Archive for the 'Local Events' Category

15
Jun
12

Montclair Mayor: Voting Open Through Sunday

Montclair Village has been represented by a furry mayor for several years now.  Montclarions have been ably led by Murphy, who hails from Crogan’s, for the past two years.  He has served us well.

While we usually hold elections annually, our polling officials were busy launching a fair election down on Piedmont Avenue last year.  All is hereby forgiven, and we welcome the opportunity to find eager and fresh leadership here.  The virtual voting booth is open through Sunday at 1:00 pm — vote here.

The top vote-getter is the candidate who receives the highest, ahem, financial donations.  The top pet becomes our mayor.  He or she will be responsible for representing Montclair.  Our mayor mostly makes appearances in the Village, typically at the Farmers Market as well as the Halloween Parade.

There are nine candidates who made it through the primary election and are seeking your votes now.  The candidate with the highest votes, aka dollar donations to the Montclair Veterinary Pet & Wildlife Fund, wins the mayoral contest.  Runners-up are also assigned other responsibilities in the local government.

So who’s running?  The finalists include these furry or feathered candidates:

  • Five Dogs Marley (Golden Doodle), Snow (American Eskimo), Chewbacca (Pomeranian), Murphy (Mixed Breed), Tigerlily (Lab/Terrier Mix)
  • Three Cats – Freida (Siamese), Stomper (Grey/White Mix), Lil’ Dude (Black Domestic American Shorthaired)
  • One Bird – Butter (Sun Conure)

Vote now.  Simply click to read about each candidate and make your donations.  Again, all proceeds go to the Pet & Wildlife Fund.  It’s a good cause, helping to mend and heal wild critters in need.

23
Apr
12

Eat Your Way Through The Village

Join the “Roman Feast” tomorrow night, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm in our faire village.  The Lions Club and Montclair Village Association are co-hosting their fourth annual Montclair Village Restaurant Walk, an altruistic opportunity to eat non-stop.  As a local fundraiser, you can consume with abandon right here.

Besides food tastings at 19 different locations (see ‘em below), there will be entertainment from our kids.  Montara’s band will perform outside the Safeway, while a Skyline High string trio will serenade everyone at Italian Colors.  This Tuesday fundraiser will benefit charities including Oakland Fund for the Arts, Boy Scouts, music programs at Montera and Skyline, and many more.

Here are all 19 of the grazing spots, so you can plan your journey carefully:

Amba – Colonial Donuts – Crogan’s – El Agavero – Farmstead Cheese & Wine – Flipper’s Gourmet Burgers – Flavors India Bistro – Grille One Carvery – Italian Colors – Kakui Sushi – Montclair Baking – Montclair Bistro – Montclair Malt Shop – Noah’s New York Bagels – Oni Sushi – Pagarung Thai – Taqueria Las Comrades 2 – Yogafina – U.S. Bank

Tickets are selling out, but we hear you can stop by the U.S. Bank and buy a $25 passport.  Then you’ll be armed with coupons which can be redeemed at each participating restaurant.  And consider parking as an offset, since the La Salle garage will be open and free from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.

Enjoy the stroll, the tastings, the music and your neighbors.  Be there.

06
Mar
12

Creating A Non-Ignition Zone

Montclarions know that spring is awesome, with blooming flowers and greenery.  Most of us live on forested hills, where foliage grows prodigiously this time of year.  We’re all responsible for constantly trimming back and remaining code-compliant within the Wildfire Prevention District.  It’s a small price to pay, to protect our domiciles from the next Diablo Winds firestorm.

To learn more about “non-ignition zone” best practices, Montclarions and other Oakland Hills dwellers are invited to a special, free and educational Fire Prevention Meeting.  Mark your calendars for this Thursday evening, from 7-9 pm.

The North Hills Community Association (NCHA) has organized this event, featuring local experts and officials, at the Highlands Country Club (map).  No RSVP is needed, and we’re asked to park on the road outside the club.

Bob Sieben, who chairs the NCHA Fire Prevention Committee, has shared this agenda:

  • It’s about…six feet.  The main goal is to keep the six feet around your home free and clear of overgrowth.  Carol Rice will discuss which plants are appropriate and which are not in this key area. She is a natural resource manager and fire ecologist in private practice developing fire management plans with Wildland Resource Management, Inc.  Clients include homeowners associations, private developers and the City of Oakland. She is the past president of the California-Nevada-Hawaii Fire Council.
  • It’s about landscaping decisions.  Cheryl Miller will discuss landscaping issues in the non-ignition zone.  She is a registered Landscape Architect in private practice in Oakland who has worked with a wide range of construction and planning projects in the wildland urban interface in the East Bay hills. She is executive director of the Diablo Fire Safe Council and has served on the Board of the California Fire Safe Council.
  • It’s about what fire marshals do.  Leroy Griffen will discuss what inspectors look for in this critical area.  He is the Assistant Fire Marshal for the Oakland Fire Department.  (You do want to avoid those fines, right?)
  • It’s about neighbor reps, too.  Barbara Goldenberg attended the national wildland/urban interface fire education conference and has chaired the Advisory Committee to the Oakland Wildfire Prevention Committee.

Have you become blasé about learning new ways to protect your castles and cottages?  It’s time to double check your seasonal efforts, take a look at what grows around your home, and create a larger non-ignition zone.  History tells us that we’re ready for a major fire soon, since Diablo wind-fueled fires strike every two decades…like clockwork.

15
Jan
12

Make Monarchs Feel At Home

On Martin Luther King Day, there’s a special opportunity to restore monarch butterfly habitat in Montclair. As part of a joint park clean-up, throughout Shepherd Canyon, volunteers can help restore the old dump site before the monarchs return to lay their eggs.

With sufficient milkweeds, monarch caterpillars are able to thrive.  So volunteers will help weed and carefully plant milkweeds, placing protective cardboard collars around them.  Through these efforts, we’ll continue attracting some awesome creatures to the neighborhood.

The Shepherd Canyon area has already made progress, as a registered monarch weigh station. We can only imagine each of the caterpillars lining up and getting ready to beat their competitors (but we digress).

On Monday at 9:00am, volunteers will join forces to work on the butterfly habitat, restore a wildflower meadow or work on drainage problems along the rail trail. Some 25 volunteers are needed for butterflies, 75 for the meadow and another 25 for trail work.

What a great way to give back on MLK Day!  All volunteers, including kids, are encouraged to meet at Escher Gate, 5881 Escher Drive (map).  Be prepared to work from 9:00am through 12:30pm.  While there are several project teams, you may want to secure your monarch spot by reaching Adrienne Bryant at 1swimcat@gmail.com or 510-339-0985.

This community event is organized and run by Friends of Montclair Railroad Trail, Shepherd Canyon Homeowners Association and Service for Peace volunteers.

04
Dec
11

Blair Park Development, Fait Accompli?

It looks like the City of Piedmont will likely approve development of Blair Park, possibly tomorrow night.  This five-acre undeveloped area, located in Piedmont with an Oakland border, has been under review for several years now.  Some Piedmonters want more space for playing fields.  A mix of Piedmonters and Oaklanders are still concerned about traffic, environmental, seismic, sound and other impacts.

During this past year, there have been revisions made to the Master Plan.  Most notably, the plan calls for one synthetic playing field rather than two fields.  The remaining space would be filled with a grass glade, a restroom, an off-leash dog area, and two parking areas for 20 cars.  There would be lowered concrete walls, new sidewalks, and some traffic calming efforts.

Piedmont City Council has scheduled a public hearing tomorrow night, to hear comments about the latest plan.  More specifically, the Council will be considering approval of this 65-page addendum to the final environmental impact report (FEIR).  The agenda calls for reviewing overall conditions to approve/deny the project or parts of the project.

  • What:  Piedmont City Council — Public Hearing for Moraga Canyon Sports Field Project
  • When:  Monday, December 5th — at 7:30 pm
  • Where:   City Council Chambers –  120 Vista Drive, Piedmont (map)

In addition to the environmental review and mitigation program, the Piedmont City Council is also addressing other approval conditions.  These range from financial arrangements, such as leasing the site to the developer and getting initial fees paid, to making sure construction costs, plans and schedules are hammered out.

Tomorrow’s agenda covers both Blair Park and existing Coaches Playfield elements, Blair Park modifications proposed by the Piedmont Recreational Facilities Organization, filing the project with the Alameda County Recorders Office, and reading of an ordinance about leasing the Blair Park site to the developer.

Based on the agenda alone, it sounds like the train is about to leave the station, the starting gun will be shot — or pick the metaphor that works best for you.  Assuming there’s money to develop Blair Park, some development is about to get approved tomorrow.

Update:  The Piedmont City Council meeting lasted until Tuesday morning, at 2:30am.  During the proceedings, Oakland Council Rep Libby Schaaf voiced her concerns to city council reps.  As expected this Blair Park development was approved, by a 4-1 vote.

11
Nov
11

Okay Everyone, Time For Surveillance Cameras

Montclarions have been contemplating measures to help deter potential burglars and catch perps for a while.  Under the auspices of the Montclair Safety and Improvement Council (MSIC), neighbors recently decided that surveillance cameras might do the trick.  And ABC7 News (KGO) ventured into the hills to ask about our plans.

It’s simple:  purchase several surveillance cameras and install them around your property.

With many home invasions lately, why not try something?  After all, Oakland police are focused on their downtown efforts and generally drive up here for in-progress, life-and-limb crimes.  With under 650 cops for the whole city, they aren’t able to patrol in the hills or visit homes that have been hit.

On Saturday morning, there’s an opportunity to figure out how to install and use these specialized cameras.  The Montclair SIC group has organized a meet-up at Montclair Elementary School (map), starting at 10am.  Right in the parking lot,  Logitech camera reps and Oakland police are scheduled to discuss how this program can work for Montclair.

Whether you are ready to install cameras or not, all curiosity seekers are invited to learn more tomorrow.  For those ready to give it a try, you can sign up for cameras and even arrange a house-visit to connect cameras to your home computer.  According to Montclair SIC reps, “we have over 100 participants registered for this program, which is phenomenal for a new community-based program.”

04
Oct
11

Montclair Village Asssociation Changes Guards

The Montclair Village Association (MVA) provides much-needed glue connecting Montclair’s denizens, merchants and the City of Oakland.  The group listens to all concerns, and its leader wears multiple hats including retail business developer, graffiti ranger, party host, urban planner and overall visionary.  Now we are changing the leadership.

MVA’s most recent administrator-director, Roger Vickery, did a great job herding all the constituencies.  We especially appreciated the practical and patient approach he used to improve life in the village.  Despite the elected dog mayors, he truly served as the de-facto Mayor about town.  We’re sure that Vickery will be missed after his retirement.

Tomorrow, the torch gets passed to long-time Oaklander Daniel Swafford.  We spent time with him when he announced and ran for District 4 council rep  last year.  With his enthusiastic leadership of Dimond’s safety group (like Montclair SIC) and the Oaktoberfest, we should be in different but very good hands.  Now that steins have been cleaned and put away, Swafford is ready to focus on all-things Montclair.

Please celebrate the changing of the guard, tomorrow.  After the regular MVA meeting wraps, around 7:15pm Wednesday, you’re invited to Italian Colors (map) for the celebration.  For those who have worked with Roger, come and raise a glass to him.  While there, you will also have an opportunity to meet Daniel as well as many caring Montclarions.  Stop by!




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Welcome to Montclair, Oakland

We live in the city yet are invaded by nature - or perhaps it's the other way around. Stop by often, and find out what's interesting to 94611 denizens.


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