Foxes Get Comfortable Too

We’re used to seeing deer, raccoon, skunks and occasional turkeys around our homes.  In the past few weeks, people living in the hills between Oakland and Berkeley have spotted a fox or two lounging right in their backyards!

Normally, the foxes are spotted running in stealth mode. I have seen them scurrying along, particularly on open hillsides in the East Bay Regional Parks. This photographic proof is fascinating, since the fox looks like some domesticated cat or dog.

Wild Life in the North Hills serves as our active repository for sightings, especially in the northern reaches of Oakland.  All neighbors are encouraged to take snapshots of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more.  The recent finds are uploaded for the month, and then categorized accordingly.  We’re impressed by Kay Loughman, an expert birder who faithfully oversees and maintains this great resource.

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Oakland Responds To Shelterwood Water Main

East Bay MUD fixed the main.  The main broke.  Repeat.

The water main on Shelterwood Drive has broken many times over the past few years, as reported here back in June 2009 and June 2010.  We even lost interest reporting on the breaks, though they were certainly disruptive for those neighbors.

Finally, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan reports there will be a permanent fix:

EBMUD Bumps Up Fix of Old Water Main on Shelterwood: After a water main on Shelterwood Road off of Shepherd Canyon broke for the 5th time, causing headaches for residents, EBMUD announced that it is moving up plans for a permanent replacement from May to the end of this month.

“EBMUD manages over 4000 miles of pipeline and we budget 7 to 15 miles of replacement a year. Replacement criteria for aging pipes are based on a formula that takes into account age and breaks. Once a pipeline gets into a queue for replacement, the new pipeline has to be designed before the old one can be replaced. Staffing and resources for both design and replacement are an ongoing challenge and EBMUD must constantly revise priorities,” explained Michelle Blackwell, Community Affairs Representative.

We–and the residents of Shelterwood–thank EBMUD for acting quickly on this.

Yes, Shelterwood’s made the big time.  It’s about time.