Singing For Food, At Montclair’s Farmers Market

Today, things were hopping in Montclair Village.  Visiting artists displayed their works at the Fine Arts Festival, while farmers and bakers sold their edibles at the weekly Farmers Market.  We also heard some orphans made quite a scene.

Yes, Oliver and his fellow orphans left their Woodminster hillside home and ventured into Montclair Village for Food, Glorious Food!  See the photographic proof above, snapped by onlookers.

Woodminster Summer Musicals will soon kick off their 45th season with Oliver   The performances run July 7th (preview), July 8-10th, and July 14-17th.  They all begin at 8pm, so you should remember to bring layers for the evening chill.

You may buy reasonably-priced tickets online here, or else call 510-531-9597.  Remember kids are free with paying adults, which is always a good deal.  Beyond the Oliver!  performances, My Fair Lady plays in August, and Finian’s Rainbow wraps the season in September.

How can you go wrong with this Broadway-in-Oakland tradition?

Our Council Rep’s Take On City Budget

Ah, summer-time…budget-time.

Just this afternoon, District 4 Council Rep Libby Schaaf communicated her budget adjustments made with several other council reps.  Cutting to the chase, this budget proposal includes libraries, public safety coordinators, a few more cops — and no new taxes yet.

We wanted to make sure you saw all this information, whether it’s eye-glazing or not.

What does this all mean?   Well, these budget adjustments refer to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s “worst case” budget scenario.  Council Rep Schaaf has provided a translation of the top-line recommendations:

I’ve been working around the clock to craft a budget that keeps Oakland the wonderful city we all love. I’m pleased to present a budget proposal, developed with Councilmembers Nadel, Kernighan and Kaplan, that does the following:

  • Maintains existing service levels at all 18 Oakland Public Libraries plus keeps Main open during Winter Break
  • Preserves all 9 existing community policing Neighborhood Services Coordinators
  • Preserves 85% of cultural arts grants and The Oakland Film Office
  • Preserves the City’s Tree Trimmers and Gardeners who beauty our parks
  • Maintains support for cultural gems like the Oakland Zoo, Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, the Peralta Hacienda; and more
  • Keeps all Fire Stations Open
  • Preserves programming at every Recreation Center
  • Hires back all available recently laid-off Police Officers immediately, in addition to holding an academy to recruit 40 new officers
  • Begins rebuilding the City’s Reserve Fund for financial stability

… and much, much more!  Other Councilmembers may be submitting proposals as well, and all can be viewed under Item 6 of the June 28th City Council agenda at  While labor negotiations are still not final, we are hoping we will be able to adopt the budget at our meeting this Tuesday 6/28 starting at 6:30pm.  If not, we’ve scheduled a meeting on Thursday 6/30 at 5:30pm, just in case.

Any comments or suggestions may be sent to Libby ( or Jenny Feinberg (jfeinberg@oaklandnet), who works in Libby’s office and serves as our “go-to girl for all things Montclair.”  Or stop by Montclair Village this Sunday morning, between 9:30 and 11:00am, when Schaaf will be holding community office hours.

Update:  Read the Tribune and Chronicle stories about three proposals from City Council reps.  If you would like to dive deeper, then please head over to A Better Oakland’s analytical coverage.

Headless Woman In Montclair Village

Did our provocative headline catch your attention?  Well, it’s true.

Earlier today, Oaklander Amy Gahran provided photographic evidence of a lovely, alabaster headless woman lounging in Montclair Village.  There was no crime report filed with the Oakland Police Department this time.

(Sorry, we could not resist sharing this salacious picture.)

New Map For Northern Montclarions

Every so often, a good samaritan attempts to define our slightly-confusing borders.  This time, neighbor Jonathan Ryshpan created a nice Google map overlay which shows Northern Montclarions exactly where they live — right down to the street level.

As you may know, Montclair’s divided into two separate parts.

Beat 13Y covers the northern reaches, roughly above Thornhill to Berkeley, and its safety concerns are represented by the North Hills Community Association (click here).  Beat 13Z encompasses the southern half, including Montclair Village, and is cared for by the Montclair Safety and Improvement Council (click here).

Fortunately, Montclarions mingle peacefully and we’re betting that many residents have no clue about these distinctions.  However it is good to be reminded that you belong to one of two tribes, at least from the City of Oakland’s police mapping viewpoint.

So let’s examine this dividing line between Beats 13Y and 13Z more closely.  While Thornhill is a good rule of thumb, it’s not valid as you head uphill.  It turns out that the border is far more circuitous:  Thornhill – Sobrante – Oakwood – Glen Oaks – Wild Currant – Thornhill – Snake – Skyline.

Click to Ryshpan’s map here, and see if you agree with this assessment.  It’s always been a little murky, but matters to those folks who may be (knowingly or unknowingly) living in no-man’s land.