Who’s Who in PANIL PANIL activities are planned and implemented by a small, dedicated group, the Steering Committee:
Christine Wilder Abrams
PANIL May Meeting
Wednesday, May 12 always the second Wednesday of the month
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm via Zoom
Terri Westbrook, Director of the Mosswood Recreation Center, will report on what is happening currently at the Park and the Center and will describe the redesign of the park that is slated for next year. The eleven-acre public park, established in 1910, is operated by the Oakland Parks, Recreation and Youth Development Department.
The plan for the park makeover shows three phases, with groundbreaking expected in the first quarter of 2022. Phases 2 and 3 will add a gym and a swimming pool.
As we reported in the March issue of PANIL Newsletter, you can download the Mosswood Park Master Plan at the City's web site.
Click here for the Zoom link
Meeting ID: 825 8030 7712
Do all your neighbors know about PANIL? Would you tell them? Send them towww.PANIL.org.
The Vacant Lot at 51st and Broadway
What do you want for the shopping center’s Phase II construction?
-- Valerie Winemiller
Developer TRC Retail holds a 90-year ground lease on the property at The Ridge shopping center at 51st Street and Broadway. For that property, they have a set of plans approved some years ago by Oakland’s Zoning Department that include what has already been built (Safeway and other stores and businesses) as well as the portion of the property which has been left as a fenced-in vacant lot. That was to be Phase II of construction. During the original planning period, neighborhood groups urged the developer to design an urban- and transit-friendly space on that portion of the property (not something car-centric), with elements that address the street, with a multi-story mix of retail and offices.
Now, however, after economic changes and the pandemic, TRC Retail no longer wants to build what was approved for Phase II. They have let it be known that they are considering instead:
an automobile dealership
a "big box" store
They have said that their new approach might also include some additional retail shops similar to what already exists next to Safeway. They have asked for a survey of the residents in the neighboring areas to learn their opinions and their vision for the vacant lot, or Phase II of the development of that property.
The survey is being organized by the Upper Broadway Advocates (UBA) https://www.ubaoakland.org/ and, at the end of April, they asked PANIL to send the survey to everyone on the PANIL email list, with a request for a quick response.
PANIL will be following this issue as we did the initial planning stages for The Ridge. If you want to participate further, lending your thoughts in meetings with the coalition and the developer, please contact Valerie Winemiller via firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Oakland Can Reimagine Public Safety
Anne Marks, District 1 representative to the Reimagining Public Safety Taskforce spoke to PANIL at the April 14 meeting, describing the taskforce’s assignment from the city council and some of its major recommendations.
From the city’s web page for the taskforce, “The purpose of the Reimagining Public Safety Taskforce is to rapidly reimagine and reconstruct the public safety system in Oakland by developing a recommendation for Council consideration to increase community safety through alternative responses to calls for assistance, and investments in programs that address the root causes of violence and crime (such as health services, housing, jobs, etc), with a goal of a 50% reduction in the OPD General Purpose Fund (GFP) budget allocation.”
One of the defining concepts that appeared to surprise neighbors was that the city council urged the taskforce not to pre-edit their ideas by worrying about what was “practical,” but to brainstorm freely. Nonetheless, the taskforce’s deliberations were grounded in a great deal of research regarding crime and budget data, contracts with the police officers’ union, best practices from other cities, and other background information.
The result of their intensive work is a report with 88 recommendations that are before the city council. A copy of the extremely interesting 176-page report – with background history and full details – shows each recommendation, the priority given to it by the Task Force, the estimated timeline for implementation, and the estimated cost and savings if implemented. A copy can be downloaded from here
Recommendations include • building a restorative justice web of supportprioritizing funding for violence prevention strategies • creating an interdisciplinary team to respond to mental health crises • transferring OPD’s Internal Affairs Division, which investigates complaints of police misconduct, to the (civilian) Community Police Review Agency.
The list of recommendations is also available from this link with more detailed description of each recommendation.
The next step will come next month when the City Council considers the next two-year budget. According to an article in the March 19, 2021 issue of The Oaklandside, “The council must approve the next two-year budget before the end of June, and decide which, if any, of the task force’s recommendations to include in the budget.”
Where is this? Last month’s photo was the big tree at the corner of the Piedmont Avenue Elementary School yard at Echo and Piedmont Avenue, as Catherine Kuhlman, Cathy Furtado, Betsy Levine, Kate Spohr and Alan Winson knew.
Winner-worthy answers: "A beautiful place for a picnic!"
Send your answer to Contact@PANIL.org Correct answers get honorable mention in the next issue of PANIL Newsletter.
Bulletins from the Friends of Piedmont Avenue Library (PAL)
• The library in the portable building on Echo Avenue behind Piedmont Avenue Elementary School is open now from 10am to 1pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays, for a limited number of people at a time to come in for browsing and the signature friendly service from our library staff.
• The efforts to get a permanent home for our branch library are focused on the now-empty building next door to the library -- the former Piedmont Child Development Center (CDC). For background, see the charming and informative booklet compiled by the Friends of PAL: Meet the Small but Mighty Piedmont Avenue Library! Click hereto see it.
• Friends of PAL is the organization directing the effort to get a permanent home for the library. They meet, virtually by Zoom these days, on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. All are invited to the meetings.If you get their newsletter, HOOT, you’ll see the notice of the meeting and the link to join the Zoom session. If you are not already getting the HOOT, you can sign up for it from their websitehttps://www.friendsofpal.org/
AC Transit Updates AC Transit is hosting a series of Transit Talks with updates on bus service, health and safety initiatives, and new projects. The session on Thursday, May 6, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, is the one focused on the Oakland / Piedmont / Emeryville / Berkeley areas. AC Transit at-large Directors Chris Peeples and Joel Young will join Board Directors representing their respective geographies for this session. For instructions on how to attend virtually, seehttps://www.actransit.org/talks
About PANIL PANIL, a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization, is supported by donations to cover the regular ongoing costs of maintenance of the website, newsletter production, and fees associated with reporting requirements to California's Secretary of State and to the IRS. Donations to PANIL also build a reserve fund for the costs incurred when we pay the fee to appeal decisions of the Oakland Planning Department about development or construction in our area. Those costs include filing fees and hiring lawyers to advocate for neighborhood standards.