Another Montclair Genius

Montclair is officially home to a genius.  Writer and Montclair resident Yiyun Li was one 23 MacArthur Fellows announced Tuesday morning.

According to the Chron, “Li ignored the persistent caller with the unknown phone number for one week. But a few days ago, [Li] finally answered and learned she was a recipient of a “genius award” – a $500,000, no-strings-attached grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.”

Li, who also teaches at UC Davis, said the award will give her more time to write. Look for her books, “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers,” and “The Vagrants” at A Great Good Place for Books, or the Montclair branch of the Oakland Public Library.
Earlier this month, writer Pia Chatterjee interviewed Li about the craft of writing.

Poll shows Quan Leads in 94611

A robo-poll conducted by a San Francisco startup aimed at showing off its new Internet phone system has revealed an interesting picture of Oakland’s mayoral race.

A Still from "DREAM A Better Oakland"

While Don Perata leads in most zip codes, Jean Quan’s 94611 base picks her over the competition by a couple of percentage points. Also, the robo-poll called 30,000 likely voters across Oakland, and received 1,435 responses. The machine got the highest number of responses (223) in 94611.

In other campaign news, what do you think of Quan’s new campaign video? This is what the communications director for the Perata campaign had to say: “You would have expected that, given her previous advice on seat-belt safety, she would have insisted the young gentlemen in the back of her car wear their seat-belts. It’s not the first time Jean Quan has been exposed for, “do as I say, not what I do”. Demanding that public employees make pension contributions, for example…

Creek to Bay Day

Head out to your favorite creek this Saturday to rip up that Himalayan Blackberry and Algerian Ivy.

Many of the local events for Creek to Bay Day involve removing the invasive species that choke the natives growing on the banks of the area’s creeks: douglas iris, yellow-eyed grass, and monkey flower to name but a few.  Here’s where you can find a Creek to Bay Day event near you. Kimra McAfee of Friends of Sausal Creek reminds volunteers to bring gloves, water, and plenty o’ sunscreen.

Candidate Forum Video

Did you miss last week’s District 4 candidate forum?

The seven candidates attended and spoke to the crowd, including Jill Broadhurst, Jason Gillen, Ralph Kanz, Clinton Killian, Libby Schaaf, Melanie Shelby and Daniel Swafford.

V Smoothe at A Better Oakland has a video of the event (link here), along with a round-up of more upcoming forums.

Piedmont 911

Oakland North, a project by students from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, has an interesting article about people in Rockridge and Montclair calling the Piedmont Police Department for help. Piedmont Police Captain John Hunt told Oakland North that calls from Oaklanders have increased by 20 to 30 percent over the past two months.

While the article notes that Piedmont PD has been receiving emails and baked good from grateful Oaklanders, it doesn’t mention if that increase represents two to three more calls or 20 to 30 more requests for Piedmont cops. That would be interesting to know. Meantime, Emeryville and Berkeley PDs have not observed a rise in calls from Oakland residents, according to Oakland North.