SF Chronicle

    Dec 16, 2013


    Photos: Motorcycle Santa spreads holiday cheer around Oakland

    Oakland Tribune

    Dec18, 2013


    Mandela Memorial at Oakland's City Hall

    Howard Dyckoff, Oakland Local

    Dec 16, 2013



    Mayors from Dakar, Medellin, New Orleans, Oakland Talk Resilience  Challenges 
    Jay Jeneske, Rockefeller Foundation, Dec 9, 2013





    Safeway donates 2,000 laptops to Oakland high schools

    Barbara Grady, Oakland Local

    Dec. 18, 2013



    Juvenile Hall in Oakland plans to create a girl's camp for sexually exploited youth

    Yolanda Martinez, Oakland North

    Dec 6, 2013


    Judge Orders Paint Companies to Pay California Cities $1.1 Billion 

    Bob Elko, SF Chronicle

    Dec 16, 2013


    Oakland plugs in to being green

    Green Port

    Dec.13, 2013


    The new Bay Bridge Bike Path: Here's where to get on in Oaktown and Emeryville

    Kelly Baker, Oakland Local

    Dec. 12, 2013


    Farley's East is buzzing for the holidays-and in the center of things  




    Oakland retailers move from popup to permanent

    Renée Frojo, SF Business Times

    Dec 16, 2013


    Mosaic offers incentive to solar investors

    Morgan Lee, UT-San Diego

    Dec 9, 2013


    Top 10 Turnaround Towns (Oakland leading the nation)

    Dominique Fong, Calif. Association of Realtors

    Dec 13, 2013


     Massive Housing Development Put on Fast Track in Oakland 

    Robert Gammon, East Bay Express Blog

    Dec13, 2013





    Oakland's makers get organized

    James Reddick, Oakland North

    Dec. 9, 2013


    Taggers by Night, Muralists by Day

    Sam Levin, East Bay Express

    Dec. 18, 2013






    Chill Out at Kingston11

    Alana Levinson, Daily Candy

    Dec. 9, 2013


    Triple Threat Beer Garden: Waterfront boathouse stars beer, sausage, and ambience.

    Derek Richardson, Oakland Magazine

    Dec. 2013


    Inside Pican's Creole Holiday Party

    Tamara Palmer, Zagat

    Dec. 17, 2013


    Farley's East is buzzing for the holidays-and in the center of things 

    Sophia Hussain, Oakland Local

    Dec. 18, 2013




    gov fresh logo


    Vote for Oakland
    as the
    Open Government City of the Year


    Between now and Jan 10th, the annual GovFresh awards are live.  And you have a chance to vote for Oakland as the Open Government city of the year!  You can nominate and vote for any city you like, but we'd love to see Oakland making it this year as number one!  



    In our partnership with Code for America and OpenOakland, we now have an on-line budget visualization, an application for tracking public records requests, and a tool to help neighborhoods adopt a storm drain. We also set up a question and answer site for citizens called  And we are making more city datasets available to the public.  


    So please consider voting for Oakland -- you can give 3 of 5 votes to a single city -- and helping us move from 3rd place to 1st place.



    oas logo

    Meet Nikolai the Great! 


    OAS cat Nikolai



    Nikolai is a big, gentle sweetheart of a tabby cat. He arrived at the shelter as a stray and  really could  use a loving home. This two-year-old boy is still setting into the hustle and bustle of shelter life and might  need a little bit of time to settle into a new home. But once you've earned his trust, Nikolai will reward you with years of affection and many, many hours of lap time! Come check out his photos here.




    Holiday Hours


    Free Downtown Oakland Broadway Shuttle Hours ExtendedBroadway shuttle logoOn New Year's Eve

    On Tuesday, December 31, the City of Oakland and AC Transit will co-sponsor extended "B" Shuttle service for revelers ringing in the New Year in downtown Oakland. The shuttle will operate from 7am on New Year's Eve until 1am on New Year's Day, running every 10-15 minutes between Jack London Square and Grand Avenue/27th Street. Use this safe alternative to driving and enjoy Oakland's nightlife! 

    For shuttle route and other info: 

    For more info generally: Zach Seal, Broadway Shuttle Project Manager, at or 238-2937


    Upcoming New Year Office Closures for the City

    On Wednesday, January 1, the City of Oakland's administrative officeswill be closed in observance of the Christmas and New Year's Day holidays. 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 the holiday. 


    Please note that all library locations will be closed onWednesday, January 1. All library locations will be open on Tuesday, December 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

    For more info: 


    EDITOR' NOTE: This section is arranged chronologically. For those who want to
    shop, we have a little red shopping bag shopping bag icon next to the events that offer holiday gift giving items. We'll be adding much more to this section in the coming weeks and will run it through the end of the year. Please feel free to send ideas to Susan. Thanks!


    Winter Day Camps for kids Parks n Rec logo alt

    From Monday, December 23 through Friday, January 3

    At various recreation centers throughout Oakland

    The camps will have games, arts & crafts, movie screenings, hot chocolate & cookies, and lots of fun. While a snack will be provided each day, participants must bring their own lunch daily. Please note there will be no camps on Wednesday, December 25 or Wednesday, January 1. Please contact your local recreation center for registration and fee details. 

    • Carmen Flores Recreation Center, 1637 Fruitvale Avenue. 8am-6pm. Ages 5 to 13. Contact Angelica Lopez, Center Director, 535-5637. 
    • Dimond Recreation Center, 3860 Hanly Road. 7:30am-6:30pm. Ages 5 to 13. Contact Michelle Doppelt, Center Director, 482-7831. 
    • Franklin Recreation Center, 1010 E. 15th Street. 8am-6pm. Ages 5 to 13. Hours on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve will be 8am-4pm. Contact Rebecca Chhom, Center Director, 238-7741. 
    • Golden Gate Recreation Center, 1075 62nd Street. 7:30am-6pm. Ages 5 to 13. Extended camp will be offered January 6 to 10. Contact Alaina Fugelsted, Center Director, 597-5032. 
    • Inclusion Center at Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center, 7701 Krause Avenue. 8:30am-6pm. Ages 11 to 18. Hours on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve will be 8:30am-2pm. Contact Erin Burton or Joy Sledge at 615-5980 or email .
    • Ira Jinkins Recreation Center, 9175 Edes Avenue. 7:30am-6pm. Ages 5 to 13. Contact Donte Watson, Center Director, 615-5959. 
    • Manzanita Recreation Center, 2701 22nd Avenue. 8am-6pm. Ages 5 to 12. Contact Marcy Sanchez, Center Director, 535-5625. 
    • Sheffield Village Recreation Center, 247 Marlow Drive. 8am-6pm. Ages 3 to 11. Contact Christina Bagwell, Center Director, 638-7190. 

    O Pub LIbrary logo on green




    90-Second Newbery Film Festival 3rd Annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival

    This Winter Break, it will be lights, camera, action for many talented local kids. The third annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is fast approaching, and that means it is time to get busy for any young bookworm who has the inkling to make a short film about a Newbery Award-winning title.  90 second newbery


    The deadline for 2014 festival entries is January 20. (See link to rules and details, below.) 


    Films will screen locally at the Rockridge Branch Library, 5366 College Avenue, on Saturday, February 8, from 12 to 1:15 p.m.


    The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is a video contest in which filmmakers of any age make movies that tell the entire story of a Newbery award-winning book in 90 seconds or less. The results are compelling efforts by young directors, actors, screenwriters, and even animators. All ages welcome; best for ages 7 and up.


    Nina Lindsay, Children's Services Supervisor at the Oakland Public Library, is thrilled the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is making a stop at the Rockridge Branch as it makes its West Coast tour. "All the more reason for Oakland kids and teens (who we know can make some great videos) to submit an entry for consideration for the screening. We'd all love to see some local talent up there on the screen! And this winter, wonderfully, our libraries are not closed for furloughs; with the exception of the holidays we are OPEN through winter break... so if you need some Newbery books for ideas, you know where to find them."


    For more info and instructions for entering your film: 


    For more info about the Rockridge Branch screening: or contact Nina Lindsay, Children's Librarian, at 238-6706 or




    Explore the Universe at the Chabot Space Science Center

    This is a great time to visit our world class science center.  Enjoy the special programs for the holidays -- hikes, lectures, comets, new planetarium shows.  Special Holiday Hours thru January 5.Mon - Thu (10am - 5pm), Fri - Sat (10am - 10pm) & Sun (10am - 5pm). Wed 1/1: Open New Year's Day

    2nd Annual Holiday Art Salon Exhibit,
    now thru Friday, January 31, Various Hours, Joyce Gordon red shopping bag
    Gallery, 406 14th Street.
    Browse a wide selection of unique art and gifts from over 20 local and national artists. 

    For more 

    holiday ice 

    Holiday Ice Public Skating,

    Now thru Saturday, January 4, Various Hours, Oakland Ice Center, 519 18th Street.
    Enjoy the holidays by gliding across the rink. Skate one session and get 50% off the second session on the same day. Warm clothing and gloves recommended. 

    For more info:





    zoo lites Zoo Lights, Now thru Sunday, January 5, 5:30-9pm  

    Hundreds of thousands of LED lights brighten Oakland's night sky. Highlights include a candy cane lane themed rides area, a night time adventure on the Outback Express train, rocking around the Christmas trees in the Children's Zoo, and a light show that's sure to blow out any bah-hum-bugs. 

    Click here for more info. 


    cemetery holiday 2 7th Annual Holiday Circle of Lights,
    December 1 through New Year's Day, every day, 5-9pm, Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Ave.

    A giant Nutcracker soldier awaits your arrival, then a magical storyland of lights will continue to delight you. The whimsical display, which begins at the front fountain, features a reindeer sled, and train of toys; snowmen; skaters; candy canes; bells; poinsettias; playful penguins; a carriage scene; a horse and sleigh; and a holiday arch of lights. Hundreds of tiny bright lights outlining the buildings and trees provide the perfect backdrop for this enchanting exhibition. Join us for another Mountain View Cemetery tradition. There is no charge!

    For more info: 




    Annual Kwanzaa Karamu - "Celebrating and Living Kwanzaa: Sowing and Harvesting Seeds of Good" Saturday, December 28, 5pm, Imani Church, 3300 MacArthur Blvd.   

    The Kwanzaa Karamu traditionally takes place on December 31st, which is the sixth day of the holiday and includes a night of celebration and food. Imani's Karamu will take place on the 28th, followed by regular worship service on the 29th, and our annual Watch Night service on the 31st.


    Join the Life Enrichment Ministry as we are led by the Children & Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, Men of Imani, Women of Imani, Imani Kids For Christ (KFC), and Imani Ya Watume in our annual Kwanzaa celebration. A traditional Karamu feast will be enjoyed in the Fireside Room following the Kwanzaa program in the sanctuary.







    Balloon Drop at Chabot Space & Science Center - a kid's way to ring in the new year. Monday, CSS baloon drop 1212
    December 31, starting at 11am. CSSC, 10000 Skyline Blvd. 
    Ring in the New Year without staying up all night - come to Chabot and celebrate strokes of midnight around the world at 11am, 1pm, and 4pm! Kids count down and catch colorful balloons as they drop from the ceiling to receive a special prize. Now the kids can ring in the New Year without staying up past their bedtime!

    Tickets: $4 per child plus General Admission


    Drop Times

    11am: Ages 5 & Under (Rotunda)

    1pm : Ages 6 -12 (Rotunda)

    1pm: Ages 5 & Under (Discovery Lab)

    4pm: Ages 6 - 12 (Rotunda)

    4pm: Ages 5 & Under (Discovery Lab)


    Registration: Space is limited! Call the Box Office at 336-7373 to register.

    Click here for more info. 



    Cohen Bray house

    New Year's Tea and Tour,
    Saturday, January 4, 11pm, 2pm, & 3pm, Cohen-Bray House, 1440 29th Avenue.
    Start with a tour of this historic home built in 1884 before Tea is served in the formal dining room on the family's silver and china. Dress in warm period clothes to step back in time. 

    For more info: or 843-2906





    ccsc front cropped



    January 4, 2014


    Chabot Space and Science Center


    For over a decade I have hosted a community party at the Chabot Science Center with food, music, and a chance for the city activists to just talk.  My friends and I cook much of the food and we include one of the center's planetarium shows.  Please consider joining us.  



    2. DISCOVER OAKLAND -- This week


    Editor's Note: Remember to check both the UPCOMING and the RECURRING sections, way down at the bottom, for additional events.





    Friday Nights at the Oakland Museum with Off the Grid Food Trucks, Oakland Museum, 1000 Oak St.  
    Off the Grid is taking a break until January 9th.  But tonight, Friday, December 27th the Museum will be open until 9 pm.




    seniors 2
    Board Game Days,
    Every Wednesday, 11am-4:30pm, Hall 2, Downtown Oakland Senior Center, 200 Grand Ave.  

    Join others in rousing board games including Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle and many more. 

    For more info: Jennifer King, Senior Center Director, or 238-3284 




    DOSC Holiday Chorus, Wednesdays, starting November 6, 3pm, Downtown Oakland Senior Center, 200 Grand Avenue.
    Rehearsals will be held every Wednesday starting November 6th and the Holiday Program Performance of the Chorus will be on December 13th. Senior singers at every level are encouraged to participate. 

    For more info: Jennifer King, Director of the Downtown Oakland Senior Center, or 238-3284



    senior nutrition

    Healthy Living For Seniors, 1st Tuesdays of the month starting January 7 (thru June), 10:30am, North Oakland Senior Center, located at 5714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

    The UC Cooperative Extension will provide information about nutrition, exercise and health at the monthly event. There will be healthy cooking demonstrations, low cost recipes and gifts including measuring spoons and reusable grocery bags. 

    For more info: Mary Norton, Center Director, at or 597-5085





    Oakland Bowling League, Wednesdays thru January 15, 8-10pm, South Shore Lanes, 300 Park Street, Alameda.
    Teams are invited to "Come out and Play the OPR Way."


    For more info: Renee Tucker, Recreation Specialist, at or 238-2952.




    Holiday Fit Camp,
    starting December 2 every Monday and Wednesday until January 2, 6:45-7:45pm, Golden Gate Recreation Center, 1075 62nd Street. 
    Ages 16 and above are invited to come out for the fitness class consisting of light cardio, toning muscles, circuit workouts, stretching and the infamous squat challenge.  Please note that there will be no classes on Wednesday, December 25 or January 1; the makeup dates for these classes will be Thursday, December 26 and Thursday, January 2. 

    Registration is $30 for all 10 classes or $5 per class. 

    For more info: Alaina Fugelsted, Recreation Director, 597-5032


    steppin dance
    Chicago Steppin' classes,
    Thursdays, 8-10pm, Ira Jinkins Rec Center, 9175 Edes Ave.
    The classes will be held every Thursday through August. Participants will enjoy great music, dancing and conversation while learning the art of the "Chicago Step." 

    For more info and to register: Donte Watson, Recreation Center Director, or 615-5959 







    $5 Movie Day Every Sunday & Tuesday, Regal Cinema Jack London 100 Washington St.

    Tired of shelling out $10 - $12 for movies in a theater? Then take advantage of the Regal, Jack London's all day $5 movie deal! 

    For more info: 



    Parkway Theater logo

    The New Parkway, 474 24th Street

    658-7900 or 

    If you haven't yet been to this movie theater, you really must go. Comfy (clean) couches, good food, and all sorts of themes. Check the website for all the specifics.





    AT FAIRYLAND Fairyland Winterland 2012  


    There are many different events for the holidays. Click here for all the specifics. 


    Regular Events -- Saturday & Sunday

    2pm & 4pm: Puppet Show: The Shepherdess & The Chimney Sweep.

    Hans Christian Andersen's delightful tale about love and adventure as experienced by china dolls. Original songs and script by Foreman Brown. Production designed by Sheliah Beckett. Puppets by Lewis Mahlmann.


    12-2pm: The Marilynn O'Hare Arts & Crafts Center is open with activities geared toward children and their families.


    1-1:20pm: Animal of the Day!  Come up close and learn about one of our animal friends. Which one of Fairyland's feathered, furry or wooly creatures will it be today? Find out at the Humpty Dumpty wall.


    1:30pm & 2:30pm: Award-winning Storyteller John Weaver will entertain with his lively, humor-filled stories for children of all ages.



    9777 Golf Links Rd
    For more info:

    Animal Encounters, 
    Sundays, 11:30am and 12:15pm (for about 20 minutes)

    Docent led live animal presentation: Wild animals need your help, come find out what you can do. 

    Learn about and meet some of our amazing animals close up. Our Program Animals are presented with fun facts and important messages; spend 20 minutes with us in the WildLife Theater!  This program is free with regular Zoo Admission. 



    Zoo Lights, Friday, Now thru Sunday, January 5, 5:30-9pm  zoo lites

    Hundreds of thousands of LED lights brighten Oakland's night sky. Highlights include a candy cane lane themed rides area, a night time adventure on the Outback Express train, rocking around the Christmas trees in the Children's Zoo, and a light show that's sure to blow out any bah-hum-bugs. 

    Click here for more info. 





    10000 Skyline Blvd.  

    For more info, click here.



    Nighttime Comet Stories, Friday, December 27, 9-11pm comet

    Thought to be the "Comet of the Century," Comet ISON has sadly fizzled away. But we're still talking comets as we snuggle up and hear tales of comets past. Listen to our resident comet expert explain ISON's path and what made this comet so special. Bring binoculars, blankets and warm clothes. Hot beverages will be for sale.

    Click here for more info. 



    laserium Laserium - The Cosmic Laser Concert 40th Anniversary 

    Select days thru Sunday, December 15, various show times. 

    Experience this classic laser light show set to the beats of such rock icons as Pink Floyd and The Beatles. Immersed in the darkness of the planetarium, this stunning light show is music for your eyes. Whether you are a fan from the past or new to the show, LASERIUM draws you into the 

    light.  Click here for more info. 



    Dinner, a Movie, and the Universe, Friday & Saturday evenings.

    CSSC dinner movie universe The perfect date night experience is back! By popular demand, our unique after-dark offering has returned. Join us for a full-course dinner in our Skyline Bistro, enjoy our live-narrated Planetarium show Cosmos 360, and view the night sky through our telescopes (weather permitting). Reservations are not required, but strongly encouraged. 

    Costs (includes Admission, Dinner, and Planetarium Show)

    Guests: $23 Adults / $16 Children

    Members: $15 Adults / $11 Children

    *Dinner only walk-ins welcome: $17 Adults / $13 Children

    *Price does not include admission to the Center

    For more info, click here.



    O MUseum logo hi res
    At the Oakland Museum,
     1000 Oak Street 

    For more info: 


    A Cinematic Study of Fog in San Francisco

    Now through June 29, 2014

    Acclaimed filmmaker Sam Green and cinematographer Andy Black present a video work in OMCA's Gallery of California Art based on their ongoing investigation of fog - a remarkable weather phenomenon that profoundly characterizes the San Francisco Bay. Known for their work together on the Academy Award-nominated film The Weather Underground, and other pioneering, experimental documentary features, Green and Black showcase a visually compelling experience of fog and the rich feelings it evokes.  At once sublime, quirky, and deeply existential, A Cinematic Study of Fog in San Francisco heightens our awareness of our environment and highlights how the complex systems of wind, air, and water around us engage the life of our minds and stir emotions. A Cinematic Study of Fog in San Francisco is presented in partnership with the Exploratorium's Bay Observatory and Cinema Arts Program. Click here for more info. 



    2nd Annual Holiday Art Salon Exhibit, now thru Friday, January 31, Various Hours, Joyce Gordon
    Gallery, 406 14th Street.
    Browse a wide selection of unique art and gifts from over 20 local and national artists. 

    For more info: 


    New Media Art Installation Transforms Old Oakland!

    Occupations: Art Takes Up Space, Friday & Saturday evenings, 5:30-8:30pm, thru January 4, 2014, along 9th Street between Broadway and Washington.

    This site-specific art exhibition is curated by Anuradha Vikram, and includes new media works by Freddy Chandra, Allan de Souza, Desirée Holman, Ranu Mukherjee, Jerome Reyes and José Carlos Teixeira. This is as a free, public installation illuminating 12 windows along 9th street between Broadway and Washington in Old Oakland Street. 

    For more info, click here.



    ART Exhibits at Oakland Public Libraries


    ARiSE High School Student Art, through May 30, 2014, César E. Chávez Branch, 3301 East 12th St.
    Art teacher Nils Heymann has curated a show by his students. Works include scratchboards, textural pieces, and other media. Pieces will be rotating in and out of the exhibit all school year in the TeenZone and the meeting room. 


    Cuba Libre: Images from a Curious Bystander on the Side of a Cuban Road, November 2 - December 27, Lakeview Branch, 550 El Embarcadero. 

    Nancy Duranteau's documentary photographs from Cuba. The images displayed showcase societal issues, and through them Ms. Duranteau invites us to join in her efforts for self-improvement and strengthened communities. 


    O public library logo AT OUR PUBLIC LIBRARIES

    Many library events are recurring. Some are highlighted here temporarily, but be sure to check the last section (RECURRING EVENTS) for items no longer listed in this section and click here for a link to all library events.


    Library events page:



    California Library Association Conference Coming to Oakland

    This month, the Oakland Convention Center will be the site of the California Library Association's (CLA) annual conference. The annual CLA Conference is California's premier event for library professionals. Attendees have the opportunity to network and learn via workshops, presentations and special events; meet vendors and check out their latest products and services; and world-renowned speakers inform, motivate and entertain. The theme for the 2014 conference will be "Be the Change." 

    For more info: Sharon McKellar, Community Relations Librarian, or 238-3513



    Editor's Note: In the interest of space, we're removing the regular, recurring items we usually have in this section. The Libraries offer so many events -- best that you just check out their website for all the details:


    Tutoring Help at Asian Public Library!, Tuesdays, 6-7:30pm, Asian Branch, 388 9th Street Suite 190.
    FREE tutoring every Tuesday night at Asian Branch Library!  All subjects accepted.  Space is limited! 

    Call 238-3400 to be placed on a waiting list.

    Click here for more info.



    Affordable Health Care Act: Your Questions Answered, Wednesdays through 2013, 1-4pm, Main Library, 125 14th St.

    Come and learn about the Affordable Health Care Act. A certified enrollment counselor will be available to answer your questions and assist with the application process in the Main Library computer lab. 

    For info: Mana Tominaga, Supervising Librarian, 238-6611 or 


    eBook Help, Thursdays, 5:30-7:30pm, Main Library Computer Lab, 125 14th Street. 

    Get help downloading eBooks to your Kindle, Nook, smartphone, or laptop! We will help you get started with our rich collection of digital resources.  Click here for more info.



    Zumba!, Saturdays, 2:15-3:15pm, 81st Ave Branch Classroom, 1021 81st Avenue (at Rudsdale). 

    Join the library for Zumba, dance, and other exercises!  Each class is led by an instructor and a video, making it easy to follow along.  Classes are for Teens and Adults, or join for Family Dance Classes at 1pm. Click here for more info. 



    3.  Community Policing





    City rolls out new police vehicles in largest fleet purchase since 2001

    The City of Oakland announced last week the addition of 82 new vehicles to the public safety vehicle fleet, including a new type of police patrol vehicle. The Ford Police Interceptor Utility will be replacing some of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptors currently in service.


    Public safety is my highest priority and this roll-out marks another step in our progress toward a safer Oakland. We are investing strongly in growing our police force, from training and hiring new officers to making sure they have the equipment and vehicles they need to do the job well and safely. I'm proud of everyone who played a role in making this happen, and I thank them all for their commitment to keeping Oakland safe.


    The Crown Victoria is no longer produced, so the City had to select a new type of vehicle to be its standard. 

    The new vehicle offers safety and environmental improvements over the Crown Vic. New features such as a backup camera, blind-spot monitoring and stability control reduce the risk of accidents. The new vehicles are expected to get 30% better fuel economy than the existing patrol cars. In addition, the SUV design provides greater space and better access for officers and their equipment.


    Funding for the new vehicles comes from an $11,850,000 lease-purchase program approved by City Council earlier this year, and other funding. This allows the City to make some overdue vehicle replacements without having to expend the total purchase cost in one year. The program will also buy fire apparatus, street sweepers and other important vehicles. 


    There are 82 new vehicles on order. The first ones ready have been used to train officers. The rest will be deployed over the next few months, as they are up-fit with equipment and communications upgrades by the Oakland Department of Information and Technology.



    OPD Makes U-Visa Information Available

    On Tuesday, November 19, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) added a new page to its website on the U-Visa program. A form of witness protection, the U-Visa is a non-immigrant, temporary visa, which allows a victim who has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse from certain crimes (specified in federal law), and who provides information that has, is or will assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crimes, to remain in the United States for up to four years. The City of Oakland and OPD have been staunch supporters of the U-Visa program since it started back in 2007. The U-Visa program furthers the City's humanitarian policies of providing refuge to victims of human rights violations and crimes abroad. OPD encourages community members, especially those who are non-documented and in fear of deportation, to report crime and seek assistance with the U-Visa program. 

    To view OPD's U-Visa web page, click here. 

    For more info: Sgt. Holly Joshi, OPD Chief of Staff, or 238-3131. 






    CeaseFire Oakland/LifeLines to Healing -- Walk our neighborhoods CF walkers


    The City of Oakland and local faith-based organizations are continuing their neighborhood Night Walks on Fridays from 6:30 to 9pm -- just one of the ways that community members can get involved in Operation Ceasefire. These walks are organized by residents and faith leaders in areas where Ceasefire is focused. I join the walks at least once a month.  Volunteers are trained in advance of the Night Walk and are accompanied by other volunteers for the EVENT this week duration of the walk. The purpose of the Night Walk is to reach out to communities affected by violence and to take back the streets.  I joined last Friday's walk, this was our orientation meeting.  The next walks start from these locations: 

    • December 27- CITYTEAM WALK 

    For more info: 639-1440 or




    The Alameda County District Attorney's Office publishes "Did You Know" -- a recurring email newsletter that keeps you updated on the recent verdicts and news from the their office.


    Subscribe at 


    Updates from the DA on Twitter: 







    Many Arrests Are Made Each Week Because Citizens Report Suspicious Activity

    Please remember to be alert and report suspicious activity to the police:

    777-3333 OPD non-emergency number


    This number should be used to report any suspicious behavior and suspicious vehicles parked or driving in your neighborhood or area of business. Callers can opt not to provide their name and number and remain anonymous. Please include any descriptive details that could be helpful. Jot down the date, time and location you saw the vehicle or suspicious person. Each time this information is reported, it is used in the investigative process. 

    911 for life threatening emergencies

    777-3211 emergency when calling from your cell phone


    Use Nixle Tip Watch to send an anonymous tip in 1 of 3 ways:  

    1. Text TIP OAKLANDPD to 888777 from your cell phone  
    2. Call the toll-free tip hotline at 855-TIPS-247 (855-847-7247)  
    3. Respond to OPD's Nixle messages 

    To view the Nixle message, click here


    Nixle -- stay informed of events, news, and announcements

    If you have not already done so, please sign up for NIXLE to receive OPD alerts, advisories, and community messages.  You can sign up for your beat to receive updates from OPD. 



    4.  CITY NEWS 

    Council is recessed until the second week of January.


     Fallen Tree Removed After Ceremony


    Last week the Parks and Rec Dept hosted a brief ceremony before removing the 137 year old eucalyptus tree that fell during the early December windstorm.


    A section of the tree will be preserved for display.


    The tree luckily fell away from the recently renovated Lake Chalet Restaurant.  It is good reminder to take a look at trees around your home.  Winter is a good time to trim them and inspect their health.  Many aging Monterey Pines in the City are nearing the end of their life span and are prone to disease.  Consider taking out unhealthy trees and replanting native trees.  Tribune Photo




    City Council Adopts Redistricting Map

    On December 10, the Oakland City Council adopted new 2013-2023 electoral district boundaries with the second reading and final unanimous passage of Ordinance No. 13206 C.M.S. To view the adopted map, please visit 


    To inform those residents affected by changes to district boundaries, the City of Oakland will undertake an outreach campaign beginning in January. In addition to the use of Web and Social Media outlets, the campaign will include a direct mail piece to affected households, presentations to Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils in areas where the boundaries shifted, and informational slides on the City's television station, KTOP TV-10. Printed information will be available in English, Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese. 


    The Oakland City Charter mandates the review of City Council District boundaries every 10 years to equalize each district's population according to U.S. Census data. The Oakland City Council Districts also serve as the electoral districts for the Governing Board of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), commonly called the Board of Education. 


    Many Oakland residents participated in the Redistricting process by attending one of the meetings, submitting a map online, sending a letter or email, joining the online conversation at, or leaving a voice message on the Redistricting hotline. The public submitted more than 50 maps with suggested boundary changes. 


    To view the reports, relevant legislation, submitted maps and more, please visit


    For more info: Devan Reiff, AICP, Planner II, at or 238-3550. 




    Curt Flood Sports Complex Renovation Fundraiser

    On December 5, the Office of Parks and Recreation (OPR) kicked off fundraising efforts for the renovation of the Curt Flood Multipurpose Field. OPR, along with Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation (FOPR), would like to convert the Curt Flood Multipurpose Field, located on School Street and Coolidge Avenue, into a true complex that boasts areas for baseball, softball, football, soccer and basketball. 


    OPR is looking to breathing life back into the field. Unfortunately, over the years, this sports field has fallen into disrepair. Organizations, schools and families are no longer using the field at full capacity due to its current condition. 


    The Curt Flood Sports Complex Committee, which includes former San Francisco Giants player and OPR Employee, Nate Oliver, is organizing an endeavor to renovate the Curt Flood Multipurpose Field. OPR's hope is to have as many supporters as possible to join in this effort. The new complex will include new bleachers, lights, a concession stand and other updated amenities. 


    For more info on the renovation project: 






    Boards and Commissions are a wonderful way for residents to participate in city government, and currently we are recruiting for several openings. 

    • The Emeryville-Berkeley-Oakland Transit Study Advisory Committee has a vacancy for a West Oakland resident to join its newly forming committee. The purpose of the study is to examine the establishment of a multi-city transit corridor to supplement and enhance existing public transportation for the support of residents and new job-producing commercial enterprise in Wes t Oakland, West Berkeley and Emeryville.   For more info: 
    • If your interest is in arts and culture, there are vacancies on the Public Art Advisory Committee.
    • The Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board has a a couple of vacancies for someone with a background in real estate, landscape architecture, planning, and/or community local history. Meetings are every 2nd Monday of the month at 6pm.
    • The Commission on Persons with Disabilities has some vacancies, looking for someone who wants to make a difference in Oakland.  This hardy group of volunteers advises the city on its compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).   It works hard to advocate on behalf of the community to the mayor, council members, city staff, and affiliated agencies and organizations. If you are a resident of Oakland and are interested, visit to apply.
    • The Citizen's Police Review Board has two vacancies for alternate positions and one is specifically for a youth candidate. The Citizens' Police Review Board is committed to ensuring that Oakland has a professional police department whose members behave with integrity and justice.
    • The Civil Service Board has a vacancy for someone who has interest in participating in the enforcement of the City's personnel system.
    • The Measure Z - Cannabis Regulatory Committee has an opening.
    • The Violence Prevention and Public Safety Oversight Committees are looking for one or two excellent candidates. 
    Due to the term limits that pertain to most Boards and Commissions, vacancies in nearly all of them are continuously occurring.  If you are interested in being considered for any of these Boards and Commissions, please send a letter of interest and your resume to Hatzune Aguilar Sanchez at .   



    6. The TECH Side of Oakland



    OPLfreecomputerhelpReady, Set, Connect - Free computer help at 6 library branches

    computer help at opl

    Now through May 2014

    The Oakland Public Library has 190 public access computers available at its locations for one hour sessions for anyone with a library card. Computers can be reserved at Patrons needing assistance from a tutor will need to sign up for a computer at one of the five branches listed, during the scheduled period. (Computers are also available for use at other times and library locations, but without a tutor.) 


    Ready, Set, Connect! is made available thanks to a partnership between the Oakland Public Library and Community Technology Network. It's a workforce development program designed to provide local youth with technology-based job skills through a balanced combination of classroom training and hands-on work experience.


    MAIN LIBRARY, 125 14th Street -- Wednesdays 6-8pm; Saturdays 10am-12pm; Sundays 1-4:30pm 


    ASIAN BRANCH, 388 9th Street, Suite 190 -- Saturdays 10:30am-12:30pm; 


    CÉSAR E. CHÁVEZ BRANCH, 3301 East 12th Street, Ste. 271 -- Tuesdays 5-8pm; 

    Saturdays 10am-12pm; Wednesdays 1:30-5:30pm


    DIMOND BRANCH, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue -- Tuesdays 12:30-2:30pm 


    EASTMONT BRANCH 7200 Bancroft Avenue (Eastmont Town Center, Suite 211) -- 

    Mondays 11:30am-2:30pm 


    ROCKRIDGE BRANCH, 5366 College Avenue -- Tuesdays 4-6pm; Saturdays 1-3pm



    7. VOLUNTEER Opportunities


    ACFdBank food barrels ala co cmty fd bank logo Alameda County Food Bank -- Holiday Food & Fund Drive

    Now through January 31, 2014

    The Food Bank is serving 1 in 6 residents of Alameda County - nearly half of them children. The 2013 holiday season may mark the highest demand for emergency food ever!


    Help us meet increased demand this holiday season! Start a traditional barrel drive at your work, school or organization and keep our shelves stocked with much-needed non-perishable staples like cereal, canned meat and fish, and pasta. Or start a Virtual Food Drive - for every $1 you donate we can distribute $4 worth of food to children, seniors and families in need.

    In 2012, the Holiday Food & Fund Drive raised over 725,000 pounds of food and over $284,000 from companies and individuals hosting barrels and virtual food drives.


    You can start a Virtual Food Drive -- for every $1 you donate ACFB can distribute $5 worth of food to children, seniors and families in need.


    For more info: 



    O Literacy Coalition 

    Oakland Literacy Coalition's Volunteer Training Series starts in January

    The Oakland Literacy Coalition's Volunteer Training Series is a free training opportunity for current or prospective Oakland elementary school literacy volunteers. Attendees are eligible for free Live Scan fingerprinting and free TB testing (if available.) Volunteers must attend at least one workshop to receive the free services, and if offered, TB testing requires attending both days of the event from 3-4pm. Photo ID is required for the Live Scan service. 


    Tuesday, January 14 and Thursday, January 16, 3-6pm

    East Bay Community Foundation Conference Center 

    353 Frank Ogawa Plaza, 2nd Floor

    Free Live Scan fingerprinting and TB testing (if available) from 3-4pm and Training Workshops from 4-6pm


    Workshops will be provided in English and Spanish on the following topics:

    • Tuesday, Jan 14- Engaging Students: Come brainstorm and practice strategies for keeping your students engaged by building strong relationships, setting clear expectations and making learning fun.  
    • Thursday, Jan 16- Fun Literacy Activities: Learn and practice various literacy activities to do with your students during your tutoring sessions. Each activity will be aligned with a strategy or skill that students need in order to be effective readers.  

    For more info, click here.




    Keep money in Oakland!  

    Help Oaklanders receive over a million dollars this tax season! 

    Low-income individuals and families spend, on average, $250 to have their taxes prepared every year. 


    Community Trust, a division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union, is a Community Development Financial Institution in West Oakland and has had a Free Tax Site for 11 years.  We partner with United Way of the Bay Area's Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Program.

      cmty trust logo

    Last tax season, Community Trust volunteers helped to:

    • secure over $1 million in refunds
    • prepare over 900 tax returns
    • save filers $226,000 in fees
    • set up direct deposit for 71% of our filers

    Find out more about volunteering here from Sayla: 267-0450 x7505 or 




    OASvolunteerVolunteer for Oakland Animal Services

    oas logo

    Volunteers are essential to Oakland Animal Services (OAS). Not only do OAS volunteers benefit from a fun and rewarding experience, but they also significantly improve the lives of the shelter animals. Spending time with the animals, increasing adoptions by helping citizens find the right animal to join their family, and making new friends along the way, volunteers are a driving force behind OAS.

    Volunteers can train to work with:

    • Cats 
    • Dogs
    • Rabbits
    • The staff to assist with administrative tasks

    Volunteers learn skills for handling each type of animal and techniques for talking with the public about adoptions of them. 

    Learn more about volunteering here. 


    Also, if you're interested in the animals themselves, click here to jump to our spotlight on this week's pet.




    org for health careCalifornia Health Insurance Exchange needs your help

    California's new health care program will start enrolling residents on October 1st. Volunteers are needed to inform residents about enrollment dates, where to go for information and sign-up.  


    Invited presenters will include: Health Services, NAACP, La Clinica and Organizing for Action, Volunteering for Oakland.  


    For more info:


    Success depends on a proactive, prepared volunteer outreach. Learn more about the California Health Insurance Exchange . 



    health care reform 2 

    Become a Volunteer Health Navigator

    Allen Temple Health and Social Services and the Robert C. Scott Wellness Center are seeking persons to join the Volunteer Health Navigation Team.  The navigators will provide education on the Affordable Care Act (also known as 'Obamacare'), healthcare coverage options, as well as assist in healthcare enrollment.  Volunteers will receive training and a certificate of completion.  A six-month commitment is requested.

    For more info: Raquel Cummings 544-975 or 




    Have a little time to share? Interested in helping Oakland teens succeed?
    writer coach connection logo

    WriterCoach Connection takes teams of trained community volunteers into public school English classes to work with students on their classroom writing assignments. We believe one-on-one feedback from caring adults helps students develop their ideas and become confident and competent writers. Our two-part volunteer trainings provide strategies and practice to work effectively with students at all levels of achievement and all stages of the writing process. Writer Coach Cx foto2


    In Oakland we coach at Fremont High School in the Fruitvale and have recently expanded to Oakland School for the Arts. We have a great need for coaches, especially at Fremont High. The commitment is just 1-2 hours per week, 2-4 weeks each month during the school year.


    For more info: or Camille Graves, Oakland Volunteer Coordinator, or 306-1792






    8. SAFE & HEALTHY Oakland




    EVENT this week Get more info about Covered California

    The Affordable Care Act for the East Bay has been holding outreach events to inform and educate residents about Covered California.  Here's some information they would like to pass on:

    Toll Free Helpline for Covered California:  org for health care

    • In English: 800-300-1506
    • En espanol: 800-300-0213

    Information EVERY person applying needs: 

    • SS or Taxpayer ID Number. 
    • Employer and income information. 
    • Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household. has information in multiple languages for download and customer service reps can discuss insurance plans in your preferred language.


    ACA for East Bay's Facebook page with information and outreach events 


    Upcoming tabling events where you can speak with ACA for East Bay volunteers and pick-up some literature:

    Lakeshore Farmers' Market

    Every Saturday in December, 9am-1pm

    Splash Pad Park Corner of Grand and Lake Park Ave's.



    safetytips... AND YOUR SAFETY...



    winter safety tips




    xmas tree safety




    Holiday Safety Tips

    From the Oakland Police Departmentopd holiday safety banner


    The holiday season is a wonderfully magical time of year. With all the colorful holiday lights, joyful music, sounds of laughter and feelings of good will, it's easy to forget that we may become a victim of a crime. While there are no guarantees, there are things you can do to avoid being an easy target. The following suggestions are offered by OPD to assist you and your family:


    At Home

    • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave home, even for a few minutes. Make sure all doors close easily and lock securely.
    • When leaving home for an extended time, ask a family member or trusted neighbor to watch your house, pick up your newspaper and mail, and accept any deliveries.
    • Indoor and outdoor lights and a radio should be left operated by an automatic timer so your home looks and sounds occupied when you are away.
    • Home displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows or doors.
    • Engrave all personal property with your California Drivers License or California ID number. Photograph or videotape the items you cannot engrave. An engraver is available from OPD by calling 986-2715.


    • Do not leave packages or any other items in plain view on the seat of your car. Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
    • Assess the surroundings when arriving at any location, and be aware of the surroundings when leaving or approaching your car.
    • Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
    • As much as possible and practical, avoid driving alone at night.
    • Make sure all doors and windows are closed and locked while in or out of your car.
    • If you must stop while driving at night, park in a well-lighted area.
    • Make sure your car is in good operating condition and the gas tank is full.
    • Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells or cars with tinted windows that prevent you from seeing inside.
    • At night, when walking between cars in parking lots, be cautious when passing a vehicle with someone sitting inside or with open sliding side doors of a van
    • Scams
    • Criminals try to take advantage of your good will during the holiday season. Your trust in others can make you vulnerable to scams.
    • Be wary of aggressive solicitors or panhandlers at your front door and NEVER invite them into your home.
    • Consider posting a "NO SOLICITING" sign that is visible to anyone approaching your door. Legitimately licensed solicitors should not bother you. All others should be considered unscrupulous and in violation of the law.

    Home Party 

    • Inform your neighbors of your plans for a holiday party and apologize in advance for any inconvenience the party may cause. Invite them to the party.
    • If your neighbor cannot attend, be considerate; don't let the music get too loud and plan to end the party at a reasonable time.
    • Consider providing only non-alcoholic beverages for your guests. 
    • Before guests arrive, remove items of value from the rooms where the party will be held. Secure your valuables in a locked room. (It may be necessary for you to replace some existing locks or install deadbolt locks on some interior doors.)
    • If alcohol is to be served, arrange for a designated drive that will not drink any alcohol and will be available to transport those who may need a ride home.
    • If you host a party where alcohol is being served and children or persons under 21 years old are present, DO NOT PERMIT THEM TO CONSUME ANY ALCOHOL. 
    • Be wary of "party crashers." Calmly ask them to leave. If they refuse, do not become aggressive. Remain calm. Call the police non-emergency # immediately at 777-3333.

    Click here for a PDF version. 


    9.  GREENING Oakland



    friends of sausal creek 

    Friends of Sausal Creek Events

    Click here  

    for a full calendar of events and directions to each event.


    erosion control  
    State of the Creeks 2014: Erosion Control and Working with the City, Wednesday, January 15, 7pm, Dimond Library, 3565 Fruitvale Ave.
    This workshop will help property owners and restoration volunteers learn about simple erosion control techniques for enhancing creekside properties. 


    For more info: 510-501-3672,, or click here.






    Parks n Rec logo alt Garden with Oakland Parks and Recreation, various dates, times, and locations. 

    Volunteering with the City of Oakland Community Gardening program is a great way to get involved with your community and meet people. There are five regularly scheduled volunteer days every month occurring on Saturdays that correspond with when gardeners meet at the gardens to work on community spaces and projects. Simply show up and lend a hand. There will be someone at each of these days to sign off on service hours. See list below.


    Larger groups of volunteers looking to work on a more substantial project are also welcome. 

    • Arroyo Viejo, Arthur Street and 79th Avenue -- 1st Saturday at 1:30 pm
    • Bella Vista Community Garden, Behind Bella Vista School, 1025 E 28th Street -- 2nd Saturday at 2:00 pm
    • Bushrod Community Garden, 584 59th Street -- 1st Saturday at 10:00 am
    • Golden Gate Community Garden, 1068 62nd Street -- 3rd Saturday at 11:00 am
    • Lakeside Park Kitchen Garden, 666 Bellevue Avenue -- 4th Saturday at 9:00 am
    • Temescal Community Garden, 876 47th Street -- 2nd Saturday at 10:00 am
    • Verdese Carter, Bancroft and 96th Avenue -- 3rd Saturday at 9:00 am

    For more info: Peter Collier, 238-2197 or or click here. 




    10. Kids' Programs & School News

    EDITOR's NOTE: News about the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and the local education community appears in a lot of different places: print, radio, television and online media. OUSD has started collecting the highlights in one easy place:  Check the link regularly.



     OUSD green logo

    OUSDopenOUSD Open Enrollment for 2014-2015 School Year 

    The options window for the 2014-2015 year begins Monday, December 9 and runs through Friday, January 17. Apply for kindergarten and other grades.

    Click here for all the info. 



    teach tomorrow  

    Want to Make a Difference in Your Community? Consider Teaching in Oakland Schools

    Learn more at Teach Tomorrow in Oakland (TTO)

    In its continued effort to diversify Oakland's teaching workforce, TTO is now looking for 4-year college graduates, those soon to graduate, and especially those with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focus.  Visit to learn more about this initiative to help aspiring teachers navigate the credentialing process.  

    To schedule an appointment: 273.2339




    OUSD hosts free speaker series

    Starting in November, Oakland Unified is hosting a free speaker series called Race Matters: Putting Race on
    the Table.
      The purpose of the series is to engage in thoughtful dialogue about race and equity in service of improving teaching and learning.  All lectures will be held at the Tilden Auditorium, 3752 Enos Street, Oakland, 94619.  The last scheduled date and topic is:

    • Tuesday, January 14, 4-6 p.m. - lecture on Identify Safe Classrooms: Places to Belong and Learn, with Dorothy Steele and Becki Cohn-Vargas.

    For more info: 








    Oakland Public Libraries sponsor a multitude of events all over the city. Go to this link -- now and often -- for upcoming events of all kinds: 


    Fairyland has events every weekend for children: 

    Oakland Museum
     has weekday and weekend events and hands-on activities. First Sundays of the month are free. 
    Oakland Zoo -- Need we say more?

    art murmur square logo
    The Art Murmur
    , Every First Friday year-round, 5-10pm:
    Various art galleries in Uptown. 

    Art Murmur SAT Stroll logo


    Saturday Stroll, Every Saturday, 1-5pm: Uptown Art Galleries:





    First Thursday Art Walk, Every First Thursday of the Month, 6-9pm, Grand Avenue from LakePark to Piedmont border.
    The Grand Avenue Business District hosts a monthly art event with special discounts from merchants and galleries. 

    For more info, click here.


    jack of all trades scene  
    Jack of All Trades Market,  2nd Saturdays of the month, 11am-5pm, Jack London Square, foot of the Broadway.
    The market will feature a curated mix of local makers, indie designers, antiquers, collectors, artists, start-ups and more brought together by the Treasure Island Flea. This eclectic market will feature one-of-a-kind items, live music and several free D-I-Y workshops for all ages. Visitors can bike, ferry or drive to Jack London Square for the market that will take place on the second Saturday of each month. 

    For more info: 



    Piedmont Art Walk, Piedmont Avenue, every 3rd Thursday, 6-9pm. 

    Enjoy Piedmont Avenue's rich and diverse collection of art of all stripes: culinary, music, design, photography, fashion, recycled design and upcycled style, among others. 

    For more info:  


    CSSC tykes programTyke Explorers Workshop at Chabot Space & Science Center,Tuesdays, 10am, 12:30pm, or 3pm. Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd.  For ages 2.5-5 years. Expand your preschooler's universe by enrolling in our Tyke Explorers Program. Kids get to bring a special grown-up to share in the excitement of science and space. Classes are a combination of instructor-led lessons and self-guided, hands-on experimentation and exploration. For more info and monthly workshop listings, click here.




    Girls' Sports Days at Oakland Parks & Rec

    For more info: Coach Love, 535-5608 or 





    League of Women Voters Monthly Hot Topics Roundtable Discussion

    LWV of Oakland sponsors monthly HOT TOPICS roundtable discussions to inform members and the public and to seek ways everyone can come together to address important issues facing our community.

    For more info: 




    toastmasters logoTuesday Toastmasters with Warehouse416 artists and friends, Tuesdays, 7-8am, and NEW TIME: 6:30pm, 416-26th St. 
    Plenty of parking is available. Anyone who needs a parking place can get one here, enjoy an hour of fun, then walk to work. All you need is a job in the area. You are welcome to visit, just to see what it is like. 

    For more info: Ron Scrivani, or 



    bike grp standing Saturday morning bike ride with Warehouse416 artists and friends, every (dry) Saturday, 8:45am (doors open at 8am), 416 26th St.

    This is a flat, short ride designed to provide new or returning riders with a way of getting started. We will guide you back to the start early, based on your needs. Our full ride is 30 miles and returns to 416 26th by 12:30pm.  For more info: Ron Scrivani, or 

    Vintage Porcelain Show, Wednesdays, 10:30am & every 2nd Saturday, 10:30am, & every 2nd Sunday, 2pm, Pardee Home and Museum, 672 11th St. 

    If you love vintage china, you won't want to miss Mrs. Helen Pardee's collection of exquisite demitasse cups, teacups, and tea pots. Included with cost of tour ($5) or tour with high tea ($25). Reservations required for tea or private tour (min 4).

    For more info: 444-2187,  

    The Listening Horse designed by our nationally known architect Walter Hood has a magical impact as visitors listen to stories
    What I Hear, I Keep: Stories From Oakland's Griots, Wednesday-Saturday until February 2014, 2:30-5:30pm, Peralta House Museum, 2465 34th Ave.  
    A visual and audio art installation based on African American stories of modern-day Oakland, with local residents telling about their lives and exploring their identities. Hear voices speak about the pluses and minuses of segregation, rituals commemorating the Black Holocaust, combating racism in major league baseball, The De Fermery Recreation Center community, the Black Panthers, the heyday of KJAZ, the Black Native community, and many other iconic contemporary Oakland themes.
    Cost: $5; free for Fruitvale Community members and children 10 & under

    For more info: 


    Mexica Dance, every Monday evening, 6-8pm, sponsored by Peralta Hacienda, Center for History and Community, 2488 Coolidge Ave.

    All are welcome to discover Mexica culture during ceremony and dance classes open to the public.  

    For more info: